Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Louis from Hollywood, CA Comments

Louis says that drones delayed firefighting helicopters from getting to a brush fire, causing dozes of cars to be burned on a freeway in Southern California. Leo says that's not only terrible, but likely illegal. The FAA has been trying to work out rules to prevent these things.

Leo says that firmware updates to prevent flying in restricted airspace (an electronic leash) can only do so much. The chatroom says that there should be mandatory transponders on drones to be able to identify those who fly in restricted airspace. That could go a long way to solving the issue.

(Photo by Don McCullough)

Watch Pat from El Segundo, CA Comments

Pat is a watercolor artist, and is wondering what computer, printer, and DVD player she should get. Leo suggests getting something that would allow her to draw into the computer, though. For that, Leo would recommend the Microsoft Surface tablet, even though Pat has always had a Mac. He recommends that because of the stylus and the touch screen of it. To do a similar thing with a Mac, Pat would need to spend more to get a Wacom Cintiq, which is very expensive. Apple is rumored to put out an iPad Pro later this Fall, which would be similar to the Surface and would likely have a pressure sensitive display with a stylus. We won't know for sure about it until it's actually announced, though.

Microsoft makes two versions of the Surface -- the Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3. The Surface 3 starts at $499. The Surface Pro 3 is more in line with how a Mac would cost, at around $1299. Leo suggests going to a Microsoft store to play with it and see how she likes it. Aside from the drawing aspects, any computer will handle her other tasks just fine.

If she wants to stick with Apple and get a Mac, the 15" MacBook Pro is a great laptop. It has a Retina display, it's very powerful, and would last her a long time. She should get at least 8 GB of RAM, and if she's doing Photoshop she should get 16 GB. An SSD will make a huge speed difference as well, and in fact having a fast SSD is more important than a fast processor. She won't get as much storage space with SSD, but Leo says 128 GB or 256 GB should be plenty. There is a 512 GB, but it does get progressively more expensive. The i5 middle processor should be fine for her as well.

For a printer, Leo recommends looking at a Wi-Fi enabled printer from Epson or Canon. A lot of the companies have moved to all-in-ones, that combine scanner, fax, and printer. In fact, Pat may want to have a scanner so she can scan drawings she makes.

Pat also wants to know about a DVD player. Leo says that if Pat is getting an Apple computer, she only really has one choice, which is the Super Drive. It's an external DVD drive that connects via USB for $79.

Pat wants to know where she should save her data, should she save it to a thumb drive? Leo says she should save it in both places to ensure she has a backup. Leo takes a lot of pictures, so he only keeps this year's pictures on his laptop internal drive. When the year ends, he moves those pictures to his backup and makes several backups of it. The laptop only has his current pictures, though. Leo recommends Pat does that with her artwork as well. But she should have at least two copies or she doesn't have a backup, and it's even better if she can store a copy of her files off site. She could use one of the many cloud services available.

(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor)

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Garth from Nina, Wisconsin Comments

Garth is having trouble on his browser accessing the internet. It's very slow. Leo says that if he's tried different browsers and different websites, then it sounds like the DNS configuration with his router is screwed up. He can use a third party DNS like OpenDNS, which is free and easy to set up.

Garth should first call his ISP and ask them to walk him through the DNS configuration in Windows 7 because Leo has a hunch it's just misconfigured. The chatroom also says that Garth's security software could also be acting overly aggressive. In that case, Leo recommends avoiding third party anti virus software and just going with Microsoft Security Essentials.

Watch Gary from Mission Viejo, CA Comments

Gary is concerned with being able to encrypt his data. Is it secure? Leo says it is, but law enforcement can get the keys if asked by Microsoft. Leo says that using BitLocker is a good solution for keeping his data secure, though. What about TrueCrypt? Leo says he can use it, but it will stop working down the line.

How about when Windows 10 upgrades? Leo says he can always downgrade back to Windows 8 if he doesn't like it. Encryption protects us from not only people who want to access our data nefariously, but also from over reaching governments. But they can get the keys if they really want to, and there's little he can do about it. When there's a government back door, then move on to another option. It's not illegal to encrypt his own private data.

Watch Chuck from Telohoma, TN Comments

Chuck recently restored his computer to Windows 7, but he's now having trouble with assigning drive letters. Leo says that Windows always wants to be on the C drive. The partitioner won't let Chuck go beyond D. Leo says that Acronis True Image could do it, as will CloneZilla. The Chatroom suggests going into the disc manager of Windows, then right click "select change drive letter settings."

Watch Jose from Paramount, CA Comments

Jose has lost some of his iTunes music from his mobile phone. Leo says that while iTunes says he's responsible for it, he can ask them to restore them and chances are they will do it. But he also has an Android phone right now. So how can he move them over? Leo says that Apple uses AAC, a standard form of music encoding.

Once he has his music, then he can use a third party solution like DoubleTwist, which can move them over for him. Then he should back up his music!

Watch Alan from Antioch, IL Comments

Alan is hesitant to upgrade to iOS 8.4 because he's heard that Bluetooth doesn't work when connecting his lighting cable in the car. Leo says that it's a noted issue on the support boards. But Leo says it will likely be fixed with the next update and iOS 9 is coming this fall, so it won't be long if there's a bug out now.

He could try the public beta of iOS 9 which is out, but it is a bit buggy. In fact, Leo recommends just not upgrading. The only thing that iOS 8.4 really did was update Apple Music. That, and the Twitter bug is also fixed.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Brian from Lancaster, CA Comments

Brian got his first Mac and he's wondering if he has system restore points on the Mac. Leo says no. System restore points are unique to Windows. But Apple does have Time Machine, which offers version control on documents.

Apple's OS X doesn't have a need for it because it strictly controls hardware so he won't have issue with drivers and the like. Also, it doesn't have those issues with viruses.

Brian is also wondering what router to get. Leo says that he can use a cheap router, but it won't be the best. Leo still recommends the Apple Aiport, but the Asus Routers are good too.

Watch Brian from Irvine, CA Comments

Brian wants to capture some of his cable TV signals in HD to his laptop. Leo says that High Definition content is copy protected via HDCP. He could do it via TIVO with a cable card and then use TIVO To Go. Or he can exploit the Analog hole. He can get a digitizing device that takes component or composite out and then use that to convert to bits and save it to his hard drive. The only issue is that he'll need FireWire to do it. USB 3 may do it, though. There could be a Thunderbolt video capture card and that would be a good idea. Blackmagic is his best bet. Hauppauge can also do it, but it would be heavily compressed.

Another good option is the Grass Valley ADVC110. But the problem is copy protection. It turns out that there are devices that ignore HDCP, though. An HDMI Splitter called the Vue HD 1x2 MN3D is designed to do it. But it's very illegal.

Watch Mark from Santa Monica, CA Comments

Mark's computer has had the upgrade icon appear for Windows 10, but he doesn't want to be a beta tester. Leo says that message is the Microsoft reservation icon for upgrading to Windows 10. They've been doling them out randomly to Windows 7 and Windows 8 users who have compatible hardware. He can reserve it, and when it's ready, it will automatically download and upgrade it. But not before he says "yes" a final time. What if he wants to cancel his reservation? Leo says there's a knowledge base article here (KB3035583) that will show him how to uninstall the Windows 10 upgrade offer.

Watch Benny from California Comments

Benny has the chance to buy a Dell XPS Laptop for around $500. Good deal? Leo says absolutely! Dell makes great hardware and considering that laptops used to be $2500, that's a bargain.