Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2007 November 13

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November 13[edit]

MUSIC DOWNLOADING[edit]

What is the most virus-free, fastest, and most reliable FREE music downloading service out on the market today?

For example, Bitspirit and Limewire.

Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.23.69.97 (talk) 00:30, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

It's the one closest-watched by the RIAA. Those are the qualities that you don't want --ffroth 01:36, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Your local CD store, it's the most free (as in speech) and highest quality medium you can get nowadays, lots of DRM in other media. --antilivedT | C | G 09:36, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
O rly? Don't buy music at all IMO, there's plenty of real free music (gratis and libre) --ffroth 02:27, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Bite me. --antilivedT | C | G 06:12, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
If you are just looking for a way to sample new music, I find that a lot of stuff is on YouTube, which is a pretty painless way to see what's out there. --24.147.86.187 01:04, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Antilived -- not always. Some pirate releases are superior to the CD version. You can get a FLAC vinyl rip of something like At War With the Mystics that isn't affected by the evils of the loudness war, or Dr. Ebbett's flawless copies of the Beatles albums that are far superior to the official releases. Froglars the frog (talk) 08:04, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Well OK, highest quality in most cases, but then some record stores sell vinyls and SACD's and whatnot is well. --antilivedT | C | G 08:02, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Question about RDO Queries.[edit]

Whats the difference between queries in SQL and queries in RDO format ? And could anyone please provide some helpful links to sites/docs for RDO queries and its format/usage. Googled, but could'nt find much !

Thanks, Nikhil -- Illogical programmer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nikhilthemacho (talkcontribs) 00:42, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

If you are accessing an SQL database, you are most likely going to be using SQL to define your queries. RDO is an access technology, akin to ADO, ADO.Net, OLEDB, ODBC, JDBC, etc. -- it is not a query language. It is a means of representing aspects of the database as Objects in your programming language. It is also deprecated, i.e. obsolete and should not be used except for backward-compatibility. (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_Data_Objects) The only good reason to use RDO at this point in time is if you are working on an existing application that uses it. If you are creating a new app from scratch, choose a different access technology. Even if modifying an existing app, it might be a good time to replace the RDO code with a more current technology. Your choice of technology will most likely be influenced by: what platform/OS you are on, what language you are developing in, and what database you are connecting to -- certain ones may be easier to use than others, or provide other advantages like better performance or tighter integration. You don't provide much info about the project, but based on the fact that you mention RDO, I am guessing you are working with MS technologies. Read up on ADO.Net, OLEDB, ADO, ODBC, etc.; there is plenty of information out there to help you choose the right one for your project without having to learn each one completely. Good luck!

pics.zip virus?[edit]

Hi. Someone might have automatically sent me this file. It says something like: "I made this picture on photoshop. Do you think it's a little too green?", or something like that. It's 78 KB, I think. I think I might have opened it by mistake. However, it will not open. I searched for "recieved files", and it wasn't there. I did a search throught the whole computer, and found one file, and I deleted it. Now what? I did a search again, I did not find any files, but the search never stopped. Supposidly, on the second day after its download, it causes the computer fan to malfunction and catch on fire. Is this even possible? Should I do anything else to remove this file? I've had bad experiences with viruses such as ErrorSafe before, but this isn't doing anything as of yet. Is the file still affecting my computer? Should I do something about it? Thanks. ~AH1(TCU) 01:18, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

So have you run a fully-up-to-date virus scan on your machine yet? Because that's what you should do first, here. --24.147.86.187 01:48, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
If you're dumb enough to open attachments you're unsure about you're going to run into problems very quickly. Run a good up to date anti-virus program's scanning option. Run spyware detectors/cleaners. If you've still got the original email check the attachment extension. Images should be .jpg, .gif or .bmp. If it's .exe, .com or .vbs you're in trouble. You can adjust some fan speeds through software so I suppose it's possible a virus could hijack that functionality. Whether it could force it to run fast enough to catch fire is something I can't answer. Exxolon 01:51, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
An attachment called pics.zip (or pics.zip.scr, since Windows hides extensions by default) is an indication of at least two known viruses. As mentioned, you should immediately run a virus-scan on your computer. If you don't have anti-virus software, I recommend either AVG Anti-virus or Avast, both of which are free. You can also run a scan from the Trend Micro website (but still install a more permanent solution as quickly as possible). As far as the possible fan malfunction and fire, that particular description seems like a classic virus hoax; where did you hear that information? --LarryMac | Talk 15:10, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Hi. I think you are refering to an attatchment from email. I didn't get it from email. I got it from someone's MSN chat window. What about McAfee (sp?) 's instructions that tell you to run your computer in safe mode, delete the following files if present, etc? Also, I'm worried that just going out and searching for a random virus scan may cause you to find a fake or non-working one like WinAntiVirus. I could follow McAfee's instructions but they have instructions that are unclear or contain things like /%\ that I can't read. Is it possible to delete this virus, eg. with instructions like those from McAfee, withought having to download anything, etc? Does deleting the file remove the virus or leave it unscathed? What are some files or parts of filenames I should look for that may indicate the presence of the virus? Thanks. ~AH1(TCU) 18:27, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
AVG and AVIRA are both good, free anti-virus scanners from reputable companies. Download the free version of either and scan your pc. Exxolon 19:07, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Printing Library[edit]

I want to print out the list of songs in my WMP library, is there any way I can do this? --Omnipotence407 02:38, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Looks like there is a way to export it to Excel. [1] --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 03:43, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Almost, I have Excel 2000, and the program needs 2002 --Omnipotence407 01:17, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Convert a text file with NAD 83 waypoint data to a .gpx file[edit]

Hi, I am looking for a utility that will take in a text file with GPS data like datum, name, northing, and easting information and spit out a .gpx file that I can import into a program like Garmin's Mapsource. As far as I can tell, Mapsource makes you type in each point individually, and other programs I have found require Lat/Long data. I would like to tell a program that my data is in the datum "UTM NAD 83 zone 11 U" and either read in a csv or copy and paste the description, easting, northing data, and would like a .gpx file in return. Does anyone know of a utility that does this? The utility would also preferably be free or cheap. Thanks!71.17.167.56 03:51, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

English language Wikipedia usage stats[edit]

Does anyone know where I could find usage statistics for the English language version of WP, but excluding North American users? I'm curious as to the number of people accessing the English language WP from countries where English is not the native language. Thanks - X201 10:16, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Do remember that there are one or two places outside North America where a few people speak English natively too... The Wednesday Island 16:59, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I can't find a breakdown for just English Wikipedia - here is the breakdown for the whole of Wikipedia:
United States 16.5%
Japan 4.9%
Germany 4.2%
Poland 3.7%
France 3.7%
United Kingdom 3.2%
Chile 3.1%
Mexico 2.9%
Brazil 2.7%
Canada 2.6%
Philippines 2.0%
Venezuela 1.9%
India 1.8%
Peru 1.8%
Singapore 1.6%
Spain 1.6%
Italy 1.6%
Colombia 1.5%
Argentina 1.3%
Malaysia 1.3%
Australia 1.2%
Czech Republic 1.1%
Hong Kong1 0.1%
Puerto Rico1 0.0%
Israel1 0.0%
Other countries 30.9%
It's interesting - but it doesn't really help. SteveBaker 01:14, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Why is there 30.9% for other countries yet on the list some have 0.1% already, so there are over 309 other countries?--Dacium 01:32, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
For a lot of IP's its not possible to get the geolocation data, thats in the 30.9%. — Shinhan < talk > 13:00, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

dead weight (sitting on a server)[edit]

I know people that log on to a site (most often email services) and leave the session on for eight hours or more. Others keep the initial log-on screen resident. How much does this affect the server's response time for other users? Is there a term for such users? I can understand some sites, such as CNN, being kept on by commodity traders, but others have no good reason. Are they at greater risk to hackers and spyware during this idle time? LShecut2nd 14:50, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Unless there is some kind of streaming video or audio something, the server doesn't even know that you are still there. It's only when you click on a link or something that the server cares. So, no it's not a problem. SteveBaker 16:45, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
What is "log on", in this context? If you're using a web browser, the process of logging on probably involves you being given a cookie which is only good for a certain number of hours. While you're sitting looking at the page, your browser isn't making requests of the server at all, so the load on the server is zero. However, there are two counterexamples: some pages are set to automatically reload every few minutes, so obviously that places some load on the server if you keep the page open; also, some AJAX applications such as Gmail will request new data from the server every so often. In the first case a new TCP connection is brought up and torn down each time, so the load and risk are no different from having opened a new browser and reloaded the page each time; in the second the same is usually true, but Comet (programming) designs will leave the TCP connection open over a longer period. If you're not using a web browser, but rather, say, an SSH or IRC connection, your TCP connection may last longer (quite likely hours, and sometimes weeks or months) and you'll probably be sending keepalive packets back and forth to ensure it's alive. IRC in particular makes an interesting case study of how a server can keep a large number of connections open for multiple days (see IRCd#Numerous connections). The Wednesday Island 16:58, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Per above, HTTP is a stateless protocol- it doesn't even know you're there until you "remind" it --ffroth 19:04, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

In what programming language is Wikipedia:Reference Desk written and what data base is used?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 155.207.254.58 (talk) 20:02, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia uses MediaWiki, which is written mostly in PHP. I believe MySQL is the database backend. You can look around at this link for more. --Mdwyer 20:08, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

WD external hard drive replacement[edit]

Hi, I had an external WD USB hard drive like this: [2] which I accidentally dropped from 2,5 meters (don't ask). It didn't respond when I connected it via USB so I opened the case (figuring the warranty was already broken...) and inserted the "regular" IDE drive inside into a desktop computer. Then I got an error message from the BIOS, and so I figure the hard drive is broken (the contents is not valuable enough to pay a significant amount of money for data recovery). Anyway, my question is: can I just buy any IDE drive and insert into the WD "shell" and then use as an external hard drive? Does it have to be a WD disk, or do I now have an effective USB-to-IDE bridge that will work for anything? Thanks! Jørgen 20:06, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

In my experience, the bridge will work for nearly any IDE hard drive. VERY handy if you have a stack of old drives sitting around collecting dust. ! The only gotcha I've seen has been with the master/slave jumper setting. --Mdwyer 20:11, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I would have thought it would work, these external drives usually just contain a regular HDD and a circuit board to convert USB to IDE. You can buy generic drive enclosures which are probably the same. GaryReggae 20:48, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! (If anyone agrees/disagrees with the replies above: I'll still check for replies now and then so feel free to enlighten me...) Jørgen 17:38, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

In what programming language is Wikipedia:Reference Desk is written?[edit]

It would be useful if you could send me also the database and the whole way that the site is organised. However, the programming language is my main concern. Thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ilefther (talkcontribs) 20:37, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

You may be interested in downloading a copy MediaWiki, the software that Wikipedia runs on, and digging around (it's in PHP). — Lomn 20:54, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
It's PHP with a MySQL database backend which in turn generates HTML which along with CSS is rendered by your browser into the page you see in front of you. Oh and I think there's a little Javascript thrown in as well though for the reference desk I don't think it does anything. Complicated, huh? When you can get all five things running well and jiving together you can make pretty nifty sites, but it requires being able to do a number of somewhat different skills at once and seeings how they all fit together. --24.147.86.187 23:31, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
To build something like Wikipedia from scratch would indeed need a whole bunch of skills. However, if you are OK with downloading and installing software and editing the configuration file - then you can get your own Wiki (based on the exact same software as Wikipedia) up and running in an evening. I've done this a couple of times in the past and it's really rather fun. [3] and [4] are both mine. You'll see how the 'look' of the first one is quite different from Wikipedia - but that's just because I changed the default 'skin' to make the Wiki look more like my main website. SteveBaker 00:44, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Erm, there's no special javascript for the RD, although there are a few userscripts I use that are kept at WP:RD/TOOLS.. the mockups are probably FUBAR but I assure you the scripts still work. --ffroth 02:16, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
It is rather fun, but I expect it can just as easily be extremely excruciating, based on your level of understanding of the technologies involved. Besides the languages mentioned above, MediaWiki/Wikipedia also uses LaTeX (rendered with a program written in C++, presumably) and MathML for equations, Java for the media player and SVG for many of the images. If you want, you can also use PostgreSQL or Ingres as a database backend. Wikipedia also employs many technologies (such as memcache and database clusters) to be able to serve as many people as it does fluently. Finally note that the Reference Desk is part of Wikipedia, and Wikipedia runs on the MediaWiki software. The ref desk isn't a separate system. risk 02:23, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
squid too --ffroth 05:30, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Most of those parts are optional - I didn't initially bother with LaTex, SVG or MathML for my Wikis. Theoretically, you can use PostgreSQL or Ingres - but support for them is kinda buggy so I wouldn't recommend it. Stick with MySQL - it works just fine and it's free. Wikipedia does routinely generate JavaScript though - eg if one of the users turns on some of the fancier preferences such as "Enable section editing by right-clicking on section titles" then it generates a little JavaScript snippet. SteveBaker 21:13, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

HTML "classes"[edit]

No, I'm not taking an HTML class, but I want to find out what Wikipedia's code for < div class="references-small" > is, because I want to include it on my own wiki. The wiki runs on MediaWiki, so my first thought was to just copy and paste templates from Wikipedia. Similarly, for {{navbox}}, I'm having trouble with the line:

<table class="navbox collapsible {{{state|autocollapse}}} nowraplinks" style="margin:auto; 
{{#ifeq:{{{nogroups|}}}|true||background:white; }}{{#if:{{{l1|}}}|{{#if:{{{l2|}}}|background:white; }}}}{{{bodystyle|}}}">


mostly because I don't think "navbox collapsible nowraplinks" came with the MediaWiki package. Any help would be great. Pandacomics 21:59, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Catalogue of CSS classes should help you here. -- DatRoot 23:39, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
In HTML, class properties immediately signal to you that you are dealing with CSS and/or Javascript, meaning that you probably require other files to make it work in the same way. To find out the code you have to browse through the CSS files and/or the Javascript files — you'll see them linked to in the <head> element of the page if view the source of the file in your browser. --24.147.86.187 00:49, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
It says I should have a common.css in my /wiki/common/ folder, but I don't. Instead I have common_rtl.css (for pre-Monobook versions of wikipedia) and commonPrint (for the printable version of a wiki page). Do you know where common.css might be? Pandacomics 03:43, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
The code is
.references-small { font-size: 90%;}
You should install the webdeveloper plugin for Firefox, then you can view all the CSS content from a page with ease. --antilivedT | C | G 06:15, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, seconded. You can grab it here. It makes life a whole lot easier. — Matt Eason (TalkContribs) 17:13, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I'd also recommend the Firebug Extension for Firefox (see here). --Dave the Rave (DTR)talk 17:26, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

directory-style url parameters[edit]

Two-part question: What's the official name for directory-style passing of parameters (similar to how Wikipedia takes its stuff, or what you'll see in rails or symfony web apps) and is there a non-framework library for handling parsing these for PHP? Donald Hosek 23:30, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

It's basically Apache's mod_rewrite, googling that would certainly bring you lots of tutorials and things. --antilivedT | C | G 01:20, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
For assorted reasons, I don't want to do a mod_rewrite on this. It looks like I'll have to write my own parser code, although I have found some sample code which comes pretty close to what I need. Donald Hosek 08:46, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Don't do it! It's patented! --ffroth 02:08, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
It is patented only for sending query parameters for a search, if I read it correctly. So, as long as you doing a search, you won't have to worry about the patent. Of course, there is plenty of prior art, so the patent should die as soon as an attempt to enforce it comes about. -- kainaw 17:43, 14 November 2007 (UTC)