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Q&A with Kim: Finding Veterans’ Records, Games on the Road and more

Each week, I receive tons of questions from my listeners about tech concerns, new products and all things digital. Sometimes choosing the most interesting questions to highlight is the most difficult part of my job.

This week, I received questions about finding veterans’ records, playing games on the road and more. Do you have a question you’d like to ask me? Click here to email me directly.

Finding Veterans’ Records

Q. I heard you mention on your national radio show that there’s a website where you can get copies of your parent’s military records and order replacement medals. How can I do that?

A: Learning about a relative’s military service can be very enlightening, especially if that person is no longer living. So many veterans are humble about their heroics overseas. These documents can be an invaluable record of a person’s accomplishments. Luckily, the government makes these archives pretty easy to sift through. Click here to find out how to find a copy of your parent’s military records and replacement medals.

Games on the Road

Q. It’s summer travel season. I need some great games on my phone to take the stress out of road trips. Any recommendations?

A: Before I get into the multitudinous digital options, remember that there are plenty of timeless games you can play in the car that require no screen or data plan. But having traveled a lot in my life, I understand that spotting license plates and playing “20 Questions” can get a little tiresome after a few days on the interstate. Then again, not all smartphone games are created equal, and some will accommodate a long journey better than others. This is especially true if you’re looking at a long ride and may not have access to Wi-Fi. Click here for 15 of the best smartphone games for road trips.

Charging Devices Off The Grid

Q. I’m going camping. What’s the best way to stay powered up while off the grid?

A: On the one hand, our society has never depended more on electricity for basic daily activities. Our wall sockets are routinely jammed with adapters, and you can barely walk through a home without tripping over some kind of rubber-coated cord. At the same time, it has never been easier to charge your phone at the airport or carry around substantial wattage in your pocket. So which of the devices available would you trust in the middle of the woods, miles and miles from the nearest electrical outlet? Click here to stay powered up while off the grid.

When to Replace an Old Computer

Q. How do you know when it’s time to give up and buy a new computer?

A: This is the unspoken rule of manufacturing computers: They are designed to have a relatively short lifespan. Almost every dedicated user upgrades to a newer model within 10 years and most consider it within five. That doesn’t mean that you can’t operate a Gateway desktop from the late 1990s, but it does mean that every computer will show evidence of age, and you may not find a repair shop equipped to resolve its issues. What are the telltale signs of a failing computer? Knowing them could save you a lot of headaches in the long run. Click here to find out when to replace your old computer.

Finding Legit Kitchen Gadgets

Q. I was shopping and saw kitchen tech gadgets. Are any of these worth the money or is it just a fad?

A: What is it about cooking that attracts all kinds of inventors? Preparing food is still a pretty old-fashioned pastime, yet electronics stores can’t wait to inundate us with solar powered, USB-compatible, smartphone-accommodating doodads. There are so many bizarre gadgets that it’s hard to gauge when a high-tech culinary appliance is useful, and maybe even clever. Click here for 15 kitchen tech gadgets put to the test.

What questions do you have? Call my national radio show and click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.

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