Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1432

Dick DeBartolo

With Halloween coming, Dickie D's fun toy this week is a Piggyback or "Ride On" costumes. It gives the illusion of an elf giving you a piggyback ride! Or riding on the back of a T-Rex! The costume tricks your vision so that those who encounter the wearer will think that they are actually sitting on the shoulders of something else. But of course it's all you wearing the costume, with your legs in the pants and phony legs hanging down that look like they're yours! Priced about $40 and up. Amazon features lots of other “piggyback ride on” costumes too,.

How can I control my mp3s in the car?

Episode 1432

John from Oxnard, CA
Apple-CarPlay by Sam Churchill

John has a new car and it doesn't have a CD player. It has a USB plug instead, but the music just jumps all around. Leo says that most car makers expect you to keep your music organized and play it from the phone. John's Corvette uses Apple CarPlay so his iPhone will interface with it really easily and he can play all his music via the iOS Music app. He can just tell it to play an album and it will play it. Or he can even tell it to play with no pauses between tracks, shuffle, create playlists, genre, and more. It's wide open in terms of options.

How can I connect my desktop to my TV?

Episode 1432

Zachary from Victorville, CA
Samsung Smart View

Zachary wants to play games and he's connected his desktop to his TV. When he tries to adjust the screen settings, however, none of the settings work. Leo says to try and change the settings before he connects the TV. The TV has a native resolution that is actually lower than the resolution on his desktop. He should check what his TV's native resolution is and then choose that setting that is as close as possible to it. He may also be in mirror mode instead of extended mode. So he should try and change that if he can.

How can I connect my Sonos to the Amazon Echo?

Episode 1432

Doctor Mom from New York
Sonos Play:1

Doctor Mom has managed to add her Sonos to the Amazon Echo by installing the Sonos Skill and letting it discover them in the devices section. It does have limitations, though. It can't play Spotify or Audible. The Echo will also immediately turn off all the speakers when it wakes up. The Sonos skill isn't really ready for prime time just yet. That's why she recommends getting the Vaux External Speaker for the Echo Dot, because you can drop the Dot right into it.

Why can't I stream with my iPad anymore?

Episode 1431

Victor from Carlsbad, CA
Apple iPad

Victor's iPad has stopped working for streaming. It says the audio stream isn't available. Leo says that his old iPad has an OS that may not support the current standard anymore. iHeartRadio was probably updated and it simply no longer will work with it. What can he do with it? Leo says that's the sad part about planned obsolescence. Technology that is perfectly good, but times have passed them by. Leo doesn't like it either.

What technology should I use in a home for the disabled?

Episode 1431

Alan from Michigan
Amazon Echo Show

Alan's wife works for a non profit for helping the disabled and wants to know what technology should be in the houses they build. Leo says that Wi-Fi internet is a given, as is cable television. Cutting the cable is attractive, but Leo says that connected TV is still the best option to date. He should run conduit in the walls and just switch out the cables as technology evolves. YouTube TV would be good if they can get it. Also, voice activated devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home would be a lot of help.

Why can't I direct enter channels on my TV?

Episode 1431

Gary from Buffalo, NY
Insignia HDTV

Gary got an Insignia HDTV, but it won't let him directly enter channels on the remote. Leo says that at under $200, it's likely that the TV doesn't have direct channel entry on the remote control and it was done to cut costs by reducing features. It may not even have a tuner. He would need to use his cable or streaming box that has a tuner built-in that could do that.

Why is my Mac's monitor so fuzzy?

Episode 1431

Carl from Goodland, IN
SwitchResX

Carl has a 2012 MacBook Pro Retina, and now when he connects it to his Vizio, he's noticed that the screen isn't as clear. The fonts are fuzzy and the image quality varies from app to app. Leo says that it could be that the native resolution of his Vizio screen may not be one that his MacBook understands and therefore, it runs the default resolution, which is generally half the native resolution of the screen. He'll need to figure out what the native resolution of the screen is, divide it by two and choose the best option based on that. Could updating to El Capitan also be a factor?