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Episode 1284 May 1, 2016

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Dave from Escondido, CA Comments

Dave has noticed sometimes his text messages take up to 15 minutes or more to be delivered. Leo says that since Dave is using Verizon, they are using an old system called SMS, which uses cellular to transmit, rather than data. They use it because it's extremely lucrative, rather than using data-based schemes. That's why Apple has bypassed the carrier infrastructure with iMessage.

Dave could change carriers, or he could change numbers and get something like Google Voice. Then the text can be sent to up to five different numbers. It's pretty quick, even though it's using another gateway. It will also email him.

Watch Frank from Pomona, CA Comments

Frank is having trouble installing his Nest Cam. It won't work unless he turns off his firewall. Leo says that's not good. But it's the nature of a firewall, as it blocks a conversation between incoming and outgoing traffic. That's why Leo recommends using a router instead. He can also use the DMZ feature, where he could allow the Nest Cam to bypass protection. Leo doesn't recommend it, but it can be one option.

Port Forwarding is also one way he can do it. This pokes a tiny hole in the router traffic to allow it to operate. Port 9543 and 11095 are the ones. Frank should check his documentation on how to set it up. But he should never use Universal Plug n Play (UPnP). It's very dangerous.

Watch Jim from Oxnard, CA Comments

Jim's church has an auxiliary building that's about 300 feet away and they'd like to create a connection in order to broadcast the church service when they need overflow seating. Leo says he can create a directional Wi-Fi setup that will beam the service directly to the building without the need to deploy cable. He should check out this article at It won't cost any more than running an HDMI cable. He'd want to use baluns in that regard and run ethernet anyway, which would cost him money also. Leo recommends for inexpensive cabling if he decides to do it wired.

Watch Theresa from Garden Grove, CA Comments

Theresa is worried that her GMail will get lost on her mobile phone because it doesn't have a lot of storage space. Leo says that Gmail keeps her email on their servers, so she can always access it. The thing to pay closer attention to is her photos. Leo recommends offloading images to Google using the Photos app, as well as Apple's iCloud. There's also Flickr.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Chip from Cherry Hill, NJ Comments

Chip just upgraded to Windows 10 and he misses the notifications of network traffic in his system tray. Leo says that was a feature that was dropped several generations ago because there is a rich ecosystem of third party developers that can provide the same functions.

Chip should check out the Network Activity Indicator from

Watch Brandon from Kansas City, MO Comments

Brandon has an old laptop that he wants to put Linux on. What version should he use? Leo says that's a great thing to do and he can learn how to use command line tools through it. That's important if he wants to get into programming. Or he could use a Graphical Version on it. But Leo suggests going with a lightweight version.

Currently, Leo's favorite version of Linux is Debian. Leo recommends Googling the laptop and all the components. Then find out if there's Linux drivers for them. The GUI for it is XFCE. It's not pretty, but it won't bog down the laptop either.

Brandon could also use Xubuntu. It's easier to use, and it's built on Debian.

Watch Chris from Miami, FL Comments

Chris is worried about storing all his stuff in the cloud. If the cloud goes down, will he lose everything? Leo says that storing in the cloud is practical because we use multiple computers and as such, he'll need to have a central storage area for all of them to contribute to. But the downside is that if he loses access to the cloud, he'll lose access to the data. That's why having a local backup is so important.

Leo advises getting into the habit of exporting his data locally and then saving them to an external hard drive. He can do that with Google Drive and Google Photos. He can also duplicate his backup to multiple services including Flickr and Amazon Cloud Storage. That way if one goes down, he'll have another.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Kevin from San Diego, CA Comments

Kevin is interested in encryption so that nobody can snoop on his activity. Especially with Let's Encrypt, which Leo says will provide an encryption certificate for his website. It's free, too. To date, Let's Encrypt has provided over 2 1/2 million certificates for websites. And that's a good thing because offering an encrypted version of his website will boost his search engine rating.

Watch Tim from San Diego, CA Comments

Tim wants to know if a Chromebook is a good option for general purpose computing. Leo says absolutely. The Chromebook is great because it runs on a simple browser without any other operating system or application required. With Google's services like Google Drive, Mail, Contacts, Photos, etc, he can do just about anything. They're very secure and reliable as well.

Leo recommends getting one with at least 4GB of RAM. Acer has a new one that's built with an aluminum case, so it's very durable. $300 for the base model. It has a 13" screen and 32GB storage. Chrome has extensions for apps as well. Does it work with touch? Leo says not yet, but that's coming.

Watch Louis from Bellflower, CA Comments

Louis is having issues with his start menu disappearing in Windows 10. Leo says that is one of the reasons why he recommends buying a Chromebook. It's just easier to use for basic computing. At this point, the best thing he can do is back up his data and start over. There's a recovery option in the control panel that will allow him to reinstall Windows. Then the problem should go away. It's a hassle, but it'll fix it.

Watch Larry from Black Forest, CO Comments

Larry is a firefighter and they use a mobile computer GPS utility running Windows. But there's some Panasonic Toughbook laptops that he can't get to work. Leo says that there's a video on how to install it here (YouTube)

The chatroom suggests cloning the hard drives on the ones that do work and then manually inputting the proper activation code. If it works, then he'll know it's a software issue. If it doesn't, then it's a hardware issue.

Watch Bret from Jersey Shore Comments

Leo says that if Bret goes to, they have a listing of all the companies that make them. Or he can buy one directly from Google for $15. Or, he can make his own out of cardboard and just install the parts. DoDo Case is another great one.

Watch Peter from Brooklyn, NY Comments

Peter wants to get his mother an Amazon Echo. Will she like it? Leo says he recently gave his in laws an Echo and they love it. But he'll want to set it up right and teach them how to use it with the right verbiage, etc. It's great for reading books to them, playing music, the works. It also has a bunch of skills that he can install to do custom features.