Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2007 March 19

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March 19[edit]

MacBook Pro vs. ThinkPad T60p[edit]

Not sure if this was asked already, but which of the two laptops is faster for a) everyday usage, b) graphics, video and web design and c) gaming: a 17" MacBook Pro or a Lenovo Thinkpad T60p with the 2.33ghz processor? Thank you. 01:01, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

I would choose the t60p, by far. -Wooty Woot? contribs 01:53, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Another vote for the Thinkpad. Really I think this is a matter of preference. Both are well constructed and capable notebooks. You can nitpick meaningless specs, but the real issues will probably be cost (I don't think there's a very large difference), warranty, and whether you like Mac OS X (I dislike Aqua, but a lot of people find it attractive). -- mattb @ 2007-03-19T04:12Z
And if you really want to, you can find Mac OS X by illicit means and will run on the ThinkPad.
It's a lot easier to run Windows on the MacBook Pro (all reports I've seen of running OS X on a non-Apple machine sound hacked and buggy). But in any case if you are going for gaming in particular the MacBook is not the right answer, obviously. -- 12:00, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Another thinkpad vote from me. If you're looking to pay a ton for your laptop (and you will pay a ton if you're looking at thinkpads and macs) than nothing beats the thinkpad. I too dislike aqua, and the thinkpad is pretty much the most solid consumer hardware money can buy, mac or otherwise. --frotht 17:00, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Although as a disclaimer I've only used the T60, not the T60p, and I've heard some grumbling about how the T60ps aren't quite as good. Just go for the normal T60. --frotht 17:04, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

How long (years) do you think a ThinkPad t60/p would last when in heavy university usage? Jamesino 22:38, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Probably a loooooong time. But there's much better deals for the money as far as notebooks go if you want to use them for gaming, I'd suspect. You can get a damn good gaming laptop for the $2700 you'd spend on the thinkpad. For example, the Acer TravelMate 8204WLMi is $200 less and is one of the best-performing notebooks on the market today. It should be able to run pretty much anything you throw at it, and is an editor's choice at pcmag. It's under 7 pounds, but still packs a Core 2 Duo and Radeon® X1600. The Thinkpad has a X1600 variant, the FireGL, but is optimized for modeling and CAD, NOT gaming. -Wooty Woot? contribs 22:46, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Would Photoshop design be considered CAD? And Is the FireGL chip in the T60p better than the Radeon one in the MacBook Pro? Thanks. Jamesino 23:16, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd say Photoshop is CAD very light. I'm more thinking it's geared toward 3DSMAX and engineering tools. The MacBook Pro has the same one as the TravelMate, but with probably much less efficiency for gaming:
Photoshop: MacBook = Acer = Thinkpad
CAD (Modeling, etc): MacBook >= Acer = ThinkPad
Gaming: Acer >>>> ThinkPad > MacBook. -Wooty Woot? contribs 01:41, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
FireGL is not that much different from their gaming counter parts, it's mostly in the driver optimisations. --antilivedT | C | G 07:52, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Thank you all for answering. =) Jamesino 01:26, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

IE 7... the aweful program[edit]

Hi, I have a problem with IE 7. I normally use Firefox but when thats not working, I have to use IE7. Every time I open IE 7, instead of my home page loading this page loads: It doesnt even show me anything to customize... Is there a way to turn that off? I tried changing my Home page but it doesnt work... Thanks! --Zach 02:25, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Have you tried clicking on this in an explorer window?--VectorPotentialTalk 04:33, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

This annoying problem occurs when Firefox is set as the default browser. What you need to do is to go to Set Access Defaults on the Windows start-menu (assuming that you are running Windows XP) and set IE7 as the default browser, then run IE7, go through the customization page and when you're done set Firefox as the default browser again. Ikrizalllid 10:10, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Both suggestions did not work I am afraid... Thanks for the effort though!! Any other suggestions? --Zach 19:46, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Hey! I have the 'exact' same problem! So far I have not been able to find a solution either. Jamesino 22:33, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Try getting HijackThis!, running it, and looking for that page under browser stuff. Check it, hit fix, and you should have no more problems. -Wooty Woot? contribs 22:39, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Have you tried running IE6? - Mgm|(talk) 09:53, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps you have a firewall which is somehow blocking IE7 from accessing the page? Or maybe Firefox is conflicting with IE7? Ikrizalllid 20:29, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Try going into the tools menu then internet options and change your home page ..also try going into the tab settings and selecting open home page when new tab opens.--Nerdd 23:33, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Tool bar customization.[edit]

Does anybody know how to change the appearance of the desktop/tool bars by modifying the registry and not using windows blinds or other apps? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Drexalot (talkcontribs) 02:37, 19 March 2007 (UTC).

For the desktop, yes, but isn't it easier to use Display Manager? As for toolbars, which toolbars? The ones in Internet Explorer? Office? Paint? x42bn6 Talk 14:36, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
i mean the startbar....and i wanna change it so that it will have the XP style but black. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:48, 19 March 2007 (UTC).
As in Windows XP style as opposed to Windows Classic? Not as far as I know because these skins are not simple gradients built into a nice skinned environment. You need to get these themes separately, such as via WindowsBlinds. x42bn6 Talk 23:16, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

What linux distribution has more compatbility with windows programs???[edit]

What linux distribution has more compatbility with windows programs, ReactOs or Linux XP (or another)? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:44, 19 March 2007 (UTC).

ReactOS is a project that aims to implement a Windows NT compatible OS (that is, it has practically nothing to do with Linux). It is far from complete and probably unusable for you. I've never heard of Linux XP until now, but some googling suggests that it's not a particularly polished distribution. In the strictest sense of things, Linux has no real compatibility with Win32 programs and you shouldn't expect any of your Windows software to work with Linux. There is a piece of software called Wine that is a Windows compatibility layer for OSes like Linux. The upshot of which is that you may use Wine to run some Windows programs with varying degrees of reliability and functionality (everything from "doesn't work at all" to "works perfectly"). Wine used to be an epic struggle to use, but it has become comparatively friendly in recent years. If you want to use all your Windows programs, you should probably stick to Windows. You may be able to get some of them working using Wine and you can probably find alternatives to many common applications (web browser, IM client, groupware, office suite, etc), but Linux is not an "alternative Windows". I'd recommend trying a distribution like Ubuntu or Fedora Core if you're interested in Linux, just throw away any preconceptions that it will be a seamless transition from a Win32 background. -- mattb @ 2007-03-19T04:08Z

Windows XP machine as a print server[edit]

I have a Dell running XP, an Apple G4 tower, and a G5 tower. I want to use the Windows machine as a print server for the other two. I'm not sure how to do this as I haven't really ever played with networking them at all. When I've searched in Google I've found a lot of unrelated info, mostly due to the broad terms I'm using such as Windows XP, Print, and Server. So, does anyone know of any sites that might offer instructions on how to do what I want done? Dismas|(talk) 04:30, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

You need a program called Samba, there is a guide available here - [1] Elaverick 15:40, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Samba (software) runs on Unix like OS's. He wants to run a print server on windows. Sorry I don't have any pointer on how to do that. -- Diletante 15:56, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
To reply to my own comment: I forgot that OSX is a unix like OS, and samba can be used as a client, so the instructions above are appropriate. -- Diletante 16:10, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Free HTML TUTORIALS !![edit]

Dear Sir/Madam, Can u please refer me to some sites where I can download free tutorial on html in pdf, doc, etc format —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Rohanatwikipedia (talkcontribs) 08:55, 19 March 2007 (UTC). offers good tutorials of HTML and many other web building tools. I think it is in asp format, not pdf or doc. − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 11:10, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Just to clarify, asp is a scripting system, pdf and html are document formatting languages. Asp is usually used to generate html though. -- Diletante 16:01, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
You can't download a pdf of w3schools' excellent tutorials. The W3C's technical specifications can be downloaded, but are not good for learning from. I suggest looking in your local library for a book. --h2g2bob 06:22, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Net hacking[edit]

somebody has hacked my yahoomail and taken the details...... how is this possible????????? what should i do to prevent this???????? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:46, 19 March 2007 (UTC).

They guessed or intercepted your password to take over your account (how secure are your passwords?), and there is very little you can do besides reporting the issue to Yahoo and hoping they restore the account. You should also verify that your computer doesn't have any keyloggers or trojans installed, something malware removal tools like Spybot S&D and virus scanners are good at.
I strongly suspect the questioner got a lot of returned emails for some spam sent out and assumed that means some spammer used his/her email account. That is not the case. Email is a rather dumb protocol. You can put ANYONE'S email address in the "from" field. If the email bounces, the error email will go the address in the from field. So, it is very easy to fill a person's email box with a bunch of error emails. --Kainaw (talk) 14:59, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

computer translation[edit]

I would like to know, How are computers able to take words entered on a keyboard and translate them into digital information? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:47, 19 March 2007 (UTC).

Computer keyboard#How it works. x42bn6 Talk 14:38, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
In a nutshell, characters are represented as numbers by the computer. In general, computers deal with numbers and the character representations you see are merely for your convenience. -- mattb @ 2007-03-19T15:37Z


I'm thinking of upgrading to Vista. What are the pros and cons of moving from XP to Vista? Will games run slower, due to the added requirements of Aero? Do many XP apps have compatibility errors? Does Vista crash more often?

It seems to me that, since any upgrade is fraught with potential problems, you'd need a really good reason to justify such an upgrade. The reviews I've seen of Vista mostly say it's nothing to get excited about, so I have a hard time seeing how an upgrade would be justified. StuRat 15:20, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
It's not really anything to be excited about but there are a lot of little features and conveniences that make it frustrating for me to work on an XP machine after getting used to vista. My games don't run any slower, aero is plenty snappy, and none of my XP apps have compatibility problems except BF2SP64 and of course TweakXP. Vista has never crashed on me, though XP didn't either after SP2 or thereabouts --frotht 16:56, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Whether your system will run slower depends entirely on its specifications. I'd say don't upgrade until the bugs are ironed out and until you actually need to. I just upgraded to XP and I'm not going to do it again so soon. - Mgm|(talk) 09:50, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
By the way, have you seen the system requirements? Vista takes up far too much space on your harddrive. Space better suited for data and actual programs. - Mgm|(talk) 09:51, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, by using vLite, you can trim a huge amount of stuff out of Vista, and reduce its size by 70-80%. Froglars the frog 14:41, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

"zipped files"[edit]

I am conducting some research and would like to know what happens when files that contain large amounts of information are "zipped". I would like to know if you could point me in the right direction on my research. Thank you72.40.60.1 15:31, 19 March 2007 (UTC)jc

Try looking at Zip (file format)#Compression methods, which has quite a bit of userful information. Or for more general information, you can also read Data compression. --Maelwys 15:35, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
The actual compression method used varies, but the classic PKZIP format used a variant of the Lempel-Ziv-Welch method, and these days DEFLATE is common. I'd start there. -- mattb @ 2007-03-19T15:36Z

wine, cd-rom[edit]

What am I doing wrong with wine? It use to be that when running a windows program in Wine, there was no problem with the CD. But now, when ever I try to run a program (such as FFVII, Dungeon Keeper II, or Warcraft II) the program itself is unable to find my cddrive (whether I am using the drive it self or a mounted image) even though the install program had no problem minutes earlier. Do I have something configured wrong? Warcraft II forexample, used to run perfectly. Duomillia 17:23, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Have you run winecfg and made sure the CD-ROM links are set up properly? Cyraan 17:27, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, and the installation programs have no problem - but it's almost as though some copy-protection scheme prevents the game itself from reading the cd. Duomillia 17:54, 19 March 2007 (UTC)


when was the first time a wiki was vandalised?--Fang 23 19:13, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Dunno but this is one of the more recent events
I don't know either, but the oldest pages are interesting. --h2g2bob 06:05, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Wasn't it on the first IRC chat where it says WP got vadalised even before the creation of the first page? --antilivedT | C | G 20:02, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Ringtone making[edit]

I want to be able to convert a midi or mp3 to a ringtone for my phone, for free. What program can I download? Preferably for Mac OS X, but I also have Windows XP. Thanks! My phone is a virgin mobile if that matters. [Mαc Δαvιs] (How's my driving?) ❖ 19:26, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

More information is required. What is the make of your phone? What kind of ringtones does it play? Newer phones will have the capability to play both mp3s and midis as ringtones without any further conversion. When it comes to mp3s you might want to cut out a part of it (for it to start directly on the "good" part). For this a freeware program like audacity could be used. Clq 20:08, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
It says K10 Royale. I think it can play everything. How do I get it to download the ringtone I made? I don't think it came with a USB cord. [Mαc Δαvιs] (How's my driving?) ❖ 20:42, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
With my old phone, I had to upload the midi files to the internet, and then use my WAP access to download them to the phone. After that it gave me the option to use as a ringtone. →Ollie (talkcontribs) 22:06, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Edit conflict with Ollie: Aeons ago (about two years), I used a free WAP site to transfer MIDIs of my choice to my phone. It wasn't free since I still had to pay the data rates, but it wasn't the ridiculous rate that they charge for ring tones. The site I used is now gone, but I think Google can yield a handful of free WAP sites still in operation. If your phone has data capabilities and the service enabled, this might be a low-cost option (check the data transfer costs, first). -- mattb @ 2007-03-19T22:08Z


In PowerPoint, how can I format a picture so its sides that are white format with the background? 20:56, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Are you asking how to make part of an image transparent? --Kainaw (talk) 22:05, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
If so, I think there is a tool in PowerPoint in the...drawing palette?... basically, it allows a selected colour to be transparent with the background. However, this tool does not work well sometimes. Alternatively you can save the image as a transparency with a GIF or PNG format, which should result in much better transparency quality. However, I'm not sure if PowerPoint supports PNG's... Jamesino 22:32, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that is the tool I am taking about but, I don't know where it is in Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007. Does anyone know where it is?[User:|]] 22:58, 19 March 2007 (UTC)!
select the picture then go to the format picture tab in the ribbion and select pick the recolor tool on the far left and select set transparent color and then select use the little tool to point where you want the transparency and click that area ... --Nerdd 23:25, 23 March 2007 (UTC)


—Insert— 22:54, 19 March 2007 (UTC)Please let me know how I could get details of different hardware components of a PC so that I could learn to fix my PC at home.Only about basic parts and compatibilty. On more than one occasion repairers have cheated me and charged exhobitant fees, also the efficiency of the equipment went down after repairs. I cannot afford to pay for this study as I found the trainer/teacher often dont answer my questions satisfactorily THRN

All you want to know and more is on the Internet - most of it here on Wikipedia. I wouldn't trust any site claiming to be a one-stop-for-everything site about computer hardware. What it comes down to is picking a hardware part (ie: a video card) and then seeing what is available. If you want one for your own computer, you need to know what will fit on your motherboard. A very easy way to do that is to take the old one out, go to the store, and tell ask them what it is. They might say it is a PCI card or an AGP card. Once you know what it is, you can search for replacements (the more money you spend, the better the replacement). Part by part, from memory to the harddrive to a new CPU, you just research it when you are interested in that part. --Kainaw (talk) 00:13, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
What's in a PC.
It's fairly easy to replace most hardware - just search the internet, there are plenty of guides. Try and find one with pictures. A lot of the time, working out how to open the computer case is the hardest part. Upgrading your computer yourself is a good way to learn. See Desktop computer#Hardware for more. --h2g2bob 05:49, 20 March 2007 (UTC)


How do I convert a scanned file (.jpeg) to a PDF file? 23:09, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

You can do it with Photoshop. Barring that, an easy way to do it is to drop it into a Microsoft Word document and then convert that to a PDF. -- 23:59, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
There are many free utilities available that allow you to "print" to PDF format. The PDF converted is installed as a printer but actually produces a PDF file. I don't know any off the top of my head, but you should be able to track one done with google. →Ollie (talkcontribs) 00:54, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
in Linux you can simply install imageMagick, and then type: "convert image.jpg image.pdf" -- 01:34, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
ImageMagick is also available under windows: download site GB 03:54, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
CutePdf is a program that works as a virtual printer that you can use to make pdf's CutePdf--Nerdd 23:28, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Converting GNU Info files[edit]

Is there any way to convert GNU .info files into HTML or some other format? Not converting the .texinfo source, which you can use texi2html for; something like that, e.g. info2html /usr/share/info/ . Thanks. 23:40, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Interestingly, :) -- mattb @ 2007-03-20T00:14Z
Wow, I feel stupid now. Sorry about that. Thanks for your help. 00:36, 20 March 2007 (UTC)