Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

What's a good video calling option for the elderly?

Episode 1831

Jim from Redondo Beach, CA

Jim's 93 year old mother has trouble using a computer or a modern smartphone, so she can't keep in touch all that well. He's heard about the Grand Pad, a tablet with large buttons that she could use. Leo says that Grand Pad seems OK, but he's not thrilled with the monthly fee. But since they have a one month return policy, it may be worth a shot. Leo also recommends the Facebook Portal. It has a speaker and a large screen. You can make calls, look at pictures that are rotated, and it'll keep her in touch with family. There's also the Amazon Echo Show.

Why is streaming of AppleTV+ so bad?

Episode 1831

Jim from Glendale, CA

Jim has a Sony Bravia 4K TV. But he keeps having issues streaming his AppleTV.  Leo says that AppleTV can stream up to 30MBps, and that's a lot to cover through your wifi. Leo recommends hardwiring it. That will avoid any congestion. Or pick up a WiFi 6 router. That could make your signal more prolific. If you're talking about the AppleTV+ software on your Sony Bravia, Leo recommends trying the AppleTV hardware. Apps on a Smart TV aren't all that great and are rarely updated. And talk is, that the AppleTV+ app isn't that will written.

Why won't my PC turn on?

Episode 1831

Allison from Mission Viejo, CA

Allison's HP desktop computer turns off all by itself. Now it won't turn on. Leo says to check the easy things first. Is it plugged in? Make sure the power cable hasn't come loose from the power supply. If all that is plugged in, chances are the power supply has died, preventing the power from getting to the motherboard. It's an easy fix, but it may require a proprietary power supply from HP. Even then, it shouldn't cost more than $100 to replace it. 

Why Does My Computer Shut Down Every Night at the Same Time?

Computer BIOS

Episode 1830

Carlos from Hawthorne, CA

Carlos' computer shuts down every night at 10:43. He looked at the task scheduling feature and it's not that. Leo says to look in bios. Some PCs have a scheduler built into its BIOS setup. You can also look at the system log to see what event triggered it. Click Start and type "event viewer", or press Windows + R and type "eventvwr." You should be able to look at all the events and see what's triggering it. It has to be software. Also look at your power management settings. Could reinstalling Windows fix it? Leo says possibly, but that's an extreme solution. 

Is My Computer Defective?

HP Envy 17"

Episode 1830

Linda from Los Angeles, CA

Linda gets a red/green pattern on her HP computer from time to time. Leo says that's a defective component. Maybe your video card. It could also be a corrupted video display driver. Leo would recommend returning the computer if you can. Call HP. They'll make you reinstall Windows, but it's obviously a defective computer. You'll probably have to fight with them to get them to replace it. But it's definitely a lemon. You may need to get your bank involved.

What Are Some Good Books About Computing?

Hackers

Episode 1830

Tony from Anderson, SC

Tony wants to know what are five of Leo's favorite books on Technology. Leo says that the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson is excellent. There's also a book called "Hackers" by Steven Levy, the early days of MIT Computer Hackers, who created modern computing. "The Soul of a New Machine" by Tracy Kidder, the creation of the microcomputer gives you the roots. "Microcosm" by George Gilder, tells about how microprocessors have changed the world as rapidly as it has. "The Weapons of Math Destruction" by Cathy O'Neil.

Why Won’t My Smart Plugs Connect to Google Nest?

Google Nest

Episode 1830

Richard from San Diego, CA

Richard wants to connect his smart plugs to his Google Nest mesh router. But they aren't connecting. Leo says that Google Nest Mesh is a dual-band / tri-band and the smart plugs are looking for just 2.4 GHz. It's possible that they have mistakenly attached to the 5 GHz band because its signal may be stronger. Some routers allow you to turn that radio off and the plugs should connect. Once it's paired, you can then turn the 5 GHz band back on.