Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why am I getting a hum in my recordings with Audacity?

Episode 1393

Micah from Maine
Audacity

Micah uses Audacity and he gets an intermittent hum on his microphone. Leo says that the mic Micah uses is USB and so a hum can't really find its way into the chain because the power is coming from the laptop, not an analog phantom power source. It could mean that the Digital to Audio converter is going bad, but if there's no analog loop, then there can't be a hum. So it must be software.

What laptop should I buy?

Episode 1393

Sarah from Rancho Cuca Monga, CA
Apple MacBook

Sarah wants to get a new Mac laptop. Leo says that Apple is likely to announce a new MacBook tomorrow, with Intel's new Kaby Lake processors. They'll be faster, and they'll have higher resolution screens, but that's about it. That means the time is right to make "the Switch." She'll want to look at the Mac keyboard, though. She should go to the Apple Store and try it out, because it's different. It also only has one connector, and she'll have to buy adapters to add external devices.

Apple May Announce Siri Home Device at WWDC

Episode 1392

Apple HomePod

There's plenty of credible evidence that Apple is going to get into the home connectivity game with an announcement of a Siri home speaker at WWDC. But Leo says that Siri is the dumbest of all the digital assistants, since Apple has systematically dumbed the service down since they acquired it. So he's not sure how beneficial it would be to have a Siri device over Amazon's Echo or Google's Home. Apple may have the edge with superior hardware, though.

Why is my Wi-Fi network so bad?

Episode 1392

Ted from Apple Valley, CA
Netgear Orbi

Ted is having trouble with his Wi-Fi. Leo says that's not really the fault of his network so much as it's just congested from everyone else's networks and activity. Also, Ted is streaming 4K video and that takes a lot of bandwidth. It may be that Ted's ISP just isn't giving him the bandwidth he needs to consistently get a good stream. On top of that, anything they publish gets cut in half when streaming via Wi-Fi and with the congestion and the bandwidth, that's quite a challenge to overcome.

Why can't I disable the touch screen on my PC?

Episode 1391

Rich from Orange County, CA
Dell XPS All-in-One

Rich has a 27" Dell XPS All-In-One PC and he wants to turn off the touch screen. He tried deleting the driver, but the next time he reboots the computer, it just reloads it. He also tried disabling it, but that didn't work either. Classic Shell and StarDock's Object Desktop is designed to turn things off and replace stuff that's been taken out, so he could try those. It could also be that Dell has an underlying utility that keeps turning it back on.