Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2007 June 2

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June 2[edit]

Anonymous Wikipedians[edit]

Hello. Just out of curiosity, how do some Wikipedia users who ask questions remain anonymous? There were a couple of questions asked on May 27, 2007 without names and there may be more on later dates. There was even a case where a Wikipedia user typed their name and UTC time. The name was not linked to their user page if he or she had one. Am I allowed to do so?--Mayfare 00:57, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

It is normally due to ignorance, not mischief of any kind. It is apparently very very difficult for most people to hit the ~ key four times. --Kainaw (talk) 01:05, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) They didn't sign their name with four tidles (~~~~), as you did (and as I am about to). Usually, a bot will edit this to add it ("unsigned comment by <IPADDRESS>" or whatever), but if someone edits that section before the bot realises then it won't add their sig. Technically it's not "allowed", but you're not going to get banned for it either. It's just helpful when people remember to sign their comments! The person who typed their time and username obviously didn't know about the four tidles, and possibly should be alerted to them (leave a message on their talk page!) JoshHolloway 01:08, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
See WP:SIG. As a practice, you should always sign your talk page comments with four tildes. You can also sign just your name with three, or just the time with five, although uses for this are few and far between. Your sig should always contain at least a link to your user page or user_talk page. -- Phoeba WrightOBJECTION! 03:14, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
There are many new users here, and while you always should sign your comments, if they forget it doesn't really matter. Also, I would like to add that it is perfectly fine not to identify yourself at all anywhere on wikipedia, it is perfectly allowed to remain anonymous for as long as you wish. --Oskar 06:54, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
To clarify: I don't mean that you don't have to sign your comments (outside of the "newbie"-zones you have to do that), I meant that you don't need to create a username or identity. --Oskar 06:56, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Although in reality a username offers you far more privacy/anonimity than editing as an IP. -- Phoeba WrightOBJECTION! 07:36, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
That really depends on how you define anonymity. A user-name creates an identity, unlike an IP which is just a collection of numbers. Many people (me included) would argue that that makes anonymous users more anonymous (!) than registered ones, even though they reveal their IP. I mean, I have no idea who you really are, but I've seen your posts here and there and have formed a personal impression of you as a person (a most positive one, I assure you :D ). That wouldn't have happened if you didn't sign in. --Oskar 18:08, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
The issue is that an IP is not just a collection of numbers. It is an identity. If I told you my IP address was (which it isn't), you can easily do a whois and find out that I'm at the College of Charleston, somewhere near 66 George St, Charleston, SC in the U.S. - which isn't very anonymous. However, if you know my username is "kainaw", what do you know? I have a dumb username. That's about it. --Kainaw (talk) 13:03, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

CLassic support[edit]

I have a OS9 disc, but I cant run a clean install, nothing comes up except the mac OSX screen (yes, I am pressing down C), I have 10.4.9 Any suggestions? I dont have any other discs, they were lost

You can't install OS 9 natively on an Intel Mac, so make sure you're not trying to do that.
Oddly enough, I can't install PPC linux on my iMac, even though other people with the same model have had the same OS work =/ keeps coming up with that red screen with a questionmark folder on it. I'm thinking it has something to do with the previous owner putting pirated panther on it, but it's annoying, since I'd rather not run illegal software =/ Especially since I still have a bit of respect for Apple. -- Phoeba WrightOBJECTION! 04:00, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

I have a powerbook G4 I inherited from my sister, but she didnt leave me with any software. I have searched the internet, but my results are unsure. Any more suggestions? Thank you very much

Why do you want to install OS9 when you have OSX? --antilivedT | C | G 23:01, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
That doesn't really answer the question, does it?
Well but the question is like "I can go to work in my car but I want to build a tunnel. How do I do that?". Unless you have specific needs, there is no point in installing OS 9 when you have OS X; and what do you mean by "didn't leave me with any software"? No OS X? Or what? --antilivedT | C | G 05:54, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't want to put words in the OP's mouth, but the OP may not like OS X or wish to use OS X. The question is like "I can achieve Y, but I want to achieve X. How do I achieve X?". To say "Why don't you just do Y" is rather irrelevant and unhelpful. Yes, OS X may be better than OS 9, but that's beside the point.
Note that not all G4 models can boot OS 9. They can only run it in Classic mode. There are instructions on Apple's site for installing classic on such machines. -- Kesh 06:03, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Java applets and browser refresh[edit]

I have a fairly big Java applet (30mb+) embedded in a page (using <Applet> tag). Everything works well in the first invocation of the page. However, when the user refreshes the page, causing the applet to reload, some of the memory that "old" instance of the applet used isn't freed, including the my JApplet instance and ResourceBundle instances. After a few refreshes I get to a point where the JVM throws OutOfMemory errors (heap). Is there any way of making the JVM restart / not act in such an annoying manner?

Destroy the previous stuff? --Wirbelwindヴィルヴェルヴィント (talk) 18:46, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
I suppose I'd go with Wirbelwindヴィルヴェルヴィント (talk) on this. Override the destroy method (or something similar) and try to suggest to the garbage collector that it clean up some things... I guess. There is also the not-quite-related page unload DOM Event (not of the Java world) which might possibly be utilized, esp. if your applet somehow gets some of its resources it uses from the DOM. It's been two years since I've written a Java program and longer since I wrote an applet, but I do recall it is possible to suggest to the garbage collector that it can clean up early as it was quite necessary for what I was writing 2 over years ago. Root4(one) 01:21, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Where can I go to make a formal complaint about a specific website?[edit]

By that, I mean one that's obviously a serious violation of federal law. FBI site isn't helpful.

And no, I don't mean a ROM/warez site so don't point me to that.

If it's based in the UK, you can look at the Internet Watch Foundation which links with national authorities. It has a link to an "international foundation" which is NCMEC but that is just for missing children - nothing to do with websites. Strange! In short: I can't find one for America, but if you report it to the IWF they may pass it on. JoshHolloway 13:44, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Josh seems to have forgotten the Virtual Global Taskforce. Their members include Australian, British, American, and Canadian authorities, as well as Interpol, so they'd probably be your best bet. Unfortunately, they're geared more towards child porn than anything else. Linky --saxsux 15:30, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
I've never heard of that. "Learn something new every day" as they say. Yay! JoshHolloway 17:15, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
You might like to report it to the police in the same way you would report any crime. If the website isn't based in your country, it will very probably be outside your jurisdiction. --h2g2bob (talk) 22:32, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
I assume due to the mention of the FBI, you're in the US. Is the offending site actually being hosted from within the US? If not, as bob mentioned, chances are the FBI or any other federal law enforcement agency will have little or no ability to do anything about it. Cyraan 18:45, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
You will probably need a very solid case that the website is actually in violation of a federal law. I think this qualifies as legal advice and you should consult a professional, instead of the Reference Desk. Nimur 19:15, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks to those who responded. The site in question is hosted in Amsterdam, if that's any help, although I suppose that places it ouside US jurisdiction. Those links were helpful, although if what cyraan says is true, not much use in this case. Any further advice with that in mind?
The reference desk is not a soap-box, but here's my advice anyway: tolerate things that you don't like, even if it makes you uncomfortable. Unless this website poses a threat of imminent harm to anyone, (which is unlikely), it is probably not worth your time to worry about it. Nimur 21:24, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Again, not a soap-box, but kiddie porn or racism harms *someone*, even if it isn't oneself. JoshHolloway 09:16, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
But it has never been made clear what material the website in question contains. It might just be angry political rantings, which are legal so long as they are not posing an imminent threat. Nimur 21:49, 4 June 2007 (UTC)


I have recently installed rollercoaster tycoon 3 on my computer with windows vista and i have all the necessary specs but when i try to play it says "Microsoft Visual c++ Runtime Library error, Abnormal program termination. I've tryed running it in administrator mode and compatability mode but it doesn't want to work. There have been loads of problems with the game as a whole, this is my problem. I have asked at the reference desk before but no one seems to be able to help me.Wiki.user 16:47, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Any additional information that came with the abnormal program termination? Splintercellguy 16:56, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, it seems to be a very generic error message. What is your operating system? I found [1] but one of the replies seems to only apply to Windows XP SP2. x42bn6 Talk Mess 17:04, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
There is not much else it says, the only other thing it has in the message is a directory to the .exe file. Please Help!!Wiki.user 17:04, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
I have got Windows VistaWiki.user 17:25, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Can someone help me. I had problems on my old computer. Wiki.user 17:47, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Er, do you have 64bit Vista? RCT3 can run in 32bit Vista but not 64bit. --Wirbelwindヴィルヴェルヴィント (talk) 18:43, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
I have 32bit Vista Wiki.user 18:50, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
According to our own article, it says that, "There is no fix for this problem (including patches)." (RollerCoaster Tycoon 3#Criticism). Other than being oddly out of place, this sounds disconcerting. I would try patching the game anyway. The patch is available on this page: x42bn6 Talk Mess 22:47, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
I play RCT3 on Vista 32bit, never had any problems. Reinstalling directx usually fixes that error, but you're running Vista, so it's not possible. I would suggest reinstalling your graphics card drivers or reinstalling RCT3. Search M$'s website for 'runtime library' and 'directx'. -art0rz

Java virtual machine[edit]

I'm totally new to this, so this question might seem ignorant. When trying to install my HP printer with a disk, I keep getting the following error message: Unable to start the application - the Java Virtual Machine cannot be loaded. Class not registered. What does this mean and what can I do about it? I'm really computer-stupid, so plain English, please!!!Proverbs31 wife 16:53, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Try installing the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) from Sun Microsystems. Download is here. --h2g2bob (talk) 22:13, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Do Communists like socialists?[edit]

Do Communists like socialists?

Mu Algebraist 21:10, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
More helpfully, check out communism and socialism. And be aware that both terms are used for a huge range of people with a huge range of different ideas, some of whom like each other and some of whom do not. Also, this isn't really one for computing: try the Humanities desk. (and if communist and socialist have obscure computer-related meanings of which I am not aware, please ignore) Algebraist 21:13, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't think there was a distinction between communists and socialists until the fourth version - and even that blurs the distinction with a revised socio-economic government mix and match feature. Nimur 01:40, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

No Office Vista[edit]

Why is Microsoft Office 2007 not called Office Vista? NeonMerlin 18:57, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

This is mainly because office 2007 can be used on multiple operating systems apart from vista. Also office 2007 is a completely different application to vista. Another reason is that previous office versions are not named with windows operating systems and are sometimes released at different times to a operating system release.Wiki.user 19:24, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, there was "Office XP" ([2]). --LarryMac | Talk 22:06, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Large corporations make careful decisions about how to apply brand identity to maximize sales and benefit their good reputation. For one reason or another, some high-ranking strategist at Microsoft decided that Office and Windows should be distinctly branded. A possible motive (SPECULATION!) is to capture mutually exclusive markets (people who want to upgrade to Office 2007 but not Vista, and vice-versa) without alienating them. This branding decision can be made independently of the technical details of the software (such as compatibility or development). Nimur 01:36, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Office XP was a separate application that was a mixture of things. The question was remember why office 2007 was not vista not refering to other programs.Wiki.user 10:29, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Separate application that was a mixture of things? Huh? What do you mean? (I have Office XP btw). --Wirbelwindヴィルヴェルヴィント (talk) 21:13, 3 June 2007 (UTC)