The Geek Squad Predicts the Technology Future

You've got tech questions, we've found the answers. We've asked the tech experts at the Geek Squad to help you make the most of your technology, answering your thorniest tech questions. So if you're wondering what to buy, how to plug it in, or how to fix it, the Geek Squad can help.

This week, Geek Squad Counter Intelligence Agent Vanessa Gonzalez answers YOUR questions.

"I want to purchase an iPads but am holding out untill they also include the ability to make phone calls. Basically a PC pad with a phone....when will this come out? I don't like carrying more than one gadget and want to do all that without having to lug a large bag." -- Kati Mitchell

With the way things are going, tablet PCs are getting smaller and smartphones are getting larger. Hopefully, one day, we'll find a comfortable median where our tablet PCs become our phones and vice versa. Until then, we still have some options for you!

Skype is a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service that allows you to turn your tablet PC into a phone. This application lets you make voice and video calls to other Skype users anywhere in the world and is available for both Apple (iOS) and Android devices.

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There are also a couple of other applications on the market made by developers that will allow you to contact a landline service over Wi-Fi or 3G. Truephone and Fring are available on iOS devices that allow this to work. One thing is for sure, with the advancement in technology behind phones, we should be seeing a lot more "large screen" phones on the market in the years to come to rival our tablet PCs.

"When will we see the new iPhone 5 released?” -- Chris Reid

Just like every iPhone release date we've see, the new iPhone 5's release is shrouded in rumor and speculation. Predictions were set for a September release but September has come and is almost gone. Experts are now predicting a release date in late October as they try to piece together bits of leaked information such as manufacturing schedules and word of a prototype lost at a bar.

My guess is as good as anyone else's. "Soon," is something I can say. Apple has always been very secretive of their product release schedules and I can predict that hopefully they'll get our beloved Apple product to us in 2011.

"What's a good program to clean my hard drive for my MacBook Pro?" -- JK

Until the day Seagate invents a self-cleaning hard drive, we’ll need to do some form of periodic maintenance to clean the bits and bytes of leftover software that lurks in the corners of today’s drives.

But there are several things you can do to get your Mac in tip-top shape today, if you're feeling that it's time to "clean" your hard drive. Before I make any recommendations, I strongly urge you to make sure you have an active backup of your hard drive in case things don't go as planned. You can use an external hard drive to do this, and if you're using a recent version of the Mac OS (circa 2008 to present), you can use your "Time Machine" application to help you do so.

I've been using a Macintosh computer for over 14 years, and there is nothing better than a good old fashioned reinstallation of your operating system. This requires you to back up your necessities and boot from your original operating system discs and choose the "Erase and Install" option.

This is going to wipe your hard drive clean and install only your basic system functions. From there, you'll pick and choose what you want to install from your time machine backup.

The other option is to use a program for optimizing your system. Onyx is a great Mac tool for this with a very easy to use interface. It's freeware that you can use for personal use. Choose the "defrag" option, delete your temporary files, and tweak your settings. Your computer should be breathing a bit better now!

Got a question? E-mail us at and we'll relay it to the Geek Squad. Next week, the Squad will answer the most interesting or most frequently asked questions.