Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why Does My Keyboard Switch Languages?

Chromebook

Episode 1650

George from Webster, NY

George uses a Chromebook, but lately, his Keyboard has been switching to another language. Leo says that if he uses another language with an Android device at times, Google may remember that and switch it suddenly. That's where the powerwash option comes in handy. It'll reset everything. He can also go into advance settings under language and input methods, and disable any additional languages for Chrome to support. Also, check the spellchecker. Maybe it has an Arabic set. But PowerWash is a good alternative to start over.

How Can I Make SSDs Last?

SSD

Episode 1650

Mark from Santa Ana, CA

Mark wants to know how to prevent his SSDs from wearing out. Leo says that SSDs now use a technique called Wear Leveling to even out the wear of the memory to make them last longer. But one drawback from SSDs is that users can't really eliminate all the data when they erase it. They can't even use DBAN for it. So the drives can't be completely wiped. The best solution is to encrypt drives, so they will never be accessed. 

What is the Best Tablet for GPS Navigation?

GPS

Episode 1650

Vince from Santa Barbara, CA

Vince is going to be sailing around and he wants a tablet to stay connected. Leo says to stay away from third-party tablets and stick to the iPad or an Android tablet. They are the most reliable. Cheaper third-party ones will not give you the experience and performance you need. Leo also recommends getting a Dual Electronics Stand Alone Bluetooth GPS receiver. Leo has one and it's far more accurate than the GPS in the mobile devices.

How can I set up multiple Macs on my network?

Mac Mini

Episode 1649

Bird from Freeport, Michigan

Bird has 15 Macs at work that he has to set up. He wants to know if he can do a net install to create a setup when connecting the Mac to the network? Leo says that Apple has a Net Install option through the System Image Utility. It's a simple google search. There's also a company called JAMPH that can do it for you. They are the leaders in network Mac management.

Is a Chromebox a good computer for my mother?

Chromebox

Episode 1649

Grant from St. Paul, MN

Grant wants to get his mom a computer and is thinking of getting here a Chromebox. Leo says that's a good option for most people because most just surf. The average price of a Chromebox is $250-350 without a monitor, which is another $100. Add a keyboard and a mouse, and you're still under $500. If you already have the monitor, keyboard, and mouse, then you're still under $300. You can even buy a used one from Acer for under $150. An iPad is another option; you can get one on black Friday now for around $229 from Apple.

What's a good alternative monitor for the new Mac Pro?

New Mac Pro

Episode 1649

Bob from Des Moines, IA

Bob is buying the new Apple MacPro. He was thinking of getting the XTR monitor, but he's not high on paying $1,000 for a stand. Leo says that the monitor is really a color reference monitor for professional colorists. It's a beautiful work of art, but it's also $6,000. So for 99.9% of us, it's not necessary. But if you're doing video, you're going to want a very color-accurate monitor. Apple will likely continue to sell the LG UltraFine 5K monitor as well. It's expensive as well, but not nearly as much as the Apple monitor.

Black Friday Numbers Indicate A New Sales High, but ...

Black Friday

Episode 1649

The sales numbers are in from Black Friday. Although sales hit a new high, they were below expectations, according to Adobe. $7.4 Billion in online shopping, half of which were for smartphones. Sales of which were up 20%.

Top toy sales were for Frozen 2, LOL Surprise, and then Paw Patrol. Best selling video games FIFA, Madden 2020, and the Nintendo Switch system. Apple Airpods, Macbooks, and TVs topped the electronics list. And over $2.9 billion made on smartphones, constituting 60% of all online traffic. Leo suspects that next year, smartphones will be the #1 way to shop. 

Are Apple Airpods Pro Worth $250?

Apple Airpods Pro

Episode 1648

Mark from Sacramento, CA

Mark wants to know if Apple's Pro AirPods are worth the $250 price tag. Leo says that what makes them so expensive is that they are active noise-canceling headphones. But Leo prefers in-ear monitors because they are passive canceling, better audio, and more comfortable to wear. Leo also says that Apple didn't design them to replace the batteries, so when the batteries die, he can only throw them away. That's wasteful. Look at Amazon's EchoBuds. They are just as good and only $129. Leo says they are just as good for 1/2 the price.

The Giz Wiz and the Mobile Disco

Dick

Episode 1648

Dickie D is back with Smart Phone Disco Lights! It doesn't rotate, but the flashing colorful disco lights inside give that illusion. It can be powered by your smartphone, an external battery charger, or even plugged into a computer. Once plugged into a power source it lights up to the rhythm of your music or even your voice! As you'll see in the video it does give off quite a bit of light for something that small. On Amazon, they are only $12.00 for three of them! But wait, there's more. Each one of the three came with adapters for micro-USB, USB-C and a lightning connector.