Wikipedia:Reference desk/Computing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Wikipedia Reference Desk covering the topic of computing.

Welcome to the computing reference desk.
Want a faster answer?

Main page: Help searching Wikipedia

How can I get my question answered?

  • Provide a short header that gives the general topic of the question.
  • Type ~~~~ (four tildes) at the end – this signs and dates your contribution so we know who wrote what and when.
  • Post your question to only one desk.
  • Don't post personal contact information – it will be removed. We'll answer here within a few days.
  • Note:
    • We don't answer (and may remove) questions that require medical diagnosis or legal advice.
    • We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions or debate.
    • We don't do your homework for you, though we’ll help you past the stuck point.

How do I answer a question?

Main page: Wikipedia:Reference desk/Guidelines

  • The best answers address the question directly, and back up facts with wikilinks and links to sources. Do not edit others' comments and do not give any medical or legal advice.
See also:
Help desk
Village pump
Help manual

August 21[edit]

Cannot add or change Chrome search engines[edit]

It is driving me nuts. It is this thing. But, I cannot add a new one. Also, I cannot change the third column entry with the url. I just keep getting red boxes and no saves. Please help!!! Anna Frodesiak (talk) 08:58, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Ok, it decided to work. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 01:42, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Mastered in 4k[edit]

Do mastered in 4k blu rays really have better quality on a 720 or 1080p HDTV than other blu rays? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:36, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

It's marketing hype that you should ignore. As mentioned in the previous thread, a "mastered in 4k" Blu-Ray disc is still only 1080p. It probably just means they filmed the thing in 2160p and then downsampled it for the Blu-Ray disc. This won't automatically give you a better picture than filming in 1080p. It might make a difference, but it's much less important than the quality of the camera and the technical and artistic competence of everyone involved. -- BenRG (talk) 18:54, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Android :Data connection get lost automatically[edit]

My Mobile phone is Karbonn A50 Android version 2.3.6 . My problem is that while using internet continiously through Mobile network, suddenly wifi turn on automatically and itself get turned off. When I continue using internet then the internet sign get lost. The only option that remain is to restart to gain the signal. I first thought it was dur to malware and performed complete reset but even the problem persists. What may be the reason behind it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Amrit.ghimire13 (talkcontribs) 17:23, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Windows 9[edit]

Do we have an article on Microsoft Windows 9? I can't seem to find anything. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 17:39, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Since Microsoft apparently won't announce it until the end of next month, there's nothing yet to go into any article. We try to avoid speculation about future events. Rojomoke (talk) 17:57, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. But, it is quite common that we write articles in advance of events (for example, Super Bowl LII in 2018, the 2028 Summer Olympics in 2028, etc.). I had assumed this would be the same. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:36, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
There is solid, proven information that exists for those events: The Superbowl has a venue and the Olympics have preliminary meetings that are already established. Windows 9 has none of those things. The time will come, shortly, I imagine. Mingmingla (talk) 00:51, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:29, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

August 22[edit]

Arrays With Definite, But Unknown, Size[edit]

I'm working on an image enhancement program (my own tinkering) in Ruby and have a particularly involved algorithm - it takes a few hours on a non-HD image. Generally, I don't mind waiting, but, in this case, it is becoming a real pain. So, I am looking, essentially, to run this specific process in a more performance focused language (C, C++, C#, Java, etc.). My stumbling block is the following: I need to use several arrays whose size will depend on the resolution of the input image, but I do not want to use dynamic arrays - for any given input, the size of the array is fixed, so is there any language that supports static sized arrays that are declared using a variable instead of a literal number? (For example, something like "v = image_x_size; new array = stuff[v]"). Thank you for any help - sorry for any lack of clarity, I don't do a lot of actual programming so am not exactly sure how to phrase stuff - or, if there are any other things anyone might suggest; I have no problem learning language features, I'm just not sure which ones to learn.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 05:36, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Let me add this to the question: if I declare a really large array, but only use a portion of it, does this have a major performance impact? For example, if I know every image is under 5000 x 5000, could I just use arrays of size 5000 without penalty?Phoenixia1177 (talk) 05:38, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't see why you wouldn't want to use dynamic arrays. Just set the initial size big enough for your input. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 05:52, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Honestly, I don't really know - I've read a few places that they are slower and one of the reason large arrays are slow in languages like Ruby, Python, etc. I don't know much about various languages outside of the few I'm comfortable with; I just don't want to spend time on something that isn't going to end up doing what I want anyways.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 06:09, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, what do you mean exactly by "dynamic arrays"? If you're talking about something like vector class of the Standard Template Library, sure, there's a little performance hit every time they reallocate — not a huge hit in most cases, but some. But in C or C++, once you figure out the size of your array, you can just allocate an array of that size on the fly using malloc or new, and then there's no more reallocation. That's "dynamic" in the sense that it doesn't get allocated until the program reaches that line, but I don't see why it would be slower than anything else.
It's true that that memory is on the "heap" rather than the "stack". But for really large arrays, you really don't want them on the stack anyway. Stack-corruption errors are really annoying and hard to find. --Trovatore (talk) 08:42, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
C# Lists or Arraylists would probably meet the need. More information is here. That page also describes how you can create an array of dynamically allocated size by first creating a list. A rather clunky possible alternative would be to use something like String.Split to create the array. --Phil Holmes (talk) 08:30, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Matlab and the free clone Octave_(programming language) let you declare array size based in input, the way you want. While Matlab can be slower than C at many things, it is often faster at array/vector operations (very highly optimized code in C and Fortran underlies Matlab), and most non-experts (like me) find it much easier to code in. The package NumPy will also let you do what you want in Python. (as an aside, I've never heard anyone claim that porting code to Java was a good way to increase performance... but then again I have no experience with Ruby :) SemanticMantis (talk) 17:47, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
I usually just use a large static array for that type of thing. I agree that dynamic arrays are a pain. Large static arrays usually don't slow things down much, with one huge exception. If you exceed the RAM on your PC and have to go to paging space, things slow to a crawl immediately.
Here's another option: In Fortran, you can have parameters you define in the declarations, say MAX_X and MAX_Y, then use those to define your array sizes and everything else. So, for example, you could specify the highest pixel in both directions as (MAX_X, MAX_Y), somewhere inside the program. In this way, you only have to change two variables and recompile when switching to another image size.
A third option would be to basically do as above, but have a wraparound program to read the image size, set the parameters, and recompile for you. StuRat (talk) 21:10, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

I've measured the performance of dynamic arrays versus static arrays, and there is very little difference. However, what you don't want to do is to start with a small dynamic array and keep adding small amounts to it. If the program can tell from the input what size it needs, then set the dynamic array for that size. If it can't tell then start with a dynamic array that might be large enough, and if it isn't then increase the size by maybe 20%. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 00:36, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

I'm not a Ruby programmer, but have you tried a different implementation of the language? Both Rubinius and JRuby claim to be faster than the official interpreter, at least for some programs.-gadfium 02:53, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for all of the suggestions/help. I've since taken a look into Octave and Fortran - both seem reasonably easy to get to do what I want - C is another alternative I'm considering; I know enough of the basics, I'm pretty sure I could get that working fast as well. Currently, the problem part needs to loop through each pixel at each pixel and do more than a few calculations, so the loop ends up being around 4 trillion times. Ruby is nice, but it is not meant to handle that in a reasonable interval - I've looked into variants of Ruby in the past, my understanding is that since YARV was implemented as the main Ruby interpreter that, best case, the gains are marginal (if at all) - but even speeding things up by a factor of 3, or 4, would still be way too long a wait time. --As for Java, I've been told that for good code, once everything is loaded up, it can outperform compiled languages, I have no idea if that is true; plus, I've been meaning to learn it for a while. Thank you all again:-)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 08:40, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

What makes arrays slow in most languages is bounds checking. C++'s std::vector is (usually) not bounds checked in release builds, which makes it just as fast as anything you could do in C, and still safer (since you don't have to worry about memory leaks). There is a cost to dynamically resizing an array, but it's not that large, and more importantly you only pay that cost if you actually resize it. If you could implement your algorithm with a static array, that means you never need to resize it, so you might as well use a dynamic array. -- BenRG (talk) 23:29, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Fortran seems to just skip the array bounds checking to speed things up. They must figure that the programmer can add in bounds checking, if they think it's worth the cost. StuRat (talk) 00:24, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
FORTRAN makes pointer aliasing impossible, so an entire category of difficult array bounds violations are eliminated at run-time. This means that FORTRAN can compile code that is no faster than equivalently-written C code, but is strictly safer from illegal memory access.
But all this analysis assumes our OP's performance is due to array element access times, which is altogeher an unlikely explanation for a five hour runtime. The OP probably has a complicated algorithm with many nested iterations and similarly complex execution patterns. Switching languages, or improving memory access times, will not address that issue. The OP needs to profile the execution time and start to understand where the execution time is being spent.
Nimur (talk) 17:37, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
I appreciate that that would be the normal assumption to make,, but in this case it is the arrays that are the issue. I've been using Ruby for 15+ hours a week for over a decade and am very familiar with all the little ins and outs of it (and various performance hacks - which I've tested with benchmarks time and again). Moreover, the actual program I'm working on, I've been messing with for 2 years and have hundreds of other subroutines all of which take a major speed hit proportionate to how many pixels are considered per pixel - regardless of computation details, all of them take a major hit as the radius increases; and there is nothing left to take advantage of to mitigate this. In this case, yes, the computation is complex, but not absurdly so, and I have benchmarked and tried variants, it doesn't make much of a difference. I'm not expecting to rewrite it in another language and it take half a second, but I do anticipate not having to wait all day to test it on a few images; and I do know that compiled C is going to be, at least, 6-7 times faster, which should be good enough for my ends.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 21:27, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Guaranteed non-aliasing of arrays allows for automatic vectorization where it would otherwise be impossible, leading to much faster compiled code. That's why restrict was added to C. I don't see how it prevents out-of-bounds accesses.
I agree that bounds checking is unlikely to be the problem here, if the code is written in Ruby. Ruby is slow mainly because it's (typically) interpreted, and array bounds checks are probably a negligible part of the execution time. Bounds checks might be a significant part of the run time in (typically) compiled safe languages like Java. -- BenRG (talk) 18:22, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
It's not bounds checking in Ruby that is the problem, it is that I'm dealing with large arrays/arrays with lots of memory, which has been a bottleneck for the language. I wanted to know about arrays because I was switching to a language where that didn't necessarily have it, not so much because it was the problem with arrays - though, I'm not very clear on that. I imagine that there is a very horrible way of logically breaking up the data across smaller arrays (more in number), etc. in Ruby, and you can get more performance that way in that language (did it on a smaller scale issue for pathfinding in a small game), but that also makes it more of a pain to work with - and I'd like to learn a new language anyways, Ruby is great, but it is not fast anyways.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 22:38, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Some other thoughts:
1) What's the size of each array element ? If dealing with R, G, B values of 0-255, for example, a 1-byte integer is enough for each, although you might need to shift the values using an offset, if the range is -127 to +128, for example.
2) What's the available RAM ? I'm still worried that you are exceeding it and going to (extremely slow) paging space.
3) Do you free up memory after you are done with it ?
4) Is anything else running when your program is ? You might even consider running it outside of Windows. StuRat (talk) 15:45, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you all for all of your help:-) I've rewritten the program in C++, it executes in a much more reasonable time frame; smaller test images I had taking a little over an 2 hours now finish in around fifteen minutes, so that's reasonable enough for me (it is an intensive computation, so I expect that it will take a while). I'm not sure what Ruby was doing memory-wise, which is one of the main things that I don't like about it; though, Ruby and large arrays don't go well together, it seems to use way more memory for them than it needs. At least on my computer, using 1.93, I can get an "out of memory" error creating a 12000 x 12000 of arrays with 3 integers in them; I have 12gb ram, so that really shouldn't be an issue.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 01:42, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Image extraction[edit]

How to extract this particular image in its original high-res? It looks like over 2000 px at full zoom, but every Firefox extension I tried saves it in about 700x800 px. Brandmeistertalk 13:16, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

The image is built from 100 or so smaller images at various scales (much like the way services like Google Maps works). Some websites use Zoomify to implement this; others use similar services - I don't know which system that particular site uses. If it was Zoomify, Commons hosts a script which extracts the elements and stitches them together - commons:Help:Zoomable images/ Other systems will use a different scheme, so dezoomify would need to be adapted (for all I know it already has been). You might like to talk to the people who maintain that (at Commons and SourceForge) as they're surely aware of the general field of Zoomifyalikes. And note National Portrait Gallery and Wikimedia Foundation copyright dispute in passing. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 13:56, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
My Windows command line for Dezoomify doesn't recognize "coll" in the image's URL when I try to run Dezoomify. I initially thought the native hi-res may be embedded in the webpage's source code. Maybe someone can extract the image anyway, I'd thank in advance. Brandmeistertalk 15:00, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
You can always do a screen grab. The advantage is that it doesn't care how the image was built. The disadvantage is that it's limited to your screen resolution (although you might be able to stitch multiple screen grabs together), and may have some junk to clean up around the edges (the window frame, etc.). On my screen, it looks like 2×3 screen grabs should do it, although only 2×2 are needed if I trim off some of the empty top and bottom. If you don't know how to do a screen grab, tell us your Operating System and we will provide details. StuRat (talk) 20:42, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Why is Java 7 prevalent over Java 8?[edit]

Hello. I realize the above question is vague in some ways, but i see no better way to classify my question in a short amount of text.

I want to know why most people are using Java 7, and not Java 8.... and also why when looking to download java, a version of 7 is offered instead of Java 8. This is puzzling to me. Isn't Java 8 supposed to be an improved product by definition? Here is some info i have regarding this:

  • This webpage shows that Java 7 is used by more people than Java 8.
  • The official java download page offers a download of Java 7, "Version 7 Update 67" at the time of writing this.
  • While looking for answers to this question, i found that oracle has already began development of Java 9, to be released in 2016.
  • According to Java (programming language), Java 8 was released as recently as march of this year.
  • I have run into a site or two which say that Java 8 is horrible and reasons why.

I can understand that for certain products it may take a while for users to switch, if they do at all; versions of Windows Operating System come to mind. However, java isn't in this same boat in my opinion. First, Microsoft Windows costs money and an upgrade means vast and obvious changes to a person's experience; Java is free and users (non-programmers) notice hardly anything different except hopefully newer versions run faster. Second, Java runtime can (when feature enabled) show you when your version is out of date. If most users had this active, i would expect at least to see a numerical majority (50% + 1) to have Java 8, because it takes minutes to upgrade, not months! Yet oracle itself says the "latest version of java" is Java 7, update 67.

If a person were not tech savvy or not looking specifically for Java 8, it would be easy to not even think it exists! WHY??!? On top of this madness, there is already a version 9 coming when hardly a soul knows of 8. What is going on?!?! (talk) 17:02, 22 August 2014 (UTC) is for ordinary people looking to update the Java runtime to run the software they already have - the "not tech savvy or not looking specifically for Java 8" people you describe. Oracle wants these people to stick with Java 7 - they explain at "Why is Java 8 not available on" That why it doesn't say it's the "latest", it says its the "recommended" version. Java 8 is for developers, and for people who know (because their developers told them) that they should switch. Java is enterprise software, it's not like buying the latest iPhone - you want something that will definitely work with your existing software. Existing software, running under the new runtime, won't use most of its new features, and probably won't see much substantive improvement in performance. When developers change their software to make use of the new capabilities of Java 8, the software will require Java 8. Enterprise software has long support windows and enterprises don't want to change things every time a technology supplier iterates their platform. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 17:35, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

"you want something that will definitely work with your existing software"

... so this plus reading the link you provided..... suggests that Java 8 is still not fully stable, even though it has been in existence for years now! I must be honest in saying that this confuses me as much as the original question. However, your answer did help clear up things too! Thanks! (talk) 17:43, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

(Multiple EC) AFAIK it's generally quite common that the Java auto update will only update within the version you are using. (For that matter so to with a fair amount of software.) See e.g. [1] which suggests on Windows x32, the Java autoupdater only moved users of 6 to 7 in December 2012. As per our article, this was over a year after release Java version history. There are obvious reasons for this including that you may break software which doesn't work with the newer version (which could happen with a minor version change but is far less likely). For similar reasons, the Java site normally doesn't give the latest version straight away.
Also while cost may be a factor, there are clearly many other factors why people don't update. E.g. many people are still using Windows 8 including me rather than updating to 8.1. Many people are using a version of Windows without the latest service pack. Heck for a long time many people were still using IE6 on Windows XP even though Internet Explorer 7 has existed since October 2006.
Nil Einne (talk) 17:48, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
No, it doesn't suggest that at all. What it means is that existing software needs to be retested when a major platform change is made, and until then the conservative thing to do is to run it on the existing platform (with small fixes and security patches designed to have no impact on the platform's public API). Java 8 is designed as much as is practical to be entirely compatible with Java 7 - but the point of a major number increment is to indicate that you don't guarantee perfect compatibility, and a few programs, which use outdated functionality and do odd things, may break and have to be fixed. Oracle's guide to where they've deliberately broken compatibility is here. Given the gigantic size of the Java platform, that's a pretty small list of pretty obscure things - and most of them are the final retiral of things that were already marked deprecated in Java 7 (things conscientious developers already should have eschewed years ago). Nothing I've said, or linked to, should remotely give you the idea that Java 8 is "not fully stable". -- Finlay McWalterTalk 17:56, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Finlay: my mistake. I wasn't even thinking about deprecation, and how that might have an effect on existing programs being run on newer Java! (talk) 18:05, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

It's worth considering what a "version number" means. To the marketing department, and to a non-technical public, a bump of the headline number usually means "it's better now". An iPhone 4 is better (presumably in every conceivable way) than an iPhone 3. Very often that means the company would like you to buy a new one, because they one you have is now "old". For the engineering department, a major version number often means something different - it signifies a compatibility horizon: that everything that worked on any older Java 7 should work on any newer Java 7, but if they want to make changes that might break something, they have to save that up for Java 8. There's often conflict inside large organisations about the competing meaning of these numbers: Sun (Java's originators) went through much internal gnashing of teeth with the version numbering for their Solaris operating system (see Solaris_(operating_system)#Version_history) and the JDK (see Java version history) with technically inexplicable jumps in version numering. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 18:18, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

my external backup hard drive has started to pop up as "AutoPlay" and Windows 7 says "Format this disk"[edit]

I have been using the same computer and same external back up drive for years. Now suddenly (after the last Window 7 update?), it repeatedly pops up when I'm on the web, with AutoPlay flashing, then a Windows message "Format this disk". I solved it to some extent by pinning the AutoPlay to my taskbar. But it still occurs occasionally and I've had to turn off sound so I don't hear that irritating Windows "bing".

I've tried setting all my AutoPlay options to other programs, and I'm not going to format the disk - it has my backup on it. Any ideas? Thanks, Parabolooidal (talk) 19:11, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

First, are you sure the drive is supposed to show up as unformatted? With some backup software, this could happen, but if I were you I would confirm that everything in your backup is fine.
If you've done that then I would remove any drive letter or mount location for the partition/s via Disk Manager. I believe Windows will not assign any a drive letter even if you detach and reattach the drive in the future but I can't recall exactly. (Depending on whether it will be a problem for other drives, you could always disable automounting new drives completely. I do know if you do this, external drives give a mount point should keep it even if detached and reattached.) Of course, this could be rather annoying if your backup software can't handle the drive lacking a mount location, personally I would consider better software in that case.
Nil Einne (talk) 08:31, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

August 23[edit]

Dolby true HD[edit]

If you have a blu ray player with a Dolby TrueHD decoder and a home cinema system with only analogue connections and a toslink, which cables would you need to get DolbyTrueHD? The toslink will only work with Dolby Digital, not trueHD. Alternatively, is there a way of adding an HDMI input to the home cinema system, which can receive the DolbyTrueHD signal from the blu ray player?
If not, is there a way to output 5.1 sound using the TrueHD output? At the moment using toslink, my audio decoder only turns it into a dolby pro logic stereo format. Clover345 (talk) 20:17, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

August 24[edit]


  1. How can I upload these old photos about Tsar bomb to commons?
  2. How to correct these images?
  3. When Can I upload any logos or posters to Commons?and By any license? --ديفيد عادل وهبة خليل 2 (talk) 11:08, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Should I buy 2 TB or 4 TB USB hard drives?[edit]

My Fedora 20 Linux system recently informed me that the two LaCie Neil Poulton 1 TB USB hard drives I routinely back up my files to have less than half a gigabyte free space left. As I take over one hundred megabytes worth of photographs every day, this will run out soon. I can free up some space by running rsync --delete which will delete all the files from the USB drives that I have already deleted from my main drive. But even this won't suffice for long. So I need to upgrade to larger drives. But should I buy 2 TB USB drives, like my current internal drive is (with my current rate, it will only run out of space in April 2019), or go straight to 4 TB USB drives? sells 2 TB USB drives for 125 € and 4 TB USB drives for 165 €. That's not much of a difference in price considering the difference in size. But with 4 TB USB drives, it looks like 2 TB is just going to waste until I need to upgrade my internal drive as well. But then I remember even computer magazines in the early 1990s saying "buy the biggest drive you can afford", at a time when hard drive capacities were in the order of tens of megabytes, not terabytes. Can anyone advise me here? JIP | Talk 18:26, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

If we look at this purely economically, 40 € for an extra 2 TB sounds like a good deal, but you won't need those extra 2 TB for another 5 years, by which time the price might well have dropped below that. Add to that the possibilities that the hard drive might fail before that or that you might stop taking so many photos, and the extra 2 TB seems to be of even less value. Also, the 2 TB drive you buy 5 years from now is likely to be faster.
And advice to buy the most expensive item you can afford, when the price of those items is steadily dropping, seems terrible, to me. If the prices were skyrocketing, then that might make sense on an individual level (although it might make the problem worse, overall). StuRat (talk) 18:35, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Add to what's been said that 2019 is a long way off in computer terms. Solid state drive prices are dropping and may (or may not) be at this price point in 5 years. Dismas|(talk) 18:44, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
I'll play devil's advocate to the above answers. Unless EUR 40 causes you significant financial pain, it's cheap insurance - compare to paying another EUR 125 if you find yourself needing more space. And with my current six terabytes of network disk, I can't recall ever thinking "oh my, I have too much disk space, I wish I had less." (talk) 21:02, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
If the difference in price isn't an issue, I'd say go with the larger, I'd imagine you could find some use for the extra space - looking at it realistically, a one time purchase for that small of an amount doesn't really matter, even in the worst case scenario that you never touch the other 2TB, does it actually matter? If we were talking a price difference of several hundred or a recurring fee, I think this would be worth considering, but for the amount involved, barring financial hardship, I'd go with the larger drive and not really worry about it.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 23:52, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
You already have 2 x 1TB USB drives? And now you want to buy either an additional 2TB disk or an additional 4TB disk? The way I see it, if you buy an additional 2TB, you will have 3 drives plugged in to the computer, the original 2 and this new 3rd one, is that right? If on the other hand you buy the big 4TB you can actually "get rid of" the existing 2 drives, right? IMHO, that sounds better. Copy everything from the 2x 1TB disks onto the 4TB and use them as an additional backup just for your most critical stuff or a permanent static backup with just what they have on them right now. Vespine (talk) 01:34, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't buy either of them. First, if you have a desktop, you could just open the case and plug in a 4 TB HDD directly into the motherboard. A bare hard drive is a lot cheaper than an external USB drive. This one is only $145 (which is about 110 euros). In fact, you could get a 5 TB bare drive for the same price as the 4 TB external drive. Also, it's going to be much faster going through a SATA cable connected to your motherboard than through that USB 2.0 cable your Lacie drive uses. Or, if you don't have a desktop (or your motherboard doesn't have more than one SATA port), then you could just open the case of your Lacie drive and put a new 4 TB HDD in it. Here's how you can do that. Again, that'd be significantly cheaper. Now, going back to the original question, a 4 TB HDD is going to have higher read and write speeds than a 2 TB hard drive (assuming the drives are identical otherwise) because of the higher data density on the platters of the 4 TB HDD. Also, what if your camera breaks and you buy a new one with more megapixels? Now, your images are taking up more space and your old rate of drive exhaustion has changed. That's been the trend since the beginning with computer storage. I've been burned many times by making incremental upgrades in my hard drives only to need new ones a couple of years later. So, don't hold yourself back.—Best Dog Ever (talk) 05:15, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Actually it isn't true that external drives are always more expensive than internal drives. External drives are often cheaper than internal drives here in NZ when there are super specials at major retailers. From what I've read, this happens in the US as well and actually more often to the extent that people with large RAID arrays and even some with cloud storage often buy external HDDs and take out the internal disk.
(It was probably even more extreme during the massive price rises allegedly due to the flooding in Thailand, see e.g. [2]. Actually the flooding seem to be around the time this started in a major way in NZ. AFAIK it was very rare before then. Now that the price insanity has ended, it's started to get less common again. But still if you keep an eye out, you will often get an external drive for cheaper than you can get an internal one even at it's lowest comparitive price. Of course retailers here who actually sell OEM internal drives are tiny compared to those who deal with external ones.)
Also there's no reason to assume higher density platters on a 4TB HDD. Actually HDD platter density increases have slowed a lot recently. (Shingled Magnetic Recording may have helped, but this tech doesn't seem ready for consumer drives due to the limitations, and may never be. Heat-assisted magnetic recording is a better bet for consumer drives but still seems a while away).)
Seagate has has 1TB 3.5" platters for ~3 years now, and by now it seems the vast majority of their main consumer line 3.5" drives use these. In fact in the case of Seagate for their main consumer line drives, their 1-3TB drives are usually 7200RPM after they abandoned the green line concept, but their 4TB drives are slower 5900RPM so their 4TB drives are in fact often slower than their 2TB ones.
Western Digital seem a bit more variable, but still by now I believe the majority of their main line consumer drives (green) tend to be 1TB platter drives. In the case of WD, since their 2TB and 4TB main line consumer drives are generally the same speed (5400RPM), you probably have a lower risk by buying a 4TB drive of getting a slow one since although WD has produced 4TB drives with smaller platters, this has only happened with their fancier drives AFAIK. (While this holds true to Seagate, I believe it's fairly rare to get a non 1TB platter drive even in 2TB now. And more importantly, the rotational speed difference makes platter density speed differential more complicated.)
Of course, if you're only worried about speed and purchase price, you're probably better sticking with Seagate for a 2TB anyway given the rotational speed difference, unless you're looking at the fancier WD lines. (And actually if you are worried about speed and have no problems using 2 drives, a 2x2TB Seagate would be a better bet than a 4TB.)
Note that even with internal drives where you can see the model code etc, it's not always easy to tell how many platters the drive uses since manufacturers no longer generally advertise it, at least for their main line drives. See e.g. [3] [4]. Sometimes weight or testing the drive might be your only bet (whether you can do this before purchase or be able to return the drive after purchase will of course vary).
There is an added complexity if buying external drives since you can't even see the internal drive model codes. You may be able to convince the drive to give up the internal drives serial number and model code in some cases with the right software. If not and you're using USB3 (or eSATA or anything else fast enough), you can come to a fair conclusion by testing the drive, although plenty of vendors won't allow free returns for an opened drive without fault or similar. So unless you were advertised something this only really helps if you are planning to buy a lot. (Weighing the drive problematic since there's a risk of different casing and conversion components. You can open the drive, but this will normally void the warranty and even if you're thinking of doing this sneakily, it often isn't easy to open the drive without damaging the casing if you don't have experience.) Still most of the cheapest external drives tend to use the main consumer drives. However there have been cases when people have found fancier drives inside and it gets more complicated with the higher end external drives.
OTOH, you should consider if you really need the maximum possible speed for backup drives, or whether other factors (or just ignoring speeds) is a better bet if you have resonable speeds. I do agree if the OP is considering a USB2 drive (which is a little too slow) vs an internal, they really should consider if the internal is a possibility. (USB3 vs SATA often won't have a significant speed difference except in special cases so other factors are much more in play.)
P.S. I don't see it useful to compare US prices to the OPs local prices. For starters many EU locations are very strict about VAT, so even if the OP wanted to import directly they would need to pay VAT if Amazon doesn't pay it for them. More importantly, while some electronics may be worth risking shipping internationally, this probably isn't a good idea for HDs where there's a strong risk of warranty issues, particularly after such long shipping.
P.P.S. I don't know if your internal drive was the cheapest you found, but a quick search on Amazon found this 4TB external [5] for $137.99 i.e. less than the $146.85 for the internal you linked to. I did a quick search and couldn't find any cheaper internal 4TBs on Amazon [6] but I don't know if Amazon is the best place to search and don't use it enough to know if I was doing it right.
Nil Einne (talk) 07:57, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
The thing is, my internal hard drive is 2 TB, and is only in danger of running out of space in early 2019. My USB hard drives, on the other hand, are only 1 TB each, and will probably run out of space before next winter. So I'm in no hurry of upgrading the internal drive. And my current computer (which my company gave to me to be able to work from home if necessary) only has two hard drive bays, and both are in use. One has a 1 TB drive with Windows 8 for work use, the other has a 2 TB drive with Fedora 20 Linux for free-time use. I will have to replace the Linux hard drive eventually, but that's a long time coming, and I'd rather avoid the hassle until it's necessary. And the computer magazines I mentioned never said "buy the most expensive hard drive you can afford". They said "buy the biggest hard drive you can afford". The reasoning was that no matter how big the drive, it's going to run out of space eventually, and you want to postpone that as much as possible, because upgrading a hard drive is expensive, time-consuming, and difficult if you are a novice to computer hardware. JIP | Talk 18:42, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

August 25[edit]

Curly quote marks[edit]

I want to do a search&replace to change double curly quote marks to straight ones in the wikitext on the edit page of Wikipedia article. (Curly quote marks cause problems sometimes.) I have Windows 7 and my Toshiba laptop keyboard does not have curly quote marks, and I cannot form them by pressing Alt+0145, etc on the numerical keypad; I can only form them using the code &(plus)rdquo; and &(plus)ldquo;. (Ignore "plus" - "nowiki" is ineffective to stop the code converting here.) &(plus)#8221; does not work either. I tried using search&replace on the Advanced ribbon at the top of the edit page with the rdquo code, but it doesn't work (as I expected). Is there any other way I can find the curly quote marks in the edit text? --P123ct1 (talk) 09:46, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

If you find them in the text, you could try copying them and pasting them into the search field where you need them. I often do this for the ¢ symbol since I can never remember the code for it. Dismas|(talk) 10:53, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I have done it that way. --P123ct1 (talk) 12:58, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
If you don't mind an overkill solution, you can make and run an autohotkey script in the background and assign a keyboard shortcut to create the curly quotes. This page,, covers the send command, it's fairly straightforward from there if you're familiar with programming - if not, I can help you put something together on my talk page, if you'd like. But, like I said, unless you are using these all the time, this may be overkill.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 15:43, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
What problems do curly quote marks cause? Your laptop keyboard almost certainly has some way to enable a numeric keypad overlay, which you could use to enter the keypad codes, though not very conveniently. If you're on Windows, you can use the Character Map utility: press Alt+V to enable Advanced view, Alt+E to Search, type "quotation" or just "quo" in the search box, press Enter, and double-click on the appropriate symbol, which will be automatically copied to the clipboard. View the source of my reply to see how to write ” and the like in wikitext. Years ago I wrote an AutoHotkey script to generate non-ASCII characters from ASCII character sequences that I could remember easily, which I'll paste below for anyone who's interested. -- BenRG (talk) 17:58, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Phoenixia1177: Thanks, I will look at that, but really I don't have to do this often enough to justify that solution. BenRG : Yes, that is what I was looking for. I haven't had Word 7 for long and haven't found my way around it yet. I still mourn the passing of XP Professional, which was so user-friendly. The curly quote marks can cause tremendous problems with footnotes, as I found out to my cost earlier today - [7] You will see from this why I wanted to find a simple way of getting rid of them! --P123ct1 (talk) 01:01, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Haven&t you ever seen problems with character encoding of non-ASCII characters? I?ll admit that I don't know how/why it&rsquos a problem, but it□s fairly common in my experience :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by SemanticMantis (talkcontribs)
In some applications sure, but Wikipedia and all major browsers have supported Unicode for ages. But P123ct1 was talking about quotes in HTML syntax, which makes sense. -- BenRG (talk) 04:16, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

August 26[edit]

Corrupted volume[edit]

People may argue that I shouldn't use TrueCrypt because it's not supported anymore. I'm already looking for alternatives. This is not the point now. Today, TrueCrypt crashed when one USB flash drive was still mounted. Now the drive seemed to be corrupted. This drive was fully encrypted, so you can't get the files without the correct password. However, the password still works. Mounting and dismounting is still possible. It's just when I want to access the already mounted drive, I am asked to format it, meaning that all data would be lost. I canceled the process and received another error message which says that the path is invalid and that I should check if the drive was damaged. I looked for similar issues on the Internet, but all reports I have found dealt with the problem of TrueCrypt not being able to recognize the password anymore, which is not the same case as mine. I start doubting that this doesn't have to do with TrueCrypt at all. So if you are not familiar with this program, can you give me some general advice on how to recover corrupted USB flash drive and retrieve the data? -- (talk) 00:15, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

If TrueCrypt allows you to mount the volume with your password then it's not a TrueCrypt problem any more, if it ever was. You should mount the volume, ignore the suggestion to format it, and recover data from it as though it was unencrypted. PhotoRec is a popular tool for this. You could also try running chkdsk on it, though that might fail immediately if Windows can't even recognize the file system (which seems to be the case, since it's asking you to format it).
Incidentally, unless it's actually responsible for corrupting this volume, I think there's no reason to stop using TrueCrypt. Version 7.1a isn't going to stop working, and I think it has a large enough user base to survive in the long term. The auditing project is still active as well. -- BenRG (talk) 04:47, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
You were right. Chkdsk didn't work, it said that the filesystem is RAW. I'm using PhotoRec now, but I don't know if I'm supposed to let the program search on the USB flash drive itself or on the mounted volume. -- (talk) 18:32, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Really Basic C++ Question[edit]

I feel really stupid asking this, but, I have the following:

I just wanted to make sure I could read bytes out of a file correctly before doing anything more involved. However, no matter what ten bytes I stick in the file, the console spits out ten "=". I'm sure I'm missing something really really obvious, any help would be appreciated. I haven't done anything in C/C++ for a very long time and never had much experience with it. Thank you for any help:-)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 02:13, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

You aren't checking for errors! What if the infile constructor failed to open a file? What if read(char*, streamsize) failed? What should your program do? In fact, you're probably hitting exactly such an error (probably because your executable can't resolve the path to "a.dat", or perhaps there is a file permissions problem). So, your print routine is just spewing uninitialized junk data that's in the array - which is basically whatever junk happened to be on the heap at run time. Your operating system is apparently just sane enough to fill that location with 0x3D ('='), at least for now; and your program is happy to print it!
You should check for error codes; for example, you can check ios::rdstate is one such scheme. The C++ purist might actually prefer to use structured exception handling (i.e., a try/catch block) instead of calling functions and checking state. In fact, this is one of the general commentaries from The C++ Programming Language: the C++ programmer should strive to use such higher-level C++ design paradigms, rather than to try to cram the C++ standard library into C programming patterns. (This dictum, incidentally, is exactly why C purists find C++ so offensive).
Nimur (talk) 02:59, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Yep, I'm actually really ashamed at the moment - I left off any error checking because I figured it was basic and just wanted to make sure I had the idea correct and could add checking in when I was writing actual code for something. Of course, I saved a text file as a.dat, so it was a.dat.txt and, hence, error. I'll never go the quick route again, even if trying to just check a concept - thank you, I feel like an ass.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 03:09, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
While we're at it: never forget that new in C++ will not clear the memory it allocates. If you want to zero it out, (or initialize it to any particular value), you need to do so explicitly: either implement such behavior in an custom class constructor, or call an appropriate function to clear the data. This is especially important, because your example usage treats the data as a zero-terminated character string. (Real C++ purists would chomp on you for using char* instead of std::string!) These are the sort of "gotchas" of compiled program code in low level languages like C++ and C... this sort of bug commonly bites programmers who are used to working in more managed environments (like Ruby or Java).
Tonight, you got 0x3D. Tomorrow, you might get some other junk. When you send your code out for testing at the end of the week, you might get all zeros, and the behavior may look normal to your technician team, who sign off on it as a pass.... and two weeks from now, your code has what we call a heisenbug. Stop the antipattern in its tracks: initialize your data before using it! Nimur (talk) 03:16, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
new will zero-initialize primitive types if you put () at the end (new char[10]() for example). But in general you shouldn't use new at all. Even if you want a C array, it would be better to write char x[10]; (uninitialized) or char x[10] = {0}; (zero-initialized). -- BenRG (talk) 04:57, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
C++11 introduced terrifying new uniform initializer syntax, allowing you to simplify your array example even further. Leaving out parentheses is legal and compilable; adding parentheses changes program behavior; adding curly braces changes behavior again; mixing both changes behavior yet again! Declare a template, or a class, or a function, elsewhere in your code, and the behavior of this exact same, still-syntactically-valid line changes again in an entirely different way. Yosef Kreinin comments on this terrifying syntax in his humorous but very well-informed C++ Frequently Questioned Answers, on Constructors.
BenRG suggests "in general you shouldn't use new at all;" of course there are some exceptions where you really should. Along the same line of reasoning, allow me to suggest: in general you shouldn't use C++ at all; of course, there are a very few exceptions where you really must. Nimur (talk) 06:03, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you both for your help (in both threads), I was working from an example that used "new" (in that case they had a file of undetermined length, I just picked 10 just to remove an element and make sure I could make it work); why shouldn't you use "new", or what should you do instead in the more general case?Phoenixia1177 (talk) 14:12, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
You shouldn't use new because anything allocated with new has to be freed with delete, and it's easy to get that wrong in more complicated code. If you forget to call delete, call it too early, or call it more than once, your code will fail in a hard-to-debug way (see C dynamic memory allocation#Common errors). In contrast, declarations like int x;, int x[10];, or std::vector<int> x(10); automatically free all of their storage when the identifier x goes out of scope (see automatic variable). For arrays whose size is determined at run time, std::vector<int> x(size); is the way to go. If you need an array to survive beyond the scope of its creation (which is surprisingly rare), you can use std::make_shared.
Nimur's most recent post doesn't have anything to do with your question; he's just ranting because he doesn't like C++. I have some complaints about C++, but they're mostly about things inherited from C (like the above memory allocation problem) that C++ makes better (by introducing std::vector, for example).
One thing from his post that might be worth explaining is that expressions can be parsed totally differently depending on whether an identifier denotes a type or not. This is also true in C, where, for example, x * y; is a variable declaration if x is a type and a multiplication otherwise. Java inherits some of the ambiguous syntax, but its parser just guesses instead of checking the symbol table, as a result of which a few expressions like (Integer) -1 and (Integer) ++x will fail to compile. In C++ it gets very complicated because of nested scopes (the :: operator), but you can mostly ignore that unless you're writing a C++ compiler. -- BenRG (talk) 18:02, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Are the IPs under really dial-up?[edit]

The reason I ask is because I'm seeding an Ubuntu distro on Bit Torrent, there's this IP under the domain of downloading faster than some of the broadband IPs, and I was wondering if that's really a dial-up user or if Telesp just hasn't gone to the bother of updating the rDNS for the said IP. (talk) 02:14, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Windows 8: In IE, tasks not listed at bottom[edit]

Sometimes, when I am using a laptop running Windows 8, I have an IE session that doesn't display a list of tasks at the bottom of the page and doesn't have the close and minimize buttons in the top right. The real annoyance is not having the task bar at the bottom. To switch tasks, I have to do Ctrl-Alt-Delete and bring up the Task Manager. Is there a less tedious way to bring up the tasks and switch out of a task? (It is true right now in Wikipedia, by the way.) Robert McClenon (talk) 03:02, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Are you referring to desktop IE or Windows IE? Anyway in either event you should still be able to use the standard windows shortcut keys, e.g. alt+tab to switch tasks, and the Windows key to bring up the start menu/screen.
Alt-Tab does work, but brings up too many things, and I will have to get rid of some of them. The Windows key does work, but it gets a menu, not a way to switch to (for instance) a spreadsheet. As noted below, F11 works. What is metro F11? Robert McClenon (talk) 16:09, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
I mean what is Metro IE? Robert McClenon (talk) 16:48, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
If you're using the metro IE, there's no way to get the task bar with metro apps in stock Windows 8 AFAIK, although you can use the metro task switching interface (moving mouse to the left top). If you're using Windows 8 update 1 you can enable the task bar in Metro apps. However it still autohides and you have to move your mouse to the bottom of the screen, except this feature is know to sometimes be unreliable [8]. (Using Windows key+T is probably a better way to ensure the taskbar shows up in Metro apps after enabling in Windows 8.1 update 1.) Anyway, I'm not sure I'd recommend metro IE over desktop IE unless you have a touch interface which it sounds like you don't, you may want to remove it from the Start screen to avoid confusion. I'd still recommend updating to Windows 8.1 if you have administrative rights of the computer. (It should show up in the Windows Store.)
If you're using desktop IE, you've probably entered to the full screen mode all major browsers have. Try pushing F11 to exit the fullscreen mode.
Nil Einne (talk) 07:48, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
I tried F11. That works. Thank you. What is the difference between desktop IE and Windows IE? However, now that you answered my question F11 is my friend (not on Facebook, which I don't use). Robert McClenon (talk) 16:09, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

.CTG files[edit]

My Canon PowerShot produces a "M0100.CTG" file on its memory card, and just as is noted by the contributors at this page, it keeps the images all in order, preventing the camera from starting over the numbering when I dump images onto the computer: if my last photo was IMG_1111.JPG, the first one after the dump will be IMG_1112.JPG, even if I deleted 1111. Do other camera manufacturers have files comparable to .CTG, and/or other ways of accomplishing the same task? If my Nikon D3200 (purchased in April) has such a feature, I've not found it yet. While I wouldn't mind help getting the Nikon to do this, I'm more interested in attempting to introduce information about .CTG (and related systems, if they exist) into Wikipedia, as it doesn't appear at CTG, and we don't appear to have anything about it on any other page. Nyttend (talk) 04:08, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

My lumix just counts, it doesn't use a file on the memory card. I guess it uses Flash within the camera itself. It is possible to adjust the number from within the setup pages, but it is hard work. -- (talk) 08:59, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
The Nikon D3300 has an option for it, idk about the 2300 because I don't know if they have the same firmware. Go to settings, go to setup menu, and there will be a setting marked "file number sequence" that can be turned off and on. Off means it will not save your numbers when you dump your memory card. On means it will all the way to 9999 and then start over. [9] on page 90. KonveyorBelt 02:00, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Is something wrong with Google Images?[edit]

Over the last several hours or so, whenever I try to search for anything on Google Images (and it doesn't matter what my search query is), a substantial portion of the search results are replaced with the image of a car crash in a country which uses Cyrillic script. What the heck is going on here? Is anyone else experiencing this same problem? (talk) 08:26, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

I did a search for Kate Mara. All I got were images of a lovely woman. Dismas|(talk) 08:39, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Others are apparently experiencing this too. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 10:07, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Google tests changes on a small fraction of searches before rolling them out to everyone, and it's possible you were one of the unlucky few. It's also possible that a glitch corrupted the database of some of the image search servers. Either way, I don't know why it would affect all of your searches for hours, instead of a small random sample of everyone's searches. You could try clearing your cookies. -- BenRG (talk) 20:34, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
No, it was reported on NPR yesterday - for a period of about 30 minutes ALL Google image searches were returning one of only two pictures - one being that car crash, I forget what the other one was. Seems like a system-wide bug. It should have fixed itself within 30 minutes. SteveBaker (talk) 19:00, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

How to embed flowchart in Wiki[edit]

Hello, I want to ask you, how can I embed flowchart in wiki article? I don't want to do it vie screenshot or image I want to embed the flowchart directli to the article. Is that possible? If it is, please provide me information how it can be done.

Thanks in advance.

Denitca Kostadinowa

I'm not sure what exactly you want to do. A flow chart is an image, so why not embed it as such? I would recommend DOT (graph description language) to create them, and then embed them as PNG. Can you clarify why that's not working for you? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 11:33, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Maybe a method for using plain text markup that wiki can render into flowcharts on the fly is desired? For instance in your DOT example, the specified graph still needs some other rendering software. I think that would be neat, but I don't know if it's possible. There are LaTeX packages that can render graphs (e.g. tikz, examples here [10]), and the <math> tags support most basic LaTeX, but I can't tell from Help:Displaying_a_formula if that method would be supported -- my guess is not. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:15, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Flowchart editor Dia (software) is a good program and can export diagrams in SVG, the preferred vector format for Wikipedia. --Mark viking (talk) 16:34, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

VB.NET list of currently open documents into a combobox[edit]


I am looking for a way for my VB.NET program to list all of the document that the user has open in a combobox so that they can select one for saving. I can find all sorts on how to list processes etc, but nothing on how to list the actual documents. Essentially if the user has Doc1.docx, Doc2.docx, Doc3.docx (and perhaps other unrelated programs) the combobox would just list the three documents, and the program would then be able to do stuff with that document. Answers in VB.NET if possible please :) (talk) 13:03, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

List of stable hardware configurations?[edit]

Some websites compile lists of hardware that works well with Linux and Apple products have the advantage of the software developers and hardware engineers working with fewer and better defined scenarios. Is there some list of PC hardware configurations that work well together with Windows (e.g. 7)? When I say work well, I mean everything does exactly what it's supposed to and the system is thoroughly stable. I'm interested in consumer gaming-level PCs, not enterprise workstations or servers. It helps that I don't want/can't afford to be at the bleeding edge. -- (talk) 16:23, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

I think the problem is that each product is tested with the O/S alone, but not in combo with everything else on the PC. For example if they leave something running permanently in background that only uses 1% of the PC's memory, they think that's fine. But what happens when you have 100 such programs running in the background ? StuRat (talk) 18:14, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Windows overwhelmingly dominates the PC OS market and every hardware manufacturer tests extensively with it, so I think a list analogous to the Linux and Mac OS lists would be meaningless. You should probably just buy the most widely used hardware (because it gets the most real-world testing) as long as the customer reviews are good. I think it's unusual for otherwise reliable components to fail in certain combinations, though I guess it's possible, especially between components that are directly connected to each other (e.g. the motherboard and everything else).
A few things that will significantly improve stability if you can afford them: more and larger fans (and good case airflow), ECC RAM (unfortunately difficult, for reasons explained on that page), RAID, and perhaps underclocking. -- BenRG (talk) 18:44, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
While I don't disagree with most of what is said above, Microsoft do maintain a fairly comprehensive and official hardware compatibility list. Vespine (talk) 23:01, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Knowledge Based System Question[edit]

Hi, can anyone help me in these question?

What is Knowledge Base System (KBS) and evaluate the roles of data, rules and structure components in Knowledge Base (KB). Explain briefly how knowledge is managed by gathering, organizing, refining and disseminating the information which referring to knowledge life cycle (KLC). Illustrate human readable concept such as Microsoft Troubleshooter and machine readable in medical diagnostic perceptions. You may explain further on other examples under both concept mentioned above.

Welcome to the Wikipedia Reference Desk. Your question appears to be a homework question. I apologize if this is a misinterpretation, but it is our aim here not to do people's homework for them, but to merely aid them in doing it themselves. Letting someone else do your homework does not help you learn nearly as much as doing it yourself. Please attempt to solve the problem or answer the question yourself first. If you need help with a specific part of your homework, feel free to tell us where you are stuck and ask for help. If you need help grasping the concept of a problem, by all means let us know. StuRat (talk) 16:30, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2014 August 17#Please help me buy the right wire redux[edit]

Hello again all and @User:StuRat. Okay, so got the replacement adapter today (and it fits). The people were very good about it, they sent me a postage paid label and a full refund (Paypal) and then I ordered it again from a different company.

Anyway, I need some more hand holding. It is working ... sort of. I plugged it in. I went to the TV input screen and saw it was recognizing a new signal and switched to it and an Apple desktop background popped up on the TV. Hallelujah! But, my desktop did not pop up there just one of the desktop background pictures, and not the desktop screen background I have actually set on my computer but another--I think it's the default one, or I am assuming that.

Anyway, I started a movie using Quicktime, nothing; I go fullscreen, nothing. I try with VLC, nothing; I go feel screen, nothing. I then try with Wondershare Player nothing; I go feel screen and boom, it starts playing on the TV. So something's working... but... no audio (not from the TV, though my computer is playing it, but I can't watch the movie on the TV with tinny audio from the other side of the room).

So I guess my questions are, first, how do I get the TV to understand the audio? I thought HDMI carried the entire signal. Second, why is only one player working for this; any ideas how to fix that. And anything else you can think of that might be relevant. Please understand that I am sophisticated and at the same time very ignorant. I understand to switch the TV's input. I have three Apple players. But all my knowledge of this stuff is totally surface deep.-- (talk) 23:22, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

I am not an Apple user, but I will try to help. For your picture, your TV is being treated as the second monitor in a dual monitor setup. Currently, it appears that your TV is is being treated as an extension above, below or to the side of your primary screen. There should be a way to drag your video window from your primary to your secondary monitor. You can also set up the video to function in Mirror mode, where both monitors display the same image. Take a look at this article for instructions on changing the setup. Mirroring is discussed about two-thirds of the way down.
As for the audio, if you have an older iMac (mid-2009 or earlier), this article seems to indicate that it may not support audio out on the mini display port connection. If you have a later model, that same article indicates that it should support display port audio. The next step is to check your audio settings System Preferences -> Sound -> Output and see if there is an option to change your sound output from internal speakers to your TV. See this YouTube video. I hope this helps. -- Tom N talk/contrib 02:21, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you Tom! I found nothing about mirroring I could use but yes, it was as simple as going to sound in preferences, when I am connected "Sony TV" pops up there and can be selected. I can now watch movies on my TV--only using the Wondershare Player in full screen mode. Does anyone have any idea why it only works with that program and how to make it work with others?-- (talk) 12:53, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Tcncv, and I'd look at where you change screen resolution to try to change the display mode for your TV. If you can't find it, I suggest you try moving your mouse pointer off each edge of your screen and watch to see if it shows up on the TV. Note that the resolution may be different on the two displays, meaning you might only have a small area of one edge common to both, or the two displays could even be laid out diagonally from each other, so run the pointer along the entire border, zigzagging on and off. Once you understand the layout, you can hopefully drag any video player, while NOT in full screen mode, onto the TV. However, the player is likely to snap entirely onto one display or another, so it may take some practice to get it to snap to the TV.
As for why only one player works now, apparently that player interprets FULL SCREEN MODE to mean on ALL displays, while the others take it to mean the current display only. StuRat (talk) 17:20, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Have a look at the System Preference/Displays option. It should show your two different screens positioned inside a larger virtual display. You can move windows between the two screens just by dragging the top window bar in the correct direction so it goes outside one window and onto the other.--Salix alba (talk): 21:50, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Wow! If I tried to figure that out I would not have in a million years. Yes, when I move my cursor to the right side of the screen it disappears off that edge and scrolls off onto the TV screen, and yes also, I can drag a Quicktime or VLC window (while in smaller size) to that screen and it appears there, control it on that screen, maximize it there, and play a movie. Never would have thunk it. And oh yes, I can also go to displays and change which side of the screen it is and mirror it. My DVD burner is going to start gathering dust. Excellent. Thank you everyone!-- (talk) 23:23, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

You're quite welcome, glad we could help ! I'll mark this Q resolved. StuRat (talk) 02:55, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

How do you extract the TIFF file from the Flash document?[edit]

For the Korean Air China report I want to extract the TIFF file from the Flash document that comes up when you click the "TIFF" button (I also want to see if I can get the PDF file archived but I need a Korean phone number to do that). If I can get a URL that can be put into I would really appreciate it.

Thanks, WhisperToMe (talk) 12:31, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Windows - How to keep active window below a smaller window?[edit]

In either Win7 or 8, is it possible to keep a small window (say a VLC media player) on top of your fullscreen, active window (say a Powerpoint presentation)?

Currently, if I initially place the small window on top of the full-screen window and I click somewhere on the fullscreen window, the fullscreen window automatically jumps in front of the small window, completely obscuring it. At the moment, I could tile the two windows side by side, but that reduces the size of my full-screen window.

This would be useful, for example, if I am watching a small video presentation and advancing Powerpoint slides to read the notes in the comments section.

Thanks. Acceptable (talk) 18:45, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Here's a rather over-complicated solution, but I can't think of anything better on Windows. Run this script in Windows PowerShell (adapted for your specific window) every second. It should work when VLC is maximised, but I don't know if it'll work if VLC is full screen. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 19:42, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
You should have a taskbar on the lower screen margin. It should have icons of every application running. Simply click on it. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 01:17, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Cellular Automaton[edit]

Does this concept exists and/or is discussed somewhere?

It's a grid cellular automaton, similar to Conway's game of life; initially the board is randomly populated with cells having either of two colours. At each iteration, each cell changes into the same colour as the majority of its neighbours, or remains unchanged in case of a tie. At the end the board becomes polarised with each color having one section of the board.

Has someone already thought of such a thing?

Duomillia (talk) 01:42, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

I read something related that in a Stephen Hawking book somewhere (either A Brief History of Time or its sequel) related to entropy and black holes, but other than that I cannot say. KonveyorBelt 01:47, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

For further information, I had thought of this when I read this article in the NYT: [11]. I had written a (simple) computer program many many years ago when I was a child that simulated that type of game, and I was curious whether I was the first. It seems like such a simple idea I figure it's possible someone else has also thought of it. Duomillia (talk) 02:01, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

I've certainly read of it, and also of the inverse, where a cell seeks to be opposite to a majority of its neighbors; but can't now recall where. Something by Douglas Hofstadter perhaps? —Tamfang (talk) 02:35, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Seems related to the Ising model. -- (talk) 05:58, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

That would be a Life-like cellular automata notated as B5678/S45678 (i.e. a cell is "born" if there are 5 or more adjacent alive cells, and dies if there are 3 or less adjacent alive cells). There is a java applet somewhere online which lets you input a general life-like ruleset, but I can't seem to find it at the moment. MChesterMC (talk) 08:59, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Wireless Connectivity[edit]

Hey guys, I'm on a Lenovo G500s Touch (bought new fall 2013) and I have had some sporadic connectivity issues in the past, but here lately I have been having consistent wireless connectivity issues. After endless pawing through Google searches, forums, how-to videos, etc., there doesn't appear to be a definitive answer to what my problem is.

I have an Intel i5, 6GB RAM, Intel Graphics 4000, and my wireless adapter listed is an Intel Centrino N-135. I am currently running Windows 8.1.

My problem is that very regularly I will either get incredibly sluggish internet speeds (regardless of where I am), or a blatant disconnection. Then, after running the default "Troubleshoot" it usually says one of the following:

A) Default gateway not available (sometimes it solves it, sometimes it remains unfixed) B) Resetting wireless adapter (sometimes this fixes it, sometimes it makes it worse) C) The DNS service is not responding (or something along these lines)

Regardless of what problem arises, others within 1 meter of myself are experiencing no wireless issues on the same connection, and the problem persists in several locations I regularly connect to the internet.

Something interesting to note is that when I initially attempt to connect to any sort of wireless signal, it always takes extremely long and displays the "Connecting is taking longer than usual" message, then even once it connects it always say "Connection Limited" even though I may have internet access, and troubleshooting results in one of the 3 things above.

I have tried deleting the Lenovo wireless drivers and installing Windows drivers instead, and while this somewhat alleviated the problem, it definitely did not go away. I have read that some Lenovos come with mis-connected wireless cables, as well, though I have yet to actually open my computer to try this. I have also read that it may be the wireless card released with the G500 series, though as I said, there doesn't appear to be a consensus on what the actual problem/solution is.

My work requires constant internet connectivity, and having spans of disrupted services is becoming more than just an inconvenience. Is it worth trying to fix, or should I just sell the laptop and get a different one (I have someone who would buy it, and I also have a different computer I could buy as well).

I have had no issues with the computer other than this.

Cheers — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:49, 28 August 2014 (UTC)