Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Is There Still a 17" Laptop I Can Buy?

17 Inch HP Envy

Episode 1765

Sue from Redondo Beach,CA

Sue would like a recommendation for a new laptop. She recently bought a 15" Dell XPS and she didn't like it, so she sent it back. She couldn't hear the speakers. Leo says that laptop speakers are notoriously unimpressive. Sue would also like it to have a 17" screen.  Leo adds that the HP Envy gets high marks as one of the best laptops for audio enthusiasts. And HP makes a 17" laptop. The 17" HP Envy starts at around $800. Leo usually recommends 16GB of RAM, which is plenty for everyday use. Also, get a 1 TB drive with it; makes it really nice. 

The Giz Wiz and the Extraordinary Bathtub

Dick

Episode 1764

Today's gadget is the Kohler Stillness Bath. This is something to behold assuming you have a really big bathroom! The new Stillness Bath draws its inspiration from Japanese forest bathing. It starts with water filling from the bottom of the bath, overflowing into the wood moat to create a soothing sound. Full-spectrum lighting surrounds the bath as mist envelopes the surface of the Stillness Bath. Finally, essential oils can be added to emits invigorating aromas.

Why Isn't My Screensaver Working?

Windows

Episode 1764

Duke from Hermosa Beach, CA

Duke can't get his Windows screensaver to activate. He can preview it, but it doesn't engage on its own. Leo says that there has to be a setting in the power options that are preventing it. It may be "wake on LAN" in the BIOS that's preventing it from going to sleep. So get into the BIOS and make sure the wake on LAN is turned off. Leo also suggests checking to see if a third party screensaver is causing a conflict. R/C desktop - personalization. Windows Key + L will also turn on screen lock. That could turn on the screensaver. 

Why's My Keyboard Sticking?

Dell

Episode 1764

Barbara from Tarzana, CA

Barbara is having issues with her keyboard. Keys won't display or will stick and display multiple times. She replaced the keyboard on the laptop. But it didn't fix the problem. Dell says the next step is to replace the motherboard. But what happens to her software and data? Leo says that she can make an image backup of the hard drive, and then wipe the drive so that Dell can replace the motherboard. Leo says the good news is, that since it's under warranty, Barbara doesn't have to pay for it. It's the reason why Gold Service with in-house replacement is a good investment.

How Do I Restore Windows to Stable Condition?

Deep Freeze

Episode 1764

John from Buffalo, NY

John's dad has a new computer, but he keeps messing things up, causing John to do a factory reset on more than one occasion. Leo says that Microsoft used to have a powerwash feature called Steady State that would do that, but they discontinued it. He recommends installing the Faronics Deep Freeze program. Another option is CleanSlate by FortresGrand.

What Computer Should I Buy Just to Do My Taxes?

turbo tax

Episode 1764

Frank from LA, CA

Frank does his taxes using Turbo Tax. He uses an old Windows 7 machine to do it. But it's on its last legs, so he needs a new computer. What's a good cheap computer that will do the job for this one function? Leo says he can use Turbo Tax online, and that would mean he could get a Chromebook. But Frank says that Turbo Tax online doesn't support Chromebooks.

In that case, HP makes a very inexpensive Windows laptop for around $400. 

Can I Get a Computer Made in the USA?

Computer

Episode 1763

Jay from Boston, MA

Jay wants to know if there are any computers completely made in the USA? Leo says that even if you could get one, the components would probably be made around the world.  Accessories are another story. But an entire computer being made 100% in the USA? None come to mind. Check out this link at USAProducts.biz.

Falcon Northwest is a computer company that builds PCs locally. Apple assembles the MacPro Towers in Texas. But even then, both source parts from around the world.

Rod Pyle and Computers in Space

Rod Pyle

Episode 1763

Rod Pyle joins Leo to talk about how the computer used on the Saturn V moon rocket is back in the news. Back in the 60s, computers were housed in rooms. During Apollo, they had to shrink computers down to the size of a briefcase. The computer was housed in a ring section between the stages, and it controlled the firing sequence and the flight up into orbit. It also had its own cooling system. What's amazing is that they survived even a direct lightning strike on Apollo 12. So it was very robust. 

Why Can't I Read Certain Applications on my New Laptop?

Quicken Help

Episode 1763

Lex from Richmond, VA

Lex got a new Lenovo laptop and can't get everything to be readable in Windows. Leo says that Windows 10 has a scaling setting that will enable you to set the resolution to how you like. Part of the problem is that laptop screens have gotten too high in resolution, making text tough to read, quite ironically, because the letters are too small. So you tend to want to use about 100 dpi for text, or half resolution, and then 200dpi for video playback and photography.