Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2008 July 9

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July 9[edit]

Video Editing[edit]

What's a program I could use to mute/delete the audio track on a video and replace it with a different audio track?

(Windows Movie Maker is not working--it lets me add the new audio track but won't let me mute the old one--the old track doesn't even show up on the screen for editing, as if it weren't there, yet when the video plays you can clearly hear that it is still there. T_T It's very frustrating.)

Note: the video file in question is a WMV.

Thanks in advance. (talk) 02:05, 9 July 2008 (UTC)HiouSama

You could try Ulead VideoStudio ... Sandman30s (talk) 12:39, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
It's been a while since I've used WMM, but I believe that somewhere there is a fader you can adjust so that you only hear your audio track. It's like a tab with video audio on one side and user audio on the other and you can drag it to either side. Somewhere in the menu options, I think. Someoneinmyheadbutit'snotme (talk) 14:42, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Someoneinmyheadbutit'snotme's above comment is correct - the audio track for your video does not show up in WMM, but you can adjust the crossfader between it and your added music by clicking the little speaker button to the left of the timeline. =] Pretzelschatters 16:32, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Reparing Windows XP quick and dirty[edit]

I have a laptop without Cd-rom (or similar devices) and my Windows XP professional was not letting me login. I have taken the HDD from the laptop and builded it as a external HDD to access and backup my data. I have also Windows XP on my desktop.

Q: if I take the dll from this desktop installation and copy them into the HDD, would my laptop boot up again? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:36, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

You can try, but it would be very unlikely that copying a few DLLs will fix your problem. If you can't login, it is likely a password problem. Put the drive back in your laptop and use one of the many password changing CDs to change the password on the XP machine. Then, log back in. -- kainaw 11:12, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, I don't have a cd-rom on my laptop and I cannot login into windows. How could I follow your advise?
USB... PCMCIA... surely the laptop has SOME sort of external adapter. If not, it isn't much of a laptop. -- kainaw 18:04, 9 July 2008 (UTC)


Hi everyone! What free software do Wikipedians recommend checking a hard drive for errors, similar to Windows Scandisk? It would be an bonus if it has a graphical display similar to DOS scandisk which shows the disk clusters. I am on Windows pc. (talk) 10:04, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

TuneUp Utilities has a graphical defragmenter but you would have to register it after some time. I wouldn't recommend a 'free' utility that does this (if one exists), as running buggy software over critical areas of your computer could spell big trouble. Sandman30s (talk) 12:51, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
The best alternative to Scandisk I've used is Disk Checker. No graphical display but has a nice info screen with basic information, scan speed and an error log. Don't use it on drives over 750GB though as it has a tendency to freeze, at least in my experience. JessicaN10248 14:31, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

The Games Factory[edit]

Games made using The Games Factory are working buggy for me. After a few minutes of play, the sounds become repetitive, and the game slows down when I do not press a key. I know this has nothing to do with being on Windows XP, because these programs worked perfectly on another XP computer I used to have. What is causing this bug? (talk) 11:18, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

You might get a better answer on the official Games Factory technical support forum, since they're probably extremely familiar with the product over there. -- Captain Disdain (talk) 11:43, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Free bin/cue CD burner??[edit]

Hello. I've been looking for a free program (for Windows XP) that will let me record .bin/.cue files onto a CD for hours now, but I've only been able to find a bunch of demos that limit the file size, or only do test burning!! Could someone please point me to a nice freeware CD burning program for BIN/CUE files, please? (The test time in my comp for Alcohol 120 expired long ago.) Thanks in advance, Kreachure (talk) 15:21, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

InfraRecorder -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 15:24, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
CDBurnerXP --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 15:26, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. Silly me, had I looked at the CD burning software freeware list first, I wouldn't be here wasting your time... >.< Kreachure (talk) 15:30, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Modifying PDFs?[edit]

As part of my work, I've been creating PDFs with Acrobat Professional 7.0: mostly images from a scanner, but also converting Microsoft Word files into PDFs. I've discovered typos in an unrelated PDF, also made from a Microsoft Word file, and I've been given permission to correct these. Is there any way to modify the text in the PDF, or do I have to edit the Word file (which thankfully I have) and make a new PDF from it? Nyttend backup (talk) 15:47, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

The reason I ask is that this PDF is eight hundred pages long. I've already been encountering errors in much smaller documents, which I've simply corrected in the Word originals and recreated as PDFs. Nyttend backup (talk) 15:58, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Adobe Acrobat Professional can edit PDFs with difficulty. In this case, you'd go to View --> Toolbars --> Advanced editing, then click the TouchUp Text Tool button.--Hello. I'm new here, but I'm sure I can help out. (talk) 17:36, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I was able to add to the text. One problem, though: the paragraph is justified, but by adding the missing letters (the typos are "ten" for "then" and "Green County, Ohio" for "Greene County, Ohio") each fixed line juts out into the margin a little. Is there anything I can do about this? Nyttend backup (talk) 18:32, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
It's hard to say without looking at the PDF. Try this: select the text on the line with the TouchUp Tool, right-click on it, select Properties, and then change the horizontal spacing. They're using spacing -- not hyphenation -- for justification, right? If each line is an object, then you can also select a line using the TouchUp Object Tool on the same toolbar. It's either that or opening the PDF in Adobe Illustrator. If you're a masochist, you can also decompress the PDF using pdftk and manually edit the Post Script in Wordpad. By the way, Wikipedia lets you upload PDFs to the site. It treats them as images. ;)--Hello. I'm new here, but I'm sure I can help out. (talk) 19:13, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
The PDF (posted online three years ago; if I can fix it, I'll submit the new version to be posted online in its place) is here (a little under 12 MB): p.331, line 7 ("ten") and p.511, the lines directly under the CAPITALISED NAMES. I'll try your suggestions when I finish the task from which I'm taking a little break. Nyttend backup (talk) 20:01, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Fixing the PDF sounds tedious, and 12 megabytes is not a very large file. Why not just fix the Word document and regenerate the entire PDF? Notice that there is a 'List of errors' at the end of the existing file. If you decide to regenerate the PDF, you could fix all those errors at the same time. EdJohnston (talk) 21:41, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
It isn't tedious. I just fixed the spelling error and the alignment Nyttend cited in both Acrobat and Illustrator. Although PDFs are not supposed to be edited, I think it can be done easily in this case since no dramatic changes are being made. In Acrobat, you select part of the text on the line, right-click on it, choose Properties and then Character spacing. It was justified to begin with by varying the spacing between characters and words (the tracking) from line to line. So each line already has different spacing. However, the solution I propose is admittedly somewhat crude as it varies spacing for only part of the line. Nevertheless, readers will not notice any difference. This is one reason that I dislike justfication (aside from poor legibility). The process works much better in Illustrator. In that application, you do the following:
  1. Open the PDF
  2. Choose the page
  3. Select the Type Tool in the Tools Palette to the left
  4. Make the correction
  5. Select the entire line of text in question
  6. Click on the Character link toward the top of the screen
  7. Change the tracking value (the AZ with the double-pointed arrow beneath)
Although Illustrator is an expensive application, you can download a free 30-day trial from I'm new here, but I'm sure I can help out. (talk) 04:04, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

I ended up modifying the text how I wanted it to look: not by Character Spacing, but by Word Spacing on the spacebars between words (highlighting and modifying just them, not the words), so as you (Hello etc.) noted, it doesn't look any different, even to me. In case you wonder, I knew about the list of errors: I'm the one who put together the project, and the list of errors was my way of tracking changes from the original text (if you look at other errors noted there, you'll see that the main text has them correct); it's just that when I produced this revised edition of the original book, I forgot to change "Green" in these spots. As far as "ten" (actually PDF 337; it's original page 331), the original book says "then"; it's simply that when I typed this section, I missed the letter, and my proofreader didn't catch it. Just got to wonder how many other such errors there are like this...Thanks for your help! Nyttend backup (talk) 17:33, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

GIMP layer stacking[edit]

Hi. Please see here, I'm asking on how to combine and stack two images together, one is an object and the other is just filled with a specific colour. Thanks. ~AH1(TCU) 17:04, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I assume that you have multiple layers and, with all on, you see the image just as you like it in the edit window. If so, go to the layers menu and select "merge visible layers". It will merge all visible layers into one layer. -- kainaw 18:07, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Copy my response over from User_talk:The Transhumanist#GIMP_Globe_stand
You can do it by having a layer of solid gold on top of the original, and change the mode to colour instead of normal. There are also other possibilities like if you want to preserve more of the colour of the original and only add a tinge of gold you can change the mode to soft light.
--antilivedT | C | G 00:17, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

junk email[edit]

i am responsible for putting junk in email. Who am i ?Please help with this question. Which is the origin of junk in email. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:23, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

you are Satan. Gzuckier (talk) 17:42, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
My, I always thought Satan was supposed to do more than just create a minor annoyance of modern life. I guess he's probably behind telemarketing as well! -- (talk) 18:11, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
See Spam_(electronic)#Pre-Internet_spam. -- kainaw 18:09, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Gary Thuerk. -- (talk) 18:13, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
You're not Vardan Vardanovich Kushnir. And now you know what happens if people find out who spammers are... --Constructor 00:06, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

linksys befvp41 mystery switch[edit]

hi i just inherited a linksys befvp41 router and downloaded the documentation, but there's a little slide switch on the back which isn't mentioned in the docs. it's got what appears to be an X on one side and parallel lines on the other, or else an X on one side and an H on the other (the marks are really teeny). any idea what it is for? thanks. Gzuckier (talk) 17:49, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

It is a MDI/MDIX switch for one of the ports (probably the port nearest the switch). --Juliano (T) 17:52, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Installing Windows Xp in a laptop without cd-rom[edit]

I have the Windows XP install CD and a desktop computer with Windows XP and a CD-rom device. I want to install Windows XP into a laptop without CD-rom. I have taken the HDD apart and connected it to the desktop as an external HDD.

Should I just copy the Windows XP files onto the HDD and put the HDD back in the laptop? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:55, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

As far as I know, In a CD there is a specific boot sector, so everything should be in place to be booted. In the case of your laptop, your BIOS would look at the file boot.ini and try to boot. So, if you have the boot.ini, yes probably you'll be able to boot. I don't know yet, if you can install Windows this way. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mr.K. (talkcontribs) 18:05, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
It is not true that the bios will look for a boot.ini file. Any disk you intend to boot from will require a Boot sector. APL (talk) 18:44, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
This will not work. You must connect a CD drive to the laptop and install from the CD there. -- kainaw 18:11, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
There is an alternative, supposing that you have already have Windows XP installed on your laptop and something went wrong(I suppose that, because probably you will not have done this to a new laptop). You could try to repair your old Windows installation with sfc /scannow

and the install CD and then put the HDD back to the laptop. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mr.K. (talkcontribs) 18:16, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, you really should use a real cd-drive for this. Either get a hold of a usb-cd drive of some sort, or take the HDD, connect it to a computer that does have a cd drive, and install windows on the HDD from there, then plug it back into the laptop. --Oskar 21:03, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
The problem with installing it with the drive in another computer is that laptops often require strange drivers. They won't be installed if the drive is not in the laptop. So, he'll get Windows on the drive, put it in his laptop, and find out that something like the keyboard or video driver is missing and then come back asking what to do. -- kainaw 22:31, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Doesn't the Windows XP installer cache everything in the hard disk for installation? If yes, then can the OP use a disk imaging software to load the disk image on the hard disk and then work with it? Kushal (talk) 22:44, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm not 100% sure but wouldn't putting the harddrive into another computer, complete the first phase of the XP install (text-mode), shut down, put it back into the laptop, and continue the GUI installation process solve the problem, provided that the laptop doesn't require some strange text-mode drivers? --antilivedT | C | G 00:24, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

I believe you should go with your plan of installing windows XP on the external HDD then putting it back into the laptop. Although, as Kainaw pointed, laptop need special drivers, standard drivers will be enough to make it run. When you get it running use a virtual cd player to use your windows installation cd and install it properly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mr.K. (talkcontribs) 12:56, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Outlook names / contacts.[edit]

People of the internet,

I am currently using outlook 2003 SP1

I cannot edit the way peoples names come up. Example: I want John Doe to be Doe, John. How would i set this up?

Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:35, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Under Tools, Options, Preferences click on Contact Options. In there you can change the default name order. Sandman30s (talk) 13:19, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

How to embed text file in a C program[edit]

I am modifying a piece of code written by another programmer and I want to have a text file, that is read at execution, embedded in the program itself. (This is to help hide this text file from prying eyes.) The text file is read into a fairly complicated struct and instead of hardcoding that struct, is there a way I can put this input text file into the C code itself so that it is inputted without being a separate text file from the executable? --Rajah (talk) 21:23, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

A common way is to have a script in your build process turn the text file (or indeed a binary file) into a C string literal and emit that as a .h file. Then your C program #includes that .h and initialises a const or variable with it. That script has to escape newlines, quotes, and nonprintable characters in the C manner. But really, this goes very little toward your goal of hiding the file - it's still trivial for anyone with a modicum of technical skill to extract that text. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:48, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
If the parser first reads the whole file in a buffer, that is sufficient. It is however more likely that the parser makes a lot of small reads. In this case, you need a string stream. That is, a stream that presents a normal file descriptor interface but reads from a string. An example is the fmemopen function in gnu libc. Turiacus (talk) 23:57, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
(Aside from the fact that, as it stands, it doesn't ROT13 the text or do anything else to hide it) is there a reason why the obvious approach doesn't work?
#include <stdio.h>

char * my_string =
  "This is a bunch of text.\n"
  "The C language standard assures us that all these strings\n"
  "will be concatenated at compile time into one big string\n"
  "that can be referenced by the my_string pointer.\n";
  "You could do anything else you want with the string\n"
  "including incorporating it into some more-complex struct.\n"

int main( int argc, char * argv[], char * envp[] )

    printf( "%s", my_string );

    return( 0 );

Atlant (talk) 19:55, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
I suggest you leave it as an external file and encode it instead. The simplest encoding is just to apply an offset to the ASCII codes of the characters, say add 93 to the ASCII code of each character read from the file and subtract 256 if the result is 256 or more. Any codebreaker would have no trouble breaking such a code, so you can always get fancier if you want real security. StuRat (talk) 00:26, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
The Allegro game programming library has a datafile format which can be appended to the end of the executable file (they have some tools for this). It also includes some simple encryption. --h2g2bob (talk) 01:01, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Ignoring floating-point underflow in Excel[edit]

I have some data in Microsoft Excel which happens to contain very small numbers (~10−324), and Excel keeps giving me errors that must be floating-point underflow. I don't care about the underflow and don't care if these numbers get rounded to zero; it doesn't matter for my application. How can I tell Excel to ignore the underflow and round to zero without causing errors? —Keenan Pepper 22:14, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

You could use the TRUNC function on some of the values before the calculations. I'm sure there is more than one way to do it. Just be careful about round-off error. --Bennybp (talk) 00:58, 10 July 2008 (UTC)


I am looking to connect my TI-84 with my 64-bit Vista Home Premium and I seem to be lacking drivers, does anybody have some?--omnipotence407 (talk) 22:17, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Well, in case anybody is interested, per TI support

Currently, Texas Instruments does not support the use of TI Connect on Windows® XP Professional or Vista x64 Edition (64 bit) systems. Texas Instruments does not produce a 64-bit driver for these versions of Windows®, so while the software may work, communication will not be possible.

--omnipotence407 (talk) 02:43, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Maybe you could try this: