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Episode 1398 June 24, 2017

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Julie from Moorpark, CA Comments

Julie needs an external Bluetooth speaker for events that she sponsors. Leo says she can get a Fugoo Speaker, which is great for mobile outdoor activity, but it's not that loud for large group events.

Doss makes the SoundBox, and it's pretty cheap for $33. Leo says it can really project loud sound. Bose makes one called the SoundLink that's pretty loud and he likes it, but it's pretty expensive.

Scott Wilkinson says that there's a link over at for the top ten loudest bluetooth Speakers. VaVaVoom is their top vote getter.

Scott also says if she can, she should place several of the SoundBoxes in the round so that everyone can hear. At $33 a piece, that would be the best bet.

Watch Art from Yucca Valley, CA Comments

Art can't get his calendar and contacts to sync from his Windows 7 machine to his iPad. Leo says that Microsoft wants him to use his Microsoft account and link it to all of his other accounts. It's not automatic, so he'll have to manually do it.

Leo says that the easiest way is to sync his address and calendar with Google, and then add the account into his iPad afterwards. That way it's all synced in the cloud and he can access it anywhere.

Watch Susan from Tehachapi, CA Comments

Susan has a flip phone and she doesn't know how to get the photos off of it and onto her computer. Leo says that flip phones weren't really designed to be as "smart" as like an iPhone, and company stores aren't really invested enough to help her.

Leo recommends going to a third party cell phone store. They'll have the tools to help her. There is a third party software called BitPim, but it's not very easy to use. She would need a special cable as well.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

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

Mike says he can backup his iPad Air 2 to iTunes, but he can't get it to restore to a new iPad. It won't sync at all. Apple says that the backup is corrupt. Leo says if there's something wrong with the iPad's OS as it's installed, that may be true. Leo recommends backing up and wiping the old iPad. Then he should try and restore to that one. If that doesn't work, then Apple's theory is correct.

He could try making a local backup to his computer. He could also do a factory reset and let it load the OS all over again.

Watch Lynn from Torrance, CA Comments

Lynn wants to get a new laptop to use for streaming music to her home stereo. What's the best setup for her, Intel or AMD? Leo says either will do. The real issue is that since Lynn is going to be converting analog to digital, she needs a good DAC. She'll want something that's all digital, so she should avoid connecting through the headphone jack. Bluetooth is solid option. Google has Chromecast Audio, which is supported by Spotify and Pandora too.

The Chromecast is $35 and will take the digital signal and stream it directly into her stereo's HDMI jack. Or she could use an optical input. If she doesn't have that, because the stereo is too old, then she's stuck with using analog. In that case, she can use a USB digital to analog converter that will do a better job. But at the end of the day, MP3s aren't really going to take advantage of the increased sound quality. So in that case, she should just connect it via her headphone jack and be done with it.

Watch Bill from Winnetka, CA Comments

Bill's company has a third party server running Windows 8 Pro and SQL server. He wants to update the hard drive to an SSD, but there's latency issues. Leo says that since he's running proprietary point of sale software, the logjam could be there since they are concerned with piracy. It may mean that he can't just clone the drive and then restore it to the new one without having to reinstall that POS software. But ideally, each drive will come with a drive cloning utility that will make a direct copy that he can run. Once he does, then he can swap them out. He may need to talk to the software developer.

Watch Rob from Lake Forest, CA Comments

Erick is having issues with his Dell laptop batteries swelling and causing a bulge in his laptop. So Dell replaced not only the battery, but the entire laptop. Could it happen again? Leo says that all manufacturers have had issues with swelling batteries, but it's unlikely that it will happen again. If it does, it's in their interest to replace it because after swelling of a battery comes catching fire and explosions.

How should he best set up this new laptop? Leo says the first thing he should do is uninstall any trial ware. If he doesn't use it, he should get rid of it. Especially any antivirus software. But he needs to be careful, because there may be some proprietary stuff by Dell that's required. Then, he should make an image of the hard drive so that if something happens, he can recover right away. He can use a USB key for this.

Imaging options include:

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Joe from Sherman Oaks, CA Comments

Joe is traveling to Asia and he wants to know if it's better to get an international data roaming plan or get a local SIM wherever he goes. He uses Verizon. Leo says that Verizon is the most international unfriendly mobile carrier. Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile have their own reasonable plans (especially T-Mobile that offers a free slow internet). Verizon has a $10 a day plan, though, which isn't bad, but it adds up. It's going to be the easiest way since he would have to have a different SIM for every country he visits, and his phone number will change with each new SIM card.

If he's interested in saving money on data, he can head over to It will have up to date information about every country in the world, including what SIM cards to get and how much they cost.

How about security? Leo says that cell phones encrypt by default, but he'll want to be sure that it's enabled, and set it up that when the security passcode gets tried 10 times, it wipes the phone. He should also make sure he can remotely wipe the phone should it get lost or stolen.

Watch Jeff from Diamond Bar, CA Comments

Jeff is thinking about buying an Eero mesh router. Is it worth it? Leo says that Eero is a great mesh router, and he uses it. They aren't the only game in town, however. Plume is not as fast, but it's more consistent. The NetGear Orbi is a more tradition router style option, but it does the same thing.

(Disclaimer: Eero is a sponsor)

Watch Sara from Long Beach, CA Comments

Should Sara get the Google Home or keep her Amazon Echo? Leo says that while Google Assistant works great and that makes Home an advantage, the Amazon Echo has a very mature ecosystem with thousands of "skills" that enable it to do a ton of stuff.

Google Home will offer free phone calling anywhere in the US soon, and that could make it an even better option if Sara's looking for a home phone. Leo has both. They're very similar and do similar things. The Google Home is a tad smarter, but the Echo is better at home automation. So it really comes down to what she'll want to do with it.

Watch Jeff from Apple Valley, CA Comments

Jeff is getting strange random key strokes appearing in his browser bar. Leo says to try a different browser. Windows comes with both Edge and Internet Explorer. If it happens in both browsers, it could be a failing keyboard. Jeff should unplug his keyboard and try a new one. If he still has the issue, then it's a Windows problem, which could be malware or a browser hijack. He could try resetting his browser first. If that solves the problem, then he's fine. If not, then it may be that he'll need to reinstall Windows from a known good source. He should backup his data, format the hard drive, and then reinstall and update.