Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2008 February 10

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February 10[edit]


i recently installed a friends hard disk as a slave to compliment my 80 on xp.anytime i try to access media file from the new hard disk i get an error messag "1072867d in module 'gen_ml.dll' read off adress 00000028" but it eventually plays the file.could it be a sharing violation or what? a serial bus type of connection faster than a parallell bus?i thot serial ought to be faster coz nowadays hard disks are usually using sata coz its faster that pata?but our teacher explained that parallel is faster coz there more chanells in pata so more workload passes through unlike sata where its one data character at a tyme thus taking more time, 3.i usually use the gpedit.msc route when my task manger is disabled but now when i type gpedit.msc>admin templates>win components...... i cant see the options to eneble my task manager and other stuff especially incase of a virus threat which disables my task manager or folder options? 4.incase i want to see my password from sam in my pc when is it located or from the registry? 5.i recently saw an ad on my local paper where a guy claims he can actually by pass a nokia security code in a minute.and he wont need any tools just type a sequence of buttons on the it a hack or a hoax?is it legal or is it just a flaw in nokia phones? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:28, 10 February 2008 (UTC)


When doing the quest Dragon Slayer, after you defeat Melzar the Mad, what's the best way of killing the Lesser Demon? (talk) 09:51, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

In my humble opinion, you should bring with you the best food you can afford, preferably lobsters or swordfishes, a strength potion with 4 doses (it should say Strength potion (4)), along with a rune scimitar/battleaxe and a rune chainbody. Before attacking, remember to drink a single dose of your strength potion (only one) and after that, start fighting the Lesser Demon using your weapon on accurate mode, since it automatically gives you 3+ Attack. Theorically, you should be able to come out victorious without any major inconveniences. Note that your current combat level is also definitely important, I would strongly suggest a 40+ combat with a decent defence level in order to continue doing the quest. Good luck to you, and hope this helps. (talk) 23:38, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Definitely not, swordfish is awful and you didn't even mention scallops :D\=< (talk) 13:47, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

*.dat video format on Ubuntu.[edit]

i cannot play (*.dat) video format on the media player od ubuntu both TOTEM and also on VLC. I want to know how to play that format. Pl.instruct me on the steps how to make the format detected directly from the CD media.I have already installed the w32codecs and also the Mediubuntu to the very latest update, i have all the gstreams installed..but still all the media player fail to detect the *.dat format. please help. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Davidbreina (talkcontribs) 12:36, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

.dat is a generic term for a data file, so the actual file could be almost anything. Can I ask for a little more information? One of the DVD files is a .dat. Lots of video games also name files .dat. Or the file could easily be a common format which is named incorrectly.
To find out what the file actually is, use the command file whatever.dat - this will guess at the file type. Another method is to look at the first few bytes of the file, known as the file's "magic number" or "type code". You can show this with the command hd -n 32 whatever.dat. --h2g2bob (talk) 19:04, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
If this is a Video CD, then the .dat file is MPEG-1, for which you certainly have a decoder. But it is not a file in the ordinary sense, and can only be read by low-level access to the disc. I think most media players can handle Video CD, but you probably need to point them to the whole disc and not to the .dat "file". -- BenRG (talk) 19:11, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes i am talking about the video CD, even if I point out the whole disc then it says that its not being able to handle the source. So i don't quite no what is happenin...are you using ubuntu too..if you are what media player do you use and does it detect the video CD directly?? i think you need some kind of codec for it to detect a Video tell me if u know any! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Davidbreina (talkcontribs) 19:46, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
vlc vcd:///dev/dvd should play a VCD in the DVD drive. --h2g2bob (talk) 23:46, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
I like mplayer better, just install and open mplayer, right click and click "VCD/Open Disc". --antilivedT | C | G 04:44, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Don't VCDs use ISO 9660 filesystems? The .dat file should work fine if renamed to .mpg or if you open it in a program that can handle MPEG-1 files. --Kjoonlee 17:36, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

The MPEG data is stored in mode 2 form 2 sectors, which have 2324 bytes of user data. Video CDs are a mix of 2048-byte and 2324-byte sectors, which would be tricky to deal with in a filesystem implementation. It may be that some implementations have support for reading the .dat file directly, but it's not automatic. -- BenRG (talk) 02:19, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Oh dear, I've told people plenty of times that those entries in Windows Explorer that you can see "on" compact discs aren't really files. It seems I've been tricked by an implementation, just like those people! Thanks for the knowledge. :) --Kjoonlee 16:31, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

From personal experience, I know that VLC plays .dat files on the hard disk as well as Video CDs on Windows XP. A question to the OP, did you try the Video CD on other computers? Could you try other Video CDs in the computer? Kushalt 03:10, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Is iPhone too big?[edit]

Given most windows phones have 2.6 inches, is iPhone a little big? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:40, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

That only depends on your preference. --grawity talk / PGP 14:27, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
It's not the size, mate, it's how you use it! (talk) 15:55, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

wireless internet not connecting(2)[edit]

Hey I'm just wondering if anyone can help me out with connecting to a wireless router.

I'm in France and in our apartment we have a Neuf box. I can connect to the internet with the LAN cable but not wirelessly. The other 2 people in the flat can connect wirelessly with no problems. we have a network key, which i know, but it still wont connect with that. We phoned the Neuf company today and they couldnt suggest anything except that there may be a problem with the anti-virus software I use. I use the free edition of AVG and i uninstalled it and tried to connect, still without succes. At home in Ireland I can connect without problems and I connected successfully in a hotel in France last week. I can also connect sometimes to another unsecured wireless network in our apartment block, but that one is usually out of reach. Therefore I conclude that the problem is with my laptop, am I right? If anyone can help it would be gratefully appreciated!

Thanks Emma —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi Emma! You need to supply more info to get a good answer. The term "Neuf box" is not universally understood. I googled it. The best hit I got was this one, but unfortunately, my French is too rusty for me to make sufficient sense out of it, although I did understand that Neuf is one of the leading French ISPs. You have not stated which OS you use. You have also not stated explicitly whether the problem is that the "Neuf box", which I presume is the wireless router in question, is not detected by your laptop at all, or if you can see that it is indeed detected, when you enter the "network key". If the latter is the case, what error message do you get? I presume the the network has a name, which should be visible and have a decent signal strength when you try to connect wirelessly. Therefore, it should be easy for you to see if it is detected. If you can confirm that the correct network is detected, and you enter the access key, and receive no error messages, there ought to be some indicator (such as an icon in the systray) that you are connected. If you appear to be physically connected, but still cannot connect to the internet, there might be a DNS problem. To check this out, you might try to connect to the router itself, by entering its ip-address in the address bar of your browser.
However, before doing this, check out if you can correct the problem simply by resetting the router (Neuf box?). Turn off its power, wait a couple of minutes, turn it on again, wait a couple of minutes, and try to connect.
If you are a Windows user, you can obtain the ip-address of the router as follows: Ask one of your flatmates, who has succeeded in connecting, to open a command line prompt, and type "ipconfig". Make a note of what your standard/default gateway is. It's the third ip-address in the output. Let's say the default gateway is This will be the IP-address of your router. Then enter, in the address line of your browser: If you get some sort of login screen, you are physically connected to the router, and you probably have a DNS problem, i.e. your PC does not know how to translate URLs to ip-addresses. You can verify this by typing for instance, which should open up the Google search page. If all of the above works, you might try opening a command line prompt on your PC, and enter "ipconfig /renew", and make a note of whether this succeeds or results in an error message. If you get no error message, but still cannot connect by entering URLs, you will have to check out the network settings in the control panel. I hope this helps, but as you can see, I had to make a lot of assumptions. If you provide these crucial details, you are more likely to get a good answer. When you get error messages, write down the exact wording. Googling error messages very useful for solving such problems, but you need the exact wording to get the hits you want. Good luck! --NorwegianBlue talk 21:03, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. And sorry if I didnt explain properly,I'm not so good with computers so thought i mentiond everything. I Tried everything you suggested but nothing has worked. Yes I'm using Windows and yes the Neuf box is the wireless router. The router has a name but when i type i the network key it says "Please wait while Windows connects to the NEUF_4118 network" for 2 minutes then just goes back to the network list without connecting. I can get onto the routers IP address thingy by entering in it's IP address into the address bar in the browser and i can see all the connections, the network key, IP addresses and everything. I entered the google IP address and that worked fine. I did the command line prompt for "ipconfig/renew" which worked. but still no luck with connecting wirelessly. I have tried looking at the connection settings, but why should there be a problem with these if i was able to connect to a woreless network in a hotel abt have had no problems at home with it??
Thanks again!!
Ok, if you can access an external web page, such as Google, by entering its ip-address, then you've narrowed the problem down. The problem is that your computer cannot access the DNS server, for some reason. Check out your control panel settings. There should be an icon called "Network" or "Network connections" (I have a Norwegian XP-version, so I'm not sure of the exact naming of the control panel applets in English). Clicking on the icon will open a folder-like window representing your network cards. If there's more than one (which is likely, one for the wireless and another for the wired connection), you'll have to figure out which one that needs modifying. Hopefully, this will be obvious from its name. Double click the icon, then click "Properties". The window which then opens has three tabs at the top. The first one ("General" in Norwegian) will probably be selected, if it isn't, select it. There's a list with drivers and protocols in the middle of the page. The list has a scroll bar at the right. Scroll until you find "TCP/IP". Click once, to highlight it. Then click the "properties" button below the list. Another dialog will open, and there will be two sets of radio buttons. The top one controls whether your router will give your PC an IP-address automatically (using a protocol called DHCP), or whether you want to set it up manually. Don't change this one, since it obviously is working OK. The bottom one tells your PC which IP address it should send a request to for translating a URL ( to an ip address ( This is where you probably have a problem. Before changing anything, make a note of what the origninal settings were. The first selection ought to work (it's called something like "Receive DNS server address automatically"). If this doesn't work, change to the second selection (called something like "Use the following DNS server address"), and enter the IP-address of your router here. Then, in a DOS prompt, enter "ipconfig /renew". If you still are out of luck, have one of your flatmates check out their PC's network settings. You don't want to mess up their network connection, so make sure that they exit all of these dialogs using the "Cancel" button. When you've made a note of their settings, copy the settings to your PC, save them, open a DOS window, and type "ipconfig /renew" again. --NorwegianBlue talk 19:14, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Security on Linux[edit]

Real amateur question here.... I'm primarily a Windows user, but I have Ubuntu installed on one computer. Do I need to get myself some sort of anti-virus software to run under Ubuntu? If so, can you recommend a package that will work for me? ike9898 (talk) 15:56, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

It's unlikely you'll need anti-virus software for Linux, but if you do need one, there's ClamAV, which is the only one I've heard of. x42bn6 Talk Mess 16:12, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
All you really need is to keep up to date with the security patches. This can be set to install automatically, but I think the default is to alert you like this. A quick google shows this page on, which has a very good set of pointers. You generally don't need to worry about a firewall, the Linux one is called iptables. --h2g2bob (talk) 18:36, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
This link was VERY helpful; exactly what I wanted to learn about. Thx! ike9898 (talk) 23:30, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
If you want to configure the firewall on Ubuntu, install the program Firestarter using Synaptic. —BradV 21:16, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
I really hate firestarter, if you know what you're doing then you don't need a gui, and if you don't then firestarter just completely screws everything up :D\=< (talk) 04:48, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Avast runs on Ubuntu, if you want to try that.--ChokinBako (talk) 08:16, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Navigating to a specific website using a keyboard shortcut[edit]

Like many wiki-addicts, I like to visit my watchlist... constantly. Compulsively. All the time. Using Mozilla Firefox, what's the easiest way to set up keyboard shortcut (or "hot key" or whatever it's called) that will automatically take me to my watchlist? Note that I do not want to make my watchlist my home page; I merely want to quickly navigate there from any other website, without using the mouse or multiple keyboard strokes.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 17:27, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

If you are using Firefox, you should be able to download this onto your Firefox browser. Go into options (right click, options on icon) and set your shortcut to a number (for example, I have CTRL-1 for the Main Page, CTRL-3 for Articles for deletion, etc.) STORMTRACKER 94 Go Sox! 17:45, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
The add-on works very nicely. Thank you.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 18:37, 10 February 2008 (UTC)


are video games like xbox, playstation and wii played in TV or computer? Why? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:39, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Are you asking whether people use TVs or computer monitors as a display? I imagine it's some of each, altho TVs are probably more common. They all come with cables to hook to TVs. I think you'd have to buy an extra cable to hook it to a monitor. Friday (talk) 17:42, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Gamecube,Wii - TV
PS1, PS2 - TV
XBOX - TV /(monitor possibly i think)
XBOX 360 - TV/Monitor (monitor preferable)/HiDefTV possible (on some models with HDMI)
PS3 - TV/HiDef TV (using HDMI cable or component cable) (HiDef preferable)
Why?... (talk) 15:02, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Those are all consoles, not games. By definition, a console is played on itself, not on a computer. But in some cases you can emulate a console on a computer and play its games on it. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 19:53, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

MSN TV or WEB TV[edit]

I heard MSN TV or web TV has 640*480 VGA resolution. Are all TVs manufactured have the same 640*480 resolution (excluding LCD/Plasma etc) irrespective of whether they are PAL or NTSC standard? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:48, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

According to Technology of television, Cathode ray tube televisions "do not have a fixed native resolution, they are capable of displaying sources with different resolutions at the best possible image quality." I imagine that 640*480 was chosen to optimize bandwidth requirements. Kushalt 12:49, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Many cameras eg webcam/mobile phone/video on digital camera record video in VGA resolution,, if not most... (talk) 15:07, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

NO, all televisions are not manufactured with the same 640*480 resolution if the article Technology of television is correct. Hope that helps, Kushalt 17:46, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

It depends on where you are. In the USA, the NTSC standard [1] says there are about 486 usable rows, so 640x480 is pretty close. --Mdwyer (talk) 23:38, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Java Script[edit]

I have a bit of a basic problem with the java script I have; I was trying to use addOnloadHook( function() where I append text upon clicking on a certain tool bar button, and it did not work. I have tried to look at friendly's welcome script but it had too many parameters I did not need. I am novice at java script to say the least, and I would appreciate if someone could help me with this-perhaps providing the script needed if it was short :)- I know this should be simple enough, and I am quite sure that I have nothing wrong with the procedure (bypassing cache, importing scripts from their locations, monobook.js, etc.) so the problem must be with the script I wrote. Thanks! P.S. I know I should perhaps I ask this on Village pump, but you guys are faster.... :) Λua∫Wise (Operibus anteire) 18:22, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

--Ryan (talk) 19:22, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Parsing HTML with PHP[edit]

How can a parse a youtube page's html in serverside PHP to get a link to the video? Like the .flv file? Thanks.--Ryan (talk) 18:25, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

You can get the HTML page inside a string and get the relevant values using regular expressions. It's the easiest and quickest way. — Kieff | Talk 18:51, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Heh, "easiest" is all in the eye of the beholder, unless you are speaking from the computer's viewpoint. -- (talk) 19:08, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm new at this. Could someone give me an example?--Ryan (talk) 19:22, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
This page seems to explain how to do it. You don't need to parse the HTML at all, from what I can tell; you just need to use the video id to get the SWF URL and from that grab the FLV id. The coding examples given are in Actionscript but from the step-by-step description you should be able to do it with PHP pretty easily; it is mostly string manipulation. -- (talk) 00:43, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Laptop Hard Drive RPM's[edit]

I have looked at the hard disk drive article on wiki and it talks about rpm's in harddrives however i am wondering in anyones opinion what would be the best RPM's for a harddrive. I am looking to buy a laptop that i really like however it only has 4200 RPM's--logger (talk) 22:27, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

For laptop hard drives, 4200 RPM is somewhat slow (but cheaper), 5400 is typical, and 10000 is high performance and more expensive. "Best" is subjective-- you have to decide if the lower price is worth lower performance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:01, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
All depends on what you want to do with it. For general computing use and portability, 4200 rpm drives are great. Easy on the battery, and don't get as hot as the other flavors. If your laptop is primarily going to be a 'portable desktop' feel free to spring for the 5400 or 7200 rpm drives. Unfortunately, you take a battery life hit. In my experience -- expect to lose 1/2 hour to 45 minutes compared to a 4200 rpm drive. Cdgibson (talk) 04:34, 11 February 2008 (UTC)