Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Kevin from Spokane, WA Comments

Kevin has an iPhone SE and it's not updating anymore, so he needs to buy a new smartphone. Leo says that there's a life cycle for mobile devices, and even though it works just fine, technology will pass it up, and it will seem slower than it used to be. Apple will support a phone for three years before it starts dropping them off the update cycle. The iPhone's battery also has limited charging cycles of about 500 full cycles, or 2-3 years. And as the phone gets older, Apple starts slowing the phone down to keep it from overtaxing the processor and overheating it.

Android ages even faster, and it's worse because not all smartphones get updated due to carriers deciding what OS updates it will provide. The actual OS update isn't as important as the security updates, though, so if he can get those, then he can keep it running. What Android phone does Leo recommend? Leo does like the Essential phone. It's a small company that is doing some great things.

Image By Kelvinsong (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Watch Allen from Marina Del Rey, CA Comments

Allen is a HAM radio operator and came across a website called HamSphere. Leo says it's a software-based app for the smartphone or a Windows device so he could listen to HAM Radio using the Internet. Leo says it's a simulation, but it would allow him to talk to HAMs all over the world. It's called software-defined radio and he can even have a special call sign. It's worth a try.

Allen should check out HamNation here on TWiT. Maybe Bob Heil will talk about it.

Watch Ed from Illinois Comments

Ed created a PDF document, but it's been updated and he can't access it because the software is costly now. Leo says the best way to protect his documents is by using "Print to PDF." Adobe Reader is free. Microsoft has a PDF printer that's also free.

Ed could also check out third party free apps like CutePDF Writer and PDF Creator. There are others. Windows 10 has Print to PDF built-in, as does MacOS.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Tom from Pasadena, CA Comments

Tom is having an issue with his Samsung 4K TV. The HDMI through his AV Receiver drops and he has to reacquire it. Leo says that it all comes down to his source. There's a feature called Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) that allows a streaming box to switch his AV Receiver automatically. It's annoying and happens to Leo all the time. So he should check his source in the AV Receiver. Then he should disable CEC everywhere. Samsung calls this feature "AnyNet Plus."

Another issue is that the HDMI can just drop the AV signal with a smart TV. But unplugging his system, while forcing a renegotiation, could cause other problems. It's best not to force it.

Watch Mike from Bakersfield, CA Comments

Mike is trying to connect his Echo to his Yamaha home stereo system, as well as his computer speakers. But when he starts playing it, it disconnects and plays on the Echo speaker. Leo says he'll have to set it up with the Echo app. The trick is to use the right command. He should be specific. For instance, he could tell it "Echo, play music in the living room."

The problem could be with Bluetooth, as the Dot may just drop the Bluetooth connection. The chatroom says that multi-speaker audio isn't supported with the Echo, so he'd have to hardwire it. Doctor Mom, though, says that works. She says the system may need repair. Hardwiring it may be the solution. Or he can just buy more Echos when they're on sale. This article at Tom's Guide could help.

Watch Walter from Georgia Comments

Walter wants to know if he can install LastPass into his browser to save his passwords online. Leo says there's a LastPass browser plugin that does just that thing. Then he can let LastPass choose his passwords.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

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

Tom wants to know if he can connect his Amazon Echo Dot to his car. Leo says you can, but you'd need to turn your phone into a hotspot for it to work. And it will reboot every time you start the car. Leo says that the Roav Viva may be a better option. Then you run the Echo app through it. $50. So it's the same price as the Echo.

Watch Jim from Cameron, WI Comments

Jim is having boot up issues with his computer. He gets an error on his SSD and Leo suspects that the drive is failing and the computer can't see the boot drive. Leo suspects that his SSD isn't meant to be a boot drive since it's an Intel hybrid drive. He shouldn't mess with it. It's not really two drives, it's one drive that appears as two.

Leo says if there's data on the drive, it's going to be tricky to recover it. The Dell recovery disks could help but chances are, he'll need a tech to get the data off it. It would be best to replace it with a dedicated SSD.

Watch Rick from Torrance, CA Comments

Rick switched to Google Fi and now the other carriers are offering unlimited. Should he go back? Leo says that Fi wasn't designed to be competitive, just transparent. So if he has a family plan and needs unlimited, then Fi isn't really practical. If he's getting a better deal with Verizon, Leo says that is likely a good move then. But he should remember that Google Fi is riding on three different carriers, so it offers him a wider reach in terms of signal and connectivity.

Watch Danny from Echo Park, CA Comments

Danny is a graphics artist that has a Wacomb Cintiq tablet/monitor. He also has a Mac laptop connected to a monitor. He wants to connect his Wacomb to his laptop along with the monitor, but it won't work. Leo says that Danny probably needs to connect his laptop to a Thunderbolt 2 dock, and then he could drive multiple monitors off it, including the Wacomb. The video card should have enough power to drive both.

Watch Ed from San Pedro, CA Comments

Ed needs a stereo that has a CD player in it, and can drive two speakers that have a dial. Leo says that CCrane is the best place to start. He can find great radios from them. They're the last great radio company.

Crosley also makes some gorgeous, old-fashioned looking stereos.