Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

The Giz Wiz gets Cranky

Dick

Episode 1723

This week's gadget is the 4000mAh-Solar Hand Crank Portable AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with 1W Flashlight & Motion Sensor Reading Lamp,Cell Phone Charger, SOS Alarm for Home and Emergency・ listed on Amazon. Based on RunningSnail MD-090 crank radio and customer's feedback,  optimized and upgraded a lot of features in this MD-090P emergency weather radio. NOAA weather radio with 7 NOAA channels to get the latest weather and hazard information.

What Can I Do If My Apple ID Has Been Hacked?

iCloud

Episode 1723

Leslie from Riverside, CA

Leslie thinks she's been hacked after she called Apple and gave them remote desktop control. Leo says that wasn't Apple. Leo suggests backing up her data and then wipe the computer completely. Do the same to the iPhone. Then create a new iCloud account and just start over. Leo would also recommend talking to her phone company about a new phone number. Ask them for a PIN number on the account. 

Can I Still Get a Landline Phone & Voicemail Machine For My Blind Mom?

Phone

Episode 1723

Mary from Torrance, CA

Mary's mother in law is almost totally blind and she's wanting to get a phone with big buttons and enough storage. It also needs a voicemail feature. Leo says that most of the time, carriers have voicemail service. Any phone with a keyboard will likely have a button dedicated to activating voicemail with a touch of a button.  But they don't want a cellphone, they want a landline phone with a built-in message machine.

Can I Sideload Peacock on Amazon Fire TV Device?

Peacock

Episode 1723

Ron from California

Ron can't watch Peacock on any device that he has, but he's heard he can "sideload" it onto his Amazon Firestick. Is that legal and safe? Leo says yes. It's perfectly fine, but there can be risky security-wise. Android, which Amazon's FireTV is based on, has a setting that he has to enable to allow downloads from something other than the Amazon app store or Google Play. Once he has enabled that, he can install it no problem. Just keep it up to date and don't get it from anyone other than the original developer. APK Mirror is the exception. It's generally safe to download from there. 

Is There a Remote Desktop Feature for Chromebooks?

Chromebook

Episode 1723

Andy from Montana

Andy is thinking of getting his mother a Chromebook. But how can he access it remotely? Leo says that ChromeOS has remote access built-in. But he'll need to run the extension Chrome OS Remote Desktop. Set it up and then use the Chrome Browser on any PC and then navigate to hers. But he won't really have to do much with it. It's not like a Windows computer. If something goes wrong, he can always "Powerwash" it. Most of what he does on a Chromebook is online.

What Synology NAS Should I Upgrade To?

Synology 5 Bay NAS DiskStation DS1520+ (Diskless)

Episode 1723

Adriana from North Carolina

Adriana has a Synology NAS and she's had it for five years. She's ready for a new model with a little more "oomph" to it. Leo says she can go up to 32 drives in Synology NAS models. The naming configuration is based on the number of bays, expansion, and the year. So a Synology 2720 is a two-bay device, expandable to seven, made in 2020. She can also configure two drives for redundancy. Leo recommends a Synology 1520. Or the 418. That will house 5 drives.

What Computer Should I Get For Distance Learning?

zoom

Episode 1723

John from Sherman Oaks, CA

John is a teacher and his Dell XPS computer is just too old to handle the strain of distance learning through Zoom video conferencing. Leo says that computers age exponentially faster than most devices, and at 11 years old, it's high time John upgraded. The Dell XPS 13 is a great machine. But John wants a desktop this time around. Leo recommends getting one with a solid-state SSD drive. Don't get a hybrid model. SSD drive prices have reached the point where it's not only affordable to buy your desktop with one, but customers can get one that huge. 1TB of storage would be plenty.