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Episode 884 June 17, 2012

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Rick from San Clemente, CA Comments

Leo says companies have all had different problems with their drives, and now because of acquisitions there's only a handful of hard drive manufacturers. Leo recommends Western Digital though. They have the Caviar Green and the Caviar Black. If he just needs a backup drive, Leo would get the Caviar Green. It's slower, but uses less energy. If Rick really needs the speed, he should go with the Black.

If he's going to buy a drive, Leo suggests going to The prices are great, and the reviews are accurate. Leo would rather have two 1TB drives though because then he could have the operating system on one drive, and the data on the other. The 2TB drives could also be a little more prone to failure because the data is compacted so much more.

If Rick really is interested in speed, Leo suggests getting a smaller, Solid State Drive. He could have a 128GB SSD drive to use for booting and running the operating system, and a larger, spinning hard drive for data.

Watch Neil from Phoenix, AZ Comments

Leo says that he admires Microsoft’s gutsy call to re-imagine Windows, but he says that Windows 8 isn’t ready for prime time just yet. Watch, wait, and keep to Windows 7 for now.

Watch Robin from Quebec, Canada Comments

Leo says it's just bad programming on Microsoft's part. Another media player, such as Media Monkey, would probably work better. It's free, and does everything that either iTunes or WMP does, only does it well. It can sync with devices including the iPhone and iPod. It also supports DLNA, which would allow Robin to stream music over his home network to his TV or stereo.

Watch Alonzo from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Leo says that turn it off immediately, and don’t use it for as long as possible. He'll have to put it in a bag with some uncooked rice or another desiccant. Give it a month. If that doesn’t fix it, it’s done, sadly, and will have to be repaired. He can also try to take it in to the Apple Store, tell the Genius his honest tale of woe and he may just replace it.

Watch Randy from San Fernando, CA Comments

Leo says that more and more devices, such as the new Macbook Pro with Retina display, are becoming unfixable. They only could be repaired by the manufacturer. Leo does think we need more support though, someone to assist in setup and configuration of computers, devices, and networks. The best business is really in business IT support, not so much consumer support. Randy will have to be really good at this, and will have to know his stuff.

If he wants to work with businesses, he should get a couple of certifications. The A+ certification, which is for tech support, is one way businesses can validate someone. An MCITP is another certification that businesses look for in a technician. CCNA is a networking certification. Leo sometimes wonders if these certifications are a bit of a scam because of how expensive they are, but they do carry some weight when looking for IT work.

Watch Steven from South Africa Comments

Leo's guess is that the registry got corrupt. The information for the size of the text on the desktop is stored in the Windows Registry, and the Control Panel that allows him to change this is just setting the registry. The registry key was either deleted or corrupted. Leo thinks this is a severe flaw in the registry system in general. Leo says he could try messing with it in the registry or just reset that user's account and start over.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Angelo from Ontario, CA Comments

Angelo may have installed something that included them without him realizing it. Many freeware programs like WinAmp have partnerships that install bloatware and they aren’t easy to remove. Leo recommends the REVO Uninstaller. He shouldn't try to remove any scripts either, he could end up breaking something. He should also uninstall extensions. Angelo can also run the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool (Start - Run - type MRT - Enter or Windows Key + R then type MRT and Enter).

Watch John from New York, NY Comments

Leo says that security guru Steve Gibson has looked at all of the cloud services available, and determined that Carbonite was secure. The way they do that is with an option that can be turned on called "Strong Encryption". This means that the client will have to provide a password which is never communicated to Carbonite. Only the owner of the data will have the keys to their data. This is different from Dropbox which will encrypt the data, except they also hold the key to it.

John wants to know how he could alleviate his client's concerns about Carbonite and their data. Leo likens it to the way he explains shopping online. He would ask them if they are ok with giving their credit card to a complete stranger in a restaurant for them to walk away with for several minutes. Sometimes people make assumptions about the risks involved when it's something new that they don't know. They are absolutely right to question it, but they have to listen to John when he says Carbonite uses strong encryption that cannot be cracked even by the most powerful computers out, as long as they don't have the password. Since the client has the password, not Carbonite, only them will see the data.

Watch Matt from Rancho Santa Marguerita, CA Comments

Matt was thinking of hooking up a Canon T4i and connecting it to a TeraDek Cube then push it up to UStream. Leo says he was very impressed by the Cube when he saw it at NAB. While it can do streaming over 3G or 4G, it only has one modem, so it will work much better when connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot. Matt says he also looked at the TeraDek Bond for streaming over cellular network. The LiveU would be another option that can handle multiple wireless modems, but this method is very pricey.

Leo suggests Matt use his phone as a hotspot, and stream from a laptop. Or, even simpler yet, he could just stream directly from his phone. It would at least serve as a "proof of concept" before he spends a lot of money on a more expensive solution.

Matt also wants to have multiple cameras to switch between. Leo thinks if three people were to all have phones streaming back to, and then at home base he could switch between those streams to another stream which would have the camera switching. Leo thinks he shouldn't do live streaming right away. First he should record, edit, and post it later. Then try streaming down the road.

Check out Matt's site:

Watch David from Van Nuys, CA Comments

No, it's really not essential. They want people to plug in to update the copy protection files. If he doesn't, it’s possible the Blu-ray won’t play. But right now, it’s just for interactive features. Leo also says that there aren’t a lot of Blu-ray copying software utilities out there because the files are just too big.

Watch Wendell from Sweetwater, TX Comments

Those tiles may have just been "unpinned" from the Start page. Leo says he can just start typing the name of the app in the Start page, and it will launch a list of all the apps. It will either jump to that app right away or he can find it with his mouse. Then once it comes up, he can "pin" it to the Start page. Wendell says when he types the name of an app, it says that no apps match his search query. Leo says he'll probably just have to reinstall Windows 8. It is just a preview, and there still could be some unexplained issues.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Clyde from Torrance, CA Comments

Free Nets are great -- they're non-profit, inexpensive and run by volunteers. But they aren't quite as affordable as DSL Extreme. The introductory price is $12.95 a month for the first year, and it's much better and faster than dial-up. After that Leo thinks it goes up to $20, but he'll want to inquire about that. Clyde wants to know if it would still make sense for someone who doesn't watch streaming video, and really just emails and browses the web. The introductory DSL Extreme offering is not very fast, so still probably wouldn't be suitable for watching Netflix, but definitely would be a big improvement over dial-up. (Disclaimer: DSL Extreme is a sponsor).

Watch Andy from Prince George, Canada Comments

Leo says that DVRs are heavily encrypted. He could use something like TIVO to GO, but there are higher fees and limitations that go along with that. There’s always the analog hole, where he could plug his DVR into a PC via a video capture card and an RCA composite cable that would normally go into a TV. It won’t be digital, but it’s better than nothing.

Watch David from Reseda, CA Comments

Microsoft Security Essentials is a great free option. Others include AVG and Avast.

ESET's Nod 32 is Leo's pick among the paid antivirus programs. (Disclaimer: ESET is a sponsor).

Watch Mick from Gainesville, FL Comments

No, he really can't. On the iPad and the new Macbook Pro Retina display, they have glued the glass to the flat panel and it cannot be removed. If he were to bring it to Apple, they would have to replace the whole iPad because the screen would just be too difficult and costly to fix. Mick was thinking of going to a place that said they could repair it for $200, but Leo says Apple may give him a replacement for less. This article on iFixIt details how this would be done, just to give him an idea of what's involved.

Watch Stu from Lutherville, MD Comments

Magnavox has a gadget called the MDR515 is a DVR with a DVD Burner. Leo says it’s designed to be convenient, or for someone who doesn’t have a computer, but it uses the analog hole and doesn’t copy digital quality. But hey, it’s about as good as it can be considering.

Watch Don from Laguna Beach, CA Comments

He'll need to buy a voice modem because the phone jack he has on his laptop is designed for use with data modems. The best option for this is a 56k USB Voice Modem made by TrendNet for $17. There's also modems from Zyxel, but they're not cheap.

Watch Don from Laguna Beach, CA Comments

Leo says he could just wipe the computer and install a fresh copy of Windows from the recovery disc that came with the laptop. Or he could create a guest account, and then they wouldn't be able to see any of his other data. If it's a very old and slow system, he could just install Linux on it and it would be secure and would allow his guests to browse the web.

Watch Eric from Hermosa Beach, CA Comments

Leo thinks that Disc Utility is seeing the USB interface, but may not be seeing the drive. Eric says it can check the drive and reports a volume error and won't mount. Leo says to take the drive out of the USB case, put it into a PC, then run SpinRite on it. Eric is also wondering if he should clone the drive before doing any of this. He can try, but cloning software isn’t persistent and may just give up. SpinRite is nondestructive anyway.