Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2008 August 16

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August 16[edit]

variable declaration in c++[edit]

I don't quite get the difference between variables declared like, char varname; and char *varname; Can someone help? thanks Elfalem (talk) 06:06, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

wikibooks:C++ Programming/Operators/Pointers could be helpful. -- (talk) 09:50, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
char varname1 means varname1 is a character, while char *varname2 means varname2 is the address of a memory location that contains a character. So varname1 is a character and varname2 is an address, while *varname2 is a character again. This is true for C and C++. (talk) 13:22, 16 August 2008 (UTC) Martin.
See Pointer (computing). "char x" will automatically allocate memory for you until "x" goes out of scope (normally this is at the end of the function). "char *x" won't allocate (or de-allocate) memory - it will expect you to allocate and de-allocate memory using the new and delete keywords (or using malloc and free). The big advantage is that you can just pass the pointer about to all the functions which need to use it, which is normally much smaller than copying whole objects (so is faster and uses less memory). --h2g2bob (talk) 22:56, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Audio Software[edit]

My younger sibling has run riot on my computer and deleted the software that I used get sound from my speakers! Is there any free software I can download from the internet so I can listen to music on my computer once again? I usually use windows media player to do so - but I don't know if thats relevant. There is certainly no damage to my speakers or cables unplugged etc. I'm sure I can't get any sound because the audio software has been deleted. Please help! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:40, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Windows Media Player, iTunes or WinAmp are all popular choices. The article on Media player (application software) has a big fat list of them. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 16:58, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
92 said sound, not music. Try getting on Device Manager and looking for any devices that have an error message associated with them. You might need to update drivers for your sound card. Please write back if you would like any assistance. Kushal (talk) 21:36, 17 August 2008 (UTC)


hi...someone recently told me that it is possible to connect 2 computers(or for that matter a whole bunch of computers) using normal telephone wires(RJ 15 cables), without using RJ 45 cables if both the computers have this possible...if so please give complete details...also he said that digital data can be transferred over our electricity this possible????????

thanking you in advance... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Piyushbehera25 (talkcontribs) 15:34, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

For your second question, see power line communicationMatt Eason (Talk &#149; Contribs) 15:58, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it's possible. This site discusses some limited instructions on how to do it. I've never had the need since networking cards are dirt-cheep and exponentially faster. $10 for each card, $20 for a switch. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 16:46, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Use "System Restore". Go to "Start" then "Programs", "Accessories", "Sys Tools" and "Restore". It's so simple anyone can do it. It will resolve most computer failures. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:12, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Need help copying files to external hard drive[edit]

I'm trying to copy all the (copyable) files from a 2nd hard drive on a PC to an external drive. I want the individual files easily accessible when the external drive is plugged into another PC, so backup programs are not necessarily the right solution. I tried drag-and-dropping the files from the source hard drive to the external drive, but the copying aborted when Windows came across an uncopyable file. I also tried XCOPY, with the /C /E /H options specified, but XCOPY crashed half way into the copying process, saying "Insufficient memory". That looks like a bug or limitation of XCOPY. Anyway to copy large number of files in Windows without having the operation aborted by uncopyable files? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:08, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Booting into safe-mode might make the operation more likely a success.
  • Do you really want to backup every file on your hard drive? Creating a batch-file to copy over the specific folders you care about will likely avoid the files are are being locked.
  • You can boot using a Linux live-CD and copy the files within Linux. Just make sure everything is formatted in NTFS so windows can use it.
  • Norton Ghost might be a viable solution. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 18:28, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Acronis True Image works pretty well, but it is a disk cloning program... SF007 (talk) 03:53, 23 August 2008 (UTC)


I want to hide the taskbar in windows permanently(not autohide)...can this be done using the registry?? also is there any 3rd party software to do this??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Piyushbehera25 (talkcontribs) 18:40, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

It's been awhile since I've done something like this, but I'm pretty sure you can do something like this in your administrator tools, make it so that some users don't have a taskbar. (You do things like this when you are setting up permanent terminals, for example.) Trying looking around in Control Panel -> Administrative Tools about user permissions and things like that. -- (talk) 20:42, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, I don't know about doing it through the registry, but it can be done by moving the cursor to make it double sided (so the size of the taskbar can be changed) and drag it all the way to the bottom of the screen. -- Ζρς ι'β' ¡hábleme! 20:44, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

SMS and MMS over dial-up modem?[edit]

Can I use a dial-up modem and land line to send SMS and MMS messages to my own phone, e.g. to deliver a ring tone? I don't have the expensive proprietary cable it requires for direct downloading. NeonMerlin 18:59, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Does your phone have Bluetooth? You may not need a proprietary cable if both your phone and your computer support Bluetooth. -- (talk) 19:15, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

What is the name of the Wiki Globe? Is there an animated one?[edit]

What do you call the wikipedia globe?

Can you make an animated (revolving) one?

Please. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:09, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

You can look through various versions of the Wikipedia logo at commons:Category:Wikipedia logos. If there isn't one already, I doubt anyone will be making an animated version any time soon—that would require a tremendous amount of work. (There is already a significant amount of controversy about the characters which are on the side of the globe that we can see, never mind the back.) Please note that the Wikipedia logo is not licensed under a free license like the other content on Wikipedia, so using it elsewhere may be a copyright violation. —Bkell (talk) 21:58, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I may have spoken too soon—there is a category for animated Wikipedia logos. Perhaps one of those is what you're looking for? —Bkell (talk) 21:59, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Undeleteable Folder on Desktop[edit]

This folder is located on my desktop just to let you know my desktop is mapped to "F:\Data\Nathan\Desktop\" and folder is named " " (no quotes) making the path "F:\Data\Nathan\Desktop\ " (reminder: include quotes if in command prompt instruction if used or it won't know the space is part of the path) the folder can't be moved renamed deleted please help me delete it. I can't remember know how I created it. I don't if it matters but i did a bit of rresearch and it turns out i most most likely did i probably did hold alt then 0160 on numpad then release alt when editing the filename to get like that. Xor24 talk to me 22:50, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

What error do you see when you try and delete it? Folder is in use/bad permissions/something else? Which windows version? --h2g2bob (talk) 23:20, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I recieve no error message just doesnt delete im using vista ultimate 64 bit
Your best bet is probably to boot into safe-mode and log in as the default administrator and delete through command prompt. You may also want to check the permissions on the folder (by right-clicking on it assuming you have Win XP. I don't know about other OS's) and make sure that it isn't protected. (By the way, I can't make a folder with no name. It automatically renames it "New Folder" when I try to enter a blank name.) Ζρς ι'β' ¡hábleme! 23:30, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
If the name is really a single space (I'm confused by your "no sapce" comment), and the directory is empty, you can probably remove it by opening a command prompt and typing the following:
       rmdir "\\?\F:\Data\Nathan\Desktop\ "
If the directory is not empty you could try rmdir /s instead of rmdir, but I take no responsibility for lost data if you do. Another possibility is to type
       cd \Data\Nathan\Desktop
       dir /x
it should say no quotes im sorry
which will list the short names of all the files in that directory. The short name should be typeable even if the full name isn't.
The "\\?\" prefix turns off Win32 pathname parsing and just forwards the raw path on to the NT kernel. One of the things the Win32 pathname parser does is strip off trailing spaces, but the parser is shoddily written and there are various ways to get it to pass otherwise illegal file names to the kernel. For example, typing this at a command prompt:
       echo gotcha > "  :-"
will create a zero-length file in the current directory whose name is " ", which you then won't be able to delete except with a trick like the one above. You can also use this to create a file named "..". I take no responsibility for any damage you might do to your system this way. -- BenRG (talk) 00:01, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Oops, I didn't notice the last bit of your comment. Alt+0160 will produce a non-breaking space, which looks just like an ordinary space. But Windows doesn't give it the same special treatment it gives ordinary space, so I can't understand why you would have trouble renaming it. I just tried renaming a file to that and back and it worked fine. -- BenRG (talk) 00:08, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Not to hi-jack anyone's question, but just as an aside, how does echo gotcha > "  :-" work to create a file? (Not disputing that it does, just wondering how). Ζρς ι'β' ¡hábleme! 00:12, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
The ">" operator does it, I think. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 01:36, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
The echo gotcha part prints the word "gotcha", and the > redirects it to a file named "  :-". The NTFS filesystem supports alternate streams, so this creates an empty file " ", with a stream named "-". (For example, when a program tries to access file "foo:bar", in reality it's accessing stream "bar" of file "foo".) --grawity 13:06, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Alt + 0160 is Windows' key sequence for entering a non-breaking space. The character looks like a space but is logically a different character. If you try to delete the folder from a Windows command interpreter, using something like
rmdir "F:\Data\Nathan\Desktop\ "
you'll need to type in the last character of the path (before the closing quote) using the special key sequence, otherwise you won't be specifying the correct path. If the folder is not empty, you can manually make it empty first or use the /S option to force deletion. -- (talk) 15:06, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
nothing suggested worked but thanks much for explaining that it isn't technically a space that helped when i did rmdir "\\?\F:\Data\Nathan\Desktop\ " making sure it wasnt a space i got the error message on the command prompt access is denied i did the thing were u right and choose run as admin and got same error

Xor24 talk to me