Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Christian from Nashville, TN Comments

Christian wants to know the difference between a router and a modem. Leo says that they handle two different jobs but some people get a modem that also works as a router from their ISP. Modem means "modulate-demodulate," and in the early days, it would take the bits and turns them into sound and then back again over a telephone line. Now they send the data digitally. Then it converts it into RF signals and back to bits.

Routers, by contrast, juggle multiple devices and route traffic to each individual device. It's like a switching station. Routers can also convert data into radio signals for wireless (Wi-Fi) transmission. Leo says that's why buying the modem and router separately is better than getting them from the ISP. They're newer, can be updated more often, and are more secure. You'll also save $10 a month on the rentals. But if they force you to use their modem, you can still get your own router and put the ISP's router into "bridge mode" to pass the traffic to the router.

Image By Tmthetom (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Watch Milian from Seattle, WA Comments

Milian wants to know why he can't use his maps app on his Samsung Galaxy S5. Leo says that Milian may have not given the app permission to use his location and as such, it won't access the GPS. But if it used to work, then there may be a hardware issue, like a flakey antenna. It may have a lose connection. He may want to go to the store and ask them to check it. If it's out of warranty, then it may be time to get a new phone and the timing is perfect since the Samsung Galaxy S8 is coming out this week. That will drop the price of the S7 as well.

Watch Monica from California Comments

Monica wants to know if she should turn off her TV when she leaves the room or can she leave them on as she moves from room to room? Leo says that TVs use a lot of power. LCDs use the least amount, though. It's about the same as a light bulb. So it's OK power wise. It won't hurt the TV at all since they're rated for over 50,000 hours each.

Watch Marcello from California Comments

Marcello got the Windows 10 Creators Update and now his sound won't work. Leo says there's a bug in the update related to the Sound Blaster sound card which changes the bit depth of the audio. Leo recommends going into the settings and changing it back to 16-bit. It may also be that X-Fi isn't supported, so he'll need to disable that feature. It's a known bug that Leo thought was fixed, but apparently it wasn't.

Marcello tried to roll back, but it failed. Leo says that will mess him up and he'll have to start over. Hopefully, he was properly backed up. If he tries again, though, will it mess up his sound? Leo says that eventually he'll have to take the update. They only give about a month. So if he has to do it, he should do it and then follow the explanation above to work around it. He should defer it as long as he can and monitor the Sound Blaster forums until he sees it's been fixed. Maybe by then, Sound Blaster will have a new driver out to fix it.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Marty from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Marty has a Samsung Note 4 that goes to a blank screen when he's on calls. Then he has to touch the power button to turn it back on. Leo says that there is a proximity sensor that turns off the screen when you put it up to your ear. That way your cheek doesn't hit any buttons on the screen. So it sounds like that sensor is a bit out of wack.

Marty could try resetting his phone, but if that doesn't fix it, it would be a hardware issue and that means either getting a new phone, repairing it, or living with it.

Watch Dennis from Santa Monica, CA Comments

Dennis' computer has a Western Digital Passport external hard drive that mounts, but it can't be read it or ejected. Then it crashes the computer. Leo says that it's a USB device that isn't fully mounting. It's probably an issue with either the USB controller on his computer, or the cable itself. Dennis should try using a different USB cable first. Then he should try plugging it into another USB port and see if he can replicate the issue. The USB driver may also be corrupted.

Another thing he can do is take the hard drive out of the case. Then he can use a temporary connector to test it. NewerTech has one for $30. Or he can just install it into his tower. If he can then see the data on the drive, then it's the USB enclosure and he can always just replace that. They're cheap. In fact, he should probably just do that. Conversely, he could put another hard drive into the USB enclosure and see if that works. Once he's eliminated the USB interface as the issue, then he can work to use a drive recovery utility like SpinRite to repair it.

Watch Ronette from Norco, CA Comments

Ronette would like to upgrade her Nikon D3300 and Panasonic Lumix G3 digital cameras. What would be the next level? Leo says that the next step would be to go with a bigger sensor, like full frame. That will give her more dynamic range and the ability to take in more light. Leo says that mirrorless cameras like the Sony A7 could work. They are remarkable, but many photographers prefer the 'through the lens' mirror design. The quality of the images would be the same, so it really comes down to preference. It has the same sensor as the Canon.

The A7S II is better in low light, though. But if Ronette went with Sony and its E mount, she would need to get new lenses. Then again, she may be able to get an adapter by Metabones that will enable her to use those Nikon and MFT lenses with her camera.

What about a portable printer? Leo says that a portable printer will never give her good photos. She's much better off coming home and printing. Epson and Canon both make battery powered portable printers, though.

(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor)

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Edward from Hollywood, CA Comments

Edward is thinking about buying a 27" iMac with a fusion drive because he hears it's faster. Leo says it is, but only faster than a spinning drive. It's not faster than a solid state drive. It made a lot of sense a few years ago, but now it really doesn't because SSDs have gone down in price.

If Edward needs a large drive, it's OK, but Fusion is only slightly faster than a spinning drive. It's better to get an SSD and then add an external drive via Thunderbolt. Leo doesn't care for Fusion technology. It really doesn't give the benefits they want people to think it does.

Watch Bob from Rochester, MI Comments

Bob just got his first smartphone, the LG Aristo. When he plugs it into his PC to charge it, a window comes up that says his update is seven years out of date. Leo says it sounds like a Windows message about a driver and he can ignore it.

Watch Mark from Arcadia, CA Comments

Mark wants to keep Windows 7 on his computer. How can he stop the update? Leo says that Microsoft won't push him to update anymore. That was when he had the free update option. Now they're charging for it, so they won't push him to update unless he wants to buy it. He'll want to be sure he keeps updating Windows 7 to keep it secure, though.

Mark's wife also lost the number keyboard function on her laptop after an update. Leo says that it's likely the numlock key broke or is dirty. Leo says to check the updates and make sure she's up to date. It could be a bad or corrupted update that has since been fixed. It could also be that the default settings are changed, or that the driver just needed to be updated. Chances are, it's been fixed by now. So update all the way and then check the laptop manufacturer's website for updated drivers.

Watch Richard from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Richard's computer sound system by Microsoft is having a problem where only the right channel is playing. Leo says that every cable should plug into something, so he should check and see if all his cables are seated. The cable that plugs into his computer could be failing. So try and replace the cables.

This system that Richard has is about 20 years old, so it may be time to get a new one. That model also has a USB connection option, which would be much better than the analog minijack. So he should try that. Logitech makes excellent computer speakers. Or he could go with Audio Engine if he wants a serious setup. They're more expensive but they are as good as his stereo. Bose also makes good ones in the middle range.

Watch Josh from Georgia Comments

Josh bought one of the last 17" MacBook Pros a few years back and he just got a message that Safari will not be supported by Google on it. Leo says that Google is starting to do that, and Apple isn't going to update it past Mountain Lion. So Leo recommends using Google Chrome. It'll be up to date. Chrome can also import all of his Safari bookmarks, too.

Watch Russ from Denver, CO Comments

How can I keep two separate folders in sync? Leo says to use Second Copy by Centered Systems. It works great. The other choice is Microsoft's Sync Toy, but it's not very good. Russ will have to be careful not to sync deletions. If he syncs deletions, it'll delete whatever was deleted on the other one. He'll want versioning.