Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

What AV Recevier should I buy?

AVExcel by Patrick Norton and Robert Heron

Episode 1714

Hans from Los Angeles, CA

Hans would like a good home theater receiver and turntable that can also work as his home theater. Leo is a fan of Denon. Onkyo and Marantz are also very good. They are very affordable and give you a lot of bang for your buck. Be mindful of how many inputs the AVR has, because it can double as an AV receiver. So count up your HDMI devices you have hooked up and it'll point you to which model to get. Leo, for instance, has seven devices he connects to his. Also make sure it can support 4K and HDR to future proof your system, as well as Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound. 

How can I get my trackpad to work in Windows 10?

Windows 10

Episode 1714

Michael from Carlsbad, CA

Michael has a ten-year-old HP laptop that he finally upgraded to Windows 10. But in doing so, his trackpad isn't operating properly. The scroll feature isn't working. Leo says that Synaptics trackpads need a driver to work with Windows 10, and most likely, HP will be the source to get that. If it doesn't, then you're out of luck with a ten-year-old computer.

But that computer is a great candidate for Linux, which has flavors that can work with older hardware. And since it's open-source, it's kept up to date by enthusiasts. 

Sam Abuelsamid ... ARM'd

Sam Abuelsamid

Episode 1714

Sam joins Leo to talk about an advanced driver-assist system from Ford called Mobile Eye. The system has advanced collision alert, driver monitoring, driver-assist, autopilot, and more. The system uses powerful Mobile Eye ARM chips. Leo says that will make cars smarter and as such, safer.

Sam also says that Nvidia is poised to buy ARM.

Researchers Announce New Quantum Internet

"Quantum Internet"

Episode 1714

Researchers have announced a theoretical new internet known as the Quantum Internet, which will use quantum entanglement to connect computers without a physical connection. And the government is investing $500-700 million a year to make it a reality. Researchers also claim that because of the nature of photons to connect, there will be absolute security with no means to hack into it, thanks to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

The Giz Wiz and the Splash Pad

Dick

Episode 1713

It's not a swimming pool, but something the company calls a splash or sprinkler play mat. I purchased the QPAU Sprinkler Play Mat on Amazon. Kids love to play with water, especially during the hot weather, so this an easy way to let them do that. This 68" Splash Play Mat inflates and sprays water when connected to a garden hose. (No air pump needed.) It's designed to be placed on lawns so it's soft underneath for kid's play. The spray can be adjusted by the water pressure feeding the hose. It's great for hot weather fun for young kids age 3 to 5 (& up!).

Is My Old Netbook Still Safe to Use Online?

Windows 7

Episode 1713

Bob from Brea, CA

Bob wants to know if he can use his old Samsung Netbook on the Internet. Leo says that Netbooks were woefully slow and underpowered and didn't wear well. It also lowered the expectation of what we should pay for a laptop. It also was driven by Windows 7, which has stopped being supported by Microsoft, and as such, might be a security issue. At some point, a hack may be the risk. Leo says that Bob could upgrade it to Windows 10, or he could even run Linux on it. PopOS is one.

Or better yet, upgrade to a new Chromebook.

Why Haven't Home Assistants Gotten Smarter?

Assistant

Episode 1713

Old Chef Guy from Aqua Caliente

OCG wants to know if Google can make the Home Assistant voice hardware become smarter. Leo says that the entire IoT space has kinda hit a limit of what it can do, and there's been very little innovation of late. Even for Amazon Alexa and SIRI. At some point, it should increase in power and intelligence. But it has plateaued right now and voice-activated devices are a disappointment. AI isn't very smart, and it turns out it's very hard to do.

How Can I Get My Amazon Echo to Hear Better?

Echo

Episode 1713

Brian from Indio, California

Brian is having issues with his Amazon Alexa Echo Gen 2 and it's starting to have "hearing" problems. Leo says that it's probably an indication that the unit is dying. Brian could reset it. See if that helps. Also, he could plug in an external microphone.

But the good news is, that the new generation Amazon Echo is cheaper and better. He can also get the Echo Dot for under $50 that can connect to his own speakers. 

Why Won't My Webcam Work in Zoom?

Zoom

Episode 1713

Joe from Bellflower, CA

Joe does Zoom with his friends, but he can't see his video. Leo says to check the video settings and make sure it has the right camera selected. Make sure the camera is turned on and any shutters are open. Some webcams have one on the lid for privacy. Also, look in the settings to make sure your camera is actually enabled. The camera may be turned off as a security feature. Double-check in another camera app to see if it works to be sure. 

What do I need to do a live stream?

Stream live to YouTube!

Episode 1712

Mark from Costa Mesa, CA

Mark is a podcaster and scriptwriter.  He's been asked to create a live stream for a martial arts organization. What equipment does he need to create the stream and look good? Leo says that it depends on it's a one way or two-way stream. If one way, then the easiest way is to use YouTube Live or Facebook Live. YouTube Live is better because people don't need an account to watch it. With Facebook Live, you do.