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Episode 942 January 6, 2013

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch George from California Comments

George has an old program called PrintMaster Gold and since he upgraded to Windows 7, it won't work because of driver issues. Leo says that George could try right-clicking on the icon and selecting "compatibility mode," which will run the program under a virtual XP configuration.

There is a version called PrintMaster 2012 Platinum. Buying the recent version will probably be the simplest solution.

Watch Jeff from Marshall, IL Comments

Jeff has a business and he's being overwhelmed with telemarketing calls from scammers. Leo says that if it's a legitimate telemarketer, he can demand they put his number on the Do Not Call List and by law, they can't call him back. Scammers, however, just don't care because they don't obey the law anyway, and call from different numbers every time. Unfortunately, there's not much Jeff can do with a business except just hang up the phone.

Could RingCentral work? Leo says it wouldn't hurt, Leo uses them, but he isn't sure it'll do much. It's a great service, though.

Another option is to use Google Voice, which enables him to route calls to voicemail. But If he doesn't know who's calling, that's rather impossible to prevent as well.

Since most are autodialers, having an interactive voice control attendant that forces the caller to press a number to speak to someone will kill the calls eventually.

Watch Angelo from Rancho Cucamonga, CA Comments

Angelo has a laptop that's only 3 years old and he gets a blue screen of death about every hour or so. Leo thinks there's a hardware issue that's causing it since Angelo has upgraded to Windows 7 and the issue still occurs. That points to a hardware issue, not software, and that likely means replacing the motherboard. Unfortunately it will be cheaper to just get a new laptop.

A BSOD is Windows' way to say "I can't go on." The error code and screen dump is useless to anyone but a programmer. There's nothing he can do but reboot. It usually means there's a driver or hardware issue.

More likely it's a hardware issue. A failing power supply could be the culprit and they do die over time. This would be a cheap fix. It could also be an overheating issue. He should monitor the temperature during operation, if he can. There's apps that can do that. If he sees a temp spike, then he'll know.

Watch Yvonne from California Comments

Noises usually indicate a failing hard drive and that's an easy thing to replace. Yvonne can just backup her data, swap out the drive and then reinstall her OS and programs. There's no need to go to the expense of a new computer if that's all it is.

Yvonne also wants to know if there's an app for her Samsung Galaxy SIII that will take wake up her phone. Leo says that the proximity sensors may be blocked by Yvonne's cellphone case. That would cause the screen to stay blank.

She also wants a nice hands free option. Leo says using a Bluetooth headset would help. She could also just use the earbuds that came with the phone for this, and then she wouldn't have to pay extra.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Patrick from San Bernadino, CA Comments

Yes. Windows has Remote Desktop or RDP. Team Viewer is a very popular third party utility. The ideal option is GoToMyPC (Disclaimer: GoToMyPC is a sponsor).

Watch Denise from Valencia, CA Comments

Denise called yesterday with a USB issue on her old Mac Mini. She's also getting other issues that cause the Mac Mini to shut down and a repair will cost her $400. Should she just buy a new one?

Leo says that based on what Denise told him yesterday, the real issue is that the multiple drives she has are drawing too much power from USB and the data bus is overloaded. That's the issue and the Genius at Apple probably gave Denise bad advice. Then again, he had access to the hardware and Leo doesn't.

Leo says that if Denise is going to get a new computer, and plans to use multiple drives with it, that she should get a more powerful computer like a Mac Pro or an iMac. Getting another Mac Mini won't fix that problem. He also recommends consolidating those 5 drives into a single USB drive.

Watch Michele from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Leo says that there's a few things she can do to improve her connection. First, she can use a headset to eliminate the echo that results from using the computers built in mic and speakers. When she uses the built in mic and speakers, Skype uses 'echo cancellation' to prevent the caller's sound from going right back into the microphone. This can cause noise and other problems. A USB headset like the Plantronics 655 is ideal.

More bandwidth is always helpful as well. It will work best if she's the only one using that bandwidth. At the office, everyone is sharing the bandwidth on the net, so that'll cause an issue.

Watch Manny from North Kingston, RI Comments

There are a few options for this:

  • Deep Freeze by Faronics.
  • Clonezilla
  • EaseUS
  • Drive Snapshot
  • Can he use a large thumbdrive for the image? Leo says yes. Can he just copy the OS without an imaging app? Leo says no, because he won't get the hidden files. Imaging would give him everything.

    What about on a Mac? Leo says he uses SuperDuper, which has the benefit of being a bootable backup. He can then have a scheduled backup to an external drive and if the internal drive dies, he can boot directly from the backup drive.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Bruce from Springfield, MO Comments

Leo says that he'd have to make a real effort to get Windows 7 these days, so that's tough. The problem for Bruce is that there's not drivers for Windows 8 for the printers he's using. Could Bruce use the old hard drive and just plug it in and run Windows Vista on the new PC? Leo says not really. Some things won't work and Microsoft will get a report that he's not using the same computer and he'll have to re-register.

The easy fix here is to just buy a copy of Windows 7. He can get it at NewEgg. Leo believes that Microsoft will continue selling Windows 7 because businesses will demand it.

Watch Annette from Tustin, CA Comments

Annette bought a new iPhone 5 and she can't send pics to her friends running Android through text messages. Leo says that since Annette is using an iPhone on T-Mobile, the phone isn't configured right for iMessages, is getting confused and won't default to MMS. Here's a technote from T-Mobile. There's also a youtube video that will walk her through it called How To Fix MMS on iOS 6/6.0.1 iPhone 5/4S/4/3Gs Tmobile.

The chatroom suggests turning off iMessage, then turn MMS off and on, then return to iMessage. That may fix it.

Watch Grant from Sacramento, CA Comments

Grant is replacing a hard drive and he's trying to restore his backup to a new drive. He only sees one backup, though. Does that mean the file got overwritten by the newer one? Leo says it's likely that all of his backups are in that one file, and that it was an incremental upgrade. So he could restore from various backups from that one "blob" file.

Leo prefers third party imaging packages like Deep Freeze, by Faronics, Clonezilla, EaseUS or Drive Snapshot.

Watch Dustin from Kansas City, KS Comments

Dustin was away from his computer for a few months. When he came back, his computer will boot but show no video. Leo says to make sure all the video card, cables, and RAM sticks are all seated properly and there's no corrosion on the cards themselves. If the computer was on at all while he was away, there could have been a power surge that fried the video card.

Dustin says there's no post code, or a series of beeps, when he turns on the computer. That, according to Leo, could suggest something more serious. It could include the CMOS battery being dead, power supply may be dying or the BIOS was wiped. He can try replacing the power supply and the CMOS battery.

The chatroom suggests unplugging all USB devices. Reset the memory and the processor.

Watch Dave from San Bernardino, CA Comments

Dave has some ideas on some apps and wants to get them made. Leo says that having an idea for an app is the easy part. The tricky part is programming it. Dave could hire it out with someone from eLance, but since he's into electronics, he can learn to program an app with classes online through iTunes University. There's also, where he can get an Android developer kit. Google makes it easy and free. Code Academy is a good option, which offers free basic coding utilities, and Coursera. To prototype, try AppInventor by MIT.

Watch Sara from Hemet, CA Comments

Leo says that Flash is dead and even Adobe doesn't support it anymore. If she can find a copy of it she could "side load it," but she'll have no support and getting it to work would be a hassle.