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Episode 1409 July 30, 2017

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Brian from Thousand Oaks, CA Comments

Brian wants to know if he can use a Chromecast to actually broadcast to a network. He has a company and he wants to be able to hold sales meetings with one computer running all TV screens and Chromecast content to all in the meetings. Leo says no. Chromecast is a 1:1 device and no computer can broadcast to more than one screen at once. He can use the Wavecom Jr., which is an RF broadcast solution that will enable him to broadcast via radio to each screen which has a receiver attached to it. That's one option.

He could also probably use Raspberry Pi to create his own custom solution via Hoopla. They're the cost of a Chromecast and would give him many more options. They also have Windows built into them. He can even build them into small boxes that he can velcro to the back of the monitor.

Watch Daryl from New Jersey Comments

Daryl bought a Chromebit device that turns his TV into a computer. Leo says that's a great little cheap computer, but it's a bit limited in RAM and power. But for basic surfing on the net, it's a good basic solution.

Watch Micah from Portland, ME Comments

Micah called in to talk about the last flight of the 747. Both Delta and United have decided to retire the iconic airliner, and this week they had their last domestic flights. They will still be used for international flights.

He also has to print CDs and needs a printer to do it. What are his options? Leo says that printing directly on the CD is nicer, because the label can become detached over time and damage the CD player. Epson is the last printer that can print directly to a CD. He ends up going through a lot of costly ink, much of which he doesn't really need. Is there a better way? Can the EcoTank printer do the job? Lightscribe printers were a good option, because they would etch it into the CD itself. But that isn't made anymore. Micah could get one on eBay, but the sad fact is that optical media like CDs are dying out in favor of streaming.

(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor)

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jerry from Hatfield, PA Comments

Jerry runs a dart tournament and he runs it on a spreadsheet through his mobile phone. He wants to use a laptop instead to make it easier for him. Which one should he buy, and can he have two internal drives in it? Leo says that can be done and he'll want to use an SSD for his primary drive. They have special software called wear leveling that extends the life of the SSD. They are more reliable than spinning hard drives because there are no moving parts.

Are they repairable? He wants one that will last a long time. He can look at models from Asus and Acer, but the Lenovo ThinkPad is more robust. It's business grade and Leo recommends the T Series. They have screws in the back and he can replace things when they break. ThinkPads are very repairable.

Jerry also wants to broadcast the data onto a TV. Leo says he could use Chromecast and DLNA. Scooter X says he can broadcast to several screens with a special adapter from troypoint.com.

Watch Peter from Escondido, CA Comments

Peter is having problems connecting his Echo to the internet, but his computer is still having problems and he thinks it has died out. Leo says it's probably coincidental that the computer went down, but it may be related since Peter said the connection interrupted and a power surge may have occurred. If Windows was indexing the hard drive, it could have spewed a word salad of 1s and 0s, making the hard drive unreadable.

Is the data recoverable? Leo says he should fix Windows using the repair function in the installation disc. It will then run and reinstall files that are corrupted. If the data isn't important, you can always just start over and format the hard drive and then reinstall windows. If there are physical errors, he can use SpinRite to move all the data around bad sectors in the hard drive. It will try and read every sector and won't give up until it does. Then it will add a bad sector to the bad sector table. The boot record may also be damaged. Since Peter is blind, he should have a technician fix it.

Image By William Warby from London, England (Hard Drive) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Watch John from Amityville, NY Comments

John has a mobile studio in an RV that he uses to allow people to cast anywhere. They use the TriCaster and his question is about saving all the streams on hard drives. Leo says that backing up that data and saving it is important, but he can spend a lot of money saving it all. Leo only saves that which is pertinent to the show, although he records 24/7 for replay purposes. But then they edit out dead footage for the online archive.

John should check out Quick-Cast.com.

Image By Solomon203 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Watch Keith from Coachella, CA Comments

Keith is a fan of the Amazon Echo because he is vision impaired. Leo says that the Echo is great for accessibility because he can talk to it and get the necessary replies. It's not perfect, though, of course. It doesn't make phone calls yet. Right now, he could "drop in" and make phones calls to other Echo users. Some day someone may make a skill for that, but Google Home, by contrast, will be able to make a call to any phone number via Google Voice. So for that option, Google Home is the better option.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Paul from Sunset Beach, CA Comments

Paul can't get into his business Facebook account and he doesn't know how he can get help with Facebook. Leo says that all he can do is contact Facebook. Paul should check out this help page at facebook.com for more.

Even more importantly, he shouldn't rely on that page. It's important to have a presence on Facebook, but he should make it in addition to a website he has built and controls. He shouldn't let a consultant be the middle man either. If they disappear, he can end up not having control of his site, like Paul did here with Facebook.

Watch Seth from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Seth used to work in the film industry and the backup storage that they have is up to 10 petabytes of storage and growing. A single film digitized can generate 4TB of space at 5-6K resolution. Leo says that's really not bad because storage is pretty cheap these days for maintaining archives.

Seth's network has been breached and now he has to improve his firewall. He also does streaming and he can't cast from his MacBook to his LG TV because it's hardwired to his network. Any other gadgets he casts with can, but his laptop can't. Any ideas? Leo says that Chromecast may be a good option for Seth. It's cheap at $35, it's simple and based on DLNA. AirPlay works the best, though. Leo suspects the traffic is being blocked by his firewall. He should look in the settings to see if it's preventing wireless to go into the network that way.

Watch Phil from Aurora, CO Comments

Phil wants to know if redundancy in backup is really that important. Leo says that it's vital, and not only that, but he'll need off site backup as well. Is Carbonite necessary? Leo says it's valuable, but he could also just leave a second hard drive at work or at his mother's house and just swap them from time to time.

(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor)

Watch Steve from San Diego, CA Comments

Steve wants to know if so called clickbait stories are a good way to advertise. Leo says no. In fact, they will do the opposite and give him a bad reputation. People think that clickbait stories are bad advertising and have begun to consider them fake news. It's better to invest in Google Ad Words. There's no better advertising than word of mouth, so he'll want to zealously guard that.

Watch See from City of Industry, CA Comments

See wants to create an online dating site, but is low on cash. Leo says that See could probably find someone who would be able to build the site for a piece of the pie. The problem is that he could end up with a situation like the Winklevoss Twins, who teamed up with Mark Zuckerberg, who then took the idea for Facebook and made it work without them. Ideas are really a dime a dozen, and most venture capitalists invest in the business plan, the people behind it, and not the idea itself. See should check out eLance.com for the tech skill to do it.

Watch David from Orange Park, FL Comments

David bought a new HP convertible laptop, and HP has made it so he can't use third party charging systems through the USB C port. Leo says that's anticompetitive, and HP is one of the few companies that does it. It just makes people angry that they are locked into using proprietary accessories with a standard open source port.

Leo suspects that maybe it's just an issue of needing more wattage since he can charge with it while the computer is turned off.