Wikipedia:Reference desk/Computing

Wikipedia:Reference desk/Computing

The Wikipedia Reference Desk covering the topic of computing.

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Intel tablet that has EFI

I am looking for a tablet PC (just touchscreen kind) that is Intel based and uses EFI. I want to write a bootloader that is larger than 512 bits because I want to make one that has a lot of features like those found on phones (signature check, flashing firmware). Something that doesn't adhere to the standard restrictions on the boot sector where I can install a bootloader that can do numerous things. Also, I would like it to use flash memory and not a hard drive. --Melab±1 ☎ 02:09, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

All bootloaders are larger than 512 bytes. On a traditional IBM PC, the 512 byte first sector just loads the rest of the bootloader and jumps to it. With EFI, you just put the bootloader in the EFI System partition and the BIOS loads it for you. -- BenRG (talk) 02:37, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Ehh, that is not exactly what I am talking about. I particularly like the way mobile phones boot up—the bootloadet does the initialization without relying on a BIOS (or in this case, a boot ROM), the first chunk of code that is loaded is larger than 512 bytes, and the first sector can contain only code instead of requiring an arbitrary amount of space be used for a specialized purpose (the partition table in the MBR). --Melab±1 ☎ 04:22, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Does anyone else have anything to add? --Melab±1 ☎ 04:28, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Permanent cloud storage solutions?

First, the lower the cost the better.

I need to find a way to store the entire sum of my hard drives onto a cloud. Google already does it with documents, called Google Docs, but AFAIK, I can only upload one file at a time.

I need a method that will let me move many at once, and automatically, even if I have to leave it running while I sleep. This is so that I need not pay Geek Squad over $500 (with $100 nonrefundable) to recover everything off of a failed drive, the next time a failure event happens.

Even though it's a fair form of insurance, I'd call cloud storage a holdover; a decent foot-bridge if you will, until SSDs become affordable (At $1/GB or less.) Then with two forms of data insurance, I'll not have to worry about data loss and expensive recovery services ever again.

But what I need for you to recommend me is a cloud storage solution that will not delete all my files if I decide not to renew the solution's membership. (I would call the service fair if, and only if it just "locks" my files and doesn't allow me to make another upload until I renew.) -- (talk) 05:40, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Even if they just lock your files, without deleting them, someday, if you are not a client anymore they'll get rid of them. Anyway, web-hosting is so cheap nowadays that you could host some gigas for $3 a month. I suppose that if your data are important that would be a fair solution. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:29, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
$3/month/gigabyte? I have about 300 GB to backup. What service were you referring to? Also, I need a cheaper service that still works. Please suggest soon, anybody. Thanks. -- (talk) 15:52, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
There are plenty of online backup services, you could start with Comparison of online backup services although there are a whole lot of options likely not mentioned there, e.g. Amazon S3 [1] but if you don't have much idea of what you're doing you may want to look for something which provides a resonable level of ease of use including protection against user error (some of the online backup services use Amazon S3). As 88 said, there's not much chance you'll find a service which will keep your files for ever even when you don't pay. Although some may give you a period where they will keep the files if you get behind in payments which I guess may be worth looking in to if your that hard up because of students loans or whatever. As for the cost, particularly if you don't have much money consider whether you really need to backup 300GB or you can be more selective in what you backup. Any unmodified downloads for example don't generally need to be backed-up.
Also SSDs don't protect you against all forms of dataloss, for example they provide little protection against user error which it sounds like could be a big problem here. In fact because of the way SSDs work (wear levelling, TRIM etc), I wonder whether they might actually be at bigger risk for user error, since recovery after you've screwed up could easily be more difficult (you may get a few reallocated sectors with normal magnetic HDDs but this isn't the same level). BTW, for nitpickers, yes wear levelling may in theory mean it takes even longer for the data to be overwritten, the difficulty is finding the data in the first place. I don't have much experience with recovery from an SSD but it does sound to me like it's going to be a lot more complicated then from a normal magnetic HD.
P.S. Do consider using multiple backups for your most important data. For example as a student, does your university provide any form of storage? You could use this for some of your most important stuff particularly uni related stuff. Obviously don't store anything which would be unwelcome by your uni.
Nil Einne (talk) 18:51, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

What are some low-cost methods to recover data from a wiped hard drive?

Saturday, 8:49 AM, I fell asleep after working all night, business-as-usual, on my laptop. Everything seemed fine and dandy.

I forgot to close the lid all the way.

1:41 PM, I wake up to a completely black, unresponsive screen. I decide to restart like I always would if something cannot respond. I see a pre-start screen saying that "Windows (7) failed to start" so I chose the "startup repair" option. It gets me to another black screen, so I knew something serious is going down.

Eventually I get to choose the Safe Mode options, but I see a blue screen that appears for one second before starting.

Going to "Repair My Computer" and clicking on System Restore doesn't work on safe mode, is what a pop-up told me. (Is that even true?) Then when I went to Safe Mode's startup repair function, it gave me "Searching for Problems" and I knew it was going to take a long time, so I left for the night, and returned the following morning. It was still on that same screen so it seemed hopeless.

I'm eventually directed to do a "parallel install" on my secondary hard drive. When I choose the partitions to do the install from, while I choose the "D" drive, I see that the "C" drive has 215 GB available of 215 GB total. I knew this had to be an error; it sounded like I wiped the drive I care too much for. I never authorized a reformatting or anything of that nature, and the OS install went to my "D" drive.

After the install finished, I went back into Windows again (with the icons all gone but the Recycle Bin. What was the "D" drive was now called the "C" drive on the "My Computer" window, and the original "C" drive did not show up. I right-clicked its Start Menu icon, went to "Manage" and found my former primary drive, now unnamed. I gave it a letter - Drive "B." Then it showed up under "My Computer," but the fluke still stood true: The drive still appeared empty.

I've spent countless hours on so much work; a good chunk of my life history was on that drive, and apparently a hidden software update made "keeping the lid open while sleeping" the command needed to "format" the disk.

(A diagnostic on the Dell Inspiron 1720 gave me the code "2000-0146" for that drive, so I'm receiving two new free ones.)

Best Buy's Geek Squad said that they could take the drive to a laboratory, and they'll use their award-winning equipment to recover as much as possible, but a $100 deposit is nonrefundable. If they're successful, the rest of the charge would bring the total to "$500 and up."

Even though Best Buy's card is going to let the payments be "18 months same as cash," I'm sure that lower-cost solutions are possible. Could a data-recovery software be installed to my secondary drive so that it works on the primary drive? What are all the great ways you know?

(And as a reminder, just so I don't see a loss of my precious data ever again, someone needs to share a great cloud storage service. Thanks again.) -- (talk) 05:19, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Reposting, changing the title and using repeated characters will not change the basic operation of the reference desk as noted at the top of the page - - When will I get an answer? -> It may take several days. --LarryMac | Talk 18:00, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
First - I hesitated to answer this because I simply haven't had the time to read a novel about your life experiences just to get to the question. It appears that you want to know how to get data off a drive that has been corrupted or formatted or something similar. Second - you state "cheap", but don't define that. For data recovery, anything under $1000 is cheap. It appears you are defining it as around $0. If so, you won't find anything. Third - what I'd do is pop the drive in a Linux box, mount it, and read the data directly off the device block by block. Then, I'd try to rebuild it - which is hard because Windows loves to fragment files. So, you pretty much have to know what you are looking for. You can't just poke around and see what's there. Of course, having over 30 years programming experience makes it a viable option for me. If someone asked me to do it for them, I'd ask for around $1000 to spend a week or so searching around their drive.
Now, onto the simple question you asked: I use Amazon's S3 service to store stuff I don't want to lose. It is easy to use and, in my opinion, cheap. I have photos, papers, and the like from as far back as 1992 stored on it. I spend under $5/month. -- kainaw™ 18:15, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
To answer your other question, Iwould guess you should probably at least use a solid state hard drive (much less prone to failure and corruption) and a backup external hard drive (backup your files regularly to both the backup external hard drive and a flash drive). Heck froze over (talk) 18:40, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
We've discussed this before in relation to other users, there are plenty of tools you can use to try to recover data. I've used stuff from R-TT before [2] but most of these sort of tools are fairly similar. They will look for traces of the original file system and if they don't find anything they can look for files by signature. While you can work with the original drive, this is a bad idea if there's any possibility the drive itself is damaged which it sounds like is the case here. Even if it's not, it's risky since you could screw up and cause further damage by writing to the drive. As Kainaw it's better to first read the entire device and try to recover from that image. Having said that, from your description you would probably be better off paying someone or at least begging for the help of a technically competent RL friend. Hopefully this isn't too rude but while many of these tools are fairly user friendly and reading a disk isn't hard, if you are talking about your 'C' drive and 'D' drive when asking for help, you probably don't know enough to avoid causing further damage or to effectively recover data. (Are you even sure you actually have to drives and you didn't just have 2 partitions?) If the hard drive is physically damaged, there are of course things a professional recovery lab can do to try and recover data like take the drive apart in a clean room although that tends to cost more then a $1000 from what I've heard. Nil Einne (talk) 19:13, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
GNU ddrescue[3] is free and part of the free tool suite Ubuntu rescue remix[4]. I've not had the occasion to use this yet, but it's highly regarded, and there are various tutorials and documentations online. --Colapeninsula (talk) 14:13, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I use MozyHome for cloud backup. I haven't had to recover from a hard disk crash but I did once restore a file that got messed up through user error, and it worked fine. I don't know anymore if I would recommend it — when I signed up, it was $5 per month for unlimited storage, and I read now at our Mozy article that this plan has been abandoned, and pricing is now based on the amount of data stored. Comet Tuttle (talk) 21:10, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

information of mac

i want to know that how mac is inbuild the hardware ? and how they work when mac is slow down? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:24, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

I do not undertand your question at all. What is the meaning of the word "inbuild". And what does the word "they" refer to? (talk) 12:57, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Does our article Macintosh hardware help? Comet Tuttle (talk) 21:06, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

I need a session restorer like SessionBuddy on Chrome, but that can store my sessions in a cloud.

Since a random kaputting "wiped" my hard-drive, pending a $500+ data restoration from Geek Squad, I need to find a session-saving app like SessionBuddy, but that also stores the sessions in a cloud (that is retrievable by a login.)

Until then, I can only open my webpages by memory, and I had about 59-61 tabs open before the drive failed.

So what Chrome app saves and restores my sessions in this manner, but also to a cloud (hence is immune to hard drive failures?)

Because of recent hardware failures, I need to store everything I can to a cloud-based platform, and hope to get this done as soon as I can because I need to return my failed hard drives to Dell as soon as the new ones come in. Thank you kindly, -- (talk) 12:19, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

TabCloud for Chrome and Firefox can apparently do this.[5] Or you could save your tabs to local disk and then automatically back that up. --Colapeninsula (talk) 14:19, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Compositing Portraits

In certain places, I have seen photo booths that allow couples to take a photo each, and then get it composited, so that they can see what their future child might look like when (s)he's their age. Is there any free software (for Windows or Linux) that can do this sort of thing? I'd be interested in putting photos of my entire family together to see if I can come up with an average. KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 13:52, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

There's an online tool - MorphThing#What_will_my_baby_look_like?. The main Morphing article has links to a couple other programs, not sure if they're free. --LarryMac | Talk 14:37, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Photo taken of backwards E

Referring back to this question, I just saw it at the library, and asked the woman at the reference desk to come look. She reported it to the tech people, and I asked her to take a photo with her cell phone. However, she doesn't want to email me the photo. She intends to show the photo to the tech people.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 14:57, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Good times. ¦ Reisio (talk) 16:51, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I am very interested in this mystery E that I have been reading about the past few weeks. I can't wait to see it. Who are the tech people, and how will she tell you their response if she won't email you? TheGrimme (talk) 19:37, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I wonder why they don't want to email it? In the meantime, maybe you could try drawing it in mspaint and upload the drawing to imgur, someone here may be able to identify it from that AvrillirvA (talk) 19:59, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't know. I'm coming back to this particular library in two weeks and I guess I'll ask the woman then. I don't understand why she can't email it, but if the photo still exists somewhere and there's a way to send it to those of you who want to see it, I'll try to do it.
Meanwhile,there was a follow-up question. I mentioned seeing an hourglass and that was true this time too. I don't know what determines why I see that and why I see the backwards E, except that when I was seeing the hourglass and moved the cursor down to the taskbar, that's one time that it changed. I called the woman when I had a pop-up ad and something I had to click on to unfreeze everything (something like "When you send information to the Internet ... Do you wish to continue?"), and that time, the E disappeared when I clicked. Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:22, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I decided to try asking her again. She is going to email me, but her phone is now in her car.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 21:07, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
She may simply not feel comfortable giving out her email address to a stranger who comes to her library. If she has access to the official library email account, she could send it there and then forward it to you from there after having taken her contact details out of the header. Dismas|(talk) 02:52, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Is it the existential quantification character U+2203 ?--Shantavira|feed me 08:41, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I have the photo now. What should I do with it?
Dismas, this woman knows me. I've been coming to this particular library nearly once a week for as long as she's been working there. I don't know how long she has been there, but it's less than 10 years because I still remember the person she replaced teaching me copy and paste when I couldn't get a newspaper article to print out. Turned out I needed printable version, but copy and paste is ultimately cheaper.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 16:24, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm at a different library. The photo is in the computer although it won't display. I've sent an email to User:TheGrimme but there was no way to add attachments.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 16:35, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I've sent you my email address via email to your wikipedia email. Most webmails should allow you to add attachments. The wikipedia email function does not but if someone emails you you have their email address and can then hopefully send attachments from your actual email account. Nil Einne (talk) 16:51, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Done. Thank you.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 17:00, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. I can't identify it (I've tried a quick upload to TinEye or Google Image but it's not the sort of thing they're really designed for and perhaps cleaning it up a bit would help) but I've uploaded a cropped version here [6]. It contains what appears to be the whole icon but lacks text which may be useful to give people an idea of the size, however the text would reveal what website you were browsing so I won't upload that without permission.
BTW the bit about the 'pop-up ad' sounds like this dialog box [7] which is not a popup ad but a standard part of IE that probably 99.9999% of people disable (outside of a library, simply make sure 'don't show this again' is checked should be enough) and I think is disabled by default nowadays anyway.
Nil Einne (talk) 17:24, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I was trying to guess at the size from the cropped image. It is hard to tell. Does it cover a lot of the screen? Is it about 1 character tall, two characters, three...? -- kainaw™ 17:48, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I am curious to know if this is related to a specific website. The library, based on earlier questions, has a very old and unpatched (and heavily virus laden) copy of Windows and Internet Explorer. The old IE browsers cannot display PNG transparencies. They display black where it should be transparent. Also, they do not support CSS absolute alignment well. So, if I were to make a page in which I want to "white out" a spot on the page, by having a png with two white rectangles and the rest transparent, the old IE would show an out-of-place image that has two white rectangles and the rest of the image would be black. -- kainaw™ 17:54, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
(EC with below) Sorry I should have clarified. The 'cursor'? seems fairly large, the height of the black thing is between 2-3 rows of text (the photo doesn't include the entire monitor but I presume the text wasn't that large). I've looked at the specific URL and can't see anything that would be causing it, the cursor occurs in an odd position between two paragraphs of text and doesn't look at all like a flaw in the page, it actually looks very odd. I did try on IE earlier but couldn't be bothered digging up a copy of IE6 yet and I don't think those IE test sites are likely to show the specific problem anyway if it somehow is related to the cursor. From the earlier comments, it sounds a lot like Vchimpanzee would be fine with me uploading the image (it's just a news article so nothing sensitive) but I'd prefer to receive confirmation first, unfortunately since their internet usage is I believe sporiadic this may take a while if they've already left for the day. (I did belatedly ask by e-mail to hopefully ensure they get my message next time they're online.) Nil Einne (talk) 18:54, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
The extra pixel width at the ends of the first two parts, the fact that it disappears when you click anything, and that it only happens on this one library computer make me think it might be some kind of hardware graphics glitch unique to that computer. AvrillirvA (talk) 18:41, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I was going to add my two cents that I thought it looked like garbage, too. Kainaw's lack-of-transparency idea was interesting. VChimpanzee, were you able to go to Control Panel -> Mouse -> Pointers and verify whether the backwards E is anywhere in the list? Comet Tuttle (talk) 21:04, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
It's not really an exact fit, but the E does seem somewhat similar to the E in the Dell logo. Is this happening on a Dell computer? TheGrimme (talk) 21:17, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
The Grimme and Comet Tuttle: I'll check on the type of computer next time I'm there, but that'll take two weeks. It is just the one computer that has that. I couldn't get on the Internet at home yesterday because something went wrong with the keyboard. I took it to the store and they solved the problem quickly, and I'm just now reading this.
Nil Einne: I am a he, and it's fine if you want to upload the whole image. It's a Washington Post article by Hank Stuever, and the site was being very temperamental at the time. The list of Hank Stuever's articles is very slow to come up--I mean if the entire Internet were like that at one time, people would celebrate the day dial-up as we now know it was invented. And so an hourglass or that E was always on the screen.
Kainaw: I don't recall how many of my earlier questions were about the library where this particular problem occurred.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 23:38, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
One more response to Nil Einne: I couldn't remember what pop-up ad I was referring to. But clicking on the dialog box before the woman got there made the backwards E go away and I had to wait until the Washington Post problems came back. The "Do you wish to continue" dialog box (which I don't think appeared at that time) does happen to come up every single time and I should tell them to find a way to disable it.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 23:43, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Full photo here [8]. That's the full file I received BTW, 1280x960 242,273 bytes. It has EXIF (no GPS or such info) so I presume is the original file from the librarians camera. Nil Einne (talk) 00:19, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
That definitely looks like a graphics glitch and not anything meaningful AvrillirvA (talk) 00:43, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
It could be the hourglass becomes that E under some circumstances. I thought something was happening to block me from doing what I wanted. At least now it's out there. I'll report back if the people at the library have anything to say about it, and if I get there early enough, I don't have to use THAT computer, but I'll check on its model and software.
Thanks everyone.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 19:06, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Is there a way to (or a website that will) map possible destinations, given starting point and distance?

I know that the short answer is "There are infinity destinations," but please hear me out. Also, this is all in fun. Please no debates about the merits of Mormonism. Thanks. My church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is planning to build a temple soon in the Hartford, Connecticut area. I keep a spreadsheet list of information about these temples, including location, chronology, physical characteristics, etc. Specific locations for new temples are very seldom (if ever) announced before all legal and administrative requirements have been met, but not long ago, in a church conference, one of the speakers accidentally leaked the temple's future location. I wasn't at the conference, but the brother-in-law of a friend of mine was, and for whatever reason, he's not willing to re-leak the information. However, he did tell my friend that the site is 60.9 miles away (driving) from his home. I have his address but am keeping that to myself. So I know where to start from, how far to travel, and in generally what direction. Is there a website that will show possible destinations, say, within a certain radius of a certain point? I found this and other similar sites, but they're for travel in a straight line, not driving. I have Microsoft MapPoint on my computer and it has a similar feature, but it's for time, not distance. No urgent need to know, but would LOVE a response. Thanks much! Kingsfold (Quack quack!) 16:49, 15 November 2011 (UTC) ¦ Reisio (talk) 16:55, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
You could do this manually with a little time. Just use Google Maps or Mapquest, pick your home as the start, and a location you think will be close to that distance, in the desired direction, as the destination. This gives you the distance. Pick destinations closer or farther until you get the desired distance. Repeat this procedure for other directions, if desired. StuRat (talk) 19:25, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
True. Within the link that Reisio provided above, there's an app that comes pretty close to what I had in mind, but it only has milestone distances at 30, 20, and 10 miles, etc. I tried to trim off the first 30.9 or 40.9 miles of the route (leaving 30 or 20 miles exactly), but couldn't really get that exact on the map. After a bit more creative Googling, this links seems to do exactly what I want it to do. However, the other issue is that I don't really know what land the Church owns in the area, which I suppose is a key piece of information. (Some people are thinking, "Uh... yeah.") Thanks. Kingsfold (Quack quack!) 13:22, 16 November 2011 (UTC) programming languages

am I right in guessing that proffessional game programmers use languages like C when programming games? What (other?) languages would they use? (I don't think all the hits on google have proffessional grade languages).Heck froze over (talk) 18:34, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

C and C++ for a great deal of development. C# for Microsoft XNA. Java for Android. Objective C for iOS. Lua is used pretty commonly as a scripting language inside games. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 18:45, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
ActionScript for Flash games and (bubbling under) javascript for HTML5 games. For the backend (server) part of server-based games like MMORGS, just about anything could be used, but I'd expect to see a lot of Java there, and some Python and PHP, and C++ for some parts. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 18:48, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Finlay McWalter pretty much nailed it. If you can be more specific about what your target platform is, we can provide a better response. TheGrimme (talk) 19:31, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Two important ones I forgot: a small number of people, on the fancier Direct3D/OpenGL games, will code the shaders themselves, in GLSL or HLSL; they're not far from C. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 21:40, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking computer games such as World of Warcraft, Runescape, and flash games. Heck froze over (talk) 02:32, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
According to this Stack Overflow question, World of Warcraft is written in C++ and Lua, and according to this Yahoo Answers question, Runescape is in Java. Note that there isn't really any limit to the number of different languages that can be used to create a given piece of software, and often people have designed a new language specifically for a particular software project (for example, I think the WEB programming language was developed for TeX, and many businesses have their own in-house languages). Generally different languages are better suited to different tasks - so, for example, lower-level languages like C might be used for processor-intensive parts of an application (like rendering 3D graphics), while higher-level languages like Lua might be used for implementing complex features that are more difficult to code, but don't require as much processing (perhaps artificial intelligence). (talk) 12:01, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
A big reason companies use languages like Lua for game logic is it's easier for people who aren't professional programmers to write behaviour in it, and there are fewer opportunities for disaster if they mess up. This allows the implementation of higher level game behaviour (e.g. in Wow the logic of a given quest) to be done by a game designer (someone whose job spans a wide range of skills including storytelling, game design, scenario implementation, and maybe creating the environmental meshes and textures for a specific area too). Lua isn't unique in this (and other games have used things like QuakeC, UnrealScript, or Python) but Lua seems to have gained a foothold in games (and really not anywhere else). -- Finlay McWalterTalk 12:37, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Flash games are written in ActionScript -- (talk) 14:13, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Do people buy or download those languages? Heck froze over (talk) 19:06, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Uninstall Android Apps

Is there an application that will allow me to uninstall android apps that come preloaded on the phone, that I can't install from my phone? Root it? CTJF83 19:24, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Without rooting, you cannot uninstall preinstalled apps that don't have the uninstall option in the application manager. -- kainaw™ 19:39, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Personally I'd use Titanium Backup as it is a popular application and will do this quite easily, but you'll need to be rooted first (to be able to remove system installed apps any application doing this needs root). After uninstalling a system application you might see some force closed errors from the application just removed and these are normal. Just reboot and it'll be gone properly then.  ZX81  talk 19:43, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Any specific program or whatever to easily root EVO 4G? CTJF83 19:53, 15 November 2011 (UTC) ¦ Reisio (talk) 03:44, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, CTJF83 12:58, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Dealing with video game lag

Here's the scenario:

I've just made it to the end of the final level and am in a face-off with the boss, when Microsoft helpfully decides it's time to check for updates. My screen locks up for a few seconds, and when it comes back the boss is gloating over my now-mangled corpse. Obviously, disabling automatic updates would help, but there's an almost infinite number of other issues which can cause periodic lag. So, my question is, can video games be made to detect a lag, and suspend the game until they again can get the resources they need, rather than continuing to play with me blinded ? I play mostly Flash games, but I'm curious about this problem in all forms of games. StuRat (talk) 19:33, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

The core of the issue is, "did the game programmer design the game-program to handle that type of system-level interruption?" There are technical reasons why that might be nearly impossible in a Flash game - a flash environment doesn't know when the system pops up with a message. (Flash is a web-browser plugin, so it doesn't - and shouldn't - have privileged access to system information).
On iOS, if the user-space application or game must be interrupted for any reason, the programmer receives an Objective C message (applicationWillResignActive). The application-programmer may choose to pause, stop the game, save the game, or do anything else that seems reasonable.
Not all operating systems inform user-applications when they become inactive or interrupted. (It's a concept that doesn't actually make a lot of sense in Windows, because a user may be multitasking, intentionally "interrupting" the program, and still expects the program to behave as if nothing happened). Most desktop operating systems at least use something to the effect of "we're about to quit your program forcefully - this is your last chance to do something about it." Nimur (talk) 19:46, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I've also had the problem the other way, where I'm loading a large page, and it keeps popping up a window telling me it's running slowly and asking me if I want to continue. They need to have more intelligence to say "if the user is loading a web page, it doesn't much matter if it's interrupted, just load it when resources become available, but, if they are playing a game, don't keep trying to play when the resources aren't up to the task". StuRat (talk) 20:03, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
With Flash, it is possible to detect the actual rendered frames-per-minute, which could be interpreted as lag and be set to turn it into a "pause" state. But it would require a programmer to care about that and think it was the right response. I'm not sure it would be able to detect a "whatever was lagging it has stopped" state while in a paused state, which could get pretty irritating... --Mr.98 (talk) 21:20, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I think I saw some Flash games that could detect when the game lost focus and paused automatically, so this could be used as well. But again, this requires the cooperation from the creator of the game. -- (talk) 14:17, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
If you're looking for a practical solution, and this happens fairly often for you, just boost the priority of the process you're using in Task Manager. Might be a pain if you're dealing with a Flash game in one of a hundred Google Chrome processes, but works fine for most stuff. Nevard (talk) 04:42, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Let me just give a link to real-time computing, which discusses the issues that arise here -- they are important in many practical contexts. Looie496 (talk) 19:03, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

The worst thing that can happen when you are playing online games is lag. Imagine you are in the middle of a massive battle, about to take out the whole enemy team with a perfectly aimed rocket and then your computer lags. Do not cause your team to lose because your computer is lagging. Here are some tips on how to get rid of lag while playing online PC games. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Linda901212 (talk • contribs) 02:15, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Pie chart on users for an article

Is there a method to get a pie chart (colored and percentages) that shows the portions of what each editor did during the lifetime of a particular article, like Otium?--Doug Coldwell talk 20:08, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

This has a lot of information. Is it suitable? Note that the count of users is at the bottom. -- kainaw™ 20:20, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, that will work.
Not how you could even define "portion of what each editor did". Number of edits ? That would be easy, but, of course, some edits are a single character while others add pages of material. How about deletions ? Do they count as a contribution ? Would you include contributions which were later removed ? StuRat (talk) 20:22, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
StuRat - I see your points.--Doug Coldwell talk 13:34, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Something like doing "svn blame" first and then counting the lines each user has written that are still used in the article? -- (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 14:20, 16 November 2011 (UTC).

Changing Bmp to jpg

How do I change a file from the bmp format to jpg? Thank you.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 10:24, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

In general, by opening the picture in some sort of graphics editor, selecting "file > save as" (or similar, depending on the software) and selecting "jpg" as the file type. Which software to use depends on your operating system - on Microsoft Windows, the preinstalled graphics software is MS Paint (found under Start > All Programs > Accessories), but earlier versions of Paint did not have the ability to save as jpg...the version of Paint installed on Windows 7 can do it, the version on Windows XP could not. If your computer uses WIndows XP, you'll need some additional software. There are many free converters available for download (just google for "bmp to jpg converter"), but it might be better to use a full-featured, free graphics software like GIMP or Paint.NET - these will have lots of features you don't need, but unfortunately it seems like a great many "free" file format converters are actually infesting your computer with spyware - when using GIMP or, you can be sure to use software that's spyware-free. -- Ferkelparade π 10:46, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
The Windows XP version of mspaint can totally work with jpg files. According to the article, the Windows 98 version could too. I'm pretty sure even the Windows 95 version could work with jpg as well, but required a special filter to be installed. Another good free program for converting image formats is ImageMagick. The command for .bmp to .jpg would be "convert filename.bmp filename.jpg" AvrillirvA (talk) 11:02, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

There are few good reasons to convert BMP to JPEG; you should almost certainly convert to PNG instead. ¦ Reisio (talk) 11:22, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Actually wrong. JPG is much better for actual photos. With low compression you get an image that looks basically the same as PNG but with much smaller sizes. PNG is better for images with defined edges and text, such as screenshots. (talk) 14:18, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Also many products, such as digital photo frames, support JPEG not PNG.[9][10] --Colapeninsula (talk) 14:50, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I think that Reisio's point is that the type of images that get stored as BMP tend to not be photographs, but things with simple structure that PNG can compress well and losslessly. Paul (Stansifer) 16:27, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Browsers Usage Shares Among Web Developers

Where can I find statistics about browsers' usage among web developers? The only statistics I have found are in web development tutorials websites, and judging by the results (over 20% to IE, according to w3schools) I don't think many of these visitors are experienced in the field. Thanks, Oh, well (talk) 17:13, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

I'd say the majority of people in any given field are not very experienced. You know the joke "what do you call someone who graduated last in med school?"? ¦ Reisio (talk) 18:06, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
A good web developer uses all browsers available. I avoid as much web development as possible, but when I have to do something (and if I have to do it, it involves a lot of custom scripting), I use Firefox, IE, Safari, Chrome, Opera, etc... Now days, I even have to check it on an iPhone and Android phone. Of course, that is what a good web developer does. For the other 99.99% of web developers, they use IE if they have Windows. They Safari if they have Mac. They use Firefox if they have Linux - which means they aren't really a web developer. It doesn't matter what they use because all they are really doing is loading a template in some WYSIWYG program and changing the name at the top of the page. Perhaps, for pizzazz, they will add a little dog that runs back and forth in the middle of the page. That will make it pop. -- kainaw™ 18:18, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I forgot to mention: I'm only interested in what they use when not working. The idea is to see what browsers web developers prefer. Oh, well (talk) 18:32, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Website's income and expenditures

How can I know the amount of money that a website (such as generates and how much money does it cost to operate? --Cerlomin (talk) 18:34, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

In general, if the website is operated by an American public company, you may investigate the mandatory disclosures that company makes to the government and to its shareholders at the Securities and Exchange Commission EDGAR website. Websites operated by public companies in other developed nations must make similar reports to their own respective government.
If the website is not operated by a public company, you may hire a professional business analytics firm to estimate the company's business model (including its revenues and liabilities), or you may try to make such estimates yourself.
Your specific example,, appears to be the work of one individual; so, he's under absolutely no obligation to disclose to you, or anyone else, how much money he earns and spends on the website. You can always ask the author directly; he provides contact information. (It may be perceived as impolite to send him an email asking about his finances). Nimur (talk) 19:08, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Isn't there a way through Google's ad planner, for example, to know how much money is the website making and how much traffic does it have —to have an idea about the amount of money that the owner must be paying to its host—. --Cerlomin (talk) 19:35, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Standard deviation error bars in Microsoft Excel

Stale: I had to turn it in this afternoon (without the error bars), but would still be interested to know what I was doing wrong. Ks0stm (T•C•G•E) 22:09, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm trying to add standard deviation error bars to a graph for a chemistry lab, but when I add standard deviation bars the bars it adds don't even include some of my data points (see here). How do I get it to add standard deviation error bars actually relevant to my data (which is found in the left two columns in the spreadsheet)? Ks0stm (T•C•G•E) 21:57, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Sound not working on this machine

I'm on a machine which has no sound. I am trying to work out why. The soundcard appears in the windows device manager, and isn't disabled. The Configure button in windows 7's configuration panel doesn't work, and the Levels tab under properties is empty. I even tried plugging a USB sound card in and making that the default device, and no sound comes from that either, with the same problems. The diagnostic tool when I double click the audio device icon in the system tray says The Audio Device is disabled but offers no help beyond that. What am I missing? System is Windows 7 Enterprise x86 (talk) 09:36, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Forgive me for starting with the obvious, but does the computer have integral speakers? If not are your speakers plugged in and switched on? And what is the setting on the volume controls (both on-screen and on the speakers)?--Shantavira|feed me 12:58, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm using headpones, and the onscreen thing has no volume control. The volume icon shows that the audio is disabled, like I said in my op. (talk) 13:39, 17 November 2011 (UTC)


It is not possible to make folders on Kindle, i.e. you can make on PC but on Kindle itself they won't show, all files will appear as though in a single list. However, there is a "Make New Collection" option in Kindle settings, but it is greyed out (disabled) by default. How can I activate this mode, using PC or Kindle itself. There is no way I can use Kindle's wireless network. Please help... Jon Ascton  (talk) 10:53, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

You use the collections like folders. Try selecting a book (in the Kindle interface), then pressing the "right" button, and then "Add to Collection" or something like that. Once you figure out how to put them into collections, you can change the default view to list by collections. --Mr.98 (talk) 13:03, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, 98. Just tried that. Didn't work - when I press "right", after selecting a book, the menu appears with "Add to Collection" disabled...
You must register your Kindle to enable the collections feature. -- kainaw™ 14:16, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Can I do it using PC (thru Internet), because wireless thing is only in USA, Europe etc ?
You can register it through Amazon's website (log in, go to "Manage my Kindle", add the serial number), but I don't think it will "unlock" that aspect of the actual device until you connect it to the Internet somehow. Does it have WiFi or just the Whispernet service? If you have WiFi it should use any internet WiFi connection. If you're in one of the countries without Whispernet then I'm not sure what you can do. --Mr.98 (talk) 20:07, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Open-source software

Hi, I don't understand Open-source software at all. How are the developers of such software selected and vetted, and what is their motivation? Where are the quality control and checking mechanisms located? Clearly you cannot have a free-for-all where any random person can be editing source code, else the program would be just be overwhelmed with rubbish and malicious edits (just like leaving Wikipedia to its own devices without the army of people constantly reverting vandalism). So, some team of people must check every sumbitted edit if a viable product is ever to emerge, right? Our article seems weak on explaining how all this works. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 12:59, 17 November 2011 (UTC).

The best write-up on this topic that I've found is "The Cathedral and the Bazaar". I've heard many people use this essay to talk about open vs closed source code. But it is actually about open-source code in which the code is heavily controlled vs open-source code in which it is fully open and available to everyone. They are two very different models. So, consider Wikipedia (actually Media-Wiki, the open-source software it runs on). The answers to your questions:
How are developers selected? They aren't. They decide to contribute code. When the contribute, the code may be accepted by the software maintainers. It may be rejected. It may be sent to others to be cleaned up and improved. I submit code to open-source projects often. I see a problem. I look at the code. I fix the problem. I submit my fix. Sometimes it is accepted. Sometimes it is not.
What is the motivation? Fixing the problem. I'd be fixing the problem on my computer if I submitted the fix or not. So, why not submit it to others? Not everyone is selfish. Programming is not a zero-sum game. Just because I submit a fix I wrote does not mean that I am losing something. There is also a touch of animosity. I have supported Okular simply because I hate Adobe. I have supported Gimp because I hate Photoshop. I want the alternatives to be as good as possible.
Where is the quality control? It depends on the project. Sometimes it is a single person at the top (ie: Linus Torvalds). Sometimes it is a company (ie: The Wikimedia Foundation). Sometimes it is just a group (ie: The KDE project).
How does the junk and malicious code get stopped? You use Wikipedia as an example. How do we have articles that aren't packed full of junk and vandalism? People volunteer to police projects they like. Similarly, people volunteer to police open-source projects they like. I've seen malicious code submitted to both Gimp and the libPurple library used for many chat projects. I made note of it immediately and the code never made it into the released project. Can some get through? Sure. Can malicious code get through closed models like Apple and Microsoft? Yes - it happens a lot more often than they want to admit.
Is every edit checked? Yes. Every edit is checked by many eyeballs. The entire theory is that with many eyeballs the errors are easy to spot.
I hope that helps a bit. -- kainaw™ 14:28, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you so much for your full answer. The key concept that seems to be under-emphasised (or perhaps not even mentioned at all) in our article is that edits are submitted to some authority -- "the software maintainers" you call them -- who, if I'm understanding correctly, have ultimate control over what goes into a release. (talk) 14:59, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
That is true for all major projects. For minor projects which have very few people working on them, there is no authority. Perhaps you could say that the programmers are themselves the authority. -- kainaw™ 15:16, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Anyone can be a software maintainer; just declare yourself to be one! The tricky thing is convincing people to use the software you maintain. Usually, for that to happen, the software has to be good, so you have to be a good coder, and someone who is good at convincing good coders to work with you. You also have the right to fork existing open-source code, although convincing people that your fork is better is extremely difficult, because it's usually not. Paul (Stansifer) 16:17, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, there are plenty of important software projects today that were forked for no other reason than that the original or previous maintainers had become difficult in some fashion. This is part of what's great about free software. It's hard to manage a project with absolutely no official/s, equal or not. ¦ Reisio (talk) 16:45, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

command prompt beep

In Windows 7 on the command prompt if I echo this character

the computer makes two beep sounds via speakers. I am thinking of including it into some batch files, but I would like to know more about it first. What is this character? Are the beeps an intended feature of the command prompt or is it the result of an unintended error of some kind? Are there any negative effects using this beep method many times, eg corrupting files, slowing down the computer, damaging the processor, etc. I know those are very unlikely but I want to be sure. Thanks. (talk) 18:22, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

The character to posted is not standard. You'd be better using the code instead of the character to demonstrate which one it is. I assume it is the bell character, which you can use anywhere you can print to a console. -- kainaw™ 18:24, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
The code? I don't understand. In the batch script I have
@echo off
echo �
I tried "echo ^G" from the bell character article but this did not make any sound. (talk) 18:53, 17 November 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:53, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
That "^G" is asking you to type control+G, rather than type the ^ character.  Card Zero  (talk) 19:00, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
^G means Control-G and you can't actually type ^G, you need to physically press Ctrl-G to create the beep/special character :)  ZX81  talk 18:59, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm still trying to work out what character the OP actually pasted. I copied it to notepad and saved it as UTF-8 and looked at it in a hex editor, and got the sequence EF BF BD; and then I got lost in the UTF-8 article, so I tried again with notepad's plain "unicode" option (a bit vague, that?) and got 00 FD FF. Don't know what to do with these numbers next. Unicode doesn't like me. (I gather EF BF BD breaks down as 1110/1111 10/111111 10/111101, so without the special UTF-8 parts that's 11111111 11111101, or FF FD, which is the same two bytes the other way round.)  Card Zero  (talk) 19:04, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Oh, U+FFFD is the "replacement character", so it probably pasted to the page as that. Here's what prints: if I surround the character the OP pasted with a <span class="Unicode"></span> tag. I wish I knew how to do a proper job of decoding unicode manually though, without guessing.
  • Further confusion: why is my Firefox printing the OP's original character as a little box, instead of the diamond with a question mark in it? My browser's set to UTF-8, and there are the right three bytes there on the page (EF BF BD, as I can verify if I change encoding so it appears as �), yet it's taking those three bytes and arriving at a box and not a diamond. Strange. What, in fact, does that "unicode" tag do?  Card Zero  (talk) 19:16, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
There's no standard appearance for U+FFFD (which is EF BF BD in UTF-8). It's not "black diamond with question mark", it's just "replacement character". -- BenRG (talk) 22:24, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
But why (and how) is the class=unicode span changing the look of the replacement character? (Inside that span I see the diamond, outside it see the box.) It doesn't seem to change the font - text inside that span appears in Arial for me, same as the rest of the page. Maybe it forces a switch (from ordinary Arial for the rest of the page) to Arial Unicode MS - but that ought to happen anyway when there's a missing glyph, because of font substitution - unless maybe ordinary Arial does have a U+FFFD character, which looks like a box, and then U+FFFD looks like the diamond in unicode Arial? Font substitution should make forcing a change of font pointless, though, so maybe class=unicode does something else, but what? No, I can't understand.  Card Zero  (talk) 09:01, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
Here's one way of getting a beep in a batch file: At a command prompt type copy con beep.txt (enter) control-G (enter) control-Z (enter). Then type notepad beep.txt and copy and paste the beep code (which should be visible) into your batch file. -- BenRG (talk) 22:24, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I guess you already managed to do that—never mind. :-) -- BenRG (talk) 22:52, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Factors affecting .svg rendering speed

What factors affect the speed at which browsers can render .svg files? I imagine that possibilities are the browser, RAM, processor and graphics card, but I don't have a clue of the relative importance of each. I'm asking because I want to animate things like this, but at the moment everything gets very jerky once a few hundred objects are animated. If anyone knows of a better way to animate things like this then I am open to suggestions - I've already tried openFrameworks but that doesn't work well either. SmartSE (talk) 18:51, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Well, I've partly answered this part myself - chrome is way way better than firefox. SmartSE (talk) 23:57, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Amid the current fondness for <canvas> and WebGL, animated SVG (and really SVG in general) seems like a neglected stepchild. You might get better performance if you coded it procedurally (javascript_webgl). -- Finlay McWalterTalk 17:50, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, hadn't come across those so thanks! Being a coding novice, the big advantage of svg to me is that I can draw something in illustrator / inkscape and then adjust the code, but I might end up trying those some day. (Plus it's more like wiki markup than javascript). SmartSE (talk) 22:23, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
The SVG that Inkscape emits isn't very clear (in the long term, if you're generating stuff, you'll retain more hair if you generate SVG content from scratch). As to the state of WebGL, try this in Firefox or Chrom(e|ium). -- Finlay McWalterTalk 22:34, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Related question

On the off chance someone knows how to code animated .svg, what would I add to something like this:

<line fill="none" stroke="#F47B20" stroke-width="0.25" x1="3.724" y1="84.039" x2="241.844" y2="480.904"/>

so that it rotates around the middle of the line? Thanks in advance! SmartSE (talk) 18:51, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

There's a basic example of SVG rotation animation here. As the last of Emil J's examples shows, you can set the centre of rotation by wrapping the whole thing in a translation first (as rotations are about the origin, in the prevailing coordinate system of the object). -- Finlay McWalterTalk 17:56, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the link, not sure why I couldn't find it before. I've been using something like this, but using the <g transform> might be easier.
begin="0s" dur="20s"       
< lots of lines >

SmartSE (talk) 22:23, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Executable over bittorrent = safe?

  • Background - I have four disks for running Sims 2, but they look a little beat up, my CD drive isn't functional without me tinkering with the computer, and Iost the registration key for the CD's.
  • Situation - Instead, I downloaded Sims 2 as a torrent from [REMOVED LINK]. It includes 4 disks and a zip with an executable, 14MB large. The instructions say to replace the normal executable installed with the executable provided by the torrent.
  • Question 1 - is there any way to know if it's safe to run that executable on my computer? I already rarely use Windows because I hate its security problems, and I don't like the idea of running a 14MB executable from the internet. Even if it runs the game, there might be an imbedded virus (right?)
  • Question 2 - is all of this even legal (I do own a legitimate copy of the game)? Is it a gray area?

Thanks. Magog the Ogre (talk) 20:02, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

1) No, there's no way to know it's safe other than relying on security through obscurity - distributing your malware in the form of copies of the Sims 2 (when the Sims 3 is the hot new thing) would be a strange choice of viral vector. Oh, but various virus checkers will scan a file to see whether it contains a virus, so you could offer the file to one or more of those and see if it gets rejected. 2) Yes, it's a grey area. Unless this counts as legal advice, in which case I can't give any. (It's certainly legal in nature, but I don't think I gave you any advice.) By the way, I did the same thing with Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (which I own three worn-out copies of), replacing terran.exe with the cracked version, with only happy results, but it would be unscientific of you to be encouraged by anecdotal evidence.  Card Zero  (talk) 20:15, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
If you have a decent antivirus app (Avira, for example), it should catch any naughty software. You could try running it in a sandbox or VM first, too, but that's pretty paranoid. You can get into trouble for this. AIUI technically (so technically ISP's won't necessarily protect you over it), what's illegal is uploading. ¦ Reisio (talk) 20:23, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Ugh; well is there a decent way to emulate a CD drive, so the game thinks it's talking to the CD drive, when actually it's talking to a CD image on the hard disk? It can be done with VirtualBox, but the game won't run in VirtualBox due to graphics issues. Magog the Ogre (talk) 20:44, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I found this but again, I'm reticent to run the executable, even if it's off Magog the Ogre (talk) 20:46, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Alcohol is legit and will work. So will Roxio and any other really dedicated disk mounter software. --Mr.98 (talk) 21:21, 17 November 2011 (UTC) open source, works wonderfully. There are some less popular/more proprietary formats it doesn't manage, you'd possibly have to use daemon tools for that. ¦ Reisio (talk) 21:12, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
DAEMON Tools and Alcohol 120% are legit and highly recommended. I've been using DAEMON tools for years now really. My antivirus and firewall have yet to complain. All it does is create virtual CD/DVD Drives so that the computer thinks you have additional drives. Using images instead of the actual disks helps prevent degradation over time. It also reads faster than physical disks and is really quite easy to use.-- Obsidin Soul 02:51, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
I just realized I sounded like an advertisement, LOL. But virtual disk drives really do make your life a hell of a lot easier.-- Obsidin Soul 02:58, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

google redirect virus

Hi all, I believe I have something called the google redirect virus, because when I click on a google link, about a quarter to a half of the time it takes me to a junk website. Only problem is, although there's plenty of stuff on it on the internet, I can't find it on Wikipedia. This is normally a bad sign, as Wikipedia is usually very up to date, especially on IT matters. Is it for real, or is it some kind of hoax (in which case what is wrong with my computer, Windows Vista by the way)? How do I get rid of it, since it is supposed to be hard for antiviruses to detect (unless that's part of the scam)? And how could I have caught it? I don't download stuff - do you get it from just visiting a website without clicking on anything? Many thanks, IBE (talk) 00:56, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Mostly harmless malware, IIRC. I'm sorry I don't actually remember what I did to remove it on the box I encountered it on, just that it was simple. Something in the registry, I want to say. [11] ¦ Reisio (talk) 01:38, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks :) any other info from anyone most welcome (I've visited the site but haven't done anything yet, so please add more if you think there's anything else I need to know, although the first link looks to be a good one). IBE (talk) 03:07, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
I removed something similar a while ago. It was malware that modified my browser's proxy settings to somewhere in Ukraine. About one in three clicks on Google search results led to porn, scareware sites, an unexpected page that was vaguely related to the search terms. The hardest part was to remove the rootkit which hid the component of the malware responsible for resisting my efforts to remove it all. Astronaut (talk) 13:28, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't expect to find anything more in-depth than this on Wiki. Just because this is the obvious symptom of whatever's on your computer doesn't mean the same program, or something else you haven't noticed, isn't harvesting your credit card information or login passwords (less likely). I'd suggest running Spybot – Search & Destroy at the very least- do a scan from safe mode if possible. I don't find the Spybot resident scanning function to be very useful myself- you probably want to run whatever Microsoft is calling their anti-spyware program for that. After that, you've got a good incentive to make the regular change of your passwords that everyone is supposed to do regularly but which doesn't actually happen. Nevard (talk) 22:36, 18 November 2011 (UTC)


I have a similar issue, but in my case it works a bit differently. I do a Google image search, find the pic I want, click on it, and it displays, for a half second, then the web site apparently redirects me elsewhere. The odd thing is that I wasn't at the website yet, I was still in Google's picture viewer looking at the preview. Somehow the website must have imbedded an instruction in the image preview that redirects me elsewhere. StuRat (talk) 22:49, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Google loads the web page it found the image on, behind the image, presumably in an inline frame. If that page has Javascript on it that detects if the page is loaded within a frame, it can perform an appropriate action - like redirecting you to the page, without the frames. The principle is similar to those 'get me out of someone elses frameset' links that you used to see around. Obviously this is a little inconvenient when you're browsing for images. Nevard (talk) 02:38, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Microsoft Works Suite 2006

On my first visit , my thanks to the technical information provided in my previous question. Have Windows 7, and would like to download my Microsoft Works Suite 2006 which I think will be much easier for me to manoeuvre. Could there be any impediments or undesirable consequences to this action?

Jim. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hamish84 (talk • contribs) 01:11, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

In general, there should be no consequences to installing software from 2006 on a Windows 7 machine. TheGrimme (talk) 16:15, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

where to buy the cheapest laptop online ?

I really to know where to buy the cheapest laptop online ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Linda901212 (talk • contribs) 02:00, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

You really need to tell us where you are. You really need to tell us what you want the laptop for. You really need to tell us whether you want a new one, or second-hand. And you really need to think about whether this is the best place to ask vague questions... AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:44, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Probably eBay. You might get lucky, but don't be surprised if you end up with a piece of junk.--Shantavira|feed me 08:44, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
It is possible to get free laptops. Some relatives gave me four supposedly dead laptops. After a bit of refurbishment, I now have three working laptops having cannibalised one for parts. Maybe someone you know has something to give away. Obviously, it won't be the latest model, but it'll probably be good enough to run Windows XP and do a bit of internet surfing; and if refurbishment is needed then that will depend on the skills you have access to. Astronaut (talk) 13:25, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Also try That way you can inspect the laptop in person before purchasing it.TheGrimme (talk) 16:16, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Remote access to an iMac over Verizon FiOS

My internet service provider is Verizon and I own a 2009 iMac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 Leopard. I would like to set up a remote connection to my Mac from anywhere. My router is an Actiontec. What software do I need (I would like to setup a graphical connection, instead of SSH or whatever) and how can I maintain the ability to keep connected with my Mac? --Melab±1 ☎ 04:26, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Anyone. --Melab±1 ☎ 16:29, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
You can set up Screen Sharing. Here's "Mac 101" for 10.5"; and here's more recent documentation, Screen Sharing (for 10.7). Leopard supported a variety of built-in remote access tools - ssh, screen sharing, file sharing, remote access and management, and more; you can use your Mac's built-in help tool to guide you through the setup in System Preferences. If you update your system software to Lion, you can also use a variety of iCloud-related remote sync features between your Mac(s) and iOS software: How to Set Up iCloud (Mac). If you install a Mac OS X Server edition of the system software, even more remote-access features are available, including a web-server, wiki server, mail server, storage area network system, remote management tools, remote monitoring tools, and other features.
As a last note - SSH with X11 forwarding is also an option; if you are a proficient unix user, you are probably already familiar with this capability. Here's the official page from Apple's Open Source Tools: X11. Nimur (talk) 17:59, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
I am not very literate with command line stuff other than changing directories. Are there any problems posed by a dynamic IP and by FiOS? --Melab±1 ☎ 20:10, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Another thing: I probably have a dynamic IP address, so how can I maintain access to my Mac? --Melab±1 ☎ 20:53, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Dynamic DNS lets you dodge issues with the dynamic IP if you're using a fairly low-level way to access your computer like SSH, VNC, or Screen Sharing. I'd suggest using LogMeIn- lets you dodge a lot of the fiddling involved in setting up these things, and you won't have to configure your router. Nevard (talk) 22:29, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I just found LogMeIn. I am using the free version. Will I be able to log in and out remotely? Also, if I eject a USB drive using Finder how can I reconnect with it in the case I am away from my Mac? --Melab±1 ☎ 00:26, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
If the drive is still physically attached you could probably map it to a folder using the 'mount' command in the Terminal. 'mount --help' should give you the goss. Nevard (talk) 08:42, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Can I connect iTunes to my iPod touch remotely using, or will I have to use Apple Remote Desktop? --Melab±1 ☎ 01:00, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
LogMeIn Pro will apparently (according to posts on their forum) do USB redirection for thumb drives and so on- which is probably not good enough for the iPod to work. There is a pro trial available- might be worth trying. Even if it is possible, I'd really recommend you find another solution- I've used USB redirection with VMWare and VirtualBox with a car computer interface that needed Windows, and without even getting the internet between the device and the program using it it was flakey. From my reading, Apple Remote Desktop doesn't seem to do it either. Nevard (talk) 08:42, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Window 7 ISO File Installation with Daemon Tool Lite !

Hi Guys !

I need to ask you a question.

Suppose i have windows 7 ISO Image File on my system and want a clean installation of it with Daemon Tool Lite. Will it install smoothly without any problem and without DVD-Rom.Please help me.

Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:19, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

AFAIK, you can't do a clean install from within Windows. If you don't know how this answers your question, think about it carefully and eventually you should get it. (I'm not saying you need to burn a DVD, I know there are ways to install without doing so which I've used myself. I'm simply saying your proposed solution is flawed.) Nil Einne (talk) 13:36, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Nil Einne is mostly correct in that you can't use a Windows app to install Windows on top of itself. If you don't want to use a DVD disc, you can put the image on a USB drive and boot off it. See this guide. TheGrimme (talk) 16:19, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
That's wrong. You can't reformat your hard drive before reinstalling if the install files are on the hard drive, but a "clean install" is simply an install that doesn't copy over previous settings, drivers, etc., and you can do that from within Windows, according to this page. I see no reason why it wouldn't work from a DVD image mounted with Daemon Tools; it copies everything it needs to the hard drive before rebooting in any case. However, if you did have problems, you could manually copy all files from the DVD to a folder on the hard drive and run setup from there. -- BenRG (talk) 05:41, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

PNG geotag

Is there a geotag in PNG? Exx8 (talk) 13:13, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

No not in any consistand and supported way This site says:
The PNG specification allows labeled text (ASCII or UTF-8) elements to be embedded in text chunks and predefines a few standard keywords (element labels): Title, Author, Description, Copyright, Creation Time, Software, Disclaimer, Warning, Source, Comment. The compilers of this resource are not able to assess the degree to which such metadata is found in practice or whether other keywords are in common use. An attempt in 2000 to develop open source tools to convert EXIF images (including EXIF metadata) to PNG seems to have been abandoned. See Without such tools and agreed practices, PNG can not rank highly for self-documentation.
It is possible to embed XMP metadata in PNG files, according to the XMP specification. However, the documentation for ExifTool for PNG tags suggests that practices for storing XMP or EXIF metadata in PNG images have not been consistent.
its possible that there will be some standard in future. -- Q Chris (talk) 13:33, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

The only (decent) use I can think of for this would be imagery rendered (that is, not photographed) by a mobile device that knows where it is. ¦ Reisio (talk) 14:12, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Why not photographed? I thought you were a believer of PNGs in all circumstances. --Mr.98 (talk) 15:09, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
PNG compresses photographs quite poorly, while JPEG works well for them. The standard way of losslessly storing image data is to use a raw image format. They're actually "more lossless" than PNG, since they store more color information than just 8 bits each of R, G, and B. Paul (Stansifer) 12:32, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

gzip wget

I am downloading pages with wget on Windows 7 from a site which supports gzip HTTP compression. Wget however does not support this, so pages are transferred without compression and therefore use much more bandwidth than they should. I figured the best solution might be to put some program that supports gzip HTTP compression between wget and the site, like a proxy, so pages are downloaded with compression, uncompressed, and then fed to wget as normal. What program might be able to do this? I looked at polipo but it doesn't appear to support gzip. I don't have much RAM so a full squid setup is not an option. (talk) 15:29, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Are you sure wget doesn't support gzip compression? As far as I know you can say wget --header='Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate'     If you can't persuade wget to do it, try cURL instead, which works in much the same way. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 16:38, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
That fools the site into thinking wget supports gzip, but wget cannot process the downloaded file for other links. wget just sees binary data instead of html. This breaks recursive retrieval and page-requisites. (talk) 17:00, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
That's why raptor jesus invented pipes, stdin, & stdout, but maybe you should just use HTTrack. ¦ Reisio (talk) 17:34, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
How does one use pipes and stdout to make wget understand gzip during recursive retrieval? (talk) 18:41, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
With more effort than using HTTrack. ¦ Reisio (talk) 02:04, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Still, I'd be interested in learning how (talk) 10:09, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Privoxy might work. I know it decompresses gzipped/deflated pages internally (to filter them), and I think it passes them uncompressed to the client. I don't know whether it will request compression from the server if the client didn't request it. You could try passing the "--header=Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate" to wget or configuring Privoxy itself to add the header, and see what happens. You might also have to add a dummy filter that never matches to persuade Privoxy to decompress everything. -- BenRG (talk) 05:53, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't seem to work, but I've never used privoxy before and it's complicated so I'm probably doing something wrong. Thanks anyway, it's a very interesting idea (talk) 10:09, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Potential Security Risk

I know that some websites display data on where the last 10 or so visitors came from (e.g. On one of my translator websites, for example, it tells me where visitors to my page came from (e.g. from specific pages within the site, or from external websites, search engines, etc.). I would like to know if any website collecting this data would also be able to collect login details of the visitor on the previous site. For example, if I went from here to another site, one which collects visitor data, would they be able to collect my Wikipedia login details or any other information? What about when I visit one of these sites, would it be able to collect data from other tabs I have open in Firefox? I am not asking about Chrome, as Chrome tabs are all separate and individual processes. KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 18:21, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

What you're seeing is just the HTTP referrer data. It doesn't convey login data unless a site was ridiculously stupidly coded so that its URL did contain login data (which no website may by anyone other than someone coding for the very first time would have). Generally speaking no site should be able to get information about other tabs in browsers, but there are security loopholes with regards to cookies, applets, plugins, etc., which have at times compromised this. But on the whole, no, it should not be possible. In practice, there are sometimes bugs, bad security choices, etc... --Mr.98 (talk) 18:36, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
The security problem is not the HTTP referrer field. It is flash cookies and social linking. Flash cookies have been around for a long time. They are cross-site cookies that store a lot of personal information that any website can gather. The purpose of them is to have fancy applications that work on more than one site. The use of them is to track a user's behavior across websites. Because many people have been smart enough to disable flash cookies, the next step is social sites (mainly Facebook). Ever notice that when you visit a website that has absolutely nothing to do with Facebook, you will still see a Facebook logo and your login name (and sometimes your list of friends). Facebook distributes code to other sites to gather information on your behavior across the Internet. What do they do with it? They own your identity and sell it to others. Did you give them permission to do so? You read the EULA, right? -- kainaw™ 18:43, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
According to the New York Times, Facebook will even try to blackmail you into giving your passport and other private documents. Some users have been foolish enough to voluntarily provide Facebook with access to their government-issued IDs, financial information, and so on. This helps Facebook identify individual users when selling identity information to advertiser websites. Nimur (talk) 19:53, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
While I agree the 'instant personalisation' (if that's what you'rereferring to) is a privacy concern (albeit not one available to me), it's currently limited to 8 websites and Bing, Pandora, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Rotten Tomatoes, Clicker, Scribd, Docs. And theoretically the websites are supposed to delete the info if you ask them (per their contracts with Facebook).
A bigger concern is the Facebook Connect/social plugin type things that you see on website. But from what I've seen a lot of people misunderstand this. While you see info such as which one of your friends has liked the website or page and have the option to like or or occasionally updates from your friend or have the option sometimes to login to the webiste, as I understand it and supported by the privacy policy the info actually comes from Facebook itself (if you look at the page it's coming from the Facebook server) and it's not shared with the other website unless you choose to engage with it. In otherwords, unless you choose to 'like' something or authorise a connection or otherwise engage in the Facebook stuff, the website isn't supposed to gain any info on who you are.
While Facebook has a history of privacy failures [12] [13] [14] [15] it's also worth remembering they are a business not some evil company out to end all privacy. While they may not care much about privacy per se, they do care about making money and it's not in their interest to provide potential tracking info to third parties without getting something important in return which they currently at least (and I would say not surprisingly), don't see without some sort of agreement as in the pre-approved websites or a user using Facebook on the website. Which leads to me my main point, the big privacy concern with Facebook Connect etc comes not so much from the website learning who you are, but from Facebook being able to track what you do online, which can happen even when you're logged out [16]. In other words, to get back to my earlier point, it's far more in Facebooks interest for them to gather all the info then for them to hand out info to others willy-nilly so they can do their own tracking.
Nil Einne (talk) 00:35, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
P.S. Re-reading your comment perhaps you were talking about Facebook tracking not third party tracking after all? I'm not sure, the comment about Flash cookies made me think you were referring to other websites being able to use info Facebook provided for tracking purposes. Nil Einne (talk) 01:04, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
If you don't want website B to know that you visited from website A, you can install a Firefox extension like RefControl. Configure it to send the real referrer within a domain and a forged referrer when crossing domains. (You can set it to block the referrer header entirely, but that breaks a lot of sites.)
The referrer header is only sent when there's an explicit link between pages—either a link that you click or an inline image/video/whatever that's loaded automatically. It's not sent when you navigate to a page by any other means (such as clicking the home button or pasting a URL), and it doesn't operate across tabs in any browser. (edit to add: In any browser, including Chrome, the referrer header is sent whether the link opens in the same tab or a different one. I should probably add that referrers are normally not sent on cross-site links when one or both sites uses HTTPS.) -- BenRG (talk) 06:10, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the replies. You have allayed my fears and replaced them with a set of new ones :) And thanks for the suggestion of the addon, BenRG. I am using that now, and it works perfectly. KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 15:57, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Same password on different accounts

These two questions are supplementary questions to my original question in the discussion now archived at Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Archives/Computing/2011 November 14#E-mail account protection.

  • If a person has a particular password for a Hotmail account, should that person avoid using the same password for a Gmail account?
  • If a Gmail employee could use the password to hack the Hotmail account, could the same employee not use the same password to hack the Gmail account?

Wavelength (talk) 21:01, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

You should avoid using the same password for two different things.
In any decently implemented system (which surely Google and HoTMaiL are) the passwords themselves will not be stored, but a cryptographic hash instead. So even if an employee of Google could retrieve the hash, he couldn't generate the password to type it into HoTMaiL. Better yet, sensible practice has the hash itself be cryptographically salted too, which means two different people with the same passwords have their passwords stored as two different values. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 21:07, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
The big problem with using the same password isn't respectable companies like GMail or Hotmail. It is those "who the heck runs this site" places like blogs. They ask you for an account name and password to post a response. Then, they try that username/password on all the popular websites to see if you were dumb enough to use the same user/pass for their blog as you did on GMail or Facebook or, worse, Bank of America. -- kainaw™ 21:26, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
... and, even worse, some sites store and display your unencrypted password, and some regularly e-mail the password to you unencrypted with a reminder that you haven't logged on for a while! I'm amazed at the lack of awareness of security issues on some smaller (but respectable) websites that I've used. Dbfirs 00:18, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
And as the recent anonymous attacks have revealed, even quite a few of those that encrypted it don't seem to use a salt meaning it's very vunerable to rainbow tables Nil Einne (talk) 00:50, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
The big problem isn't so much malicious service providers (although there is that danger), it's stupid service providers who store passwords in the clear, and then expose their database via a security hole. Paul (Stansifer) 12:29, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Could a PC be used as a radio receiver/transmitter?

Software such as NI Multisim can be used to emulate electronic components. Could a standard laptop with its built-in Wi-Fi antenna be programmed to function as a radio receiver or transmitter? --Codell (talk) 02:06, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

You might be interested in Software-defined radio. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 02:21, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
I managed to find GNU Radio through that article which seems to be what I was looking for, although I wonder if software for Windows exists that can receive radio without needing external hardware. --Codell (talk) 02:51, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
This page references a number of projects, some free and some commercial, one or two for Windows but mostly Linux or BSD, which unlock the capability of wireless cards to some degree. If manufacturers distributed more broadly-capable drivers, they would have to endure greater FCC scrutiny, and any added sales just wouldn't pay for the resulting costs. I think Cisco has a Wifi interference detector with a near-standard chipset and some funky drivers that does something like this, but it is expensive, even by comparison to the more capable hardware GNU Radio works with. Besides, there's not that much interesting stuff going on in the bands WIifi cards operate on anyway- you might be able to snoop on your neighbour's cordless phones, but without extra hardware, you're not going to have access to much. Nevard (talk) 08:54, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Where can I get affordable Maytag Gas Wall Oven Parts?

Does anybody know of a place where I can get affordable parts for my wall oven? My less than 6 year old oven had several "faulty codes" on. I replaced the ignitor and the temperature sensor that cost me over $100.00. Now there is another faulty code on and the technician said is the hardware and watchdog circuits and that I need to replace the clock assembly (also called the ERC) (Honestly, I don't have a clue and nothing about this makes any sense to me)

I already went online and the cheapest cost almost $250.00. Spending so much money on a not so new appliance sounds absurd and it would probably make more sense to just buy a new one. So, I am asking if anybody has some advise or know of a place when this part can be found used or new before my oven ends up in a landfield. Thanks! (talk) 02:50, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Iphone's bluetooth

Hi, I would like to know why an Android cannot transfar files to Iphone, and which devices can. Exx8 (talk) 10:51, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

They can. Some apps might make it easier. [17] ¦ Reisio (talk) 17:18, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

iPhones cannot send or receive files over Bluetooth, except to other iOS devices, AFAIK. Apple, like everything else, crippled Bluetooth. Until iOS4, iPhones and iPod touches didn't even have AVRCP, when older devices had it out of the box. User:Bodman456 | Come talk to me or ask me a question! (I don't bite ;D) 23:10, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Overclocking and stability

Computers are physical systems subject to wear, thermal degradation, and intervening factors like cosmic rays and electromagnetic interference. Nonetheless they perform remarkably well. Systems remain stable for very long periods of time. We can check system stability by running computational exercises where the expected answer is known already. Presumably if one runs any computationally intensive task for long enough, eventually an error must occur due ultimately to the physical limitations of the machine. Existing systems are often so reliable that the mean time to such an error may be months or years. I'm curious if there is any hard information of the typical reliability of recent CPUs in this way? For example, something like if you have 1000 CPUs computing MD5 hashes continually for 2 months you would expect 1% of them to make at least one error in one hash over that time.

Assuming such quantifiable data does exist, I'd also like to know how CPU reliability is impacted by overclocking. Obviously overclocking too much can lead to scenarios where a CPU fails almost immediately and no useful work can be done, but I'm wondering about the rare events where everything appears fine for hours or days before a small glitch. Can we measurably demonstrate that overclocking increases the chance of small glitches on systems that initially appear stable? Dragons flight (talk) 11:21, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Soft error appears to have some very good external links measuring actual reliability vs. cosmic rays and radiation effects and such. Nothing about overclocking, though. Comet Tuttle (talk) 18:17, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Windows colour editing

What I used to really like about Windows98 was the way you could bring up the customise window and change the colour or size of anything to make the computer look just the way you wanted. Having proven unable to get 98 on my new laptop, I am wondering if there is any way of getting a similar function on Windows 7. I have managed to find the option to return it to the original blue and grey, but not any other colour options. (talk) 11:58, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Right click on the desktop, select "Personalize" from the menu that comes up, click on the icon that says "Window color," and you get a screen which is more or less the same set of options as was in Windows 98. --Mr.98 (talk) 15:47, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Ah, I've found it now, I have to set it to the classic version first, then after that go to the window colour options. Thanks. (talk) 20:35, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Word 2007 - Two problems


I have two problems with Word 2007, which I would like to sort out.

  • When I start a document, the default spacing of lines is set to 'Normal', which leaves a blank line between lines. I want it to be set to 'No spacing' as default. How can I do this?
  • Whenever I enter a date, I am prompted to press Enter to change it to today's date (in a different format). I don't want today's date, and I want to press Enter anyway so I can start a new line, so this is troublesome. How can I turn this feature off?

Cheers KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 16:39, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

1. Whenever you start a new normal document, it's based on a template called "Normal.dotm". Choose File -> Open, click "Templates" on the left, and choose "Normal.dotm". Select All, change the paragraph attributes and line spacing attributes and default font however you want, and save over Normal.dotm. And let me know if this works! I'm too chicken to do it on my machine. You should save a copy of Normal.dotm before you begin, of course, in case something gets messed up.
2. Haven't found an answer yet, but Office button -> Word Options has an Autocorrect Options button in the "Proofing" screen ... which to my surprise doesn't let you turn off this date feature. For what it's worth, my Word doesn't seem to do this. What exactly are you typing (in what date format)? Comet Tuttle (talk) 17:57, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for that. Please bear in mind, I am using Word 2007, and your first solution is not possible. There is no 'File' and when I click open (from the Office button), I just get a list of files in my Documents folder and no option to open Templates. Clicking 'New', however, gives me the 'Templates' section on the left, but Normal.dotm is not there (I know where it is in my AppData folder, as I have had to locate it in the past). As for the date format, I type 1st November 2011, for example, and it will offer to change to 2011-11-19 (today), which, bizarrely, is Japanese date format. The language is currently set to English (United Kingdom). KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 18:15, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm using Word 2007, too — sorry for saying "File"; what I actually did when testing it was to hit alt-F, which in my mind will always mean "File". So what I did is: Alt-F, Alt-O (for Open), click Templates. This brings me to username->AppData->Roaming->Microsoft->Templates and it does contain Normal.dotm. Did this work for you?
I just verified the same behavior you described on the date! I normally never type dates like that, because I am an American, so never saw this. By the time I get to "November 1," then that comma cuts off the annoying date autocorrect. Anyway, you could have found the fix by doing what I did, which is to google "Word 2007 turn off date autocorrect" where the second entry was this not-super-intuitive solution which did work for me:
To turn off date autocorrection in Word 2007, do the following: Press Alt+F11 to display the Visual Basic Editor. Press Ctrl+G to activate the Immediate window. Type
Application.DisplayAutoCompleteTips = False
and press Enter. Close the Visual Basic Editor.
Cheers — Comet Tuttle (talk) 18:24, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Brilliant! Both work perfectly! Excellent, thanks! KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 22:08, 19 November 2011 (UTC)


Kompozer doen't work and blames xpcom.dll saying entry point not found. Recently had to replace myy hard disk (C:) due to warnings and crashes. Both Kompozer & xpcom.dll are new. Kittybrewster 17:31, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

I have added a section header for this question. Comet Tuttle (talk) 17:50, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't know anything about Kompozer, but when you wrote that you replaced your hard disk, what exactly did you do? I am betting you did not (a) cloned the hard disk with software like Norton Ghost or Clonezilla, and that you did not (b) format the new hard disk, install Windows, and then use the Kompozer installer to install the software afresh on the new hard disk. I'm betting you (c) formatted the new hard disk, installed Windows, and dragged your files from the old hard disk to the new hard disk? If so, that is the problem; almost any software you install on a Windows system sets some values in the Windows registry, which do not get copied over if you just drag the files from the old hard disk to the new hard disk. Do a reinstall of Kompozer and that should fix it. If the installer allows it, run it and choose a "Repair" install. Back up everything first of course in case a badly designed installer chooses to overwrite some of your work files. Comet Tuttle (talk) 20:19, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
I have a world book backup, backing up my stuff pretty often. It was installed at a distance using logmein. I installed the c drive by handing it to a local shop. Kittybrewster 21:31, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Did you pay the local shop to install Kompozer? If so, take it back to them. Backups work for data files, but program files need to be installed, as explained above. Dbfirs 09:21, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
Not specifically. But thanks to the ref desk, Kompozer now works.Kittybrewster 10:37, 20 November 2011 (UTC)


ICT4D- Who proposed it and why and when — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:30, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Why don't computers have money inserters, so we order online with physical cash?

Imagine this coonduit starting from behind a desktop computer (or a laptop if it's docked to the tube's house station first), in every home.

Look at this- these are conduits leading from the house, to many parts unknown.

The idea here would be to insert coins through coin slots, and dollar bills through bill inserters, and into a waiting capsule, in order to send the capsule through a conduit to the payment recipient. (If the online store doesn't take e-checks, I suppose the checks can be inserted into the capsules as well.)

If we can have many conduits/pipes/tubes/et al. originating from every home to parts unknown thousands of miles away, what's wrong with doing the same for the sake of home-shopping with physical cash?

Besides, a child can't use plastic until their teens, but even kindergartners can buy with physical cash, so online toy, novelty and game stores will see a spike in sales if these conduits come along.-- (talk) 22:54, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

The tubes at the bank just connect to the inside of the bank. The distance is short, and no switching mechanisms are needed.
Building infrastructure to connect to every single house is really expensive. A typical building will hook into networks for water (and also sewage), power (electricity/maybe gas), and information (phone/cable TV/Internet service). Each one of those is something that people are happy to pay dozens of dollars per month for (possibly indirectly, though taxes). Importantly, pretty much everyone is willing to pay for this, so it's practical to dig up every single street in order to put the infrastructure in. A pneumatic tube network would be cool (I'd think more for delivering groceries than dealing with money, since electronic mechanisms for money are pretty good already), but it's probably not worth the immense cost of construction and maintenance, especially since moving macroscopic objects through tubes is going to be more failure-prone than, say, applying current to a wire. Paul (Stansifer) 23:14, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Parents could give their children an account with a PayPal-like service (not one hooked up directly to their bank account), and allow them to deposit money into it and spend money from it. But online businesses in the US are likely to refuse service to anyone under 13 due to COPPA, so the whole thing may be moot. Paul (Stansifer) 23:14, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
That would be an enormously expensive undertaking to supply every house with a pipe like that. And you'd most likely have people digging up the ground where the pipes are trying to intercept the money. It's simply not economical enough to warrant doing (talk) 23:18, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Operated two ways it would eliminate the need to step away from the computer at mealtime, as here.

Yet, we do NOT have an article on the Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel??? It's such a marvel of engineering, we need to put one up! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:49, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Let's imagine how this would work.
1. I put in my money.
2. The money thus travels to... somewhere? A bank? A central repository? The business in question? Somewhere. Not where I am.
3. This takes.... awhile. Because paper in tubes doesn't move as fast as electrons do. Ho hum. I wait, oh, I don't know, awhile. Now let's pretend, just for fun, that this money tube is set up so that it can't get clogged (not easy for such distances) and somehow we've managed to get over the fact that we're not likely the only one using the system so unless we have dedicated tubes from each house to the place (a lot of tubes), we're talking about a scheme where multiple dollars have to somehow share the tube at once, not get caught, and not get confused.
4. Eventually the bank or whatever gets the money, scans it in, determines it is not counterfeit, credits the account. Let's imagine this can happen very fast unlike in real life, where banks have actual humans verifying cash deposits before they are credited to your account.
All of this is... well, just very silly. What problem does it solve, again? Oh, children being able to buy stuff on the internet. Parents are going to be clamoring for that — they'd love for their children to just be able to send money out of the house at rapid speed. That's definitely worth the cost of this silly money-in-tubes scheme. --Mr.98 (talk) 23:35, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Also, let's say I (in the UK) wanted to buy something from Japan. Even if my money travelled down this ridiculously long tube from my house to the store at the speed of an average Boeing 757, it would still take around 14 hours for it to get there - and then another 14 hours for me to receive any sort of acknowledgement of payment. Besides, kindergarteners don't tend to buy toys or games. They are bought for them, by their parents, whether online or physically at the store. Why? Because kindergarteners don't earn. KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 01:04, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
I would have to assume that the allowance is a foreign concept in your culture. Parents, to varying degrees, pay their kids to do chores and their best on their academics. Children do earn after all. It's the parents' decision on whether they earn money or something else. -- (talk) 01:34, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
We call it pocket money, but when I was a kindergartener (which the OP specifies), it was just enough money to keep me going over the week with sweets, etc., and certainly not enough to buy myself a game or toy from a specialist game/toy store. Without supervision. At the age of 5. :) KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 02:14, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
My son wants me to get paid in Legos to cut down the time between me giving him allowance and then waiting to go to the store to buy Legos. -- kainaw™ 01:36, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
In one of many possible post-apocayptic futures, Legos will be the only viable worldwide currency. --Mr.98 (talk) 12:27, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Why would someone put his money in this thing? It's true that cities, or at least boroughs could have some sort of pneumatic tubes, but the idea somehow didn't pan out...At least not at a a level higher than a building. I also ask me why, since we invest in many other large expensive infrastructure ... Quest09 (talk) 22:14, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

How do I get Google's account services to keep track of my tabs & bookmarks online?

I hope and pray that K-State's ITAC department will recover all the data in my failed hard drive. Their turnaround time is 5 business days (as opposed to the rip-off Geek Squad's 3 weeks) so if they don't get to it before Thanksgiving, I'll have it back Monday.

In the meantime, so that I don't lose the hundreds of bookmarks stored, and the 60 tabs I had open, how do I get Google to save, through my Gmail account, the whole package of them both? (Hope it's free.) Thanks. -- (talk) 01:30, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Once again... -- (talk) 19:32, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

RGB color values—linear or not?

If I open an image in an image editor, I can sample the RGB value of any given pixel. Are RGB values you see in image editors linear RGB values, or are they non-linearly coded? If the latter, applying a linear function to remap pixel values (e.g. making each RGB coordinate values 10% larger) will result in non-uniform scaling of luminance—something that seems like the wrong result to have. Does anyone know whether the commonly used RGB values in computer graphics and digital photography are linear or not? -- (talk) 05:21, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

The RGB values you see in most image editors are nominally sRGB, which is roughly linear in perceived brightness. There are other, more esoteric color spaces that are linear in absolute brightness measures like watts per square meter. Both kinds of linearity are useful in different circumstances. -- BenRG (talk) 06:27, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Ancient Egyptian game on the Amiga found

Way back in March 2011 I asked about ancient Egyptian game on the Amiga. I have now found this game by running E-UAE and looking around my Amiga's hard drive. It turns out that it really is called "Pharaoh's Curse", but it's a different game than the one Wikipedia has an article about. It was written by an Egyptian person called Mahed Farag in AMOS BASIC and released as ShareWare. I'm not sure if Mahed Farag handles registrations for the game any more. JIP | Talk 06:47, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Lego NXT and i2c/rs485 camera

  1. ) I want to interface a camera to Lego_Mindstorms_NXTbrick (possibly colour). It has i2c interface only. But searching for i2c cameras in Google and electronics part stores turns up cameras that can be controlled via i2c but acutal o/p is in some other format/protocol/pins. Can some one direct me to a camera that takes commands and gives data in pure i2c. It doesn't have to be fast or high resolution. I'm intending to take picture once in 10s or so only.
  2. ) Is there a nxt compatible camera sensor available?. My only other choice seems to be to mount a Bluetooth camera to the nxt.There is mindsnsors site [18]. But it doesn't seem to give raw pixel output. (From their site : No, the image taken by NXTCam can not be transferred over to NXT. You can however transfer them to PC using USB)
  3. ) Alternately can someone point me to some hobby tutorial site where they have interfaced a camera. (I'm hoping that this tutorial will allow me to interface an i2c camera once i obtain it. [19]) (talk) 07:13, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

why do jvm/clr need bytecode?

why do jvm/clr need bytecode? couldn't they compile from human readable language to assembler? thx — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:52, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

In essence, bytecode (and CLR) are designed to be more efficient that the original human-readable source code when they are compiled or interpreted into machine code. Thus you get a performance boost. It is also worth noting that multiple languages can be converted into bytecode or CRL: with CRL you have the .NET family, and with bytecode you have options such as JRuby, if you are thus inclined. So the JVM and .NET can, in a sense, work with multiple human-readable languages so long as they have been compiled into the intermediate language they understand. - Bilby (talk) 12:09, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
I think the question goes the other way: Not "why don't they interpret the high-level language directly", but rather "why do they compile to bytecode, not directly to a machine-specific assembly (and, implicitly, machine code)?". There are a number of advantages to bytecode, including portability and security. A bytecode program is portable between different architectures as long as the corresponding virtual machine has been implemented on the host architecture. Secondly, bytecode more easily allows the run-time system to limit what any program can do (thus allowing for better sandboxing). No bytecode program can access or change a resource that the virtual machine does not offer an interface to (of course this includes unintended interfaces (i.e. bugs in the VM)).--Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:21, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
The original Java bytecode was designed only to run compiled Java Programming Language code; while it's possible to compile a few other languages for it (and later changes have added a bit more flexibility) it's not intended as a general purpose intermediate code, and there are plenty of languages (e.g. C) that cannot generally be compiled to Java bytecode. The Oak/Java system was initially intended for network mobile code (which, curiously, it rarely does any more) - that means it needed a) architecture neutrality b) managed operation (for security) and c) verifiability. That last thing is a big issue - most valid-looking (operationally perfectly sound) JVM programs will be rejected by the verifier, and its role in preventing non-compliant casts and access to private members is important for Java's security (but it what thwarts the JVM's use as a general purpose VM). In contrast the CLR was designed from the outset to support multiple languages (the whole Microsoft Visual Foo suite of things), but doesn't care so much about security partitioning inside a virtual machine, and in practice binary portability isn't its big selling point. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 12:38, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
Where "most" means "the set of bytecode sequences the verifier will permit is very much smaller than the general set of bytecode sequences"; the Java Language compiler is obviously constructed to only emit sequences in the smaller, verifiable set. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 12:42, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Search engine log file download

I have been working on a search engine algorithm. To test it well, I need real search engine usage. So, I need log files (deidentified) of real search engines. I have the AOL dump released a while back. Have any other similar log files been released? -- kainaw™ 15:39, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Try using a search engine to find content on the internet. (talk) 16:03, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
The AOL data release is the most obvious example; hopefully, there are no others. It was a huge mistake. Although the users were only identified with random numbers, a great deal of personal information can be recovered. There were even cases in which a single search provides too much personal information, so it wouldn't even be safe if the information about which searches came from the same user was thrown out. If you're looking for common searches, the annual Google Zeitgeist will give you some information. Paul (Stansifer) 18:25, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

How do I tab outlines on the Mobile Google Docs?

I cannot seem to use the tab key to make outline indentions with the smartphone. There is no tab key on the default android keyboard. I downloaded the "hacker's keyboard" app. Their tab key didn't work. What is another way to make this happen from a mobile device? Thanks, -- (talk) 19:12, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

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