Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why is my laptop shutting off with 60% battery life?

MacBook Pro

Episode 1740

Norbert from Escondido, CA

Norbert's 2019 MacBook Pro shuts off when the battery drops below 60%. With no warning. Leo says that he may want to check the battery status. Coconut Battery is an app that will give you more information about the battery. You want to look at the number of cycles the battery has left. Also check the battery capacity. Lithium-ion batteries only take about 500 complete cycles before needing a new battery.

How can I turn on my Apple Cinema Display?

Apple's Cinema Display

Episode 1740

Paul from Delaware, OH

Paul was recently gifted an Apple Cinema Display. But it doesn't light up if he plugs it in. Leo says there's no on/off switch on that old ACD. You just have to plug it into a computer that has a display port to get it to turn on. You may need an adapter for Display Port to HDMI. 

Paul wants to also know what's the best streaming box. Leo says that Roku seems to be the most compatible, but some ISPs have deals with other boxes like Apple which can give it better programming or preferred traffic. So Apple TV may also be a good choice depending on your ISP. 

How can I reset a Mac Password?

Resetting Your Mac Password

Episode 1740

Kathleen from Sherman Oaks, CA

Kathleen recently updated to the latest Zoom, but her friend can't update because she doesn't know the password to her Mac. What can she do? Leo says there are about 5 ways to reclaim your login password on an Apple computer. You can find instructions on Apple's Support site - Look for HT202860. In recovery mode, there's also a reset password command. That's probably the easiest option.

The Giz Wiz and the Wyze Watch

Dick

Episode 1739

THis week, Dickie D found a smart watch that can also control your home. The Wyze Band lets you control your smart home from your wrist. Turn on or tune Wyze Bulb. Pause Wyze Cam notifications. Control your Wyze Plug. It will also work with future Wyze devices, and with Alexa built-in, Wyze Band can control many non-Wyze smart home products. That’s some next-level stuff right there. Even through the screen is on the small size, it's a high-resolution, AMOLED touch screen. You can use the Wyze Band to find your phone or receive call/app notifications.

What Can I Do With a Box of Old Hard Drives?

GLAARG VEC

Episode 1739

Peter from San Diego, CA

Peter has a box of old hard drives and they have data on them. How can he get the data off and put it on a central server? Leo says that he can get a universal drive adapter from Newertech, that can plug into and power the drive without installing them. Then he can see what the data is on the drive and move it. He can then get a network-attached storage device (NAS) to put them on. Leo uses one from Synology for backing up his data and act as a media server for his videos and photos. Great for large archival storage because they have multiple drives that can be redundant.

How can I connect a GoPro without a smartphone?

GoPro Hero 9 in Black

Episode 1738

Mike from Anchorage, Alaska

Mike runs a CNC machine to create custom precision parts that he sells on eBay. He thought it would be cool to get a GoPro camera and mount it to his machine to grab some CNC footage of what he makes or to monitor the machine as it runs. But he doesn't have a cellphone, so how can he see the live feed? Leo says that's a problem. But Mike could use an iPod Touch and connect to it that way. So if he doesn't want a smartphone, the Touch is a smartphone without the phone and it'll have both Bluetooth and WiFi. That's the way to do it, and you don't need the most expensive one either. 

Can a modem overheat?

Netgear Modem

Episode 1738

Steve from Palm Beach, FL

Steve has a DOCSIS 3.1 modem and wants to know if there's anything faster. Leo says that DOCSIS 3.1 can handle up to 1GB down and DOCSIS 3.2 is coming. Should it run hot? Leo says no. If it's too hot to touch, that's a problem and could indicate the modem may be wearing out faster. But cable modems don't wear out as fast as your router does, so you may need a new router. But the main reason to update a router is to get a more secure system. Most consumer routers don't get updated and have unpatched vulnerabilities.

Look for a router that will offer automatic firmware updates. 

What's the deal with Apple's product life cycles?

Appple

Episode 1738

Rodney from Houston, TX

Rodney doesn't understand Apple's product life cycle. Leo says that Apple's software is driven by its hardware. So when a new version of hardware comes out, sometimes older generations get left behind. It would be nice is Apple could let you know when the end of life is for its products, but since Apple makes both hardware and software, they don't have to do it. 

Apple, for instance, has left behind 32-bit apps in macOS Mojave. So if software companies don't upgrade to 64-bit applications, those apps stop working on Macs using the new operating systems. 

How can I make my old computer faster?

Solid State Drive (SSD)

Episode 1738

Jessica from Torrance, CA

Jessica's desktop is about eight years old and she has nearly a TB in free space on her hard drive. But she's concerned about the age of her computer. Leo says older computers aren't as slow as newer computers like the old days. So an older computer really isn't that big a deal. The more worrisome thing is the age of your hard drive. They can crash as they get older. So replacing the hard drive will be faster and give new life to your computer. Especially with a solid-state drive or SSD.