Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

How can I sideload an app on my Chromebook?

Google Pixelbook

Episode 1552

Jim from Bend, OR

Jim wants to use an app called Morpheus, but it can't be installed through the Google Play Store. He's been told he needs to be in Developer Mode to install an app from somewhere else. Leo says that's a bad idea because it'll make his Chromebook less secure. Not all apps are approved for ChromeOS. If he can't install it and run it directly from the Google Play store, he shouldn't do it.

Is there such a thing as a hard drive-less computer?

Hard drives

Episode 1552

Dennis from Marina Del Rey, CA

Dennis is looking to get a new computer and wants to know if he can get one without a hard drive. He's got two 8TB SATA drives ready to go, plus an SSD. Leo says that any tower case will have room for multiple drives. He'll need one fast enough to do video editing.

Leo recommends going to Dell. Dennis should return his SSD and get it with the SSD built-in to save himself the time installing it. He could go cheaper, but since Dennis does this for a living, it's worth paying a little extra for a top of the line model.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1551

This week's gadget is designed mainly for women. EZ Makeup glasses. These specially designed makeup glasses are said to magnify for perfect makeup application. They have built-in LEDs to provide light to see every detail. A rotating lens allows you to easily switch eyes. The provide 3x magnification! $14.99 at a CVS drug store. The first set had one LED light that didn't work. Dick exchanged them for a second set and the rotating lens broke off. Watch the video to see how poorly these glasses are made - at least to my eyes!

How can I get data off an old hard drive?

Newertek Universal Drive Adapter

Episode 1551

Duke from Redondo Beach, CA

Duke wants to get data off an old external hard drive that's stopped working. Leo says the drive is probably fine, but the enclosure has most likely died. Leo suggests using the NewerTech Universal Drive adapter. He can connect the drive to his computer with the adapter, and then he'll be able to access it like a regular hard drive. Then it's a simple drag and drop. He may have to break open the plastic tabs to get into the enclosure, though.

How can I improve my Wi-Fi signal?

TP-Link EAP225

Episode 1550

Bruce from Carlsbad, CA

Bruce has Wi-Fi coverage in his house because it's long and narrow. He doesn't want extenders. So he's thinking of using Cat5 ethernet. Can he take an ethernet connection and convert it to Wi-Fi? Leo says that the TP-Link EAP225 access points will do the trick. He can also turn his router into bridge mode for that. But he can also use Powerline Networking, where he can use his electrical grid for networking and get internet access in every room. He can just plug in the Powerline adapters.

What's new with Amazon Echo?

Amazon Echo Input

Episode 1550

Doctor Mom from New York

Doctor Mom is calling in to talk about all the latest Echo products put out by Amazon. The Amazon Echo Input, is a speakerless Echo that you can attach to a speaker you already have. Echo can read your email if you ask, too. There's also a feature called Alexa Guard, which willl listen for things like glass breaking and smoke detection, and will turn on all the stereos really loud and then contact the authorities.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1549

This week's gadget is the Tech Neck mobile device holder. Who could come up with such a weird gadget? You want me wear that crazy thing around my neck? Well, relax, it's not a real product. It's true, the Tech Neck Device Holder does not exist. It's a Prank Pack designed to fool the receiver into having to thank you for a really stupid gift. But, the box is empty so you can put your real small-sized gift inside. There's also a “You've been pranked note” inside the box.

What's a good device to video conference with my mom?

Facebook Portal

Episode 1549

Steve from Palos Verdes, CA

Steve's elderly mother wants to keep in touch. What's a good device that he can get her so they can FaceTime or video conference that's really easy? Leo says that Facebook has a really good solution called Facebook Portal. It's really great and is a dedicated video device. Amazon also has one called the Amazon Echo Show. Google's is called the Google Home Hub, but it doesn't have a camera.