Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss a Fortnite tournament, Ring camera false alarm and the police, Olympic champions wearing recycled cell phones, and more.
Jeff in St. Cloud, Minnesota listens on KNSI and asked: “I’m trying to find out what the best option is for extending the WiFi in my house. I have spots here that have weaker signal and I do have quite a few smart devices in my house, so I don’t know if it’s a router issue or if I should invest in a “Web system” or what my best option is.”
Jeff, if you have a lot of devices it may be worth investing in at least a better router.
Inexpensive routers tend to perform a lot worse and you will probably notice a difference right away.
That may not be enough to improve your coverage though. For that, one of those web systems you mentioned — called a wireless mesh — is probably your best bet for a “set it and forget it” system.
Those systems act as a single network, so you don’t have sudden disconnections and reconnections. The different access points just hand over devices to the other access points in the system seamlessly.
That comes at a price, though. Any of these systems from the Orbi, to the Eero, or Google WiFi system will all cost you a few hundred dollars.
How much depends not just on which system you buy, but on how many access points you ultimately need, and that will depend on your square footage and even building materials.
If you want to spend less, you can buy repeaters. They tend not to be as simple to set up or as seamless. You may see disconnections and reconnections, and that can get pretty annoying.
Having said that, you will have no trouble finding individual repeaters for $30 to $50 if you want to go cheap, and you will probably save some money if you use one of those systems.
Rich in Purcellville, Virginia and asked: “Wondering when iOS 13 is going to be out. I’ve been hearing about it for a while but so far I haven’t had the opportunity to download it. I’d like to because one of the features is improved battery life. If you have any tips on when I can get it, I’d appreciate it.”
Rich, you can download iOS 13 betas right now, though iOS beta software is very much beta software and it’s as unstable as any other beta software. If you install it, you may well end up with a camera that doesn’t work right, or you may lose WiFi under some circumstances, or who knows… it’s unstable software and tagged as such, so keep that in mind if you install it early.
If you want the stable version of iOS 13, you’ll have to wait until September. Typically, iOS is released with new iPhone versions and so far we don’t know what will be released by Apple or when, but usually new iPhones are introduced in September and their new operating system is introduced alongside them.
Tim in Burnsville, Mississippi listens on SuperTalk and asked: “I have older games, I am an older PC gamer. I’m looking for a program that will run Windows 95 and 98 games on today’s computers.”
Tim, modern Windows 10 has a built in compatibility mode that will most likely run your games.
Accessing it is relatively easy, you have to look through your hard drive and find the executable file that runs the game, right click it and go to properties. Under properties you should be able to find a Compatibility tab.
There you should be able to select an older version of Windows. For example Windows XP, and run your game in an emulated older version of Windows.
Now, keep in mind that Windows 95 was released in August of 1995, or 24 years ago, Windows 98 was released in June of 1998, or 21 years ago. Sooner or later those games will stop working on newer computers.
Microsoft has been doing an admirable job of supporting older software, but two or two and a half decades is a long time and your luck will run out eventually.
Sue in Belle River, Ontario listens on AM800 CKLW “The Information Station” and asked: “My question is there something out there available that I can put on my television, my indoor and outdoor antenna are not working, I do not get a lot of stations.”
Sue, no, not really. There are boosters which usually don’t help out an awful lot but because they don’t normally make much difference, so it’s hard to recommend them.
The best option is usually an outside antenna, which you’re already using with no success.
That leaves you with few ways to improve your reception, you can try using a larger antenna, placing it higher, or you could try a directional antenna. That may get you a few more channels, but don’t expect any miracles.
In some situations, for example, if you’re in a valley between mountains, there’s very little you can do. And regardless of what antenna manufacturers say in the promotional materials you won’t find a 200 mile antenna that works, or anything even remotely close to that. At some point the curvature of the Earth becomes a problem and and antenna can’t compensate because the signal never really reaches it.
If you’re desperate, your best bet here is probably to raise your outside antenna higher and maybe add a booster to try to strengthen whatever weak signal it can pick up.
When you participate on the show – anytime 24/7 – and we HEAR you with any consumer tech question, comment, help for another listener, tech rage or just share your favorite App these days … you could win prizes.
Check out everything you can win here!
All CALLERS — using the AUDIO option on our Free App or 1-800-899-INTO(4686) – automatically qualify to win prizes.
Audio archived for at least 6 months