Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Michael from Cerritos, CA Comments

Michael has noticed that he gets a warning that some websites are suspect and it won't let him in unless he agrees to take the risk. Leo says that is a function of Google and Microsoft which searches websites and flags them as being at risk for malware. Leo says it's a good service, and helps prevent malware from poorly designed websites from infecting users, especially on the Windows platform. Forums are frequently bit because they are written in open source and rarely updated. They should fix it, because if Michael is having issues, then everyone is. The forum admins are likely aware and will probably fix it in time.

This is a great service on the part of Google and Microsoft watching out for users. It doesn't stop him from going forward, especially if he's using a Chromebook or Mac. If he uses those, then by all means, accept the risk and go ahead and dive in. Leo also applauds his paranoia, because that will protect him.

Watch Gary from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Gary notices that his resolution doesn't adjust when he docks his laptop to his monitor. Leo says that's odd because Windows should do that really well. Chances are, this is an issue with the Lenovo laptop. Ideally, Gary will want the monitor to display at the native dot for dot resolution.

The chatroom says using DisplayFusion is a possible solution and they have a "try before you buy" download. UltraMon is another option. He should also make sure he has all the latest drivers. Leo suggests using "mirrored," not external display.

Watch Sam from Sherman Oaks, CA Comments

Sam is worried that his Windows computer is running as an administrator. Leo suggests creating a second administrator account that he won't use. Then downgrade his regular account to standard user. He could make them look completely different to tell them apart. Then if he needs to install something, it will ask him to log in as an administrator. Any software that needs him to run as an admin, he can just right click on it, select the "run as admin" option and type in his password. This will protect him from over 90% of all malware trying to get on his system.

Watch John from Melbourne Beach, FL Comments

John can hear a grinding noise in his MacBook Pro. Leo says chances are it's the fan in the laptop, and maybe a blade got bent. Leo recommends taking the Mac to the Apple Store right away and having a Genius look at it.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Michael from Garden Grove, CA Comments

Mike's computer freezes up when it's coming out of sleep mode. Leo says that it's a common problem with computers, especially Macs. But even Windows machines have this happen. It's like the computer is "groggy." Sleep puts the computer into a low power mode but still feeds power to the RAM to prevent the user from losing information. It can be problematic, though. Hybernation has it's own similar issues. Leo suspects that since the mouse and keyboard work, that the computer hasn't really crashed. He should do a Google search for the specific computer model. That may give him more clear solutions. From the chatroom, there's this article which may help find a solution.

Leo also suggests a BIOS update for the motherboard, which may address it. Most likely, it's the motherboard itself. He should check the BIOS and OS power settings. He should update the motherboard and video card drivers. He should choose to not let the hard drive go to sleep, and perhaps just disable sleep altogether. It really could be anything at this point.

Watch Terry from Santa Ana, CA Comments

Terry is looking to install Linux on his computer and with all the various flavors out there, he's wondering if one has an advantage over the others. What are the pros and cons of each? Leo says it's import to understand that Linux, while a great OS for the hobbyist, is not necessarily for the average user. He'll really have to want to learn how to use Linux for it to be a good experience. Since no one owns linux, and it's open source, there's a ton of "flavors", which are referred to as "distributions." They're all approved by the creator Linus Torvalds, but there are indeed a lot of them.

Leo advises visiting distrowatch.com. It'll help him make a choice as it summarizes each one and gives all the pros and cons. It also shows which ones are aimed specifically at certain operations. For instance, Ubuntu Mint is great for media applications. XUbuntu works for older computers. Drivers may be an issue for certain hardware as well, so he should make sure to try it before he goes forward with it.

Watch Colby from Clinton, MA Comments

Colby wants Linux to put on an old Windows XP machine before April 8th. Leo says Ubuntu is great for an XP machine. However, as long as he practices safe computing, works as a limited or standard user, and avoids suspect links, it's possible to still be online safely with Windows XP even though it won't be updated. If he wants to check out more Linux distributions, he can visit DistroWatch.com. He should look for ones that are made for older systems.

Watch Michael from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Michael called in to say that he had an issue with Apple, so he took Leo's advice and wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook. He bought a new MacBook Pro from Apple, and was in the Apple store every week because of issues he was having with it. After sending a letter to Tim Cook, he got a call from Cook's office. They assigned him a tech, and followed up with him every day on the different things they had tried. After working with them for 10 days, his drive failed completely. He sent the computer into Apple, and they sent it back working perfectly. Michael was very impressed with Apple's diligence, and in the end they solved his issue.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Red from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Red just bought a Synology NAS for the office. But now, the spotlight search on his Mac doesn't work. He has to enable and activate it through the terminal command, but even after that it takes forever to index. Leo says that NAS is network attached storage and it's great for backing up data. In Red's case, it's probably that the NAS uses a different file system than the Mac. And as such, Spotlight can't index it. While the NAS looks like a local drive, it isn't. It may also be how Red has mounted the NAS. He needs to use AFP, Apple's protocol. There's a forum post on Synology's website here and here. It may be that the index was done, but it's corrupt.

DevonThink makes an alternative called EasyFind. Another option is FoundApp.com.

Watch Oromay from California Comments

Oromay bought a Lenovo laptop and is having trouble connecting it to her Dell printer, and Dell says it's too old to support the Lenovo. So she's thinking of getting an HP printer. Why HP? Because she saw it on sale in the paper. Leo says that Laser printers would give her a lower cost per page, even though they're a bit more expensive up front. They don't do photos very well, though. Deskjets are better for photography and home use because the use isn't as intense as in the office. So Leo advises a wireless networking inkjet that prints photos. Both HP and Epson make those, but Leo prefers Epson. An all-in-one is a good option for the home user because she would be able to scan and copy documents as well.

Leo says that the Epson Expression 310 is the best option for her. And at $85, it's very affordable. Of course, the ink is a bit pricey and that's why the printers are cheap. Another option would be the Epson Expression 410, but she should look at the Expression line and see what one looks best to her. The Canon Pixma is another great choice.

Can the ink cartridges be refilled? Leo says that's a bad idea because she won't really save much money and the printers now have circuitry that can reject them.

(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor).

Watch Jamie from Hagerstown, MD Comments

Jamie wants to rip hundreds of DVDs and compress them on his computer. Leo says that's a great idea. But since Jamie has an SSD, it would be a good idea to get an external drive. Jamie is worried about bumpy roads, though. Leo says SSDs would be better for that, since they don't have moving parts. But hard drives also should be able to handle that. Still, Leo says he understands the concern. Either way would work, and it won't be hard on the hard drive to do the ripping. Sold state would be ideal for a trucker's computer, but the cost per gig is much more. Since all the work is done in RAM, there's little concern about the actual heavy lifting affecting the drive.

Leo advises using both Handbrake and VideoLan client to work together. A pay option is Slysoft.

Watch Mike from Lake Forest, CA Comments

Mike says his daughter's computer has a virus, and now he can't run Windows update. She was downloading music. Leo wonders what the symptoms were that led Mike to believe he had a virus. It could be a bad sector on a hard drive. Leo advises scanning with an online antivirus checker. Leo also suggests running Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool. Click on "Start," then select "Run,", type "MRT" and hit enter. He should choose to do a thorough scan. He can also try MalwareBytes.org. If it finds something, then he does indeed have malware. But if not, it could mean that he has a bad sector. The only real fix for malware is to back up the data, wipe the drive and start over reinstalling Windows from a known good source.