Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Sarafine from California Comments

Sarafine has images that she puts on a thumb drive, and sometimes they become very pixelated. Leo says that s likely because the image is low resolution, and the metadata doesn't show that it isn't as sharp as it looks. Also, converting an image to JPEG is a mistake because it doesn't scale. So if you're using vector graphics, converting it to JPEG makes it pixelated as you change the size of it. What you want to do is change the size to what you want FIRST, and then convert it to JPEG.

Sarafina is also having issues with WiFi coverage in her house. She has dead spots in some parts of it. Why? Leo says that WiFi works best in line of sight, and you can go at least 150 feet when wide open. But when you start putting walls and furnishings in the way, then it becomes more difficult. The rule of thumb is no more than two walls between your WiFi access point and your receiver. One thing you can do is raise the level of your base station near the ceiling. That will make it clear most obstructions other than the walls. So put them up high. You can also just move the router around to a different location to get a better signal.

Another option to improve it with a WiFi extender, but repeaters slow down by half since it's constantly talking back and forth. That's why Leo now recommends Mesh Routers. You can simply add a "satellite" to improve your coverage and increase your signal strength. And since it has it's own backchannel to communicate, the speed remains.

The best is Eero. But there's also Plume.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Charles from Virginia Beach, VA Comments

Charles wants to know the difference between QLED and OLED. Is QLED better? Leo says that it's more marketing. Samsung wants people to think that QLED is as good as OLED, but it's really just another LED technology with backlit LCDs. OLED is a better technology with bolder, more accurate colors and deeper, richer blacks. Is there a risk of burn-in? Leo says that modern OLEDs have solved that problem. 

Watch Jeff from Laguna Beach, CA Comments

Jeff says that WINK is now charging people $5 a month to use his WINK Home Hub. Leo says that they've changed the conditions of being able to use their product, especially since it costs over $100. It's not unheard of to charge to store data, but it would be like Amazon charging $5 a month to use the Echo devices out of nowhere. And it's even more frustrating because WINK sold their device with "no fees" as a feature. Now they're charging fees. But if they don't, they'll go out of business.

Options - Switch to SmartThings, Hubitat or Vera Control. But you'll also have to reset all your devices. You'll also have to figure out if it works with all your devices. In the end, WINK is banking on people just accepting the convenience of being charged. And what's worse is, that Leo says we're going to see this happen more and more.

Moving forward, the solution may be Apple's Home Kit. They make so much money on their hardware; they'll likely never charge a monthly fee. Then again, WINK promised the same thing. 

Watch Erin from Pasadena, CA Comments

Erin's son wants a good gaming computer that he can also use for video editing. He also wants a laptop. His budget is around $1200. Leo says that the good news is that a good gaming computer than do video editing easily and vice versa. Laptop gaming machines, however, are less powerful because of heat issues. They are also difficult to upgrade so that you won't be able to future proof it. That's why a desktop is likely a better option. And you'll get more bang for your buck too.  But if a laptop is a must, Leo recommends starting at Alienware; it's the gaming arm of Dell. Look at the specs and then see if you can find a company with similar specs for less. Go over to the Dell site and compare. You'll likely save that way. Another option is ASUS Republic of Gaming. They also make very nice desktops. 

Laptops will run into heat issues, and Leo says that the speeds they publish aren't really sustained speeds, especially with an i7. Get an i5 instead. You'll want an SSD for the hard drive and 16GB MINIMUM RAM. Don't forget to include in your budget a monitor, keyboard, and a mouse for a desktop—an RTX 1660 Graphics card.

Doghouse Systems is also a good option for the money. 

Audience QuestionsHour 3

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

Steve wants to know what hard drive is the easiest to search data with. Leo says that all the major manufacturers use shingled data storage, which is terrible and unreliable. It's also slower. So Leo doesn't really have a favorite anymore. Use what you can get that has a decent price, and stick with name brands.

Watch Steve from Cranston, RI Comments

Steve is having issues where his computer turns back on after he shuts it down. Leo says to look in your settings for "wake on LAN" and turn it off. It's a feature designed for IT networks to be able to turn on the computer remotely. You also want to be sure everything is shut down. There may also be a scheduled wakeup. Both features are in setup (BIOS). Turn on your computer and his F12. Once in the setup, go through the settings for those options and disable them. Could a hacker be turning it on? Leo says once it's shut down, nothing is running. So no, it isn't that. There's something in the BIOS/Setup that is waking it up. 

There's one more thing called "reboot on power loss" that could be waking it up as well.

Watch Sherry from Chocktaw, OK Comments

Cherry wants to know if a mesh router would work in a house made of concrete blocks? Leo says that concrete blocks need rebar to stay standing, and rebar turns your home into a Faraday cage, which blocks wireless signals, and that means no WiFi outside of the main room. It's death to WiFi, so Mesh may not help at all. But that isn't the only solution. Leo says that if you have CoAx in your home, you can convert that to wired internet. You'll need a NOCA adapter (Networking Over CoAx cable). You can also string ethernet, but the simplest solution may be powerline networking. You can actually use your electrical grid too for the internet. It's not as fast, but fast enough. TPLink sells them. 

Another option is to put your mesh router in the attic. That will enable the signal to leap over the concrete walls as it comes down into the house. But it gets hot up there, so Powerline networking may be the best solution. 

Watch Ann from Oceanside, CA Comments

Ann wants to scan a huge amount of documents. Is there some sort of sheet feeder she can add to her old scanner? Leo says you can't really add onto it, but that scanner is so old that it's time to get a new one. Leo recommends a scanner that comes with a sheet feeder and can scan at a page per second. It'll also save automatically to your computer and from there, you can move it online, to an external hard drive, anywhere you want. But Leo recommends being sure she backs up online. What are the chances that the format she uses will be future proof? Leo says that nothing is truly future proof, but once it's digital, you can move it to any new format you need. Keeping it online in the Cloud is also good because all that is handled for you. 

As for brands, Leo recommends the Epson Fast Foto (a sponsor of the TWiT Network). It'll also do photographs as well. 

Watch George from Santa Monica, CA Comments

George wants to know if an SSD drive will wear out like a spinning drive? Leo says not in the same way. A spinning drive can wear out because it has a lot of moving parts that just wear out. An SSD (solid state drive) has no moving parts. But the drive can wear down over time because the memory cells have a limited number of write cycles.  Wear leveling, however, is a technique that spreads out the wear evenly, and with normal use, if it doesn't fail in the first few months, it may not ever wear out (or at least in your lifetime). So it's really apples and oranges. You can't really think of an SSD drive the same way you think of a spinning drive.