Software

Apps, Operating Systems (Windows, MacOS, Linux), or pro level software.

How can I find out what is using up all my hard drive space?

Episode 1418

Gene from Pasadena, CA
WinDirStat

Gene is running out of space on his hard drive and he doesn't understand why. Leo recommends WindirStat. It will show him what is using up all that space, then he can delete it. He can also clean out his temporary files and downloads, clear his internet cache, etc. He can also uninstall programs he doesn't use all that often.

Can I reinstall Windows Vista on an old computer?

Episode 1418

Bruce from Carlsbad, CA
Windows 7

Bruce got an old computer and he is planning to do a reinstall of Windows Vista. He's wondering if he can wipe out all the partitions, but he's worried that he won't be able to restore it if he needs to. Leo says that Windows will save restore points, but Vista didn't have a restore partition with the Windows installer on it. So he'll have to keep the disc for restoring it if the need arises. Bruce should just understand that Vista doesn't have many updates anymore, so he should be careful using it online. If he can, he should try and get a copy of Windows 7.

Can I create a screen reader with Raspberry Pi?

Episode 1417

Todd from Indianapolis, IN
Raspberry Pi

Todd wants to try and create an affordable screen reader using a Raspberry Pi. Leo says that NVDA is a free one, and Orca will run on Debian. If he can get Debian to run on the Raspberry Pi, then he's in good shape. The chatroom says it can work, but he'll probably need more RAM. If he can, that would be a great open source project for the blind.

How can I print old 'Word for DOS' files?

Episode 1413

Mike from Los Angeles, CA
Wordperfect 5.1 DOS

Mike used to use Word for DOS for writing screenplays, using stylesheets to handle formatting. Now he's trying to print his old files and he can't, even though he's loading it into Word for DOS. What can he do? Leo says that printing to DOS is fairly ancient. He can copy to LPT1 and print it, but it won't get him the results he wants. He may be able to import them into modern word. The Chatroom says he could try Microsoft Works as an intermediary, if he can find it.

Should I upgrade to the new Windows 10 Creators Update?

Episode 1412

Diane from Chicago, IL
Windows 10

Diane wants to know if she should jump into the new Windows 10 Creators Update when it's available in the fall or if she should wait. Leo says that the Creators Update has very nice features, but big service pack style updates can be problematic. Leo usually advises waiting for a few days to see if any bugs show up. She should be patient and wait until she gets the notification that the update is ready for her computer. Then defer it a few days or week and see if any problems occur. If everything seems OK, then she can go ahead and install it.

What does a 'Blue Screen of Death' mean?

Episode 1412

Bobby from Plymouth, MA
Blue Screen of Death

Bobby has Windows 7 Home Edition and he's getting a BSOD. Leo says the blue screen is what happens when something goes terribly wrong and Windows can't go on. There's only two ways to get a blue screen these days: 1) A hardware issue failure, or 2) A Ring Zero failure in software, like a driver issue. Leo recommends updating all his drivers first. That's the easiest thing to troubleshoot. There's a wireless driver that Windows installs automatically that causes the crash, so that could be the culprit.

How can I organize my files and music?

Episode 1411

G. Scott from Minnesota
Media Monkey

G. Scott wants to organize his computer backups. He's got duplicates everywhere and multiple files and versions. Leo says he used to worry about organization, but he decided it doesn't matter. He can just let go of it. He'll have multiple copies and that's a good thing. What he really wants is a definitive copy (known as the ground truth) that is off site, and the rest will be extras.