Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2007 September 19

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September 19[edit]

Japanese/Chinese characters in Firefox[edit]

Hi all:

I was roaming through wikipedia when I stumbled upon an article that uses japanese characters. However, my Firefox only displays question marks. How do I fix this? What should I install? Thanks a lot people! --Waldsen 04:02, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Eastern character support under Control panel/Region & language settings, with your Windows install CD. --antilivedT | C | G 05:22, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Applescript question!!![edit]

Hi all, thanks for any help with this...

In Applescript (Mac OS X), I know how to refer to front windows/documents in the application I want the applescript to affect e.g. "save front document". But how do I refer to all open windows/documents in an application? Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I am a total newbie....! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:38, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

It's been a very long time since I've done any Applescript, but I think you want something like "Save every document" --Carnildo 20:50, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Shop by spec computer site[edit]

There are thousands of online computer parts sites. Is there one that lets you shop by spec? I have a standard case with an ATX power supply, AGP 8x video card, 4 EIDE drives, and 2G DDR ram. I'd like to purchase a motherboard/CPU that works with it all. However, every site I've found only offers "shop by brand", "shop by price", or "shop by cpu socket type". None let you narrow down the options by spec. -- kainaw 15:10, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

You are asking online vendors to to a LOT of extra work for very little gain. With their current setup, whatever software they use, they can add a new product by simply creating a new record in their database, filling in a few entries like "stock number", "price", and "quantity on hand", then add whatever picture and free-form text they want to their site and link in the database. In order to do what you want, you are asking them to create a database with fields for _every_possible_specification_ and then fill in every field. Note that the fields "length" and "width" are good for a motherboard, a power supply, and a video card, but the field "height" doesn't have much value for the MB and the AGP card. What do you put in there? How about the field "onboard memory" which is probably useful for the MB and the AGP card, but what do you put there, for your PS? Thus it is clear that, for any item, most fields will be left blank, or filled in as "N/A". It is far easier to simply add some text - often provided by the manufacturer - and let you read the text and decide for yourself if a particular MB will accept your AGP card. Adding the structure you want to their database is far too hard for the return they will get on their effort. So, the data is there, but it is not structured. -SandyJax 16:39, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
The "advanced search" option on will let you narrow products down by a myriad of specs, including all the ones you listed.. 16:59, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks 140* - that is exactly what I've been looking for. -- kainaw 17:58, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Hope you find happiness with the egg :) Everyone's a raving fan. --frotht 05:15, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

manual hostname resolving for wget without using /etc/hosts[edit]

I am automating deployment of several instances of a web based cms. Part of the install process is to call an install script with wget that builds the databases, etc. I am doing name-based virtual hosting so I need wget to ask for the appropriate hostname. I want it to work even before DNS has been set up properly. I had been adding the hostname to /etc/hosts but this solution is kind of ugly. It would be great if I could just manually tell wget what hostname and ip adress to use. Can anyone think of an easy way to do this? I don't necessarily need to use wget, any command-line tool that can make http request would be ok. Thanks! -- Diletante 16:34, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Well I fouind out that this is pretty easy to do with perl, but I'd still like to know if there is a better way.
use Net::HTTP;
$s = Net::HTTP->new (  Host => "$ARGV[0]", PeerAddr => '' );
$s->write_request( 'GET', '/install.php' );
--Diletante 17:48, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
In the wget man page, I found this example:
wget --header="Host:" http://localhost/
It says you need at least wget 1.10 for that to work. --tcsetattr (talk / contribs) 18:45, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Yeah that's what I want, I must have missed it when I looked throguh the man page. Thanks!. -- Diletante 19:42, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Proxy Server[edit]

How can I find out what the name and port of my computers' proxy server is. I know that I connect to the Internet through a proxy server, and I need the address to use a msn-like program. I've been advised I can find it by checking internet explorers options but they are blocked: "need admin access to see them" etc. Is there another way? Thanks to all! Hyper Girl 16:42, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Hrm... well it's just an application specific setting, so if you can't access it through internet explorer then I doubt you'll be able to find it. Maybe ask the administrator who has access to that menu? Or if you're at a school look through any online documentation they might have for their network. By the way, by "msn-like program" I assume you mean instant messaging client.. msn is by no means something you should be putting "-like program" after in any situation >_> --frotht 05:19, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
If you have access to a command prompt, the following will work on Windows XP (although I'm not sure whether your privileges will allow it):
c:\>reg query "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings" /v ProxyServer
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings
ProxyServer REG_SZ yourproxyhere:port
What exactly do I type here? I've tried and all I got was: "Bad command or filename" Hyper Girl 10:33, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Middle click should not minimize windows[edit]

I recently had my computer updated, and now my middle click functionality has changed. How can I change it back? (Windows XP, SP 2)

Old (preferred) functionality: Middle click on a tab in IE7 or Firefox closes that tab Middle click on a link in IE7 or Firefox opens link in new tab Middle click in any scrolling window places an icon with vertical arrows, and I can scroll by hovering my pointer in the direction of the arrows

New (not preferred) functionality: Middle click on any place in any window sends it behind all the other windows (but does not minimize it)

I can't find anything in the mouse settings under the Control Panel to change this.


Adblockfreak 20:06, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Many mice have their own driver software which allows you to customize the settings. Look under Control Panel + System + Device Manager Tab for the Mouse Driver. StuRat 05:36, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
I tried updating the driver, but Windows didn't find anything more current. I asked it to roll back the driver, but it said it didn't have an older version. I searched Dell's site but couldn't find a driver for the mouse - M-UVDEL1. Adblockfreak 14:11, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
I think you misunderstood me. I'm not saying that the driver is bad, just that you may need to directly run the software that comes with the mouse to change the settings for the middle button. The Control Panel + Mouse icon typically only has the settings for the "least common denominator" mouse (that is, a two button mouse). Use the method I described above to get the name of the driver and use that the do a search for the software to control the settings (it's probably under Start + Programs). Then again, the software may have the same name as the mouse itself. What model and manufacturer is the mouse, anyway ? StuRat 17:36, 21 September 2007 (UTC)[edit]

I recently received emails from despite never having visited the site (as far as I can remember..). Question: How did they get my email address - I got a message saying please verify your email address..? 17:04, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Probably spam. Use Spamcop or some other method to report spam. Otherwise, there may be someone trying to use an invite friend feature. --Sigma 7 18:14, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
A friend of yours who uses bebo has probably given them your address. Lanfear's Bane 09:35, 20 September 2007 (UTC)


currently i am working on a project, i want to make live CD of Notes but i dont know any thing about plz if you tell a very easy way to make database file which is easily searchable with a good interface...usman . —Preceding unsigned comment added by Star33 2009 (talkcontribs) 17:14, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

That is what Microsoft Access is designed for. It isn't a great database or a great interface tool, but it is rather easy for non-database people to create a database with an interface. -- kainaw 20:05, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
It requires a good deal of technical expertise to make a livecd for a program. You can do it if your program runs under linux with isolinux (dense docs, beware) and it's impossible for windows programs. Well, I guess you could make a little hard disk image with windows and your program preconfigured, and have isolinux boot linux and auto start a virtual machine running that disk image.. or slipstreaming it into an unattended windows install disk... very very ugly --frotht 05:24, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Or isolinux + WINE i suppose --frotht 05:24, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Or Windows PE? --antilivedT | C | G 22:12, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Microsoft Word 2007[edit]

Hi! I have the new Microsoft Office software and I have a little problem. I am trying to type up a document that doesnt have spaces between paragraphs. I know that if I do "Shift+enter" I go to the next line but if I justify the whole document, it messes it up badly. Is there any way to take it off of that feature? Thanks --Zach 17:28, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I do not have Word 2007 so I can not say exactly, but you need to change your paragraph formatting, specifically to set the spacing before and/or after each paragraph. --LarryMac | Talk 19:23, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Also note that Shift+Enter is not the same as Enter. Something I find useful for formatting in Word (as described in their help files): "You can also show or hide formatting marks by clicking Options on the Tools menu and then clicking the View tab. Under Formatting marks, select or clear the check boxes." Adblockfreak 20:05, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Change your line spacing. The shift-enter is for eliminating the automatic extra line between paragraphs. You can also change your style to "No Spacing" (the 2nd one) and it'll make all enters like shift-enters --frotht 05:26, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Offline fantasy role-playing games[edit]

I was wondering if anyone could suggest some (preferably free or inexpensive) computer role-playing games. We've been looking without success, so far. I've read List of computer role-playing games, but it's difficult for me to judge which fit the requirements of the person I'm looking for (I don't know a lot about these kind of games).

  1. Preferably fantasy, 3D - the kind where you wander around fighting things and picking up stuff. Something like Spellforce would be good.
  2. Compatible with an old, slow Win2K machine, XP virtual machine (decent spec) or Vista
  3. Not online. She isn't interested in WoW-type games (similarly no subscription, although she doesn't mind buying a game). Any links/recommendations gratefully received. Thanks --Kateshortforbob 21:59, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Personally I can't stand the gargantuan scale of the games but I hear The_Elder_Scrolls_III:_Morrowind is very good. I've played it, shouldn't be a problem with slightly outdated specs. Don't even try Oblivion- the required specs are insane, though I hear it's the best of the series. But she really needs to try WoW ;) The only reason she doesn't want to play it is because she hasn't played it.. if she's a fan of RPGs then she'll turn around after a few sleepless, workless, and lifeless weeks grinding away. By the way, what do you mean by "XP virtual machine"? Surrrely you don't intend to play a video game in a VM.. --frotht 05:33, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure why she doesn't want to play WoW - she certainly is obsessive enough about games! The reason I mentioned VMs is I've actually managed to get a few (very old) games running in them for her on higher end machine. Obviously, it's not ideal, though. I'll check out Elder Scrolls II tonight - thanks! --Kateshortforbob 09:13, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Elder Scrolls III you mean? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Froth (talkcontribs) 17:53, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Diablo, Diablo II, Icewind Dale, Icewind Dale II, Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights? NetHack, Angband? --Wirbelwindヴィルヴェルヴィント (talk) 06:24, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestions. I'd forgotten about Diablo - that's actually one of the few RPGs I've played! --Kateshortforbob 09:13, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Nethack is good (but difficult to pick up for beginners). NWN is terrible IMO.. movement & camera are too frustrating --frotht 20:13, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Adventure Quest is an online game but otherwise seems to be what she wants. You pay a one-time fee (US$20) to become a member ("Guardian"), or can even play for free ("Adventurer"), but the free version only lets you play when they have open slots (I've made it to level 96 as an "Adventurer", so you know how cheap I am :-) ). It's single player, with one exception, you can raid other player's houses (you can't actually do any damage to them, though, it's just a "haha, I raided your house and your guards couldn't stop me" thing). It's mostly combat with monsters, but they do toss is an occasional puzzle to solve. You get gold and tokens which you use to buy weapons, spells, pets, armor, shields, houses, house guards, and magic items. You also earn potions you use for healing and regaining magic points (used to cast spells). When you die you must restart your current quest, but are otherwise not permanently harmed. StuRat 05:11, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
LOL are you joking?! I don't know if you're aware of this but that's the (THE) archetypical crappy browser based RPG that's ridiculed the internet over :) --frotht 15:53, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
It is "low-end", but that assures that it works on all O/S platforms. I'm able to run it just fine on Windows 98, for example. Also, you probably won't get much more for free. StuRat 03:43, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

How about the same question, except without the restrictions on price or OS? So... offline fantasy game -- preferably with a bit more story to it than just fighting and picking up stuff. Also, preferably in the classic vaguely-medieval European fantasy world. Thanks for any suggestions! TresÁrboles 05:16, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

AQ has quite a bit of story behind it (more than I care for, actually). StuRat 03:43, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, but that's an online game, which neither Kateshortforbob nor I were looking for. Also, it has big-eyed Japanese anime-looking characters, yuck. TresÁrboles 18:14, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Elder scrolls 3 fits that perfectly. Has she played KOTOR? That's almost entirely story based (and one of the very best games ever created; how about that plot twist? :D) but not exactly medieval :P --frotht 15:57, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
The "she" seems to indicate that you are responding to Kateshortforbob, but he or she didn't say anything about a story requirement. If you meant that response for me, thanks, I'll keep it in mind, but it's not exactly the classic medieval-type fantasy I was looking for. Background: I've always heard about games like Might & Magic, Ultima, Wizardry, etc., but I've never played any. I missed out on all of them. I was just asking if anybody had opinions and recommendations on these types of games (with the latest technology). TresÁrboles 18:14, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Using regex in Yahoo Pipes[edit]

I'm trying to use Pipes to put together an improved RSS feed of the comments on my blog (which is on Blogger, so I have no direct control over the format of the RSS). The bit that I'm trying to add at the moment is the name of the post on which the comment was made. I'm grabbing it out of the post's URL, which comes in the format "http://...etc.../this-is-the-post-title.html".

I've been trying to get the title out of the URL with the Pipes string regex module - so far I've managed to successfully strip out everything but the "this-is-the-post-title" part, but the problem now is with replacing the hyphens with spaces. I've tried replacing (-)+ with " " (the space character) - this, however, only strips out the first hyphen and leaves the rest.

I'm very new to using regexes, so I may be missing something obvious - is there an easy way of making it match all instances of a character (or even better, just the first six instances), rather than stopping after the first?

Thanks, --ZsigE 22:12, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Some regexes require you to add /g to the end to make it a global match. Adblockfreak 23:59, 19 September 2007 (UTC)


I would like to play a game that runs on Win 95, but not on XP. Can somebody recommend an emulator? Clarityfiend —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 22:30, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

you can just right click on the icon to start the program-properties-compatability-run in compatability mode- then pick which ever one you want--Colsmeghead 00:31, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
When I installed the game, it said I didn't have an EMS driver. I set the properties for the older version of Windows and set EMS and XMS to reasonable(?) values, but it won't run. I get a black screen briefly, then it returns to XP. Clarityfiend 05:51, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Unlikely to work that far back. Try searching for specific issues with that program. like "homeworld cataclysm" xp. As for an emulator, I don't think such a thing exists, but you can always try running wine under cygwin (under wine under cygwin under wine under cygwin...) :D --frotht 05:54, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
This is not the easiest nor most cost-effective way to play a game, but you could install a virtual machine and install Windows 95 on it. This would require getting a virtual machine (e.g. VMWare, Parallels Workstation) and somehow finding a Windows 95 installation disc or ISO. -- 15:17, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Ugh. Thanks anyway. Clarityfiend 09:03, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
If the game can be setup with DOS then you can use DosBox to run it.Polypipe Wrangler 02:26, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Water on the computer[edit]

What should I do if I drop water on my computer (laptop). Is the computer broken? Jet (talk) 22:48, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I would say, let it dry (maybe open it up so the parts dry faster if it's really soaked). And then try turning it on. --Spoon! 23:13, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't open it up if I were you. Most laptops are not made to be user-serviceable, so that voids the warranty. I opened up my IBM ThinkPad and accidentally tore the stupid paper cable they use for the TrackPoint in two. Now I must use an external mouse. StuRat 04:55, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Do NOT switch it on. Mop off the excess water with a sponge/cloth. Place laptop in a stream of warm dry air for 24 hrs. then you can try switch on.-- 23:16, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
You also may want to try using a blow dryer to dry it off. Useight 00:52, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
You might as well use a flamethrower for all the static electricity damage you'd cause.. --frotht 05:56, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
No one has (yet) given the first steps: Unplug from power adapter, and remove the battery. -SandyJax 15:05, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

But before the first step comes zero step: shut it down so it doesn't run off battery when you unplug it.martianlostinspace email me 09:40, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Step 0 1/2: Don't leave a glass of water near a laptop.

Windows Streets and Trips 2008 Gps[edit]

I am having problems installing this product. The computer says it has error 1722 and then does not allow me to continue

User:drexalot —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:17, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

  • This is a problem with the installer - it might be a corrupted installer file. Try downloading the file again (assuming it's a d/led application.) Exxolon 14:07, 23 September 2007 (UTC)