Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Steve from Hermosa Beach, CA Comments

Steve wants to get a new Lenovo laptop with dual SSD drives and 32 GB of RAM. He's looking at a Workstation model, which is a desktop replacement. Leo says first and foremost, 32GB of RAM is way too much for the average or even heavy user. His biggest jump in performance would be from 4GB to 8GB. From there out, the speed boost can get to the point where the cost-benefit isn't all that great.

Leo also says that an SSD drive is great for storing the OS and apps on, but an SSD drive for storage is really not practical. It would be better to get a larger spinning drive.

Leo also recommends the Haswell chips for better battery life, if that's an option. Leo says having more cache makes a difference, too. Steve is wondering whether he should upgrade from 6MB to 8MB of L2 cache. Leo's not sure that would make as much of a difference as it would to get one with the Haswell chip.

The other thing Steve should look at with SSD is what the bus is. Leo says I/O speed is important, and he should look for a laptop with the SSD on a PCI-Express bus instead of SATA. That's what Apple has done with their MacBook Air.

He's also wondering about the graphics memory. Leo says getting 2GB of graphics memory instead of 1GB is not the solution, and he'd be better of waiting for the Haswell processor.

Watch Alan from Baton Rouge, LA Comments

Alan has over 100GB of music in his iTunes library. He's at the point where he's about to run out of space. Leo says first thing Alan should do is get iTunes Match. For $25 it'll let Alan upgrade his songs to the best possible quality. Once he's run iTunes Match, he should delete all the tracks that have successfully matched from his computer. Then, redownload the matched music.

Then Leo says to upload 25,000 songs to Google Music. Leo also recommends backing up to an external drive, just in case. If money isn't an object, Leo recommends getting Network Attached Storage (NAS). That has the benefit of having it stored and available in the house. Drobo has a new NAS called the Transporter which makes it available in the Cloud as well.

Watch Herbert from Klammath Falls, OR Comments

Herb needs a new TV, and his budget is around $700. What HDTV can he get? Leo says first, get the biggest he can afford. Also, while most TVs have built in sound, they're not all that great. He should look into getting a sound bar or a HTIB (Home Theater in a Box). He can save that for later though.

For $700, Leo recommends Vizio. They're not a first tier player, but they offer great resolution and quality for the money. He should be able to get a 50" for that price. He'll be looking for an LED backlit TV. Vizio has some 3D and smart TV capabilities, but he doesn't really need any of that. He'll just be looking for the best quality panel he can get for his money.

The first thing he'll want to do when he brings it home is turn off the "dynamic" or "showroom" mode, and put it in "movie" or "natural" mode, which is most realistic.

Watch Kyle from Sparta, MI Comments

Kyle is a senior and is looking for a laptop for college next year. He wants to know what computer he should get and if he needs cloud backup. Leo says that cloud backup is good for data like papers, schoolwork, etc, but media takes way too long. A local USB 3 external drive to backup to is still a good idea.

Leo says if Kyle can wait a few months for a laptop, he'll be able to take advantage of the Haswell based chips in ultrabooks.

Watch Robert from North Carolina Comments

Robert is about to "cut the cable." He's bought a Roku for one of his rooms, and has accounts with Netflix, Crackle, and more. He wants to know about a device that will allow him to stream videos in his main viewing area though.

Leo says that Chromecast is a great option. The idea is to connect the TV to the Internet so he can stream content. Almost all new TVs can connect to the internet, but there's no one single box that will connect him to everything. Check out Veronica Belmont's spreadsheet of set top streaming boxes at bit.ly/settop. Roku is pretty good, especially with Roku-Channels.com, which provides a lot of content.

The Chromecast is interesting and cheap, but a bit limited at the moment. The Apple TV is great too, if he's in the Apple ecosystem.

The downside of streaming is that he can't enjoy live television access, though. But that's going to change. There is a company called Aereo which allows users to watch live television over the internet, but it's limited to certain areas right now.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Ed from Antelope Valley, CA Comments

Ed is visually impaired and wants to know if the new Motorola Moto-X has voice activated features. Leo says absolutely! In fact, just about any new Android phone can do this, thanks to the new 'Google Now' technology. It also has voice-over features which will read him what's on the screen.

Watch Netty from California Comments

Netty keeps getting messages that she needs to update Java for Skype. Leo says no, Skype doesn't need Java, but Java does need to be updated to keep it secure. Since Skype doesn't need it, Netty can just uninstall it. If it's taking all night to update, Leo suggests reinstalling.

Watch Sam from San Diego, CA Comments

Sam can get a good deal for an HDTV that's 720p. Leo says that it's a great deal because it's old. He recommends a Vizio 1080p screen. That's full high def and a Vizio will give him way more bang for his buck.

For higher end TVs, the Panasonic Viera plasma HDTVs are Leo's favorite.

Watch Brad from Ontario, Canada Comments

Brad wants to rip some of his favorite DVDs to his computer using Handbrake, but it isn't working. Leo says that Brad also needs VLC Media Player, which works in concert with Handbrake to rip the DVD and get it on his computer. VLC will bypass the copy protection and allow Handbrake to encode it.

Watch Dave from Thousand Oaks, CA Comments

Dave is a college football fan and thanks to the Time Warner Cable and CBS issue, and that the Pac12 Network isn't carried by Verizon, he can't see the football he wants. Leo says that exclusives are annoying because it restricts the viewer. Leo predicts that CBS and Time Warner will resolve their issues by the start of the NFL season. Pac12 has an app that could help.

College football is smart because they're making their games accessible to boosters and alumni. He would need to have one of the TV providers on their list to use it though, which puts him back at square one again. This stranglehold that network and cable companies have on content is ridiculous. The good news is, it's going to end. Then he'll be able to get his content from the creators directly.

Watch Julien from California Comments

Julien is blind and he uses an Android phone. It's gotten to the point where it does just as good of a job with accessibility as the iPhone. He recommends a pure Google phone because overlays from companies like HTC get in the way of it. The Nexus phone is the best one for those needing accessibility. Leo also says the Moto-X would be good for that reason as well.

Julien is a trainer for visually impaired people using smartphones, and his website is TechJV.com.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Adam from Pittsburgh, PA Comments

Adam wants to get a linux ubuntu laptop. Leo says he's tried them and they are overpriced. He says that it's better, and often cheaper, to just get a Windows machine and put Ubuntu on it himself.

He should check out Linus Torvald's famous email announcing his new OS called "Minux."

Watch Michael from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Mike suggests Magic DVD ripper. You get five free DVD rips before you have to buy it, and it's not very expensive either at $35.

Watch Kyle from Los Alamitos, CA Comments

Kyle wants to know what Leo thinks of camera lens adapters for the iPhone. Leo says he'd have to carry around a second case and the iPhone doesn't have a good enough sensor to give him the benefit of that lens. Leo recommends the OlloClip instead.

Watch Steve from La Crescentia, CA Comments

Steve wants to know what's the best way to save images once he's taken them. Leo says that with iPhoto, he can do side by side comparisons via a grid. That would be a great way to do it.

Watch Robin from San Pedro, CA Comments

Robert installed a second version of Windows and now he can't get it to boot up to the newer Windows 7. Leo says that's because Windows always boots up the latest installed OS. Leo advises using a boot manager to choose operating systems. Leo uses GAG.

Watch Michele from Carona, CA Comments

Michele and her husband split up and now suddenly, her phone has been turned off. Leo says that her husband's account means he owns the number. Leo says that she could go to T-Mobile, set up a new account, and get a new SIM and number.

Watch Steve from Rancho Cucamonga, CA Comments

Steve says that DVD Decrypter was a great DVD ripping program. Leo says that Hollywood closed them down by suing them. He can still find it on the net if you look hard enough, but it's really out of date. The chatroom says that DVD Shrink is back.

Either way, he can do the same thing with Handbrake and VLC Media Player.