Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Is ChromeOS the most secure laptop operating system?

Episode 1670

Jose from Modesto, CA

Jose wants to know if he should get a Chromebook. Leo says that a Chromebook is great for those looking to get stuff done, but most of the things they do are online and in the cloud. Can he get the same by putting Linux on an older laptop and still be secure? Leo says that you can, but you have to update it regularly to keep it healthy. Leo recommends PopOS. But there's also an obscure OS called Qubes because it's very locked down. But it's very hard to use as well. 

Why am I getting a blue screen on my Mac?

Episode 1670

Gina from Venice, CA

Gina is getting a blue screen on her Mac. Eventually the computer comes back, but she wants to know Why? Leo says that it could be a problem with an external peripheral. Unplug everything except your keyboard and mouse, and see if it repeats. It sounds like a communication issue between your peripherals. A bad driver or a failing USB port. Then plug each extra device in, and see which one causes it. Then you'll know which device is causing the problem, and then you can go to the website and get an updated driver. 

Sam Abuelsamid ... In a bubble

Episode 1670

Sam is back with Leo to talk about a new car cockpit design which has a steering wheel that receeds into the dashboard when the car drives autonomously. The new design also uses the actual surfaces of the car to act as car stereo speakers. Any surface you can get to vibrate can transmit sound thanks to actuators. You can even embed them in the seats. The potential also exists to create "sound bubbles," which would let you listen to something, while other passengers are listening to something else.

The Giz Wiz ... Bone Dry

Dick

Episode 1669

Taotronics Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is this week's gadget from The Giz Wiz. This humidifier has a lot of nice features. It's easy to fill, has a built-in night light, auto shut off, and a large 6L/1.59 gallon tank. Dick likes the large tank and the 360° swivel nozzle to direct the mist where you most want it. The company says it can provide up to 60 hrs of continuous mist. It runs for about 16 to 18 hours before the tank is empty. It's very quiet, 26dB says Taotronics. The mist know turns red light to let you know the tank is empty.

What's the best microphone for podcasting?

Heil PR40

Episode 1668

Todd from Cincinnati, OH

Todd wants to know why Leo chose the Heil PR40. He's planning to do a podcast and wants the best mic he can get for the money. Leo says that Bob Heil is a legend in the music industry, having created the quadrophonic sound for the Who, and the Vocoder for Peter Frampton. Bob invented the Heil PR40 originally for HAM Radio, but it's gotten very popular with radio and podcasters. Leo likes how his voice sounds. The PR40 is also a dynamic mic; it doesn't need phantom power or requires isolation like a condenser mics.

How can I boot into Linux from a USB key?

Linux

Episode 1668

Michael from Long Beach, CA

Michael wants to install Linux on a bootable USB key, but it doesn't work. It goes straight to Windows. Leo recommends Rufus for creating a bootable key for Linux. But the first thing you want to do is change the boot order in your BIOS to check the USB port first. Then, turn off secure boot. Modern PCs have this setting to protect your computer against a rogue operating system. Third, modern OS uses UEFI, not BIOS. So your computer likely needs to reflect that in your USB key. So you want to be sure your Linux Distro is UEFI compatible.

How can I print on a CD?

miniCD

Episode 1668

Shar from Cambridge, MN

Shar wants to know how he can print on a miniCD disc using his Epson printer. Leo says that nobody uses those anymore and as such, there is no real way other than to create your own adapter. You could 3d print one. Leo also says that there is an open-source printer driver repository called CUPS. If there's a driver for your printer, it's there.

Why is my wifi going to sleep?

WiFi

Episode 1668

Jim from Bend, OR

Jim was updating Windows 10 when his network turned off suddenly. He turned it back on, and Windows turned it off again!  What could be causing that to occur? Leo says that your computer can go to sleep when it's not being used, but your devices can fall asleep as well. Leo recommends looking into the driver properties and see if there's a sleep option that's been enabled. If it has, turn it off. Leo also recommends upgrading to an external wifi card for your computer.

Sam Abuelsamid ... OLED'in

Sam Abuelsamid

Episode 1668

Sam joins Leo to talk about the news that Cadillac has designed a gorgeous OLED display system for their Escalade SUV. They're made by LG and consists of three separate displays, including two touch screens. Leo says that one of the problems though with OLED is the burn-in problem. If you're going to have a car for 10-15 years, how are they doing to deal with that? Sam says that LG is probably using pixel shifting to battle the burn-in problem. As for an upcoming electric vehicle by Cadillac, that likely won't happen for at least five years.