CNET to the Rescue 1: Josh joins the fray (podcast)

On the CNET to the Rescue (formerly Real Deal) podcast, co-hosts Josh Lowensohn and Rafe Needleman try to solve the Mystery of the Palm Pre that Wouldn't Speak and answer questions about Macs.

Welcome to CNET to the Rescue, formerly known as Real Deal, in our new weekly slot, Wednesday at noon PT, with new host Josh Lowensohn. Everything about this podcast has changed, except our mission: to help dispel the fear, uncertainly, and doubt in tech, and help you get the most out of the tech products you own and use. This week: road test, and your questions answered. More or less.

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EPISODE 1: Welcome to CNET to the Rescue, with Rafe and Josh

ROAD TEST
Rafe:
Jawbone Icon gets A2DP: Yay!

Josh:
-iPad 3G
-D90

QUESTIONS
Carl: I have a work computer that I have on most of the time so that I can log into it with GoToMyPC. I like to leave my work running on it, but sometimes, the computer will automatically update and restart, losing my work in its current form. Is there a way to have the computer prompt me to restart instead of automatically restarting? That way, I could save my work before it restarts.

Rafe: Save often! Your PC won't reboot without warning you--mostly. For some critical updates, if you wait too long, it will. A PC is a not a mainframe; don't expect it to act like one. But you can also turn off automatic updates. Go into the Control Panel, and find options under "Automatic updates."


Brian: What portable scanner do you recommend? I'm looking for a USB powered on that will do 8.5 inches by 14 inches, down to business card size. Thanks in advance.

Rafe: I don't use portable scanners, but I have a nice one in my HP Inkjet. Don't forget that for many purposes, a digital camera makes a great scanner. Just try to hold still. And see the Scanr app for camera phones.

Josh: It's hard to track down something that's portable and affordable that goes over 12 inches--the business card part is easy. For your needs, I'd go with one of Penpower's WorldocScan 400 scanner, which runs about $130 and can do 8.5 inches by 14 inches. It's a sheet-fed scanner, though, which means that you can't use it on a book or anything too thick to go through.

Also check out the WorldocScan 400 and the new Canon P-150M.


Jason: In my job, I travel quite a bit. I have a company-issued BlackBerry with Exchange [Server connectivity] and use my Outlook Calendar religiously to keep me out of trouble. (Lots of meetings, conference calls, and deadlines). I may soon be promoted to a nontraveling job without a BlackBerry. While I will not be traveling, I will not be at a terminal all day but will still have plenty of meetings, conference calls, and deadlines.

So for my dilemma, I was hoping to sync my Exchange calendar to my iPhone 3G so that I am still alerted when I have an appointment. While this task should be simple, my company is paranoid about security. I need a way to access my calendar from the iPhone's calendar. Read-only is OK (not preferred), but it has to be in the Calendar app so that the push alerts work.

Rafe: You need to get your Exchange certificate (.cer file). E-mail it to your phone (Gmail is fine), then click on the attachment to install it. If you can get that and the server name, etc., from your IT department, you'll be good to go. Good luck. Install a password on your iPhone, tell IT you're doing it, and hope they go for it. Tell them about Mobile Me and Remote Wipe--and about the lost iPhone 4G that was deactivated remotely. Or tell them to not take your 'Berry away!

Josh: Also, not to sound like a broken record because I talked about this the last time I was on the show, but you can install the Google Calendar Sync software on a work machine and have it copy over your Exchange events to a Google Calendar account. This is probably a huge security breach, if you can't even get your IT department to give you a certificate, but it's a workable last resort.


Surfingtheweb: I am curious to know why, on the iTunes Store on an iPhone, you cannot download things over 10MB without Wi-Fi, yet you can easily stream a video podcast within the store (such as BOL on the go) without having to download it right from the store itself without Wi-Fi. Since this is the case, why won't Apple remove the limit on downloads over 3G?

Rafe: Apple does impose restrictions on bandwidth for 3G iPads. Many apps, like Netflix and ABC, display different-quality video streams over 3G. Apps that don't meet bandwidth restriction requirements over 3G are not approved. Some apps, like AirShare, are bandwidth-aware. So there is a limit; Apple just doesn't rub it in your face. Also, Apple recently raised the download size over Wi-Fi from 10MB to 20MB.


Kevin: I bought an app on my iPad that can also run on an iPod Touch. However, I don't sync my iPad's apps with iTunes because iTunes was already syncing apps with my iPod Touch. If I select "sync apps" for my iPad, it tells me that the only way is to erase all of the apps on the iPad and replace them with the list of apps in iTunes. That's obviously not what I want. How can I tell iTunes to merge the iPad's and iPod's set of apps? If I do what iTunes says, and reset my iPad to the iTunes list of apps, is there a way for me to redownload the iPad apps that I've already purchased?

Josh: Well, first off, you can redownload any app you've purchased free of charge, as many times as you want. Even if there's a Buy button there, you just click Buy, and it will give you a pop-up that says you've already purchased. Without even syncing, you can right-click on your iPad in the iTunes source list (after canceling the "erase and sync" it will pop up with), and pick "transfer purchases," which will save those apps back to your iTunes library.

You should also really be syncing your iPad with your iTunes library for backup's sake, since you can save a copy of all your apps and settings, in case something goes wrong. I know the iPad seems like a computer, but the fact that Apple makes you hook it up to a another computer running iTunes before you can even start using it says otherwise.


Kenny: I just got a 13-inch Macbook Pro and was wondering what antivirus software you recommend for Macs. I think I've heard you guys mention it once or twice before, but I never took note of what it was. I went to the Real Deal blog for episode 186: Essential Software for a new PC (or Mac), and I couldn't find it (or didn't recognize it).

We say: Pff. OK, McAfee, if you must. Erica says it never pops up.


Mike: I have a new MacBook Pro (Core i5, 4GB, 500GB HDD@7200rpm), and I was planning to install Windows 7 on it by creating a new Boot Camp partition. I watched several videos related to the topic, and I stumbled across one of your videos of installing Windows on a Mac. You said in that video that you could install Windows in a Mac using the OEM System Builders version and save money, since it was similar to the full version for almost half the price. My question is, can one install Windows 7 on a Mac by using the OEM system builder's copy instead of the full retail version of Windows 7? Or will the Bootcamp assistant refuse to install a Windows 7 OEM system builder's copy? If is possible to install, which OEM version should I buy--64-bit or 32-bit?

Josh: Go with the 32-bit version. I had a heck of a time trying to get the Boot Camp drivers and software to install on a Windows 7 install a few months back. It won't even start the auto-installer, whereas with the 32-bit version, it worked without issues. Unless you have more than 4GB of RAM and were planning to do some really processor-intensive tasks on that Windows install, the jump to 64-bit isn't worth the hassle.

COMMENTS
Sheala: I thought I'd send you a list of some pretty good graphics programs for Macs. It's a mix of vector and pixel programs ranging from free to $59. I've never used Windows Paint, but I think you'll find some of these useful.

Inkscape (at Sourceforge)
Seashore (at Sourceforge)
Funtastic Photos
Scribbles
ImageTricks
Colorate
Imaginator
Pixelmator
Google SketchUp
Skitch


Clint: If you guys ever have Windows performance problems, let me know. I am willing to help out where I can. I am a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer who specializes in Windows performance analysis. For example, the question you had today with a slow Windows 7 computer. I typically use AutoRuns (previously SysInternals - owned by Microsoft).

 

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