Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2007 August 18

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August 18[edit]

windows action on highlight[edit]

Is it possible to have something done when text is highlighted, system-wide (not just in a web browser or word processor but anytime on the windows system a piece of text is highlighted) ie without further user input (such as right-clicking on the highlighted text).

Thank you! 00:03, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Short answer: sure. It's just a function of the window manager (it's doing the highlighting/selecting). So: if the wm doesn't do what you want, just modify it. [1] [2] [3] <ahem> Heheheh.</ahem> Saintrain 21:13, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
That's so not an answer!!!! grrr >:| 17:32, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

writing to a wiki, best practices[edit]


Is there such a thing as "Best Practices" for writing to a wiki?

Thanks. 00:36, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, so articles should generally be about encyclopedic stuff and in an encyclopedic tone. See Wikipedia:Your first article and Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles. --h2g2bob (talk) 03:51, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
While Wikipedia is a wiki, wiki is not Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
True, there would be different answers for PenguinWiki and Conservapedia than here. Each wiki site has it's own house rules. See wiki for differences between wiki and Wikipedia --h2g2bob (talk) 14:55, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
The Wikipedia:Manual of Style provides alot of guidance on best practices for writing encyclopedia articles. -- Diletante 16:18, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Screensaver as video?[edit]

Dynamic Scoreboard/Table[edit]

I'm wondering what is the best way to make a scoreboard with data that can be changed dynamically with an external file. I have done a bit of research and have found out that I could use the DataGrid component in , but I am having trouble figuring out the best way I could use it (or something else) to display that data.

The data would probably be inputted to Excel and will have a set number of columns and rows. At this stage I think saving as a CSV file would work the best, however I am having trouble displaying it on flash properly. There will probably be around 100 rows for all the different teams and the columns would be team number, name, rank and score.

I would be really grateful if anyone has any ideas. I have a moderate knowledge of Flash. Another idea I had was to use a database and make a frontend but I don't know any good resources that would should me how. I am using Adobe Flash CS3.

Thanks! Ronaldh 02:48, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

This is different from what you are doing, but if you know how to write a program, all you have to do is change the .exe to the screensaver extension (I forget exactly what that is) and put it in the Window's screensaver folder. I believe that this works with any program - there are instructions on exactly what to do on the internet. --Falconus 03:22, 24 August 2007 (UTC)


If you don't have two functional hands (or long-enough fingers), how do you get Ctrl Alt Del or, for that matter, any shifted character (other than capital letters)? Presumably there have been numerous solutions over the decades. —Tamfang 03:11, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

In Windows, there's a utility called StickyKeys. Press the shift key five times, and then click "OK". It will allow you to hold down control, alt, shift, or the Windows key, without actually holding them down. I think the feature at least dates back to Windows 95 through XP (not sure about Vista, but I don't see why it wouldn't be there). –Pakman044 03:22, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It's called Sticky Keys, and it's included in Windows. Hit Shift five times in a row fast. You can then hit shift, the windows logo, ctrl, and alt one at a time, or shift and then a letter to get the capital. (Pakman: It is in Vista) --(Review Me) R ParlateContribs@ (Let's Go Yankees!) 03:25, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
MacOS has Sticky Keys too. On a related note, I used to sometimes find that my mouse wouldn't click, and eventually figured out that by repeatedly tapping Shift or Control in a futile attempt to get the machine's attention when it was thrashing I activated Easy Access (i think). Problem went away when I disabled that feature in System Preferences. —Tamfang 06:15, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
There are also one handed keyboards in existence, although I'm not sure if they take that into the design. if nothing else, get paperweights! --Lucid 04:21, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Ah yes, the dreaded sticky keys alert. This should teach you not to have the shift button binded to a frequent action in a computer game. Is there any way to disable it?--Funnyguy555 15:20, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, open the control panel on the subject "Accessibilty" or whatever it is in your version of Windows, goto the Keyboard tab, selete "Settings" for each of the three different options and unselect the "Use shortcut" option. OK out of all the dialogs boxes and restart if you want to be on the safe side. 22:03, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

To the original asker, you can also use On Screen Keyboard, which lets you click keys like Ctrl and Alt on an visual keyboard and they will stay "stuck". This doesn't work, unfortunately, for Control-Alt-Delete. 22:03, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Is opera mini legal?[edit]

Opera Mini I think reduces the size of images, cuts ads, cuts graphics etc etc of web pages designed by website owners. Is it legal to do that. How is it legal? How is this possible? How is this story going on?

Why is it illegal? Does it break any law? --antilivedT | C | G 12:17, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Of course it's legal. There's no law saying that you have to view the entire website, including any ads, in order to look at it, in the same way that you're perfectly welcome to get up and make a sandwich when broadcast TV has a commercial break. We aren't that controlled by advertising. Yet. --Lucid 12:57, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Web-overlords W3C strongly encourages sites not to make any assumptions about web browsers (that is, sites should be accessible without graphics, through a screen reader, without javascript and on monochrome screens). So stripping pretty much anything from the site is ok. I don't see this as an issue, but a similar story is on Slashdot today, talking about ad-blockers. --h2g2bob (talk) 14:48, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
The questioner probably asked because Opera Mini does not directly download webpages. Opera Mini depends on a proxy server. The proxy server alters the pages then retransmits them to your portable device. The origianal questioner was probably asking about how copyright laws effect proxy servers that modify content. APL 19:30, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

(From the original asker of the question) I think that Opera is making a business by stripping ads. Let us take example of another issue. Most websites allow us to copy their photos and use them for private use. But we must not commercialize that. Why cant we apply that here. End users like me can strip out ads but if some company is doing that as their business, why cant that be considered illegal. I think another issue here is that most websites would like opera to serve their web pages because they get page views, and then get mindshare. And also want to know whether it is legal for proxy servers (not end user) to modify content. Imagine, if my cable operator cuts ads and transmitts programs of broadcaster. Will that be accepted? Tivo is accepted because end user is stripping ads. Cable operator is a middleman like opera here.

The cable operator has a contract with the channels it carries and must abide by certain agreements. Web browser companies have no such constraints. Web content providers put their stuff "out there" and must live with the consequences. --Nricardo 07:29, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
It's probably legal now, but it may not be so forever. An important case is where Titanic director Jim Cameron sued a company that made "family friendly" versions of the movie. Customers would buy a legal copy of Titanic, would mail the tape to the company, who would record over it an edited version (which had a nude scene and a sex scene removed). Although Cameron wasn't losing any money, he felt that the edit version infringed on his rights under copyright law to control the reproduction of the copyrighted work. He prevailed, with the court unholding his claim that, as copyright holder, he could decide the form in which his creative work was distributed, and could prevent distributions in a form which he didn't approve. This ruling reaffirmed some older copyright cases (where authors or journalists sued publishers for making unauthorised changes to their work). But how does that affect ad-removal/ad-skip technologies? - right now it doesn't. That copyright only applies to a coherent, creative work, something Cameron created when he was filming and editing Titanic, which is a single unitary work. Compare that with the way ads are added to Superbowl TV coverage, or to a web page. Those ads aren't part of that creative whole (they could just as easily be swapped for other ads and the work wouldn't really be affected). So the act of putting ads into a webpage isn't (generally) a creative act (mostly it's done automatically by a computer program that has little or no idea about the context, and clearly isn't capable of creativity). So that means, right now, the page-with-ads or program-with-ads isn't a coherent whole, and isn't itself a copyrighted work (it consists of copyrighted works, but simply composing them didn't make a copyrightable work). So, right now, it's probably legal for adblock programs to redact ads from websites, and for PVRs to skip ads. But copyright owners, fearful of such ad-skip technologies, as pushing for changes to copyright laws in some jurisdictions - changes that would make that mechanically-aggregated work a single copyrighted object. If they succeed then the protections that Cameron used would apply to them too, and copies of the whole work with the ads removed without their permission would be illegal. And, per the DMCA and its equivalents in other countries, technologies which enabled that could become illegal too. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 14:50, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
I say "probably legal now", but it might not be as clear as that. There have been suits regarding unauthorised ad-substitution (where a web program running on the end-user's machine would substitute one ad for another). Gator was sued by large media companies for doing this; they claimed the whole page was copyright and that Gator's substitutions produced infringing works. Unfortunately the case settled out of court (ref) so no jurisprudence was established (and the settlement is sealed, so we don't really know how strong the lawyers of the various parties really think the case is under current law). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 14:50, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Not to politick but... (which of course means I'm about to politick :P) I'm sure this will be illegal in the near future. Legislation has been passed starting about a decade ago breaching the digital realm, deciding what you can and can't do on your own computer. The DMCA (the best legislation money can buy for the media lobby groups) is one of the worst- forbidding any kind of breach of any sort of cryptographic mechanism controlling access to copyrighted works, even if the mechanism exists in your own private computer's memory. You can no longer flip the bits you want within a computer, and now the door is open for advertisers to sue adblock.. they must lose millions of real $$$ from adblock, and with the way this country's going lately, I wouldn't be surprised if a case was held today and it became illegal to use/distribute adblock --frotht 17:46, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
I would note that creating "Family Friendly" edits to films is a legal circumvention of copy protection (If I remember right, I don't remember the exact name of the act, but it had those words in it). 23:10, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

USB flash drive in linux[edit]

When copying files to a USB flash drive in linux (specifically slackware), how do you insure that the files have actually been written to the disk at that moment in time, rather than being stored in RAM before unmounting the drive? Think outside the box 14:06, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Well when you unmount it all the stuff will be written to disk. --Spoon! 16:47, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
But of course if you yank it out without unmounting it, it might not be.
You can type sync to force disks to be written without unmounting them. (I think sync still works in Linux, tho I'm not quite 100% sure...) —Steve Summit (talk) 17:34, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Steve Summit, I'll try that. By the way, I type sync in Console, right? Think outside the box 13:55, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
If your flash drive has an activity light on it, you can confirm what's happening. If you copy a big file to it, you'll see a tiny bit of activity. If you unmount the drive a few seconds later, you'll see a bunch more activity, as all the deferred writing completes. Or, if you copy a big file to the drive, and then wait 30 seconds or so (without unmounting the drive or doing anything), you should see a bunch of activity as Linux decides it had better complete those deferred writes just to be on the safe side. Or, if you copy a big file to the drive and a few seconds later type sync, you should see a bunch of activity just then. Finally, after copying a big file, and then either typing sync or waiting 30 seconds for an automatic flush to happen, when you then unmount the drive, you should see little or no activity, and the unmount should complete faster, too. (Even if you don't have an activity light on the drive, you can get clues as to what's going on just by looking at how long things take.) —Steve Summit (talk) 16:43, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

graphics cards[edit]

Is there a 'human limit' on the power of graphics cards above which it becomes pointless to further improve the performance (ie taking into account diminishing returns and the limits of what people can actually perceive on a screen)?

If so do how near to that limit are we?

I'm thinking in terms of a point at which further developement on improving performance stops because there is no market for more powerful cards.. 14:52, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Even if we reach the point where no further improvement can be perceived, it's likely that some market will still exist, just because higher-than-average specs bring bragging rights (and an implicit claim to being able to tell the difference). NeonMerlin 18:44, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
There is also the issue of the limitations of the monitor. It doesn't much matter if you can provide 1000 frames per second to the monitor, if it can only display 100 frames per second. Personally, I can see "flicker" in an all-white screen at 60 frames per second, so I would say the human limit is a bit above that. As for color depth, 24 bits seems the same as 32 bits, to me, so I suspect we've hit the limit there. For number of pixels, 1600×1200 is the highest res I'd want on a 19 inch screen (or 1920×1080 for a wide-screen monitor). If I can get a large screen monitor, though, I'd love to have higher resolutions available on those. For example, if I could double the monitor's diagonal size, to 38 inches, and thus quadruple it's area, I'd like to have a 3200x2400 pixel standard or 3840x2160 pixel widescreen display. StuRat 21:16, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
24 bits and 32 bits have exactly the same amount of bits (8) to each colour, just that in 32 bits an 8 bit alpha channel is added. Some things, such as ray-tracing which are used in some major feature films to produce photo-realistic renders, is extremely computing intensive, and with new effects such as sub-surface scattering that will put even more load onto a future graphics card. Then if you want 3D vision (stereo rendering), you need twice that, and then anti-aliasing will increase it even more. In short, we are no where near the hypothetical perception limit in humans, we aren't that simple minded. --antilivedT | C | G 11:11, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Amarok scoring[edit]

In Amarok, is it possible to have all scores decay exponentially each night so that songs that haven't been played recently will have lower scores? Also, is it possible to adjust the scores when updated play counts are loaded off an iPod? NeonMerlin 14:53, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Transparent Overlay[edit]

I've been designing a web page for a client, and she's worried about people right-clicking and downloading her images. I can stop them right-clicking, but as my client's on a mac she's painfully aware of the limitations of that particular approach. A friend of mine mentioned I could position a transparent gif over the image so they'd only download a useless gif - how do I position this to be on top of the image I want? Do I need to use CSS with that, and if so, what's the tag look like? I'm used to basic HTML, Javascript, Java, and Perl, but somehow I never picked up much about CSS (and I've yet to need it, it's amazing how few features people need these days). Kuronue 19:24, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

You should encourage your client to not worry about that so much. Any scheme you come up with will be easily defeatable at best, and screw up the delivery of the content to the end-user at worst. What is the consequence of people downloading her images to their desktops? Who cares? Why worry about it? All you are going to do is irritate genuine visitors, and anyone who wants the image will quickly be able to view the source and grab it that way, or just take a screenshot (both of which can defeat the Books attempts, which were created by people who were REALLY trying to subvert just such an attempt. If they can't make something modestly fool proof, I doubt anyoe can.) Downloading the image should not be something to fear — if it is, don't put the image up. If you are worried about subsequent re-use of the image, put up some nasty copyright notices and then issue DMCA take down requests everytime one pops up that you don't want. This isn't something that has a technical solution, and you are doing your client a disservice if you do not explain that to her. -- 19:43, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
If you client insists on this anyway, and you feel like billing them for useless work, here's how I would do it:
<div id="container">
<img src="dontstealme.jpg"/>
Then in the stylesheet, fill the #container with a single-pixel transparent .gif as its image, have it tile it across the container. That probably will work though I haven't tested it (it might just fill the background of the div). Again, I doubt that would deter anyone from getting the image. -- 19:46, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
That will not work, since the img element is above the div and therefore it will show up above the div. You can, however, do the reverse, setting the real image as the background of the div and a transparent img on top of that div, but that's really cumbersome for you and quite useless on anyone with more than moderate computer knowledge. There is no way of actually protecting the images that's fool proof, for your methods I could just save the page and all the graphics will end up in a folder next to the html file. --antilivedT | C | G 02:27, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree that this won't keep anyone from stealing the image. They can always just use Print Screen (on a Windows PC) and then paste it into Microsoft Paint. Some methods that others have used to display an image, and yet protect it, are as follows:
1) Provide a low res image on the web site for free, and make people send you money before you let them see the full res image. They could still steal it then and give it away to others for free (illegally), but at least you will have gotten some money out of them first.
2) Add an annoying "watermark" across the image, with the name of your web site, for example, and only show them the good image once they have paid for it. The same comment applies to them stealing the image after they pay to see it.
3) Only show them a part of the image at once. There are programs that will let people stitch them together into one big image, but that's a lot of work and most people won't go through that trouble. StuRat 20:52, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Also — if you restrict my ability to right-click, or anything else that has to do with my browsing, I'm going to be pissed off, as an end user. Maybe I want to view the layout source and don't give a damn about the images? Maybe it is how I am used to reloadin a page? Maybe I am viewing the page in a way that doesn't normally have forward and back buttons and I need to scroll in this way? Etc. etc. I would heavily advise against restricting user input or anything like that if you want to have good relations with your client base — all it does is throw up barriers that impede people who might actually be interested in the page, and have a high chance of going wrong (incompatibilities with old browsers, possibility that your javascript will crash the browser, etc.). -- 22:10, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
If the enduser has access to the HTML source, they can simply download the image by snipping out the image URL and manually entering that in the browser, as well.
It's not always quite that simple. Some sites check the HTTP-Referer and only serve up images if they appear to be on behalf of the page they're supposed to be part of. In that case, you need a way to fake the referer. —Steve Summit (talk) 00:28, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
It's not that more difficult to fake the referer, though; create your own HTTP request with a faked referer and then capture the output. It is, however, more difficult than manually downloading the image.
Referer checking doesn't do anything to prevent people from downloading the image from the web page itself. --antilivedT | C | G 02:27, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
The only reasonably effective scheme I've seen used to prevent someone from saving off a copy of an image is one employed by a sports event photography company (one of those things where you ran in a mass event and afterward typed your bib number into a website; they found all the images that contained you, showed you them, and offered to sell you paper prints). They mandated that you download a (windows only) plugin. The plugin downloaded the images in an encrypted format (breaking sniffing and saving-proxy attacks) and it displayed them using a DirectX surface (breaking the print-screen attack). Short of someone taking a lot of effort to reverse engineer the plugin there wasn't a way to save the images. But in the process they'd alienated a great proportion of their customer base - only Windows users could access the photos, and many (most now, I'd hazard) will just refuse to download and install a plugin for this one purpose (or couldn't, because it was a work machine or they lacked the technical confidence to do so). So while they'd succeeded in their goal of not having their images copied, in the process they'd taken their business model out behind the chemical sheds and shot it. The more effective a DRM scheme is, the more inflexible it becomes, and the more the customer feels like you're treating him like a dirtbag. For these cases I always say to people "upload the image at only a modest quality and size, say 640x480 (which will give a representative view of what the final product is like without giving away the farm) and sell your multimegapixel images from that". -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 13:21, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Even using a DirectX surface can be captured in a screenshot if you disable hardware video support (which isn't hard). -- 06:51, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the info, guys. I've told her multiple times that there's no real way to get around image-stealing, and suggested that she watermark her images instead (low-res and pieces of images don't work because this is her online portfolio she uses to attract customers to her photography business, so she needs it to look good), but if the client wants an almost-useless overlay image, then that's what the client gets, as I bill by the hour and am more than happy to spend extra time and thus get extra $$, and on the plus side that'd let me remove the annoying anti-right-click script which never really worked that well anyway (anyone on a mac, or using firefox, can still manage to snag the images, but in firefox you get an annoying popup that still doesn't actually disable anything, but she surprised me by emailing me the script and requesting it be put up, so I did). Kuronue | Talk 15:51, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, that's sad. She should be so lucky that someone would bother to steal her images and post them around. Put a watermark on the bottom with her name and URL, and then you can practically encourage people to pass them around. She won't lose money and might gain customers. But alas, how short-sighted people are. -- 06:51, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I'd put the watermark in the middle, not at the bottom, so that thieves can't trim the watermark off and resell the pic as their own. StuRat 10:25, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

What is the ruby syntax construct with a colon and square brackets[edit]

Take a look at the following Ruby code:

       rhash               = {"color"  =>  "red"}
       rhash[:color]       = 'blue'    ### <- what is being assigned to here?
       puts rhash["color"]             ### "red"
       puts rhash[:color]              ### "blue"

Where can I look to find the documentation for this syntax and what it's doing? rhash[:color]. I see this notation in ruby sample code, but I can't find the documentation for it. NoClutter 19:50, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

It's called a symbol. Using :a_symbol as a reference is like using "a_quoted_thing". Using symbols is encouraged, as it only stores the text of the symbol in one place and just provides pointers to it; rather than storing the same text string over and over. As you see using :whatever and "whatever" is different. Google for "ruby symbol" for all the salacious details --h2g2bob (talk) 23:21, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Can't play starcraft[edit]

I installed StarCraft on my laptop, which runs on 1280x800 widescreen and has windows vista. I opened starcraft and it said it was 'unable to switch video modes. to correct this problem, please set desktop area to 640x280 and color palette to 256 colors.'

How do I do this? the lowest my monitor goes is 800x600

See if you can run the game in windowed mode instead of full screen. It is usually a rather hidden command-line option. -- Kainaw(what?) 21:37, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
This link offers a program that they claim will put Starcraft in windowed mode. Alternatively, you may try connecting a monitor to your notebook, it may support more video modes that way. 18:56, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure if Windows Vista has this feature, but you could try running it in compatibility mode. To do this in Windows XP (likely the same if Vista has this feature), right click, go to properties, click the "Compatibility" tab, and select your settings. MalwareSmarts 21:59, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

I've heard of several complaints from many users about game compatibility with Windows Vista, like in Need For Speed Carbon, which is said to crash on Vista. Either downgrading to XP or waiting for Service Pack One might be the cure for that... Blake Gripling 00:45, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

VMWare question[edit]


If I run Linux in VMWare on Windows XP. Can I access my Winmodem from Linux as a ordinary /dev/modem serial driver which is mapped to the emulated COM3 port provided by the Winmodem driver running in Windows?

Regards, 20:39, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it should work. (It possibly might map to something else than /dev/modem) -Yyy 10:50, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Yyy! 16:08, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
If Linux can deal with whatever hardware VMware emulates as the modem, then you should have no problem with Linux. VMware just needs to be able to deal with the actuall modem. 23:15, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Is there a freeware equivelent to Adobe Flash?[edit]

Just wondering. Has to be compatible with Windows XP. MalwareSmarts 21:57, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Nothing that really works yet, no. SVG as a format could someday compete with Flash in some respects, but as of now, it really can't. And personally I doubt it will ever really be able to replace Flash, unless they are going to built up something as comprehensive as Actionscript inside it. And I don't think there are any freeware Flash editors—the closest thing might be OpenLaszlo, which uses it own format but can convert to SWF. -- 21:58, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Gnash and OSFlash[4] are available as open source SWF players, but often (in my experience with them) fail to work correctly, especially with video. These are reverse engineered: Adobe release the specs for SWF for creating SWF files only (hence can create them), but not for reading (which means no players. Adobe release Macromedia Flash Player for Windows, OSX and Linux, which are all good for playing SWF <= 8. See also SWF. For web applications, a mixture of CSS and JavaScript can replicate some functionality, depending on need. Alternatively, make it an executable (there must be some vector graphics libraries out there). --h2g2bob (talk) 22:33, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
No, I didn't mean a flash player, I mean an animation software similar to Adobe Flash MalwareSmarts 01:59, 19 August 2007 (UTC)


hum.. Wikiwix - so what is the relationship? if any? --Fredrick day 22:02, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

ok that is gone, so this might be useful for some context. --Fredrick day 22:03, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
According to their FAQ page, "(c) Linterweb 2007 - Wikiwix is a search engine that provides a comprehensive search within Wikipedia articles developped by Linterweb. Linterweb is a French company specialized in search engines, and is also the publisher of the Wikipedia 0.5 DVD". So it is a Wikipedia search engine by a company which is working with the Wikimedia Foundation to publish Wikipedia on a DVD. So there is some connection, I guess—Linterweb redirects to the History of Wikipedia article and discusses the deal. Heavens knows Wikipedia could use a better search engine. -- 22:05, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

What does "www3" means in web address like[edit]

What does "www3" means in web address like

It probably means they have multiple web servers, either to share the load, or to distribute different parts of their site. —Steve Summit (talk) 22:53, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

www3 is a subdomain of Different subdomains are often (but not always) on different physical computers (web servers). This technique can be used to divide a domain name into parts, such as into and It is often used to reduce load on any one server by placing different parts of a site on different servers. For example, images on Wikipedia are located on the server, so if the image server crashes or runs slow then the rest of Wikipedia is unaffected.
Your computer matches web addresses with IP addresses - the actual computer's location - by asking special servers what name matches what address. This is the internet's domain name system (DNS). is at IP address, while is at, indicating they are two separate computers. is also located at, so is shared with "news". "www3" responds to my HTTP requests with a redirect (HTTP 302 Found) to "www". --h2g2bob (talk) 23:10, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Note that of course there's more than one server hosting upload.wikimedia.. --frotht 04:42, 22 August 2007 (UTC)