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Episode 922 October 28, 2012

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Gary from La Verne, CA Comments

Leo says if the monitor doesn't get a signal from the VGA card, it'll turn off, but it could be several things. Check the monitor, then the cable. Those are the easy things. If those things are working, then the computer may be failing on boot. That usually sends an error message, though. Another possibility is that the the power supply may be failing. He could try replacing that too.

Watch Alexander from Russia Comments

Alex has written an app that helps with eye strain while using a computer, and is wondering if he should port it to other platforms. Leo says it depends on what the app was written in. Alex wrote it in C++. so Leo advises transitioning it to RT. For Apple, he could write in any language he wants, but he'd need to do it on a Mac. Objective C is good, native choice.

Watch Rick from Oklahoma Comments

Leo says that's a good question. There's the issue of privacy and security, but also the issue of giving ISPs and Cloud controllers too much power. Amazon could cancel his account and books, music, online games and movies could disappear since people don't really buy these things. They just "license" the right to read them.

Watch David from Saint Louis, MO Comments

The answer is yes and no. He can, but he needs to use DYNE DNS to port it first. Then he can host it. The biggest issue is going to be the bandwidth. Because he's serving, the key stat is going to be his upload speed. At 5 Mbps, if 100 people go to his site, it'll go down. Hosting his own email service could also violate his ISP's terms of service because of the potential for spam. If he has a good, "enlightened" ISP, they may offer him a static IP.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Glenn from Georgia Comments

Glenn is torn between the Asus Zenbook Asus UX31A and the Acer Aspire. Leo says to hold off because the new Windows 8 machines are gorgeous.

Windows 8 is a major shift for Microsoft, and Leo thinks it's great for a typical users. It's a compelling interface with touch as well. Leo suggests going to a Microsoft Store to check out the Surface RT, especially with the optional type keyboard. It's very interesting, especially for traveling.

Watch Dan from Ontario, CA Comments

This is why it's important to make your own recovery discs as a backup just in case. If the recovery no longer works, the recovery partition may have disappeared. The chatroom says to try using the F11 key, not the F8 key for Gateway. Worst case scenario, he'll have to call Gateway and ask them to send physical recovery discs. They should do this for a nominal fee.

Watch Adam from Hesperia, CA Comments

'Pinging' is a method of directly contacting a site just to confirm there's a connection there. According to the chatroom, if he has too many devices on his FiOS router, it could be preventing the router from connecting temporarily. Each device takes up an entry on the NAT table (Network Address Translation). Size limitations on that NAT table could cause the router to choke.

Watch Henry from Escondido, CA Comments

Windows comes with both 64 and 32 bit versions of IE, because there are some utilities like Java that don't run on 64 bit. Java does have a 64 bit version, however.

64-bit Windows is really only utilized on systems with more than 4GB of RAM. If he doesn't have that, there's no disadvantage to running 32-bit Windows.

Watch Virgil from Denver, CO Comments

All PCs with recent versions of Windows come with a utility called "Narrator." It's in the accessibility tab in Settings. If he needs something beyond that, Leo recommends a utility called JAWS, but it isn't cheap. There's also open source versions, like NVDA and ORCA. Those probably aren't as polished as the paid option, though.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Nathan from California Comments

Nathan is a gamer and wants to get a high end laptop. The games he likes to play are flight simulators. Leo says that a good choice may be a Windows 8 Touch laptop. The Asus Zenbook is a gorgeous Ultra Light. But Alienware makes laptops specifically for gaming. Another great gaming company is Falcon Northwest.

Brandon in the chatroom likes to use the Asus G74X gaming laptop, but it's not light at 7 1/2 pounds. He says that if Nathan's using a flight simulator, he'll want a high power CPU, so that's where to put his money.

Watch Von from Kentucky Comments

Leo says that as long as Von is in a VPN, she's OK. When she isn't using a VPN, however, she is broadcasting in the clear. Since there are often security holes in Windows, she'll want to make sure she keeps Windows up to date. If there's something that really needs to be secured on her drive, she'll want to use encryption. Then even if someone could gain access to her computer, they couldn't get access to those files.

Windows comes with good strong encryption called "Bitlocker", but she should be sure to backup her certificates. There may be encryption provided by her laptop. If there's a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) on the computer, that will provide very strong and safe encryption. There are also third party options, such as TrueCrypt. She could set up an encrypted folder, where anything she put in it would be encryped.

Von also wanted to know about the D-Link 505 Router/Firewall. Leo says that'll buy her a little bit of extra security and that's never a bad idea. However, there's no substitute for encryption. There are also secure flash drives like the IronKey, which will encrypt anything kept on that drive.

To help manage passwords, Leo likes LastPass. She can use the free version, but there's also a $12 pay version which gives a few extra features that Leo likes. It also comes as an app for iOS and Android. Using it in concert with Google Authenticator for secondary authentication will really keep her secure.

She can also turn on two-factor authentication in gmail. This episode of Know How shows how to make your tech life more secure.

Watch Deb from Lomita, CA Comments

These are called "Freeze Panes", and it's under the 'View' menu in Excel.

Watch Kevin from North Carolina Comments

Kevin is a Linux guy who runs two different flavors of the open source OS. He's having one issue though and that's with playing YouTube videos on Savion Linux. The people in these YouTube videos appear blue! Leo says it would've been a flash issue if it was true with either version of Linux, but with Savion only? That's crazy! So it must be a color issue (that Leo has dubbed "Smurfing.")

The chatroom says that the last big update Adobe did of Ubuntu flash and nVidia video cards will get this issue. Check out this site. One thing he can do is turn off hardware acceleration. This article on YouTube video in Ubuntu may be of help as well.