Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2007 May 9

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May 9[edit]


I just downloaded LilyPond, and I'm wondering how good it is. I'd like to ask for an opinion on its effectiveness, and a comparison to other music writers like Sibelius and Finale. bibliomaniac15 03:17, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't know the answer, but I'd urge you to have a look at Mozart. I am very happy with it - and with the responsiveness of the developer (yes, that word is singular). Oh, I have no connection with Mozart software except as a customer and occasional reporter of bugs. --ColinFine 17:39, 11 May 2007 (UTC)


How do one insert images in their Web Pages say you have the image in your diskette?

The image must be on the web (somewhere). Chances are, your disk is not on the web. So, you must upload it to your website. Once there, you will know the file name. Assume it is "myimage.jpg". In your web page, add <img src='myimage.jpg'>. That is the most basic syntax for adding the image - assuming your web page and the image are in the same location. --Kainaw (talk) 15:02, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
If you're viewing a local web page, that is a HTML document that is on your computer and not some domain name (e.g. You can reference local files with something like <img src="file:///A:/image.jpg"> if you're using a Windows and your diskette is on the A: drive. Support for this varies across browsers, I think. —Mitaphane ?|! 23:36, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
If you're just practicing at home with html, you can tell it to look for the image on your computer, something like "C:\Wherever\Myimage.jpg", and if your file "myimage.jpg" is found there on your computer then it will work for you. But putting that same webpage on the net, and somebody else accesses it, it will then look on their computer for "C:\Wherever\myimage.jpg" - and they won't have "myimage.jpg" there on their computer. So that's the reason why the image has to be "somewhere" on the internet, usually at your internet host. So if the image was somewhere like www.mywebsite/myimage.jpg then anybody on the net should be able to find it. Technically speaking you can refer to "myimage.jpg" on your computer, but this is quite complicated and has its disadvantages - for one thing you'd have to have a static IP address, and then you'd refer to the image like this: "http://192.xx.xx.xx/myimage.jpg" (where 192.xx. etc is your ip address) - then that is an address that all computers on the internet can all understand and look at and if your computer is then on, and connected to the internet, and your IP address is static, they will be able to access the image. Good luck Rfwoolf 09:42, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
I just wanted to clarify one more thing: when you put your html syntax for an image like this <img src="www.mywebsite/myimage.jpg"> you can get away with just putting the image name like this: <img src="myimage.jpg"> but only if the image file is in the same webfolder as the html webpage you've typed it in. So if mywebpage.html and myimage.jpg are both in the same webfolder (example: http://www.mywebsite/mywebfolder/) then on your mywebpage.html you can just say <img src="myimage.jpg">. Cheers Rfwoolf 09:46, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
One way to put your image on the internat is by uploading it on TinyPic or similar website, and then using one of the links it gives you. Shinhan 14:27, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

USB Numpad in console / DOS applications?[edit]

I recently bought a USB numpad (Labtech) to use on my laptop, particularly for Roguelike games such as Moria. It works fine with programs like Angband and ADOM, but it fails to work with Moria; I assume that is because Angband and ADOM, e.t.c use some kind of Windows API in the source code? Any suggestions or workarounds to get this happening would be appreciated. Magic Window 15:08, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like a driver problem. Are you running them in DOS or a DOS emu?
Tried them in DOS and DOSBox, DOSBox didn't pick it up either. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Magic Window (talkcontribs) 16:46, 9 May 2007 (UTC).

Firefox default image problem[edit]

It seems like every broken image link is now giving me some annoying picture of a timelapse highway at night, instead of the standard "broken image". Wouldn't be a big deal, except that this image is stretching out tables, which really screws up forums.

I figure this is a problem with Firefox 2.0's defaults or something, but google results aren't really helpful. -- Phoeba WrightOBJECTION! 16:43, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Have you cleared out your cache? Tools > Clear Private Data... > Uncheck everything except cache — Matt Eason (Talk &#149; Contribs) 19:35, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
That sounds really strange, any idea how it happened? have you seen the image before? -- Diletante 22:09, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
I suspect that somebody saved an image of a highway on top of the original (red X ?) picture. StuRat 00:07, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Could well be your skin. Change to default skin and see what happens. --h2g2bob (talk) 06:03, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

To the above, I've cleared out my cache, and I am using the default skin of course -- Phoeba WrightOBJECTION! 14:59, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Check the file resource:///res/broken-image.gif. This would live somewhere like C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\res\broken-image.gif (not too sure on Windows). This can also be changed in chrome/browser/content/browser/pageInfo.xul, but lets hope it's not that... --h2g2bob (talk) 03:19, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Drivers in Windows XP[edit]

OK, this is something that's bothered me for a while.

Whenever possible, when I install hardware for my PC (e.g. my USB WiFi adapter, webcam, card reader etc.) I just put the CD in and let Windows pull the required files off itself. If at all possible I don't just run the CD setup - I never usually use the supplied software.

Is there some single location where I can find all the drivers for my stuff, and back them up to one CD, so that next time I format and reinstall XP I can pull all the drivers off that single CD? Would this be possible for the more internal stuff - motherboard, graphics card, audio etc. - given that I don't normally just pull the drivers off a PC for these?

For that matter, what IS a driver file? What extension? Is there somewhere I can look up in XP what hardware uses what file?

This confuses me.

Rawling4851 17:39, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

EDIT: Duh. I can find where the driver file is, via device manager. Is this file (I guess there are more than one in some cases) the ONLY file I need to work a particular bit of hardware? Rawling4851 17:42, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
No, no and no. A driver package will install a file, or a bunch of files, probably .ddl files in your system32 directory, but it will also more importantly register those files (in the registry;) )and probably also do other things you are not aware of. Simply copying those .dlls from your directory into another computer's system32 directory will almost certainly not enable the same device on the other computer. You need to run the driver package from scratch, which means if you removed those packages from the computer after installation you may no longer have them, in which case you can probably find them on the internet somewhere. I tried once doing what you are trying to do by installing everything from scratch and then making a ghost image, but by the time I was 'clean installing' my computer again, I found that I had a new hard disk, a new video card and enough drivers had updates that it pretty much made my ghost image completely obsolete anyway:( SO I had to start from scratch regardless…. Vespine 03:33, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
But if I put the listed files in a directory somewhere, and then tell Windows to look in that directory for the drivers, would that work? As far as I can tell, that's all it's doing when I put in the driver CD and tell it to look THERE. Rawling4851 12:11, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
In the past, I have successfully done this by copying from install CDs to my hard drive. You can usually cut down what you need to copy by cutting out manuals, other languages etc. I've never done it with just one file though. Another tactic I have used is to download driver installers from the various manufacturors/vendors websites for all of my hardware and burnt them all onto one disk. →Ollie (talkcontribs) 12:22, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Internet Proxies[edit]

Does anyone know of any internet proxies that are new and fast and will not be blocked by up to date filtering systems. Preferably one from Cheers


x —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Andiman56 (talkcontribs) 19:01, 9 May 2007 (UTC).

Um, Tor network? SSH? I can think of a couple of ways. Splintercellguy 22:19, 9 May 2007 (UTC)


What are the different types of PCI-Express ports, including their differences from the original PCI ports and each other, advantages, disadvantages, and importance to modern computing? -- 19:54, 9 May 2007 (UTC)Brent Spink, Bothell WA

You should check out Peripheral Component Interconnect and PCI Express, and let us know if they fail to answer any specific questions you may still have. --TotoBaggins 20:18, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Web Address Bar autocomplete issues[edit]

When using the web address bar with the "autocomplete" feature activated, typed entried are remembered for future reference. For example, when typing the letter 'A' into a blank web address bar, web sites that have been previously typed thet begin with the letter 'A' appear inside a menu that drops down from the address bar. This brings me to my problem. By using "regedit" or by using the internet explorer "tools" one can delete the list of previously visited sites, but not the list of sites whose addresses were manually into the address bar. The autocomplete function can be turned off, therefore eliminating the drop down menu alltogether, but upon re-activation of the autocomplete function, the old list with the same previously typed entries re-appears. I have looked several places for a fix to this problem with no solution. The microsoft site states that the typed entries are placed into a encrypted file for later referencing. Please help with this problem...

-- 20:09, 9 May 2007 (UTC)Perturbed!

Under Firefox (some versions, at least) you can use shift-backspace to delete entries from the address bar autocomplete list. But it sounds like you're not using Firefox.
(The standard wry advice is "don't have visited those sites in the first place", but I know, it doesn't help much after the fact.) --Steve Summit (talk) 20:41, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
On my version of Firefox (, shift-backspace doesn't delete entries from the list, but the delete key does. On my IE (version 6) the help says to clear history, and this does indeed kill the autocomplete list. What version of IE are you running? Algebraist 21:59, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
May be something to do with index.dat, but I haven't looked into it much. — Matt Eason (Talk &#149; Contribs) 22:06, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm quite surprised at your question - you simply need to delete your browsing history. In Internet Explorer 7, click Tools -> Delete Browsing History... -> History. That should do it. Rfwoolf 09:36, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

RAM --> Hard disk mechanism?[edit]

I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out a basic question I have about computer engineering. Through what mechanism is data transferred from primary storage - or RAM -- to secondary storage or the hard disk drive? I'm guessing that the CPU is involved in the transfer somehow. But what physical connection does the transfer occur through? Is it through the front side bus? The northbridge? The southbridge? The memory controller? Thanks. I don't understand much about hardware, and I'm getting a little lost amid the terminology. --Brasswatchman 20:29, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

AFAIK the CPU just talks to the hard drive like most other peripherals. Which means on the southbridge, usually over the PCI bus. Diletante 22:06, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
I forgot to mention that hard drives the days usually use Direct Memory Access. -- Diletante 23:02, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Even before split buses, computers used DMA to offload the transfer burden from the CPU. That requires the CPU to load a few registers in a DMA controller, write a few bytes to the disk controller and the transfer occurs by itself under control of the disk and DMA controllers over the system data bus, usually in access cycles interleaved with CPU and other DMA operations. Even floppy drives had DMA support since before 1990. I expect even USB drives make limited use of DMA. I say "limited" because of the large number of transformations the drivers have to make on the data stream. —EncMstr 00:15, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Moving to a new email address; forwarding archived email?[edit]

I want to move to a new email address but don't want to lose the thousands of emails I have archived. They're both web-based. (I intend to move from Yahoo! Mail to Gmail.)

Forwarding each of them one-by-one will take far too long so how do I program a bot to do it for me?

(PS: Of course I can program my Yahoo! Mail account to forward all new mail to my new Gmail address but two problems: 1. It will not forward the emails I have already received and archived before. 2. If I do not access my Yahoo! Mail account after a set period of time (several months or a year), the system will auto-delete the account and I will not receive any more forwarded mail. I can take care of #2 by changing my email details on the numerous websites I've signed up on, but #1 is a problem that I will need your help to solve.) -- 20:58, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Do Yahoo and GMail both support POP/IMAP access? --Worm 21:02, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Gmail does POP in/out and Yahoo does POP out, but only if you have Yahoo! Mail Plus. There's a 30-day free trial for Y!MP at the moment, so you could sign up for that (make sure you cancel before the 30 days are up) and look on Yahoo's help pages for information on how to access your mail via POP. You can then go into Settings in Gmail and select Accounts, then add your Yahoo account under 'Get mail from other accounts'. — Matt Eason (Talk &#149; Contribs) 21:57, 9 May 2007 (UTC)