This week at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, the company unveiled its new direction called Apple Silicon. Based on the successful ARM architecture that is the heart of all iOS devices, the company is taking those ARM to the next level with desktop computers and laptops that will turn away from Intel's x86 in favor of a new platform designed in house by Apple. ARM-powered Macs will be transitioned in by 2021. Leo says that this is the beginning of the end for x86 architecture and is a seed change in how we approach computers.
Ed wants to upgrade his desktop to make it run faster. He also wants to tune it up. Leo says it's a good idea. Give it a good cleaning/dusting, reseat the thermal paste, put an SSD drive in it and maybe add more RAM. Just a little tune-up and it'll work fine for years to come.
Dave wants to know more about the flashing lights box behind Leo. Leo says that computers in the 70s had switches, and the blinking lights would tell you when the software switches were enabled correctly. The irony is that the box behind Leo is run on a Raspberry Pi, which is hundreds of times more powerful than the box it's emulating. We've come a long way since then.
Dave built his first computer. Leo says it's a great project for someone who wants to learn about computers. But you have to be your own tech support.
Leo's favorite thing at CES was a kit to build an Apple 1 computer, endorsed by Steve Wozniak. And it was $99. What'a fun gadget.
Gloria wants to know if buying a computer on the home shopping channel is a good buy. Leo says that it's usually an older model that is underpowered and even may be discontinued. It's usually the same models seen at big box stores like Costco. If she can send it back, go to Costco instead. Gloria can save more for the same model. But Gloria got a good price that's within the price range for that model. She could even go to Dell.com and find out if she got a good deal, and maybe get a better price for a refurbished model. Is it secure? Leo says yes.
Running on 386 computers for the last 20 years, the International Space Station received a computer upgrade this week.
Gloria's Windows 7 computer "went out" recently. It seems to be stuck in a boot loop. Rich says a software update may have broken your computer. Rich suggests going into safe mode and see if it will boot up. Use the F8 key when it's booting up. If it does, then that indicates a corrupted driver. Maybe a video driver. You can also bring your computer into a nearby Microsoft Store and they will run diagnostics to see what's going on. But with Windows 7 reaching End of Life in January, it's time to think about getting Windows 10. Rich also recommends looking at a Google Chromebook.
Mike wants to know if he can use more than one monitor on his computer. Leo says that most modern-day computers do support multiple monitors and both Windows and macOS support it natively. But the computer has to have more than one display port or HDMI port to do it. Most do out of the box these days.
Over time, personal devices and computers can become slower to respond to actions, gestures, or to boot up applications. When this starts to happen, generally we think of what kind of device or computer we want to replace our old ones with.
A great thing you can do instead is to refresh, or reformat your device! By formatting your device to factory settings, it can help prolong the life of your device/computer and keep it running fairly quickly. However, make sure you properly back up your data on your device/computer before you reformat it: follow the 3-2-1 backup rule.