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Episode 890 July 8, 2012

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Matthew from Enola, PA Comments

Most microphones on headsets are omnidirectional, meaning they pick up sound equally in all directions. He'll want something that's highly directional, though. Leo doesn't know of any inexpensive headsets that are directional. The one Leo uses and recommends is the Plantronics Dot Audio 995. It has a noise canceling microphone which might help reduce other sounds.

Watch Tess from Burbank, CA Comments

Tess got an HP 110 Netbook from someone who replaced the hard drive with a different one. Now it's giving her errors that she's missing the boot manager, and is not able to be repaired or restored. Leo suspects that whatever the previous owner did when installing the new drive made it nearly impossible to recover.

The chatroom says she can put "GAG", a free boot manager, on her computer to fix it. She can load it onto a USB key, boot to that key, and then it will put this boot manager on her system.

Watch JP from Boston, MA Comments

This is very different from the way a Mac works. Windows has a Master Boot Record, which is the first thing that loads up. Windows then labels the drives in boot order as "C, D, E, F, G, etc". The "C" drive is always where the Operating System lives, which will be his Solid State Drive. All applications will install to this drive by default, which is what he wants since it's his fastest drive. All other files and data he should keep on a separate drive.

Windows is similar to OS X in one respect -- they both have a "home" folder where personal files are. Each login has it's own folder located in the "Documents and Settings" folder, but it does not have to reside in "C', and Leo's opinion is to have that be on the "D" drive. To change that location, just right-click on the user folder, select properties, and choose where he wants the folder to be. His applications should all live on the "C" drive with Windows, although he can try putting bigger applications on the bigger drive, but he may have issues with that as applications might not like that.

Watch EyeDocMark from Syracuse, NY Comments

Yes, but he'll want to make sure it's been matched or uploaded first. He can turn this on by right clicking the "sort by" status bar in iTunes and select "iCloud Status" to see if it's been matched or uploaded. Another thing Leo recommends turning on is "bit rate" and "kind" to get more information.

Watch Guy from California Comments

When any electronic device gets wet, first unplug it and remove the battery. Unfortunately with iOS devices, the battery isn't removable. The idea is to pull power from those devices because the water can short circuit it. Next, dry the device out thoroughly before using it again. Do not put it in a microwave oven or regular oven! He may want to try putting it in a tupperware container with dry rice to absorb moisture. It's even better to use desiccant packets (the packets that come with products that say "do not eat"), but they need to be sealed in a dry environment or else they'll absorb moisture from the air. Or he could just let it sit for a long time -- days or maybe even weeks. Then once it's bone dry, he can try plugging power back in to try it.

Never lie to the company about the device getting wet. Apple actually has water sensors in the headphone jack and in the 30-pin dock connector that will show whether or not the phone has been wet. It's still possible they may repair or replace it.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Andrew from Valejo, CA Comments

A lot of this depends on the construction of the building. For an older building with thin walls, it'll be very difficult. The best sound suppression is an "air gap". Many sound studios will have double panes of glass with a vacuum in between, they'll have an air lock with two doors, raised floors, etc. All sound is vibration, and vibration goes better through solid materials than it does through air or a vacuum.

Since he can't rebuild his apartment, he'll need to do what he can. Acoustic paneling, shag carpet on the walls, and movers blankets all are methods for suppressing vibration, but none will work perfectly.

Watch Richard from Big Bar, CA Comments

At first Leo did it by accepting donations, but it wasn't enough for TWiT to build and grow. Leo started accepting advertisers, which has worked very well. Leo likes the broadcast TV model of offering content for free that's supported by ads. The trick is to convince advertisers that it's a good idea, though.

Ultimately, you shouldn't podcast to make money, you should do it because it's fun and you love it. It's great to create media though, it used to be that you'd have to find and convince a radio station that you should have a show. Now anyone can do radio or TV shows with a computer and a headset and it's free to broadcast it! Just don't expect to get paid for it, but if you do well enough, you could start to make money with it.

Watch George from Downey, CA Comments

No, but there are plenty of other options for having more control over his music. Pandora is an internet radio station that is free with ads or without ads for a small monthly fee. The music industry allows it to exist because there are some limitations with it. For instance, it's not possible to pick a song and it only allows for a certain number of song skips per day.

To be able to pick individual songs and play them offline, he'll have to pay $10 a month. There are a number of services that offer this including Rhapsody, MOG, Rdio, and Leo's favorite, Spotify. These services all have similar libraries with roughly 19 million songs. The advantage of these is that he could save albums to his phone, and listen offline. But he has to keep paying for it to listen, otherwise it's gone.

If he wants to keep music, he'll have to buy it. iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon MP3 all are places where he can buy songs. They'll cost around $0.99 a song, sometimes slightly more or less. All of these services have the ability to also keep the music available in the cloud as well, so he can re-download them on his other devices.

Watch George from Downey, CA Comments

Tablets might not be like a traditional cell phone, but if he has 3G or WiFi, there are many apps like Skype, Tango, and Voxer that will handle calling.

There's also a new piece of hardware called Obihai that would allow him to use Google Voice on the Galaxy Tab 7. Google Voice gives a real phone number so it's almost like having an actual phone.

Watch Kathy from Maryland Comments

Kathy currently has Windows XP, but she'll have to upgrade soon since it won't be supported by Microsoft much longer. Accessibility, or the operating system's ability to accommodate people with different abilities, will probably be much better in Windows 8 since it was a high priority for Microsoft. Windows 7 currently has "Narrator", and it looks like Windows 8 will have an improved and updated version of that.

The chatroom provided a link to a post about enabling accessibility on the Building Windows 8 Blog.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Sally from Lake Balboa, CA Comments

They could be, the backup program or service won't know what's good or bad. The good news is viruses are always programs, and she'd have to run a program to get infected. Occasionally a data file can contain a virus, but it's rather unlikely. Backups don't typically include programs, just the user's unique files, so she probably is not backing up viruses. Especially since she's on the Mac, and the Mac doesn't have any viruses that are in this data/file format.

It is something to be aware of, though. Whenever reinstalling an operating system and restoring from a backup after being infected, it's generally recommended to do a virus scan because there is potential for restoring malware.

Watch EyeDocMark from Syracuse, NY Comments

No, but he needs to go into iCloud from OS X system preferences and enable it. Older PowerPC macs such as the G5's probably won't be able to take advantage of Back to My Mac though because they can't access iCloud.

Watch Doug from Murrieta, CA Comments

Doug is waiting for the Samsung Galaxy Note to arrive on Verizon, but is considering getting the Samsung Galaxy S III instead. Leo says he really likes the Galaxy S III, and encourages Doug to get it.

The only thing the Galaxy S III doesn't have that the Note does is a stylus and a very large, pressure sensitive screen. This would allow artistic people to really draw beautiful things on it. But Leo doesn't miss the stylus. In every other respect it's very good -- has Google's Ice Cream Sandwich, is super fast on LTE with Verizon, and Leo can't think of a reason against it.

If Doug still wants a stylus, there is one that's similar to the one that comes with the Galaxy Note, but he'll have to buy it separately. It's called the C Pen.

Watch Doug from Murrieta, CA Comments

The iPad is the best tablet out there, but if he's already into the Android ecosystem with his phone, it would make sense to get an Android tablet. The Google Nexus 7 for $200 is the best one. It doesn't have 4G, but he could use the hotspot feature on his phone. But if he wants 4G speeds on his tablet then the iPad is the way to go.

Watch Randy from San Fernando Valley, CA Comments

This can easily happen with any browser for a variety of reasons, where the browser can't change or read user data. Google Chrome data is stored in the "Application Data" folder. So Leo suggests finding that folder in local settings, and deleting everything in "Google Chrome User Data". He'll have to delete that data and start over.

Watch Joe from Cherry Valley, CA Comments

No, unfortunately that PST file is just an Outlook file that has contacts, calendar and email information. It doesn't sound like anything else had been backed up. The technician should have warned him before wiping his drive, but it's also very important to perform a backup before getting it repaired.

He also has an iPod loaded with music, and wants to get the music back from that. Leo says not to sync the iPod because iTunes will ask to erase it when he connects it to the computer. He should try a program called Senuti to restore music from the iPod to the Mac.