Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Augmented Reality May Be Bigger than Virtual Reality

Episode 1382

Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook F8 Conference

Facebook and Oculus had their big confab this week and they're focusing on Augmented Reality, which will bring virtual elements into the real world through a headset that shows you the real world, with virtual elements overlaid on it. Leo says that Facebook is looking to that because they are aware that everyone is getting into VR and they are worried about losing their edge in the genre. So look for Facebook to add AR to Oculus VR. Facebook is also going to add vanishing messages to Instagram in an effort to bury Snapchat since they couldn't buy them.

Should I get a Mac with a Fusion drive?

Episode 1381

Edward from Hollywood, CA
Apple iMacs

Edward is thinking about buying a 27" iMac with a fusion drive because he hears it's faster. Leo says it is, but only faster than a spinning drive. It's not faster than a solid state drive. It made a lot of sense a few years ago, but now it really doesn't because SSDs have gone down in price.

If Edward needs a large drive, it's OK, but Fusion is only slightly faster than a spinning drive. It's better to get an SSD and then add an external drive via Thunderbolt. Leo doesn't care for Fusion technology. It really doesn't give the benefits they want people to think it does.

Why can't I read my external hard drive?

Episode 1381

Dennis from Santa Monica, CA
NewerTech USB 3.0 Universal Drive Adapter

Dennis' computer has a Western Digital Passport external hard drive that mounts, but it can't be read it or ejected. Then it crashes the computer. Leo says that it's a USB device that isn't fully mounting. It's probably an issue with either the USB controller on his computer, or the cable itself. Dennis should try using a different USB cable first. Then he should try plugging it into another USB port and see if he can replicate the issue. The USB driver may also be corrupted.

What happened to my sound in Windows 10?

Episode 1381

Marcello from California
Windows 10 Start Menu

Marcello got the Windows 10 Creators Update and now his sound won't work. Leo says there's a bug in the update related to the Sound Blaster sound card which changes the bit depth of the audio. Leo recommends going into the settings and changing it back to 16-bit. It may also be that X-Fi isn't supported, so he'll need to disable that feature. It's a known bug that Leo thought was fixed, but apparently it wasn't.

What's the difference between a router and a modem?

Episode 1381

Christian from Nashville, TN
Modem vs router

Christian wants to know the difference between a router and a modem. Leo says that they handle two different jobs but some people get a modem that also works as a router from their ISP. Modem means "modulate-demodulate," and in the early days, it would take the bits and turns them into sound and then back again over a telephone line. Now they send the data digitally. Then it converts it into RF signals and back to bits.

Is my keyboard broken?

Sally from Grand Terrace, CA

Episode 1380

Sally has a Dell Inspiron using Word Perfect, but her keyboard is acting up. She's having issues connecting. Leo says that the keyboard is clearly broken. It can happen. She should try plugging in another keyboard and see if she has the same problem. If she doesn't, then she'll know it's the keyboard. If it does, then it's a driver issue. Being an older laptop, that laptop may not be compatible with Windows 10. But if Microsoft offered Windows to her, then the laptop is fine. It's likely a keyboard driver that's gotten corrupted.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1380

Dick DeBartolo

Tapdo is Dickie D's gadget of the week and it lets you control technology with single-touch, personalized biometric interactions. Using a fingerprint sensor, Tapdo allows you to assign specific functions to different parts of your fingers, to control your music, dim your smart lights, and more. Powered by Bluetooth you can control up to 23 functions on each hand by touching various part of the fingers and palms to the Tapdo. It's on Kickstarter now (4/13/17) and should be shipping final units in Fall, 2017.

How can I avoid RF interference from a computer?

Bob from Vista, CO

Episode 1380

Bob volunteered to clean up the audio at his church, and he discovered that a computer next to the amp on the desk is making the noise. But they can't move the computer. Leo says that computers shouldn't make so much noise that it would cause that much of a problem. Chances are, it's the monitor that's causing the RF interference. It's very common. It can be the power supply as well.

What desktop gaming computer should I buy?

Episode 1380

Bill from Gainsville, GA
Alienware Area-51 PC

Bill is looking to get his son a new computer. He wants a desktop. Is that still a good option? Leo says that desktops are becoming less popular, but there are still some great models out there. Bill's son also wants to game. All-in-Ones are designed to be aesthetically pleasing, but not practical for upgrading or repairs. A tower is really a better way to go, especially for gaming.