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Episode 1144 December 14, 2014

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Devon from Long Beach, CA Comments

Devon wants to get an iBuyPower Gaming PC. Is that a good brand? Leo says that iBuyPower makes great computers and at $495, it's a great deal. The games that Devon wants to play aren't really all that demanding, but still, it depends on what graphics processor and card he's going to get. For video games, the GPU is the workhorse. The NVidia GE Force GT610 is a good one.

Another interesting option is a new small computer by Alienware, called the Alienware Alpha. It looks like a console, and it starts at $549. It can be powered by Intel i5 or i7, comes with NVidia graphics cards, and it's meant to challenge Playstation and XBox.

Watch Dale from Brooksville, NY Comments

Dale is having issues with his Windows Vista PC where programs will just stop running. He gets a time out message that the program is not responding. Leo has a hunch that the program is just running really, really slow and it's likely the hard drive is getting flakey. Leo advises backing up the data and replacing the drive. Leo recommends going with a solid state hard drive. They're getting less expensive now and it'll be far faster. Then he can use a spinning drive for his data.

Watch Dale from Brooksville, NY Comments

Dale has a Canon 70D that he uses for video at his church. He made a 4 minute video and when he loaded it on his Mac, the audio was really choppy. Could it be because it was recording at 160p? Leo says yes. The Mac is having trouble handling the frame rate. He could probably burn it to a DVD, and it would be fine. But it likely just can't keep up with playback.

Watch Frank from Orange County, CA Comments

Frank has a Dell E520 with SATA hard drives running Windows 7. But his son has PC games that only run on XP. Leo says he'll need Windows 7 Ultimate or Pro to run them in XP mode. But he may be able to run in compatibility mode.

Can he just put XP on a separate hard drive and run it dual boot? Leo says that can be done as well and he can then run a boot manager like Easy BCD. Then he can choose which version of Windows he wants to run on startup. Leo does that on his Mac all the time with Boot Camp. But he'll have to be careful using XP online.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Paul from Riverside, CA Comments

Paul got an Epson Workforce 3640 and he just can't get it to work. It won't print anything. Leo says to be sure he has the most recent drivers. It could be a broken printer, requiring Paul to return it. Paul should make sure he installs the driver before he plugs in the printer. It could also be a failing USB port.

If it's WiFi enabled, he can try connecting via Wi-Fi. But Leo has a hunch there's something going on with the setup of the PC. Leo also says to try printing a test page from the printer itself. If it prints, then he'll know that there's nothing wrong with the printer. That would then point to a connection issue. Either a cable, the USB port, or something going on in Windows. He should try printing from a secondary computer as well. If that works, then he'll know the computer is the issue.

Watch Jack from Middletown, CT Comments

Jack has an original Chromebook which he gave it to his daughter and it's now broken. Leo says that's not a bad thing since there are better Chromebooks out there for around $200. But Jack also has a Windows Surface RT tablet and he's wondering what Microsoft was thinking! He thinks it's useless.

Leo says that Microsoft realized that, and doesn't even sell the RT anymore. It was so confusing because it couldn't run software from one Windows platform to another, but it was an attempt to do what the iPad does. It failed rather spectacularly as an ill conceived experiment.

Watch Richard from Grand Rapids, MI Comments

Richard wants to know what the "meantime between failures" means. Leo says that it's the time that a hard drive will live, or the average life span of a hard drive. But Leo says it's pretty much a made up number. They take 1,000 hard drives and run them until a handful die. Then they extrapolate how long the hard drives could last. It's mostly meaningless. Google and Rackspace have both released studies and 98% will last about 2 years, 2% die in the first year, and then they die at about 4% per year. That's just based on their experience.

Watch Willy from Florence, CO Comments

Willy got an LG Vista and he doesn't like how big it is. Leo says at 5.7", it's ginormous. Nice, but very huge. Willy is considering carrying it in a special wallet case that's inside his pocket. Will the cellphone signal demagnetize the credit cards in his wallet? And will it interfere with calls? Leo says no. He has a similar pouch and neither has happened to him. There are several cases that have doubled as wallets and they work well.

Watch Marco from Chatsworth, CA Comments

Marco is thinking of buying either a Samsung 55" 4K LCD or an LG OLED 1080p TV. Which should he buy? Leo says that OLED is amazing and it will actually look better than the LCD 4K by Samsung.

Marco shouldn't worry about future proofing, because the 4K standard hasn't been defined yet and it's very likely a 4K TV bought today won't be as good as it can be down the road. He should wait to buy 4K until after the standards are set. Right now, there's no reason to get it. So he should go with the OLED. That's what Leo did, and he loves his.

Watch Kurt from LaHabra, CA Comments

Kurt found a website called to get a great deal on a PS4, but he found that he can only pay by money order or Western Union. Leo says that sounds like a scam. Scamadviser says it's a scam. There's a host of others as well. And it's very hard to get a refund if he doesn't pay by credit card. So let the buyer beware.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Kelly from Arkansas Comments

Kelly has an old Casio Brigade phone, but it can't hold a charge anymore, so he got a new Samsung Galaxy S5. But when he's out in survival training, he isn't much of a fan of the battery life. Leo says that the battery life isn't all that great, but the good news is that he can swap out the battery. He should buy a bunch of spare batteries and then he can swap them out in the field. And he can even buy a solar charger and charge them up when not using them.

He can also get the Anker 7500 mAh extended battery case. There's also the Jackery External battery charger that has up to a 10,000 mAh battery and can charge up to 2 devices at a time.

Watch Avis from Santa Ana, CA Comments

Avis is remodeling her home and she wants to wire her home for three computers, security cameras, and her home theater. Leo says that will require a high speed connection with all that video data. It's hard to future proof, but as long as she has the walls open, she should put conduit in. That way, when she needs to upgrade, it's a lot easier to run new cable through it.

Leo advises Cat6 Ethernet for now, which carries 1GBps of data along the network. A 10GB Ethernet connection. Remember, the higher quality the wiring, the more data it can handle. If she can't afford that, Cat5e is good as well.

Watch David from Burbank, CA Comments

David's computer started to get the dreaded bluescreen of death and he took it to the Geek Squad to get it repaired. They said it was a virus and sold him WebRoot. Leo says that the Geek Squad couldn't have been more wrong and just sold him an antivirus software he didn't need. Almost always, the problem with BSOD is either a driver or hardware issue. BSODs only happen as a result of accessing ring 1 memory on the computer and that's only drivers or hardware. Malware won't result in a BSOD.

Watch Ken from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Ken has a problem with his monitor. All his icons have turned to negative. He tried to change the cable, and he even tried another monitor. Leo says it may be that his settings were changed. Ken should go into accessibility and see if it's set for high contrast mode. But when he unplugs it and plugs it back in, it goes back to normal. Leo says that's odd. Leo says to update the drivers on the video card. If it rights itself when he tries again, that points to a hardware issue and Ken should try replacing the video card. If the video card is on the motherboard, he'll need to put a third party video card in.

Watch Ronnie from Anchorage, AL Comments

Ronnie is thinking of getting a Google Nexus Player and he saw a video where someone side loaded Google Chrome on it, making it a $99 computer. Should he get one? Leo says no. First, he'd have to unlock it to side load and hack it via USB.

But it's interesting and could turn the device into a $99 Android device for the TV. He may have had to modify it to do that. Leo advises going to XDA Developers and look it up. Now Leo has to look at it again!