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Episode 908 September 9, 2012

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Dutch from Pleasant Hill, CA Comments

Dutch bought a Panasonic VHS to DVD burner, but it won't play on any other DVD players. Leo says that's because Dutch made a multi-session DVD. Or, it could be that he forgot to finalize the DVD. It also could be a different type of DVD, such as DVD-RAM, which could confuse a normal DVD player.

Since it will work on his computer, he should try ripping the DVD on his PC and reburn it. Windows Movie Maker or Adobe Premiere Elements would work. There are also cloning programs which he can use to just clone the DVD. CloneDVD by Slysoft is one Leo recommends.

Watch Neil from Bakersfield, CA Comments

Neil has a Samsung Galaxy Epic 4G and he'd like to be able to read the files from his flash drive on it.

Some phones can enter "host mode" so it could read another drive plugged into it, but Leo isn't sure his phone is capable of that. He could check out this article at XDA-Developers.com to see if his phone supports it. If it does, he's going to need a USB Host cable (miniUSB connector on one end, and a standard female USB plug on the other). Generally, it's only the newer smartphones that have that capability.

Most Android phones will be able to connect in "disk mode", which means the phone will connect to a computer as if it were an external drive. Then Neil could copy his files to it from his computer. He could also upload his files to the cloud and access them that way. Image files can be uploaded to PicasaWeb, and Documents could be uploaded to DropBox for example.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

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

It could be a malware issue. She could try booting into safe mode by holding down the F8 key, or maybe even the escape key, to load the minimum configuration to run. If that doesn't work, the motherboard may be going bad, or the hard drive is crashing.

Next, she can try restoring Windows by booting to her Windows DVD. Select the repair option, or if she has a backup already, she can reformat and reinstall. or reformat and reinstall. Leo says it's probably a good idea to just get a new hard drive while she's at it. They're pretty cheap these days.

Watch Steve from Nashville, TN Comments

Steve says he talked to Tech Support, and an Apple Genius, but had no luck. iTunes support says they're "investigating." Leo says that since credit card fraud is a serious problem in the iTunes store, his ID probably has been suspended until they discover the issue. If they don't contact him within a few days, email or write Tim Cook to escalate it.

Watch Steve from Mill Valley, CA Comments

Leo says that the easiest way is to import it to iTunes. Not all mp4s are encoded the same way, though, and it may not be compatible with the iPad. He did use Handbrake and used the iPad preset to encode it, so that should be fine.

When he connects the iPad to iTunes, it wants to erase the iPad. Leo says that's normal, and for copy protection reasons it won't let him sync that iPad to another computer. He could give his friend the file, he could import it to his iTunes library, and sync it to his iPad.

Another option is for his friend to select "manage iPad manually" when he connects it to iTunes. Then Steve should be able to drag files directly onto his friend's iPad in iTunes. He could also put the file in DropBox, and his friend could retrieve it with the DropBox app on his iPad.

Watch Steve from Mill Valley, CA Comments

Steve unlocked his T-Mobile phone when he went overseas, but when he came back to the US, T-Mobile locked it back down again. Leo said to ask T-Mobile to unlock it again, and they gave him a new unlock code. He can't get to the point where he can enter the code, though. Leo says he can try dialing the code in the dialer as if he's calling it, and that might unlock it.

Leo says when he gets his next phone, he should just buy it unlocked. It won't be subsidized, but then he can put other SIM cards in it and it will never be locked.

Watch Garland from Washington Comments

Garland says he's heard of DAC Industries, and was wondering what Leo thought of them. Leo prefers Crosley instead. They are designed just digitizing record and cassette collections. ION also makes some affordable options.

If he already has a record player and a computer, though, he can use what he already has. He can go to Radio Shack and get a preamp that he can then plug into his computer. Then he can just use Audacity to record it as it plays back.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

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

Unless the hard drive is 90% full, it won't be an issue at all. Even then, it might not actually make any difference. Installing more RAM will speed up his PC by as much as 20%, though. He can go to Crucial.com or Kingston.com, enter the model of his computer, and then he can find out what RAM he'll need. It's pretty easy to install it too.

Watch Douglas from Appleton, WI Comments

Douglas just got the Audio Technica AT2020, and was wondering if that was a good choice. Leo says that's a great, very affordable mic and is USB powered. If he's going to be podcasting with someone else in the same room, he'll need more than one mic, though. He would also need a mixer, unless he wants to do this through Skype.

Leo says to check out the Behringer Podcast Studio.

Watch Joanne from Ventura, CA Comments

Unfortunately, Leo thinks this computer isn't worth fixing anymore. The problem is, to get someone at Apple to even look at it would cost $150-$200, which is more than what that computer would be worth. Leo suggests looking at getting a newer, used computer. Apple has a refurbished store where they sell Macs that are as good as new for several hundred dollars less. She also could look into a used or refurbished Mac Mini.

Getting her data out of the computer is another matter though. If there's important data on it, then she does need to spend some money to have someone pull the hard drive out of that computer and connect it to another computer.

Watch Victor from Valencia, CA Comments

Leo says Mac the Ripper won't work anymore because the MPAA took it down. Leo recommends Handbrake and VLC Media Player to do it. That will enable him to rip his DVDs pretty easily. The Chatroom recommends a few:

He'll want to make sure that the software doesn't re-encode it, since he just wants to put it onto another DVD.

Watch Scott from Wisconsin Comments

Leo thinks this is a cold solder, which is essentially a bad connection. "Reflowing the solder" should fix it, though. The repair shop wants $100 to do this, but Leo thinks he might be able to just get a better, new graphics card. But reflowing the solder should fix it.

Watch David from Fort Lauderdale, FL Comments

Leo says that's by design in Mountain Lion. He could try Evernote if he's not happy with the Apple Notes app.