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Episode 1734 October 4, 2020

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Taylor from Cincinnati, OH Comments

Taylor has set up his mother with Google Home to control her TV. Now it won't recognize her voice commands. Leo says that the new Google TV Chromecast may be the solution. It works with a voice-controlled remote and it bypasses Google Home altogether. The price is $49 or it's free with YouTube TV. Another possible solution is the Amazon Fire TV Cube. Leo tested it and it does a good job with voice control. The price is $129. It can even work with Amazon Echo.

Watch Michael from Torrance, CA Comments

Michael uses a Chromebook in the garage for working out. But the video is rather janky. So he added a Chromecast and a video monitor. The Video is improved, but he doesn't want separate audio output.  Leo says the HDMI carries both audio and video, but you can split it into a stereo. Leo adds though, that it can be tricky because you'd need a powered speaker to do it. Michael is currently using a headphone jack connected to computer speakers. Not really optimal. 

Leo says that the JTech Digital interface is pretty capable because it has an auto-return channel capability, and can connect the Chromecast to it.  But it's not an amp, so you'd need to add that as well. Pretty capable for under $40.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Don from Dana Point, CA Comments

Don was using SpinRite on his computer and he's having a problem running it without a thumb drive. Leo says Windows may be getting in the way and he recommends trying a USB key that boots to FreeDos and add SpinRite onto that. You'll boot to it and then run SpinRite from there. Then you can run SpinRite on your hard drive. 

Watch Dave from Binghamton, New York Comments

Dave has an email account that has been hacked and now he's getting requests for new passwords. He found out by noticing the forward codes after the request. Leo says that it's a common scam. Fortunately, Spectrum changed his password for him. But now Apple Mail can't make a connection with the new password. Leo thinks that the email client may not like the password. So Dave could try changing the password again. But Spectrum may have turned on a feature that limits what Dave can do to protect him. What Leo suggests is to delete your email account and then set it up again. 

Also check your Apple Mail logs. They are very detailed on what's going on with your account. Open connection doctor and enable "log activity." Then go through the process of logging in again. Then check the log and see what's going on. You may have to google the error message, but it's a useful tool for troubleshooting your internet and email issues. 

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Alex from Long Beach, CA Comments

Alex wants to get Spectrum but they are pushing a bundle. Leo says that sometimes it's cheaper to get it with Phone service. But the catch is, the deal is only for the first year, and then the price goes up. So you have to call them a week before the deal expires and threaten to cancel unless they give you a better deal. They will also give you a cable modem and router and there should be an ethernet out connection that you can plug into your own router to split off the data. You want to be sure you have at least 5 MB up for video streaming.

Watch Kevin from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Kevin wants to know about the recent MacBook. Should he go ahead and buy or wait until the new Apple Silicon models come out? Leo says that the current MacBook Pro is very nice with a 16" screen. But if you can wait, he would. The new Apple Silicon models will be fantastic since they're based on the iPad Pro chips running right now. So the hardware is field-tested and it won't take long for the intel Macs will be a bit dated. However, if you can't wait, Leo says that the Intel platform will be supported for several years. But if you can wait, Leo says you should. He is. There should be one by the end of the year. 

Watch Marcy from Inverness, FL Comments

Marcy is tired of the high cost of cable after that initial bundle deal. She's ready to cut the cable. Leo says that you have to read the fine print in your bundle deal to see what the details are. Usually, they raise the rate pretty dramatically. Marcy went scorched earth and canceled her service, then waited a few months to get the next offer. Leo says you can do that, but you can also threaten to cancel and ask to speak to the retention specialist. They can give you a better bargain.

But you have to be careful, because companies are onto it now, and they could call your bluff. So you have to be willing to talk away.

Unfortunately, you can't threaten to go to a competitor. You could cut the cable and go streaming, but often your internet costs will go up without cable accompanying it.

From the chatroom - check out broadbandreports.com for tips on how to negotiate.

Watch Joe from California Comments

Joe wants to clone his current hard drive to a smaller hard drive, but Acronis True Image says that you can't do it. Leo says to look in the software settings to avoid matching the size of the original hard drive. Just make a copy. That could be the issue. 

Leo also uses DriveImage by Runtime.org. Try that one. 

But the problem could be that Joe wants a bootable hard drive. Leo says you're not making an actual clone at that point because there will be sectors left over. Drive Imaging won't clone a bootable drive that way. Take your boot partition and shrink it down to under the size of the smaller drive. Then clone that. That should work. R/C start and select system. Then select Storage Manager. That's where you can shrink the partition. Then try it again. 

Another option is to look for the software that comes with your new hard drive. They come with a drive cloning tool that may be able to do it. Push comes to shove, you just backup your data and do things the hard way. Reinstalling the software and then the data. IDrive can help with that.