Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

The Giz Wiz - Spherical

Dick

Episode 1667

Dick's gadget this week is called the Spherificator, which he saw at the Inspired Home Show in NYC. Okay, so what the heck is Spherification? Here's how the company describes it. Spherification is ideal for creating pearls that will liberate their flavors while bursting in your mouth. The Spherificator uses the reaction between the vegan food additives sodium alginate (extracted from algae) and calcium chloride (a salt) to form a spherical membrane around the ingredient you choose.

Why Does My Laptop Fail to Boot?

Lenovo

Episode 1667

Scott from Arlington, TX

Kurt replaced the hard drive in his Lenovo laptop and now it won't boot up. It stops at the boot screen. 24 hours later, it booted up no problem. What gives? Leo says that's common and usually results in a hiccup in the BIOS or UEFI. Leo suspects that the battery on the motherboard has failed. Also, underneath the splash screen could show if the computer tried to boot into Windows and failed. That could indicate a faulty hard drive. Leo suspects a failing power supply could also be the issue. 

Why Aren't My Gaming Headphones Playing Surround Sound When I Watch TV?

ARCTIS 7

Episode 1667

Chris from Santa Barbara, CA

Chris wants to know why surround sound for gaming is different from Dolby 5.1 surround on his headphones.  Leo wonders if the gaming audio is set up to use an app to give surround in the headphones vs. just listening to the system. Scott says that has to do with the bitstream that has to be decoded and the app is required. So if he's watching TV with his gaming headphones, he may not get surround. That's why Leo suggests hardware encoding. Even if he figures out a workaround though, Chris will likely be going to have lag. 

Used Tesla Car Dealer Sells Car with Autopilot. Tesla Turns it Off

Tesla

Episode 1667

A used car dealer bought a used Tesla directly from the carmaker, with autopilot and a host of other features. He then passed the car along to a customer who wanted the autopilot feature. Tesla turned it off, saying that the customer didn't pay Tesla for the feature. Leo says that is the realm we are in now, companies can disable features and hold them hostage until the new owner pays up.

How can I get my computer to reboot?

Solid State Drive

Episode 1666

Mario from Franklin Park, IL

Mario recently replaced his hard drive with a Samsung Solid State Drive. Then he upgraded to Windows 10. The computer went to sleep. And now it won't come back on. He managed to get a boot menu by pressing F12. But nothing else. Leo says that means the screen is still good. But it could also mean that the hard drive died. Even though it's new, they can die out quickly. If your computer is old enough, it could be the CMOS battery has died and needs replacing. Check the date/time in the setup. If it thinks it's 1969, then that's what happened.

How do I manage the media in my iPod?

iPod Touch

Episode 1666

Carol from Garden Grove, CA

Carol has an iPod that's getting too full and wants to know how to get everything off it and allow you to put other music on it. Leo suggests using iTunes and it's sync feature. Set it up to only sync checked items. Anything that isn't checked will be removed. Some items, though, won't get unchecked in her iPod. Leo says that's not where you uncheck them. You uncheck them in iTunes. Here's how - https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201593

Sam Abuelsamid ... Hummering along

Sam Abuelsamid

Episode 1666

General Motors is resurrecting the old HUMMER brand name and will soon be releasing an electric pickup truck with that name. But it won't be a separate car line, but a model. You'll get a glimpse of it during today's Super Bowl. It isn't anything too futuristic in its design either, favoring a traditional pickup look. There will also be coming out with a Ford F150 electric truck, and one from Fisker. Then there's that Tesla Cybertruck. Sam says it'll be interesting how well an eTruck performs since the range is going to be the big issue.

Can I Still Use an Old Plotter Printer With a New Computer?

 RS-232 port

Episode 1665

Ralph from Pennsylvania

Ralph has an old HP draft plotter printer and wants to know how he can use it with a modern computer. Leo says that those old plotters used an RS-232 port and he will need to get a USB to Serial adapter in order to use it. Ralph will also need software to configure it. Leo says to do some google searching for user forums and YouTube videos to walk through it. The tricky thing may be drivers.