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Episode 1846 November 21, 2021

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Suzie from West Covina, CA Comments

Suzie is looking to get a new mobile phone to replace the Moto G5 she previously had. She has a budget of $300-$400. Leo says that tier is a mid-level tier and there are some good phones in that price range, including the Motorola G9. There's also the Moto G Power, which offers a lot more battery life. $229 for 128GB, Pretty good 48MP camera. Qualcomm processor with good performance. 

Another option is the One Plus. The Nord series is pretty good. The Samsung A series is also a good option.

She's also thinking of switching to Mint Mobile. Leo says he likes Mint. Runs on T-Mobile, so she'll need to be sure they have good coverage in her area. Another thing to see is if switching carriers will get her a new phone for free or even for a better deal just for switching.

Watch Tom from Tampa, FL Comments

Tom has a rapid-fire series of questions - 

1. Upgraded to Windows 11. Does he need antivirus? Leo says Windows Defender comes with it and it's all users need.

2. Is a VPN good for gaming? Leo says no. It'll slow gamers down. VPNs are good for privacy, but it really depends on what one's "threat level" is online. 

3. His smart TV. Is there one remote to rule them all? Leo says that the Logitech Harmony was until Logitech recently discontinued them. But he may be able to buy one. It's still on the Logitech website.

4. SimpliSafe. Is it secure? Leo says that it's very good at patching security flaws. So there's little to worry about. If he's worried about the signal getting hijacked or spoofed, he can always take down the security signs and put up another brand's sign instead.  Like ADT.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Mary Jo from Amarillo, TX Comments

Mary Jo wants to get an external hard drive to back up her old computer. Her daughter says to get an SSD. True? For booting up to the computer, an SSD is ideal. But it's not necessary for a backup drive. A spinning hard drive is fine. If she was buying a new PC or upgrading the main drive in the computer, then an SSD would be the way to go. But for backup, a spinning drive works fine for that purpose. Should she upgrade to Windows 10? Leo says yes.

If she buys a new computer, should she buy a Chromebook? Leo says that Windows is really overpowered for most people. Leo likes Chromebooks for most applications. It's far more secure and easier to use. It's just a browser. For everyday use, it'll do it all. And they're cheaper than a Windows machine. Leo recommends the Acer Spin. 

Watch Randy from Laguna Hills, CA Comments

Randy is cutting the cord in favor of an over-the-air antenna for his RV. Leo says to visit the site TVFool.com and see what the best channels are in the location you are at. There's also AntennaWeb.org. He can search both sites by address, and he will get a list of stations that are available by an antenna in that location. He can also get recommendations for what Antenna to buy. RadioLabs.com is another good place to visit for learning about Antennas.

A directional antenna is the best option for Randy's needs, but he'll need to repoint it every time he parks. 

Watch Ray from Lagrange, GA Comments

Ray has DSL, but he's thinking of switching to Verizon LTE Home Internet. Promising 25-50 MBPS up. That's twice what he's getting DSL. Leo says that LTE and 5G have gotten as fast as DSL and if he has plenty of coverage in the area, it could be an option. But he'll want to be sure he can get enough data, and what the bandwidth caps are before they slow him down. And don't fall for the siren song of "Unlimited" data. They could promise that, but they could also slow him down after a set limit to where it's so slow, it's unusable. The devil is in the details. But Leo says it should be better than DSL. 

He'll also want to see if he's paying for the rental of a router. Can he use his own? Or is it required? Buying the router outright could save him money in the long run. 

Audience QuestionsHour 3

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

Sue has a strange problem that her TV screen image flips every time she uses the microwave. Leo says that microwaves are usually shielded, so there's nothing to really worry about. But the cord may not be shielded. So the interference from the power is messing with the HDMI cable. It could also cause the computer to act funny if they're on the same circuit. She can get something called a CHOKE, it's a big bump on a power cable. She'll see them on laptop cables. They're magnetic cores that snap onto a cable that blocks RF signals from coming out of the power cable. And they're cheap at about $5 a piece on Amazon. 

But if she's concerned about her microwave leaking, it's possible. Return it and get a new one. Doctor Mom says to put a piece of mylar on the door and see if it stops. If it does, her microwave is leaking and needs to be replaced.

Watch John from Southbend, IN Comments

John is looking for a gaming computer with a smaller form factor. He's currently using an Intel NUC because his desk isn't that big. The challenge of the NUC though, is that they are so small, that they can't use higher-end video GPUs. So he won't get discreet graphics on it. There is an Intel NUC model called Beast Canyon that promises to use video cards. Leo recommends an Alienware laptop or the Xbox Series X. It's going to be able to play Microsoft Flight Simulator by next year.

Watch Jim from Atlanta, GA Comments

Jim is an editor who bought an iMac Pro a few years ago. It wants him to upgrade to macOS Monterey. But he's worried about it because he upgraded to Catalina and it would crash all the time. Leo says to try Monterey. Just do it when there's nothing due. He can first use SuperDuper to make a bootable, external copy of the drive, so he can reboot to just in case. Then try upgrading and see what happens. If it doesn't work right, he can downgrade back to Mojave. And Monterey opens up many advanced features in Adobe that he can't do with Mojave. 

So make a bootable external backup with SuperDuper first, then run the upgrade.

Watch Jeff from Diamond Bar, CA Comments

Jeff is concerned about the stalled superconductor legislation in Congress. Thoughts? Leo says that superconductor research is really Blue Sky science. It may be beneficial, but it's years away. Leo says that R&D is important, and only government can afford it. But we have other priorities as well.