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The Real Deal 167: All-questions

We spend all episode answering your questions, from how to pick an iPhone, to how to blog on the go.

We spend all episode answering your questions, from how to pick an iPhone, to how to blog on the go.

Listen now: Download today's podcast
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Hi Tom

I’m one of the lads that met up with you in London in April (I was the (almost) bald guy sitting in front of Nate & you lol).
My wife and I are going on holiday to Seattle and Alaska on Sunday and I would really like to keep some kind of blog going while we’re there that my family and friends can follow. I’m looking for something that I can easily update and upload pictures to while being on the move. I use a laptop that has both Ubuntu and Windows 7 installed.
Have you got any suggestions to what kind of blog I should use (or web site?).


A: Tom suggested Posterous. http://posterous.com/
A: Rafe: Check out Tumblr. You can update it via AIM. In fact, most blog platforms have mobile clients. See also Vox if you want a blog that’s not wide open to the world.


Which USB mic should I get for my MacBook


A: GREAT article on USB Mics – http://www.eqmag.com/article/mics-meet-usbthe/jul-08/86389
Tom uses an Alesis USB mixer so he can have more than one mic. For single mic needs, you could get an XLR to USB adapter, so if you do branch out later, you can use the mic for other things. Problem is, they’re expensive ($99-$149) and you might as well just get a mixer for that amount of money.



Gaitano from Florida. What to do with a broken iPhone?

A: DirectFix claims to be easy to use to fix iPhones. http://www.gethightech.com/


Dear Tom/Rafe

I have a Una-body 15″ MBP without a SD card slot. And when i went to crucial it said that 4gb(over all) is all i can have. The new ones take the same type of chips and that is what is confusing to me. Is there something in the hardware that doesn’t allow me to used 4gb sticks to have the over all 8gb of RAM?

GraniteJoe (chat room) Joe Ferguson (IRL)

PS i love Rafe; without him CNET would just be a echo chamber.

A: The firmware is the limitation, and it’s unlikely to be updated from what i can tell. As far as RAM limitations, they seem to vary by model and when built. Hard to get a clear answer online


Dear Tom:
This is Siavash, I was wondering how can I install windows XP from a USB drive, I have an old Dell laptop and the DVD drive is dead, I don't want to buy a new drive and I don't have any external USB DVD drives, so I was hopping I could boot from a USB flash drive, I have a "legal copy" of windows XP.

Siavash in Tehran

A: You can use Bart PE Builder to make a bootable copy of Windows from your setup disk. Follow instructions here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/windows-pocket,1113.html But if you don’t have a working drive, that may be an issue.

Oops, wrong link. Thanks to Dwight for sending in this one.


Something a listener brought up on one of your BOL podcasts on how to save the audio from YouTube. I normally write things of interest down, but thought I would remember it. Which I did not :( It was something you added in front of the YouTube link, was not keep or kiss but something similar 4 digits. Any help here?

A: I can’t remember which one we said on the show, but I like this service.




Hi Tom, I’m constantly having to playback midi files and am tired of hearing the kinky sounds that keep playing. Is there a good (free) alternative to this?

Thanks a bunch Kski

A: I haven’t used a lot of these but I hear some good things about http://wildmidi.sourceforge.net/


I have two questions for you guys:-

1. Why won’t my friend’s iPhone headset work with my 1G iPod Touch? I
can’t use VoIP on it. It annoys me to only hear the other person on
Skype. Is there anything like a microphone which works on it?

2. I was just thinking to exchange my 1G Touch for the 2G one as
iPhone is very expensive here (around 30,000 rupees which is about
652$). Now I am getting 142$ for my iPod which is a 16GB and the new
one, 8GB costs 250$. Should I wait for the next generation touch? Or
should I go ahead and just buy it?


- Jayesh Bhagchandani

Mumbai, India

P.S – Rafe is awesome.

I say that because I really want him to reply to my questions :D

A: They didn’t make the 1G compatible with the iPhone headset. Different headphone jack. It’s a hardware issue. 2.2 Firmware activated the dock to be able to use a mic. You would have to buy a mic that connects to the bottom port. There’s a popular one from Macally that works and is about $50 http://www.amazon.com/Macally-IVOICEPRO-Voice-Recorder-Silver/dp/B001DM5GSA/ref=pd_bbs_sr_8?ie=UTF8&s=office-products&qid=1236729929&sr=8-8
The iPod Touch has not been refreshed since September 2008, so I would wait to upgrade.


Dear Tom, Jason and the rest of the Buzz

I was recently researching some of the features that were to be included in the 3.0 software upgrade. One that interested me was the support for stereo Bluetooth. What does that mean exactly for me and other people who have an ipod touch 2g? Would I be able to use my bluetooth headset and listen to music with it? Would i be able to use skype (or other VOIP) with this and make it like a phone, and not have to pay for the $80 in-ear headphones from apple? Thanks and love the show.


A: Yes
A: Really? I couldn’t get it to work with my Jawbone headset. w iphone


Hi guys,

Catching up on a few recent Real Deal podcasts, you had a question from a week or two ago from someone I think in Hawaii who has an issue with his DSL connection dropping whenever a phone call comes in. You suggested installing DSL line filters, but I experienced the same problem and figured out that it was because my cordless home phone interfered with my wireless network. I have an older 900MHz cordless phone that does not affect the Wi-Fi, but another 2.5GHz phone that shuts down the Wi-Fi as soon as I answer a call, if the handset is anywhere near my laptop or the router. Love your show!

A: I also have a cordless phone on 2.4GHz and while there’s intererence (pops on the phone), and probably it causes WiFi problems, it doesn’t *shut down* the Wi-Fi. That’s weird. It should restablish. Anyway, I thinking of replacing this world's-worst phone with a new DECT model. Anybody have one, let me know?

= Glenn

Dear Tom and Rafe:
This is Siavash from Iran, a long-time listener. First of all for the problem you have Rafe, when you hear the static do not turn off any device just unplug the FibreOptic cable from you DVR and then reconnect it again, if that fixed the noise you have to change the cable or the AV receiver , if the noise was not fixed the problem is with the DVR.

A: THanks everyone who wrote in about this. As it happens it’s not just my DVR that gets the fuzz and static. It happened on a DVD too. So now I’m suspecting my AVR, which is a real bummer because I really like it, and it’s old and out of warranty. It’s a Marantz SR19 if anyone cares. Built like a tank, great receiver.

By the way, I'm planning to buy a new laptop, and I'm considering the new Macbook Pro, I'm going to use Vista or Windows 7 on it. I will order it with 3.0Ghz CPU and 128GB SSD, for faster performance, but I'm not sure about the SSD drive, I have seen benchmarks on the internet of the HDD and SSD version of Macbook pro and the SSD version seems pretty fast in boot time and performance in different conditions, but I really don't know what to do, all I want is performance, and I have read some places that Macbook pro has some problems with power management when using windows, is it true Tom? Have you every had any problem with the battery life when using Vista or XP?

A: SSD is a lot of extra money for not a lot of performance. Early days on this tech. I’d reconsider.

I Love the show, keep up the good work

Best Regards



Hey guys-

I find that OWC aka Macsales.com is the best place to check for Mac
upgrades. They have how to’s with video, configuration FAQs plus they
make some of their own tweaked hardware that often let you exceed the
Apple specs. Their customer service is tops, too. I’ve bought Mac
upgrades there for years and have never had a problem.


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