Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

What computer should I get for my grandfather?

Asus Chromebox

Episode 1549

Cheryl from Palmdale, CA

Cheryl wants to get her grandfather a Chromebook. Could she connect it to a monitor? Leo says she can get a Chromebox, which is just a desktop version of the Chromebook. Then she can connect a screen, keyboard, and mouse. They are far more secure, and easier to use. Asus makes them starting at around $200. The Chromebox 3 will also support using two monitors. And they are small enough that they can be mounted on the back of the monitor, so it's almost like an iMac.

Why does Windows want me to reactivate?

Windows 10 Start Menu

Episode 1548

Steven from San Antonio, TX

Steven keeps getting a message that he needs to reactivate Windows. He keeps putting the product number in, and he keeps getting told to reactivate. Leo says he shouldn't need to at all, since it's Windows 10. Once the computer is authorized, it never needs to be authorized again. But it sounds like Microsoft keeps track of location information, and since Steven moved, maybe it's confused and is deactivating it. He'll need to contact Microsoft to solve this one.

Should I buy a new router?

ASUS Tri-Band Gigabit (AC3200) WiFi Router

Episode 1548

Gordon from Long Island, NY

Gordon hears that after about 3 years, routers become less secure and outdated. So does he have to replace his ASUS AC3200 router? Leo says often, news agencies read copy from an electronic press kit. Routers are getting hacked, but if he bought a good router from a company that updates the firmware regularly, then he's OK. ASUS uses DD-WRT, which is updated regularly. So all he has to do is keep them updated.

Where is my external hard drive in Windows?

Western Digital 2TB Portable Drive

Episode 1548

Jim from Ordway, CO

Jim is having problems with Windows recognizing his external USB drive. But his image catalog says his images are there. Leo says that many photo gallery apps keep a thumbnail for fast referral. So it could have the thumbnail, but not see the original image, if the drive is disconnected or lost. Leo also says that his external drive could be getting flakey. He should get a backup drive and make a copy of his photos. He should save them online, too. Three copies, on two formats, with one off-site. The good news is that hard drives are cheap now. He can get a 1 TB drive for under $100.

Can you use multiple monitors with a MacBook Pro?

LG 34" Curved Monitor

Episode 1548

Bruce from Long Island, NY

Bruce recently bought a 15" MacBook Pro, running Windows 10 dual boot with MacOS and BootCamp. Can he run multiple monitors with it? Leo says yes he can, but with a dock makes it really easy. He can find them at MacSales.com. Leo runs up to three in extended mode and it's the best way to work. But Leo says it may be better to get a Mac Mini with an ultra wide 34" curved monitor.

Will trucks become self driving like Teslas?

Semi Truck

Episode 1548

Roy from Orange County, CA

Roy is a trucker who's looking forward to 5G. Leo says he won't see robust 5G for a few years at least. It'll be spotty at first, and companies like Apple won't support it at the very beginning. Roy is also an expert on self-driving semi trucks. Leo says everyone is terrified of a massive 18 wheeler driving itself down the highway. Roy says that the US Department of Transportation is going to require extensive testing before certification. And it will require a safety driver. But ultimately, the trucks will be completely unmanned. And that's going to put a lot of drivers out of a job.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1547

If you collect a lot of business cards you need a central place to keep them. Enter the miniature business card file cabinet. It provides storage for 800 business cards. It's made of sturdy plastic and available in silver or brown color. A-Z card index dividers are included. Dimensions: 6.5" x 4.5" x 6.5". It's a bit pricey considering it's just made of plastic, but it should help you save time finding business cards you need - assuming you take the time to file them as you get them. Under $16.