Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Rod Pyle and the Perserverance Landing on Mars

Rod Pyle

Episode 1773

Rod joins Leo to talk about the Perseverance rover that landed on Mars this week. The rover also has onboard an autonomous helicopter drone, the first flying drone on Mars. The helicopter is also running on Linux, a first for the space program. The helicopter is designed to take five flights and give JPL a bird's eye view of the area to plan out the route for the rover to travel autonomously.

Where Can I Get a Good Used Mac?

2020 MacBook Air

Episode 1773

Spenser from Charlotte, NC

Spenser has an old white MacBook that he uses to tether to his Nikon cameras and take pictures of his astronomy. There's a solar eclipse coming in 2024, and he wants to know if he can use it even though it's over 10 years old now. Leo says it may be better to see if there's a new version of the software used on a newer Mac. Unfortunately, the old version of the software won't work on modern macs because Apple stopped supporting 32-bit applications. So you'd need a newer version of the software.

Are Bitcoin ATMs Secure?

Bitcoin ATM

Episode 1773

Jim from Sioux Falls, SD

Jim saw a bitcoin ATM machine at the mall. What is it? Leo says that you give it cash, and it then generates a bitcoin and transfers it to your digital wallet or using an app like Coinbase. Or you can give it your bitcoin wallet ID, and it would then transfer it to that account. But Leo doesn't really trust them because you're giving it literal cash, and trusting it puts the equivalent in bitcoin into your account. 

How Can I Make an Old Dell Monitor Work With a New iMac?

iMac 27'

Episode 1773

John from Eastern Long Island, NY

John recently recycled a 2013 iMac for a client who loves Photoshop. He used a Thunderbolt 2 adapter to display port for a second monitor. But with the latest 5K iMac, he needs a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter so he can use the second monitor. But it doesn't recognize it. What can he do? Leo says that John needs a DVI adapter to keep it digital. Apple suggests starting up in safe mode to see if it works. If it does, there's a driver issue causing the problem. But it may be time to update the monitor. You can get one for under $100. Leo likes the AOC USB monitor.

What Chromebook Should I Buy?

Acer Spin Laptop

Episode 1773

John from Gardnerville, NV

John has decided to forgo a windows laptop in favor of a simple Chromebook. But which one should he get, and how much ram does he need? Leo says an 8GB Ram model is the sweet spot. But why do Chromebooks have scant storage? Leo says that's because of Chromebooks' design being built around storing everything in the cloud. Acer makes Leo's favorite Chromebooks. The Acer SPIN is very nice. HP also makes nice ones, as does Asus. Spending a little more on an aluminum body, touch screen, and better quality trackpad is worth the money in the long run.

What Can We Do About Relying on China for All Our Manufacturing?

Manufacturing Plant

Episode 1773

Dwayne from Southern California

Dwayne wants to know what we can do to avoid being overly reliant on China to build everything. Leo says that for years, the world, and the US specifically, has looked at China as the manufacturer of the world. But that kind of overreliance can be problematic when relationships become strained like it did when the US started requiring tariffs. Companies like Apple are now looking to move their manufacturing to other countries, even back to the US. Diversity is a good hedge against overreliance.

Crypto Currency Continues to Rise in Value

Bitcoin

Episode 1773

CryptoCurrency continues to rise in value as more people seek to acquire it and use it to pay for goods and services. Currently, BitCoin's value is over $55,000 as of 2/21. Leo says that bitcoin miners will only be able to generate 21 million bitcoin before it comes to an end as far as BitCoin is concerned. And the closer users get to that amount, the harder it will be to mine bitcoin, which is achieved by solving complicated mathematical problems. But that isn't stopping bitcoin miners from trying.

What Do I Need to Digitize VHS Tapes?

Combo Player

Episode 1772

Paul from Laguna Nigel, CA

Paul has 35 VHS tapes and he doesn't want to pay $650 to digitize them. How can he do it himself? Should he just buy a VCR and use it to digitize? Leo says he can do that. But while at it, look for a VHS model that also has a DVD burner built-in. It's called a Combo player.  But Paul wants to get it done sooner rather than later. But with a VHS player, he'll need a video capture card to hook it up with that can take the red, white, and yellow composite video cables. S-Video would be even better. But the capture card is what's important.