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Weekend of April 26, 2019 – Hour 3

Penny in Windsor, Ontario listens on AM800 CKLW and asked: “I’m quadriplegic and have the use of one hand. I am very into gaming. I play World of Warcraft and Diablo 3. Since I am left-handed and can only use the mouse and rarely the keyboard unless I let go of the mouse, is there a better mouse than I have for left-handed. I’m using a Logitech. Don’t know the number but it has the side keys on both sides. It’s frustrating for me because when the mouse goes, there’s limited options to get another one that works for me.”

Penny, there are plenty of companies that make left handed mice, and many models have side buttons like the kind you want.

Depending on how you can most comfortably use your hand, you may appreciate something like an Evoulent VerticalMouse, as you can probably imagine, your hand rests on it’s side when you use it, rather than flat and parallel to the table.

Elecom also makes a left-handed mouse with side buttons and a built-in trackpad that you may find convenient if you want more options to move your cursor or characters around.

Azio makes what it calls an ambidextrous mouse, which may appeal to you because it has buttons on both sides that you can customize.

Those are all obscure names, but as a gamer you must know Razer and they make several left-handed gaming mice.

Unfortunately, like you’ve discovered and confirmed over the years, most manufacturers focus heavily on the majority of users, and that majority is right-handed. Between you being left handed and wanting a gaming mouse with side buttons, you’re probably going to have to do some digging to find the perfect model that will fit your needs.

Gilbert, driving through Mississippi listens on SuperTalk Mississippi and asked: “I’m about to retire and go on an extended vacation. I was looking for a good, reliable rugged laptop, so I was looking at the Panasonic Toughbook, the Alienware, as being tough. I don’t know how the reliability is. Also the Acer 2-in-One. Would like to know if you can give me some feedback on those and let me know what you think might be the best ones to go on an extended vacation.”

Gilbert, at the studio we’ve used a Panasonic Toughbook for probably a decade now, we haven’t been kind to it. It’s traveled in the hold of more planes than we can count, packed with hard gear, dragged all over Earth, and it’s still going. Based on our experience and on the fact that we seen them riding in police cars all the time where they probably get bumped around more than most laptops, we don’t think you can go wrong with a Panasonic Toughbook.

As far as we know, Alienware has hardy, heavy computers, but Dell, Alienware’s owner actually makes rugged models of their Latitude series, you may want to have a look at those. They look about the same as a Toughbook, but they’re another option.

One thing we should ask you though is, what kind of traveling will you be doing? 90% of extended travelers do just fine with any regular laptop they can carry around in a backpack, or leave inside an RV. Unless you’ll be camping in remote locations away from civilization and without solid shelter, you can probably just use a regular laptop and get more processing power for your dollar.

Rugged models are heavy, and they are expensive, if you can get away with using a regular model instead, you’ll get more machine for your money.

Most people who go on extended vacations stay within the bounds of civilization, if that’s the case, you don’t really need to bother with anything special. Laptops can take the stresses of most travel.

Craig in Idaho asked: “I got an older laptop and right now it still has the regular old hard drive. I’m wondering if I should upgrade to SSD. Computer is about 6 years old. I have lots of RAM. I use it for CAD modeling and Excel spreadsheets. I’m wondering if I should upgrade to SSD or upgrade the whole computer. What’s the best way for me to upgrade, or should I?”

Craig, if your laptop has enough processing power for your CAD needs, an SSD upgrade may be a less expensive way to get you a noticeable performance boost.

If you upgrade your whole laptop, you’ll probably need another high end machine, since 3D modeling uses a good amount of memory and processing power. An SSD will cost a fraction of a new performance laptop, but it will also only give you a fraction of the performance upgrade.

If you can function well right now, and you’d be happy with a moderate upgrade, an SSD is definitely worth trying. You will definitely notice that your laptop is faster to boot up, that your software starts up faster, and that your computer is just faster overall.

It will still be a 6 year old laptop, but installing an SSD will definitely improve its performance.

One consideration for you is the size of the SSD you’d need. Some design programs do like to store a lot of data, and if you end up needing to access an external HDD to fetch your data, you won’t feel as much of a difference. Unfortunately, SSDs are still more expensive than traditional hard drives, so a very high capacity one may make you overthink your upgrade and make you want to go for a whole new computer.

Having said that, we think an SSD is worth considering, they really do make a big difference in how a computer performs.

Sam in Fairbanks, Alaska listens on Newsradio 970 KFBX and asked: “I use the WhatsApp app, and have problems with my contacts. It’ll take some contacts that starts with certain letters – like anything that starts with an “M” and it won’t show up on my contacts list and I’m trying to get that solved.”

Sam, as long as WhatsApp has permission to see your contacts, it’s supposed to give you access to them on its own.

Other than reinstalling your app, the only thing we can really tell you to do is make sure that your contacts are being shared with WhatsApp. Depending on whether you’re on iPhone or Android, how you do it differs, but on both you can check by going to Settings, and checking the permissions under “WhatsApp.” On iPhones it’ll just be there at the bottom of the Settings app, on Android you will have to go to “Apps” first.

If the contacts are not shared, turn on sharing.

On iPhones, you don’t see contacts until you tap the plus sign to start a new call or chat, on Android you can see a list of contacts and you can force a refresh from the menu, so if you’re on Android give that manual refresh a try.

If all else fails, you can try to reinstall the app and see if that has any effect, but all you’re normally expected to do is share your contacts with WhatsApp and let it do the rest.

Andrea in Atlanta, Georgia listens on AM920 – “The Answer” and asked: ” I need to buy a pre-owned iPhone 6 and would like to know the best model and the latest newest model. The best place to buy, either a big box store or gazelle or whatever. Preferably with a warranty.”

Andrea, you don’t have a lot of variety when it comes to the iPhone 6, you can buy the Plus if you want a larger screen, other than that it’s all about colors and storage capacity.

As for latest, the iPhone 6 was just the iPhone 6, there weren’t newer models, the 6S came after it, but it was a new model.

If you’re willing to stretch and go for a 6S, you can buy that one straight from Apple, either a new phone or as a refurbished phone. That’s important because you mentioned a warranty, and that’s a hard thing to get with a used phone. If you buy a refurbished phone from Apple, you get the same 1 year warranty that a new one would have.

If you’re sticking to the 6, like you mentioned, BestBuy and Gazelle have them, there are also other online stores like JamJam and eBay that have them listed.

BestBuy will probably be the most expensive option, followed by the certified or fully refurbished ones from other retailers.

You will usually have options as to the shape the phone is in, so keep in mind that when you see “from $140” that probably means that the $140 one will be pretty bad shape.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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