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Episode 1091 June 14, 2014

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Chris from West Covina, CA Comments

Chris knows that Apple is opening up the live beta of OS X Yosemite to the public. Leo says that this is the first time that Apple has offered a free public beta for a major release. But you have to be selected to be part of it. Chris has installed it because he's been approved, and he wants to know if he should add the updates that are coming in for Mavericks. Should he ignore them?

Leo says that's a good question. Ideally, Chris shouldn't see any updates for anything other than Yosemite. Leo says he wouldn't do it on his only Mac unless he really wants to help out. Leo advises running Yosemite as a dual boot option. He should accept updates for Yosemite, but if they are Mavericks' updates, he shouldn't. That indicates a bug in the OS and it could end up causing a lot of problems. Leo also thinks that public betas of operating systems is a hassle, because when it comes time to finalize things, users will have to wipe their drive and reinstall the final version. What about firmware updates? Leo says that's a different story. He should do those.

Watch Audi from Great Britain Comments

Audi is into podcasting and he says it's very frustrating to get podcasts on all the available sites. He found a cool plugin called "PowerPress." He says it lets him control cover art and print tags in iTunes. It gives full control over a podcast feed. Leo says it's a great plugin, but it doesn't really work inside WordPress.com. He'll have to run his own, hosted version of Wordpress. But it works great. Another alternative is LibSyn.

The problem with podcasting is that it takes so much to get it from the host to the device to listen to it. That makes it harder for the little guy. Having your own app is the best way to make it easier on your audience.

Watch Frank from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Frank is ready to finally get rid of AOL and wants to know what's a better alternative; especially for email. Leo likes Gmail because he can sync all of his devices thanks to the IMAP email protocol which keeps all email at the server level. Frank can just use the webmail version or he can use an email client like Outlook. Mozilla has one called Thunderbird.

There's no "save as" to download his email, though. Leo says he has to get out of the AOL mindset. Frank is stuck in the way AOL works. He could turn on POP in his mail settings and then it will download the messages to his computer automatically. Can he choose which emails to save? Sure, through the web interface.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Don from Huntington Beach, CA Comments

Don is planning to do home automation and wants to know if he should use Ethernet in the walls. Leo says sure, he could, but everyone is using wireless these days. Wiring is only really needed for high definition video. Everything else is wireless.

There's no set standard for home automation yet, and if Google and Apple get into it, we could see a standard soon. Leo does recommend the Smart Things Hub, which can handle various standards and make them all play together. It's pretty cool, but it makes Leo nervous because home automation is in it's infancy at the moment. If he already has the walls open, put Cat6 in it. That'll give him all the speed he needs for some time to come.

Watch Scott from Arizona Comments

Scott heard about Leo's feelings about Bose sound bars. Leo says he has no real issues with Bose other than that they are a bit overpriced in this current market. Bose did introduce everyone to mainstream high quality audio, so that's a good thing. But there are more affordable, and frankly better, options out there. The Andrew Jones Pioneer SB23 Sound Bar is one example. But if Scott likes Bose and can afford it, no reason not to get it.

Watch Brandon from Palm Springs, CA Comments

Andrew bought a new computer with Windows 8, but wants to switch to Windows 7. He wants to know if he can erase Windows 8, but still keep the Windows 8 recovery partition. Leo says that Windows 8 initially was confusing and it didn't really know what it wanted to be. But he's gotten used to it, and Leo says it's the future of Windows, so we might as well get used to it. Andrew just has to learn its quirks like just typing to launch programs.

The next version of Windows, code named "Threshold," is coming next year, and word is that it'll make Windows 7 users a lot happier. It'll be Windows 8, but refined with a full start menu.

Photo: "Windows 8 Start Screen". Via Wikipedia

Watch Ed from Valencia, CA Comments

Ed got his 88 year old aunt the Roku 3 so she can listen to the TV with headphones. Leo says that's a great feature, especially for those hard of hearing. Ed wants to know if there's a way to harness that capability by adding a mic and turning it into a hearing aid of sorts. Leo says that there's a ton of options out there which are far more comfortable and mobile. Like a smartphone with headphones, even with Skype. Home Theater Geeks episode 209 is a great episode on the importance of hearing.

Watch Dan from Upland, CA Comments

Dan has installed LastPass on his computers and his mobile phone. Leo says it's an excellent password vault. But Dan wants to have all devices time out after 15 minutes to lock it down. Leo says that's a good idea. There's a way to do this in the settings. Leo says it may be that the automatic password option has been checked and that's why he can't get it to time out and demand the password to reactivate.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Francine from Palm Desert, CA Comments

Francine's daughter is moving to a remote area in Washington State and wants to know how to get wireless internet where she's going. She streams a lot. Leo says that without access to DSL or Cable, she could use WISP providers. She could also consider a 4G wireless connection with a MiFi card. But they'll come with bandwidth caps that she'll run through pretty quickly. Satellite is an option, but it's got high latency and also has bandwidth caps. If she can't get satellite TV, then she can't get internet service. But if she can, WildBlue is the best. But it's not cheap.

Watch Suzanne from Carlsbad, CA Comments

Suzanne is looking for an expense app for her iPhone and desktop. Leo says he suggests using a cloud based option to minimize the hassle of syncing. Mint is a great option, and they use the same clearing house that the banks use -- Yodely -- so security isn't a worry.

The Chatroom says that XERO is the latest cloud based accounting option. But if she just wants to keep track of her expenses, go with Mint. She should make sure to turn on second factor authentication if she has the option, but sadly Mint doesn't support it.

Watch Gail from Covina, CA Comments

Gail's husband is into photography and uses a program called CAMRanger. Leo says that's a great app for syncing a camera to a computer or mobile device. Many cameras are using that tethering capability natively now as a result. But she's heard that CamRanger can fail, losing the images or requiring reinstallation of the software. Leo says it could be a bug, but he knows a lot of pros who use it and they haven't complained about a bug like that.

Leo says that for the studio, it's great. But when out on the road, suddenly CamRanger isn't all that practical. EyeFi cards may work.

Watch John from Santa Clarita, CA Comments

John answered an ad for car wrap advertising, but he thinks he's been scammed. Leo says that yes, it's a scam. They look professional, but they want to get his personal information and bombard him with spam. Check out ScamDetector. Never, ever give out personal information, especially a social security number.

Watch Brian from Rancho Santa Marquerita, CA Comments

Brian has an old XP machine that's starting to crash more often. He has to remove the hard drive and run check disk to fix it. But when he puts it back in to his laptop, it read the MUNC file, so the computer can't do anything. Leo says he can reinstall Windows, that could fix it, but it's likely a hardware issue and it's only going to get worse over time. The best solution is to have it repaired. But at that age, it's likely cheaper to just buy a new computer.