Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

The Giz Wiz and the Backyard Brains

Episode 1465

At Toy Fair 2018 Dick saw Backyard Brains' Human-Human Interface. With just a bit of wiring and by applying a few sticky pad to his arm he was about to learn that someone else's brain could make his arm move! Here's how the company puts it: "With our electrophysiology setup, you will learn exciting neuroscience concepts first-hand as your brain sends an electrical impulse to your arm's muscles, telling them to move. When your muscles move, this generates an even larger electrical signal.

Can I connect an external drive to a Chromebook?

Nam from Lake Forest, CA

Episode 1465

Nam is debating whether to get a Chromebook or a laptop. Leo says that you an pretty much do anything on a chromebook than you can do on a laptop, within reason. There are some higher end professional uses, like Video editing and gaming, that are better on a Windows computer. But Most other activities can be done in the ChromeOS through your browser. Can you connect an external hard drive to it? Leo says maybe. How about a DVD burner? Probably not. Chromebooks are designed for loading stuff into the cloud.

Why does my Echo go in and out?

Kevin from Malibu

Episode 1465

Kevin is having trouble with his two Alexa devices, that are intermittently going in and out. Leo says that if it comes back where it left off, that's just buffering of the internet and is a sign your bandwidth isn't keeping up. If it's dropping out and coming back at a different time, you're losing packets. Either way, it's an internet issue. It could also be I Heart Radio. It happens with the phone. It could also be congestion with wireless traffic. So use a wifi analyzer to see if someone's wifi connection is getting in the way. WiFI Analyzer is free. There's also InSSider.

How can I get my PC to wake up?

Don from Montana

Episode 1465

Don has an HP machine running Windows 10 and it's having problems when it goes to sleep. Leo says that make sure that hibernate is disabled. That causes a lot of problems. But it can also not wake up from regular sleep, and it's been a long running problem in Windows that doesn't really have a fix. What you could do is just set up the display to turn off, but disable sleep. Most of the power being used is by the display anyway.

Why doesn't alexa work on my Sonos 1?

Peter from Toronto, ONT CAN

Episode 1465

Peter bought a Sonos 1 speaker with Alexa built in. Alexa doesn't work though. Leo says that's probably due to Amazon Canada. The Songs 1 also has a limited version of Alexa. So Leo has a hunch it's an issue with Sonos. It may also be a region code issue. Try using an American credit card. That could solve the hiccup. But Leo says it's only a matter of time before that clears up because Echo is going everywhere.

Why doesn't my computer boot to my hard drive?

Doug from St. Louis, MO

Episode 1465

Doug recently replaced a power supply, and now the computer won't boot up to his main hard drive. Leo says that the SATA cables may have been swapped and that can confuse the BIOS. disconnect the data drive and see if it boots to the boot drive. If it doesn't swap out the cables. Also clear the configuration data in the BIOS so that it can reset. There's also a possibility that your boot drive is damaged. So check that. Also getting rid of the master boot record on your data drive will prevent confusion as well.

What tablet should I get for sketching?

Episode 1464

Greg from Mobile, AL
Apple iPad Pro and Apple Pencil

Greg's granddaughter likes to draw. What can he get her that will work? Leo says that an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil is fantastic and she could do real artwork with it. There are great apps that she can use on it. There are two sizes, 10.5" and 12.9". It's the closest thing to actually drawing on paper she'll find, especially in that price range. ProCreate is the ideal app for art and drawing.

Why does my PC keep scrolling to the bottom by itself?

Episode 1464

David from San Francisco, CA
Mouse and laptop

David is having problems with his Dell laptop. It autoscrolls when he opens a window and goes straight down to the bottom. It doesn't matter what he opens. Leo says that it's possible that the trackpad or keyboard are pressed or stuck. There may be some cruft in the key that's causing it to stick, or there's some "schmutz" on the trackpad that is giving a false positive and causing the problem. David should check his external mouse and keyboard as well.