Software

Are old versions of software collectable?

Episode 1266

Steve from New Jersey

Steve has been cleaning out an old storage unit and found a ton of old boxes of vintage software. Will they be worth anything? Leo says that probably not. It may be worth it to the computer history museum in Boston or the Smithsonian. But they may already have copies. Those were so common that all of that old software is probably more common than he'd think. On the other hand, a few minutes on eBay will tell him if it's worth anything.

Should I use a registry cleaner?

Episode 1263

Mark from Escondido, CA

Mark uses a registry cleaner and wants to know what Leo thinks of using them. Leo says that a well designed OS shouldn't need one for maintenance, and a registry cleaner can create more problems than it can cure. He thinks that the promise of fixing the registry to improve performance is simply snake oil, and comes from the older days when Windows just wasn't that great at managing it's resources.

What software do I need to record podcasts?

Episode 1248

Brian from Momence, IL

Brian picked up the Heil PR40 Microphone to do some podcasting. He also uses a PreSonus AudioBox iTwo. Leo says the Heil PR40 is a mic that Leo uses all the time. The PreSonus makes it possible to use a professional analog broadcast mic with a computer. Brian is wondering what he should use to record podcasts when he interviews people who call in. Leo says that Skype is the way to go, especially when he's having guests all over the world. The quality is amazing, too. The reason why, is because the telephone network is intentionally inferior with extremely low bit rates of 4-6 bits.

Can I turn my PC into an answering machine?

Episode 1247

Wayne from Decatur, GA

Wayne ordered a computer online and he wants to know if there's a program that he can plug into his computer and make it into an answering machine. Leo says there is, but he doesn't recommend them. He would need a voice modem to support it. ZyXEL still sells them, but Wayne would have to leave his PC on all the time and connected to the phone line. Then there's always the risk that the computer will answer the phone instead of him. It's far easier to just buy an answering machine. Or rely on the phone company's own voice messaging.

Why can't I install Adobe Premiere?

Episode 1230

David from Venice Beach, CA

David is trying to use Adobe Premiere and it stops working. Leo says that Dave bought a serial number, and if it doesn't have disks, it won't work. That's Adobe's copy protection. Leo recommends just using Adobe Creative Cloud instead. He can put it on two computers. If his friend sold him his copy, he needs to give him the disks to install it as well. He'll probably have to contact Adobe and transfer it as well.

How can I move data from one computer to the next?

Episode 1220

Saba from California

Saba is selling a product online and she wants to update her website with new images and videos. But she's having trouble doing it. How can she transfer pictures and videos from a computer that doesn't work to another? Leo says that making sure she has backups, especially online, makes it much easier. Leo says one way is to upload videos to YouTube and link to them.

Why can't my scanner work in Windows 8?

Episode 1192

Bret from New Jersey

Bret has an old scanner that he can't get to work with Windows 8. It looks like Canon doesn't have any new drivers for it, nor does Microsoft. How can he get it to work in Windows? Leo says that the Windows 8 driver isn't much different than Windows 7, and there's no reason why he shouldn't be able to install the Windows 7 driver. A TWAIN driver is generic, and if the scanner supports TWAIN, he may be able to use that.

What video editing software would be best for me?

Episode 1180

Fakhar from Islamabad

Fahkar recently bought a laptop at Best Buy for video editing. He's trying to enhance MP4 files and he doesn't like the Cyberlink Director. Leo says that it's very consumer focused and as such, a bit dumbed down for that kind of stuff. Higher end programs like Adobe Premiere that also offer additional plugins for what Fahkar is trying to do. Premiere Elements may also be able to do it.