Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2008 January 4

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Computing desk
< January 3 << Dec | January | Feb >> January 5 >
Welcome to the Wikipedia Computing Reference Desk Archives
The page you are currently viewing is an archive page. While you can leave answers for any questions shown below, please ask new questions on one of the current reference desk pages.

January 4[edit]

Free Internet[edit]

Why do I have to pay for the Internet? If its just a network of networks why cant I just connect my computer to the network free of charge?-- (talk) 00:54, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Capitalism --f f r o t h 01:49, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Also, because other networks charge for access and they're not going to just let you jack in for free. They negotiate massive contracts with other networks. --f f r o t h 02:04, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
How'd those networks get there? Where'd all that fiber optic cable come from? How's it get into your house? Who maintains it? Who invests in more servers and more cables and more networks and new technologies? Who pays those guys? Who pays the guys who pay those guys? And if you didn't pay for it, who'd you have to complain to if it didn't work? Would they care? Who would pay them to care?
That being said, the telecom industry in the US is severely f**cked thanks to really bad under-regulation and near monopolies, so it's not as if things are really in an optimal state at the moment. -- (talk) 02:16, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Is it under-regulation when the monopolies were created by regulation? —Tamfang (talk) 00:31, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Why cant I just connect to those networks with my own wires n cables and maintain them myself? What about the free networks? Doesnt wikimedia have a network of computers at its headquarters? Wouldnt they let me connect for free? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:05, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Large websites also have ISPs that they have to pay.. wikimedia's going to see a charge on their bill for your usage if they let you tunnel through their servers, so they don't. Really really large websites like google (google's probably the only one) actually throw dumptrucks full of gold bullion at the big backbone networks directly instead of going through an ISP, so they're a little more flexible, but their sweet deal wouldn't last long if they were caught cheating the system.. they'd be charged just like the other ISPs. If you want to get in on the internet trunk action, it's not going to be easy:
Basically how it works is that exchange points like MAE-East and the biggest one AMS-IX connect internet backbone networks like military and academic networks. Members of the exchange pay for upkeep of the exchange (but I don't think they actually pay the networks they connect through) and charge ISPs for access through their seat. The ISPs' situation is that they interconnect at multiple points with neighbor networks, as well as to the closest exchange or regional ISP. They allow other ISPs to send data across their network (via mind-boggling routing algorithms that robots must have been designing for decades :D).. so you can connect from one ISP to another to another, or go through an exchange or even a backbone network, whichever the algorithm determines is the best. The way I see it, it's a giant network of mooching- everyone mooches off of everyone else, and governments and research universities foot the bill. But mostly governments. Anyway, there's nowhere you can just plug in a cable and get free internet- especially crucial is the last mile.. are you really going to run fiber out from wherever you find a convenient plug all the way out to your house? You willing to stand outside digging miles of illegal fiber (since you're not a monopoly telecom with a stranglehold on the industry, you WON'T get a permit, and of course you can't tell anyone why you're actually digging it) to your house? The local telecom did. For every house in the entire area. That's why you have to go through a large carrier- though the only reason it works that way is because of terrible industry regulation, stupid Americans putting up with it, and government corruption (according to the local newspaper of record, my local government gets free basic cable for renewing Comcast's monopoly contract). See europe for how it could have turned out. --f f r o t h 04:30, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
So if I were a big filthy rich monopoly, I could get a seat(?) at one of these exhange points, which are basicly intersects for backbone networks(?), for a hefty fee? Google bypasses this by throwing money at the backbone networks? How can a network reach backbone network status? (talk) 04:58, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it's really a status.. but if your network is, well, networked enough -connected to enough places- then a lot of internet traffic will end up going through it --f f r o t h 08:22, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Network card.jpg

<-- Because somebody had to buy one of these for you to plug into. Why would they then let a stranger use it for free? --Sean 17:50, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Mesh networking may (some day) be your answer. —Steve Summit (talk) 19:17, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

There are of course free ISPs, but they generally make up for it with a ton of advertising, and they're usually quite slow.-- (talk) 21:18, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Excel update problem.[edit]

I recently manually downloaded SP3 for Microsoft Office 2000 SR-1. I tried running it and found that I needed the CD that I don't have anymore (dog ate it, then it was dropped and it snapped) So I deleted the file, and didn't try to run it again. Now, whenever I try to load excel, it tries to start again. This also happens when I try to edit excel charts in word files. I have to cancel two installation processes every time. What is going on, and how do I stop it? Thanks --Omnipotence407 (talk) 02:24, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

wget when server doesn't allow cwd into the directory[edit]

I want to use wgt and a little script to download a large number of files off a ftp server. I have the list of all files but I can't get wget or curl to download it since the server doesn't allow CWD into the directory that the files are in, even though Firefox manages to download it without problem. Is there any wget switches or something that will make it directly GET or RETR the file without CWD into the directory first? --antilivedT | C | G 07:04, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

  • If you're trying to do a recursive wget (web spider-style), you'll have to pretend that you're a normal browser. Specifying "wget --user-agent Mozilla" is usually adequate. If you have the list of files you want -- that is, a text file formatted like:
-- then you can just give that to wget directly with "wget --input-file url-list.txt". --Sean 16:45, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm not doing recursive wget, but downloading a list of files from a text document. The problem is the FTP server doesn't allow CWD into the directory, here's the output of wget:
$ wget --input-file addresses.txt --user-agent Mozilla
           => `'
Connecting to||:21... connected.
Logging in as anonymous ... Logged in!
==> SYST ... done.    ==> PWD ... done.
==> TYPE I ... done.  ==> CWD /47terrain ... 
No such directory `47terrain'.
Yet Firefox downloads it with no problem. IIRC there is nothing like user-agent for FTP, but even if I include --user-agent Mozilla, it's still exactly the same. I'm guessing Firefox is doing GET /47terrain/, skipping the CWD /47terrain/ step, so I'm wondering if there's some way of forcing wget to do the same is well. --antilivedT | C | G 00:37, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Since Firefox can download from the server without any problem, why not just use Firefox and automate the process? You can create a simple HTML file that contains a list of hyperlinks to the target files. You can open the file in Firefox and use some kind of batch download extension to automatically download all the linked-to files. Down Them All seems to be a Firefox extension usable for the purpose. -- (talk) 05:28, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
You might also consider creating a script for the command line ftp program. In Windows XP, you can create a script.txt file like this
user anonymous anonymous
get /47terrain/
then enter the command ftp -n -s:script.txt to run the script. In Linux, you may be able to do the same thing by entering ftp -n < script.txt . --Bavi H (talk) 06:04, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
FlashGet support downloading from the URL list. There is even a plugin for creating those filelists. In FlashGet you would accomplish this task by going to File->Import->Import List and change Files of Type to All (he expects *.lst but will process anything). Also, the Import Links From Local Files option can process a downloaded webpage for all the links in it. Other download managers probably support this too, but I use only FlashGet. — Shinhan < talk > 10:19, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Finding Words[edit]

I've got a 25x25 field of letters that contains "hidden" words. Could I somehow make my computer to do the searching for me? The words can go to any directions and they should be in Finnish, my native language, but I wanted to reach the searching to as many languages as possible, because there can be some random xcrycz words I'll manage to translate. This is a competition, the best three will win 200e, probably less than 100,000 will ever get a chance to hear about this , I'd be ready to spend some more time doing this (there are 3 months left) and I was once taught a bit of C, so learning / doing something myself is not an obstacle. -- (talk) 12:32, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

The answer should be yes, although I can not give an efficient algorithm of the top of my head. You'll need access to a reasonably formated dictionary. You might then want to start reading up on tries, Text retrieval and Index (search engine). Getting a textbook on these topics will be an advantage. Taemyr (talk) 12:44, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Check this out. It's a "Programmer of the Month" contest sort of similar to what you describe. (more complicated, though.) APL (talk) 14:02, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I was bored at work, so I implemented this. You make the __DATA__ bit at the end of the script be your letter grid, and pipe in your dictionaries like this:
cat /usr/share/dict/words my.finnish.dictionary.txt | perl
It's poorly tested, so don't sue. Here's the script: User:TotoBaggins/find; enjoy! --Sean 23:11, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
I actually wrote some code for this a few weeks ago , which I'll shove here. It goes through finding every possible grouping of letters, and checks it it's in the dictionary (not very efficient, but works well enough). It's written in Python and uses Aspell. --h2g2bob (talk) 03:04, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you! (talk) 10:22, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

SAP HR (furnctional) or Oracle HRMS[edit]

HI, I am planning for some time to do a course in HR MIS. Please suggest which one is better SAP HR or Oracle HRMS. Best regards (talk) 12:49, 4 January 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:45, 4 January 2008 (UTC)


What are all the possibilities of tracing a computer that is connected to the internet? No need to list IP Addresses, as with dial-up the IP Address changes every time you connect, so that is impossible for a long-time trace. (Note: the inspiration for this question comes from a MMO I used to play by the name of Furcadia. They had a ban-system for the game, and I'm curious as to how they did it.) EWHS (talk) 14:26, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Furcadia eh. I think you're looking for that internet -> --f f r o t h 19:55, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Easy, they identify some other unique value and base the ban on that. If they control the software (furcadia) they have many ways to do this, from hidden registry keys in your OS, specific values like hard drive serial number, ethernet MAC address, etc. There are many ways to 'track' software when it connects, just use your imagination. --Jmeden2000 (talk) 21:12, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Computer rejecting iTunes[edit]

I recently downloaded iTunes 7 at my school (to put the high-speed network connection to good use), placed the install file on my flash-drive, and went home and moved the install file to my computer. Upon trying to update the iTunes, my old iTunes was bugged, and my computer won't run the new iTunes. I tried deleting everything having to do with iTunes and re-installing, but that didn't work either. Is it because I downloaded it at one site, and moved it to the next? What should I do?

And, if possible, is there a way to retrieve my old library? (I have the songs on my iPod still, if that's any help)

EWHS (talk) 14:29, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

It might have been better to use Check for Updates function in the File menu to update to iTunes 7. Depending on what you deleted, your music should be fine if it wasn't in the iTunes folder. In Windows it's usually in the My Music folder and when you get iTunes working you can just drag the music into iTunes to regenerate the library. As to why iTunes 7 doesn't run, make sure your computer meets the system requirements at Other than that, can you give a bit more detail about what happens: how is your old iTunes "bugged", and is there any error message when you run iTunes 7? --Canley (talk) 01:11, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
The check for updates would'nt have worked because my dial-up is so slow, the connection would've timed out before the download was complete. Also, I used iTunes to manage my music; I ripped all the CDs using iTunes, so they were only stored in iTunes. And for the iTunes not working now, I would install, and then when I would try to run, it would say something like "Some of the required files are not available, please re-install and try again." EWHS (talk) 13:46, 7 January 2008 (UTC)


Are there any good websites which showcase MS Paint drawings? xxx User:Hyper Girl 16:35, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

I found a few individual sites with this Google search query: "MS Paint" artwork. (None of the first ten showcase multiple artists.) It is my impression that a lot of pixel art is drawn using MS Paint, and there are many more pixel art sites (see, for example, this Google search query). --Iamunknown 18:12, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
If you want to have your mind totally blown, watch this video of a dude that paints the Mona Lisa in MS Paint. Jesus Christ, I hope that he atleast used a graphics tablet! (talk) 08:51, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

FREE bandwidth logging software for windows[edit]

Is there anything else like Rokario free bandwdith monitor, which doesn't work for me. (There are like a gazillion TRIAL ones that expire - any other freeware?)

I have a 5 gigabyte cap and after that I pay THRU THE NOSE so it's important for me to log and curtail my bandwidth usage (on Windows).

Thank you! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:51, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

NEVERMIND -- found it, WatchWAN is great! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:03, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
You should probably figure out how to do it through the gateway right after the modem, instead of on a client machine --f f r o t h 20:50, 4 January 2008 (UTC)


I recently read something about the internet finally being fully IPv6 compliant. How do I make my Mac (10.5) utilize this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:16, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Uhhh, no. IP6 is not widely deployed on the internet as a whole. Macs for some reason come with IP6 turned on I believe, but I recommend turning it off- it certainly won't accomplish anything useful for you. Friday (talk) 19:33, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Why do you want to use IPv6? Other than being new, it won't give end home users any added benefits, right? -- (talk) 20:39, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Many, if not most modern OSes support IPv6. I know Linux does; it doesn't surprise me to hear that MacOS does; I wouldn't even be surprised to hear that MS Windows does.
The problem is that few if any ISPs, subnetworks, and content providers are supporting IPv6 addresses yet. When you do a DNS lookup on a hostname in order to talk to it, 99.9% of the time you're going to get only an IPv4 address, and therefore use IPv4 to talk to it. Even if a DNS lookup returned an IPv6 address to you, odds are that your ISP and/or at least one of the networks between you and that host would be unable to route IPv6 packets. (It might be that their routers don't support IPv6 yet, or it might just be that they haven't configured it yet.)
(There are well-defined methods for tunneling IPv6 packets through IPv4 subnets, but of course those need to be deployed and configured, too.)
A little while back I heard that some IPv6 supporters were planning to set up an experiment involving some enticing free content hosted at an IPv6-only site, to see how many people could access it, and how much finagling with their OS and/or their ISP and/or upstream networks might be required. (Zero guesses what they picked for the enticing free content.) Anybody else remember that, or hear how it came out? —Steve Summit (talk) 20:54, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
What you probably read was that some of the root DNS servers were going to be simulcasting information on the IPv6 side of the Internet. This means that for people using that network, there is a root nameserver to use without the need to jump over to the IPv4 side, making it a functionally complete network. What does this mean to us normal folks still on the IPv4 side? About jack and squat, plus 0. More info here. --Jmeden2000 (talk) 21:01, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
No, that definitely wasn't it. (Guess again. ) —Steve Summit (talk) 05:59, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
[P.S. for those viewing at home: the experiment I was thinking of is described here. Evidently they're just about ready to move forward. —Steve Summit (talk) 06:04, 5 January 2008 (UTC)]
Windows supports IPv6 without requiring extra downloads since I think SP1 or SP2 of XP. This of course includes Vista which I think also turns it on by default. I've been thinking of setting up IPv6 via a tunnelbroker but I'm waiting for it to be implemented on m0n0wall. But perhaps I'll just move to pfSense. N.B. IPv6 supports my recollection of Windows IPv6 support. However it also mentions that 'On February 4th 2008, IANA will add the AAAA records for the IPv6 addresses of the four root servers' so I guess what is being talked about above hasn't actually happened yet. I also noticed China Next Generation Internet and [1] (from [2] which has some other stuff) both of which are interesting. Nil Einne (talk) 06:41, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Yawn, ipv6. A terrible idea, implemented even more terribly --f f r o t h 20:42, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

MS Excel formula help (SOLVED)[edit]

Hi folks, I need some advice with Microsoft Excel. I've got a table with various entries in which will be added to all the time, each entry will have a category assigned to it as well as a cost. What I want to do and can't for the life of me figure out how is add up the total cost for each category. I know I could sort the table by category and manually sum it but I want the entries in chronological order, not category order. I'm sure there must be a formula that will do this easily.

I have attached a screenshot containing an example of what I am trying to do, basically if you look at the example I want another table next to the main one with a list of all the categories and next to it, a cell containing the total cost of all the cells in the main table that have that category next to them.GaryReggae (talk) 20:00, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Cheers! File:Excelscreenshot.jpg

If I understand you correctly, you need to use the SUMIF function. For example =SUMIF(B1:B20,"Red",C1:C20) gives the total of values in column C that have "Red" in the same row in column B. (Adjust the cell references to suit your exact needs.) AndrewWTaylor (talk) 20:07, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Ah thanks, that's it, I looked at SUMIF but couldn't quite understand how to use it as the help is a bit vague. Your example has solved the problem! GaryReggae (talk) 20:17, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

HDMI sparklies[edit]

I have just recently connected a playstation 3 console to a westinghouse LVM-42w2 television using an HDMI cable from a "no-name" brand. When I set the output on the PS3 to 1080p, I found that there were some blue and white "sparkly" artifacts displayed on the screen. My initial assumption was that this was a bad cable, but when I changed the PS3 output to 1080i, the artifacts disappeared. From my understanding, artifacts caused by a bad wire or pin in the cable should persist in both modes. I am curious to know if this is likely to be a bad cable, or if there might be something else going on. Some particulars that might help with an answer are that the cable was just delivered from an unheated delivery truck, and installed while still cold to the touch. The television is reportedly capable of displaying 1080P, and the output picture, apart from the artifacts, is completely normal (no distortion, no color change). The sparklies appear both from blu-ray playback and during game play. Thanks for any insight. Also, if in your opinion this is a bad cable, was it a mistake for me to unpack and install it while still cold? Tuckerekcut (talk) 23:17, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Can your TV handle progressive-scan input? --f f r o t h 20:40, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it can handle a maximum resolution of 1080p. Tuckerekcut (talk) 16:59, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
The difference between 1080i and 1080p is twice the data rate, so if there were a defect in the cable you may end up with interference causing line noise only when higher rates are used. Since the signal is all digital, it will work flawlessly up to a point where the interference is no longer manageable, and then start to fail by dropping bits of data which result in screen artifacts. It could also be a flaw in the encoding or decoding engines, since they have to work twice as hard a defect in either would cause artifacts. The only way to find out is elimination testing. --Jmeden2000 (talk) 22:07, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Jmeden. Perhaps I'll start with the cable... Tuckerekcut (talk) 05:56, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Help in Turing 4.1.1[edit]

Hello. On Turing 4.1.1, whenever I try to get help by pressing F10 or by clicking Turing Reference under the Help menu, the Turing Documentation window appears but the right section seems empty. How can I get it to work properly? Thanks in advance. --Mayfare (talk) 23:23, 4 January 2008 (UTC)