Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jeff from Valley Village, CA Comments

Jeff wants to do some spring cleaning by getting rid of some old computers, but is concerned about privacy and the data on the hard drives. Leo says that the easiest thing to do is to simply remove the hard drives. He could also use something like Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) to completely wipe the drive. It erases everything by writing zeros across the drive, and then erases it again. If he does that several times, he'll be safe from everyone save the NSA. Solid State Drives, however, can be easier to get data off of. So he should take the SSDs out. If he's selling the computer, then he could replace the drive with a new one, or just sell it for about $50 less. Where should he sell them? Leo says eBay is best.

Also, for SSDs, when he gets a new one he can turn on encryption before doing anything.

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

Watch Richard from Elk Grove, CA Comments

Richard wants to know about Patreon. Leo says that Patreon is a great site for raising money for podcasting, video web series, and all other kinds of media content that viewers are willing to support. It's optional for the consumers, and Patreon takes a cut of the donations.

The challenge is that it's easy to overestimate the incoming amount of donations of supporters, as they are always canceling and re-upping. So if Richard is thinking of using Patreon, he should be very realistic about how much he can make with it.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Bill from Denver, CO Comments

Bill cut the cable and is now using an antenna again. He'd like a DVR for it, and is wondering about the Tablo 2-Tuner DVR?

If Bill couldn't get over the air television, streaming would be his only real option if he's cutting the cord. But if he's within line of site of stations, Leo says the Silicon Dust HD HomeRun and the Channel Master are his best bets. Leo doesn't know much about the Tablo, and he recommends ChannelMaster, but the Tablo looks OK.

Watch Brian from Montebello, CA Comments

Brian is building a new house and is putting his AV stuff in a closet, but he needs to run a long HDMI cable. How long could he go? Leo says he won't want to go longer than 3 feet. So going with an ethernet connection with baluns on either side is the way to go. It'll amplify the signal and he can go as long as he needs. It's also called an HDMI Extender. He can find one at Monoprice here.

Watch Oak from Cazadero, CA Comments

Oak is concerned about congress repealing ISP privacy protections. Is there a way he can hide his activity from his ISP so they can't have access to his data? Leo says he could use a VPN to scramble his traffic, but he'll only be giving that data out in the open to his VPN. Leo uses Hotspot VPN. Tunnel Bear is very well known as well. Oak should remember that it will slow him down a lot, and may prevent him from streaming.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Dorothy from Durango, CA Comments

Dorothy wants to be able to make copies of all her family photos to share with her family. Leo says that she can scan them and put them on Google Photos for everyone to grab. She won't even have to label them, since it has facial recognition so she can search by faces. She can train it as well. It can also scan by location and by date.

Leo recommends going to Costco or use They'll send her a box and she'll just pack it up and ship it to them. Then they return it with a DVD of all her images, and they'll even clean them up to make them look great. Then she can upload them to Google Photos.

Watch Kathy from Laguna Nigel, CA Comments

Kathy is looking for a new laptop. Her Lenovo IdeaPad is starting to get a bit finicky. Leo says that the life of a laptop isn't really all that great, especially with the lower priced models. At this stage, she should make sure she has it all backed up. What is her main priority? Performance? Portability? Battery life? Price? Memory? Answering all these questions will help her hone in on what make and model she'll need. Leo recommends getting an SSD in it, and avoid the hybrid drives. They really don't do a good job at either.

Kathy is also into digital scrapbooking. Leo says that in that case, she may need to get something that has a strong GPU. She'll have to talk to the software maker to see if their app is GPU bound or not. If it isn't, she can save some by getting a regular laptop. If it is, then she'll have to get a more expensive laptop like a gaming or editing rig. She may also want to get a USB hub because most new laptops only have one connection and it's usually USB-C. So she should pick up a powered hub and she can then connect as many peripherals as she needs. Leo recommends going with Dell. She can get a high performing laptop that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. That way she can spend the money where it counts — RAM and an SSD.

Watch Dave from Orange County, CA Comments

Dave's 10 year old daughter wants a phone. Leo says that kids are getting phones at younger ages all the time, but there's a great advantage to them having one. He can keep in contact with her and know where she is, but he'll also need to keep control over how much she uses it. They are addictive.

The iPhone SE is affordable, has a small screen, and is pretty powerful. What about a watch? Leo says it won't give her the functions she needs and she probably won't end up wearing it after awhile. Most kids get "hand me down" phones. He could get a used phone from Gazelle or eBay. He could also just get her a cheap feature phone, which she can call and text from, and if she loses it, it's no big deal. He also won't have to worry about data or the internet.

Android, such as the Motorola G4 has great parental control apps that can protect her and prevent her from doing stuff he doesn't want her to do.

How about insurance? Leo says the deductibles make them not worth very much. The best insurance is a really good case. But he should make sure he has a serious conversation with her about appropriate use.

Watch John from Mazoola, MT Comments

John's old Vista laptop can no longer get updates so he's looking to buy a new laptop. His budget is around $600. Leo says that Acer and Asus make good budget laptops. HP's Spectre is really good. But for what John does, a Chromebook is even better. Dell, Asus, and Acer all make them, and for $500, he can get a lot of machine. They're also more secure.