Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Rider from Manhattan Beach, CA Comments

Rider is saving up his pennies to get a laptop to play Minecraft and other games with. Leo says that just about any computer will be able to play Minecraft. A Mac will work as well. But more graphics intensive games may require a more powerful processor. Rider also wants the Oculus Rift, but Leo says it's just too early for that to happen. We don't know when that will be out. And by the time it does come out, Microsoft will have its HoloLens which Leo thinks would be even better.

Leo says the best PC laptop on the market now starts at $800, so maybe Mom and Dad can help with it. It's the new Dell XPS 13, and it could even make Rider's Mac using Mom and Dad jealous. Another, much less expensive option is the HP Stream, which is $200 to $300 depending on the size. It would be great for a first laptop.

Since Rider is so smart for his age, Leo thinks he should learn programming. Leo recommends Rider get Tynker on his iPad to help him get started with it.

Watch Jamie from New Hampsire Comments

Jamie is a trucker and he wants to know what is a good laptop for him? Leo says that the Dell XPS 13 is his current favorite and would be great on the road.

But if he wants a larger one, like a desktop replacement, then Lenovo makes some great laptops for that. They're the old Thinkpads. Since Jamie is a gamer, he'd want one with discrete graphics like the ThinkPad W550s. It's robust, has good sound, and has noise canceling duel HD mics. For gamers, however, Leo usually recommends Alienware. But in Jamie's case, the ThinkPad will work out well. An SSD would be better for him too, since there are less moving parts and will be faster.

Watch John from Austin, TX Comments

John traveled to the UK and he got an inverter that nearly bricked his laptop. Leo says that most of the time laptops don't need a transformer because they're built for a world market. Just a plug converter is needed, or a travel adapter. They're only about $10, even at the airport. He should always look in the fine print of the device. It'll tell him the voltage it can handle.

Watch Debbie from Calabasas, CA Comments

Debbie wants to get a new computer, and she's wondering whether or not she should she wait until Windows 10 comes out. Leo says no. Microsoft is going to want everyone to move on to Windows 10 and as such, any computer that runs Windows 7 or 8 will run Windows 10. Microsoft has even said it will give it away for free in the first year to anyone currently running Windows 7 or Windows 8. Users will have a year to take advantage of the free upgrade when it comes out this Fall.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jerry from Corona, CA Comments

Jerry has music on his iPhone and he needs a program that understands that there may be multiple copies of the same song (live vs. recorded, etc), but delete legitimate duplications. Is there a third party app that can do that?

Leo says that there are several that are far better than iTunes. Media Monkey and Tunes Cleaner are both apps that can do this.

The chatroom says Music Brainz Picard and TuneUp are both great options. But Leo recommends Jerry backs up his music library as-is before running any of those programs.

Watch Riley from Boston Spa, NY Comments

Riley has a Windows 7 laptop and he's getting an error message that his battery should be replaced. Since Riley's laptop is about two years old, the time is about right for Riley to replace that Lithium Ion battery since they only have 500 fixed recharge cycles. So yes, Riley probably needs to replace the battery. If he keeps his laptop always plugged in, he'll be limiting the number of recharge cycles. He should only recharge the battery when he needs to for being out and about.

Watch Alex from Camarillo, CA Comments

Alex is thinking about getting an AMD processor because they seem more affordable. Leo says they are, but really not enough to justify the performance gap. Also, Broadwell processors aren't out yet, but they will certainly be even faster. Leo likes that AMD is out because it keeps Intel honest, and pushes Intel to keep innovating, keeping prices down. That's what competition is for. But sadly, AMD is just not as fast.

Leo recommends consulting PCper.com to research the components for building his own PC.

Watch Eric from Richmond, VA Comments

Eric has a collection of Blu-ray DVDs that he'd like to rip to his computer. Leo says that Slysoft makes software that can rip the Blu-ray. Handbrake and VLC together can also do it and then put it in any format he wants, especially for running on Windows Media player.

But remember, technically, ripping your own DVDs is illegal according to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Leo says that if it's for his own use to rip for convenience on his own devices, it's acceptable. That's called Fair Use. He just shouldn't share it with others.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Mary from Corona, CA Comments

Mary wants to know how to help a friend learn programming. Leo says Kahn Academy is a free website that has courses on how to learn. It's not just programming, though -- there's math, science, and more. Other great options include Apple's iTunes U and Code Academy.

Watch Michael from New York City Comments

Michael has one HDMI port going to his receiver that acts as a kind of switcher. But his antenna goes into coax. Leo says that Michael needs to get a digital box now because nobody really broadcasts in analog anymore. Leo says a TV with digital out could be routed to the tuner, but there will be audio sync issues.

Mediasonic HomeWorx takes over the air HDMI, but that would be an extra tuner to get Dolby 5.1 sound. He should check to see if the HDMI has ARC (audio return channel). if so, then Michael is golden. It comes down to settings on the TV.

Check out Mike's Opera Now Podcast.

Watch Doug from Overland, MO Comments

Doug is a truck driver and wants to know if there's a program that will automatically change the time zones that he's in. Leo says it should happen automatically based on his IP address. Apple's OS X provides that feature, which just has to be turned on. But there are third party programs like Time Traveler and TimeSync Tool that will do it as well.

There's also this conversation - http://superuser.com/questions/284532/automatically-change-time-based-on-current-location

Watch Claudia from North Edwards, CA Comments

Claudia is a notary and sometimes she does it remotely. She needs a laptop and printer that will work off her car's cigarette lighter. Leo says that there are mobile printers, made by HP and Epson, and she can buy an inverter that she can plug into that lighter. There's also battery powered printers, and even printers she can power directly from the laptop. Leo recommends the Epson Workforce WF-100.

(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor)