Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2007 March 5

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March 5[edit]

Sound Editing[edit]

Let's say i have two .wav sound files; they are exactly the same, except that one of them has one more instrument on it than the other one. Is it possible, with a wave editor or any software, to do a substraction between the two files, in order to extract the additional instrument? Thanks!! -- Max —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:45, 5 March 2007 (UTC).

Yeah, a program I used to use called gold wave could use a tool called inverse on the wav with the missing instrument, then you paste mix with the full wav and I'm pretty sure that's the same as subtracting. Never tried it that directly tho, the two wavs would have to be sample identical for it to work well. Vespine 03:55, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that is a normal capability. Note that actually doing this is much more difficult than it might seem. 1) Use the "Invert filter" on one of the tracks. 2) Adjust the timing relationship exactly. This might be complicated by independent speed variations due to playback, editing, compression, companding, etc., etc. Unless they were both recorded at the same time and went through the same sort of processing. 3) Adjust the gain of one to exactly match the other. 4) Then play them mixed together. You'll probably have to repeat 2 and 3 several times, if not dozens. —EncMstr 04:00, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Desktop settings on vista[edit]

i can not seem to figure out how to stretch or center a desktop backround picture with the vista OS. I can not find the option on the display menu like i was able to with XP. Is there a new way to do it now.--logger 04:23, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

right-click the desktop -> Personalize (or Control Panel -> Personalization) -> Desktop Background --Spoon! 08:27, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Oh thats how it goes. Thanks for the info it works.--logger 09:09, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Need a Bot (or something)[edit]

I need a Bot (or something) to detect and undo a certain specific kind of vandalism on the article for Florida. A certain vandal (or vandals) with changing IP addresses keep vandalizing the page using one specific inappropriate word. S/he comes back every couple of days to re-vandalize the page with the same word: "penis". I can't think of any reason that this word should ever appear in the article, so I think it should be automatically blocked/reverted. Can this be done, and if yes, can someone add it to the Florida article? Semi-protection has been tried several times, and the vandal just waits for the SP to be removed and then continues vandalizing in the same way, but always using the same word. --Britcom 05:14, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I believe you should report at Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism, though of course you should do the customary warnings and stuff. Splintercellguy 06:24, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Possibly, report to WP:ANI, and we may be able to slap a longish block on the user. If vandalism is obvious, we do have bots to spot it, though I doubt that "penis" is a revert word, and this sort of thing can't be set article by article. The best thing is to carry on reverting, warning and reporting. Martinp23 21:23, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Fire Fox Seach hot keys???[edit]

Whenever I type ` or \ sometimes the seach at the bottom pops up. Then on another sessions this will never happen. Then it comes back again. Can't find any option for it and I am very confused to how I am enabling/disabling it.--Dacium 05:27, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Look for "Find As You Type Link" and "Find As You Type Text" at this site (or click Help→Help Contents and search for "Keyboard Shortcuts" and then look for the same phrases. − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 09:40, 5 March 2007 (UTC)


I have no problem accessing FTP sites from the command line in Windows XP and did not have any problems previously accessing FTP sites using Internet Explorer but now since about six weeks ago no matter what I try all I get from IE when I try to access an FTP site is an IE screen message that says: "...IE can not display the webpage." What is going on and how can I restore FTP access under IE? Nocternal 07:40, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

The only thing I can think of is maybe proxy settings under the connections tab of the internet options? Usually the settings should just be automatic but you may need to look up your ISP to make sure. Failing that, reinstalling IE wouldn't hurt and isn't really that hard. Vespine 03:38, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Umm, reinstalling IE will only reinstall the shortcuts. --wj32 talk | contribs 06:24, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

iPod and Vista[edit]

Hi I got a new SONY laptop with windows vista preloaded into it, and since I cant gain access to my music files is there a way if I can take the songs out of my iPod and put them into my laptop? Thanks. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 09:05, 5 March 2007 (UTC).

yeah, if you open My Computer (or whatever its called in Vista now...) and open up your iPod, then go to tools, folder options then show hidden files and folders. All your music is in the folder called iPod control then music. If you do a ctrl + F for all music files on your iPod it will(should) show them all. They'll all have odd four letter file names though, but iTunes will open with them with all the right names and artwork etc. Jackacon 22:36, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

SNMP OIDs of HP printers[edit]

We are trying to develop a simple SNMP application which will query the HP printers in our network about the status of paper, toner etc and display it on screen. Can anyone help me with the list of MIB object IDs for HP (HP 4300 series) printers (like which OID gets changed when the toner goes low, which OID changes when the tray runs out of paper etc)? I downloaded the MIBs from the HP site but it does not give what I want. (for example, it does not tell me which OID to look for, to find the status of paper in tray 1, or which OID gets changed when the paper is jammed) -- WikiCheng | Talk 10:11, 5 March 2007 (UTC)


I was wondering, is there any possible way to plug a guitar amp into a TV? I don't know whether TVs have a plug-in big enough for the chord required but it'd be nice...Jk31213 16:23, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

It is possible, but first got to ask, why do you want to? --Kiltman67 16:47, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I'd like to plug the amp in because they're better than speakers. Amps are BUILT to withstand noise. Speakers are just for volume generally. Don't assume, by the way, that i'll have a guitar plugged into it. I just want the amp only. Think about it, you could increase bass, treble all in knobs!! And the chord would be normal for wut u would normally plug into a guitar, only a tv. I cant believe no one's ever thought of this before!!!Jk31213 19:37, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Ahhh, so you want to plug the TV into the amp. I thought you wanted to plug the amp into your TV and use the TV as a poweramp. It is all technically possible but the one problem you may find is that your TV may not have an audio output. I know I've just bought a new LCD TV and, while it has a multitude of connections, it lacks an audio output. There's no guarantee you'll be satisfied with the sound quality anyway, while I suppose it would be nice to have the kind of control over the tone that an amp would give you, bare in mind that guitar amps are designed with guitars in mind and there's a big difference between the tone of a guitar and the vast array of sounds that come out of your TV. The better option might be to get a proper sound system, or at least run the audio through a Hi Fi. --Kiltman67 20:00, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
That's exploiting it a bit isn't it? but anyway the plug for a guitar amp should just be the same as a 6.5mm mono headphone cord so you'd just need to get a cord running from your tv headphone out into the amp, with maybe a few size adaptors and stuff. If your tv doesn't have headphone out you should be able to do through a vcr, with an AV to headphone adaptor.

Mix Lord 00:34, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

If the guitar amp is has line level inputs, then you could run a cord from RCA outs on the TV, or even headphone out. I haven't messed around with too many guitar amps, i'd keep the volume and gain down and adjust everything gradually. By the way, stereophonic sound and flat response from 40 Hz (or so) to 20 khz is best. 12:38, 7 March 2007 (UTC)


I signed my brother up for an MSN account on my laptop, to get it done quickly. I then decided to start using MSN myself again, and signed him out and me in. The problem now is that every time I start up my laptop, or select the MSN icon, it automatically signs me in as him, meaning I have to sign out (hoping that none of his friends are online and spotting me!) and sign back in. I've tried deleting my cookies, I never selected to automatically sign in, nothing I've tried has stopped it automatically signing his account in. It doesn't even ask for his password, and I can't find a setting to make it! What to do?

Oh, I'm running a very basic version of MSN,(4.7.3001) the one that came with my copy of Windows XP. I'm running XP on a laptop. I don't know what else would be useful. Please help! Thanks.

Skittle 17:16, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Lazy me suggests an update to the latest MSN Messenger. Splintercellguy 20:00, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Try removing the Passport details from your Windows accountMatt Eason (Talk &#149; Contribs) 20:44, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Fantastic! Thanks Matt, that was exactly it. Personally, if I were writing software I'd have a 'don't sign me in automatically' option in the usual MSN box, but what do I know? Thanks again. You're a star. Skittle 00:11, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Pleasure :) You're completely right, it's a really convoluted way of doing something that should be really simple. It's extra-annoying that it decides to blindly sign in with whatever credentials it has stored. Ho hum. You might want to check out Windows Live Messenger, the newest version of MSN Messenger. Much nicer, IMO (and prettier, too). — Matt Eason (Talk &#149; Contribs) 00:22, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
My problem with the prettier MSN is that it doesn't make such a clear colour distinction between signed in/signed out, which I like so I can quickly determine whether it's worth staying signed in or not. I don't really use the newer functions, and it's annoying to download the new version every time I have to wipe my harddrive (stupid viruses). Plus, the newer stuff tends to try to do more when you first sign in, opening more stuff which I have to close. I like simple :-) Thanks though. Skittle 21:47, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Compatible video formats?[edit]

I always try to put compatible formats for video on my PSP.I tried a compatible format on my PSP and when it is on my PSP, it always counts the compatible format as Corruptible Data. Will someone help? LongGoneVista 18:06, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Which formats are you using? And how are you doing it? How were the files created? Mix Lord 00:29, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Couldn't use their blasted Flash site to find the specs, but I've seen MPEG-4 files marked as "PSP compatable", so I guess it's compatible with at least some parts of the MPEG-4 specifications. The wikipedia article suggests (without giving sources) that it is also compatible with the H.263 codec. I'd suggest an MPEG container, with MP4, MP3 or mpga as the audio codec, and then try H.263 and MPEG-4 as the video codecs. You can convert between different video formats using File, Wizard on VLC media player. --h2g2bob

Audio Extracting Software Feature Not Listed[edit]

I've very good at ripping music onto my computer, but some music is out of my reach, because it is impossible to find a way to silence other background noises while recording the music. I've researched Google many times, and have found many Audio Software products, but none of them list information about features that allow a user to rip music without sound FX; thus I've hesitated to purchase them. What I NEED is an Audio Software that can provide some way to turn off specific audio material, (such as speech, sound FX, narrating, etc.), and record the music only. Since some Video Games, and most DVDs don't have audio options, the audio software must be able to rip/extract pure music by simply reading the DVD or Video Game Disc. If somebody could provide [and guarantee] me information about software that can do this, it would make my life! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:00, 5 March 2007 (UTC).

I don't know of any software, but suggest turning off the sound effects then recording the music coming out of the speakers (or better yet, use an audio output jack as input to your recording device). If you can't turn the sound effects off, perhaps there is a place in the game you can stand where no sound effects occur (a store where you buy upgrades, for example). StuRat 22:50, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
I have played around with audio production for a few years and am pretty sure what you are after does not exist. A human voice for example is multi harmonic and can span frequencies between 85Hz and 5000Hz which also just happens to be where a lot of musical instruments also happen to reside, it is impossible for a piece of software to differentiate between a human voice and an instrument, especially since the human voice is frequently used as an instrument. There are some tricks which are used to separate vocals out of music but they are usually dependant on the fact that voices are usually mixed perfectly in the centre of a track while instruments are mixed slightly to the sides, but I doubt that is the case in video games. It may work with DVDs, dialogue usually only comes out of the centre speaker so you can probably extract the music by excluding the centre track, sound effects thought may be a different matter. This would require you to rip audio channels separately. These are techniques which software would not do automatically for you, you would need to learn how to do it. Vespine 23:34, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
The voice cancellers, i think, use the fact that the vocals are often monoaural and the instruments have phase differences (not just level) between the channels. So you bypass the low bass, bypass the high treble, and apply some cancellation on the middle band. Then sum the 3 bands. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:48, 7 March 2007 (UTC).
A good open-source audio program is audacity it has a tool that lets you remove any noise that is under a certin number of Decibels (such as static), along with a bunch of other stuff. I found it on Foil Fencer --)----------- 19:35, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Unicode in Microsoft Word,[edit]

How do you use Unicode in Microsoft Word and - PatricknoddyTALK (reply here)|HISTORY 21:58, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

You might be interested in Alt codes. --TotoBaggins 02:34, 6 March 2007 (UTC)


How do I, in Bash and using cat and date, do the following:

Read stdin and write it to a file whose name is the output from date?

Even better, how do I do this but also have the name of the file have some text (e.g. "Please read: ") stuck before or after the date?

Thanks —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 22:02, 5 March 2007 (UTC).

OK, I actually just figured this out - am doing:

cat > "Please read: `date`"

So another question: how do I do the same thing but have the output from date plus an extra newline at the top of the file? I can do it now by doing:

date > "Please read: `date`" && cat >> Ple*

But that's cheating - referring back to the file using *. How should I be doing this?

Thanks. -- 22:34, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

How about
(date && cat) > "Please read: `date`"
-- Spoon! 23:24, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

You can give also date a format (see man date) that will make it nicer-looking and easier to do shell-scripting on without having to monkey with spaces and such. A style like the one below has the advantage that an alphanumeric sort is also a chronological sort. --TotoBaggins 02:26, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

$ date +Please-read-%Y.%m.%d-%H.%M.%S
Thanks guys. Sorry to split hairs, but does
(date && cat) > "Please read: `date`"
in fact run date twice? So I could in theory get a file called WHATEVERTIME whose firstline is WHATEVERTIME+SOMEVERYSMALLTIME? How do I get round this? Thanks again. -- 09:02, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it runs it twice. You want
now=`date`  # or use bash's nicer $(date) syntax
{ echo $now; cat } > "Please read: $now"
(If using braces doesn't work, change them to parentheses. I believe they'll work and be slightly more efficient.) Does that help? --Tardis 14:10, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks to everyone that replied. I now have it doing exactly what I want. Thanks again. -- 08:24, 7 March 2007 (UTC)