Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

The Giz Wiz ... My First Camera

Dick

Episode 1705

Dickie D says that what's neat about myFirst Camera Insta 2 12MP Kid's Instant Print Camera, is it uses thermal printing paper so a black & white print can as little as a penny if you buy the paper in bulk! (It shoots color photos, but it doesn't print in color.) It also supports microSD cards up to 32GB. As you'll see in this week's show the photos are not great, but I think kids will love this camera. And if you happen to take a great photo, then use the SD card to print out a real selfie from MyFirst Camera decent copy.

What's a Good iPod Replacement?

iPod

Episode 1705

Thomas from Pico Rivera, California

Thomas has an old iPod and the battery is starting to die out. Can he get the battery replaced? Leo says that if Apple is no longer replacing the battery, check out iFixit or a local place that could do it. But the reality is, a replacement may not be all that helpful because people are now using their mobile phones for playing music, and any modern phone or an older phone people no longer use will act as an iPod as well. Leo recommends copying all music onto a PC first. iTunes would work, but it usually doesn't get everything.

What External Mic Can I Connect To My Phone?

BeachTek

Episode 1705

Jerry from Great Falls, MT

Jerry wants to record webinars and wants to know if he can use an external microphone to do it. Leo says he could, but you'd need an adapter for the minijack on the phone. He recommends just using the microphone on the phone. It'll work fine for that. He could take the direct out of the computer using the PC's headphone jack, and then plug that into the jack on the phone. That should bypass it altogether. One other option is to get a directional mic that will plug into your phone as well. Or even a parabolic mic. RODE makes great models with minijack connectors.

Johnny Jet ... All around the house

Johnny Jet

Episode 1705

Tech News - Cruise lines suspended cruising until at least September 15th, maybe even through the end of the year. At least through US Ports. Southwest announced they will keep the middle seat open until Sept. 30th. Delta and Jet Blue will also be doing this policy. Americans, not so much. But American joins United, Alaska, and Hawaiian Airlines to require a mask to be worn or be banned from flying until the end of the pandemic. 

Is My New Hard Drive Dead?

My Book

Episode 1705

Dan from Upland, CA

Dan bought a new 4TB external hard drive but his mac won't read it. It can see it, but Dan needs a workaround to get it working. Leo isn't a fan of giant drives because the larger they get, the less reliable they can be. But in this case, it doesn't sound like a bad drive, but a bad USB card in the enclosure. Leo suspects that the enclosure failed. So the trick will be to get an identical enclosure and card and see if it will read it. Leo also says that 4TB drive may actually be 2 TB drives in a RAID array. So look out for that. Dan says it's one drive, which is good news.

Scott Wilkinson ... Stylish

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1705

Scott Wilkinson joins Leo to talk about wireless earphones and says that the small rubber tips on Apple's AirPod Pros are really important to sealing the headphone and blocking out ambient noise. Called "in-ear headphones" or monitors, those tips will ensure a weighty sound with bass. But Apple's headphones are hugely expensive and Leo says that there's an insane profit margin in that category. Especially with Apple's Beats brand. 

New Products Expected on Monday's WWDC Virtual Keynote

Apple

Episode 1705

Apple's Worldwide Development Conference is virtual this year, and Monday's keynote is expected to have new product announecments including a new updated iMac, perhaps an iPhone announcement, and iOS 14, which will have "Car Key," an app that will enable users to open up their car and start it. Leo says that this is officially a bad time to buy Apple Products until we know what's coming. So play wait and see until Monday.

What are the blinking lights for behind Leo?

Raspberry Pi 4

Episode 1704

Dave from Los Angeles, CA

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. 

What do I do when my Chromebook "expires?"

Acer Chromebook

Episode 1704

Bob from Warren, RI

Bob's Chromebook is "expiring" this month. Leo says he hates that Google does that. But even though Google will stop updating your Chromebook, that doesn't mean it'll stop working. It will be fine for most things. Will it be a security issue? Not really. Chrome is inherently secure as it is. So Leo wouldn't really worry about it all that much. When you're ready to upgrade to a new one, then buy it. Acer's Aluminum Chromebooks are great for around $300. But no need to feel pressured to do so now.