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Episode 953 February 16, 2013

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Ron from Colton, CA Comments

Ron has an HP Windows 7 tablet, but when he uses it, the windows disappear for a few seconds. Leo says it sounds like a "stealing focus" problem. Software could be putting up invisible windows. He should close every program except the one he's using. Make a note when the issue gets better.

The chatroom says an app called Gladinet caused it. Another says Bluetooth causes it. Another possibility is the audio mixer software. Avoid toolbar apps, and see if a bad printer driver may be causing it. Roboform could also be doing it, since Ron installed that. There's a ton of issues that could be causing it.

Here's a Microsoft Answers post on it.

Watch Kirk from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Kirks wants to know if Leo has used the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T convertible Tablet. Leo says he likes it. He says it's Samsung's response to the Windows Surface Pro. A bit more expensive, with the same graphics card and i5 processor.

Can he use an external monitor with it? Leo says it has microHDMI and a dock connector, so he can run at least one monitor on it, maybe two if he plugs in a USB monitor. PadreSJ in the chatroom says it supports Display Link, which would give him up to 16 monitors running USB 3.

Watch JP from Belgium Comments

Leo says that he sees many companies claiming such, but any company that does business in the US would probably have to provide a back door for law enforcement. The scary part is that the Patriot Act prohibits notification of it. The Chatroom says RedPhone and Ostel are open Source and claim encryption. Another option is Jitsi. Phil Zimmerman, creator of PGP has Zfone, which is a scrambler plugin for VOIP apps. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) also has some secure VOIP suggestions on their site.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch David from Cambria, CA Comments

David upgraded to Windows 8, but he's lost his firewire connection as a result. Leo says that upgrading an old PC to Windows 8 usually isn't recommended, but it sounds like David needs to get a firewire driver from the motherboard manufacturer. There's no indication that Windows 8 doesn't support it. He just would need the driver. Leo also says that doing a clean install wiped out all the older drivers, this is one case where an upgrade may have been the better move.

The chatroom points to this article and suggests going to the Windows Compatibility Center to see if his hardware is supported.

Watch Pete from Syracuse, NY Comments

Leo says that Certifications through Microsoft are the short hand way to get credibility on his resume about networking. Large companies tend to look for the CERTS. They're the equivalent of a degree. The problem is that they're expensive to study for. Cheaper than college, though. Here's an article on the Ten Best Certifications for IT in 2012 by Tech Republic.

Watch Rob from Vacaville, CA Comments

Rob has a laptop running TrueCrypt. Is there something for smartphones that does the same thing? Leo says yes, there's Silent Circle, for the iPhone, with Android coming soon. Phil Zimmerman of PGP seems to be involved. It'll encrypt text messages, email, and video calls. The phone is still already encrypted though, but adding peer to peer encryption puts on another layer.

Watch Anna from Hermosa Beach, CA Comments

Anna heard that the Google Nexus 10 tablet will have an upgraded quad core processor this year, but is wondering when that would come out. Leo says it'll be available soon after they announce it at Mobile World Congress, but if she's planning to wait on that, there's really no need to wait. The dual core processor is plenty powerful. If she wants to wait though, it really will be a matter of days.

Watch Cindy from Ventura, CA Comments

Cindy bought a SONY Vaio and she can't find Skype on it. Leo says that's because of the way the Metro interface looks. Cindy can use the desktop though, and then it looks like the old Skype.

The Chatroom says that if she's in the Metro version of Skype, "swipe in from the right" and it'll bring up the people who are making add requests. Another option is to use Classic Shell, which will turn Windows 8 back into Windows 7. She can also download "Skype for Windows Desktop," which is a separate download then the one that's currently on Metro.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Edgar from Huntingon Beach, CA Comments

So far, Edgar has been looking at the Western Digital Media Player or the GBox Midnight, which he can then use to make his HDTV into a smart TV or use with his Android Phone. Leo says that he hasn't used them, but it could work, and today's smartphones are more than up to the task with their quad core processor. Looking at reviews on Amazon, there's a high learning curve unless he's a serious techie. For that money, he could just use a Roku Box to get the job done, which may be far easier.

Watch Dell from Paris, California Comments

Leo says that he can run CheckDisk.exe to have it run through the hard drive. When he tries this, it tells him to run a system restore. Leo says that it sounds like some of the files can't be accessed because of the errors. He should backup his data, reformat the hard drive, and reinstall.

The chatroom says to exit out of the command prompt in safe mode (reboot, shift or F8) and choose safemode with command prompt. Then, when he sees the C prompt, type "chkdsk /f /x /u" to check and repair. He could also put his Windows setup disc in and run repair.

Lastly, check out this article from Microsoft Answers, which seems to address his specific issue.

Watch Perry from Southern California Comments

Perry can't navigate to a specific website. He keeps getting a message that says "this page can't be displayed." If he bypasses his router, he can get to the sites.

Leo says that the router may be doing it's own DNS look up, and Leo suggests resetting the router and inputting the DNS addresses again. In fact, use OpenDNS and he'll get better security as a bonus. Leo also recommends updating his router's firmware.

Watch Daniel from Hemit, Ca Comments

Daniel has a Dell Windows 8 laptop and it won't hold a WiFi connection. Leo says there may be a hardware issue. Of course, Daniel talked to Dell and they want to charge him $250 to fix it even though he has an extended warranty!

Leo also says that WiFi issues are hard to diagnose and Windows 8 has trouble with 802.11n. So Leo says he could try 802.11G and see if that works. He can change it in the WiFi settings. Dan may also need to go into the router settings as well.

Leo also suggests trying a different frequency, but if it's a problem everywhere Dan goes, then Leo suggests uninstalling the Dell WiFi manager and use the built in Windows manager.

Watch Harry from San Pedro, CA Comments

Carbonite will back up all of his data, but Leo recommends encrypting those files before it backs up so they're protected.