Hardware

How can I get Windows to finish its update?

Shirley from Venice, CA

Episode 1344

Shirley is having issues with the Windows 10 update that Microsoft forced on her. Now she gets a popup about updates. Leo says updating her system is very important and while she can defer them, she can only do that for so long. Then Windows will force the update. That's a real problem because she could get the update while she's in the middle of something. There is one way around it -- she can set her computer to say she's on metered Wi-Fi so Windows won't force it. She should get the update, though. Scheduling them in the middle of the night is best.

Should I buy a Lenovo laptop?

Episode 1344

Dave from Escondido, CA
Google Pixel

Dave has been Christmas shopping online and he found a great deal on a laptop with 16GB of RAM and dual drives with an SSD and a spinning drive. Leo says it's similar to the Mac Fusion drive, where it has the performance of an SSD and the storage space of a spinning drive. Dave is worried that Lenovo has put malware on it, though. Leo says that it was the Superfish adware, and Lenovo got caught doing that -- twice. They have since learned their lesson. Leo likes the Ideapad and at $749, it's a great deal.

How can I read Kindle eBooks on another device?

Episode 1344

Larry from Meneffee, CA
Amazon Kindle

Larry's wife wants to back up her Kindle eBooks onto an SD card to read on another device. Leo says that Kindle uses MOBI as its file version, and it can only be read by Kindle. She'll need to convert the files to ePub, which is a standard format. Leo likes Calibre for that. If she uses the Kindle app, then it's no problem, and she can just install the MOBI files to that other device. She'll need the folder structure first, so she should download a new book on the new device with the Kindle app.

Why doesn't my iPhone work with my car?

Episode 1343

Mike from Maine
Apple iPhone Family

Mike has an iPhone that he connects to his Subaru. It used to read his text messages, but now it doesn't work. Leo says it's likely been disabled while driving. It could be that the latest version of iOS doesn't support that function by design. The chatroom says that the car software may not have been updated. Leo's more of the mind that Apple disabled those features to guard against distracted driving.

What do you think of the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar?

Episode 1343

Ross from Philadelphia, PA
MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

Ross wants to know Leo's thoughts on the new MacBook Pro. Leo says that the screen is gorgeous, but he still says that the keyboard, while usable, isn't as good as the original one. The huge trackpad is pretty fantastic. He's not thrilled with the USB-C connectors, because he now has to buy dongles to keep using his externals.

Is the Amazon Echo a good Christmas gift?

Episode 1343

Cindy from California
Amazon Echo Dot

Cindy wants to know about the Amazon Echo. Leo says that the cool thing about the Echo is that Amazon opened it up to create more functions for it, called "Skills." To date, the Amazon Echo has over 3,000 skills it can handle. If she's an Amazon Prime member, she can tell it to buy stuff and ship it to her. She can tell it to stream music, too. If she has a stereo system, she can save money and get the Amazon Dot and plug it in.