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

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June 18[edit]

Pop-up blocker working too good[edit]

How come when I use FireFox, and have in the allow list, it still blocks popups from Wikipedia? And the funnier thing is that I've had this problem before, the I turned popup blocker off. It's blocking popups when I disabled popup blocking. (And no, it's not a toolbar blocker or anything. It's firefox's blocker). --(Review Me) R ParlateContribs@ (Let's Go Yankees!) 01:32, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

What popups is Wikipedia trying to pop up for you? I've never had Wikipedia try to pop up any popups. —Steve Summit (talk) 01:36, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Popups for WP:TW windows. --(Review Me) R ParlateContribs@ (Let's Go Yankees!) 01:48, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't know anything about TW. Anybody else? —Steve Summit (talk) 00:45, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
What version of Firefox are you using? I have in my allow list for popup blocker ( here at work, and the latest FF2 at home). My TwinkleConfig also has userTalkPageMode : 'tab' as one of its entries, so that could make a difference. Wizzard2k 17:34, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Vista splash screen[edit]

The very first "splash" screen for Windows Vista with the moving progress bar is misaligned on my monitor. It doesn't affect anything else, more of a cosmetic problem, but any ideas what I could do to fix it? Everything else is fine and I've tried the auto-align button on the monitor (Gateway 21-in LCD widescreen). Thanks 04:12, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

You might try going to Run => msconfig and on the Boot tab checking "No GUI boot" ... this will replace the progress bar screen with the "Aurora" background. It would be less obviously misaligned but it's a problem with your monitor and it's not likely to be fixable --frotht 15:22, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
When you see the misaligned screen, go into the monitor's menu and take note of the resolution. Then later on, you would want to display a test screen at the same resolution, so you can align your monitor to that, and it will remember it for the splash screen. The tricky part is finding a program that can display a test screen at the resolution you want. --Bavi H 01:18, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

NT Virtual DOS Monitor (NTVDM)[edit]

My problem is that whenever I start a 16-bit DOS based application on Windows XP the OS starts up the NT Virtual DOS Monitor (NTVDM) and the CPU usage of my system shoots upto 100%. Thus the system becomes very-very slow. Can anybody explain this??

If you open your task manager, you can set thread priority for the process to a lower level. Does this help? Nimur 10:30, 18 June 2007 (UTC) doing this the system just hangs up.......but my question was why is this at all happening...i mean does the system goes into a busy wait.

Windows on a cd-rw[edit]

Would there be a way for Windows to be installed onto a cd-rw (or at least copied onto one) and be able to access AND write to that cd-rw? Like running a cd packet writing software from inside the windows install that would enable windows to write to the cd disk? Think outside the box 12:05, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

BartPE allows you to build a bootable Windows CD. I don't think it, or any similar liveCD, supports writing to the same CD. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 12:17, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Some will mount a USB drive as a "home" folder, so you can save some of the changes. --Kainaw (talk) 14:30, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Mac backup software[edit]

My wife wants to back up her photos to DVD. I showed her how with the Finder but it's not easy enough. She just wants something that she can drag and drop a bunch of files into and it will start burning to a DVD. When it has filled up that DVD, it will ask for the next and so on until it's done. We don't need to make movies or anything fancy. Just something that makes backups of data. That's it. So, can I get some recommendations for some software for this? FYI, it's a PowerMac desktop model. Dismas|(talk) 14:09, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

I've always used for this very purpose. It can also be configured to set up regular backup jobs (weekly, monthly, etc). I believe it is part of a .Mac membership suite. -- JSBillings 15:03, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
If she's using iPhoto, there's a burn option under the share menu there that should do the trick. Donald Hosek 21:21, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
She's not using iPhoto. This is pro grade work she's doing and iPhoto just doesn't have the options that she needs, so she doesn't use it. She uses Sigma Photo Pro, so maybe there's a similar option in SPP. One of the keys to this is that she wants the backups to be able to be held off site in case of a house fire. So external drives that are simply right next to the computer won't work. Amazon S3 met heavy resistance due to the fact that she wouldn't have a physical copy to hold in her hand which would be safe from drive failures, hackers, data corruption, etc. She's almost sold on the Amazon idea if I can show that uploads won't take forever and a day. We're on DSL. Dismas|(talk) 22:04, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I think that the Amazon S3 uses a local cache so even if the physical transfer is slow, it's not obvious to the user (although it might be problematic with a laptop where, if she's like me, the laptop gets closed all the time. Donald Hosek 00:48, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Nope, tower. Thanks, I think I've got her won over on the idea. Dismas|(talk) 01:39, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Compression question[edit]

Is it possible for a 4 GB file to be compressed to a little over an MB? I'm asking 'coz I got this file by email, which when uncompressed, takes up as much as 4 GB space. The file is of .mdf type, and the compression used is RAR. Thanks for any info on this.--Seraphiel 15:01, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Sure. It all depends on the data. For example, what if I have a 4GB file that is just a repetition of 4*109 bytes that are all "100101100". I can easily compress it to something like 1001011001001001 and tell you that the first byte is the data, the second 4 bits is a multiplier and the last 4 bits is a power. I just compressed 4GB into 2 bytes. --Kainaw (talk) 15:16, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Does the RAR format specifically allow such a general-purpose definition of a repeated byte? Nimur 16:19, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Sounds like you got a maxi-image. Make sure to extract the image to an NTFS partition, then tick on compression for the file. Splintercellguy 16:36, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
to be simple in my answer, one of the best compression utilities i've ever used is UHARC, now as far as the MDF file...mount it with daemon or alcohol 20:01, 18 June 2007 (UTC) Ag for MemTech
It probably is a sparse file or a file with a large amount of zeroes. Such files can compress extremly well. --cesarb 22:10, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, maybe it just fills with zeros up to the capacity of a single layer dvd or something --frotht 12:31, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks guys. I think I get an idea now. I tried mounting it using daemon as well as Alcohol 120%. But I couldn't open any of the files inside (there were at least 30 file icons shown - some as large as 2 GB, some 0 KB). Where can I learn more about maxi- and mini-images? What are they used for? Why was it important that I uncompress it onto an NTFS partition? TIA!--Seraphiel 13:40, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
You want to uncompress onto NTFS because the largest file size supported on FAT32 is 232-1 bytes, or one byte shy of 4GB. --LarryMac | Talk 16:32, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Okay. Thanks. Any idea about maxi and mini-images?--Seraphiel 05:13, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Converting PDFs to Microsoft Word Docs[edit]

I've recently discovered that, despite the troublesome nature of Pdfs, there are many people who claim to have created software to convert PDF documents to Microsoft Word documents. I'm seeking such a tool that I could run automatically from a program I'm writing, so it would have to offer a command-line interface, or -- better yet -- a programming API. Can anyone suggest software along these lines of high quality? I can spend up to $500. In any case, there should eventually be some comment in the PDF article about the possibility of conversion, and how good a conversion you can get. --Ryguasu 17:29, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

According to this article, you can use Adobe Acrobat Standard (around US$300) to open a PDF, then do a File->Save As->Word Doc. Presumably you can do the same thing programatically with the Acrobat API. --TotoBaggins 15:25, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
I've discovered that the Adobe PDF Library API (fancier than the Acrobat API) does not allow conversion to word. (See For the Acrobat API itself, it looks like you could probably export as Word through the Acrobat Interapplication Communication sub-API. It features a conversion object that is "a file type converter that exports PDF files into other formats. Conversions correspond to the list of formats specified in the Acrobat Save As menu." Since Acrobat can save as Word format, I think this means you can do it from the Acrobat API. --Ryguasu 18:40, 20 June 2007 (UTC)


in jsp when we want to go from one page to another page after fulfilling certain conditions we use forward() or send Redirect() function in our code, what are functions are used in case of php when we want to go from one page to another page?

Use "header" as in: header("location: newpage.html"); --Kainaw (talk) 19:15, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
docs --h2g2bob (talk) 23:21, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Copyright status on the Verdana font[edit]

I'm currently writing a copyright report for a certain college project, and I'm interested to know what, if any, copyright applies to the Verdana font. Any help will be much appreciated, cheers. 21:58, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

The actual files are copyright by Microsoft, although freely distributed by Microsoft. The design, is not copyrightable (as is the case with all typefaces under U.S. Law. See typeface for more details or [1] for a more in-depth discussion of the status of typeface design protection. Donald Hosek 22:46, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Yeah. As Donald's reply implies, copyright law (in the United States) is a little wonky when it comes to fonts. The design of a font itself is not copyrightable, but the actual files can be. So I could re-create Verdana from scratch and that would be fine, but I couldn't distribute Microsoft's font files unless I had a license to do so (which they grant freely in this case). -- 00:53, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Software for Steel Mills[edit]

I'm wondering what software do steel mills worldwide typically use for the operations planning systems? Or does it appear to mainly be done in house with their language of choice? Thanks. Mathmo Talk 22:27, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

errr..... ping? Mathmo Talk 02:27, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Local Area Connection[edit]

Hello. In the system tray (lower right corner with the clock on Windows XP), my modem shows the following message whenever I turn it on:

Local Area Connection
This connection has limited or no connectivity. You might not be able to access the :Internet or some network resources. For more information, click this message.

I clicked the message and tried to repair the connection. Windows unsuccessfully tries to renew my IP address. However, my Internet is fine. Should I be concerned? --Mayfare 23:56, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

If everything is fine then everything is fine. That said, you might experience some problems if you, say, play LAN games, because some of the settings aren't set or are set wrongly. x42bn6 Talk Mess 23:59, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
If it doesn't renew, then that may cause problems when your IP address DHCP release expires (some leases don't expire for a long period of time though, so this may not apply to you). You may consider a restart, although if it really is a DHCP issue, then you won't reacquire an IP address (although generally I don't see this kind of error for a DHCP acquisition problem).
Alternatively, if you have a third-party program installed that is managing your network connection (this is much more typical for wireless connections), it can sometimes cause the Windows applet confusion. One other thing you might try doing is opening up a command prompt and then typing ipconfig /all to see if there appears to be a configuration issue. You can also manually renew or release your DHCP lease this way by typing ipconfig /release (flushes current lesae) and ipconfig /renew (gets new lease). But if you don't seem to be having any other issues besides Windows complaining, x42bn6 has the right idea--why beg trouble if you don't need to. –Pakman044 00:22, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, what s/he said. If everything you are currently using (i.e. browsing the net) is fine then do not worry. Because clearly those parts are working. Why even try to fix what is not broken? (from your point of view that is) But if you really want to know out of curiosity of if you are actually having problems checkout these pages as starting points: [2] [3] [4] etc... though really, I'd want to know a bit more about your current system and configurations to take a better guess than a stab in the dark. Still, you main point to take from this is don't worry if it is fine it is fine! Mathmo Talk 00:27, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
One explanation is that you are connected to the internet by a wireless router and your ethernet port is unplugged giving you that error. Or some other combination of two different network connetions on your PC, one in use and the other not. Vespine