Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Craig from Santa Clarita, CA Comments

Craig is calling to talk about air filters. He has Eureka air purifiers that he bought last year during the fire season. But he can't get replacement filters for them. Amazon says they can't deliver to his address. Is that a regulation? In the chatroom - suggests going to could be Prop 65 or some California regulation that's preventing it, though. One article mentions that these air purifiers can actually add Ozone to the air. 

But Craig's unit is approved by California. So what gives? There's an article that says that an error is causing Amazon to not be able to ship filters for air purifiers. It seems to think all purifiers are banned. Try the Factory Direct Filters link above. 

Watch Ross from Long Beach, CA Comments

Ross is ready to upgrade his laptop. Budget about $400. Leo says that if your computer is slowing down, that's a sign that your hard drive is less reliable, not the computer itself. So you may be satisfied with replacing that old spinning drive with an SSD. Then reinstall Windows to clean things up. That will cost you about $100, which could put your computer in a better position to keep working moving forward. This is ideal for those who have a low budget and would have to sacrifice quality for affordability. If money is tight, extending the use of your current laptop is a smart idea.

Having said that, the HP Stream is within Ross' budget. And Leo recommends beefing it up as much as you can. And if you don't need Windows for your daily driver, Leo says that a Chromebook will give you more bang for your buck and be more secure.

Watch Jim from Costa Mesa, CA Comments

Jim uses Chromebooks, has three of them. But on his newest one, he keeps getting a notice to add Gmail to his Google Account, even though he already has one. Leo suggests that it may be time to "powerwash" it. Make sure all your local data is stored in the cloud and then select powerwash in the settings and relog in. You should never get that message again. 

It could also be that Jim inadvertently created a new Google account and the Chromebook isn't savvy to his existing Gmail account. So try logging into your Gmail account when you turn on your Chromebook. See if that works. But Leo says to Powerwash it first and then log in using Gmail. 

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Brant from Upstate New York Comments

Brant is having an intermittent problem with his USB ports not working. He has to reboot to get them working again. Leo says it could be hardware or software. Hardware-wise, the solders could be coming off and the computer has to warm up to reseat the solder connections. The easy fix is to get a USB card to add to your system and bypass the onboard connections altogether. It could also be your computer is underpowered or your power supply is getting flakey. Try unplugging your USB items and reboot. If could also be a bad USB driver. You can try removing them and then rebooting. Windows will reinstall the drivers.

Watch Vip from Monument, CO Comments

Vip wants to know if he should wire his home with ethernet cable while he has the walls open. Leo says ABSOLUTELY. And use Cat6 while you're at it to future proof it. Hardwired is always preferable to WiFi and it'll be faster, have far fewer dropouts, and no congestion. Leo just did it himself. We're lifting a lot more data now with WiFi and IoT smart devices. There's a lot of congestion. 

If you have a challenging wifi environment and can't afford to wire your home, Leo advises going with a Mesh router: eero, Netgear's Ubiquity, even Asus has gone mesh.

The last option is to use your existing power wires in the house with Powerline Networking. TPLink leads the way with this.

Watch Trish from Ventura, CA Comments

Trish's old Panasonic Viera flat-screen plasma TV finally went out. She tried to figure out what's wrong by looking online. Leo says you can get a lot of advice, most that don't help. Sadly, it's probably too expensive to repair. And they're so compact; they'd be practically impossible to fix. 

Having said that, Scooter X in the chatroom came across what could be an easy fix - You could also try resetting the TV.

Trish's 14 blinks indicate an issue with data exchange with the TV's CPU. Here's a tech note on it. Hold down the power switch for five seconds. That could trigger a factory reset.

It could be a simple overheating due to dust. Vacuuming it out or using canned air to blow it out around the vents could help.

You could also try calling Panasonic and see if there's a local repair office around. They could help you diagnose it and maybe even send a repair person. That's your last resort and it could cost more than the TV is worth.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Ken from Redondo Beach, CA Comments

Ken is a photographer and has a 5TB external drive that isn't seen by his computer. Leo suspects that the external drive enclosure is the problem. Before you replace it, get the NewerTek Universal Drive Adapter and see if you can connect it and see it. If you do, then you know it's a bad enclosure. If you can't, then you know it's a failing hard drive. 

Watch Roger from Newport Beach, CA Comments

Roger wants to know why his audio recording software will stop working if he upgrades to Windows 10. Leo says it may work if you use Windows 7 in Virtual Machine, where it's in emulation inside of Windows 10. Leo recommends VMWare. It will preserve your installation as a single file and then use it on any computer. The only limitation may be the hardware interface or dongle you have to use with the software. The other option is to go dual boot, where your PC will give you the option to boot into Windows 7 or Windows 10 when you turn it on. So when you need to record using that software, then choose Windows 7. Everything else, reboot and use Windows 10. 

But make sure you create an image of your setup. That way if something goes wrong, you can reinstall the image and get back to work within a few minutes.

Watch David from Atlanta, GA Comments

David has a Samsung Galaxy S8, and recently his GPS started lagging and losing connection with some of his IoT devices. So he bought a new Galaxy S20+. But it's doing the exact same things. Leo says that GPS is a line of sight technology, and you can lose connectivity when the signal is blocked. It'll work better from your windshield dash. When you get into a new area, it could take some time to connect. After this, it builds an almanac of connections that the phone can rely on. So for those first visits, it could take a few minutes. But if it's still taking a long time, then the lag may be an issue with your vehicle or even the location.

Leo recommends using an external GPS Receiver that pairs to your mobile phone via Bluetooth. He got the Dual Electronics XGPS150A. It'll also be faster and more accurate.