Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2007 May 1

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May 1[edit]

What is the benefit of more RAM on the video card?[edit]

Right now I'm debating whether to buy the Geforce 8800GTS in the 320MB model, or the 640MB model. What benefits would I see with the latter? Many reviews say that the extra RAM is needed for high resolution setups -- does 1680x1050 count? Down M. 07:58, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

If you have like an Apple 30 inch cinema display then yes, you will need all the memory you need. Otherwise I don't see how 320MiB is insufficient for 1680×1050.--antilivedT | C | G 08:22, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Inches doesn't matter, it's how many pixels you're representing. I think the formula used to be # of pixels * color depth = the number of bits of video memory you need but video acceleration among other things has complicated it. --frotht 15:50, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
I really doubt anyone would choose to use 640×480 on their 2 grand US$ displays... --antilivedT | C | G 06:41, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Big thing is the amount and resolution of textures that can be stored in the memory. High resolution textures results in better looking games / 3d apps. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 22:42, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Inches don't really matter except that 1200x1024 looks great on a 19" screen but it starts looking rubbish on a 30" screen. either card will play games at 1600x1050, you may not be able to quite get maximum settings out of the 320, that's what I have, but personally, I'd rather play on almost maximum (which still looks awesome) and save the money to upgrade sooner, like every year. The price diff between the 320 and 640 is pretty high, I don't think it's worth the extra notch, it's hardly noticeable and I play a LOT of games. On the other hand, if you can afford to upgrade every year anyway, then go for it. Vespine 22:55, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure that any games can really take advantage of that extra memory yet. Wait until Crysis and other new ones come out. Again, it's texture quality that will be most affected, and double the memory can make a pretty considerable difference in that regard. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 23:09, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

You need 6.7MB per screen at this resolution with 32bit colors. 4xFSAA increases that amount 16-fold to 107MB. Double buffering gets you to 215MB, excluding textures. If you want to use the 4x setting at that resoltuion, you will need the larger memory size, for 2x or 3x settings, the smaller one should be sufficient.

heys (pre-ATM)[edit]

am looking for the name of a machine which was used before has everything to do with money.its operated using the thumb.

A semi automatic coin dispenser ? like this one handed machine
It is very hard to understand your question. Maybe you are thinking of the abacus? -- Diletante 17:07, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

How do I test Oracle Forms[edit]

I am a QC/QC Analyst and will be working on the implementation of Oracle forms, but I have no idea where or how to start testing once development is complete. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Codebuster (talkcontribs) 17:22, 1 May 2007 (UTC).

Um, wouldn't you test it like any other product? Think of use cases, corner cases, typical usage scenarios, testing under load, etc.? --TotoBaggins 22:17, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Send email to instant messenger[edit]

Is this possible? (i.e., someone sends a message to and it ends up as an instant message.) I currently use Jabber.—Wasabe3543 17:35, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

No, IM and email are separate. --h2g2bob (talk) 17:41, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes its possible. I do not know the specifics, but [[1]] may help. YOu may be able to find a jabber server to connect to that already has such a gateway set-up. -- Diletante 18:03, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Sadly, the bulk of a computer programmer's work is teaching two such systems to talk to each other. It's certainly possible, and probably quite straightforward. --TotoBaggins 22:22, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Please read this article. The Jabber Mail Component will have to be enabled on whatever server your client connects to for this to work. Lurker 10:47, 2 May 2007 (UTC)


Hi, What is the html equivalent of the "nowiki" insert... i.e. if I was on a page that used html and wrote <a href=">sausage</a> it would display it as sausage... How do I get it to show the coding? Thanks!

AFAIK there is no such tag in html. If you view the source of this very page you can see that mediawiki just replaces < with &lt and > with &gt to prevent the browser from trying to parse the html. Of course, web applications may implement their own special markup to do this kind of thing.-- Diletante 19:48, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
<after EC, now with added info!>The xmp tag used to allow this, however it has been deprecated since at least the HTML 3.2 standard and new browsers might not support it. Currently, the only way that I know how to do it is to use HTML entities in place of the angle brackets, e.g. &lt; in place of < and &gt; in place of >. (In fact, if you edit this section, you will see I had to use an entity to make the ampersand). --LarryMac 19:53, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Quick way- Bookmark this handy tool Lurker 10:55, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Implications of MPAA takedown notices of HD-DVD key.[edit]

Ok, so the MPAA are being... well... themselves... and running around the net and removing occurences of the key via takedown notices. My question is this if I had a few years to count, would I have to skip the decimal equilivent of the key? Will the MPAA be forcing Seagate to not allow HDDs to write it?

Intel was not able to trademark 586 because it was only a number, does the MPAA have the right to control this number? Fosnez 22:31, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

ISPs and whatnot usually remove things when they're presented take down notices. If they don't, they lose the whole safe harbour thing, and can be potentially liable for it. It's just less of a pain in the ass if they comply, even if the take down is frivolous. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 22:40, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Well the difference is, 586 IS just a number, but the other is an encryption key, right? I understand the gist of what you are saying but I think you are failing to see the gist of what they are saying. That key to them is worth a lot in revenue, the idea of that key is to stop people making illegal copies of copyrighted work, nothing else, it's not a logo or a trademark. I'm all for open source and all that, but free software means free as in freedom not free as in for no cost. The implication of that is no, if you have a legitimate reason to have that number on your website then you shouldn't be persecuted, and no a hard disk won't be stopped from writing that number. I think you are underestimating the chance of a number which is times ten to the thirty seven actually occurring. Vespine 22:55, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. Also note that many of the sites getting the takedown notices don't just have that number; they tell the users exactly what that number is and how it can be used to achieve such a goal. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 23:05, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
So much for Wikipedia is not censored - My entry containing only the above enteries of binary and decimal numbers have been removed from Talk:HD_DVD Fosnez 23:14, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Probably because it's obvious what you mean by the context? This doesn't have to do with 'objectionable or offensive' things... -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 23:18, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually no, I asked the same question as above... Fosnez 23:27, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Which includes the key, and gives context on it (i.e. explaining that it's an HD-DVD key). Again, not sure what's wrong with it being removed. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 23:31, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Placing the key here is only asking for trouble. It serves no illustrative purpose for it to stay, and I agree with its removal. -- mattb 00:40, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
How is it so different to the extreme example of someone putting up kiddie pr0n on their user page? Do they also have the right to cry foul when it is removed? Surely it too is just a stream of binary on a hard disk.. So much for wikipedia is not censored indeed. Vespine 00:50, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
A famous Windows XP serial key was deleted from Wikipedia articles, because it was unnecessary. Usually, if the passcode is notable, it will have reliable independant sources to verify it. So far, we have forums, Slashdot and blogs spreading the key. Wikipedia can't enter into that game. If CNN, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post all run a story about the number, then it could have its own section in the HD-DVD, Blu Ray or the algorithm article, but without them, we are basically spreading something that is not notable. We are not Wikinews. We don't care if the MPAA issues takedown notices to sites for showing the HD-DVD key. We are an encyclopedia. So much for Wikipedia is not wikinews indeed. -- ReyBrujo 02:42, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Notable enough? What about the other articles on Google News? Of course this is not in the "mainstreme news" yet... mainstream news is a slow old beast... but I bet it is tomorrow... - Fosnez 04:32, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
What possible purpose does leaving the number itself here serve? Documenting the significance surrounding it, perhaps, but there's no reason to drag Wikipedia into this week's internet subculture drama. -- mattb 07:26, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
See What Colour are your bits? for an interesting take on that. --cesarb 00:49, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

In answer to the original question, the Number is 13256278887989457651018865901401704639 ± 1. So if you can count (on average) one number per second, it'll be something like 420 octillion years before you have to worry about skipping it. —Steve Summit (talk) 22:37, 5 May 2007 (UTC)