Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Allen from Hawaii Comments

Allen is going on vacation to Beijing, China next week and wants to know what apps he can use on his phone. Will he also be able to use remote desktop? Leo says they call China's restrictions the "Great FireWall of China," and access to the internet is strictly controlled and constantly changing what they block. Wikipedia has a list of sites that is constantly updated that shows what websites are blocked and what aren't. Another option is to check http://www.greatfirewallofchina.org/.

Google Maps looks to be blocked, which is ridiculous. Leo says that VPNs will burrow a hole through the internet and bypass it all. RDP is an option. But he should remember that he's a guest of China and it's probably best to play by their rules. Leo used a workaround when he was there called Posterous, but it's gone now. There are options like it, though.

Watch Richard from Santa Monica, CA Comments

Richard is having trouble linking Windows Live Mail and Gmail. What gives? Leo says to make sure that IMAP is turned on. Then, if he has two factor authentication turned on, he'll have to use the app specific password for his gmail account. Also make sure SSL is checked on the incoming and outgoing servers for Google. It's likely that an app specific password is required.

Richard wants to know if his computer should be able to read the contents of his tablet if he plugs it in. Leo says no. That's a security feature. He'll need a USB to Go port to do that. And if he's not seeing it, his tablet doesn't support it.

Watch Richard from Santa Monica, CA Comments

Leo says no, it shouldn't. It's to prevent people from stealing books that are downloaded on it. But since he has a Kindle Fire, there is a way to get user data such as photos and videos. He would need a "USB to Go" port, but Leo doesn't think the Kindle supports that. If he's not seeing it, it likely doesn't support it.

Watch Kenny from Temple, TX Comments

Kenny wants to know if the bend gate scandal with the iPhone 6 is legit. Leo says no, it's mostly hype. But by making a thin phone with a metal backing, it can bend. Consumer Reports says it takes up to 90 lbs of pressure to do that. And with a good strong case, it should be fine. There is a slight weak spot though at the bottom of the volume rocker, but that's true with all phones. In fact, the HTC One is even more bendable.

If you're careful with it, and don't go out of your way to try and bend it, you'll be okay. There's only been about 13 complaints out of 10 million sold. If anything, the more important worry is Apple's iOS 8.0.1, which broke a ton of phones. Apple quickly fixed it with 8.0.2, but Leo advises waiting a few days before installing updates just to be safe.

Watch Brian from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Brian's daughter is going to law school and she has a five year old MacBook. Leo says it's time to upgrade, and the MacBook Air is a great option. Should he get the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro? The Air is light and thin, but the Pro has a Retina display and faster processor. The Air has better battery life, though. So it comes down to portability vs. screen quality.

Should he get 4 or 8GB of RAM? If he's getting a Pro, he should go with 8GB. Should get an i5 or i7 processor? Leo says to go with the i5. The speed of the processor won't really matter. In fact, the SSD is going to be a bigger performance boost than a processor. 256GB SSD or 512GB SSD? Leo says to go with the 512 if he can swing it. If he can wait until next month, Apple is going to announce new computers.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch "Old Geek in the Bronx" from New York Comments

"The Old Geek in the Bronx" has an issue with a computer repair that the Geek Squad did, where they password protected the hard drive preventing access to the system. The Geek Squad denies they did it! Leo says that searching for "cracking a locked hard drive" on Google, he can find some solutions. Dell says they can unlock a hard drive if he would ship it to them. Hard drive passwords are very secure and difficult to break. And he'll probably have to buy gold support from Dell to do it, but he can.

The chatroom says there's a way to bypass the hard drive lock here: http://hackaday.com/2013/11/29/bypassing-seagate-ata-security-lock/. But Leo is doubtful. He should probably call Dell.

Watch Peter from Redlands, CA Comments

Peter has a bunch of videos that he's recorded and put on DVDs. He wants to put them onto a large thumbdrive. He copied the videos, but couldn't get the audio. Leo recommends using VLC Media player. He's probably not getting audio because the player he's using isn't able to play the file type properly. Leo also recommends using a href="http://www.handbrake.fr" target="_blank">Handbrake to rip the DVD and process it out to an MP4 that can be played on any computer. Download both of these utillities and then rip the DVD.

Watch Danny from New Jersey Comments

Danny wants to make videos for his kids at school who have problems learning. He got a podcaster kit and he's looking for a screen to go in front of the microphone. Leo says it's called a "Dead Cat." There's also a circular screen called a "pop screen" and Leo uses the BSW REPOP Pop Filter. But that's for a directional microphone. For omnidirectional microphones, it's called a Dead Cat.

What voiceover software should he use on the Mac? Leo says that on the Mac, he likes ScreenFlow.

Watch David from Atlanta, GA Comments

David wants to know if there's a way to do file copy in Windows. Leo says that Microsoft offers a command line utility called RoboCopy that is far better than Windows own copy utility. It has verification built in.

XCopy is another option from DOS days. It's designed for multi file copying. Both are done from the command line. It will also "fail gracefully" and resume as well, rather than drag and dropping. Third party options include FastCopy, but avoid getting it from download.com since it adds junkware.

Watch Laverne from Bronx, NY Comments

Since Apple is retiring iPhoto, she is worried about all her albums. What's a good alternative that will allow her to preserve those albums and keep using them? Leo says that Apple's new Photos app will be available for both iOS and OS X. And it'll be comparable to iPhoto and Leo suspects that it'll have all the same functions as iPhoto when it comes out next January. Until then, there are other choices. She can turn on Google Plus' automatic photo upload, which is essentially Picasa with various new features including AutoAwesome. It's a great option, and it's free.But remember that it'll take up data if she's doing it from her phone.

For Desktop Apps on the Mac, the Chatroom likes LYN. It's like iPhoto, for $20 and has a free trial. Adobe's Photoshop Elements is a good option. Collage.com would allow her to upload photos and make a book out of them. It's got web based software that would allow her to create a printed book much like iPhoto did. But even Apple just outsourced it. Blurb is another option. They let users download a program, create a book and upload it. And they've got gorgeous books, too, with full bleed printing.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Roy from Orange County, CA Comments

Roy's old mother has been looking at an electronic magnifying device to look at documents and photos. She won't use a tablet, though. Leo says that's a shame because they're very useful and she could reset the type to any size she wants. Plus she just wants to read the books she has. Leo says that's understandable. Leo says there's a program called Big Magnify for the iPad and iPhone will allow her to read a book by magnifying the image with the photo app.

Watch James from Sparks, NV Comments

James says that prices of cable and satellite services are escalating. What can he do to cut the cable and get the same programming? Leo says that content companies are raising prices and cable companies are just passing the cost along. Cutting the cable can be done by using streaming and buying ala carte channels. It would be great if he could do that and eliminate the middle man. He could also get exactly what he wants and none of what he doesn't. But the cable companies are standing in the way. That's where streaming and buying shows on iTunes and Netflix is beneficial.

The good news is that it's going in the direction that we want. They're just not going gently into that good night. Meanwhile, James can stream using Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and iTunes. He could use AppleTV, Roku, and Google Chromecast to name a few. There's a lot of options out there, but there's no single source that can offer all.

Watch Bob from Widby Island, WA Comments

Bob says he got an update pushed to his Samsung Galaxy S5 and it disabled the fingerprint scanner. Leo says that the same thing happened to the iPhone. Updates often break things and Leo wonders if they even test this stuff out before they push an update. Should he just give up on the Fingerprint reader then? Leo says no, it'll be fixed soon. Apple jumped on a fix ASAP. Just be patient. Especially if people scream a lot about it.

Watch Jeri from Austin, TX Comments

Jeri isn't getting her text messages through her laptops, and her carrier is AT&T. Leo says that text messages are through the cell phone. Leo says that the first time she logs in, the bank will send her a text. She'll then input the code and the website will know that her browser activity is legit. But she shouldn't have to do it every time if she has the box checked to "trust this computer." Then it'll trust it every time and not worry about it.