Any device that connects to the computer, such as a printer, scanner, monitor, keyboard or mouse.
Nick has heard about a technology that could turn any printer into an internet enabled computer. Leo says that the current state of the art is wireless, and using AirPlay, he can Air Print. But if he doesn't have that capability, then XPrintServer can take a USB printer and turn it into a internet enabled and networked printer. If it's older, then it may or may not work. HP did have a technology called JetDirect which did it.
(Disclaimer: xPrintServer is a sponsor)
This week's gadget is Logitech Keys to Go. A pocket-size Bluetooth keyboard that's great for a tablet or smartphone. It's thin, light and durable. It’s small and light enough to tuck into your purse, briefcase or coat pocket.
Glen has several USB thumb drives with files on them. His computer hard drive died, so he replaced it. But now he can't write to the thumbdrives anymore. Leo says that's because technically, they're "owned by another." Windows sees that new account as a new user. He can take ownership of them, but it's not trivial. HowtoGeek has an explanation of how he can do this.
Carlos wants to know if his iPhone can pair to multiple bluetooth devices. Leo says yes! It's been a standard capability for awhile in smartphones now. Leo also recommends over the ear bluetooth headphones.
Motorola makes great wireless headphones, as does LG. The Motorola S10HD are about $40, and they go around the neck and house the batteries for longer battery life. He'll also want headphones that support the high quality stereo profile called 'A2DP.'
Sam has a Logitech Keyboard and he wants to know if the bluetooth signal can be boosted. Leo says he can't because Logitech doesn't use Bluetooth. It uses a proprietary signal. He should just get a Bluetooth keyboard, if his computer supports it. If his computer doesn't support it, he could still buy Bluetooth dongles and add devices that way. Leo suspects that Logitech limits the range of it's capability because of interference and security reasons.
Joshua owns and operates Minecraft servers and he wants to know what the future has in store for online gaming. Leo says that since Microsoft bought Minecraft, it's possible that Microsoft could require Minecraft be run from Azure. But Leo doesn't think there's much cause to worry because the Minecraft culture is very independent. Gamers won't really feel Microsoft's presence in Minecraft for at least a year, but there's not much cause for concern. Since online gaming is social by nature, the future is bright.
Ed has an iPad 4 and he can't print to his Pixma printer. Apple says he can't. Leo says that Apple uses "AirPrint" to print via WiFi, and if the printer doesn't support it, then he'd have to add additional hardware to give it that support. But there may be software that Apple offers for free. Otherwise, Leo recommends xPrintServer. It'll take any USB printer and make it an AirPrint compatible printer.
Mike has a printer that he needs to have repaired, but he's worried that the printer memory could get hacked. Leo says that it's definitely possible. But Leo doesn't think it's really a cause of concern. At best, it'll only remember the last job it had. So it's not really that big of an issue, just a theoretical concern. Just because the memory is there, doesn't mean it can be accessed or that it will even stay there once it's unplugged.
Aaron has an office printer that he'd like to hook up to his upstairs router and print from his network. Is there an easy way to do that and print via Wi-Fi? It isn't a Wi-Fi enabled printer.
Leo says that the Lantronix Wireless xPrint Server will make any printer wireless. It also works with Google Cloud Print, allowing Aaron to print from anywhere in the world.
(Disclaimer: Lantronix is a sponsor).
While Leo remains skeptical on the idea of the smart watch, he has begun to like the LG G Watch more. He finds it convenient to send and receive text messages and get notifications passed from his phone. He can talk to it, query it, and tap the screen. It's not as much of a health tracking watch, as other fitness bands and smart watches have been, but it does measure steps taken. Leo says the jury is still out on this, and probably not worth buying yet. He suggests waiting to see if Apple does something magical to make watches good.