This week's gadgets come from Satechi and include the Smart Monitor Stand F1 with four USB 2.0 Ports and Headphone/Microphone Ports in the front, making it easy to plug in when you need to, rather than reach behind your computer. It's aluminum alloy legs can support devices up to 22 lbs according to Satechi. Also included in the box are 2 audio cables - 1 for microphone, 1 for headphones, and a USB cable, provided to connect your computer to the F1 Stand. It costs $39.99.
John is frustrated with the slow speed of his wireless connection. Leo says it largely depends on the speed. 802.11n is the fastest, but it's being supplanted by 80211.ac. John has an 802.11g router and that's not as fast as n. The farther away a router is, the slower the Wi-Fi signal gets. Congestion by competing Wi-Fi access points can be an issue as well, since everyone is on the same spectrum - 2.4Ghz. That's why Leo recommends using dual band routers which also run on the 5Ghz band spectrum.
Dave wants to know if he can install a USB 3.0 port onto his desktop computer. Leo says sure, but it largely depends on the bus of his desktop. If he has PCIexpress, he should be just fine. USB 3.0 goes as high as 5 Gigabits, but that doesn't mean he'd necessarily get that. What about just plain PCI? He won't get the max speed, but the hard drive isn't as fast as USB 3.0 either. So it should be good enough for his use of it.
Robert would like to get a laptop or tablet that supports firewire. Leo says that the industry has moved away from FireWire in favor of USB 3.0. Even Apple, which was a huge proponent of Firewire has moved on from it. Robert could get a laptop that supports PCMCIA cards, and then he can get a Firewire card for it, but that's a feature that's also disappearing. Robert could also get a USB to Firewire adapter.
Leo says the drive may have failed, or the USB enclosure itself failed. It could also be as easy as the connectors wiggling lose and may just need to be reseated. If all the connectors are in place, disks do just die, and it may need to be replaced.