Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Is it more economical to build a computer?

Alex from Yorba Linda, CA

Episode 1383

Alex wants to build his own computer. Leo says that building his own PC is a good exercise and he'll learn a lot about how a PC works. He won't save any money doing so, though. And if there's something wrong, there's no one place to call. He'll have dozens of different parts and the manufacturers will just pass the buck. So he'd end up being his own support.

How can I organize all my open windows in macOS?

Episode 1383

Ken from Windsor, CAN
macOS Spaces

Ken uses multiple monitors and he has never been satisfied with how they are set up with color, and the bezels are distracting. He bought a 27" iMac to just rely on one large screen, but now he has a frustrating array of windows that are simply a mess. Leo says that Apple uses a virtual desktop management system that allows him to maximize a screen and switch between them by using the "Ctrl" key with the left and right arrow keys. That way he can focus on one active window and then easily change to the next task. It's much easier than trying to juggle multiple windows.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1382

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget is the Meyoung Airplane Foot Rest Hammock. On an airplane, it can hang from the snack table's arms to provide a hammock-like foot rest. And unlike some other travel gadgets, it doesn't make you look dorky, because probably no one will notice. It weighs only 3 oz and folds down to about 8" x 3" x 2" inch. The company says it will relax your feet and reduce pressure on your back. $13.99 on Amazon here.

Could I use a Chromebook to digitize old videos?

Episode 1382

Mike from Los Angeles, CA
Dell XPS 13

Mike wants to get a Chromebook. Can he use it to digitize video? Leo says no. It's just a browser and keeps everything in the cloud. As such, it can't do specialized applications like video conversion, because it doesn't have the hardware and software to do it. Chromebooks don't have a lot of storage, either. So what he'll want is a regular PC like a Windows or Mac. He'll also need a Firewire converter. The best laptop makers are Dell, Lenovo, HP, Asus, and Acer. Those are the top five.

How can I safely partition my hard drive for Linux?

Episode 1382

Mike from Portland, ME
rEFInd

Mike finally installed Linux Mint into his old Dell laptop. When he was partitioning it, Windows wanted 2/3 of the drive for XP. He's not planning on using it that much, so he made it as small as he could, but it won't let him. Leo says he doesn't even need Windows if he's not planning on using it, so he can just delete the Windows partition altogether.

Could my devices overheat and explode from a power inverter?

Episode 1382

Manny from Ashtabulah, OH
Power Inverter

Manny is a long haul truck driver and he has a lot of gadgets that require AC, so he needs an inverter. What's the best one that will provide power without overheating his gadgets? Leo says that in theory, the gadgets won't take more wattage that they can handle and if they are getting warm or even hot, that's just normal. Well made devices have circuitry that prevents overcharging.