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Episode 906 September 2, 2012

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Cassy from Pomona, CA Comments

Cassy has a Dell Desktop, running Google Chrome, and now she's noticing her computer is running hot when she's opening several windows. The PC is five years old and runs XP. Leo says that it's likely that the computer has a blanket of dust inside of it, and it's starting to run hot as a result.

She should power down the PC, and unplug it. Then dust the computer very carefully. Get some canned air and blow out that dust. Then, make sure all the cables are seated tightly. While she's doing this housecleaning on her PC, backup your data, format the hard drive, and reinstall her OS and applications. This will get her PC back to the day you got it.

If she's thinking about just buying a new PC, wait until after October when the new Windows 8 machines come to the market.

Watch Jean from Manhattan Beach Comments

Jean backed up her computers before traveling, and now her bookmarks and browsing history are missing. Leo suspects that maybe Jean's husband played with the computer and deleted them. Absent that, she can export the bookmarks from Jean's Macbook and import them to her iMac.

She can also look for the bookmarks.plist and history.plist files in the home directory's library, copy the folder they're in, and put it in the Safari Library folder of the other computer. She should make sure she make copies this first so she can undo it if she needs. Since Jean did a backup, it's likely that the bookmarks were backed up and a simple restore of the last backup will return them.

Watch Mike from Maine Comments

Mike called in yesterday about IR issues and took Scott's advice to get a different soundbar model that has IR pass through. But the Yamaha model doesn't work with his HDTV, and Yamaha says that sometimes it doesn't (shame they don't advertise it). So he went to, as Leo suggested, to get an IR repeater. Leo says that MonoPrice is a great resource with low prices and great quality.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Ken from North Carolina Comments

Leo suggests, which is a service that will let Ken privately tunnel into OpenVPN's servers securely so he could have that US IP address.

However, a static IP address isn't guaranteed and that's an issue for Ken. VPNs tend to change the IP from time to time for privacy. Amazon has an EC2 (elastic computing) option which would give him a static IP. Microsoft's Azure will do the same. Rackspace's Cloud Server is another possibility.

The Chatroom says that FreeDNS.Org is also an option. offers a dedicated static IP and is exactly what Ken is looking for.

Watch Paul from Columbus, OH Comments

Paul has an OBI 110 VOiP box and wants to use the OBI app on his iPhone to make phone calls instead of getting an international voice or data plan. Leo says this will still use data, unless he's on Wi-Fi, then it would be free to do.

Watch Ray from North Carolina Comments

Leo says that would be a great option. There are some apps that could offer that, but Apple doesn't give third party access to the text message system. There are security issues in allowing third party access to text messaging, which is why Apple doesn't do that. Ray could jailbreak his iPhone to do that, but Leo doesn't recommend jailbreaking.

T Mobile offers something similar, but they don't carry the iPhone (yet). Android does have this, though. So if he's not married to the iPhone, he could switch to an Android phone.

Watch Jamie from Ottawa, ONT CAN Comments

Leo says that's how the early days of computing went with terminals and mainframes, but he doesn't see that happening again. Computing is way too personal. The Cloud is going to be used for backup, streaming, and entertainment activity. Cloud computing itself has experienced some spectacular failures of late since the economics can sink a company having to buy a lot of hardware to service everyone who uses it.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Neil from Rochester, NY Comments

There are apps that can do that.

There are a lot of apps and Neil will need a VNC server on his PC for this to work.

Watch Ray from Riverside, CA Comments

Go to Get.Live.Com and download Windows Movie Maker for free.

Watch Rudy from Riverside, California Comments

Leo says it's depends. Cable is technically faster, but he would share bandwidth with others which can slow down if the office doesn't have enough bandwidth or if all the neighbors are streaming Netflix. DSL provides a dedicated line, but if he's too far away from the hub it's either slower or not available at all.

What about AT&T UVerse? Leo says that they send the same video information over the same pipe they send data. So he can kill his access if he overwhelms it.

It also depends on what he's using it for. Skype, for instance, works best with DSL. Netflix is better on cable though, generally. He really should find out from other people in the area on what's best there, because it really can depend on where he is.

Watch Ron from Thousand Oaks, CA Comments

Panasonic makes a dual drive machine that will enable him to play the VHS Tape while he presses record on the other side. If that's what he wants to do, he'll have to do it soon before they stop making those devices.

The other option is to digitize them with your computer. He can connect a VCR using the composite (yellow, red, white) or S-Video from the VCR to his computer's capture card. The Grass Valley ADVC 110 is a good one. Then he can capture the video, edit it down, and then burn to DVD with Adobe Premiere Elements.

The chatroom says that the Womble DVD Wizard is a one stop shop option for making a DVD.

Can he edit if he uses the Panasonic dual deck capture option? Leo says he can, but he'd have to RIP the DVD and the MPEG footage isn't all that great to use as a source file.

Watch Jose from Modesto, CA Comments

Leo says to first swap the monitors. If the same thing happens with the other monitor, then it's most likely the cable or the video card. First he should try a new cable, and if it's not the cable, then it may be the video card.

Watch Jay from Providence, NC Comments

Jay has a feature phone and he wants to change carriers without having to buy a new phone. He's on Verizon, which is a CDMA carrier at the moment, which means the only carrier Jay could move to is Sprint. Then he'd still need to have the phone unlocked. He can keep his number because the FCC has mandated that users can move (or port) their number over so they don't lose it.

Every carrier has "zero dollar" phones. So it's going to be a lot easier to just go to any carrier he wants and use a phone they offer for free. He could even go month to month. Leo recommends TING or US Cellular.

Watch Pete from San Antonio, TX Comments

Pete has two houses that are about 3 blocks apart from each other, and wants to merge the two into one network. Leo says it's not feasible to do that. It would be too expensive equipment wise. Hamachi may be a good way to do this for $19 per network. It would give him a virtual private network from one to the other.