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Episode 1227 October 10, 2015

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Joanna from California Comments

Joanna just got a new job but she's worried because she doesn't know much about Excel. Leo says that learning the basic functions of spreadsheets are totally learnable, as is managing email. It's just a matter of doing it. Joanna doesn't need to know how to take apart a computer to use one. Being familiar with Windows is a plus since most businesses use it. Windows 7 is probably what the business uses. If they have Windows 10 and she's not comfortable with that, she could just tell them she's holding off on the update until next month's "Threshold 2" upgrade. That'll score some points. She should spend some time learning Powerpoint, as most businesses use Powerpoint for presentations. Leo suggests Joanna check out It's not free, but affordable and they have great training videos.

(Disclaimer: Lynda is a sponsor)

Watch Carlos from Brea Comments

Carlos has made the switch from iOS to Android and wants to be able to select a paragraph of text and then have Android read it. Leo says that iOS has great accessibility features and he doesn't think that Android can do that. But the new iPhones would enable him to select text and then use 3D Touch to bring up a cursor so he could highlight easier. Google's text to voice engine is very good though, but it only reads files. He should check the accessibility settings.

Watch Jay from San Francisco, CA Comments

Jay is thinking about getting the , but he's interested in DJI's new Osmo Gimbal based camera. Leo says that it looks like a gimmick. Having said that, the image stabilization features of the Osmo are fantastic for shooting video. Leo says to think of the Osmo as a GoPro with stabilization built-in. It's great for action camera shots, but does he want that for his main photo rig?

Leo says a still camera with built-in optical image stabilization, like the Olympus OM-D E-M5, does a great job and will get him much better images than the Osmo.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

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

Mike bought the 128GB iPhone 6s Plus and he's running out of storage space. Leo says that his iPhone shouldn't be his main storage device, as that's a single point of failure. Leo suggests putting his videos onto a cloud based solution like Microsoft OneDrive, Google Photos, or Flickr. He'll get a terabyte of storage free on Flickr, and Google Photos is unlimited. Mike can get them off of his phone, and then he can stream the videos directly there or download them back if he wants them. But Leo suggests doing it over Wi-Fi, because it'll use up his data cap pretty quick.

In iCloud, Mike should turn off contacts and calendar sync from iCloud and sign up for Google's contact and calendar manager. It's much better. Then once he cleans up his contacts there, he can turn iCloud sync back on and he'll have the same contacts on both services.

Watch Martin from Rancho Cucamonga, CA Comments

Martin wants to put a solid state drive in his 27" iMac. Leo says that adding an SSD is a great thing to do, but it's not easy with an iMac. Leo had his engineers do it, because he needed a special suction cup to lift the glass screen off to take out the hard drive and replace it. It's doable, but it's not for the faint of heart. Leo recommends going to and he can find a special step by step, along with the parts and tools required.

Martin should buy the drive from MacSales at Other World Computing. They specialize in Mac parts and he'll be able to get the right drive for his model of iMac. Leo says to look at his current hard drive to see how much space he uses for programs, but Leo says that 256GB is a good choice. And to transfer his data, Martin should try SuperDuper.

(Disclaimer: iFixit is a sponsor)

Watch Joe from Austin, TX Comments

Joe is looking to buy a new Apple laptop. Should he wait? Leo says that he expects a new Mac with the Intel Skylake processor to be announced within the next few months. But the news is that Skylake isn't that much more powerful than the last generation Broadwell. So if he really needs it now, there's no real need to wait.

Watch Joe from Austin, TX Comments

Joe has a Mac Mini and he has been keeping programs on the internal drive and data on his external data drive. He wants to move all the data over to cloud storage, though. But he has about 160GB of data with movies, music, photos etc. Leo says that the amount of data he stores in the cloud will be limited by his upload speed. To get an idea of what his upload speed is, he could take his download bandwidth speed and reduce it by 75%, then divide that by the amount of data he wants to upload. It could take months. There are some cloud storage services that will send a hard drive to copy data to. That could be the way to go.

Leo also recommends backing up images and video to Google Photos where he'll get an unlimited "High Quality" backup. He can also store the full image quality, but then it will limit him to 15GB. Other options for online photo storage is Flickr, OneDrive, DropBox, and iCloud.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Greg from British Columbia, Canada Comments

Greg wants to buy a quick charge charger. Could he damage his phone with a cheap one? Leo says no, but a cheap plug could overheat and catch fire. The quick charge circuitry is developed by Qualcomm, and they handle most of the processors in phones. So if it says Qualcomm on it, it'll be fine. But if it doesn't, then it's probably a cheap knock off. Even then, the wattage won't hurt his phone. Leo recommends Anker chargers.

Watch Frederick from El Segundo, CA Comments

Frederick has AT&T for his internet access. He's switching to Time Warner Cable and he's wondering if he'll get the 100 Mbps with the modem they'll be renting him. Or should he buy one himself? Leo says Time Warner will tell him what modems they support and he can then buy that. Leo recommends a DOCSIS 3 modem.

Should he get a modem/router combination unit? Leo says no. Use the router separately and daisy chain them together. He'll save a lot of money over the course of the year by just buying it himself. Leo likes the Arris modems.

As for routers, Leo likes the Asus AC3200. It's their top of the line dual band router, with two bands in the 5 GHz range. It makes sense to buy the router when buying the modem. The old router will be his weak link in the chain. The Wirecutter recommends the TPLink Archer C7, which is just under $100.

Check out this article from the New York Times on Wi-Fi routers.

Watch Jeff from Ventura, CA Comments

Jeff has a Windows 7 computer that's stuck in a reboot loop after updating to Windows 10. Leo says that his hard drive or Windows 10 could have crashed. Leo recommends doing a factory recovery, but he suspects there is a hardware issue.

Watch Nabile from Dana Point, CA Comments

Leo says this is a common problem on the iPhone as well. There are some programs that will help him see what is using up his storage, and should tell him more than just "other." Leo recommends Disk Inventory X. It will show him a graphical display using big colored blocks, and he can click on the blocks to see what is using up that storage. Leo would guess this "other" storage could be temporary files. It could also be stuff he deleted, that hasn't been completely deleted yet.

For Windows, Leo recommends Windirstat.

Watch Jim from Bellflower, CA Comments

Jim just bought an HP laptop with Windows 8.1, and he doesn't like the operating system. He's wondering if he can get Windows 7 instead. Leo says he could buy Windows 7, or he could call HP and tell them he doesn't like that operating system. It used to be possible to select Windows 7 on a new computer from certain manufacturers instead of Windows 8.1, but that's becoming less common now that Windows 10 is out. Leo says Jim will get an offer to upgrade to Windows 10 soon, and Leo suggests doing that. Windows 10 is a lot more like Windows 7. It's a good idea to run the latest operating system for security and reliability purposes.

Watch Gretchen from Costa Mesa, CA Comments

Gretchen's external hard drive has crashed, and she lost all of her data. What can she do? Leo says that she could use a service like DriveSavers to repair it, but it's not cheap. If anyone can do it, though, they can. But if they can't, it's lost. That's why Leo pushes backup. Three versions of the files, on two different formats, with one off site.