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Episode 885 June 23, 2012

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Frank from Chatsworth, CA Comments

Leo says that netbooks are very cheaply built for a reason, they’re cheaply priced. However, Leo advises removing the RAM and re-seating it to see if that fixes it. But he can also remove the RAM and replace it with the old sticks. If that fixes the issue, he'll know the new RAM is defective.

Watch Coe from Glendora, CA Comments

Coe wants a desktop computer that can handle video editing. Leo says he'll save a lot of money getting a Windows PC as opposed to a Mac. Leo likes the Dell desktops. He also would recommend avoiding going to a big box store because they offer “house brands” or brands that are last year’s models. Best Buy is a good place to go. Since Coe is doing video editing, he really should get 8 or 16GB of RAM.

There are a couple of other things with desktop computers that people generally don't think about much. First, a large monitor is important and can increase productivity. There are some very affordable Dell monitors. Next, the speed of the hard drive can make a huge difference. Leo recommends getting a smaller solid state drive for the operating system, and a larger hard drive to store data. Since he's looking for a desktop where battery life or heat isn't an issue, the quad-core i7 processors are very fast too.

Another option for Coe is the new Vizio All-in-One computers. He also should look for Microsoft Signature PCs. These are much more clean and simple, and aren't loaded with bloatware. There aren't very many, but he could find them at a Microsoft Store or online at signature.microsoft.com. Whatever system he gets, he should make sure it comes with a Microsoft Windows restore or recovery disc.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Richard from Vista, CA Comments

Leo says Network Attached Storage (NAS) is ideal for media sharing and storage, backup and recovery. Leo likes Synology and NetGear’s ReadyNAS. The Chatroom says he can build his own with an old computer and FreeNAS software.

Watch Rene from Vancouver, BC Comments

Rene can go to get.live.com and download the latest version of Windows Movie Maker (part of Windows Live Essentials). If she doesn’t want to create a “Live” account, download it here. The Windows 7 version is a very good update that makes MovieMaker worth using as a beginner. From there, Leo recommends Adobe Premiere Elements. For $80 it gives you about 80% of the functions of Adobe Premiere Pro CS.

Watch Rene from Vancouver, BC Comments

Leo says it’s pretty easy, but beware of potential high bandwidth usage if a lot of people start downloading this song. What Leo recommends is putting it on YouTube or Vimeo as a video and let them pay for the bandwidth. Soundcloud.com is also a good way to share the song and get free bandwidth.

Watch Patrick from San Bernadino, CA Comments

He should set it up as IMAP as opposed to POP3. IMAP will keep the emails on a server, and the user will essentially be looking at the mail on the server from their device. Sent emails should also be stored on the server and should be visible. POP3 merely downloads the messages, then deletes them, so that's not a very good option when thee's multiple devices accessing the mail.

Patrick says they were having an issue with people seeing forwarded messages, too. Leo thinks this is a whole separate issue, and may be on the client side. He thinks they may be forwarding messages as an attachment through Outlook, and the forwarded message content isn't being shown on the iPhone. They should always make sure to forward messages "in line".

Watch Jim from Walnut Creek, CA Comments

Jim is looking for a large digital picture frame, perhaps something as big as 27". Leo suggests Big eFrame, but Jim thinks those are too bright and and won’t change pictures longer than once every 30 seconds. Leo says the larger digital picture frames are expensive, and he might be better off buying an HDTV. These days, TVs have USB and other card slots, and can do slide shows.

Another option is a 27" monitor with a netbook plugged into it running a power point presentation. Computer monitors are far higher resolution than TVs, too. He could also look into a Roku box or an Apple TV for more options.

Watch Russ from Huntington Beach, CA Comments

Russ is a math teacher and is working on a curriculum that would use technology to help kids learn. He wants to create online video of lectures, and have the kids do their homework in class where they can get help from him. It's called “flipping the classroom”.

Leo suggests looking into Screenflow for the Mac to record the lectures and presentations. The main problem Russ is left with is how to integrate freehand drawing into his video lessons. There are a few ways he could accomplish this:

  • HDMI from the iPad
  • There are plenty of drawing apps for the iPad, and Russ could hook up HDMI to record from it. But Leo doesn't want Russ to spend more money to get an iPad at this point, so there are more options he can use on the desktop.

  • Sketchbook Pro from AutoDesk
  • This is only $38 on Amazon and works on Windows, and Autodesk is actually offering it for free for educators.

  • Art Rage
  • This is a great program for Mac and Windows.

  • Microsoft OneNote
  • A great program for Windows that's part of Microsoft Office which would allow him to draw.

Don McAllister has a site where he does screencasts called ScreenCastsOnline. Russ could get some ideas from that on how to teach with Screenflow.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Julie from Fresno, CA Comments

This has to do with the response time of LCDs. Since slower response times can result in blurry motion, manufacturers have compensated for this by doubling the refresh rate. Normal TVs are 60 frames per second, but now manufacturers are selling TVs with 120hz or 240hz. This may help with motion blur, but it creates a strange plastic video effect. Some people refer to this as the "soap opera effect". The TV is still only getting 60 frames per second from the source, but the TV is doubling that with no extra information.

Different companies have different names for this. Some refer to it as "Frame Rate Conversion". Sony, however, calls this "Motion Flow". That's what Julie will have to turn off her in TV's settings. She should notice a big improvement in picture quality with that turned off.

Watch Dennis from Yorba Linda, CA Comments

Dennis is building an outdoor movie theater in his back yard and has a giant 20 foot screen.

Scott Wilkinson called in to help with this question, and he says he'll need a projector with a 30ft throw, which is huge. It will require a lot of light. Leo uses the Epson Powerlight Home Cinema Projector, but it's 2000 lumens may not be enough light. Scott says that SONY projectors tend to be very bright. To get that much light, it’ll cost him. So, the key is to get the most light he can for the money he has. A good site to research is Projector Central.

Watch Laurie from Burbank, CA Comments

Leo said she could try to do it herself, but it would be tedious and probably wouldn't turn out as well as sending it to a service. Leo recommends ScanCafe. They're affordable and will not only transfer home movies, but they'll clean and treat the film as well so she'll get the best possible image.