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Episode 1004 August 11, 2013

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jennifer from Laguna Nigel, CA Comments

Jennifer doesn't have a smartphone, yet she's paying $80 a month! Leo suggests going to Verizon and getting a cheaper plan. Jennifer is due for a new phone though, so she's considering upgrading to a smartphone. She's never been an Apple user, having only used Windows on her computer. She's wondering if Android would be better for her, but there are so many options. There always seems to be something new. She's a professor at a community college and she doesn't want to look too "uncool." So she needs to get up to speed.

Leo says that Windows Phone 8 may be a better option for Jennifer since she's never used a smartphone before. It's clean, fast, and easy to use. Most students probably have iPhones, so that's also a good choice. It really comes down to what Jennifer is going to use it for. Verizon has a few nice Windows phones like the Lumia 928. It's reliable and deals with Outlook nicely. Outlook is something that Android and iPhone aren't as good with.

Leo recommends waiting a month to see what the iPhone 5S will be like. By then, the Moto X will be out as well. Both will be very nice first smartphones along with the Lumia 928.

Watch Michael from Norfolk, VA Comments

Michael is a mariner for the Navy and he likes to load his mobile phone with TWiT podcasts before he goes out to sea. As much time as he spends out at sea, he just uses a 'pay as you go' phone. He really likes the Nokia 1020 though. He's wondering if he could pay full price and not pay for a data plan with it. Leo says sure, and he'll be able to do everything except make phone calls with it over Wi-Fi.

Leo says to get the phone unlocked. Then he can buy local SIM cards in the countries he'll be in. He just has to be sure the phone supports the radio bands of where he's going. Amazon Wireless often has unlocked phones, but Leo gets his from a company called Expansys.

If he's in good standing with AT&T, he could go to them and tell them what he does, and say that he needs an unlocked phone. They should be willing to do that.

Watch Ben from South Carolina Comments

Ben's parents are going to Las Vegas and he wants to know if they should get a Windows tablet or an Android tablet. Leo says at $229, the Google Nexus 7 is a no-brainer.

If they need a larger screen, as Ben's mother does, then the Windows Surface RT with a type cover may be the way to go since it's $150 cheaper now.

The chatroom says if he buys the Surface RT refurbished from Microsoft, he can get the type cover as well for the $350 price.

Watch Carole from Orlando, FL Comments

Carole says whenever she downloads TWiT netcasts in HD it stalls a lot. Leo says it's probably due to the age of Carole's PC that it's having trouble keeping up with the stream. If Carole prefers HD video, then a new PC may be her best choice. Or go back to the standard definition options.

If she's been streaming the HD and dealing with a lot of buffering, then downloading the video first is likely the best possible option. Streams like Netflix can't be downloaded because of copyright protection, though. Buffering is just the nature of the streaming beasts. If it buffers excessively, though, then that could be a bandwidth problem. It comes down to how much data she's getting, and how fast her internet connection is.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Kevin from Memphis, TN Comments

Kevin is looking for an alternative to Adobe's Creative Cloud since he thinks that $40 a month to use Photoshop is too much. Leo says that Adobe has been wanting to do this for a long time. Adobe is afraid of piracy and have figured out they can make more money by renting out the software instead of selling it.

Here are some other solutions:

Check out for more.

Watch Paul from Santa Monica, CA Comments

Paul's monitor is only displaying part of the picture, and he can't see the bottom of pages he visits. Leo says it sounds like a refresh rate issue, which could be an incorrect driver. He should check the monitor settings and change the size and position of the picture on the screen. He should play around with those to see if he can fix it, and look for an "auto-adjust" button.

Watch Donnie from Riverside Comments

Donnie is looking at a security DVR setup and he's concerned about the "Linus" operating system. Leo says it's likely a proprietary version of the Linux OS. He can check out to find all the flavors of Linux.

The Chatroom says that "LinOS" is an embedded OS that runs on electronics like security units.

Watch Jonathan from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Jonathan is going to college this fall and will be studying 3D applications like Solidworks and engineering. Leo says Jonathan will want to get a PC with an i7 processor for more performance, and 8GB of RAM. Those are the two top requirements he should consider.

Watch Rob from Tarzana, CA Comments

Rob has a video projector that he uses with his PC and Mac. He can get it to mirror on the Mac, but it stopped working on Windows. Leo says that an update could've broken the connection. Or it could be that the mirroring option was disabled. Rob should try a different resolution and see if that works. 1024x768 is the basic resolution. Sometimes a projector doesn't support the full resolution. Macs work easier while the Windows side is more tedious to get to work.

Watch Rob from Tarzana, CA Comments

Rob has a Nikon D7000 DSLR and wants to improve his sound with an external mic. He was thinking of getting a Rhode, but they're a little bit pricy so he's wondering if there's something a little less expensive.

Leo likes the BeachTek. It plugs into the camera and would allow him to use any professional XLR mic. Unfortunately, the BeachTek is just as much as the Rhode mic would cost, so that's not saving him any money. Leo has a mic on backorder that would be less expensive, but he won't be able to speak to its quality until he gets it.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Gil from Northfield, CA Comments

Gil is a graphic designer and wants to know if there's a laptop that has a Wacomb Syntique monitor attached to it. Leo says that would be awesome, and many touchscreen laptops do have Wacomb digitizers. If he wants Syntique capability, he'll want 256 levels of pressure. Wacomb has been licensing it for some time. The Galaxy Note Tablet also has it.

Many cartoonists like the Windows Surface Pro tablet. There's an article here.

Watch Jack from Riverside, CA Comments

Jack is getting the dreaded Windows Blue Screen of Death on boot up. Leo says it has to be a driver if it crashes on boot up. First, boot holding down the shift or F8 key and get into the boot screen. He should choose 'logged mode' so it will log what is happening. Then he should reboot into safe mode so he can read the boot log. The last line in the boot log will be the driver that is causing the crashes. He can then uninstall that driver, and download and install a new driver.

Watch Yvette from Compton, CA Comments

Yvette has a USB key with music on it and she wants to play it in her car. Leo says that some cars come with USB options, but Yvette will probably need a third party head unit radio that will support that. Or, she can get a small computer that plugs in. Satechi mades the Soundfly, an MP3 player that supports USB drives. It comes with an FM transmitter built in.

Watch Geri from Riverside, CA Comments

Geri's computer is taking forever to open files. She's thinking that she has to reinstall Windows to get it running right. Leo says that may be the best option as the hard drive may be hard to read in the current configuration. Formatting the hard drive and reinstalling Windows will get it back to it's clean and tidy condition. She should back up her data first, though.

She can run the Windows Install and choose the "repair" option first. If that doesn't work, then it may require a reinstall of Windows. She may want to get a new hard drive as well.

Watch Steve from Culver City, CA Comments

Steve wants to know if he should get an extended warranty on an old Dell Inspiron laptop. Leo says no, that Dell is only worth about $200. If the computer breaks, it's just cheaper to buy a new computer.

Extended warranties are revenue streams for retailers. If it fails, it's going to likely do it in the first year. One thing to consider is to see what a comparable laptop will cost and then compare it. If he can't replace it with anything comparable, it may be a good deal. Generally speaking, they aren't a good deal.

Watch Wes from Outer Banks, NC Comments

Wes has a six year old MacBook pro and he's ready to upgrade. He's concerned that he can't upgrade the newer versions because of how they're manufactured. Leo says that Apple wanted to get more capacity and battery life. To accomplish that, they sealed the laptop around a huge liquid battery that takes up a lot of room. So users can't upgrade them anymore. It may also be that they don't want people to upgrade their computers, they want them to buy new ones.

Watch Greg from Springfield, IL Comments

Greg bought a used Samsung Galaxy S2 and it worked for a month before a previous owner blacklisted it, preventing him from using it. Leo says Greg likely bought a stolen phone. He can unlock the phone and that would allow it to be reactivated again. Then Greg can put an AT&T SIM in it and use it again, but it's dead with T-Mobile.

Since they T-Mobile store wouldn't do anything for him because the phone was blacklisted, Leo recommends going to Gazelle's eBay store and buying it there. At least Greg would be protected then. This is why Leo doesn't generally recommend people buy phones from Craigslist.

Leo also says if he goes to T-Mobile, he should just ask them for a free Galaxy S2 with sign up. He might be able to get them to do that.

Watch Davey from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Davey got bit by the ransomware virus which demands he pay $300 to unlock his computer. Leo says do not be fooled. Just format the PC and reinstall Windows. He can try and remove it, but he'll never know if there's other viruses that have been installed as well. Reinstalling Windows is the only way to be sure it's been removed.