Joe's wife can't remember the login on her old Windows computer. Leo says that on older Windows Vista computers, security isn't as good as it is now. There used to be a hidden administrator account. Leo recommends trying "administrator" or "admin" with blank password. If that works, she can get in and create a new account to move her stuff over too. There are also programs that she can run that can crack the password. NT Crack is one. But to use it for college?
Wade has a Chromebook and wants to know how he can scan with it. Leo says that the Epson All-In-One will scan to Google Drive. He can set up his Chromebook with Google CloudPrint and Google Drive, and then he can scan directly to it. Leo says that a Chromebook really is the answer for most people because they can store everything in the cloud and it's just simpler, more secure, and there really isn't anything you can't do with it.
(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor)
Stacey wants to know if a Chromebook can run Microsoft Office functions. Leo says that it can run Google Docs, but it won't run Windows apps like Office. Google Docs has a spreadsheet program that's almost as good as Excel, though. She's also having trouble using the trackpad. Leo says to just buy a mouse, plug it in via USB, and it'll be just like a desktop.
Alan wants to know how to find a reputable computer tech. Leo says thats the conundrum, because there are a lot out there. It's also hard to find because it's hard to make good money. All the good guys are getting swooped up by startups. There is Geek Squad and Nerds On Call. Leo's heard bad stories from the Geek Squad, though. The Apple Store works by design, because they keep it all in house. Leo says that the prices are so low on computers now, it's almost not worth it to have them fixed. There are better choices for the home user like a Chromebook or a tablet.
Barry uses a Chromebook to transfer his images to an external hard drive, but now he can't open it in Windows. Leo says that issue may be that the Chromebook formatted the hard drive in a format that Windows doesn't recognize. It's likely formatted in a Linux format, like EXT 2 or 3. Barry can get an extension to Windows that will be able to translate it. Check out Ext2FsD.
Dave needs a new computer for Christmas. He's thinking of going with a tablet that will have its own internet access and drop his broadband at home. Leo says that iPads and Chromebooks aren't usually desktop compatible, but he could get them with 4G/LTE internet. But that's really only practical if he'll be moving around a lot.
Chromebooks are a great, inexpensive and simple solution for kids. But you may have discovered that it's not as simple to set up tools that allow you to limit and manage your kid's internet access. Hidden in the Chromebook, however, is a setting to allow creating "Supervised Users" which will give you the ability to keep an eye on your kid's activity.
John wants to lock down his internet for his kids. Leo says that the trick is to block it with OpenDNS from the router itself. Change the DNS settings on the router to block it. Then he'll need to lock it down on his system to prevent changes.
Dave has been holding out for Windows 10 because he thought Windows 8 was terrible and didn't upgrade to it. Leo says that Dave's instinct was spot on. But Windows 10 is lightyears ahead, and in fact, you could call it Microsoft's apology for Windows 8. Windows 10 is very similar to Windows 7 in feel. However, the world has changed, and a general purpose device is no longer the way we compute. They're a security issue as well as being overly complicated and unreliable. This is why tablets and smartphones have taken off.