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Episode 995 July 13, 2013

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Asher from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada Comments

Asher got a 2TB Seagate hard drive but after installing it, he just gets an error message saying it can't be read. When he initializes it and partitions it, he gets another error of being unable to write to it. Leo says that it sounds like the hard drive is just plain broken, or the USB interface to the external drive is defective. More likely, it's just DOA and Asher needs to contact Seagate or Best Buy to return it.

Watch Asher from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada Comments

Asher got an Asus VivoBook. He hates Windows 8 though, so he wanted to install Windows 7, but it wouldn't install. Leo says that the boot loader on the laptop is locked. He says to go into BIOS and disable UEFI security. This will unlock the boot loader and let Asher install it.

If he installs Windows 7, though, he won't get the benefits of the touch screen on that laptop though. Leo advises to wait and in two months, Windows 8.1 will come out and it'll be far better. He also recommends in the meantime, go to StarDock and get the Start8 menu program for $5. It'll also let him change the look of the interface to look more like Windows 7 and pop up a list of apps just like Windows 7 would.

Watch Steven from Carson, CA Comments

Steven has a linux computer, but he's frustrated that Dragon Naturally Speaking isn't supported on it. Leo says that Wine may help get Dragon working, but he'll have to be sure it'll do what he needs it to do.

The Chatroom says there is a way to do it using PlayOnLinux, and there is a wikipedia article on what voice options are available for Linux.

Leo says that speech recognition is a tough nut to crack because of the amount of resources it requires.

Watch Albert from West Covina, CA Comments

Albert is trying to decide between a MacBook Pro with Retina display and a MacBook Air. Leo says that Apple is probably waiting to refresh after they've released OS X Mavericks, which should be in a few months. Leo bought the 13" MacBook Air with the latest Haswell chip, and it's been amazing with the 12 hour battery life. That makes it an excellent selling point for someone like Albert who's out in the field a lot.

The only downside is the lack of a Retina screen. Then again, having a Retina screen will undo the battery life advances brought by Haswell. The irony is that the new MacBook Airs are slower than last year's models, but are still plenty fast enough. If speed is important to him, he should go with an i7. If battery life is key, go with an i5 and then just take the extra money and get a nice display to go with it.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Carlos from Apple Valley, CA Comments

Carlos just bought a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and would like to use it in his business. What photo apps can he use on the Galaxy Tab that allow him to make captions?

Leo says there's a ton of them in the Google Play Store, like CaptionIt, but Carlos may be able to do it natively with the camera app on the tablet itself.

Watch Jay from Providence, NC Comments

Jay wants to know if he needs to remove Windows on his PC before he tries Ubuntu Linux. Leo says he could wipe Windows and install Ubuntu if he wants, but that isn't his only option. He can also create a dual boot situation where he can choose on boot up which OS he wants to run. That's a good option for those just starting out with Linux.

Watch Steve from Bakersfield, CA Comments

Steve recently bought a home theater system with a sound bar, but recently he's been unhappy with the surround quality of it. Leo says that a sound bar can only simulate surround sound. There's no replacement for a good home theater system with a sub woofer.

Steve just ordered a "home theater in a box" which comes with a 5.1 surround system, receiver, and a smart blu-ray player. Steve also has a PS3, though. Leo says he would use the PS3 as the blu-ray player and just incorporate that into his home theater system.

HTIB (home theater in a box) is very convenient for people because it has everything you'd need, and is less expensive than buying all of the individual components. Leo has an Onkyo receiver on one system and a Denon receiver on another. He also really likes Emotiva speakers.

Watch Tom from California Comments

Tom fears his computer has a virus on it. He can't reboot it or do anything else other than the email. He turned it off and came back on, but he can't find the restore button. Leo says that doesn't mean Tom got a virus. It could've just crashed. He advises doing a thorough scan of his anti virus and maybe even scan with Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool. He can even run an online scanner like Eset. Leo has a hunch there was a driver crash somewhere that caused it. No reason to conclude that he's been bitten. The fact is, if he's been updating Windows regularly, he really can't get a virus these days unless he cooperates.

Watch Bobby from Rolland Heights, CA Comments

Bobby would like to create a hotspot with his phone so he could share his 3G access. Leo says that's easy and most smartphones have that option in the settings. But it will cost him an extra fee, if he volunteers to pay it. Leo says it may depend on the carrier if he has to pay that fee. Verizon lost a court deal and has to give it away. He should read his terms of service. He could just turn it on and if they charge him, then he'll know.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch James from Encinitas, CA Comments

James' neighbor used a speed up utility on his computer and now it runs really slow and behaves strangely. Leo says there's a very good chance the program his friend used had viruses in it. He then got a call from "Microsoft Support Services" to clean off his computer, and he let them. Leo says that's a scam and he got bit a second time! The worst part is, he probably got charged for it! At this point, the only thing James can do is backup his data, format his hard drive, and reinstall Windows from a known good source. Then he should update it, and never let them do that again.

Watch Steve from Marina Del Rey, CA Comments

Steve made the switch to an iPhone from his old Palm Pilot. The interface is very similar to the old Palm, but the iMessage app sometimes defaults to text message instead, charging him. Leo says that iMessage has never really worked right. There are internet only text messaging apps like Google Hangouts that he could use instead. There's also What's App, which also uses data. The addressee has to have a similar setup, though.

It's also possible that the addressee may have also disabled iMessage on their phone. He'll also need to be sure his "Send as SMS" option is unchecked in settings.

Watch Woodley from Torrance, CA Comments

Woodley is visually impaired and he needs a good screen reader. Leo says that Jaws is the best, but it's very expensive. Check with local independent resource centers or Foundation for the Blind for a grant and setup.

There is also an open source project called Orca, which is free. Another option is to get a braille printer.

Watch Myra from Denver, CO Comments

Myra is thinking of getting a Windows Tablet for school. Which one should she get, the Surface Pro or Surface RT?

Leo says that the RT isn't really a good option because it really isn't a Windows device, strictly speaking. Window Surface Pro is a full-on Windows tablet computer, so it works like a read PC. RT can work if her needs are basic. She should get the type cover, not the touch cover. RT comes with Microsoft Office, so that may be a good option if all she's doing is writing papers and doing email, etc. There's talk the RT will drop in price within a few weeks. She should also look at other brands like the Asus VivoTab.

But for the price of an RT, she can get a real laptop that's much more powerful and lets her run other Windows programs and then use an open source office suite. An ultrabook is a better option. She should Look at Lenovo, Asus, and Vizio.

It's important to note that the RT is not the same as a full Windows operating system.

Watch David from Los Angeles, CA Comments

David just bought an HTC Android phone but it doesn't come with Flash anymore and he learned that Adobe doesn't even support it anymore. Leo says that nobody likes Flash because it's a pig and has a lot of security issues. He could probably side load it onto his Android phone, but it's not worth it. The industry is moving towards HTML5 anyway.

Watch Rick from LaVerne, CA Comments

Rick needs an option for sending faxes, because his fax machine broke. Leo says that eFax is an option that will also send the faxes to his email inbox. Don't buy another fax machine, use a fax service. It's about $20 a month.