Jeff wants to know what's the best affordable Network Attached Storage (NAS). Leo says the cheapest is to take an old computer and run NAS software on it. But that requires a lot of work to maintain. Leo uses a Synology multi-bay NAS with several spinning drives in a RAID configuration. And Synology lets users mix and match, so they can mix several larger and smaller drives. Should he use SSD drives instead? Leo says no. That would cost more than it's worth.
Jacob uses a classic shell with Windows 10 to make it look more like Windows 7. Leo says that the free Classic Shell is old and hasn't been updated for a while. So it's a security risk. Leo recommends StarDock. For further customization, they also make Windows Blinds and several others. You can get the entire library of utilities to customize your Windows OS for under $30.
Hasan has been having issues using Citrix on his Windows machine. Leo says that Citrix works on Linux, so Linux is an option if you're sick of Windows problems. But if you want to use Windows, make sure you're running the latest version of Windows 10. But it will also clobber Linux if you want to keep that as well. So install Windows first, then install Linux for a dual boot system. Leo recommends Manjaro, but you'll have to disable secure boot on Windows.
Daniel's Thinkpad runs Windows XP and is experiencing the blue screen of death, or BSoD for short. Daniel can use the original install discs and go into recovery mode. That can fix anything that is going wrong. That will run the Windows System File Checker and replace any system files that are damaged. But it may also be a hard drive that is starting to fail. It would be a good idea to replace the hard drive. Luckily, it's easy to do with that Thinkpad.
Manny is looking to get a new MacBook Pro. Leo says we're only about a month away from the new Mac laptop announcement, so it'll pay to wait. What can he do with his old Macbook? Put Linux on it? Leo says that putting on Linux is doable, but there are always some issues with Apple Hardware. The old the machine the better, and it would pay to google the distribution he's looking at and Macbook Pro and see what issues pop up. Leo's favorite for the Mac is Manjaro.
Patrick has put an SSD on his old iMac and he's going to install Linux on it. Will printers and audio cards work? Will they have drivers? Leo says they will work, but he won't get Linux drivers from the manufacturers. He'll get them from the Linux community. Look up CUPS for printer drivers for Linux. It's open-source. But he shouldn't need separate drivers, Linux should support it. But Epson does have a Linux support page.
Patrick has an old 2008 iMac and he's looking to repurpose it. He wants to install a new SSD, more RAM, and try and get it up to Catalina. Leo says it's possible, but he says that High Sierra is good enough. Leo says to watch the videos at iFixIt.com on how to upgrade on an iMac to see if he's up for it, because it's challenging, including removing the LCD screen to get to it.
Jack is going to be moving to the Philippines soon, and he wants to know if Linux will be able to share the same computer with separate logins. Leo says that Linux actually invented the concept of a multi-user computer with individual accounts. So they've been doing that long before Microsoft did.
Can Linux run Microsoft Office? Linux can also run Microsoft Office by using an app called WINE, but Leo says it's much easier to use the online version of Office. It's pretty much the same.
Doug wants to know how safe an open-source distro of Linux is from China. Leo says the key is that it's open-source and that likely means it's secure. HOWEVER, Leo stopped using Ubuntu because they added the capability to phone home back to Ubuntu. So he stays away from proprietary distros now in favor of community developed flavors like Debian or Manjaro Arch.
Michael has a ten-year-old HP laptop that he finally upgraded to Windows 10. But in doing so, his trackpad isn't operating properly. The scroll feature isn't working. Leo says that Synaptics trackpads need a driver to work with Windows 10, and most likely, HP will be the source to get that. If it doesn't, then you're out of luck with a ten-year-old computer.
But that computer is a great candidate for Linux, which has flavors that can work with older hardware. And since it's open-source, it's kept up to date by enthusiasts.