Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Lori from San Diego, CA Comments

Lori is in need of a tablet or laptop that's easy to use and can provide her with a good productivity tool at work. She broke her laptop and she's a bit lost in what to get. Leo says for work, Windows is paramount. He's not really a fan of the Surface tablet so far, and even though the new Surface is light and portable, Microsoft doesn't seem to know what they want it to be -- a tablet or a laptop. The keyboard that it comes with isn't so great either. But it does come with One Note on the Surface 3, which makes it an ideal machine for work. That's the only real advantage of it though.

Leo says a good Windows 8.1 machine is what Lori wants to get moving forward. And getting a laptop with touch screen is a good idea. The Acer Aspire S7 is quite good, and very thin. Acer has decided to eliminate their low end computers, which weren't very good, and are now focusing on higher end product.

Watch Larry from Loma Linda, CA Comments

Larry has Yahoo mail and he gets a ton of spam. He can't really delete all of it at once, because sometimes email from friends gets in there. Leo says that if it's any consolation, everyone gets spam. Yahoo is just doing a poor job of filtering it. Leo says that we've lost the battle against spam, and some webmail providers filter it better than others. Google uses a technique called collaborative filtering, where users let them know if an email has slipped pass their filters and it adds to the list. That's why Leo uses GMail, because false positives are very low and the effectiveness is very high. 99% of his email is spam, but he rarely gets any because Google does a great job filtering it.

Leo recommends having Yahoo Mail forward to a Gmail address and Gmail will then filter out all the spam. There are third party services like OnlyMyEmail.com, which will filter his email for about $20 a year. They also have an email for kids service for $10 which would allow him to see what email comes to his kids before they do.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Mary from Northridge, CA Comments

Mary bought a new computer at Costco, and began having issues with it right out of the box. Should she contact Microsoft? Leo says no, she should take it back! Don't try and fix a computer that's out of the box -- put it back and tell them it doesn't work. Since it's happened to her more than once, it makes Leo wonder if it's a refurbished computer or if Costco is selling returned computers as new. This isn't her problem, it's Costco's!

Watch Jeffrey from Twin Peaks, CA Comments

Jeffrey wants to buy a new computer that has a DVD burner for around $500. Leo says that the trend has been away from incorporating CD/DVDs into laptops because they want to make them lighter and smaller.

Leo says that a desktop replacement is what Jeffrey should be looking at, and a low end computer is really a false economy. But at that price, Jeffrey should look at the Dell Inspiron. They cost $400 to $800, and Dell sells them with Windows 7. Of course, he can always get an external burner. That way he can connect it when he needs it.

Watch Chip from New Jersey Comments

Chip wants to know about the possibility of getting internet access via light. Leo says it's in the labs, but it's far from being in prime time. There are some microwave ISPs, which provide service via WISP (wireless internet service provider). There is a long distance Wi-Fi: Clearwire was one that used WiMax, but it died out.

The best way to find out is to go to BroadbandReports.com. They can give him up to date information on what's the best services in his area.

Watch Henry from West Chester, PA Comments

Henry uses Yahoo Mail, and he got a message from Yahoo forcing him to change his password. Leo says that Yahoo gets hacked a lot and they may have noted some activity on Henry's email and prompted him to change it. But now he can't access his account. Leo says that's a good signal that his account had been hacked. He probably won't have much luck contacting Yahoo to fix it, either.

This is why it's important to have second factor authentication enabled with his email, so that if anyone tries to change his password, he'll get a text message to confirm it. Yahoo has terrible security and it's time to abandon it. He should go with GMail instead.

Watch Danny from Charlotte, NC Comments

Danny wants to take pictures of the Milky Way with his camera. Leo says that the key to doing this is a long exposure. He'll want to use a wide angle lens and a tripod. He'll also need a dark sky. He won't see much of it in the city. A high ISO is key, around 3200. He should have a minimum aperture of f2.8. The faster, the better.

Here's a great article by Jason Little at LightStalking.com.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Richard from Las Cruces, NM Comments

Richard just retired the ultimate gaming machine he built 10 years ago, and built a new one recently. He installed Windows 8.1 and loves it. He likes the Metro tile interface. Leo says that there's a ton of improvements in Windows 8 over Windows 7 including file copying. Leo believes that moving forward, it may be a bit confusing, but it's a lot better with version 8.1.

Leo says Microsoft is working on a touch centered version of Microsoft Office, and he doesn't think anyone will like it, which makes him think that they'll have to keep going with the conventional version. Leo also says that because Microsoft can't let go of the past, Windows 8.1 will always be a bit schizophrenic.

Watch Ron from North Hollywood, CA Comments

Ron has a home studio, and his ISDN line costs have skyrocketed lately. Leo says that's because the phone company is trying to get ISDN users to give their lines up. The phone company has to operate a non-standard switch in order to maintain the ISDN line. They don't want to have a separate switch anymore and they want to stop providing it.

The problem is, there is no suitable replacement for ISDN. Thousands of radio stations all over the country still use them. The irony is, it's not a lot of bandwidth at all to use it. It's just that it's a direct connection. The internet is unpredictable and isn't kind to real time, two way audio due to latency and dropped packets. ISDN, on the other hand, is far more stable.

Watch Mark from On the road Comments

Mark is dyslexic and he's noticed he can read better with smaller screens. Leo says there's a great app for the iPhone and iPad called ReadQuick. It's designed to teach people how to speed read, but it's also good for dyslexic users. It will enable him to read without moving his eyes.

Is there something similar for Android? SpeedReader is an option. There's an extension for Google Chrome called SPRead.

Watch Chris from California Comments

Chris' computer is really slow. Leo says that could likely be malware that's causing the computer to devote its time to things he doesn't know about. He advises scanning the computer with the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool and his AntiVirus software. It could also indicate that the hard drive is starting to fail.

Leo suggests reinstalling Windows and starting over. He should backup his data, reinstall Windows and then update it. He'll have a computer that runs a lot faster.

One thing Leo doesn't advise is going to these companies that advertise that they can speed up a computer for a price. They can't do anything other than what Leo advises here for free.

Watch Ray from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Ray updated his OS and now he's getting a ton of popups and errors. Leo says it sounds like Ray may have a flakey hard drive. He could try doing a Windows Repair, by putting his installation disc in and then choosing repair instead of the installer.

If that doesn't work, the only other solution is to backup his data, and reinstall Windows. Then he should update it again. This will also enable him to format the hard drive.