Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2007 October 12

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October 12[edit]

.hlp in windows vista[edit]

I saw on wikipedia that support for .hlp help files was removed on windows vista to encourage use of newer help formats. What is this new format?? If possible tell me some programs to create this type of help. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:15, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

I found is its .maml but i didn`t found a program to create maml files. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:49, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Computing power[edit]

I'm considering upgrading a resident PC here, to a current hardware setup, and looking for "indication statistics" or views how the two might compare, or the size of improvement. I'm terchnology-clueful, so I'm aware this is only going to be "rough" but I'd value either test stats, or a variety of personal impressions.

I can't find indication comparatives for my processor VS more modern ones though.

What I'm using and what I'm doing with it

I'm an old hand at "self-build, self install". I'm a heavy multitasker, and for personal preference reasons tend to leave a huge amount running to easier switch between them. Impressively, it pretty much handles it, and is stable, in most ways. But it's definitely under strain, hence I'm thinking time for an upgrade. I'm not a gamer, almost all my stuff is 2D -- browser, MS Office, and a variety of applications and utilities.

The hardware is high(ish) quality. P4 Northwood 2.8 HT, Asus P4C800, 2 GB of ram, and about 5 hard drives, including two 750 GB Seagate enterprise SATAs, a couple of 200 - 300 GB PATAs, a high speed blu-ray burner, and USB connected PATA portable HD. The network is onboard 1 Gbit, the graphics card an old 1999 ATI All-in-Wonder 32 MB AGP. The base system is XP Pro SP2.

The software is quite demanding -- I'm running both truecrypt and bestcrypt encryption drivers, InCD (nero's DVDRW drivers), kaspersky (heavyweight on resources but top notch AV), MS outlook and the rest of office 2007, and opera, plus a variety of side tasks from time to time - a movie or MP3 player, video encoding (virtualdub), P2P sometimes, and a few IM clients. Opera takes the brunt of the system strain - I think I have something like 400 tabs open, maybe 2/3 are Wikipedia pages, 1/3 are various sources and such I'm working from, or other pages of interest. he disk encryption drivers take another big chunk (stacked heavy duty algorithms). I'm not into heavy "rich content" (flash pages, myspace, facebook, etc) per se, but the Wikipedia pages and others will have some serious scripts attached. The antivirus system is running at its most aggressive -- full heuristics etc too -- and so on. Remarkably given the workload, it's 1/ fairly responsive, and 2/ stable - average uptime is weeks if need be, between reboots. But the broswer is slwoing it down to "problematic low responsiveness" levels, and I'd rather upgrade the system than change how I work that way. Personal choice.

The big processes -- Opera, Kaspersky, disk encryptions, etc -- are likely to still be single threaded (unconfirmed). Hopefully on a dual/quad core system (not the "extreme" versions), they can at least get a dedicated core each, or 2 between them, and each single core will be noticably more powerful than my existing CPU. Thats the thinking, anyhow.

So the question is, if I upgrade to a modern Core 2 or quad CPU, a new high quality stable motherboard (I've got on well with Asus), a PCI-E or whatever the current standard is, new graphics card, and new memory (probably 2 GB again?), ... any impressions how much of a speed increase (or reduction in noticable slowdown) one might notice?

(I know this is vague, but... lets see the answers and I'll try to reply with more.)

FT2 (Talk | email) 02:06, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

You will see a massive increase in performance with a dual core processor. I upgraded from my old P4 and it's a huge difference. If you set separate affinities manually you'll also have quite an increase in system stability. -Wooty [Woot?] [Spam! Spam! Wonderful spam!] 02:30, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Are you unsatisfied with your current configuration? I don't know very much about it but my guess is that high grade encryption would take a lot of CPU power. I would agree with Wooty that a Core 2 duo could provide significant improvements. The antivirus, however hungry, should not use too much of the CPU. What do you think about a 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo? It is not very expensive and is quite good. I am sorry that you might have to buy a new motherboard if you decide to buy a new processor (but you probably know that already). --KushalClick me! write to me 04:27, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, upgrade your CPU. You simply can't expect modern performance out of a P4 --frotht 04:41, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't upgrade unless I need to. But I think I'm simply asking more than is fair of that configuration, and it's underpowered for my use. So the question is, will I actually see a significant difference if I do upgrade? How significant? And impressions how a change of CPU to a core 2 duo or quad, plus obvious motherboard and memory change, would compare. I can't find indicators on that sort of thing. FT2 (Talk | email) 06:38, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Except for hard drive reads and network transfers, I rarely have to wait for anything. It's a world of difference. When I'm forced to use other computers I'm constantly amazed at how people can put up with the Windows boot process- you actually have to wait for things to finish loading to start using programs. The instant the taskbar appears (~2.5 seconds after first login after reboot) I can start outlook and firefox with no noticable slowdown whatsoever --frotht 22:44, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

installing Adobe shockwave as a nonadministrator[edit]

Is it possible to install Adobe Shockwave player in Mozilla firefox fromright within the browser? I am on a Windows XP machine. I am not able to install the Shov\ckwave player executable downloaded from the Internet because of limited privileges. I would be really glad to be able to install the Shockwave player plugin from within the browser. Can it even be done? Why not? FF installed Flash player to itself automatically but why not Shockwave player?

Thanks, Kushal -KushalClick me! write to me 04:34, 12 October 2007 (UTC) Dang, no one interested in helping this poor little kid? --KushalClick me! write to me 18:28, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Dang, still no response? --Kushalt 23:59, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
  • As far as I know it's not possible. Right now I'm using IE with limited priviliges and I have the same issue with Shockwave 9. The point of limited priviliges is to stop people from downloading stuff (including things like that). Your best bet is contacting the person in charge and ask them to perform the update. - Mgm|(talk) 09:10, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for answering. But I guess I will just forget it. --Kushalt 20:40, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Are you sure you want to change the file extension?[edit]

I am using Windows XP. Each time I change a file extension manually, Windows asks me "Are you sure you want to change the file extension?" I am not an idiot. I know what I am doing. How do I turn off this nagging message? -- Toytoy 05:23, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Ok, here's the obvious answer - switch to Linux. msWindows is full of those little annoyances. See my answer just now at Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Miscellaneous#inverted commas/quotation marks for another example. As you get used to Linux (does take some time), you'll become aware that it doesn't have to be that way. If only more people knew that, but then they'd have to try Linux first, which they won't when they don't know. Catch 22. DirkvdM 05:57, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
The answer thats not obvious (and yes I would have given the "switch to GNU/Linux" message as well) is... you probably can't. --wj32 talk | contribs 07:27, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, that problem has an easy solution, but I don't know of any way to get rid of this dialog box. There are programs that will auto-click dialog box buttons for you, but I don't know a good free one. The message only appears when you rename from a recognized extension to an unrecognized one, so in certain limited cases you could work around the problem by adding or removing file type associations. -- BenRG 12:34, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
That information (about not yelling about "known" extensions) doesn't seem to be true for me. I routinely rename files to ".snd" (with good reason) and the OS yells at me every damned time, even though it knows .snd files as "sound" files and wants to launch their player if I foolishly double-click my "send" file.
Atlant 15:56, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Maybe there's some Windows registry tweak you could make? Or you could write a small program that you could drag a file onto, and it would ask you the new file name, and do the rename for you, so skipping the nag message. --Sean 14:39, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, can't help this, but if you're going to bother to learn to do something in the registry, then it'd be quicker to learn to use Linux instead. DirkvdM 17:31, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
I for one would love to switch my work computer to Linux. But Linux is useless when it comes to testing programs for compatibility with Windows Vista. --Carnildo 21:12, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
LOL sorry dirk but I'm calling BS on that one. The registry is a centralized repository for settings- it's low performance but very convenient to use. It's ludicrous to say that's more difficult to learn than Linux's insane helter-skelter conf files and .whatever config files in a completely different, non standard location for every single (non-OS) application! Granted windows also has group policy and that sort of thing, but that's also centralized. Stick with performance arguments, linux is not convenient (unless I guess you're a hardcore bash guru), but it's fast. And it makes sense. (though anyone with any sense can see it should move to a microkernel -_-) --frotht 22:55, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Maybe usability of the registry has improved, but last time I used it it was hell to get even the tiniest thing done. Don't know about Linux .conf files. Never felt a need for them. In the last few years, configurability of Linux (GUI, not command line, which I hardly ever use) has become incredibly much better than under nsWindows. That, plus the ease of installation (the OS + all the drivers + loads of software - all the latest versions) all in one go, are the major reasons I prefer Linux. Oh, yeah, and it doesn't crash all the time. DirkvdM 09:31, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
It's just an Explorer interface that lets you browse registry keys instead of files.. how is that hard to use? I've basically never actually used a linux GUI as my main OS but I've worked with Ubuntu Server (no GUI) a lot so I know a lot about configuration file hell.. it's a real place that androids go when they're disobedient. Also, while linux has never come close to crashing for me, I've been using Vista since 2 days after it was released in January and it's only crashed once. It was a few weeks ago when I had just reformatted, and I was running my OEM (thinkpad) driver update tool and Windows Update at the same time, and they conflicted. That's the only time.. so that argument is pretty much obsolete. Come on, I can come up with tons of good arguments against windows, try harder :[ --frotht 17:40, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Browsing the registry keys is no problem. Finding the right key (there can be several for the same thing, which override one another!) and finding the right value to fill in is an entirely different matter. Linux generally has GUI solutions to this - infinitely easier. About the terminally crashing of WinXP (non0recoverable), that has already happened to me twice, over a total of about three months. Maybe that's because I install loads of software. With Linux, I don't have to do that, because it's mostly already there when I've installed it. As for other arguments, like I said, Linux also instantly installs all the drivers. And all the latest versions ( it has to, because there is usually no Linux-driver-cd supplied with the hardware). DirkvdM 10:28, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
You can do your renames from the command line. --LarryMac | Talk 14:53, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Oh dear ... if you're going to bother to learn to use that ... DirkvdM 17:31, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
those two last remarks assuming he doesn't already know how to use those as is the case with most msWindows users. DirkvdM 17:31, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a soapbox, please leave your OS advocacy at the door. --LarryMac | Talk 18:38, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Why? Are we afraid the Mac Zealots will show up and tell him "If you had a Mac, it would rename your files for you just by thinking about it - and then it will make you a nice cup of coffee"? -- kainaw 02:45, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
No no, mac zealots don't even have to know they want to rename the file. The OS knows what the user wants better than the user himself does --frotht 17:42, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
But doesn't OS advocacy count as an answer to the question?Mix Lord 07:34, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Precisely. If a problem is OS-specific, then suggesting another OS counts as a valid answer. DirkvdM 09:31, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. In this case, suggesting that a user switch operating systems, in fact suggesting that that switch is easier than a small registry change, is completely disproportionate to the issue. The question is very clear and unambiguous. "Is there a way to disable the dialog box?" "Switch to Linux" is not an answer, not good advice and a little annoying. Not good advice, because a switch to Linux needs to be properly motivated, like any OS switch.You're going to run in to problems down the road and it'll be months before you get used to the new environment. Certain hardware might give you problems forcing you to the command line early on, certain software might not run on linux. What if he's a Photoshop user? would you seriously suggest that he switch to the GIMP, just to avoid a minor nuisance? It's great if people switch. But it's bad for everybody, all round, if they do so when they're not ready, or if they do so for the wrong reasons.
Finally I said it's a little annoying, because this says something about linux people. It says that even in a place like wikipedia, which is supposed to be the epicenter of objectivity, you can't just ask a simple straightforward question about windows, without running into insane amounts of linux fundamentalism. It's annoying, because it decreases the chances of getting a straightforward answer to the question (which I'm personnally interested in as well), and because it paints a picture of the linux community that is less than flattering. I like linux, so I'd like it to be associated with the sort of people that know when linux advocacy is appropriate and usefull. risk 12:46, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
How are a bunch of fanatics unflattering? The windows person would see them and think "wow here are a ton of people who love their OSes to death yet aren't total d-bags (mac), and they don't seem to have any problems with their OS. I'm tired of all these windows problems I may just switch" --frotht 17:45, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Because it's inappropriate if it doesn't fit the conversation. If I'm having a conversation about not being able to find something in Encyclopedia Brittanica, someone might point out to my that I could try Wikipedia. That's appropriate. On the other hand, if I ask them say, if Brittanica has an index-volume, so I can find what I'm looking for and they tell me to ditch Brittanica because it sucks and to use Wikipedia, because it's free and has a search function, even when they know I'm probably already aware of Wikipedia, then that's not helpful. The same goes for the choice of OS. I use windows, and I have some bloody good reasons for it. If somebody gives me this kind of unsolicited advise, they are basically assuming that I cannot have good reasons for using windows, and I should just learn Linux and all my problems will be over. In short, they know better than me. This kind of fanaticism doesn't reflect well on Linux as an operating system, because it doesn't suggest a balanced, thought out point of view. This doesn't suggest to me that people have formed their opinion of Linux objectively, and the community is Linux, so that says something about Linux.
I'm sorry if I'm beginning to sound personal here, but I just wish that the fanatic Linux users would begin to see this. If you push Linux this way, especially on non-technical people, and promise them that all their problems will disappear if they just switch, you are responsible for their experience after that. And if their wifi stops working and they have to figure out the command line and ndiswrapper and whatnot, you're responsible for that. And the impression all this creates is not that Linux is so great that people spontaneously start treating it as a religion. The impression is that Linux is an operating system for the sort of people that treat their operating system as a religion, and not for anybody else. And out of the people that do treat their OS as a religion, I'll pick the mac user to have drink with any day of the week. (I think I've broken the rule about not starting diatribes. Sorry) risk 19:14, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Who wants a balanced, thought out point of view? You have the wrong attitude- read this timeless classic. The gurus can say whatever they want and frankly the questioner is lucky if anyone gives them a useful answer at all. We're a little nicer at wikipedia because of that darned rule WP:BITE but don't expect miracles --frotht 20:09, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
I do, especially when it's someone else's and they're making a suggestion. Yes, you're at the mercy of the crowd when you ask a question. No, the guru's have no obligation to do anything. In fact nobody does, we're all fundamentally free after all. There is however always room for discussion on what's efficient. Don't we all want the ref. desk to be as useful, interesting and helpful a place as it can be? Thanks for the link to the document, but I wasn't the one asking the question. risk 20:51, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
I do too, but don't just expect it.. it's not a "given" --frotht 23:22, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Sure, people know about the existence of Linux. But they obviously don't know about all the advantages of it over msWindows, because else they'd all be using it (especially new users, who are at the beginning of the learning curve). You're right about Photoshop, though - that's the only reason I still occasionally use msWindows (if I have a working version - like I said, they terminally crash on me all the time). However, there are now several ways to make msWindows software run under Linux. I haven't tried them yet, because I'd have to do that just for that one program. DirkvdM 10:28, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
Someone asks about a small annoyance in windows and a suggestion is change your whole operating system? SRSLY. Anyway there's a great free program that I use called Extension Changer that allows you to change the extension of files really easily. 11:08, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Flash Memory[edit]

I have a computer at home and one at work, as well as (3) flash memory drives that connect to the USB ports. One works only on my home computer, another works only on my office computer, and the third works on both computers. What's going on? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:37, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

I suspect there is a formatting issue that means they are struggling to read across. For some strange reason my iPod Shuffle only works on my laptop - it fails on my window's PC and this is due to some sort of formatting problem (it renders it useless as a data-transportation device). I guess if you have a windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 98 machine each may format it in a certain manner, thus causing your problem. ny156uk 23:58, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Algorithm needed for depth of breath first traversal[edit]

I've got a tree structure where to top node has zero, one or two child nodes, each of which has again zero, one or two child nodes. I'm walking through the tree using breadth-first traversal since the nodes need to be printed out in that order, just using the while(queue not empty) in breadth first traversal.

What I'm stumped on is how to keep track of the generation number. If I'm at a specific node, I need to know what level it is at. I'm thinking of maybe a counter that is incremented when going to a child node and decremented when going "back", but it's rather complex. Someone must have developed a specific algorthm for this method. Does anyone know it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tubnspa (talkcontribs) 10:04, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Make the queue store depths as well as node numbers. When you push a child node onto the queue, set its depth to one more than the depth of the node you're currently visiting.
Or maintain two queues, one of nodes at the current level and one of nodes at the next level. Pop nodes from the first queue and push nodes onto the second. When the first one is empty, swap the queues and increment an internal level counter. -- BenRG 10:42, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
See also our article Breadth-first search, which has some code examples. EdJohnston 20:51, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Suse 10.3 doesn't see IDE disks[edit]

I just wanted to install Suse 10.3 (from DVD (download - openSUSE-10.3-GM-DVD-x86_64-iso)) on one of my two IDE disks, but it only sees the partitions on the two SATA disks. What might cause this? The only cause I can think of is that I have 20 partitions in total (not counting swap partitions). Might that be too much to detect? It wasn't a problem for the Suse 10.2 installation, though, and I can access them all from there. The only error message was that /dev/sdd is not readable by parted. But that's a SATA disk, right? And it does see both of those, so I wonder what that was about. For the sake of completeness, the system is an Athlon 64 3200+ on an MSI K8M800 mb with 2 GB memory. DirkvdM 10:34, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Update: the second time it went ok, and I installed Suse, but now it doesn't see my fifth hd, another IDE disk. Irritatingly, this is the one on which I have my previous Suse installation, so now I can't copy settings. DirkvdM 08:28, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Automatic Call ending[edit]

I have Sony Ericsson W700i. Call gets disconnected when it continues over 1 hour. Please help how to deactivate this feature.Slmking 10:49, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Wow, what an undesirable sounding "feature"! The manual doesn't mention anything like this at all -- are you sure it is intentional? I would probably call customer support, personally. -- 17:24, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
This is possibly something implemented by the phone or your provider to limit the charge caused/free credit lost due to an accidental phone activation if you forget to lock the keypad or something. Exxolon 19:28, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

My own Website[edit]

How do I go about getting a website on the Internet? I don't wish to pay for it, can I use my own PC? What would I need to do to my computer to make it a Website machine? Its a small site built with Microsoft Front Page Express with only a couple of pages and images. Thank you very much for any help :) Hyper Girl 12:14, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

You'd need to install a server on your computer, such as Apache HTTP Server and have an always active internet connection (such as broadband). It would take some setting up, lots of time etc. Why not use a free web host like freewebs? You could do it all online and they'd be no need for all that setting up of software etc. If you really want to host your own site, a simple web server would do fine, especally for a small site. Check out tiny server and atomic web server. Good luck! Think outside the box 12:38, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
If you decide to host it on your own PC you will want to sign up with a dynamic DNS provider, there are lots but I know that does it for free. That will allow you to have a URL like, even if your IP changes when you reconnect to the internet. -- Diletante —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 02:38, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
If you made it with something like msFront Page (or msWord or other word processors) then there will be an enormous amount of bullshit in the source, making downloads for your visitors unnecessarily slow. SeaMonkey makes much slimmer files (and therefore a faster site). Just type in the same thing in both, save it (as html of course) and look at the resulting filesizes. The difference will probably be quite impressive. DirkvdM 17:13, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Watch your potty mouth, DirkvdM Picture of a cloud 17:26, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Potty? The foul language I learn here. Thank you for that one :) DirkvdM 08:38, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Oh get a life Picture of a cloud, "bullshit" is hardly going to bring about The Collapse of Western Civilisation as we know it. Remember Wikipedia is not censored. Exxolon 19:25, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
It isn't just FrontPage and Word that add bullshit to web pages. The users add plenty themselves... I know - it needs an animated dog and an animated little sun and a flashing star and some music and... -- kainaw 02:42, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, for those people it won't make much of a difference. But if you don't want that and want a fast site instead it is a problem. Btw, are there any other 'wysiwyg' editors that keep the code as clean as SeaMonkey? I'd like to have more options. DirkvdM 08:38, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
If you are using Linux, htmlsane will make the HTML at least sane. I don't know if htmlsane is available for Windows. It wouldn't be difficult to make your pages in any WYSIWYG editor you like and then batch htmlsane over all the resulting code - making the need for a clean WYSIWYG editor a bit mute. -- kainaw 15:36, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Never heard of that.. are you sure it exists? the google query only has 2 results (with safesearch on at least, my school forces it) --frotht 04:17, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
With a non-filtered search, I get only three sites - one I can't access, one in Thai (I think) and one in Chinese (I also think). If this really exists, please provide a useful link! DirkvdM 10:36, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
It is an "HTML Sanitizer". Searching for "HTML Sanitizer" will turn up many different versions of the same basic function - one of which will likely be in a language you prefer. -- kainaw 14:04, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
Writing pages in HTML is much easier IMO. Simple pages can be cranked out by WYSIWIG editors but once they start getting more complex, the nuances of obscure CSS options and page flow start causing problems and they're no way to fix it but to dive into unfamiliar HTML and try to hack out a solution --frotht 17:34, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
That's what I like about SeaMonkey. There are four tabs for four versions of each file. A wysiwyg editor, a basic code editor, which I often switch to for exactly the sort of thing you are talking about, a 'tag viewer' (or what should I call that?) and a preview, which I don't get because it appears to be exactly the same as the wysiwyg editor. A real preview (where the links also work) would make it just perfect, but then hardly anything ever is. DirkvdM 17:35, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
Kainaw, thanks, that looks promising. Maybe now I can convert all those .doc, .rtf and what have you files to html. About two years ago I completely switched to writing everything in html because with that I can get down to the nitty gritty code when that's more convenient. And because that's the only real text standard. Every computer in the world can deal with it because they all have a browser installed. Somebody told me that that might constitute a security problem, though. Anybody know anything about that? DirkvdM 17:41, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely ridiculous. --frotht 00:21, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
The issue with using web pages instead of doc/rtf files is that web browsers tend to cache web pages. So, while I might keep a secret html document in a protected folder, my cache could be less secure allowing you to see what I've viewed recently. Of course, there's no reason to cache a local html file - but do you really expect web browsers to do everything the proper way?
This does not mean doc/rtf or even pdf files are better. There has been a large number of worldwide virus/worm infestations caused by the use of doc files to transfer information. It is ridiculous to assume that there is currently no threat. We only know about the problems that have been detected. Also, sending doc and pdf files to outside companies requires that you clean the files of history. Otherwise, they can go through the document and see who edited what in the document (and often why they made the edit). It is a big problem with the reason is something like, "Those fools will never realized how much we're going to screw them with this addition." -- kainaw 01:19, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Ah, that's ok then. It's losing the files, through viruses or such, that I was worried about. I don't care if people can read what I've written. Actually, I think they should do that more often. :) DirkvdM 06:29, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Matlab quits automatically on startup[edit]

I just installed Matlab v.6 R12 on my computer. I went for the old edition mainly because I have only 256 MB RAM on this system (Win XP, Intel P4, 1.7GHz). But the program exits as soon as it starts up. I don't get any error messages at all. The matlab splash screen appears just for a second. When I checked the running processes, the program seems to be running for a brief period and then dies quietly. Can someone tell me why this is so, and how I can get my installation to work? It is important that I get this working ASAP. Thanks in advance!--Seraphiel 15:48, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Can you try running it from the command shell? There should be a bin/win32/matlab executable in the matlab installation area. -- JSBillings 18:08, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Gmail log in page[edit]

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed a change in the login page? --KushalClick me! write to me 16:01, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

To be honest it looks completely the same as it's always been over here (UK) JoshHolloway 16:26, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Sometimes (but not always) the create new account button appears above the login for me. User:Kushal_one--KushalClick me! write to me 15:46, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

I never see the login page, I just use remember me. It's nice to know someone remembers me :D --frotht 17:31, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

I remember you too, remember? (failed attempt at making a joke) --Kushalt 23:57, 15 October 2007 (UTC) Here it is: [URL=][IMG][/IMG][/URL] --Kushalt 20:54, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

IT (copied from Miscellaneous by User:Kushal one)[edit]

== IT ==

If some one gave me a laptop, with windows already on it, is it legal for me to use it, and if so, STOP, let me refraze, I was given a computer, with windows on it already, but it also has a virus, and I can therefore not open Internet Explorer. How can I delete everything and start again, I have a 9gb hard drive but only 1.5gb free, what it is filled with I dont know. please can someone help me. ps, it is obviously not the computer I am using now. :-) 12:32, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Did the laptop come with it's original Windows CD-ROMS and the corresponding license code? If it is still running the copy of windows that was on it when it was bought - then probably the original owner didn't have CD's. In that case, the manufacturer probably placed a backup copy of the OS in a special partition of the hard drive with a program to let you re-install Windows from that backup copy. On the other hand, if the original owner had installed Windows him/herself - then perhaps that person has the original CD-ROM and license codes to give you. If they are using that CD-ROM/license set for some other computer now - then it would be illegal to also run it on your computer - so you should go out and buy a new copy of Windows to run on it. Of course you could also wipe the drive and install Linux on the beast...that's what I usually do with old laptops. SteveBaker 13:37, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Thank you very much. The person that gave it to me knows almost as much as I do about computers which is nothing, so I doubt they installed it them selves, they may have the cds but theyre now in south africa and I am in England. so can you please tell me how to find the special partition to save windows and wipe the rest. thank you —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:47, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

If you are not "educated" in the Windows Explorer environment, you should just dump Windows[1] and move to a free (open-source) operating system such as Ubuntu Linux or Puppy Linux. Regards, Kushal

[1] The suggestion is based on the assumption that you do not have a compelling reason (such as internal dial-up modem). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kushal one (talkcontribs) 16:11, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Or need to run programs that are only available in Windows. Honestly, can we have a rule that says "dump it get *nix" is not an appropriate or useful answer to most Windows-related technical questions? I find Windows as much of a pain in the neck as most computer-savvy people but I recognize that some people are not comfortable with Linux and that Linux is not necessarily the easier solution for most people (all of the *nix users I know spend at least as much time trying to get drivers to work and programs to compile as they Windows users do on virus-scanning and the like) and in any case one is not at all answering the question by giving that as the only answer. -- 18:32, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Speaking as someone who has used Linux since v1.0.0, I wholeheartedly agree. Saying "switch to Linux" isn't any more helpful than "switch to gardening"; they both "solve" the problem of having to deal with Windows' crappiness, but in a completely impractical way. --Sean 18:51, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Thank you both, I posted something about this earlier on the RD talk page. --LarryMac | Talk 19:09, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Note that Kushal stated that in the case of the original poster not being educated in Windows, in which case there shouldn't be a major difference. And don't most Windows programs have their open source equivalents anyway?Mix Lord 07:27, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

I am not a big fan of conspiracy theories but I believe Microsoft is spending a lot of resources to retain the future market (the children and new users) from learning *nix. BTW, I am a Windows user myself. I agree with in that if there is ever an application or protocol that demands a particular OS, one has to go with it. However, for new users hardware incompatibility and drivers issues should not be a barrier for trying new grounds. Furthermore, what could be wrong with choosing the free drink first, drinking it, looking if one has any allergies to it (rare), and them ordering a Sonic? OMG, I hope I did not start a flame war. --KushalClick me! write to me 13:36, 13 October 2007 (UTC) PS: Feel free to delete any of my comments if you find them unhelpful to the thread. --KushalClick me! write to me 13:38, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes they are spending lots of resources, namely providing schools and uni students MS software at almost no cost and then forcing them to buy them after having using them all their life. But then, we are getting awfully off topic. --antilivedT | C | G 02:53, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Importance of clock speed on Intel Core 2 Duo processors[edit]

I'm thinking of buying a VAIO TZ and am contemplating whether to go for the 1.06 or 1.20 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (U7500 and U7600, repsectively) processors. A Google search brought me here to the Reference Desk where someone suggested that clock speed wasn't of great importance for the Core 2 Duo's. The price difference is 10.000 yen (about 85 dollars), so not that much, but still maybe just a waste of money chasing numbers...

Does anyone have any insight into the difference between the two? I'll be running Gentoo Linux on it, so plenty of compiling, but stuff that can easily sit in the background (though it's always nice to chop off time during install and world updates). I'm mostly using my old laptop for simple daily use these days, so I guess my main concern is latency. --Swift 17:47, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

At best there should be a more or less linear speed increase with clock speed. However in real life, raw processor power is most often not your bottleneck. These days they're generally trying to design more efficient processors rather than just taking the "brute strength" approach of ever-increasing clock speeds. Higher clock speed generally means more power and more heat. Friday (talk) 18:31, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Get the one with more cache and then overclock it. C2Ds run cool. -Wooty [Woot?] [Spam! Spam! Wonderful spam!] 19:22, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Overclocking a notebook CPU is a bad idea. --antilivedT | C | G 19:34, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
We probably don't need to get into a discussion of the merits of this. The questioner asked if people thought clock speed would make much difference. I see nothing to indicate he's interested in modifying the computer himself. People who are into that would ask different questions. Friday (talk) 19:46, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Wooty said that (antilived should have put in an extra indent colon). But I agree with anti, if your laptop CPU runs at even 100% chances are it'll overheat in a few minutes.. no need to overclock it --frotht 22:59, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Please consider an Intel (insert highest bid here) GHz Core 2 Duo processor with 2 MB Level 2 cache. And just for the sake of neutrality, AMD machines are pretty good too. (And I know we need AMD to keep Intel on its toes or it will slack off like a second grader who aced every exam in the first grade.)

To the Original Poster: It may sound like a cliche, but what you buy in a computer has a lot to do with what you plan to use it for. Depending on your needs, you might even be better off with a 2.2 GHz C2D processor. I try not to sound trite, but I don't think I can help it very much on this one. --KushalClick me! write to me 13:45, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Core 2 Duos have 4MB L2 :o And we also need AMD to make professional graphics cards with some sense to them rather than just throwing 10GB of video memory onto a card and calling it best (ahem nvidia) --frotht 17:31, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Froth! --KushalClick me! write to me 04:46, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

(Warning: the following might be entirely off-topic and/or trivial) PS: According to [1], Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5250 (1.5GHz/667Mhz FSB/2MB cache) does exist. What am I missing? Is it like 2MB cache per core, which gets up as 4 MB in total? --KushalClick me! write to me 05:16, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

I think that's Merom-2M. It could be something else- when one of the core's cache has a defect they just disable that core's cache and call it a 2MB conroe and sell it on the cheap, but since it starts with "T" I think that's a merom. Basically, the low-end core 2's have 2M of L2 but only the very low end of the spectrum. And now we're moving into 6MB. Drooooool --frotht 00:33, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
I may be top posting here but after reading the list, I think I would want to hold back my plans for buying a new computer anytime soon. --Kushalt 23:48, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
So true :[ Every time you have a good computer they come out with a new 13 core 9,999,999 somethings uber must-have ultra extreme edition in a three-card hyper array blah; there's just no rest for the poor geek :[ --frotht 03:55, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

MPEG to IPOD[edit]

I have an MPEG file that won't go on to my ipod via itunes. Probably because a) it's too big resolution and b) it's (probably) the wrong format. Can anyone help me with it? Don't know whether it's mpg1, 2 etc as I don't know how to find out.martianlostinspace email me 18:22, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Mac OS or Windows? On Windows, if you play the file with Windows Media Player and then select File/Properties, it should give you details on the codec(s) used. --LarryMac | Talk 19:15, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
mpeg is also a container format IIRC, it's not necessarily the MPEG-4 video codec --frotht 22:56, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Can't iTunes convert video? Right-click the file and select "Convert for iPod" --wj32 talk | contribs 03:56, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm on XP. Right. Gone into properties:

Video Codec: MPV Decoder Filter
Audio Codec: LeadTek Audio Decoder
Video Size: 1024 x 576

Does that tell anyone anything, eg. what converter to use?martianlostinspace email me 12:49, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

OK. Tried to drag and drop into itunes, without much success. No indication of it there, or a file transfer progress bar. Still no sign of it in itunes, having dragged directly to my docs/my music/itunes/itunes music/movies.martianlostinspace email me 12:55, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Those are some fairly obscure codec (I'm assuming the file is Chinese?) This is probably the easiest way to fix it: download the VLC media player and see if it can play your file. If it can, press "File" and then "Wizard" to help you through transcoding the file to a format that iTunes can support (choose MPEG-1 for video, for instance), and then start transcoding the file. Note however, that this can take some time (video transcoding is intensive computer work) if the file is very big. When it's done, open the file in iTunes and right-click and select "Convert for iPod", and iTunes will take it from there. This will only work on stuff that VLC can play, but chances are it can. --Oskar 15:42, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
If windows media player can play it then you have this "MPV Decoder Filter" installed as a directshow filter. Just open up the file in virtualdub and change the video compression to uncompressed AVI, then save it and let itunes import it from there. If you transcode to MPEG1 and then have itunes's crappy godawful transcoder further reduce the quality you'll end up with a giant smudge for video --frotht 17:20, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

VLC can play it, and using default settings I have transcoded to mpeg 1 using mpeg 1 as the encapsulation format, whatever that means. The file is 1/4 GB. The contents of the file are English, but Leadtek (above) are based in Taiwan, I think. The file size as now plummeted to 86MB, and it can be opened by media player but itunes won't convert it.

Froth, you'll have to be more speciic about virtualdub. Don't have a clue what it is, sorry!martianlostinspace email me 21:15, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Having downloaded virtualdub, it won't open the file: MPEG Import Filter: Invalid pack at position 3: marker bit not set, possibly MPEG2 stream.martianlostinspace email me 21:42, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

JSP tag library interfaces[edit]

Why do you encounter so many classes and different specifications and adapters and all that garbage when you try to write your own tag? I mean, you've got the TagSupport stuff, then you've got "SimpleTagSupport". The name itself is silly because IMHO it seems far more capable than dealing with the functional nature of the "old" (at least I think it's old) specification. But then I ended up writing a TLD that used one specification, but my classes extend/implement another specification (and what the heck are the differences between JSP/scriptless/empty keywords in the TLD???), I get class cast exceptions and all kinds of other garbage. Then there's the PageContext interface, which extends the JspContext interface, but I thought the former came before the latter, so how can an earlier interface came before a later one?

Is there any place I can go that will help untangle this mess, and maybe some reason behind it so I can validate my frustration? :). --Silvaran 23:07, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Linux even worse than Windows for an artist?![edit]

Today I had a heated argument with a man who says Windows (XP and Server 2003) does everything he needs it to properly, and is stable and reliable where Linux (any recent version of any distro) is precarious, has poor hardware and application support and is easily broken by an update. He mostly uses his machine for art and programming. His issues were with, in particular:

  • Backward- and forward-compatibility issues whenever a driver or the kernel is updated, or a program is compiled from source on a new version of the compiler. (He says the compatibility issues prevent him from using any distro that has a package manager, and that he cannot trust precompiled binary releases, so that now when he must use Linux he uses Slackware.)
  • Dependency hell being much more of a problem on Linux than Windows ever since the .NET Framework came out.
  • Incompatibility between KDE and GNOME.
  • Poor support for sound cards and Wacom tablets.
  • 3-D applications, both DirectX and OpenGL, running 15% to 50% slower on Linux than on Windows.
  • No fully-functional, compatible equivalent to Maya.
  • Blender being too hard to use.
  • Amarok not working properly with his USB drive (which is connected permanently), and crashing too often.
  • No Linux application that he has used runs as fast as its Windows counterpart.

He says he's had the same results with 7 different distros on 24 different machines over the course of several years. Does this point to actual weaknesses in Linux, or to a problem with the way he was using it (he seems to be a highly sophisticated user), or to his being an anomalous user who needs an uncommon distro, or to someone who's covertly working as a marketer for Microsoft? NeonMerlin 23:33, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Well it sounds like he is exagerating, but his arguments are not without some merit. Kernel and compiler changes should almost never cause problems unless you upgrade a major version number. Most of these arguments are not problems with linux itself, but with a lack of third party support (of course hardware support isn't as good as windows, most drivers are written by volunteers who sometimes have to reverse-engineer the driver, of course windows apps will run slower under the wine compatibility layer.) Some of the arguments are comparing apples and oranges, so what if KDE and GNOME are different? (they are actually quite compatible) are there different desktop environments in windows?
In a free-software environment at least you have a shot at fixing the problems yourself, I'll choose dependency hell over tech-support hell any day. Choice of distro is not nearly as important as people seem to think they all have the same software, and you can always compile what you need. With free software you have more freedom, but more responsibility, you can think of this as a weakness or a strength. With commercial software you are buying a black box that has presumably been certified to work, you can think of this as a weakness or strength. If windows works better for him I won't argue with that, that's great, I'm happy for him. -- Diletante 01:09, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree, he's making it sound worse than it is, and Windows has a lot of problems of its own. Dependency hell is not that bad if you have a decent package manager. It's not at all a problem with windows, but that's not because of .NET (few programs use it). For 3D performance does he even have the proper drivers installed or is he using the standard VESA drivers? As for "No Linux application that he has used runs as fast as its Windows counterpart" I laugh in his general direction. That's a ridiculous statement, though it's true a few (non-Windows) Microsoft products have gotten blindingly fast lately. 3rd-party software for windows is a joke for speed. A funny joke, which is why I laughed --frotht 02:15, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm not going to argue these points - most of them are wrong. My favorite is: No fully-functional, compatible equivalent to Maya. - that's pretty funny! I think Maya is a pretty good fully-compatible equivalent to Maya! (Maya runs on Linux too). SteveBaker 02:23, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
There's no chance of changing a first impression. This guy probably had trouble with something in Linux when he first tried to use it. So, everything now becomes a "Why isn't this like Windows?" argument. It is rare for someone to ignore first impressions. I do the same. I have a passionate distaste for Windows. Why? From my very first experience with it, it has never worked properly for me - mainly because I began with Unix-based mainframes, graduated to an Amiga for home use, then replaced that with Linux boxes when they were reasonably functional. So, every time I'm stuck trying to fix a Windows box, I get upset and complain because it isn't as easy, stable, and user-friendly as Unix/Linux. The truth is that I've always hated Windows, so I've never taken the time to figure out how it works. I don't think I ever will. -- kainaw 02:36, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
  • I've never had any problems with ANY drivers or kernel updates, and I've never had to compile anything from source. I'm using Ubuntu BTW.
  • Huh? From what I can see the libraries have different packages for different versions. This point is complete rubbish for packaged libraries.
  • In what way are they incompatible? I can run KDE programs fine when using GNOME. Are you trying to run both KDE and GNOME at the same time? :)
  • Sound cards??? Windows has never had support for my sound card out-of-the-box. And I've installed Windows on PCs with many different sound cards. Ubuntu on the other hand has always had support for my sound card out-of-the-box. Wacom? I have no idea about that...
  • DirectX? What, are you using Wine or something? As with the OpenGL, that is an issue. ATI is known for making extremely crap drivers for GNU/Linux.
  • Maya: whatever SteveBaker said...
  • Blender being hard to use... is Blender part of the core OS? I didn't know that...
  • What doesn't work properly? Obviously you can't "sync" with your USB drive as it isn't a portable media player.
  • I can't really say that's true... Are you running a 386 kernel on your quad core or something? --wj32 talk | contribs 03:24, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Concerning any incompatibility between KDE and Gnome (which I don't know of) - at least you've got a choice. And then there are loads of different distros, one for every taste. And then you can fine-tune whichever distro you choose to precisely suit your desires. With msWindows, if you don't like the way it looks and handles, you're stuck. With Linux, hell, you can even give it the msWindows look and feel. You have to know how to do that, though, and there's a problem - the options are quite overwhelming, and that can scare some people off. It's sort of like the people who prefer small supermarkets that only have one brand of everything, so they don't have to make a decision. DirkvdM 09:41, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Everyone has a bias in these matters. But some of these complaints are downright unreasonable.
  • Blender is quirky - this does indeed make it hard to use (although some people say the opposite) - but it's just as quirky if you run it on a Windows machine as it is on a Linux box.
  • Maya looks pretty much identical on Windows and Linux.
  • Complaining that Gnome and KDE are incompatible is ridiculous. Just pick one and don't use the other one - at least you have a choice - with Windows, you get what you get with no choices!
  • Device driver problems - well, this is a fair complaint - there are lots of devices that Linux doesn't support at all - and lots that are a pain to set up. Windows isn't entirely without those problems - I know Vista users have been complaining about driver compatibility. I have a MIDI controller that I planned to use from my wife's Windows XP laptop - but she has the 'Media edition' and for some bizarre reason my MIDI controller doesn't work with that particular flavor of XP. It works great under Linux there are at least SOME driver problems no matter what you use. But I'd accept that as a criticism of Linux. Generally, Linux users don't look at the problem as "the OS doesn't support such-and-such device" - instead we say "such-and-such device doesn't support Linux" - and we simply don't buy things that aren't Linux compatible. There are plenty of websites that tell you what is supported and how - just be sure you check those lists before buying hardware.
  • I'm surprised he says that OpenGL is slower under Linux - I suspect he's just guessing. I've been in computer graphics for 25 years - I've been using OpenGL since before the specification was released to the public (I actually contributed to the specification) - I've written OpenGL applications containing millions of lines of code under both Linux and Windows (and BSD UNIX and Irix and Solaris - and on cellphones, PDA's, Nintendo DS, etc). I have never come across a Windows version that could run OpenGL faster than with identical hardware under Linux...Linux is ALWAYS faster.
  • He claims DirectX is slower under Linux - but that shows his ignorance - Linux doesn't even support DirectX! It's a Windows-only graphics API. If you have a program that's using DirectX and it's running under Linux, then there must be an emulation layer (WINE probably) in there and that would certainly slow things down. Incidentally, OpenGL is run on Vista via an emulation layer - so it cuts both ways.
  • No Linux application that he has used runs as fast as its Windows counterpart. - do you really believe this guy benchmarks every application under both OS's? Nah - he's talking utter crap.
SteveBaker 15:11, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
  • There was a time when Linux really was weak enough that strong grassroots advocacy made sense, but its strengths are so self-evident now that I don't think there's any reason to convince any one particular user to give it a shot. Places like Pixar and ILM are extremely Linux-heavy, so obviously some artists can manage with it. If this guy doesn't like it, so what? --Sean 20:51, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree that Linux can stand by itself and I don't usually do the advocacy thing - but our OP asked specifically whether this so-called "sophisticated user" was right - and he's not. I absolutely cannot believe he could have been a working artist over "7 different distros on 24 different machines over 2 years" (That's a new computer every MONTH?!? No wonder he gets frustrated with things changing all the time!). Yet this supposed expert still doesn't know that DirectX is Windows-only, or that Blender-is-not-Linux or that there is a version of Maya for Linux. This is FUD - pure and simple - and that needs to be stamped out in favor of actual facts. I would run to the support of Windows if similar untruths were said about that OS. (For example, a lot of Linux users point out that Linux has all of these great tools like blender, GIMP, OpenOffice, etc - without mentioning that all of those tools work just fine under Windows too). SteveBaker 13:48, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
Wacom tablets run fine. I got one and except for the ExpressKeys it basically runs out of the box. --antilivedT | C | G 02:50, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
I had the same experience with My cheap Wacom Graphire. No problems.
I would be concerned with any 'expert' who made this claim : "compatibility issues prevent him from using any distro that has a package manager, and that he cannot trust precompiled binary releases," unless he could back it up by explaining what very unusual thing he was doing that made package management impractical. Anyway, The question depends a Lot on what the artist wants to do with his computer.--APL 19:55, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
Hehehe! That's hilarious. I hadn't noticed "he cannot trust precompiled binary releases" he goes on to conclude that therefore he must use Windows! Did he somehow pursuade Microsoft to release Windows source code to him? I mean, really. It's all very well to not trust binaries - but unless you are going to read through and check the source code yourself - what's the point? Simply compiling the code from sources gives you no more guarantee of security (or whatever it is you're worried about) than accepting a binary from that same website. Even a really experienced programmer isn't going to be able to read the source code for any significant sized application and come to any conclusions about the trustworthyness of the code from that! That's just ludicrous. This guy is definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed. SteveBaker 14:21, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Well a lot of projects are very strict about the code they allow in their package trees. IIRC Debian expressly forbids binary blobs and it's actually reasonable to expect Debian-approved code to be safe since people do read through it and it has an extensive lifecycle with reviews etc --frotht 20:04, 16 October 2007 (UTC)