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Episode 1470 March 11, 2018

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Sam from Las Cruces, NM Comments

Sam is trying to decide on a phone for his wife. He was thinking of getting a phone that runs Tango. Leo says that Tango is awful. Took expensive. Lousy battery life. And Google doesn't support it anymore. THey're going with AR Kit. But AR really isn't the reason to buy a mobile device. It's just a gimmick. But having said that, Samsung's S9 does it, and it's a great price with some great features. And it does have AR emoji, though Leo thinks they're a bit weird.

Watch Jane from Oceanside Comments

Jane had DSLExtreme and she recently lost access to it. She says that DSLExtreme wants to come into her home and install fiber. Is that a good idea? Leo says it will be a bit more expensive. One possibility is that AT&T may be up to something. THey could be cutting the copper in your neighborhood, which is a bad business practice. AT&T is cutting the copper in your neighborhood and trying to get you to sign up for uVerse, which uses fiber optics. It's just like cable, only faster.

Watch David from Los Angeles, CA Comments

David has high end 17" Windows 7 laptop, but he's having issues with his optical drive after being reinstalled. Leo says there's a bunch of things it could be, like a damaged player or a broken cable. Since it happened after a reinstall, it may have missed the DVD player driver. David should check his device manager to see if Windows sees it. If it's not in there, then he'll need to install the drivers in order to use that player.

Watch Naomi from Denver, CO Comments

Naomi has a Ring doorbell and wants to know if she can back up the video and images to her NAS. By the time she gets the notification from it, the person who rang the doorbell is already gone. Leo says she could Live View it. Leo suspects that Naomi may have a bandwidth issue with her ISP. Ring goes to the Ring servers before contacting her, so there's probably latency in her network due to being in a rural area. Leo says a motion sensor camera could ping her faster than Ring.

(Disclaimer: Ring is a sponsor)

Watch Pete from Clinton Township, NJ Comments

Pete is looking for an MP3 player because he doesn't know how to copy music to his Android phone. Leo says not many mp3 players are made these days. He can copy files on an Android phone by simply dragging and dropping when his phone is in transfer mode. It's called MTP mode. The phone will show up as a drive on his desktop and then he can drag and drop into the music folder of the phone.

If he still wants a standalone device, he could get the FiiO X1. It's around $100 on Amazon and it will play mp3s from a microSD card.

Watch George from Santa Monica, CA Comments

George FaceTimes a friend in Australia and lately he can't see his video stream. Leo suspects it's a bandwidth issue on the Australian end. That's a long way, and there's latency issues and more. He should have him check with his ISP to see what his bandwidth is. He may need more for HD video.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Laurie from Santa Monica, CA Comments

Laurie has been having shut down issues on her MacBook Pro and has been told by an Apple Genius that it's because of FileVault being turned on. Is that causing problems? Leo says absolutely not. That doesn't impact the Mac at all. There's no hit to performance either. FileVault is a good idea because it will keep her data encrypted in case her laptop gets stolen. Leo says what's more likely the case is that her battery is bad and that Apple will replace it.

Watch Michael from Kansas City, MO Comments

Michael wants to know if he can get the programs off his TIVO. Leo says it was possible with the Series 1 TIVO. But now the data is encrypted, so it's almost impossible to decrypt it and copy it off. TiVo does have a feature called TIVO to Go, but the only way he could really do it is to exploit the analog hole. That will lower the quality a bit, but he can use the analog connections that would go to his TV and connect them to a recorder. Then he could play the content back and record it in real time. It can be complicated though, because of HDCP. He can bypass it, but technically and legally, it's piracy. It's also fair use because it's a personal backup copy, though.

Michael can get a so-called HDCP Stripper, which will bypass that copy protection.

Watch Kristi from Apple Valley, CA Comments

Kristi is having trouble with Firefox loading. Leo says it's likely a problem with an extension. She should start up Firefox without the extensions, and it's likely it'll start right up. If it does, then she'll know it's a bad extension. Would that also cause Java not to work? Leo says that no, that's a separate issue, and every browser has a "Disable Java" option. Another thing to try is resetting Firefox with this how-to at

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Timothy from Fresno, CA Comments

Timothy started a new job and he's using a 5-year-old Mac Pro. Leo says that's not that old, actually. Leo prefers them to the recent models. Tim says that there's not a lot of RAM — only 4GB. Leo says that 4GB is OK for most things he'll do online and for documents. But he recommends running the activity monitor to make sure all the RAM is functioning. Sometimes, though, a program doesn't release the RAM when it no longer needs it, and it may be that is what's happening here. The hard drive may be slowing things down as well. If the drive is old, it could be dealing with hard to read sectors. That could easily slow things down.

He could format the drive and reinstall the OS to see if it speeds things up. If it doesn't, then that indicates that the hard drive needs to be replaced. Leo recommends replacing it with an SSD. That'll really speed things up.

Photo: By Evan Sims (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Watch Jake from Dallas, TX Comments

Jake swapped out his smaller SSD with a larger one on his computer. Leo says that Jake could just keep that drive as his software only drive and then use the larger drive for data. He could even combine multiple drives into a RAID for redundancy. He should keep in mind that using RAID 0 may be fast, but it's also less reliable because if one drive fails, it all fails. RAID 1 would give him data security by making multiple copies of the same data. RAID 5 is what is common now, and that offers the best of both worlds.

Watch Steven from Ashville, NC Comments

Steven has a large vinyl record collection and he wants to digitize it. He bought a Behringer U-Phono USB interface to connect to his turntable so he can do it. What software should he use? Audacity? Leo says it's popular because it's free, but it's not the easiest app to use when digitizing a lot of records. Leo recommends a more automated option. DBPowerAmp is a good option, but there's also RipVinyl for $10. Magix has one, but it's pricey at $100. He could also consider VinylStudio.

Watch Stan from Victorville, CA Comments

Stan has a bunch of Amazon Echo devices all over his house, but he's having issues with the one in his garage. Leo says that the garage may be too far from his router. He should try bringing it into the house and using it. If it works there, then that means he just doesn't have a good signal in the garage. If it doesn't, then the software may be damaged, and he can just reset it back to defaults to reload the software.

Watch George from Victor, MT Comments

George bought a computer that had Photoshop and Illustrator on it and the software disappeared during an update. Leo says that if he bought a computer that had an illegal copy on it, he would expect Adobe to notice that there's a pirated copy when he used it. If he can get the serial number, he can then reinstall it with the proper number. Leo also suggests that he try using Affinity Photo instead.