Peripherals

Any device that connects to the computer, such as a printer, scanner, monitor, keyboard or mouse.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 905

This week's gadget is the Cord Cruncher. It came from Kickstarter and it automatically retracts and contracts with a simple tug. Kinda clever. Decent sound. Comes in Pearl Blue, Rocket Red, and Matte Black. Leo says it would be great if you could add your own headphones. Cost is $25 and it's available exclusively on their website.

Another crazy, functional gadget is the Baker's Band ... it's a silicon band that fits around your baking dish to prevent boilovers.

Why won't Windows 7 let me install my printer?

Randy from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 904

He's tried everything he knows to install it, but nothing has worked. Leo says that there may be a group policy setting that may be preventing him from installing a printer. Go into Group Policies and look for 'Point and Print restrictions'. It may be need to be enabled.

Here's a few notes from Microsoft and CJWDev on how to troubleshoot it.

Monitor

Jim from Huntington Beach, CA

Episode 872

Jim has a nice monitor that takes forever to turn on. Leo says it should turn on immediately, so it’s obviously time for a new monitor. And 17″ is kinda small these days. Dell sells 24″ monitors, like the ST2420L, for around $250.

What wireless printer would you recommend for a student living in a dorm? (Part 1)

Episode 894

Dave from Crystal Lake, IL

Dave should check to see if his daughter's dorm has a printer. Sometimes schools will have printers available on the wireless network already. If she still needs a printer, then Leo recommends the Canon Pixma. It's easy to set up, and capable of printing over Wi-Fi. There is a chance that the school won't let her connect the printer to their Wi-Fi, though, and the advantage of wireless is lost when she's going to have it right next to her computer anyway.

What are your thoughts on the HP OfficeJet 8600?

Episode 889

Steven from Syracuse, NY
Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4530

Leo's not a big fan of HP printers. They're cheap printers, but they really get people on the ink. Leo would get an inexpensive laser printer because the cost per page is much lower. It won't print color as well though, and certainly won't do photos, but will be fine for charts and some presentations. Leo prefers the Epson Workforce All in One printers. Canon makes some decent ones as well.

Why can't I get my computer to recognize my Belkin NIC card?

Elias from Whittier, CA

Episode 880

Since the USB port on Elias's computer works for other devices, and the Belkin NIC (Network Interface Controller) card works on other computers, Leo thinks his problem is with drivers. When installing devices via USB, it's important to not plug the device in until the drivers have been installed. Elias did this correctly, though. Belkin support suggested that it could be a firewall preventing the card from accessing the internet, but Leo doesn't think this is likely. Elias should make sure he has all of the latest drivers for the correct model.