Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Matt from Ottawa, CAN Comments

Matt wants to know why an LCD computer display is so expensive vs. a regular HDTV. Leo says that displays are designed to be on 24/7, they're brighter, and have a broader viewing angle. The quality is likely higher with a higher resolution. They can also have CPUs. There's often a longer warranty on them, and the market supports a higher price for a special use item.

Watch Joe from San Dimas, CA Comments

Joe wants to know why he can't modify a Chromebook to download other software to it. Leo says he can modify a Chromebook and put Linux or Windows on it, but he'll lose a ton of security.

Joe will have to disable the Secure Boot feature. Then he can put a Linux shell called Crouton on it. Leo's done it before. He may also have to modify the firmware by putting it in Developer Mode. But he may not be able to boot it up. If that happens, he can always Powerwash it to get back to where he started.

Watch Gary from San Diego, CA Comments

Gary wants to know about Google Voice with the Pixel phone. Leo says that Google Voice started as GrandCentral, which he used to use for his office. Then Google bought it and created a central phone hub for everyone. It gives you a new universal number and then rings different phones until it finds you. It also has custom voicemail boxes for people in your contact list, strangers, close friends, and unknown. It also sends you a text message with the voicemail. And it's free to use.

Gary also wants to know if there's a security issue through USB. Leo says yes. People who are sophisticated about USB don't connect to a stranger's USB charger, as malware can live in it. Charging-only USB plugs could be OK, though.

Watch Cody from Wyoming Comments

Cody just moved to a new house and the Wi-Fi internet upstairs is super slow. Leo says that Cody could put another router upstairs. If he puts the router in bridge mode, it will extend the Wi-Fi signal. There's a new way to do this, however. It's called Mesh Networking which uses a secondary signal, and doesn't just pass along the original signal. Eero and Plume do this, as well as the NetGear Orbi. The Orbi is the most powerful and fastest. There's also the Ubiquity AmpliFi HD, which is called the best of the Mesh systems. Those are more expensive, though.

(Disclaimer: Eero is a sponsor)

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Scott from Temecula, CA Comments

Scott has a Samsung Galaxy S6 and he's deleted some text messages on Verizon and then tried to recover them, but they haven't showed up yet. Leo says that Verizon keeps copies of his text messages, so if anyone has them, they do.

Here's a link from the chatroom on getting text messages back. But it looks to Leo that he'll have to pay to get them back, and even then there's no assurance it'll work. Chances are they're gone, as once he's deleted them, the space has been overwritten and reused.

Scott could try Recuva, and if he can mount his phone like a USB drive, he could run it to recover them.

Watch Chuck from Neenah, WI Comments

Chuck can't get the Windows Anniversary update because his old Samsung laptop may not be compatible with it. Leo says that's shocking. If his laptop has Windows 10 on it, then it should work with the Anniversary Update. Can he turn off Windows update? The problem is that he can't turn off the updates in Windows 10, he can only delay it. This is a unique case for Microsoft support.

Watch Paul from La Jolla, CA Comments

Paul wants to know wireless headphones to get for watching TV. Leo suggests the Sennheiser RS 120 wireless headphones. They're about $60, and have a nice range of about 300 feet. The chatroom suggests TVEars.

Watch Andrew from Prince Edward Island, Canada Comments

Andrew wants to know if the Amazon Echo will work with a home automation hub. Leo says that Smart Things and WeMo hubs both support the Amazon Echo. Leo advises going to the Amazon Echo site to see which hubs are supported. Smart Things is the right way to go and it will work with his smartphone.

Watch Terri from Temecula, CA Comments

Terri's computer is crashing multiple times and trying to reboot. Leo says it could be a myriad of issues including a flakey hard drive. That's the most likely culprit. It could also be a bad memory chip that is corrupted and causing it to load and stall. Maybe the stick has worked its way lose.

The problem is, if she brings it in, it'll get wiped and sometimes they can make it worse. She can try and run a recovery with Windows. She can also download Windows 10, put it on a USB key, and then select "Repair" when she runs the recovery. Then backup her data immediately.

Image By William Warby from London, England (Hard Drive) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Rick from Glendale, CA Comments

Rick wants to know if there's a call blocker for a landline phone. 95% of the calls he gets are Robocalls. He uses Ooma and they want $120 a year to block calls, so he wants to know if there's a good hardware based option. Leo says that most of the services he sees are generally White listers.

Consumer Reports recommends the Digitone ProSeries Call Blocker, which can block 1,000 numbers, and can block area codes and exchanges. It works with landline and VOIP services. It costs about $100 on Amazon. CPR CallBlocker is another one with good reviews.

There's also the service NoMoRobo. It works because it's crowd sourced, so it's constantly being updated.

Watch Frank from Huntington Beach, CA Comments

Frank was in the middle of upgrading to Windows 10 on his laptop when the power went out right in the middle of it. Leo says if Frank is lucky, he can roll it back. Leo says to try and start the update process over again. What Leo recommends is to try the "Repair" option in the Windows Update. He should save the Windows install onto a USB key and boot to it. Then select "Repair" when it runs.

Watch Frank from Huntington Beach, CA Comments

Frank wants to play his Amazon music on his Mac. Leo says he can do that with the Amazon Music Player and create a kind of 'iTunes Match' thing on Amazon Music. They offer free storage of 25,000 songs before he'd have to pay.

Watch Sheryl from Yorba Linda, CA Comments

Sheryl wants to replace her old Razr Maxx Android smartphone. What should she get? Leo says that if she's happy with Motorola, then she can stick with it. Leo recommends the Moto G4. It's between $150 and $200 and Leo says it's a fantastic upgrade. It's well made, and has a good camera. She should just get as much storage as she can.

Watch Vince from Spring Hill, FL Comments

Vince wants to do digital music recording through GarageBand on his iMac. But he wants to know if he can do it with Carbonite backing up in the background. Leo says that music files can be quite big and if he doesn't have a lot of upstream bandwidth, it could take awhile to upload it. Carbonite will only use half his upload bandwidth, though. So there are some files that Carbonite is not ideal for.

(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor)

Watch Jeff from Pasadena, CA Comments

Jeff would like to know how to speed up his Mac. Leo says to try starting up the Mac in Safe Mode and then go into the System Preference pane to see what's starting up in the background. Jeff can also try zapping the PRAM (Command + Option + P + R). That can make it run faster. He should also browse his System Extensions folder.

Jeff should log into his unused Administrator account and see if it runs faster. If it does, then he'll know something is running in his account that's slowing it down.