Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Should I Buy a New Computer or Repair the Old One?

Power Supply

Episode 1584

Sam from Costa Mesa, CA

Sam's computer died and he replaced the power supply, but it didn't do anything. Should he keep trying to repair it? Leo says no. It's likely a motherboard and at that point, you may as well buy a new PC. But all computers have bloatware, stuff that he doesn't want. So he will have to clean them off.  Leo uses PowerShell to delete all the bloatware when he's breaking in a new PC. It also turns off Cortana, and Microsoft tracking. Search for Jess Fraz and her script to clean up Windows 10.

Is the Fire TV Stick Great Alternative to Satellite Service?

FireTV Stick 4K

Episode 1583

Gloria from North Hollywood, California

Gloria wants to know if the Fire TV stick is a good deal for cutting the cord. Rich recommends the Fire TV Stick 4K because it's the best option and it's only $10 more. Then he recommends also picking up the Fire TV Recast for the local channels. However, Gloria will need an antenna or subscribe to DirecTV Now for those local channels, minus KTLA. 

Can I Replace my Laptop Battery Myself?

Battery

Episode 1583

Chaz from Claremont, CA

Chaz recently upgraded to a new laptop  But his old laptop still works, and it just needs a new battery. Is that an easy repair? Rich says that it probably is. The best thing about the Internet is we can learn how to do just about anything. Also, a 10-year-old laptop often has an easier time with repairing/replacing components like batteries. Rich recommends iFixIt, where Chaz can input his laptop model and get instructions on how to do that. Of course, Youtube is also a great resource.

Should I Buy a Mac Mini?

MacMini

Episode 1583

Jerry from Woodland Hills, CA

Jerry is looking to get a new computer and wants to know if the new Mac Mini is good for occasional video editing and sound recording. Rich says that the Mac Mini was thought dead, but the new version has had a bump in specs. Pretty much any computer will work for editing basic video for the internet. But 4K video is going to require more power. For $800, the basic Mac Mini really isn't up to the task. Rich recommends maxing out the RAM and hard drive if the budget allows. But remember, that the Mac Mini also requires one to buy a monitor. keyboard, and mouse.

Sam Abuelsamid ... Working Overnight

Sam

Episode 1583

Sam joins Rich to talk about music factor interfaces for Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Rich got Apple Carplay updated in his car overnight and was thrilled. Sam says that Carplay and Android Auto are the best factory-based music systems.  Rich said he had a check engine light go on in his car and he got an email from OnStar telling him what was wrong. Sam says that telemetry data is one of the cool things about the connected car experience, and it can even be predictive, where it warns you of a pending failure before it happens.

What About Solar Power?

sunroof

Episode 1582

Richard from Hacienda Heights, CA

Rich wants to learn more about solar power and what he would need to get into solar, like how much it would cost, etc.

Rich says that Google's Project SunRoof will answer a lot of questions of how he can get started and get off the grid. 

But Rich isn't ready to buy into solar power just yet because the efficiency isn't where it should be and he's not thrilled with drilling into the roof to mount the panels.

Can I Connect a WyzeCam to a Mesh Router Network?

WyzeCams

Episode 1582

Darren from Missouri

Darren is looking to upgrade his network to a Mesh router and is having issues connecting his WyzeCams. Rich says that a lot of people are having issues with this because the WyzeCams are 2.4ghz and the mesh routers will switch between 2.4 and 5 GHz. That can cause camera connection issues. Google's mesh router will automatically connect to the band that the camera supports. So he may want to check out the Google WiFi mesh router. 

Rich has Eero and he was able to hook up his WyzeCams without any issue. 

Why Can't I Use a Computer?

BSOD

Episode 1581

Ann from Jackson County, GA

Ann is frustrated because she can't send email, while her family can. Her computers will also bluescreen when she touches the keyboard. And it doesn't matter what device she touches. What is happening?  Leo says that static electricity can cause issues like this. So make sure you're grounded by touching metal. Computer technicians use a grounding bracelet.

But that is a very uncommon thing to happen.