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Episode 1084 May 18, 2014

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Bernie from Colorado Comments

Bernie is scanning slides into his computer and wants to organize them in groups. Leo says that the best way is to create an album first. Then scan them into that album. Picasa will let him do that, as will iPhoto. He can rename all the files, but that's a bit complicated. Picasa does have a batch file name utility, then he could sort by that. For iPhoto, he can create an album that will allow it to stay in order. Then he can reorder them within that album.

Watch Jane from San Diego, Ca Comments

Jane has a Panasonic cordless phone, and when she switches from her headset to the speaker, she gets has a "chirping" noise that drives her nuts. Leo thinks that Jane is suffering from "slippage," when the cordless phone gets out of sync. It's not unusual. Jane needs a DECT headset, which is a digitally enhanced cordless phone. Leo also says that if it's from the speaker, it could be echo cancellation kicking in, which causes the chirp. That's why he doesn't like talking on speaker phone.

Watch Gary from Sun City, CA Comments

Gary just upgraded to Windows 8.1 and he uses it to control his CnC machine for milling. He can write the data to the floppy, but the machine can only read the header and nothing else. Leo says that it could be that the upgrade broke the connectivity between the two and Windows 8.1 isn't compatible.

The chatroom says to make sure that in the BIOS, he checks a box that says "legacy floppy emulation." Leo isn't sure it will work, but it's worth a try. They also say that Microsoft turned off legacy support for some features in Windows 8.1. Leo says that the company that makes the software should know of issues and have maybe issued a fix. It could also be the the floppy disc that the sewing machine uses, has failed.

Watch Lou from Inland Empire, CA Comments

Lou has adware and after scanning for it, it hasn't disappeared. Leo says that adware is annoying, but most antivirus software doesn't view it as malware because the user chooses to install the software that had the adware in it. He can probably remove it through "add/remove programs". Leo advises getting rid of TechGenie and whatever's left of McAfee, and install only Microsoft's Security Essentials. Lou should also run the Malicious Software Removal Tool. Start -> Run -> type "MRT" return. Choose thorough scan. He should also check his browser extensions for things to remove. He can run the browser in safe mode and if it's not there, then he would know that it's a browser extension.

What about MalwareBytes? Leo is reluctant because he could download a version of it that has been co-opted by hackers if he doesn't get it from the original maker.

Watch Alan from Marina Del Rey, CA Comments

Alan is looking for a good digital camera with a specific feature. He needs one with a neutral density filter. Leo says that he can get neutral density filters for DSLRs, but for what Alan wants (which is to see "auras" of gold and other precious metals in the ground), it's snake oil. He's better off with a metal detector for that.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Ronny & Jonathan from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Ronny says that the Husquavarna Viking doesn't run on Windows 8.1, but they've issued a patch to fix it. She also says that the caller probably has an old model, the latest ones can read CDs and thumb drives. Jonathan also has a sewing machine that reads the floppy and he says that Windows 8.1 has new settings for floppy discs that cause issues like that.

Leo also thinks that Windows 8.1 uses a different file format that causes the issue. So Leo thinks that if the sewing machine was used to format the floppy, it could work.

Watch Diane from Orange County, CA Comments

Diane is going to be traveling to Switzerland and wants to be able to use her phone and tablets locally. Leo says since she uses AT&T's service, she can request that they unlock her phone for the trip so she can buy a local SIM. She's also going to three other countries, and that will cause issues as well.

Leo advises using Wi-Fi whenever possible. She can buy 800MB of international data roaming for $120 and just turn off data when she's not using or needing it. The HuaWei E5331 Mobile Travel Hotspot MiFi device is a good solution and it's offered in Switzerland, where Diane is going. Does she need to get a subscription? Leo says it'll probably come with a data plan. She can buy online, or reserve one on the Swisscom website and pick it up when she gets there.

If she wants to keep her number, she'll have to pay for International data roaming, which is overpriced. Slower EDGE access is free for TMobile customers. Or, since she has a world phone, she can get a local SIM and find information on what's best at PrePaidwithdata. This is a great Wiki that tells what the best carrier is for every country.

In the chatroom, they say that the WaWei MiFi isn't locked. Leo has used one and it's the most affordable and convenient way to use data while traveling.

Watch Mike from Whittier, CA Comments

Mike bought his daughter a new computer and he's going to be using her old one. So he wants to reset it all so he can use it to write a novel. How can he take the photos off it and then reset it to Windows 7?

Leo says the simplest way is to get a large USB Thumbdrive. Then use it as a backup. He should always have a backup. Use the thumb drive to move the images over. Then he can wipe the drive by booting into recovery, choosing a complete restore which will format the drive and start over. He should make sure he has all the updates, too. Set it up as a limited user account for security purposes.

Watch Tim from Minnesota Comments

Tim has been getting a strange application error code in Skype and he doesn't know what it means. Leo says that those error codes are only understood by the guy who wrote the software and are largely useless to the user. Likely what has happened is a driver has crashed or is corrupted. Leo recommends uninstalling Skype and reinstalling. That will give him a fresh start in the app and reconnect anything that has been corrupted.

Watch Rob from Montana Comments

Rob has a smartphone from Verizon and he keeps getting dropped calls on it. He will still be connected to his girlfriend, but she can't hear him talking. Leo says it happens all the time on just about every cellphone network. It's not really just Verizon. If he's in rural areas, he could have spotty coverage.

The reason he might not hear much about it is because people don't really use their cellphones for voice calling much anymore. Dropped calls happen during handoffs between towers, and there really isn't a fix except to call back. The thing is, that when we went to digital, it will just stop working instead of just degrading like analog would.

Watch Daryl from On the Road Comments

Daryl wants to know if Linux is 100% secure. Leo says no, that standard isn't possible, but it is more secure than Windows. Why does Windows have so many vulnerabilities? Leo says that Windows has gotten better over time, but because Microsoft supports legacy code for older machines, it leaves Windows users vulnerable. Linux was written from the ground up to be more secure and it doesn't carry the burden to be "all things to all people." Since it's based on UNIX's permissions system, it's more secure.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Daryl from On the Road Comments

Daryl also wants to know about music software and what's the best platform. Leo says that a lot of people use Macs. Logic Pro would take him to another level. Ableton's Live is great for live performances. DJs have taken to the iPad, which has a lot of apps for music. FruityLoops is a good app for DJing. There's also an option for Windows: Cakewalk.

What Mac should he get? Leo says to get a MacBook Pro. What about ProTools? Leo says it's antiquated and difficult to learn.

Watch Jusin from Alexander City, AL Comments

Justin streams music in real time to radio stations, but it gets problematic. Leo says that the Internet was never designed for streaming music because packets are designed to arrive out of order and be reassembled. Leo uses an ISDN, which isn't super fast, but they are point to point so it's a direct connection. This means he has consistent bandwidth that delivers packets almost instantaneously. Anything in real time can't really be used over the internet. It's too difficult. Telos makes boxes designed to do internet protocol, but Leo isn't convinced it's ready for prime time. Telephone companies don't want to support ISDN anymore because it has a limited market and requires a separate switch.

Watch Walter from Burbank, CA Comments

Walter got a new computer and just updated it to Windows 8.1. But he's thinking of downgrading to Windows 7 because he likes TrueCrypt's whole disk encryption. Leo says that BitLocker is good and it's built into Windows 8.1. Fast and effective. He can get BitLocker through Windows 8.1 professional, but Windows 8.1 automatically encrypts by default, and he'll have to use his Microsoft account to login.

Watch Walter from Burbank, CA Comments

Leo says that MythTV is still around, but Leo says everyone is pretty much using XBox Media Center now. Leo's favorite is Plex, which has a lot of great plugins available.

Watch Ken from Rhode Island Comments

Ken wants to use a password manager and sync his desktop with his phone by passing the cloud. Leo says there's a lot of password managers, including 1Password and Dashlane, but Leo prefers LastPass.

Leo prefers LastPass because it uses "trust no one" security. LastPass doesn't have access to user passwords. Only the user has the key. They have an excellent password generator that creates strong passwords, too. So all Ken needs to do is remember one password - the one he uses for LastPass itself. He could make this something he can easily remember but can't be brute forced or guessed. How do you insert the password? Leo says on the Desktop, it automatically fills in it. On a phone, he'll have to cut and paste. LastPass works on all platforms as well.

Watch Thomas from Vancouver, BC Comments

Thomas uses Windows 8.1 and he's having issues with the PIN log-in. Leo says that Windows offers a lot of ways for users to log-in, including Microsoft's ID. There's also the picture password. He can trace a pattern over the picture and he has a log-in. But if the picture password isn't working, and he has to use his Microsoft ID, that can be a pain. Microsoft isn't helping much, either. The issue may be that Thomas is using two monitors, and if he's using the picture password, it's touch focused and an extra monitor can confuse things. He should try the PIN.

Watch Chris from La Jolla, CA Comments

Chris is a bit jealous because his girlfriend's Samsung Galaxy S5 is so much larger than his iPhone 4s. Leo says that is true, but Samsung also has a lot of bloatware on it. In june, Apple's Worldwide Development Conference may give us some hints about the new iPhone, iOS 8, etc. We may find out whether or not the next iPhone will be larger. So if he can be patient until then, it may pay off.

Leo is of the opinion that Apple is finally going to increase the screen size, so he'll just have to wait, if he can. Will it be bigger than the Galaxy S5? Leo says no. Probably 4.7". But that'll work in his hand better and he will probably like it. But if he wants to make the switch to Android…Leo did and he's never really looked back.

Watch Debbie from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Debbie wants to know if there's a tablet that allows for voice commands. Leo says just about any tablet can do that. Can she text with a tablet? Leo says that both the iPad and the iPhone have the same capability to text via voice with Siri. All she would need to do is press down the home button until Siri starts. Google can do some of that, but it's tricky.

All Debbie really needs to do is get her contacts into the iPad and from there, it's relatively straight forward. She can use voice dictation to input numbers, etc. Both Android and Apple have excellent accessibility features as well, including screen readers. Blind users love the iPhone. So the iPad is probably the best for Debbie's application.

Watch LaSalle from Logan, NM Comments

LaSalle just got licensed as a HAM radio operator. Leo says that's great news and HAM radio is a great hobby. It's very important after a disaster because often every other communication is down. The FCC eliminated the requirement for morse code, so it's easy to get a basic license. He's looking at the ICOM radio. Leo says that they're great. Handy Talky is a great way to start out, and they're more affordable and would make him more mobile.