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Episode 1736 October 11, 2020

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Stan from California Comments

Stan wants to know if he should wait until Big Sur or upgrade to macOS Catalina now? Leo says that you have to upgrade to Catalina first, since it eliminates all 32 bit apps. This will give you time to convert your other 32 bit apps to 64. It'll be pretty straight forward. But moving up to Big Sur may be more problematic because of how they approach kernel use. But you could wait and see what happens and stick with Mojave until Big Sur comes out and then see if you have to. Why do it twice if you don't really have to?

But regardless, backup before you do any system upgrades. Just in case.

Watch JC from Sherman Oaks, CA Comments

JC has a ton of pictures on his computer and they aren't organized. It's a real mess on his hard drive. How can he organize them in the Cloud so that they are not only backed up but easier to access? Leo says that Google Photos is ideal, but they only backup unlimited hires JPEGs, not the uncompressed RAW versions that JC wants. But it's a good backup to the backup.

JC is an Amazon Prime member, and that gives him unlimited full-size photo backup and storage of originals.  That's a good option. Shutterstock is another if you're not a Prime member. Shutterstock is also good if friends and families would like to have copies. You can just send them a link to order. 

iCloud requires paying for extra storage since it only gives you 5GB for free. It's not a lot to expand to 50 GB or more, though. The downside though, is if you delete the photos off your phone, iCloud deletes them in the cloud.

The other option is to get a network-attached storage device with multiple hard drives and backup all your photos there. Leo uses Synology. They also have their own photo tools, called DSM, for organizing and face recognition. All locally. Plex will also work that way.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Tom from Costa Mesa, CA Comments

Tom says his computer thumb drive is very hot. Should he be concerned? Leo says thumb drives can get pretty hot and the tolerances are designed to be that way, but most modern electronics are designed to stay under 100 degrees C. So if it's so hot that you can't touch it, then that can be cause for concern. It'll make the drive less reliable and over time, it'll wear out prematurely. But it's within normal limits for the drive to run warm or hot. Just not scalding. Especially when it's not doing anything. That's when Leo would throw it away. 

What Leo advises copying the data off it and plan on a replacement, cause it's going to fail sooner or later. 

Watch Eric from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Eric upgraded to Windows 10 and he hates it. One problem is that his icons are frozen now. He can't do anything. This happened after cleaning up the desktop and trying to organize it the way he likes it. Does he need to bring it in for repair? Leo doesn't think so. It sounds like the cache where the icons are located is corrupted. So try deleting the icon cache and rebooting so it can be rebuilt. It'll be in your user folder under app data. type cd space %appdata%. Or search for IconCache_. Delete them all. Then Explorer will rebuild the cache.

Another thing to try is to create a backup user account. Then see if the icons are still frozen. If they aren't, then it's local to your own user account and you can fix that. If they are frozen, then it's a system-wide problem requiring running of the System File Checker. Go to a command prompt (Windows+X, then type SFC /scannow, enter).

You can also try this - https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-start-winpc/desktop-icons-are-locked-on-windows-10/1b52d8db-3759-44a3-b29b-393038344ab5.

 

Watch John from St. Petersberg, FL Comments

John bought a new domain name and wants to set up an email. How can he do it for free? Leo recommends going with Gmail. It's a great free service with excellent spam filtering. Microsoft's Outlook mail is also good. Then, you can tell your domain DNS listing to send an email that comes for you to that email service. In the settings for the domain name, there will be DNS settings and one will be for email. That's where you will input the forwarding address for your email. It's also called the MX setting. Google "Change MX Setting to your email provider" and you'll get step by step instructions.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

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

Kevin is starting a new podcast and wants to know how to post updates on his website and then have that go to all the podcast aggregators. Leo says that there's a plugin for WordPress called PodPress that can help. But you can also put it up on iTunes and let it handle it through the RSS feed. There's another one called Seriously Simple Podcasting, amongst others. There's a list here - https://www.podcastinsights.com/best-wordpress-plugins/

Watch Chris from Orange County, CA Comments

Chris bought a new HP Envy laptop a few months ago and he's not all that impressed with it. It's nice, but he is having issues with a wandering cursor that opens things up and moving around. It looks like someone has connected to it and done something. But when he steps in front of it, it stops. Leo says that it's likely the computer has a remote access trojan on it and someone is hunting around. When he steps in front of the webcam, it stops. So that tells Leo someone is playing around. 

Leo advises backing up Chris's data and then wiping the computer and starting over. Also, put a piece of tape over the webcam and see if it continues moving around. If it does, then you know someone has hacked in. You can also use Microsoft's Autoruns app to see what processes are starting up. If you see a remote access program running, then you know. 

The best thing to do at that point is to backup your data, wipe the drive and reinstall from the computer's restore discs.

Watch Steve from Hermosa Beach, CA Comments

Steve wants to know how to make a ring tone. Leo says there are two ways he does it - first use Garage Band to make it and then export it out as an m4r file. You may need to save it as an m4a file and then just rename it. It has to be no more than 40 seconds. The second thing is to use iTunes. Import it into iTunes or Music if you're using a current Mac. In Windows, though, it's still iTunes. Import your clip and select the 40-second clip. Then save it as an m4r file and move it into the TONES folder. Then sync it to your phone via USB. Not iCloud.

Here's the step by step procedure from Apple - https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-12051.

Watch Dave from Ridgecrest, CA Comments

Dave lives in a town that was recently effective by the wildfires and he discovered that everything from his internet access to his phone service was disabled. Leo says that's because Dave's location uses fiber optic cable and as such, when firefighters cut the cable while fighting the fire, it disabled EVERYTHING

Dave is also trying to back up his data using Time Machine and his backup was lost. Leo's not crazy with Time Machine. He suggests reformating your backup disc and Time Machine will automatically ask you if you want to use it for backup and run it right there. You won't get the old backup back, but you can at least reset it moving forward. macOS Big Sur is going to change the game though, by changing the file system to APFS, which will allow for snapshots. Once that's done, Time Machine will be more reliable. 

But there's a better option: the Super Duper from Shirt Pocket. And what it will do is make your backup drive bootable.