Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2007 March 8

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Computing desk
< March 7 << Feb | March | Apr >> March 9 >
Welcome to the Wikipedia Computing Reference Desk Archives
The page you are currently viewing is an archive page. While you can leave answers for any questions shown below, please ask new questions on one of the current reference desk pages.

March 8[edit]

Windows XP - Windows Explorer[edit]

Windows XP Operating System.

  Windows Explorer - What, if anything, can I do to fix this problem?

Windows Explorer fails to run for more than an instance, even when re-instated using the ctrl-alt-delete box (Run Command). I've tried restoring Windows' settings back to a previously working date/configuration, attempted to De-bug Windows, and I have yet to use the Windows Restore Disk (because there are files I'd like to keep and have as of yet, not had the chance to back up.)

Is there anything else I can attempt before using the Restore Disk? 01:08, 8 March 2007 (UTC)


What error do you get when you try to run a second instance ? StuRat 03:34, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I think the OP means "an instant in time" rather then a second instance. You could get a hold of a live distro and use it to back up the data off the hard disk... Vespine 03:39, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Could be. Hey,, did you mean the program only runs for an instant or that you can only run one instance at a time ? StuRat 08:33, 8 March 2007 (UTC)


Is any reader using the combination of System X on an AppleMac G4, Safari browser, and using Tiscali as ISP? If so, are you having trouble with using their new 'Mail' system and have you managed to solve it, if so I would be grateful for your help please.

My difficulty is that I only get the headers when I click on 'New' mail and have to click on 'Print' or 'Forward' to be able to read the body of the message. Furthermore I am unable to compose a new email since I am only presented with the 'To' and 'BCC' lines on the page; nothing else. "Resetting" Safari makes no difference, I do have "Private Browsing" ticked, would that make any difference?

Tiscali seen unable or unwilling to help and the only reply I get relates to PC's and not Macs and they don't seem to care. I am reluctant to telephone the help line as, with all great respect to the Indian call centre, I have grave doubts that they would understand or be willing to help.-- 01:12, 8 March 2007 (UTC) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 01:09, 8 March 2007 (UTC).

When I turn on private browsing it always seems to log me off GMail. [Mαc Δαvιs] X (How's my driving?) ❖ 18:12, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Tool to get visual basic code from exe?[edit]

I complied my Visual basic6.0 code with native compilation rather p-code compilation. I got native code with the help of vb decompiler,

Now i want to get Visual basic code i had written. Is there any third party tool that will give me VB code. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Avneet83 (talkcontribs) 03:11, 8 March 2007 (UTC).

I believe not. Decompilers are still in their infancy, and source recovery is something which people pay lots of money for, I believe? Splintercellguy 03:16, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
It's not possible. You can decompile the code and get it in assembly, but it is impossible to restore compiled code into VB. I mean, you could look at the assembly code and then reconstruct a VB program that does the same thing, but would defeat the point in this case :) Oskar 23:31, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Best Note-Taking Program[edit]

Is there a note-taking program (ex Microsoft's OneNote) that can include internal hyperlinks. Like maybe I could creat a table of contents and I could just click on a term and go to it. Or on a date list, if I clicked an event next to a date, it would go to wherever I linked that date to in my notes? That'd be really nice. Also, in general, which one of the several notetaking programs is generally considered the best? Regardless of price. Thanks, Sasha

Have you considered personal wiki software? That would let you hyperlink (easily) to your web pages and wiki pages. I haven't found a free note taking solution yet. 08:15, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Any suggestions for that? On Mac OS X preferably. I'd like just an offline wikicode complier for me to work in. Notetaking for Mac OS X, your options are these (taken as the best, I mean): CodePoetry]'s Notae, Circus Ponies' Notebook 2.0, The OMNI Group's OmniOutliner (which comes pre-installed), Phil Dow's Journaler, and Snippet Monkey, just off the top of my head. [Mαc Δαvιs] X (How's my driving?) ❖ 18:11, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. What do you mean by personal wiki software and what would anybody suggest for a pc?


hi I am student of computer science. i am going to give seminar on 'Advanced video codec high defination' topic. i have searched power point presentation(ppt) on this topic but i didn't get so much material on this topic.please tell me some links on ppt and more information about this subject.

You should probably do research on the subject and create a power point presentation from that. Else, it'd be plagiarism. --Wirbelwindヴィルヴェルヴィント (talk) 06:55, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Take a look at our article on H.264/MPEG-4 AVC --frothT 09:00, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Go to a library and read journals and books. Believe it or not, everything is not on the web yet. And please learn to spell definition before writing a paper on it. 09:04, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
The nice thing about computers is that basically everything about computers is written on computers. I don't see why he should have to go to a library to learn about an emerging technology that's likely not in the library --frothT 19:07, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Vista Anytime-ish Upgrade[edit]

I have a valid Home Premium installation on my laptop right now. I also have a valid full copy of Ultimate. I'd like to unlock the Ultimate features without reinstalling the whole OS. Is this possible? Will it let me "upgrade" from Home Premium to Ultimate like I upgraded from XP Home to Vista Home Premium, and if so will it just unlock things or will it recopy all the windows files? --frothT 09:43, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Help my vista notebook defective[edit]

I just bought a Vista notebook but when I shutdown the machine, the screen does blank but the notebook remained powered on for a very very long time before it turns the power off. I took this defective notebook back to the dealer and got a replacement.

But the replacement is also defective. It also refuses to poweroff when I shut it down. I was told the manufacturer makes good notebook but so far all the two notebooks are both defective. Does anyone else suffers from this type of problem? 11:23, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

They probably just do a virus scan or something else that takes a long time when you power them down. StuRat 12:24, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Tsotsi Piracy.[edit]

I have to look up Piracy for a computer project but I cant find anything The questions I have to answer is as follows:

The effect of illegal distribution of DVD’s of Tsotsi and Mama Jack in the south African context

The long term effect of the distribution of DVD’s on the film and music industry

the impact of the use of computers on the environment (also keep the distruction of pirated cd’s and DVD’s in mind

Need an answer as soon as possible 11:25, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Google up things like piracy dvd "mama jack" tsotsi and you will find things (I found a lot of stuff). You can also look up copyright infringement on Wikipedia itself. x42bn6 Talk 11:44, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I also highly recommend FreeCulture and STEALTHISFILM for a pro-piracy look. [Mαc Δαvιs] X (How's my driving?) ❖ 18:04, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Financial Calculations in excel[edit]

Not sure if this is the right place for this sort of question.

How would one use excel to break repayments on a loan into interest and repayment portions? I need a profile with separate columns for interest and principle portions of each cashflow.

That's easy. Say you owe $200 and the interest is 17% per year (or 1.416% per month). If you only pay $2.83 per month ($200 * 1.416/100 )then the amount you owe will remain $200 forever. If you pay $3 per month then $2.83 goes into the interest and $0.17 goes into the principle (because $3 = $2.83 + $0.17). So all you need to do is to work out the interest only monthly payment amount (ie. $REMAINING_LOAN * 1.416% = $REMAINING_LOAN * 1.416/100 ). 12:28, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd also try using the IPMT() and PPMT() functions. --RobI 13:31, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

why dont microsoft do a free antivrus?[edit]

why do i have to use avast? or is microsft funding them or something?? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 13:49, 8 March 2007 (UTC).

I imagine if Microsoft started including antivirus software with Windows there would be an uproar from the big AV companies. Anti-trust allegations would abound, big legal messes would ensue. It's probably wisest for Microsoft not to try and invade the market for AV software (I know, it seems counter-intuitive since MS would seem to be in the best position to maintain AV software for their OS). -- mattb @ 2007-03-08T15:18Z
If Microsoft wants to prevent viruses, they should make their OS secure, not full of security holes. For example, the default behavior should be to prompt the user to confirm any registry change, but it's not. StuRat 16:27, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Remember what happened how Microsoft included Internet Explorer caused a lawsuit with Netscape etc that led to Microsoft being a monopoly or whatever? It'd be the same thing if Microsoft included a good firewall or a good antivirus etc along with their OS. --Wirbelwindヴィルヴェルヴィント (talk) 16:44, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
This has already happened. Quite aside from including a "free antivirus" (a dorky idea in any case; see elsethread), Microsoft tried to lock down the OS so that programs couldn't muck with it -- which is of course a splendid idea. The antivirus companies called foul, because their programs have to muck around with the OS to install themselves and intercept suspicious system calls which might be virus signatures.
I'm no fan of Microsoft, but it is a truly sad state of affairs when they can't make their OS more secure, because it would put the antivirus vendors out of business. (And make no mistake about it, until the situation changes such that there's no market for third-party add-on "antivirus" solutions, Windows will not be adequately secure.) —Steve Summit (talk) 01:21, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't think there would be any antitrust problems- Microsoft already includes a firewall and spyware protection. I think it's more a matter of not having the resources or the inclination to include antivirus that there's no av. There are much better ways to nail MS on antitrust than with including extra features in its own product. --frothT 20:47, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Prompting the user in such situations is a bad idea. First, most people don't read the content of confirmation dialog boxes; they just want to dismiss them.[1] Second, how can a non-technical user user know whether a registry change should be allowed or not?[2] --cesarb 17:25, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I think a non-technical user would not really bother with installing such an application in the first place; any person who is at least semi-aware of what malicious software is able to do, and who at least is cautious enough to have installed a registry change monitor will be interested and will read what is being told him. Probably. --Ouro (blah blah) 21:10, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
StuRat's comment, first sentence - concur entirely. --Ouro (blah blah) 16:45, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
What should happen is the user can mess up their home directory as much as they want, but they shouldn't be able to mess with system-wide files. To do that users need to be taught to make regular backups. --wj32 talk | contribs 10:17, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Well... I agree that most users need to be locked out of root (but for the love of God don't give microsoft the reins) so they don't mess up their system, but if you know what you're doing you're unlikely to mess things up --frothT 19:04, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Best OS for a laptop[edit]

Greetings, fellow virtual librarians. From time to time I am pondering about finally getting a notebook of some sort (formfactor not decided yet), in recent times quite strongly. Specs, make, model undecided yet, that's not the point, however. One thing that I'm sure of - if it's going to have an Intel chip, I do not want Windows, as there's too much trouble with XP, Vista is not an option (specs, usability, point), and 98 or 2000 are becoming old. Here's the question - do any of you have experience with other OSs (Linux distros, KDE, whatever) in terms of which one would be best suitable for a notebook. If it helps - it will primarily be used for document editing, maybe some graphics, probably a bit of internet, e-mail, maybe a divx movie or two, definitely data storage (like downloading photos from a digital camera on the go). Any input is welcome, and have a good day y'all! --Ouro (blah blah) 16:52, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Ubuntu (or Kubuntu, Xubuntu) works very well with many laptops. However, not all laptops have even decent Linux suppport; my current laptop doesn't even go into suspend or hibernate mode properly. You'll want to check to see what type of support the laptop has. I think I recall that Thinkpads, for instance, work well. Windows has its benefits (mostly hardware support, software support) and I'm not particularly sure of what 'trouble' you expect to have with it. However, if it works with your laptop, Linux should be fine for the tasks you've mentioned. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 17:07, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
By trouble I mostly meant resource hunger, security holes and a certain degree of instability. Ubuntu, you say? I will take a look at it. I know Windows has its benefits (am still a 98SE user), but so do other OSes. --Ouro (blah blah) 17:15, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah. If resource hunger is a huge issue, Xubuntu is probably a good choice, as it uses the lighter Xfce environment. To be honest, XP doesn't have noticeable stability issues (usually), and security is okay if you stay up to date, don't run strange executables and don't touch IE (things you should do with any OS). I personally prefer the way that Linux distros do some things; the greater configurability, use of package managers/downloaders rather than hunting around the web for things, heavy usage of the CLI, etc. Every OS has its use. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 17:25, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Acer and IBM/Lenovo make laptops that are good with linux. But I agree with crustacean- XP has grown into a very robust OS and you will not have problems with xp --frothT 17:55, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I suggest Mac OS X 10.5, unless you're the sort of person that prefers Windows, or can deal with Linux. Linux just didn't have enough of the right kind of programs for me to use, and wasn't so user-friendly. But I am a total Machead. [Mαc Δαvιs] X (How's my driving?) ❖ 18:01, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, MacDavis, the issue is still open - and I'd love to get a Mac. My good friend has a notebook from Apple (I think it's an Ibook) and he's very satisfied with it. If I will have a choice, I will definitely consider it. I absolutely do not need to have Windows (I use 98SE primarily because I have not got the time to switch over to a Linux-based system now, although I am getting a second workstation this year and it's probably going to be running on Fedora Core). As for XP, my eXPerience with it is basically that it's not as reliable as I need my OS to be. Not touching IE is absolutely true in any and all cases, agreed :) --Ouro (blah blah) 18:13, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Not reliable? XP never crashed once for the 6 months I had it on my laptop before upgrading to Vista. --frothT 19:35, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
My family yells "MAAAACCCCC!! The computer's broken!!" A few times a day... [Mαc Δαvιs] X (How's my driving?) ❖ 16:50, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps you're just a pro user; my father is able to crash anything and everything, and he's got XP installed on his machine.
Well yes of course you have to use it intelligently. No OS is idiot proof (no offense to your father) nor should it try to be. It's a sad state of affairs for the 90% of people that aren't even power users, yet alone people who really know what they're doing. Running linux without root is the most idiot proof system IMO but XP isn't bad at all if you know what you're doing --frothT 20:44, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
No offence taken. My father, on the one side, is the ever-curious who has to install everything and dabble around (he's been through many things, right now he's 'learning' Flash), on the other hand he calls on me when there's something sensitive to do (he runs some spyware search engine and always needs to consult me before pushing the 'delete' button when it comes to files). Don't know how to classify him. I guess sometimes my father is the proverbial better idiot when it comes to computers. --Ouro (blah blah) 20:59, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Okay, has anyone any more suggestions on the subject or is the topic over and we're about to have the usual short and witty comments that foreshadow the death of a question on the refdesk? --Ouro (blah blah) 20:30, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Ooh, nicely short and witty! --frothT 20:44, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
And have a nice afternoon (checked where you're from, was about to write good night ;) ). --Ouro (blah blah) 20:59, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I just want to note that having recently bought a MacBook I am immensely pleased. They have greatly improved them over the iBooks of just a few years ago which were already pretty good. And they have Intel chips now, as you no doubt know, and there are already tools available to help you dual-boot (into Windows, but no doubt there are hacks to boot into linux as well). -- 03:03, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
MacBooks are extremely good. I love how they come with pretty much everything you need preinstalled. Of course, depending on who you are you want specific things, but for the general public, and many who are in themselves computer virii then, it has everything. I'm getting a big beautiful black' one at the end of summer. Anyway, I would have to say since you don't have to get windows because of what work you do, then I would say getamac! They are all around much better. Compatibility as a problem is fairly nonexistent. Definitely buy or steal iWork and Microsoft Office for Mac. [Mαc Δαvιs] X (How's my driving?) ❖ 16:50, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Disagree. It's personal opinion, if it's definite; Macs are not necessarily much better. I spec'd/bought a very nice non-Mac laptop for lower price than I could buy an equivalent Macbook. It's got firewire, a DVD burner, an ExpressCard slot, SD/MMC reader, other miscellaneous things, a decent mobile GPU, and the CPU matched up with the current Macbook Pro of the time. And it was some $400 or more cheaper, as well as being nice and small, and having better battery life. What you get with a Mac over a similarly spec'd non-Mac is a nice looking laptop with OSX. OSX offers eyecandy, some very slick included applications, and a UNIX-like base (with some added security, and a lot of extra security through pure obscurity). Whether a user needs that stuff is, again, personal preference. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 17:21, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
And why pirate an office suite? What's wrong with -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 17:21, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Well my problem with macs is idealogical- the fact that you do need "hacks" to run linux on your own computer shows that there's something seriously wrong going on. I like having total control of my computer inside and outside, and knowing what my computer is doing. OS X abstracts everything so far out that there's no hint of what's actually going on, and opening the sealed areas of the computer case voids the warranty so it's impossible to get inside. And crustacean, if one has no qualms about pirating, why use second-best OpenOffice when you have the world's premier office suite at your fingertips? OpenOffice is doing very admirable work but my love for FOSS isn't enough to have me using an inferior product- MS Office is undoubtedly a very good package. --frothT 19:00, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
If the user has no qualms about piracy, then by all means. I'm not certain if Mac Office is quite as good as Windows Office, but it's still probably nice. Personally I haven't found anything I'd need MS Office for, though I'm not an office 'power user', and I don't use the database stuff. I'm probably fairly representative of the majority of MS Office users in that regard, though; OpenOffice would serve many people just fine. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 19:11, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Appreciate all your input, guys. It's gonna be a tad tougher now, though, choosing between a Mac and a PC, as you've raised some issues. However, it's still some time before I'm getting the system. Big thanks and cheers from Poland! --Ouro (blah blah) 20:55, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Automatically forwarding email[edit]

Is there any way to automatically forward emails sent to one account (Yahoo mail) to another address (Gmail)? I've switched email addresses, but I still want to receive any emails sent to my own account without having to check it. Thanks. GhostPirate 19:38, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes this sounds like something you should be able to set up from the mail client. Sorry i've never actually used Yahoo mail so I don't know exactly how to do it but it will most likely be called a "Forwarding rule" or something similar. I'm sure there are help files where you would be able to find the process. Vespine 21:29, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Gmail just recently came out with the service. Here's a link to the info page [[3]]. It says your other email must have POP3 enabled to use the service. FruitMart07 22:50, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
From the looks of it, Yahoo! Mail doesn't allow you to set up forwarding or POP3 access without a paid account. — Matt Eason (Talk &#149; Contribs) 09:42, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
The POP3 service doesn't work for me. It says only a limited number of Gmailers (taken at random) can use it, as a beta test in a beta test. But wait, did Gmail come out of beta? Gmail also asks you when you make an account if you want to copy over all of your old mail. [Mαc Δαvιs] X (How's my driving?) ❖ 16:36, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Many ISPs have partnered with Yahoo and let you link your Yahoo account to your ISP email account. I don't like the idea in general, but it does give your Yahoo account "premium" abilities, such as forwarding your email to another account indefinitely. Check your ISP's website for how to link the two. —Dentarthurdent TC 19:34, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

SUSE/ndiswrapper Wireless Networking Issue[edit]

I followed a guide to setting up ndiswrapper ( After completing the guide, I checked the

[code] modprobe ndiswrapper [/code]

which returned no errors and

[code] lsmod |grep ndiswrapper [/code]

which gave me some numbers which I surmise is normal.

I opened Konquerer and tried to access the internet but "the host was unknown". I tried rebooting and got the same issue.

I note that:

When I boot WinXP, the green LED next to my antenae lights up early in the booting process. When booting Suse, the light is always off. Is the absense of power to the LED a useful indication of something?

The card appears in the list of hardware attached to the PC (please forgive that I don't recall the module I used to gain this information - these modules and programs are still new to me).

During the network setup sequence, the "Firewall zone" is set to "No zone. All traffic blocked" but no mention of this is made in the guide I was following, so I left it was it was.

Based on WinXP Device Manager: my "device instance id" is 1ABB&DEV_1FAA - this seems concordant with the idea that my card is listed as number 21 on

I am trying to connect to an open wireless network. By virtue of WinXP, I know that there are two open networks in my vicinity. One is close enough to be detected but not connected-to. How do I determine to which, if any, network my Suse 10.2 is trying to connect?

I also note that the 'network manager' icon on the kickerbar lists no networks detected. Although my signal is weak in WinXP, it is there, and it is usable. Still, the whole fact that the green LED is not lit probably means that there is no power to the card. --Seans Potato Business 20:22, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

DVD audio out of sync[edit]

Hello, When I burn video files onto DVDs or VCD, the video starts off fine, but after some time, the audio and video go out of sync. It works fine on my computer, but when I burn it on a DVD this problem occurs. I use Nero by the way. What can I do to fix this? Thanks --(Aytakin) | Talk 21:42, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm really taking a guess here but this may be something to do with NTSC to PAL (or vice versa) conversions. I remember reading that some UK Babylon 5 DVDs had audio out of sync and it was because of the differences in frame rate between the two systems.--Kiltman67 21:55, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Kiltman67 - does it work fine on your computer _as a DVD_ or just as .avi or whatever movie files you have there? If it works as a DVD itself it probably is a problem with your standalone player. If it works as regular files then there is a problem with the conversion to MPEG2 and AC3 for DVD so you should try to check there. Aetherfukz 14:39, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Accessing java classes via a web interface[edit]

I'm interested in any generic application which would allow me to click on a web page hyperlink and execute a java class on the machine serving the website, as well as receive the return value (even if it takes a few minutes to come back) as well as pass values (inline is fine, i.e. http://domain.tld?arg1=val1&arg2=val2). Does anyone know of such a thing? 22:04, 8 March 2007 (UTC)Wael

I believe JavaScript can interact with Java applets, but not the actual classes installed on the computer. For one thing, that could well be a security risk. So I guess if you embed the class into an applet and tinker with JavaScript. x42bn6 Talk 22:08, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

It certainly is a security risk, I know applets can get close to doing what I want, but they can't cross that last mile. I think JSP may be able to do it, my main concern is a extensible piece of code that can just run a "java javaprogram.class" command on the host and take a return value (including one that requires waiting). 22:15, 8 March 2007 (UTC)Wael

Java servlets? It doesn't sound like Wael was talking about client-side JVM invocation. -- mattb @ 2007-03-08T22:17Z
So I am familiar with coding C/C++ in a purely local manner, no client server technologies - essentially, I just need to be able to invoke a java class via the web and exposing the input parameters for the function via the web as well. I'm sure this must be possible. I recognize that generally speaking this is a security problem, but I'm looking to deploy this in a purely intranet environment and I'll be integrating the whole thing through LDAP, so security shouldn't be an issue. 22:44, 8 March 2007 (UTC)Wael

Yes, servlets will get you there. Start reading some of the resources on that page. JSP can also do what you want. -- mattb @ 2007-03-08T23:02Z
How about Java Web Start?

Welrifai 00:33, 9 March 2007 (UTC)Wael

Zoom in IE 7[edit]

When I click zoom in to 150% in Internet Explorer 7, it automatically prints the top-left corner. Is there a way to change the area that I want to print (ex: the center of the page). 22:06, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

syncning a flash drive[edit]

any one know of a free program that allows me to sync my usb files with files on my pc without having to copy and paste every time?--Colsmeghead 22:14, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Give Microsoft SyncToy a shot. — Matt Eason (Talk &#149; Contribs) 23:21, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Try using a "briefcase." ;) DebateKid 03:21, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I've had several bad experiences with briefcases. I can recommend rsync (and particularly the minimalist cwRsync package for windows) - although rsync is typically used for copying files over a network, it also does a great job of replicating one local filestructure to another. If you need two-way synchronisation (that is, if you want to be able to change files on the usb device and have those changes copied back to the PC, and vice versa) then you'd need a two-way syncher - Unison (file synchronizer) is highly regarded, although I have no personal experience with it. Darryl Revok 13:21, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I should mention that one-way synchronisation (like rsync) will work unattended, but a two-way synchroniser (which will inevitably run into conflicts, where you've changed the same file, differently, in both stores) will need some input from you to resolve conflicts (either during the synch session or later as part of a conflict-resolution activity). Darryl Revok 13:22, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Laptop LCD broken[edit]

I recently broke my laptop's LCD - a pair of headphones I used had a knob volume control setting on the cord and somehow it got caught. On bootup, the top is blank and the entire middle of the screen is random pixels. I'm thinking this is just physical damage, but the rest of the monitor that still works has inverted color. Could the inverter board be broken as well? I didn't do anything that might damage it, but still, seems a little weird. -Wooty Woot? contribs 22:31, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

The screen is broken, you have to get a new screen or new laptop. What's the problem? --frothT 00:02, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm wondering if the inverter board might be broken as well, or if this is typical of simply LCD damage. -Wooty Woot? contribs 00:19, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
In the damage to the LCD screen, you probably broke the proper connection to "ground" for the screen. So, there's no telling what colors you'll get as the voltages will all be off. --Kainaw (talk) 02:41, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
So will popping in a new one, hooking up the power and video input cables work? Or are you saying there's a problem with those connections farther down by the inverter or down to the video output? Are the connections you're talking about internal to the LCD, and the damages simply wrecked those when it was damaged? If so, I'm happy all I have to pay for is a new screen. :) -Wooty Woot? contribs 03:30, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't quite get how did you get your problem. How did the volume control on your headphone break your LCD? --antilivedT | C | G 04:56, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
It was stuck between the laptop screen and the keyboard when i closed it. Somehow it found a space to stick in between. When I went to use it yesterday, i noticed it was stuck. I gave it a little more pressure and it popped open. -Wooty Woot? contribs 05:12, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Quite possibly you have loosened the connection to your LCD. Try disassemble that part (if it's out of warranty) and push in all the elastic pcb back into the socket. --antilivedT | C | G 05:50, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Already ordered a new LCD - the connection looked fine when I disassembled the top and disconnected the LCD. I'm still under warranty (probably not anymore, though, haha), but I didn't think they'd cover accidental damage like this anyway. The inverter board looks OK externally, and so do the cables. -Wooty Woot? contribs 05:59, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

The glass that makes up the LCD has a criss-cross matrix of transparent electrodes. Each (sub-)pixel on your screen represents a place on the grid where the horizontal and vertical electrodes cross. These electrodes are driven from the edges of the LCD. When you break the glass, you usually disconnect all the electrodes that cross the (now) gap in the glass. That means that all the pixels above or below the break are disconnected from their driving circuitry and will stay "stuck" at clear or dark.

The backlight inverter is usually at the bottom edge of the screen; there's no special reason why it would have been damaged by your accident. Heck, even the backlight CCFLs are probably okay, but the new LCD assembly will likely contain a new backlight assembly (CCFLs and the diffuser) as well.

Atlant 11:49, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks! I took it apart, popped in a new LCD, and it works great! -Wooty Woot? contribs 19:51, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
yeah there is no such thing as an 'inverter board' it would have just been another damage connection in the screen causing weird inversion like colours.