Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Can I use an old iMac as a display for a new mac?

iMac

Episode 1698

Mark from Panama City, FL

Mark has a 2012 iMac and a 2018 Mac Mini, along with a 2016 MacBook Pro and 12" iPad Pro. Can he hook up his Macbook Pro or his MacMini to his iMac and use the display? It can on a limited number of iMacs and is called Target Display Mode. IT requires a thunderbolt connection. Here's how - https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/use-an-imac-as-a-display-mh30822/mac. It may not work with Mark's model, but you can do it. Only for models mid 2011 to late 2014.

How can I add a turntable to my home theater AV system?

Elac Speakers

Episode 1698

G. Scott from Finland, MN

GScott has a ton of vinyl records and he'd like to listen to them again. How can he connect a record player to his AV receivers without disconnecting his home theater system? Optical out to the TV, and then use the composite connections? Leo says yes. You'll have a setting in your TV that turns on the optical audio option. The turntable he is getting will have a preamp in it as well as a USB to capture. Leo says that as long as the audio is balanced by a preamp, it'll work just fine.

Can I add WiFi to an old laptop?

SanDisk WiFi USB Stick

Episode 1698

RayAnne from Sun City, CA

RayAnne has a used computer, but it has no WiFi access. Can she get a dongle to add it? Leo says yes, you can buy a USB WiFi dongle. You'll also be able to connect nearly automatically. It'll prompt you to download drivers and then enter your WiFi access point and password. Leo also recommends getting one that has a larger antenna, so that you can get better reception. And they're not expensive either. Around $10-20.

Sam Abuelsamid .. Subscribed Automation

Sam Abuelsamid

Episode 1698

Sam says upcoming cars will require subscriptions for premium services like Autopilot. This is mainly due to having to maintain and support those premium services beyond the warranty period. Still, Sam says that car companies are becoming more interested in ongoing revenue streams, and it could be that in the future, you won't buy your car so much as pay to use one every time you drive. 

The Giz Wiz and the Bike Lights

Dick

Episode 1697

With summer coming, and travel limited, there's no time like the present to blow the dust off your bicycle!  And The Giz Wiz has the perfect accessory. It's called the Tesecu and includes a bright headlight, a Speedometer/Odometer, trip recorder and a horn which offers six different sounds. The horn has a remote that mounts on the handlebars at a convenient place you choose and plugs into the back of the main unit. The 120db bike horn is LOUD, which I found out when I first tried it in my studio.

Why Can't I AirPrint With My iPhone?

Episode 1697

Chuck from Lawrence, KS

Chuck can't get his air printer to work wirelessly. He can't print from the iPhone or iPad. But he can print from his Mac. Leo says that Chuck's Macs are printing straight over WiFi, not via AirPrint. That's why they can work. Go to the printer options page and make sure it isn't printing to the old printer. Also look to see if the mobile devices can "see" the printer. If it doesn't, then it can't print. So it's likely an issue with the Epson's Wifi settings. Check-in there and look to see if it's AirPrint enabled.

Is my hard drive failing?

Spinning Hard Drive

Episode 1696

Michael from San Diego, CA

Mike has a Western Digital hard drive. But it keeps disconnecting and he has to run check disk to get it to appear again. Leo says that's a clear sign that the drive is beginning to fail. You could run SpinRite to recover the drive, sure, but it's cheaper to buy a new one. But if the data is critical, SpinRite can definitely help.

Do Chromebooks have good accessibility features?

Google Assistant

Episode 1696

John from Fresno, CA

John wants to know how good the accessibility features are in a Chromebook. Leo says that many Chromebooks have Google Assistant, enabling you to dictate. There's even a button on the keyboard that can enable it. But the screenreaders may not be very good. John is also looking for an affordable mobile service. Leo recommends Mint Mobile. You can pay as you go.

Should I buy a Chromebook?

Lenovo Chromebook Duet

Episode 1696

Eli from San Antonio, TX

Eli is looking to buy a Lenovo Chromebook Duet. Leo says that for the money, $299, it's a great price. Decent 10" screen. Ideal for a "daily driver." The only issue may be the keyboard. What you'll want to do is go into a store and type on it to see if you like it. Another issue is "lapability." You'll not likely be able to use it on your lap. 

Another thing you can do is take an old laptop and create a Chromebook with CloudReady. But Leo says it's a lot of work to get it right.