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Episode 1565 February 10, 2019

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jeff from Bakersfield, CA Comments

Jeff has a ten year old Dell XPS computer and it still works great. However, the newer games are only DirectX11 compatible and Dell says he has to get a new computer. Is there a card for him out there? The power cables are 6 slot and the new ones require 8 slot. Leo says he can get an adapter, but that age computer means it will be PCI, whereas the latest video cards are PCIExpress. Modern games use both CPU and GPUs in concert. And Jeff's power supply is probably underpowered. Leo recommends, however, to get a GTX1060 or GTX960 for that computer, but he shouldn't go any higher than that because the computer won't be able to benefit from it. The challenge is going to be getting a PCI version, and his is PCI version 2. There's not a lot out there and he may need to get a used one. Better yet, he should head over to PCPer and look at their suggestions for a low end gaming computer. For a few hundred dollars more, he'll have a new computer that can handle gaming.

BC in the chatroom says that he has a GTX780TI in his, and it works great for gaming.

Jonathan called in during the third hour to say he has a ten year old Dell and he said his card is PCI Express.So Jeff may be ok in getting a new video card, but he may need a firmware update on the motherboard.

Watch Paul from San Diego, CA Comments

Paul got an Obihai 200 and now does VOIP with his phone and Google voice. It's not perfect, but it does work. Leo says that the big issue is 911, but Paul said that he can get 911 with CallCentric for $1.50 a month.

Watch Brian from Nashville, TN Comments

Brian travels a lot and would like to have a travel router to protect him from an open and unsecured internet. Leo says he uses one when he travels and it not only works as a firewall, but it also turns into a wireless hotspot for multiple devices. He uses one from TinyHardwareFirewall.com.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Neil from Phoenix, AZ Comments

Neil bought a Helm email server on Leo's advice. He also bought a domain through Hover to use with it. This is a home email service, and the idea is that you put your email on a server that runs in your own house instead of trusting a service like Google to handle it. Neil is wondering how to back the device up. Leo says one of the things he gets for $99 per year is that Helm backs it up over the internet. What's cool is that the contents of the email on the local server is encrypted with a key that only Neil has access to. Helm even provides a secure USB key to decrypt the backups. Neil wants to know how to notify all of his contacts that he has a new email address. Leo says he can set a vacation responder that will tell anyone who emails him that he has a new address, and Leo even recommends not giving that address out in the auto response. Then he can choose who he wants to give the new address to when people ask him for it.

Neil also wants to know how to bring his contacts and calendar to it. Leo says Helm supports the standard contact and calendar syncing, like CalDAV and VCF, and have a synchronization server built-in.

(Disclaimer: Helm and Hover are sponsors)

Watch John from West Palm Beach, CA Comments

John dual boots with Windows 7 and Windows 10 on separate SSDs. Now the SSDs have died. When he replaced them, his power supply died. Did the hard drives do it? Leo says that the power supply may have contributed to the SSDs dying, but not the other way around. After replacing it, his spinning hard drive has died in less than a year. Leo says that large capacity hard drives can die at any time, and the older they get, the more likely they will. They might not fail, though. But after less than a year, it's odd. Leo thinks that it's likely the higher density drives, which Steve Gibson says make him nervous. Leo recommends also going with a NAS, with smaller drives in a RAID configuration, so he can just replace them. Getting an enterprise drive will give him better performance. Like the Western Digital Caviar drives.

Watch Joe from Looking Glass, OR Comments

Joe's HTC smartphone finally died, and he's looking to upgrade the phone in his car to an Android system. Can he do that? Leo says that he probably can, as the screen mirrors the phone through the head unit. But there are a lot of limitations. Leo says that he'll need an Android Auto head end and he'll have to connect to it via USB, and it won't charge his phone either.

Watch Peter from Ohio Comments

Peter has an old Walkman, which is about 40 years old. But when he presses play, the cassette plays for one note and stops. Leo has a hunch that the motor in the walkman is probably worn out. If it can play other cassettes, that would point to the cassette that's gone bad. It could be fixed, but Leo suggests digitizing his entire cassette collection because the older they get, the more likely they will start peeling off the oxide coating and he'll lose his music. He should get a Crosley Cassette player and digitize them. He can convert them to MP3 and get an mp3 player or a smartphone to play his music.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Vidak from Sacramento, CA Comments

Vidak wants to get back into video and is thinking of doing it with a smartphone. Leo says that a smartphone video has gotten really good, but there's still some shortcomings. If you want to be ultra portable, Leo recommends the new DJI Pocket OSMO. It can do 4K video and literally fits in your pocket. But if you want to do stills as well, then still camera shoots excellent video.

Watch Max from Boca Raton, FL Comments

Max is having issues with his TV speakers on his Vizio D series TV. He keeps hearing audio coming out, even when it's off. Leo says that today's modern TVs don't really turn off anymore. They just go into a very low power mode. Leo suspects that Max's Xfinity cable box woke his TV up through HDMI. Leo recommends putting the Vizio into Eco mode and it will turn off. Then, he should turn off CEC in his TV settings.

Watch Chris from Lakewood, CA Comments

Chris is a professional proofreader and he wants to transfer everything onto his Microsoft Surface PC. How can he do that? Leo suggests using Microsoft OneDrive and storing everything in the cloud. That way he'll have access to the data anywhere he goes. And any changes will be saved for use when he's at his desktop. Another option is GitHub.

Watch Mariam from Prescott, AZ Comments

Mariam is getting popups on her Android phone all the time and it's driving her nuts. Leo says it sounds like she installed something onto her mobile device that's causing it. She should look at her apps and see what she's installed lately. She can see it at the Google Play Store under "My Apps." She should install everything she doesn't use or want. Push comes to shove, she can reset her phone back to factory defaults. But she should try clearing her device cache and browser cache first.

Watch Henry from Prescott Valley, AZ Comments

Henry has a few Amazon Echos and wants to know if he can turn his lights on/off with them. Leo says absolutely, but he'll need smart home lights that support the Echo. Philips Hue is one brand. But there are plenty of others out there. He can also get smart switches that enable him to turn things off with his voice. He should search Amazon for "works with Alexa" devices.