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Episode 1114 August 31, 2014

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Bob from Danville, CN Comments

Bob has a MacBook Pro from 2011 and wants to know if there's a new model coming out. Leo says that 2011 MacBook Pros were subject to a recall, so Bob should check that out first.

Should he upgrade his computer with an SSD? Leo says that's a good idea and he advises getting the Mercury SSD from MacSales.com. They're 1 to 1 compatible with the Mac. He should make sure his SATA Bus is fast enough, though.

Bob is wondering if he should have a regular hard drive too. Leo says that unless he's doing video editing or photography, he won't really need a large hard drive anymore. Most stuff is kept in the cloud now, so a large hard drive isn't really required. What really slows down a computer is Disk IO (input-output) and an SSD upgrade will speed that up. So he may not need to buy a new computer, just give the old one a makeover.

Watch Renzo from Fort Lauderdale, FL Comments

Renzo says that he is using Google HelpOuts, which uses Google Hangouts, to provide counseling services. Leo says that this is a great idea for those who wish to help others and Google doesn't seem to publicize this enough. Users can learn to play an instrument, get psychotherapy, and tons of other options through HelpOuts.

Find Renzo's Counseling/Therapy Session here.

Watch Jonathan from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Jonathan has a laptop running Windows 7 and wants to double his RAM to 4GB. Leo says that's a good idea but he wouldn't go beyond that if he's running 32 bit. Online sources include Crucial.com, TigerDirect, MicroCenter, there's plenty of others. But Crucial will help him pick the right memory for his specific computer and has tools to help him install it.

Watch Jonathan from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Jonathan is ditching his iPhone 5s and moving to T-Mobile. He's trying to decide between the HTC One, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Google Nexus 5. Leo says that the Nexus 5 is the pure Google experience with no added "skins" or bloatware. This means it will always get updated right when Google releases a new version of Android. Leo likes the HTC One, but it's a bit smaller. Leo isn't a fan of Samsung because they put too much bloatware on their phones. The Galaxy S5 isn't bad, but has a cheap plastic feel to it. Another advantage of the Galaxy S5 is that he could remove the battery and swap it out.If he roots his phone, he can change it to anything he wants.

Another good phone is the One Plus One, but he would have to get an invitation to buy it. At just $350 for 16GB it's the best phone out there for the price. It has a great camera, better than the Galaxy S5. Leo also says that the Motorola Moto X is another contender because of it's digital assistant capability. If he decides to go that route, he should wait until Motorola reveals the Moto X+1, which will come out in the next week.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Dan from Tehachapi, CA Comments

Dan is on his computer for about an hour and a half in the morning, then another hour and a half in the evening. Dan is wondering if he should shut down his computer during the day, or leave it on and have it go into sleep mode. Leo says that modern computers handle power pretty well. He can choose in his power saving control panel a variety of different schemes, but the default should be fine. It will go into a low power mode that only uses a few watts, even less than what a light bulb would use. During the day, if he's going to use it off and on, that's what he should do.

Dan is concerned that his computer could wear out faster if its left on. He says the tower itself is warm. Leo says that when it's sleeping, it should not get warm like that. If it's in sleep mode, it is ok to leave on. Leo says that if he's away for more than a day, he'll shut it down to save power. But as far as the computer wearing out, there's actually an argument to be made that switching it on and off periodically will actually wear out the components faster than leaving them on. Leaving it on will not wear it out faster though, so Dan will be fine leaving his computer to handle power consumption on its own.

Watch Dennis from Montgomery, AL Comments

Dennis installed the OS X Yosemite beta on a separate hard drive, which has been working great. Now he wants to make a bootable image of his current Mavericks installation to a USB key. Leo says OS X has a boot manager built in, so he can hold down the option key while booting up and choose which operating system he wants to start up in.

Leo recommends making the boot image with a program called SuperDuper. Among other things, it will make a bootable backup -- an exact clone of the internal drive on an external drive. It can even run on a schedule to keep the drive entirely backed up. It's free, but there is a paid version with additional features. It will make a bootable backup on any USB device, too.

Leo says he could probably use DiskUtility, which is built into OS X, and he could probably Google it to find instructions to create bootable image anywhere. But Leo says SuperDuper is an easier way to do it.

Watch Jeff from Raleigh, NC Comments

Jeff is looking to get a MacBook Pro for college and he's wondering if there's a difference between the dual core and quad core processors. Leo says that quad core is more about speeding up rendering times than anything else. The higher end 15" model uses an NVidia Iris Pro GPU, which would be a more noticeable difference from the lower end models.

Watch Jeff from Anaheim, CA Comments

Jeff has an iPhone 4 and wants to know if there's an app that will map his travels through his GPS. Leo says that Glympse is a great app that does that if he wants people to know when he's going to arrive. Google does it natively at Google.com/dashboard under Location History, but he'd have to enable it in Google Maps.

Leo says that Apple has stopped this practice, though. It was mostly used to improve their location data for Wi-Fi. But there was an outcry over it, and they no longer do it. The iPhone also has location based advertising and reminders.

Watch Chris from Miami, FL Comments

Chris bought a fourth Airport Express, but now the wireless client is broadcasting the Wi-Fi information by numbers, not names. So he has no clue what devices are what. He says it happened after upgrading the software. Leo says that's baffling, but he has a hunch it's the device's MAC addresses.

The chatroom says that the ARC table is full. Leo also recommends rebooting and resetting the router to clear that out. But since Chris has done that, it can't be the ARC table. So this is a mystery. Leo says that it's normal not to see names in that table. The Time Capsule is in Bridge mode, and it can only see the MAC address. So he would have to look in the DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol). Two devices running in DHCP can make it even worse. Chris should put one in bridge mode. Only one router should be in DHCP mode.

Watch Steve from Canoga Park, CA Comments

Steve has a car stereo and he wants to connect it to home speakers. Leo says that he's got the resistance mismatched which could cause some damage. Steve will need a step converter to be able to handle it. But many believe that there's not enough mismatch to worry about it. An impedance matching transformer would fix it, as would two speakers in parallel.

Watch Greg from Camarillo, CA Comments

Greg has been using AVG and he's ready to move to another option. Leo says he's not much of a fan of AVG, and instead recommends Microsoft's Security Essentials. Windows 8 doesn't need it since it comes built in as Windows Defender. But for Windows 7, Security Essentials is best. Leo also recommends not running in administrative mode, and he should demote his account to "standard user."

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Joe from Simi Valley, CA Comments

Joe is getting his first smartphone and he's looking at Walmart's StraightTalk which offers unlimited talk, text, and data. Leo says that unlimited doesn't necessarily mean true unlimited. After a few GBs, they'll throttle it down to an almost unusable speed. And StraightTalk is an MVNO through AT&T or Sprint. So he'll have to check what network he would be using, and what the coverage is like in his area.

Walmart will also have a great deal on the older phones as well. Does it come with games? Leo says that no, but he can download hundreds of games, and they're mostly free (called Freemium). He'll have to be careful because they charge for in-app purchases and those can really add up.

Leo also says that the HTC M8 is a nice phone but it's only on Verizon. Joe should also check out T-Mobile. They have a $30 unlimited web-only deal. It includes 100 minutes a month, so if he doesn't make many phone calls, that's a great bargain.

Watch Eliot from Fontana, CA Comments

Elliot has discovered he may have malware on his computer. When he hovers his mouse over an item in his browser, he loses control of his mouse. Leo says that it's likely an issue with Elliot's wireless mouse and chances are, he needs to change the batteries or reinstall the drivers. This is why Leo only uses wired mouses. Get a wired mouse, they're cheap.

Watch Sean from Rhode Island Comments

Sean has heard that SSDs lose sectors over time. Leo says all hard drives do that. SSDs, though, use wear leveling to make sure that all sectors wear out equally. That's why he uses all SSDs in his computers -- they're very robust. SSDs are now getting cheaper in price, too, making it affordable to use for everyone.

Watch James from San Diego, CA Comments

James just bought a 3TB hard drive, But Windows XP only sees less than a TB. Leo says that's not surprising. The bios of the computer may not see all the hard drive, but the OS is so old that it may not see it all either. For 3TB, he would need GUID. He can partition the drive into smaller chunks, though. He'll need a disk manager to do it. The XP Disk Manager should be able to handle it.

Watch Jim from Woodland Hills, CA Comments

Jim wants to buy his own modem and send back his Time Warner modem. But they say he has to keep it because of his telephone service. Leo says that may be true, since cable phone service uses VoiceOver IP and the cable modem box may require it. So if he is going to use his own modem for internet, then he'll need a splitter to divide the internet traffic. And that's why Leo hates cable monopolies. His only choice is his cable company. He'll get about 1-2 Mbps with Netflix at best. And that likely means a downgraded quality of Netflix.

Watch Ooma from San Juan Capistrano, CA Comments

Ooma needs a new computer and she's heard that Quickbooks and Excel doesn't work well on Mac. Leo says that there is a Mac version of Excel, and there is an online version of Quickbooks, but it's better to use in Windows.

Will Windows 7 be supported for awhile? Leo says yes. Microsoft will support it until at least 2020 for extended support, but Microsoft will end mainstream support in January 2015. Security wise, they will support it through 2020. Leo also says this is why Microsoft is pushing Windows 8 hard. Windows 9 is next year, too. But Ooma has until 2020 to change OS.

Intuit is updating Quicken for Mac, but he's not sure it'll be feature for feature. The good news is that she can use Windows on a Mac. She can either run it through BootCamp or use VMWare Fusion or Parallels to run it virtually, and it works really well.