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Episode 896 July 29, 2012

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Alexis from Georgia Comments

Alexis has an older Toshiba laptop with Windows Vista. When he boots it up, it asks him to "recover", but there's no recovery partition. Leo thinks the hard drive is starting to fail. Hard drive failure can either be permanent or temporary. It could be physical damage to the disk, or it could just be data that's been lost that the operating system needs. There's a program called SpinRite that can detect and fix problems on hard drives, but it's not cheap. It'd be easier and cheaper to just buy a new, 1TB hard drive for under $100.

If it's not a mission critical computer, he could try doing a low-level format of the drive that will rewrite the whole disk, and install Windows 7. Many times that will fix it if it isn't a physical problem with the hard drive. Then if he still has problems, he should buy a new drive.

Watch Beth from Florida Comments

Yes, it should work fine. She'll want to use Google for her calendar, contacts and Google Voice for voicemail. If she isn't syncing with Google now, she can go into the Contacts and Calendar in OS X Mountain Lion and choose to sync with her Google account.

The biggest difference is iTunes, and she won't be able to sync that with Android. There is a great program called DoubleTwist, though, that she'll put on both her desktop and her phone. That will work just like iTunes. There are a few things she won't be able to do, for instance iTunes Match won't work with an Android phone. But she can use Amazon or Google for music, and it will work great.

Watch Lorenzo from New Jersey Comments

If he's downloaded the shows, they should all be there. If he's talking about undownloaded episodes, TWiT only lists the most recent 10. This is because the RSS text file that iTunes pulls that information from would become unmanageably large. It would take up a considerable amount of bandwidth. Very few podcasts list all of their episodes. The RSS feed is meant to just be the most recent shows. All of TWiT's shows are kept at

To get the most recent shows automatically, click the "Subscribe Free" button. Then every time a new episode is out, it will be downloaded in iTunes.

Watch Lee from Mission Viejo, CA Comments

Lee wants to watch the Olympics, but she doesn't have cable or satellite. If she did have cable or satellite, she would just go to and sign in using her cable or satellite TV account.

She won't "officially" be able to stream it over the internet if she doesn't have cable or satellite, but there are other options. Gizmodo has a great article about how to get around this including watching on YouTube, using Proxies to route the BBC signal, and other more "creative" options.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Estin from Kansas Comments

Estin has a friend who lives in a rural area and cell service is spotty at best. The only provider that has any coverage is US Cellular, and he is wondering if it's possible to get an unlocked iPhone for use on that network. Leo says since that network is CDMA, it won't be possible to do it. If he was in a GSM carrier's area, he could get an unlocked iPhone, put in the SIM card for that carrier, and he could use the phone. But since CDMA phones don't take SIM cards, they need to be programmed for use with the carrier. It's not even possible to get an unlocked CDMA phone anyway.

US Cellular does have the Samsung Galaxy S III, so that could be an option. Otherwise, he could put a VOiP app such as Skype or Tango on the iPad and use that for calls. He'd have to have internet access though, and he may not have that either.

This is a big problem for rural areas. Leo believes that we need a Tennessee Valley Authority program for internet and cellular service.

Watch Michael from Woodside Queens, NY Comments

Microsoft would say no. The problem is because of Windows Genuine Advantage and the measures Microsoft takes to prevent piracy. If he gets a TechNet membership for $249 a year, he can use Windows on as many PCs as he wants.

Watch Casey from Clovis, CA Comments

Casey loves gaming, but consoles are slow behind the times. Leo says that console games have stagnated over the last 10 years, while PCs have leapfrogged into better graphics and faster processors.

Casey uses his PC for gaming, but he's getting a lot of lag. He's wondering if upgrading his graphics card would improve the performance. Leo says he could upgrade the graphics, but if his CPU isn't fast enough, it will still perform slow. They really work together.

The Chatroom suggests the NVidia 560 to improve performance. For under $100, Leo suggests going to and looking at the video card section. They rate cards in all budget categories. The ATI 3870, for instance, is only $70. The Radeon HD6570 x2 is under $50.

Watch Fred from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Leo says that really, the easiest part is the idea. The next thing to do is create a prototype with a local designer to create it. Then, he'll have to find a manufacturer in China to make a production run. He'll then have to try and get a vendor. All that can be difficult and costly.

There are some ways to make it happen though. He could raise money to actually create the product using Kickstarter, a site where people online who are interested in this idea can donate money. Check out the Pebble Watch campaign. They raised $10 million in 30 days. Another option is Indie GoGo.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Bob from Camarillo, CA Comments

First and foremost, he should have a website for his business. Once that is done, it's a great idea to create a Facebook page for his business and get people to 'like' it. It's a powerful marketing tool, along with Twitter, Yelp, and other similar services.

Watch Chris from Toluca Lake, CA Comments

Leo says there's a good chance the network adapter may have broken or has unseated. Take the card out, reseat it and then turn it back on. If it's a motherboard connector, then it could be that he'll need to replace the motherboard or at least get a new Ethernet card.

Watch Walter from West Virginia Comments

If he had a Mac, he could plug it into his computer and iPhoto would import those photos. Since he's on Windows, Leo recommends using Picasa, which is a free program from Google. He should be able to set it up in iTunes to use Picasa as his application for photos. Then Picasa should import the albums made on the iPad.

Watch Ben from El Paso, TX Comments

Apple has a free Podcasts app, but it's a bit buggy. Leo prefers DownCast.

Watch Anthony from Fresno, CA Comments

Leo says intermittent problems are frustrating because they don't happen all the time. Dr. Mom in the chatroom thinks it may be a loose wire at the hinge. Older MacBooks had an issue of running hot and that could be it, or worse case - a cracked motherboard, which would be an expensive fix. Or it could just be a loose connector that can be fixed easily by re-soldering it. Leo advises taking it to an authorized third party who will go the extra mile to save him money and solve the issue.

Watch Tony from San Diego, CA Comments

Kernel panicking is the blue screen of death for Apple products and is generally caused by a hardware issue. He'll need to take it in to have it looked at.

Watch Eli from San Fernando, CA Comments

He should be able to export out from Blackberry and into Google. Check out this link for tips on how. Once he has everything in Google, he can then sync down the data to his new Android phone. Leo recommends using Evernote for memos is a better option that works on everything no matter the platform.

Watch Frank from California Comments

Leo says if he's getting a green video signal, that usually is a sign of a bad video card or driver. Disabling Hardware Acceleration may help. Here's an article from Lifehacker on how.

It could also be Flash that's broken. Try reinstalling Flash, or switch to the HTML5 version of YouTube.