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CNET to the Rescue Ep. 20: From Macs to MAC addresses, your questions answeredRescue listeners this week wonder what laptops to buy and how make their networks, you know, work. Also, Rafe loves Chrome even more now that it's got Instant Search baked in.
Hi everyone I'm -- human welcome. Keynote -- your -- podcast -- we tell the truth about tech products and answer your tech questions if you got one call us with your question. At 8774386688. That is our brand new dial in number leave -- voicemail there keep it snappy. -- and -- tell us what we can do to help you 877. 4386688. No questions to basics that he got a tech problem it's beginning and -- in these -- call try to help you out or -- -- to us rescue at cnet.com. So I'm so this week Josh is that -- Josh is that FaceBook. Sent this in Boston Darren is unavailable. And Brian who -- who would be able to help without is that -- so it is just mean so enjoy the show we're gonna start with a couple of protests from real quick -- I have been using the last couple of days the developer build of Chrome everyone knows that I'm a Chrome pop -- in -- lot of people here we love Chrome. The new developer build of Chrome the browser. Is less stable then then the that standard build which is what most people use even less steel than the beta build which you can also use. I'm it is where -- -- stuff out is not quite as unstable as the canary build what I would not touch but the -- build has. Instant baked into the nav bar the Google search -- you know Google has. Instead of a browser URL entry bar and a search box that has just one bar and you can search -- putting your -- -- With Google instant. Now would look -- with Chrome has done is put instant into the search -- so as few tight into the search -- You get your results on the page -- you immediately you don't have to go to google.com. This is pretty cool and I happen to love instant and a lot of people don't I think it's in the great productivity enhancer. But we're really close the deal for me with the developer build is not only do you have instant built in the search. Bar and the entry -- but you also have new. Keyboard. Shortcuts. For Google Chrome so if you are doing -- if you're typing something in the the to the address bar. Opportunities he would you like on the page below you press enter to lock in -- search and then the down arrow keys to go to the result you want press enter again -- your on the page. It takes some getting used to but it is so unbelievably path to search were true. Search for stuff and get what you want. That it's worth the time to alert -- that this will eventually of course make it into the beta and then the stable builds and today. I'm you know it. You guys -- know it pains me to be so positive -- like something so much but this is really good stuff that's really works. Another protest the happy guys that not so keen on. I recently re signed up to Netflix after ten year hiatus I think it's great. And I signed up to -- for -- streaming. I've found recently. Using Netflix on my Tivo that I'm getting a lot of starters. And the sound we'll get out of sync and the image we'll get choppy normally this is only when my Tivo is also. Reporting on with hard disk two shows the same time and I do have an expanded hard disk in there. So it looks like I've reached the computing power -- my Tivo. To record two things and stream Netflix at the same time and this is for content that -- -- will forget the key though and it over my iPad it looks fine on the iPad it doesn't work on the Tivo. And based on -- -- it's that I'm hesitant to go for the Tivo premiere because apparently. An interface that's -- so. Be warned that you might run into the the limits of your -- compute power now. Out to the questions are what kind of he would I have from -- thanks very much -- the Tivo HD it's one with via cable card built in. It doesn't. The only input I have is them from direct from cable I don't go through another cable. Votes what I call a series two and a half. -- -- questions as we said no question too basic -- got a couple here pretty straightforward Joshua says I'm looking to buy my first Mac. And I was wondering if an iBook G four is a good -- I can find one an eBay for a low price. I would buy a MacBook right now I cannot afford one would an iBook serve me well the first Mac or should I look for something different. Boy I feel -- because Mac books hold their value so well they are not cheap computers but I would not go forward G four based. IBook Apple has transitioned all its computers to Intel powered CPUs -- -- G four is not it is based on our. Most new software is written for the new Intel chip even the latest operating system snow leopard runs on Intel only. Any MacBook with an Intel chip should be current and not your first Mac. And those can be found use but not for the same price as before and now you know why that before prices are so cheap I would and if they meant. Other people and government thing you can get -- really cheap -- might be fun to mess around on but if you're looking for real productivity machine to run everything that's on the web all software all that stuff. Think you want one of the newer and that -- be like 22 year old MacBook would be fun. Maybe from the below -- it into -- back then but not before. Okay and a related question for making widgets and this -- in the chat -- -- my laptop died yesterday and -- -- in desperate need of a new one. They need a good one for video photo editing and CS five for photos I wanna get one that'll -- for a while any recommendations and Mac or PC. Well. If you are used to a laptop and you have an investment in software. I would. On windows I would stick with windows if you wanna try something new now's a great time and of course any computer that you buy today. Aside from the real -- -- with and netbook will have enough horsepower for a thick photo editing. And almost anyone a step up from there will be good for video editing. I hesitate to give you a specific recommendation on a model or brand of laptop. As Molly will tell you where she here do not go for HP because -- and -- reliable. At least hers was and I'm that is just one user however I've -- a lot of people who are having problems with that he's. The key thing is to know your budget and to do good research so go to cnet.com have to status -- -- -- for your advice. Serious money that you're gonna be looking at for putting money into a new computer. Figure out what you want. First before you buy. Try not to get all your advice from people -- retail -- -- trying to get you to buy something at the moment and move up or do your research reads CNET read the sites I happen to be a fan. A custom build because and build to order laptop that you get mail order because I think it pressure component thing you once been sitting on -- shelf. Four weeks or months that store I'm also a big fan as you guys know of referred to are refurbished computers almost any of them the -- The manufacturers will sell you a machine that has in -- come back in and either being in either something wrong -- may have been repaired and are reselling it. Or it just came back as a person didn't want it. -- -- I actually think are more reliable anecdotally. Then off the shelf machines because they happen. They're just certified by buying a pre owned card that's when we had one of the certification programs somebody has actually made -- worked as opposed to taking it off the shelf. Doing standard software installed putting in a box. -- -- it's a lot of money and refer so give those trying bill. Lenovo even Apple they'll have refurbishing. Okay -- -- couple more interest thing and technical questions here we're gonna get deep into the -- in the networking weeds here's. Strap on guys here we go. -- said I set my time capsule is Apple's backup network machine. To be accessed remotely so my sister who lives in another state could share movies. Obviously downloaded legally. I wrote an Apple script Automator that -- the drive over the Internet to her MacBook everything works perfectly. Well now that she moved to open now while her husband is in the air force and I won't connect I don't see the problem -- mechanic stateside but not overseas. Now this is real interest -- problem. I initially thought that the only way that Matt was connecting. Or with getting his them. -- His sister to connect to his time machine was over VP and because he can't do full time machine access over the open Internet you can only do. Network storage access but not -- machine -- over the Internet and that's what he was doing with with Automator. And I thought the may be the VPN was being blocked from the airbase in Okinawa turns out he's not using VP and so my solution now. If the use of VPN so Matt here's -- I think you might wanna try. Look at Yamaichi from LogMeIn or any other VP and but I think much is that good that it's free. Put the MacBook you know when I was basically on the same local network rule appear to be on the same local network as your time machine and -- that a shot I think that will work. You won't have full speed. As long as the air base or wherever -- -- ala the -- He should be okay but it's less likely they'll -- to be in the -- blocking. AFP access which is drive access to the time machines give that -- shot. All right -- Has and other networking issue here. The problem I'm having it says is that the wireless route of the came with the Verizon files which uses Internet provider or -- Doesn't seem to reach the rest of the house I bought one of those antennas and attach it to -- -- it worked only at very little bit. The routers upstairs but the basement has -- -- my friend gave me an older outer -- -- -- he 300 and -- -- cover -- pride right Verizon and action tech MI port 24. In addition the entire house is wired in with Gigabit -- -- ports and most of the rooms. Ideally I would like to connect one of the routers to port in the basement -- provided strong signal throughout. However when I tried that it doesn't seem to connect at all I checked online for solutions basically what -- -- This I should update the firm -- tomato motto. And then follow some complicated procedure to set it up is that necessary -- have a strong wireless signal throughout the house using the same -- ID. With everything secure is -- past -- asking for much. I didn't know exactly -- -- At a time he said the easiest way to do this is with a feature called WDS. Or wireless distribution system. Most newer routers. Support this feature it's really simple to set up you -- -- all -- -- all the access point that same as the -- the and then check the box next to enable WDS in the peace take care -- the bat is one way. You can set up one. -- -- one network Wi-Fi ID in one house with multiple routers. Now another thing you could do which should work if the -- wiring in your wall is configured correctly which I'm. I don't know but I have -- -- hunch about is you won't have the same as this ID but if you take your your files routers. And it has ports on the back that -- ethernet not just Wi-Fi and you plug that in your wall. And you go downstairs and get another -- cheap one maybe once you have and you plug that into your wall it -- re route. Your ethernet signal on -- Wi-Fi if it's not I would definitely double check and make sure that you actually can make a point to point connection from from your. From your house wiring there's there's possibility if it it's Starr wired which is which means all your. All the ports in your house go to one location wiring closet or if they're all terminate somewhere. That they're not connected to each other. You wanna make sure those are all connected to each other through a hub or switch. And then you will that will enable point -- routing between two points in the house men should work. Of the -- WDF to -- into all one as that they be. Or try just plugging in a -- or downstairs once you've got a -- connected. The the ports all connected together. And you'll have a different -- this idea but you should be able to work. -- -- Josh Levy says. Can you tell me how to convert my memoir for the mission to Kindle the problem is that -- -- to the printed book I only have my publishers PDF version of when Amazon. Application for Kindle converts that the result is messy and it gives me no means to edit. Amazon -- -- keeps repeating that I need an html version is their way to generated on my Apple. Or -- after re type -- -- manuscript well there is a way to convert media. Two H Gmail or to word which might even be better. Adobe has its own converter you submit to I tried and it in quite works I would recommend you give that a shot persons freed and should be using the pathetic -- It's that will put a link in the basically look for Adobe's PD PDF html converter. Also on download.com. You can get software to do this there PDF to each email and PDF to word -- just search for them. Search for PDF to work if -- PDF html and try one of those let us know how works. Okay and other networking question wanna take a break there we dive back into networking. -- -- says. Between my children my wife myself. My home is teaming with computers off the cuff but believe their five PCs running Windows 7 to snow leopard -- We have a PlayStation 3 and a Sony DL NA Wi-Fi Blu-ray player. And of course several iPods and an iPad and he just order to Apple TVs as you might imagine with all this stuff. And by the way Tony thank you for not providing an actress that would have -- -- As you might imagine he says with all the stuff were running several iteration of iTunes with media spread all over the place and I have a home group set -- but I. We can share but it's not optimum my dream I would like getting NAS and network attached storage -- -- with centralize iTunes that the serve up the media on demand to any computer. Or device such as PlayStation and Blu-ray. I would be nice of the computers can be backed up to the NAS. Using the resources -- CNET I think this technology DS -- and -- could fill my dream for from a dream what do you think. -- -- keep my investment under 800 dollars. This analogy my work I asked my friend Jeremy over at stage two dot com who has pretty nice set up in his home. Visited him -- and I have here and beat the in my wiring closet and a nice home media set up on. Jeremy says he uses their readynas NV plus which he believes can handle every feature requested. By Tony. Performance he says is not always what he wants the Xbox photo slide shows don't perform well. Dubbed video -- -- back is generally great. The spec does include the LDL and -- support and that's obviously no guarantee to compatibility but it works great Jeremy says with its own those. And with time machine so that back up and audio streaming and video streaming and should work so. Yes your dream is realized the -- and I know who's making it work he's using -- -- -- the look at that in addition to the technology. And speaking of media streaming Bob from port judge and I says is it possible to stream media. Across my home network to and from my Windows 7 PC to my -- rope -- box. Now I ask -- -- about this. And they said at this point it is not possible. However you are able to play -- media from a USB drive if you have the high end new -- -- box. Now if you want to do this. Obviously you've already got -- -- who Boxee kind of locked into that but at this is what Apple TV does. Apple TV will stream from iTunes computer direct to the to its -- little -- the 99 dollar box or their other media Extenders you can get Linksys makes one of the link into the show notes they're a bunch of others out there. Or game platform. But sadly no group that's one thing they don't tooth when Apple has over them on the glowing device. Now and here's one. This one. I don't know -- -- right but chat room and listeners let me know Lincoln. Says I have a conundrum I have a PC running Windows Vista with soft still and free AVG -- and new iMac running snow leopard. And my son has an iPod Touch. We are all experiencing the same problem random reader. -- my Mac and PC I've had them connected directly to my cable modem at different times and they still get redirected. I've also tried running either. My PC with the other turned off and the problem persists. Finally two -- -- my son was -- at the same error he was on an iPod Touch while surfing Internet wirelessly from the same network. After some research it looks like my piece he might be infected by a -- 32 worm with and it he found the file but I'm not sure how this virus my PC would affect my Mac and touch. And Lincoln in his email to me send me a whole bunch of of links with what he was trying to get to what he who is ending up being redirected to. All the links he sent me where came up. Flagged by my security -- from my computer I'm not even gonna mention what they work but his stuff is set up was. Messed up let me tell you now. If you have a virus on your computer. This would cause reader could cause -- However why that it's happening on your Macs and your iPod Touch it's not your computer. The easiest solution although -- is extremely uncommon. Is that you're rounder or your ISP is the cause of your problem it is highly unusual but it is possible. That your -- has been somehow infected and is doing the redirect or even more unlikely that your ISP is somehow screwing -- up here. So. First of all I would try taking one of your computers after you clean the viruses off of it. Disconnect from the network and try to clean the viruses often take it to another. Location. Put in -- onto a different network. And see if you still have the redirect problems and I think you have two problems here one your computers infected and two you've got another infection somewhere else. Try the iPod Touch at a friend's house and see if it works there if it does. Then I think you've got a very unusual and probably pretty pernicious problem on your routers and I would. Buy a new one is what I would do and before you plug anything into it make sure that all your computers are cleaned off. -- Very unusual problem anyway. We do -- on time oh here's -- one. -- tech savvy firemen. I'm a fire fire in Maryland he says and in desperate need of an open Internet access point at our fire house. We are planning and lose using the local ISP which is Comcast provides service the station but in order to pay for -- -- going to split the cost among the people -- are willing to. I'm trying to find the system and I can manage remotely -- they live over hundred miles away from station to provide access to this upcoming wireless Internet. I know that using Mac address filters -- not the best or easiest way as we will have people using phones laptops iPods iPad that are what guys can you recommend. I I think this is more of of a social problem and technical one. Mac filtering of course will work and it'll work well of course Mac the Mac -- -- can be hacked to Sony really wants it -- but that. Don't think the problem here. But if you have a lot of people a lot of different devices it will be a royal pain in the neck. To keep all those media access control. Numbers up to date and have people come -- you saying hey I just got -- who iPad can you act you know authorized me on the network. You really don't wanna be doing that. What I would say is that that would know -- -- who look at the questions since their fire people I'm -- that there honest which we hope. Most routers offer remote access that to change settings. Anyway sorry what Josh was basically saying is just set up a password and give people password and -- -- not give out the password -- -- the people that the giving it who have. Have paid up. And you know frankly again from the social perspective on this. If you've got it doesn't two dozen people who you give the -- were too and they're all he knew few bucks a month or even less -- you know. My my active in and -- -- for a -- to the service. You can. And at somebody else comes in and they get the password somehow -- the enemies they steal it. Access it that's actually hurt you that much and it notes it's not though the the cost of having people. -- your system of your honour system is very low it's karma caught them but at no cost do you really I would just I would not. You Mac actress filtering. With so many people -- devices involved to set a password or if you really want to get hardcore about this. Look up on the web. Paid acts paid Wi-Fi hotspots software and you can install that somewhere or uses a service. And if -- set up your own paid hot spot at the pain in the neck I would just go the honor system and passwords. Let's see. Interesting question for Tivo users I recently purchased a Tivo premiere and it opened my eyes to new -- -- world this from Brandon. I've been using generic -- generic DVR from a cable company for years and despite some somewhat sluggish interface. I'm now -- loving the new Tivo premiere. Because -- fantastic availability by movies and shows because that -- -- typing more using your. I heard making use of generic USB keyboard with -- -- premier. But I want to use my existing Microsoft 3000 keyboard mouse combo already installed on my HT PC. With my big screen TV on the same location cannot use a Canadian switch to use my keyboard on both my HT PC and Mikey though. If yes what -- -- PS I don't wanna by the -- or remote with keyboard because there already -- and harmony one to control point immunity system. Totally get you on that left one more remotes. -- -- the KVM solution here I don't -- not in this case. Your Tivo premiere of be acting just like another computer you obviously wouldn't be switching video that. I've had good luck with the low end ideal here KVM. I haven't tried this I would get the that if -- have -- -- return policy. Obviously software only solutions like synergy won't work because installments offering Tivo to try a low end USB KVM and technically. It should work that look. Now final. We have some great advice from listeners on issues we have addressed in previous episodes of CNET the rescue. -- in California writes while -- -- with your assessment that the girls this is talking about the the father of -- a woman who is going to college and there's questions about Wi-Fi security. Breaks as well I agree with your assessment the girls need to have their own Wi-Fi routers -- the big reason for this was not among your comments the big risk is not so much the snooping on their traffic which is a risk and any wrong. But rather the fact that all the girls computers will be on the same side of the routers firewall as the boy's computers. This means that the boys will have direct access to the girls computers plus or minus whatever spiral software in their computers have any vulnerabilities in the computers services. Will be directly accessible by anyone on that local network and because the boys are in the same room there would be no way to see what they're up to but watching what they're doing. The same issue applies to other Wi-Fi hotspots such as those hotels airports coffee houses except the year -- -- not attach those networks for hours on end. -- that is a very good point yet another reason for these women to get their own Wi-Fi routers and their own Internet access and export and you'll -- -- Brian wrote to us and said I recently had a similar problem. On as I did on my overdrive we're with disconnecting on the Wi-Fi with my run of the mill Linksys land rather. I have billing system -- -- -- and and and periodically metal laptop which just disconnect and refused even see the redder the solution that I found with the turn off automatic. Channel switching. Since I pick the channel and stuck with -- I haven't had devices drop their connection other than them moving out of range. And -- the problem with cordless phones written habit on the rhetoric causing the constantly want to change channels which is something my laptop and have the ability to handle. Brian that is great advice I just got this email I'm gonna check that out on the overdrive and -- -- connected the overdrive via Wi-Fi. -- can -- down the channel either on the overdrive or on my Mac so it doesn't com. You know at hop and disconnect the device finally last comment here from Justin. My wife and I recently decided to drop PPV service. After the from a period ended and they added on fees for HD and DVR we were paying eighty dollars a month for the second -- -- with no premium add ins. We try converter box and antenna will last for about fifteen minutes. But we've been using Hulu to Patrick and -- -- working quite well. We just got -- invite for Hulu plus and with our -- -- Netflix subscription we are now paying 22 dollars a month. For pretty much the same thing as we have cable. In May not exactly be the same but the sixty dollars difference is enough to -- -- and there are plenty of places to go watch Packers games lives. -- So Justin thanks for that and in addition to saving money and skip the -- -- -- bars with so it's good thing. Our that is it for this episode of -- to the rescue remember if you have questions tech questions for us from. What hardware should -- -- two -- network acting this way to everything in between. Send -- -- -- rescue at cnet.com. Or call them into 8774386688. In 8774386688. Can also catch past episodes and get all the links and it's in the show notes at cnet.com slash rescue you can follow us on Twitter. I'm Rafe. RA FP that updates on what's going on CNET and on the show and -- and definitely helped these stocks did okay. Right thanks everyone was filming.