Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Gary from Cape Cod, MA Comments

Gary wants to know the difference between Evernote and DropBox. Leo says that DropBox is a great cloud-based file storage solution, and is great for photo backup as well. It's like a suitcase in the cloud that users can toss stuff into. Evernote syncs notes which could include photos and videos. Evernote has more structure, contains notes, to do lists, etc, and it's all searchable. They're complimentary, to be sure, but they are different.

Gary is also wondering about Bento. Leo says that Bento is a database program from Filemaker. Evernote has a better feature set and is free. Another great program is Catch, but it's more business-oriented now.

Watch Xavier from Inland Empire, CA Comments

Xavier's son has a problem with his computer shutting down after gaming on it for 10 minutes. Then, when he turns it back on, it never shuts down after that. Leo says that a PC usually shuts down when it's overheating. It's a really big deal when a computer shuts off. It won't be a driver or a crashed program, those things can crash the computer, but not shut it down. A shut down is designed to prevent overheating from causing damage. Could there be something running in the background that's doing it? Leo suggests rebooting before the game starts to clear out anything running in the background.

A power supply issue may also be causing it, so it may be worth replacing. He should update his motherboard BIOS as well. It's also important that he scan the hard drive for malware, which could also be causing issues. It could also be a firewall issue, so try running Firewall Fix It. ESET also has a services repair tool.

(Disclaimer: ESET is a sponsor)

Watch Mike from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Mike has System Mechanic installed on his computer, and a warning came up that his firewall was not detected. Mike went to Windows Firewall in Control Panel, and it told him he needed to update his firewall settings. When he tried to change the settings, however, he got an error message.

Mike currently has ESET's Nod32 for antivirus, and uses a router. Leo says that the router is a better firewall than the one he had on his computer, anyway. This will effectively protect him from any 'bad guys' from taking advantage of a flaw in Windows. The reason Leo still recommends a software firewall is to protect from infections that could come from within the network.

Leo doesn't recommend using System Mechanic in the first place. Leo's concern is that System Mechanic could be interfering. Mike may want to try disabling ESET or any other security software that he has running to see if the firewall would work then. The Windows Firewall shouldn't be disabled by Nod32 alone, though, it would be if he had a complete security software package.

The chatroom recommends this Windows Firewall Diagnostic. BigJinge suggests running the ESET services repair tool.

(Disclaimer: ESET is a sponsor).

Watch Victor from California Comments

Victor would like to include applications in his backup. Leo says that's not very effective and doesn't really work well. He'd want to save the data, not the apps. He can always reinstall apps. Programs may claim to do it, but when restoring, he may run into issues. Backing up apps is also time consuming.

If he wants to do this, imaging the whole hard drive is a good option. This would save the entire computer's setup to be restored later.

Imaging options include:

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Matthew from Carlsbad, CA Comments

Matt is 13 years old and now that school is out, he wants to get a good laptop for gaming and for school. His dad has given him a budget of under $1,000. Leo says that's a great budget and there's plenty of options. Gaming is challenging for laptops because of heat, performance, etc. There are gaming laptops, but they're often overpriced, heavy, and have poor battery life. Games like Half Life or Team Fortress are pretty demanding, so he'll want to get a laptop with a good graphics processing unit.

Razer makes a good super thin laptop with great processors and GPUs, but they're about $2,000. Alienware does have a 14" laptop for $1199, which is closer to the budget.

Leo says Matt would be better off not worrying about gaming so much when it comes to performance. Lenovo is Leo's first choice. Asus is also very good.

Look for one with an NVidia GPU, not Intel. He should get a 4th gen Core processor (that's the Haswell). Getting a 256 GB SSD drive is a good investment, as it's much faster. 4GB RAM should be sufficient, but if he has money left over, he should double that. He shouldn't worry about screen size, optical drives, or anything else. Keep it lean and mean.

Watch Charlene from Gilbert, AZ Comments

Charlene has an iMac, and when she tries to wake the Mac from sleep, she has to reboot it instead. Leo says that there is a setting for it to turn itself on after a reboot, so she should try enabling that. She should also use a universal power supply that can protect the computer in the event of a power spike or reboot.

Leo also says it's best to be running the most recent version of the Mac OS. Upgrades are pretty cheap with Apple at $29.99, and it's easy to install. She'll just go to the Apple Mac App Store, buy the update and download the installer. Leo then recommends copying the installer before she runs it, just in case. Then run it and update her system.

Watch Fred from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Fred says that when he restores his computer, it takes forever. He's wondering if restoring from an image would be faster. Leo says yes, it will. Imaging options include:

Fred says he heard that Carbonite has an image backup option. Leo says that generally he won't want an image in the cloud because it takes too long to download to restore. If it keeps the image locally, however, then it should be fine.

(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor).

Watch Steven from Ireland Comments

Steven has to install Office on about 30 PCs. Leo says it's called a deployed install. Microsoft has a program called PSExec from SysInterals. He'll have to put the installer on first. Windows IT Pro has an article on how to do it.

SysInternals has tons of great tools that any budding IT guy should have in his quiver.

Watch Sandra from Bellflower, CA Comments

Sandra is ready to get a full size computer after not having one for awhile. Leo wonders why a full computer? Sandra says she likes having a huge screen. Leo says it really depends on what Sandra is going to use it for. An i5 processor is fine for just about anything Sandra will do. Her husband is an artist though, so she's wondering if she should get an i7. Leo says it doesn't really give that much of a performance boost for most of what they will do.

Leo says that a Mac would be a good option for both Sandra and her husband. For someone coming back into the computer world, Windows may be a hassle because of security and other issues. A 27" iMac would be ideal.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Joe from California Comments

Joe has a Hotmail account that got converted to Outlook, but Internet Explorer keeps showing an error message when he tries to use

First, Joe should try resetting the browser. To do this, he should close all open windows. Then open Internet Explorer and go to Tools --> Internet Options --> Advanced Tab, and choose "reset". That should restart IE in factory default settings.

Next he should remove any add-ons or extensions that may have gotten installed. Go to Tools --> Manage Add-ons, and delete all of them. He could also try using another browser like Google Chrome.

Watch Dave from Redondo Beach, CA Comments

Dave wants to find an Android alternative for the "Find My iPhone" app. Leo says that LookOut is a good option. It scans all downloads to make sure they aren't problematic, but it'll also tell him where his phone is. He can even remote wipe the phone if he needs to.

Lookout also has a feature called "Signal Flare," which saves the last known location to LookOut's cloud servers should the battery die or signal stop.

If he has a Galaxy SIII or above, his OS has this capability natively.

Watch Greg from Placentia, CA Comments

Greg wants to get a sound bar for his HDTV and wants to know which would be best to get. Powered or non powered? Leo says ultimately it doesn't really make a difference. Having said that, what Greg has to consider the "spousal acceptance factor." A powered sound bar gets it's power from the TV, while an unpowered sound bar will require a receiver to power it. So he should buy a powered sound bar.

Leo recommends the $700 Sonos Playbar. The $2500 Bose Sound Bar is awful. Sonos also has a system so he can listen to internet radio and more. It'll work with his TV remote control.

There are cheaper ones, but they're basically just a rack of speakers that are only marginally better then the TV speakers. Other good options include Polk Audio and Vizio.

Greg's other issue is the cords that have to hang down from the wall. He found something on called the InstaOutlet. Leo says it's just a power splitter, and doesn't recommend buying it.

Watch Michael from Valley Village, CA Comments

Michael is going with DSL Extreme and he needs a WiFi router for it. Could his old AT&T Wi-Fi modem work instead? Leo says it could act as a router, but it has to have Ethernet into it. He should make sure that he's enabled it for bridge mode. It'll either work or it won't, but Leo says that Michael should just get a wifi router instead. Leo recommends Dlink.

Michael also wants to know if there's a router that works as a Roku as well. Leo says they really do two different things. The chatroom says that NetGear makes a media server/WiFi router. It costs twice as much as a Roku, and the reviews say it's expensive and noisy.

Leo recommends getting a good Wi-Fi router and a good media streaming device like the Roku as separate devices instead.

Watch Carl from Las Vegas, NV Comments

Carl is looking to upgrade his Mac Mini. Should he get a new Mac Mini or go with an iMac? Leo says that it's really a wash. The iMac would give him a big screen, but he's paying for it. The screens that Apple sells are better, but he can get a similar LCD for cheaper. If he's happy with the Mini, he should get a new Mini. Will the iMac be upgrading soon? Leo says probably really soon. Maybe in the next month or two. So it could be a good idea to wait.

Mac Mini's are an amazing deal though, and if he already has a monitor, then why not? He should look at the new Mac Mini. He'll pay for the elegance of the iMac, not the capability.

Watch Effy from Studio City, CA Comments

Effy is about to have a baby and wonders if she should upgrade to a new iPhone 5 or stick with her iPhone 4 for camera. Leo says that the iPhone really is the best camera phone out there and the iPhone 5 is certainly better than the 4. Apple will most likely be coming out with a new iPhone 5(s) in the fall, but Leo doubts the camera will improve on it. So getting an iPhone 5 now would be fine. Sometimes the iPhone takes longer to shoot that Kodak moment with. In that case, Effy may want a new point and shoot camera as well.