Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Is the Yubikey Safe for Authenticating Online?

Yubikey 

Episode 1603

Don from Omaha, NB

Don wants to use a Yubikey to keep his computer safe online. Leo says that the Yubikey is serious two-factor authentication that enables users to generate a code to offer an extra level of security. It's a physical USB device that spits out a code with a one time password. Leo uses it for his email, Twitter, and a host of other sites online. He wishes his bank would support it. He keeps it on his keychain, using a Type C connector. But he can get a Type A adapter as well.

There's even an open source version called SOLOKEYS, which Leo says is every bit as good.

Why Can't I Scan From My Printer?

Epson

Episode 1603

Jack from Riverside, CA

Jack has an Epson printer and is having issues scanning from the control panel. It says it can't find the computer, even though he can print wirelessly. Leo suspects that there may be a driver issue on the computer. He recommends removing the printer and scanner drivers, reboot and reinstall. He can also try scanning to another computer. If that works, then it isn't the driver at all, it's an issue with the computer.

Sam Abuelsamid ... GPS'd

Sam wants to talk about GPS, which helps you to figure out where you are around the planet. So far, there's GPS here in the US, Russia has GLONASS, and Europe has their own. China is also developing their own GPS network. Experts estimate that our economy is so dependent on GPS, we could lose $1 Billion a day should it go down. It works by triangulating three GPS satellites that sync up with time code to estimate the distance from where you are to the satellite, and then it calculates where you are on the planet. 

Should I Install Linux onto My Old Windows XP for DVR Purposes?

Linux

Episode 1603

Mark from Pittsburgh, PA

Mark has an old Windows 7 / XP machine with Windows Media Center and is looking to repurpose it. Mark is wondering if he should pull the hard drive and install Linux onto the drive and use MythTV DVR application on it? Leo says that it should be fine, but warns Mark of using the machine for more than just a DVR machine. Leo says that there are risks using an XP machine since there haven't been new updates for XP machines in some time, it could be infected with viruses passively when going online.

Should I Buy the Mac Mini for Raw Photo Files?

Mac Mini

Episode 1602

Shane from Roy, Washington

Shane has a 2014 Trashcan Mac Pro and he's having trouble uploading his raw photo files. Would the new Mac Mini handle them, or should he bite the bullet and get the new cheesegrater this fall? Leo says that the new Mac Mini is a great computer and he can max it out for a great price. Leo also says that he will likely slow down the computer when he uses extra cores during rendering. So it's difficult to gauge the specs.

Should I Buy a Refurbished iMac?

 21.5" iMac

Episode 1602

Jody from Los Angeles, CA

Jody has a ten-year-old iMac. He saw an ad for a 21.5" iMac for $375 refurbished. Leo says that it's always best to buy refurbished directly from Apple. It may cost a little more, but the peace of mind is better. This sounds like a big corporation dumped a bunch of older machines onto Amazon Renewed for sale. Sounds like a good price, though. It really comes down to what year it is, what OS version it's using, and if it can be updated. A Snow Leopard Mac, for instance, can't be updated to Lion. So it's likely a 2010 machine. 

The Giz Wiz and the HyperCube

The Giz Wiz

Episode 1602

HYPER, makers of the world’s most crowdfunded USB-C hubs - announces its latest Kickstarter campaign for the HyperCubeat CE Week. It's a tiny device that features a micro SD card slot, a male USB connector and two female USB ports. It connects between the USB charger and your iPhone/Android smartphone. Using a free app it allows you to automatically backup all your photos, videos, and contacts onto a micro SD card or USB drive while you charge your device.

Why is my Chromebook screen flickering?

Chromebook

Episode 1601

Barb from Rancho Mirage, CA

Barb recently bought a Chromebook and wants to know if they have screensavers? Leo says no. Screensavers are an anachronism from the old CRT days when images would burn into the screen. That doesn't happen anymore with LCD screens. The Chromebook just goes into power saving mode and shuts off the screen. That's how it saves the screen. The screen also flickers a little. Leo says that the image may be too bright and that causes it to flicker. That's an easy fix, you just turn down the brightness a bit.