Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1525

There were a lot more unique gadgets at Interbike 2018 than bikes. InMotion's latest invention that takes the concept of a hoverboard and splits it into two independent machines; one for each foot! The company says it's a totally new experience that feels more like rollerskating with the freedom to zip around at will and that Hovershoes X1 are easier to learn and safer than hoverboards. It's a challenge to get the hang of balancing them, but younger users have no problems.

Should I buy a Chromebook?

Acer Chromebook 15

Episode 1525

Sherry from Los Angeles, CA

Sherry is looking for an affordable Chromebook with a budget of $350. Rich says that to be sure he doesn't get one so cheap that it's underpowered. Acer makes a good model in that price range. She should also get one that has a touch screen so that she can use Android apps. Unfortunately, Chromebooks won't let users install third party apps other than Android apps, but if she can live with that, Rich recommends going to Costco to pick up one.

Is there a video doorbell that opens the door?

Ring video doorbell

Episode 1525

Dan from New Jersey

Dan would like to get a doorbell that can not only notify his parents with video when someone is at the door, but can also unlock the door remotely. Rich says there are products that do one or the other, but not a lot that can do both. Ring is a great video doorbell, and he can view it remotely on a mobile device. Nest IQ has face detection, and could unlock the door. But he really doesn't want something fully automated.

Where can I buy parts for my MacBook Air?

Apple MacBook Air

Episode 1525

Rico from Cerritos, CA

Rico is trying to replace the cracked LCD screen on his MacBook Air. He's having issues with the LCD layers underneath the glass. Where can he buy a replacement part for that? Rich says that Rico should go to iFixIt. They not only will show him how to fix issues like that, but they also offer the parts and tools to do it.

Another option is to buy a broken MacBook Air for parts. He can check OWC at MacSales.com. They have parts as well, but mostly for upgrades.

Why won't my audio play on my other computer?

Handbrake

Episode 1525

Carl from Upland, CA

Carl transferred some podcast audio from one computer to another and it won't play on the other computer hard drive, just on the USB drive. Rich suspects a format issue. It sounds like it isn't a standard MP3 file, and as such, his Windows mp3 player is having issues playing it. Rich also says he may want to try converting the audio using VLC or Handbrake. Another possibility is that it requires some sort of "key" to play the audio. Or additional components.

Amazon Hosts Surprise Alexa Event with 14 New Products

Episode 1525

Thursday, Amazon held a surprise Alexa event, announcing 14 new Alexa centered products, with nearly 75 new features. Rich doesn't think it's trivial that Amazon chose the day before the iPhone shipped to grab all the headlines. But Rich also thinks that companies want their customers to be exclusive, and you can end up becoming deeper into their ecosystem, making it harder to use other products outside of it.