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Episode 879 June 2, 2012

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch John from West Los Angeles, CA Comments

No, he shouldn't have to. Generally in these situations, if he were to call Microsoft and tell them that he needs to replace the motherboard and needs his OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) version of Windows unlocked, they would do it. Leo says Microsoft's "genuine advantage" has so many false positives (meaning that Windows tells the user their copy is pirated even though it isn't), that Microsoft deals with this on a regular basis.

John was concerned about the EULA (End User License Agreement) because he actually built his own PC and got an OEM version of Windows. Leo says a lot of companies will sell an OEM version of Windows if you buy a motherboard from them. So technically, since John bought the parts, that makes him an OEM. Leo also thinks the biggest concern from their point of view is that they don't have to support the OEM versions. When you get an OEM version of Windows, you're supposed to go to the OEM.

Watch Sunana from Boulder, CO Comments

It's normal for hard drives to show up this way, it's the difference between a binary numeric system and a decimal numeric system. Companies use the decimal system when they market these drives because it sounds better, although the operating system on the computer is reporting this space in binary. Some of that space is also dedicated to a recovery partition, which is important and Sunana should also make physical discs from that partition.

There is a way to see what is occupying the space on the hard drive. Right click on "My Computer", select "Manage" which will open up the Windows Management Console. There's a storage tab there, and clicking on that will show the layout and partitions of the drive. She will see that she does indeed have a 750GB drive, it's just not all available.

Visit Sunana's home cooking show site at DinnerAtYourHouse.com.

Watch Sunana from Boulder, CO Comments

They are not mutually exclusive. AVI, MOV, Flash, MKV and others are actually wrapper formats. They can contain MPEG video within them. It doesn't matter what format she uses, any of those are fine. But Leo does recommend using a compression, or CoDec (Compression/Decompression) called H.264. That will give the best quality while still maintaining a smaller file size. It's also rapidly becoming a standard.

Visit Sunana's home cooking show site at DinnerAtYourHouse.com.

Watch Jim from Temecula, CA Comments

Jim is a school teacher and he’s been doing a video project and his colleagues think that he should sell it. There's music in it though that he can't use because it would be prohibitively expensive to license it. There is a fair use exemption for educational non-commercial use, but the minute he starts selling it all bets are off. There are more inexpensive options for obtaining free music licensed under Creative Commons or purchasing inexpensive royalty-free media:

  • MySpace Music
  • There are a lot of unsigned, independent artists on MySpace. He can contact the artist there and ask if he may use their music.

  • Creative Commons
  • Creative Commons has a site for searching music, and a checkbox to check for searching music licensed for commercial use.

  • Jamendo
  • Search engine for free or inexpensive music for commercial use.

  • Pond5
  • This is a stock media site where Jim can buy "royalty-free" music fairly inexpensively. The advantage to going this route is that he'll own the music. He can buy the music he likes, and can use it however he wants. (Disclaimer: Pond5 is an advertiser).

Jim also wondered about the legality of using Microsoft Office clip-art. While Leo thinks it's legal, it may not be the best option because everyone is too familiar with it. Pond5 also has other stock photos and artwork he can use too. He plans to sell his video on TeachersPayTeachers.com, which is an open marketplace for teachers to share lesson plans and curricula.

Watch Carol from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Carol should make sure to get Outlook, Word, and Excel. There is an Office Suite Comparison Chartthat shows the features of each version and Carol can determine what's right for her.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Carol from Los Angeles, CA Comments

First she should try copying a file to that external drive to make sure files can be written to it. If she can copy a file over, then the hard drive is working fine. Leo doesn't like Norton Backup as a solution, though. It, like a lot of backup software, backs everything up as a big "blob" and won't let her see the individual files on the external drive. Uncle Bic in the chatroom recommends Cobian Backup. It will backup the individual files which Carol can then see on the external drive.

Watch Gary from San Diego, CA Comments

Leo says no, they're just trying to make some money off of him. The add-on Gary is trying to install is to "alert and block browser hijacks". Since Gary is running antivirus, he shouldn't have to worry about this. He should also be judicious about what extensions he adds to Firefox because too many add-ons can slow it down. There is one that Leo recommends, and it's called "NoScript". It's written by security guru Steve Gibson, and prohibits any scripting whatsoever unless you explicitly say so. One of the reasons Leo stopped using it is because it's so aggressive, he got tired of all the warnings. But it certainly would keep Gary safe from malware.

Watch Lot from Fort Lauderdale, FL Comments

Leo says it's not normal if he's getting a strong signal. Typically with digital, when moving farther away, the signal doesn't degrade as gracefully as analog would. Instead of showing artifacts or static, it either shows the picture or it doesn't. There's a point where the analog signal might still be there, but the digital signal isn't. If he's in range of the signal, and has a strong signal, Leo says he shouldn't get any drop-out at all.

Leo suggests that it could be something blocking the signal, or something on the line between the antenna and the TV. It probably isn't the coaxial cable because Lot said he replaced that and made sure it was a solid piece. It also might be an issue with the amplifier, since Lot said his antenna came with one. The chatroom says the signal could actually be too strong, and it could be overdriving. Lot could try turning off the amplifier. There's a company called SolidSignals that sells a device to turn the signal down, which also could help. This is a difficult thing for Leo to diagnose because it could be a lot of things.

Watch Jeff from Florida Comments

Often times it's not possible to do this because cable or satellite providers such as DISH are worried that people will pirate their content. DISH has a new "hopper" HD DVR that may have an option for getting the content off of the DVR. Jeff may want to inquire about that. He can also simply plug in a VCR or computer into the DVR and record while the DVR plays back the video in real time. This is called the "analog hole", and is one way to get around the digital restrictions.

Watch Bill from Hemmit, CA Comments

No, this is not something Bill would likely be interested in. Leo says they aren't technically scams because they do offer what they claim, 4,500 channels, but they are obscure channels that no one cares about -- Romanian soccer, or Russian shopping channels for instance. It doesn't replace a satellite dish or cable subscription, and what they offer is something that you could find for free anyway.

Watch Jerome from Long Beach, CA Comments

Both iPhoto and Picasa upload to Flicker, but he can also take the images from iPhoto and upload them to PicasaWeb. He can just download Picasa and they’ll find them and upload them for him. Since Jerome is making a photo book with Blurb per Leo's recommendation last week, he should make sure to use the highest quality images.

Watch Jerome from Long Beach, CA Comments

The soonest the iPhone 5 will come out is most likely September. Since every other year the iPhone gets a major upgrade, it's expected the iPhone 5 will be. It would be a good idea to wait until September. Also, June 11 is the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), and that means Apple should be talking about iOS 6. This will give a better idea of what the new phone's features and capabilities will be.

Word on the street is that it will be a taller phone, not wider, to accommodate a 4 inch screen. Leo says Apple may also be abandoning the traditional 30 pin connector in favor of a microUSB connector, and that could be problematic for those heavily invested in docks for it.

Watch Rick from Escondido, CA Comments

Rick is having trouble with Outlook and his Exchange Server. He said he was using POP3 to connect to his cable provider which he assumed was an Exchange server. Leo said Exchange is not POP3, however, because Exchange has its own protocol which is actually more sophisticated. POP3 is the old "Post Office Protocol", which stores the email on the internet service provider's servers only until you gather it, and then deletes it from the server. Exchange always keeps the email on the server.

Rick's problem is with Outlook connecting to the internet, though. When Outlook was trying to access the internet, Rick didn't allow it access one time when the choice popped up in Windows Vista. Now he wants to reverse that decision. He says he's tried turning off UAC, he's also tried turning off the Firewall, but it's still blocking Outlook from connecting. There's dissent in the chatroom over this. Some say it's not UAC, but it's the Firewall. Others say there is a bug in Outlook where if the temp file gets filled, it stops working. Leo looked for the answer of reversing a UAC decision, but isn't finding any easy way to do this.

Generally UAC doesn't permanently block something, it simply asks for administrator credentials when doing something only an administrator can do. Leo thinks Rick assumed it was a UAC choice when it actually was the firewall asking whether or not to block access to the internet. Leo suggests looking at the firewall settings and resetting the firewall in Control Panel.

Watch Christian from Norway Comments

Leo says it's possible that the graphics card could be slowly working itself out of the slot causing him to have to reseat it, but then it would just stop working altogether. Leo thinks it's more likely overheating, but Christian doesn't believe that's the case and thinks it's the motherboard instead. Since Asus made the motherboard, Leo advises running the Asus PC Diagnostics. He also should try updating the firmware. It also could be a problem with the motherboard, a small short in the circuitry that is breaking his video cards. The chatroom suggests GPU-Z, a program from TechPowerUP.com.

Watch Tony from Orange County, CA Comments

Tony is considering either the LG AF115 or the Mitsubishi HC4000. The LG uses an LCOS projector, not LCD, and LCOS is good. Leo says it is very bright with a high contrast ratio for an inexpensive projector around $1,000. The Mitsubishi is not LCOS, it's DLP, which is a very different technology that uses a spinning rainbow wheel. Leo really likes his Epson Powerlite 6100, which is an LCD, but they have discontinued it. Leo says he really should try to look at them, but they aren't easy to find and see in person.

As far as motion blur goes, Leo says that will happen with LCD for sure, but DLP has other issues. Some people claim to of seen the rainbow wheel and once you see it, it's hard not to. Leo's inclination is to go with the LCOS, he still may get some motion blur, but the LCOS is pretty fast.

Bulb replacement costs a few hundred bucks every 3 or so years. It is a fairly expensive replacement, and all of the models use bulbs of some kind. Some of the newer models use LEDs, which he wouldn't have to worry about replacing, but those projectors will be a lot more expensive.

Leo advises checking hometheater.com, especially this article: Choosing Between a Projector and Flat Panel. Leo also suggests getting a good screen, and he got his from MonoPrice.com.