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Episode 1762 January 16, 2021

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Nathan from N/A Comments

Nathan is 10 and he's interested in Linux. Would it be a good idea to switch to Linux? He's tired of Windows. Leo says switching would be an interesting thing for Nathan to do because he'll learn about Unix-based operating systems, which is the basis of most networks. Most servers run on Linux. If Nathan wants to grow up and get a job in computing, having an understanding of how Linux works would be most beneficial. Another thing that Nathan can do is get a raspberry pi computer for $35 and build his own. It comes with Linux and that way he can have both.

Watch Jimmy from Santa Barbara, CA Comments

Jimmy woke up to dozens of text messages claiming that he's been calling and texting people non-stop. Leo says that his number has been "spoofed," and the only thing he can do is wait until the spoofers move on to a new number. It's called "Neighbor Spam," and it's being used to get people to answer a local call. Eventually, enough people will block the phone number, and then they will move on to yet another number. Unfortunately, there's not much else he can do. 

One thing that's coming is a process called "Stir and Shaken," where if we don't recognize a number, we just shake the phone and it goes away. Most cellular companies will likely adopt it in the coming years. 

Watch Mike from Rancho Mirage, CA Comments

Mike is looking for a good, mid-range Chromebook. Leo recommends ACER. He can get a decent Chromebook for around $300-500. Leo's favorite is the Chromebook Spin. $269 on Amazon

Mike's old Macbook Pro is having wireless mouse issues. It's getting a bit jiggy.  Leo says that new batteries in the mouse may help. But the mouse may just be worn out. They do wear with use. Replacing a wired mouse can also eliminate interference as an issue. Leo prefers a wired mouse. If the issue disappears, then he will know.

Another thing he could do is check and see if the problem is duplicated on the trackpad. If so, then simply reinstalling the operating system should clear it up.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Freddie from Yonkers, NY Comments

Freddie wants to know what's the best smartwatch for checking blood pressure. Leo says that the FCC and FDA haven't approved one yet, though both Amazon and Apple are developing it. When Samsung gets approval, then the Samsung Wear watch will be the one to get. There are several knock-off versions, but Leo says that they aren't that accurate and aren't FDA-approved. 

Currently, they only can only measure pulse and oxygen levels, plus heart rate. Leo recommends getting the Omron wrist-mounted blood pressure monitor. 

 

Watch Robert from Walnut Creek, CA Comments

Robert has a Dell Inspiron running Windows 10, but his restore point keeps getting deleted. Leo says that Microsoft deprecated System Restore recently, and Leo says it has never really worked when he needed it the most. He can still use it, but he will need to re-enable it. Windows Key + Restore. Here's a link from the chatroom about this issue, but it's a few years old.

There's also this article from The Verge. But the first thing that Malware will do is remove a restore point. So it's possible there's malware hiding in the background. Also, don't use a third-party antivirus. They can often do unpredictable things like this. Windows Defender is built-in and will work just as well.

Watch Ralph from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Ralph needs to get a replacement key for his apartment but they're charging $200 for a replacement. Leo says that a local hardware store may do it for around $15. Or a locksmith. But there may be restrictions.

Watch Patrick from Gulf, CAN Comments

Patrick lives in a retirement community and has been dubbed the community's tech guy. He recently discovered a problem with one neighbor, where her email account disappeared from Thunderbird, and another is missing recent files. Leo says it sounds like the user is logging into another Windows 10 account, and not her original one. He found the files but discovered that they had been moved into another library. What could cause that? Leo says an update in 2018 did something similar by deleting the profile. The fix was to recreate the profile and then copy the old documents and settings from the old profile to the new one. So chances are, the profile has been corrupted. Look on Microsoft's support website for "how to fix an older profile." Check out this technote as well - https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/fix-a-corrupted-user-profile-in-windows-1cf41c18-7ce3-12f9-8e1d-95896661c5c9

What about missing Chrome bookmarks? Leo says to search for %localappdata%. That should bring up their data. https://www.techjunkie.com/where-are-google-chrome-bookmarks-stored/

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Peter from Toronto, ONT CAN Comments

Peter's wife is going to be working from home and they need a computer to access work and do online things like spreadsheets and powerpoints. Leo says that Microsoft Office has been moved to the web. And she can do it on just about any computer, including Chromebooks. But if she's more comfortable with a Windows machine, then Leo recommends Dell and Lenovo, or if she's on a budget, then ACER. HP also makes some attractive and affordable laptops. But avoid very low priced laptops. There's a false economy in that.

What model should she get? Leo says the Acer Aspire 5 with a 15" screen is around $500. i5, 256GB SSD, and 8GB RAM. A nice choice. 

Watch Judith from Santa Monica, CA Comments

Judith got a Tracfone and can't get it to activate. It says that it has no minutes, even though her brother paid for unlimited minutes that auto refills every month. what can she do? If her brother can log into his account online, he should be able to see the status of the phone and maybe even activate it directly.  That's how Tracfone saves money, by offering all support on the web, and most of it is self-help.

Can she use an old iPhone 4? Leo says maybe. She can take the SIM card out of the Tracfone and put it in the phone and try that way.

Watch Chuck from San Diego, CA Comments

Chuck bought a printer for his Chromebook and now he's getting messages that Google won't be supporting his printer anymore. What gives? Leo says that Google has killed its Cloud Print service (more info here). And so, Chuck can't use the internet to print anything. But Leo assures that the Chromebook will have a printing feature if his Chromebook is on the same network. Just like a Windows and Mac machine. Leo suggests going into the advanced settings on the Chromebook, under printing, and add the printer there.

There are third party solutions including DirectPrint and PaperCut. Both mentioned by Google, but probably not free. There's also EZP and PrintIx.net.

 

Check out KilledbyGoogle.com for a list of every service that Google has killed.