Carolyn in Porterville, California listens on K-TIP 1450 AM asked:
I had a power outage and my computer crashed. If I just buy new cords, will my computer be back to good again? Help!
If something burned out due to a power surge, it almost certainly wasn’t a cord, your power cord can handle a lot more power than your computer’s internal components.
If your computer doesn’t react when you try to turn it on it’s likely that its power source is fried, the cost of replacing it will depend on how much power your computer needs, but there is a chance that other things will be damaged as well.
Unfortunately, you almost certainly won’t be able to bring your computer back by replacing cords, you will probably have to take it somewhere to get looked at by someone who can tell you what the problem is and how much it may cost to fix it.
For everyone else out there, this a good reason to consider getting surge protectors for your electronics. They’ll be a lot cheaper than the cost of fixing a problem.
The good news is that it’s fairly simple to see if the cord is the problem, since all power cords are basically the same. There are two prong and three prong variants, but the power cords on most electronic gear are otherwise interchangeable.
Borrow a power cord you know to be good from another device and plug in your computer using that cord. If the computer starts up, you need a new cord. More than likely, it won’t, because as we said, the power cord can withstand an incredible amount of abuse, FAR more than the power supply or the components inside your device.
Sorry to say it, but if your computer doesn’t power on at all following a power outage, it’s likely time for a trip to the repair shop.
Ron in Nashville, Tennessee asked:
My car has an aux in jack, but no bluetooth. I’d rather not replace the car stereo just to add Bluetooth. I’m looking for an adapter that would go Bluetooth into the aux in jack. Is there a model you recommend? Do they work well? Or would you recommend that I change out the car stereo?
You should definitely not change that car stereo– that would be a VERY extreme measure to take in order to add Bluetooth to your vehicle and way more costly than the solution we would suggest. The solution to your question is simple, all you need is a Bluetooth car adapter!
Online you can find several, and the prices of these devices are pretty low. We’re not sure what your price range is, and it’s completely up to you, but we could suggest a few in different price ranges and we’re sure you’ll be able to make your mind up on your own.
If you already have an aux-in jack, then you’re already one step ahead. You see, some of these adapters work as FM transmitters, and I’ve used many of them in the past and always advise against them, as the sound can sometimes be gritty and have a lot of interference — which isn’t very pleasant while you’re driving and trying to enjoy some music or listen to a call. You should certainly stick with an adapter that uses an aux jack.
On the cheaper side, there’s the “Mpow Portable Bluetooth 3.0 Audio Music Streaming Receiver Adapter”. This Mpow device is one of the most affordable options we could find, and it can also connect to up to 2 different Bluetooth capable devices at a time. It does need to be charged, which can be done in the car while it is connected or by whatever preferred method you choose. That’s pretty neat because some other adapters require you to charge them in the car only while simultaneously being used. The Mpow costs just under $17 on Amazon.
If your price range is a bit higher than that, then you might want to look into the “Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit”. In terms of design, it’s pretty nice. The Kinivo does need to be plugged into both the aux and charging port in your vehicle, but does not hog the entire charging port because it comes with a built-in USB port, that will also provide juice to your phone or music-player. One other cool design aspect of this adapter is that it will mount to whatever surface you choose, so it is most easily accessible for you. The Kinivo Bluetooth Hands-free Car Kit costs just under $35 on Amazon.
If you’re going to be feeding this from your smartphone, however, let us ask the obvious question: Why not use a direct cable from the smartphone’s headphone jack? In many cases, Bluetooth audio (depending on the specific Bluetooth revision and the devices involved) is compressed and causes a drop in audio quality. A cable from the headphone jack would not have this problem. And it’s less expensive, too!