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Episode 996 July 14, 2013

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Pat from Oceanside, CA Comments

Pat has about 200 VHS tapes and 8 Tracks that she wants to digitize. Leo says that there's probably a good chance that many of the tapes will be so degraded, they'll be unwatchable. She could convert them or pay to have someone to convert them, but why bother when most of what Pat has recorded off the cable box is now available to stream from Netflix or Amazon Prime? That would require an internet connection and a Roku box though, or better yet, she could get an iPad. It also may just be cheaper to buy the movies you've recorded on DVD.

If she still really wants to convert them, she has to remember that 200 tapes, 2 hours per tape, would be 400 hours of converting. She can buy a VHS to DVD recorder, which will probably be the easiest way to do it.

Watch David from Temecula, CA Comments

David has trouble with cellular on his property and he needs a signal extender. Leo suggests a MicroCell from AT&T (also known as a FemToCel). It connects to his internet and becomes it's own cell site. Then, while he's at home, he can use his internet connection as a cellular connection.

Watch Taylor from Corona, CA Comments

Taylor wants to get a PC with a copy of Windows 7, but he's having trouble finding one. Leo says that's by design because Microsoft wants people to buy Windows 8. Leo's not much of a fan of the "modern UI", but he's found a way around that with Stardock's Start8 utility.

For $5, this brings the start menu back, can customize the background, and more. Or, he can wait until Windows 8.1 comes out in a few months which has numerous improvements including the return of a Start button and the ability to boot straight to the desktop.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Bill from Ohio Comments

Bill convinced his girlfriend to use Eset Nod 32 on her five year old computer, but now it's starting to freeze up. So they decided to buy a new computer and now it's also having trouble on the new machine. Once they uninstalled it, the machine is working again!

Leo says that if the computer came with McAfee installed, even if he uninstalled it, there may be some bits left that's causing the issue. They have a removal tool which can clean it up. He should also be sure that Microsoft Defender is turned off.

(Disclaimer: ESET is a sponsor)

Watch Phil from Newport Beach, CA Comments

Bill wants to know if Windows backup is as good as options like TruImage. Leo says that they do two different things.

TruImage is just a snapshot of the hard drive that can be restored should something go wrong and he needs to get it back fast. Backing up is just making another copy of his data somewhere. Both have merit and both should be used, but one does not replace the other.

Here are some great backup programs:

Watch Gabby from Santa Rosa, CA Comments

Gabby has taken a video vertically with his iPhone, but when he uploads it, it shrinks down to half the size. Leo recommends opening the video in iMovie and cropping it. That could eliminate the shrinking of the size. Leo also says that the resolution the phone is set in could be the issue. The software that's handling the upload isn't reading the resolution correctly, obviously. Leo says that making it 16x9 should solve the problem.

Here's a good article on Exporting Videos for YouTube using Final Cut.

Chris Marquardt says it could depend what his phone's orientation is while playing the video back. The upload is obviously reading the orientation information.

Watch Jake from Goldendale, WA Comments

Jake wants to know what web based email is best for avoiding spam. He gets a lot on his Yahoo Mail account. Leo says that gmail is the best and he can make his spam filter even better by telling gmail what is and isn't spam. It will then add it to its black list and he won't get spam again.

Watch Jake from Goldendale, WA Comments

Jake is on disability and is wondering if there are any programs that may help him get a new computer. Leo suggests trying a computer recycling center to see if they have any programs like this.

From the chatroom, BigJinge says there may be some veteran groups in the area, and Riddler says he could check with United Way. Another suggestion is to get a Chromebook since they are very affordable at around $250.

Watch Dale from Muskegon, MI Comments

Dale's browser has been hijacked after downloading some freeware from CNET. It even hijacked his aministrator rights so he couldn't uninstall the program.

The chatroom says that CNET Download Manger may have caused all this because the user has to say no to the download manager as well. The CNET issues started about a year ago, according to the chatroom. There's even a forum post on CNET's own forums about it!

Leo finds it annoying that companies are adding all this nonsense in the hopes that people won't pay attention. It's a scam and CNET should be ashamed for doing it. There's plenty of promises on Google to remove it, but they can't because the malware (Proxy AllSearch) is constantly changing.

BleepingComputer.com has some very good articles on how to get rid of this. So Dale should go there. If it doesn't work, his only choice will be to start all over and format his hard drive and reinstall windows.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

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

LaHell wants to do presentations with his Android Samsung tablet. Leo says an iPad with an Apple TV will work best. He could get Apple's Keynote app on iPad which is the best presentation software out there for a tablet.

Since LaHell wants to connect the Android tablet to a projector though, those devices have a small HDMI port called MHL. He can then get an MHL to HDMI adapter which he can plug that into a projector's HDMI connection. Another option is to just run it in a browser. There's some great online options, such as Slid.es or Prezi.com.

Watch Pat from Forest Hills, CA Comments

Pat wants to learn how to become a computer programmer. Leo says that there's two schools of thought here: 1) learn a language to code in and get a job. 2) Get an old school computer education. The idea is to focus on problem solving mathematically. It would teach him to think like a programmer by test-driven design. There's some great online options including CodeAcademy.com, which will give him a Programming 101 intro to it.

Pat wants to write a program because he can't find anything to do what he wants. Leo says that's a time honored tradition, but certainly not for the average joe. He's better off looking for one or hiring someone to do it.

If he wants a new career, there's huge demand for it and learning the theory would give him a leg up.

Watch Pam from Studio City, CA Comments

Pam finally gave in and decided to get a 55" TV, but she doesn't need a "smart" TV, she already has Roku boxes, and more. Leo says that nearly all TVs are "smart" now, much like they all support 3D. She may not need it, but it's just part of the feature set. It's more expensive for us to buy, and the smart features are usually not so great, but that's the current state of the art, even if it does cost us more.

What's better, plasma or LCD? Quality wise, Plasma is better, but it's also highly reflective and it isn't as bright. It requires a dark room to really enjoy, so LCD is better in bright, ambient light. Most people prefer LCD. They're cheaper as well. Leo likes Samsung TVs. Leo recommends going to Samsung's store at Amazon and look at all the specs. Pam will probably have a hard time finding a "dumb" TV these days.

Another option is Vizio. Great value and performance for the money. They specialize in high quality, low price. The best TV, price aside though, Leo says is the Panasonic Viera.

Watch Angela from Van Nuys, CA Comments

Angela is doing some banking and she's discovered a different picture on Yahoo Mail, and it worries her that she's being routed elsewhere. Leo says she just has to look in the URL bar, where the address is yahoo.com. That confirms she's where she wants to be. Yahoo does have a protection site at protection.yahoo.com that has a photo verification for when someone logs into different computers, or to prevent people from being "phished" by a counterfeit site. She can be sure she's at the right site if she just makes sure to type in the URL, and double checks the URL beforehand.

Watch Sam from San Diego, CA Comments

Sam's son is moving to England for a few years and they're having trouble getting the right phone. Leo suggests going to Expansys, a british company that Leo gets all his phones from because they're all unlocked. He can also go to Verizon and they will unlock the phone natively so there will be no problem putting a local SIM in it and using it in Great Britain. AT&T will unlock a phone if he's in good standing and ask for it.

As far as laptops go, Leo says he'll want to be sure that the power supply is dual voltage, and most are. So all he'd need is a plug adapter. If he gets a Mac, he can pick up a European plug.