Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

The Giz Wiz Gets Wired Up

Episode 1815

This week's gadget is ideal if your home has terrible wifi. It may be time to go wired. Dick has that problem at his apartment and the TP-Link Wireless Access Point TL-WA901N | 2.4Ghz N450 model was recommended by Leo to solve the problem. The company says: Designed to establish or expand a scalable high-speed wireless N network or to connect an Ethernet-enabled device such as a game console, digital media adapter, printer, or network-attached storage device to a wireless network. Supports Client, Multi-SSID, Range Extender, and AP operation modes to enable various wireless applications.

Why Won't My Old Kindle Work!?

Kindle

Episode 1815

Dave from Los Angeles, CA

Dave has an older 1st generation Kindle that won't work anymore on cellular. What gives? Leo says that it isn't Amazon's fault, actually. Phone companies are shutting down the old 3G towers now, to make room for 5G. As such, any Kindle made before 2017 will not work on the cellular network. But it does still support WiFi. So look in the settings for your WiFi and connect up. If it doesn't, he may be out of luck. But he can connect it via USB and copy all books onto it from a computer. It's clunky, but it will work.

Can I Just Swap Out My TV in My Home Theater?

Samsung QNED QN65Q

Episode 1815

Laura from Goldendale, WA

Laura has a 17x20 living room with a 10-year-old TV that she wants to replace. What size should she get? She's looking at the Samsung QLED QN65Q. Will her speakers be plug-in-play to support them? Leo says yes. Whatever sources they have in the receiver will be supported. She just wants to be sure to plug the HDMI cable into the port that says "ARC." That's the Audio Return Channel, and it'll keep the audio in sync. If the TV doesn't support ARC, then she needs to opt for the optical connection, and some TVs are dropping that. If that's the case, she may need a new AVR. 

Ängström is a New Word for Processor Size

Ängström

Episode 1815

"Ängström" is a word that represents 1/10,000,000,000,000th of a centimeter. That's pretty small. Why do we care? Leo says it's because it's the new measure of the latest processors, known as 20A processors. So when you upgrade your PC, you're going to be hearing that term. The more transistors you can get on a processor, the more powerful they become. Up until recently, processors had been plateaued due to Moore's Law (which stated that transistors would double every 18 months). That had caused chip makers to put multiple processors on a chip. But we're at the end of Moore's Law now.

How Can I Restore my Epson Printer?

Epson Printer

Episode 1814

Tara from Bainbridge Island, WA

Tara has updated her printer firmware after ignoring the updates for a while. Now it's totally inoperable. What can she do? Leo says that a firmware update will rewrite the software on the physical chips of the printer. So you'd have to reboot those chips to roll it back. That's a challenge. Sometimes, if you plug in your printer to the computer, you can reset it through the Epson software. But a call to Epson support is probably in order at this point. 

Can I Use SpinRite on a Thumb Drive?

SpinRite

Episode 1814

Duke from Redondo Beach, CA

Terry wants to know if SpinRite will work to solve his USB drive issues. Leo says it could, with some limitations on USB drives. But since USB drives are so cheap, Leo doesn't recommend spending the money for SpinRite. It's expensive at $90. You can buy 20 drives for that. Leo throws them out when they fail. And those thumb drives use a cheap form of solid-state memory, and when it fails, it FAILS. 

Why Do Streaming Sticks Overheat?

Roku TV Stick

Episode 1814

Steven from Tustin, CA

Steven is suddenly getting a warning on his TV that his Roku Stick is getting too warm and could shut down. He unplugged it and cooled it down, and has now added an extender to keep its distance. Leo says that he stopped using the Roku stick because they tend to overheat and crash. It's the same with the FireTV Stick and others. They overheat normally, and that's not good for electronics. Using an extender is a good idea, but Leo prefers using the stand-alone Roku Ultra 4K box.  If you like a stick though, the Google Chromecast is the way to go.