Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2008 March 25

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March 25[edit]

How do I make the Wikimedia media player default to totem?[edit]

I run Ubuntu with Totem Firefox plugin and is perfectly capable playing ogg's by itself. But the every time I lose my WP cookie it defaults back to the Java player again, causing Firefox to freeze for around 20 seconds to load Java before I can select the "Ogg Plugin" option. Is there somewhere I can change the default so it always defaults to ogg plugin? --antilivedT | C | G 07:09, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

How about "Edit" => "Preferences" => "Content" => "File types" => "Manage" and then find OGG and set it up to use Totem? --Sean 14:54, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
This is much better in firefox 3, use beta 4. :D\=< (talk) 16:23, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
No I can play ogg's fine in Firefox, it's just that Mediawiki keeps defaulting to Cortado (software) instead of sending me the ogg directly, making Firefox frozen for 20 seconds to load Java. I might go to Firefox 3 once more plugins support it, but in the mean time I'll stick with Firefox 2. --antilivedT | C | G 04:21, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Mine does that too, very very annoying -_-' :D\=< (talk) 01:23, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

System Volume Information folder[edit]

I recently ran a virus checker (bitdefender total security 08) which detected 3 viruses in a folder labeled "System Volume Information". The anti virus stated that it could not quarantine or delete these viruses because they're password protected. This i thought strange, as i am the only user and administrator on my computer. However, i simply decided to find these files manually and delete them that way. So i ran a search of my C: drive (the same destination as the bitdefender scan) and the search returned no results. I checked the box "search hidden files" and all search options, but still no folder "System Volume Information". Temporary internet files and cookies have been deleted, so it does not exist in those folders, and i have no idea how to rid my computer of these 3 ad ware and spy ware viruses. Any ideas? Running windows xp, on an intel system, if that helps.

According to this page, the System Volume Information folder is part of the System Restore feature. That page also gives instructions on how to view the folder. If the virus checker is finding suspicious files there, they are likely within the restore points. They could also be false positives. If you are sure you won't need to use any of your restore points, you should be able clear them by using the Disk Cleanup utility (Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Disk Cleanup), on the More Options tab is a button to clear all but the most recent System Restore point. --LarryMac | Talk 13:52, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Personalized cookies folder?[edit]

Is there any way to segregate out certain cookies in a separate folder such that when I go to "delete cookies" in internet explorer it would delete everything but the few sites I want to keep? Manually removing all cookies from the folder, but for the seven or so I want to keep, is not worth the effort. My cookies folder is in C:\Documents and Settings\name I gave my computer\Cookies Can I simply create a folder in Documents and settings, or inside the existing Cookies folder itself, call it "Cookies 2" and drag the cookies into that new file? Would that insulate it from deletion through the "delete cookies" application. Would they operate in a new location? And also, I imagine that sites update cookies periodically as things change. Would I be creating a problem by moving a cookie to a new location, for the website to find it in order to update? Groping in the dark here. Dispel my ignorance.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 11:36, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Probably your second-best bet is to write your own program or script to selectively delete those cookies you feel you don't want anymore, and leave everything else constant. Your first-best bet is to just search the internet for "cookie management" and "<insert-name-of-your-web-browser-here>" and see if there are any plugins or extensions that allow fine-grained cookie-management. Depending on which browser you use, you should have no trouble finding something for free that does close to what you want.
Any ad-hoc fiddling/tweaking by-hand such as you describe here will probably just be more headache than it's worth to you, quite frankly. NoClutter (talk) 13:22, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Mark them read-only? :D\=< (talk) 13:38, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Although Internet Explorer 8 is shaping out to be really promising (and could well be the best Internet Explorer ever), I still recommend switching to Mozilla Firefox. Firefox is a really customizable web browser which can do a lot of cool stuff. Firefox 3 is coming out around the end of 2008 Quarter 1 or sometime during Q2. This page can tell you where in the development process your favorite feature is. However, I must agree with Froth NoClutter and what he has said is worth repeating:

Any ad-hoc fiddling/tweaking by-hand such as you describe here will probably just be more headache than it's worth to you

Thanks for reading. Kushal 00:02, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Hmm? :D\=< (talk) 01:22, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
'Scuse me Kushal, but if you're going to quote someone, at least give a little more effort to quoting the right person ... thanks for reading :) NoClutter (talk) 03:26, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
I apologize to both of you, NoClutter and Froth! Kushal 08:55, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

In Firefox, there is a roundabout way to throw out all cookies when you close the browser, except ones you've whitelisted. Enter the domains you want to whitelist under Privacy/Cookies/Exceptions ("Allow" them, of course). Then visit the sites to create those cookies. Then set Privacy/Cookies to allow cookies, but only until the browser is closed ("Keep until: I close Firefox"). Now, visit some other sites whose cookies you want to disappear after each session, then close Firefox. When you open it, you should find that the cookies you want to maintain are still there (see Privacy/Show Cookies), but the others are not. I hope there is a more direct way to do this in future versions. –Outriggr § 00:21, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

There already is a more direct way in the current version. Go search for "cookie management" or "cookies" in the plugins area. Plenty of free plugins to choose from. NoClutter (talk) 03:26, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Please try this program. It is freeware, it has worked wonderfully for me for a few years now, it is small, it is useful, and it has been recently updated. Mostly, though, I believe it will solve your problem rather elegantly. It is called CleanCache. It now supports IE, Firefox, Mozilla and Opera with full support including cookie management for IE, Firefox, and Mozilla. The interface is very intuitive and easy to use. You save specific cookies for specific browsers by simply dragging them to the saved column. Your saved cookies lists are permanent unless you change them. Henceforth, clicking "clean checked items" (with "clean cookies" checked for the appropriate browsers) will delete all cookies except for the ones indicated. Here's the link for the download:

I hope this helps.

Chrissekely (talk) 07:09, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for all the replies (got sidetracked for a few days). I downloaded cleancache and its works great—allows you to whitelist certain cookies just as Chrissekely describes above, among other features I'm exploring. Thanks for the link Chris.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 12:16, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

mediawiki hosting for a nonprofit org?[edit]

Any unbiased reviews/suggestions on which way to turn? The organization is not sure they want to use Wiki as a tool, but they definitely are wanting to give it a try, but do not wish to deploy their own webserver to host during this 'proof of concept' phase.

Any suggestions or real world experiences with this scenario? NoClutter (talk) 12:48, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Deploy your own web server and put it in your internal network, behind a firewall. Otherwise the world will be able to see your wiki. :D\=< (talk) 13:37, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
If you want it to be publicly available, Wikia is one of the players in the market, you would want to look. Please also see Comparison of wiki farms for more options. I believe there is no substantial monetary investment needed to use Wikia, although there are some advertisements there.

You should also let everyone know not to post any confidential information during the test. Wish you all the best. Kushal 17:06, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Weird wireless problem[edit]

I've been using a Netgear wireless router for two years now and it has been working basically fine. This week though my signal will flicker—it'll go out completely (my Macbook says it is not connected to wireless) and then come back again (suddenly I'm connected), back and forth with great rapidity at times. My wife's experienced the same thing with her iBook.

I tried unplugging the router last night and then turning it back on, but it did the same thing again today. It's almost certainly the router's problem, as when the cable internet itself goes out (as has happened a few times) the router signal is never affected.

Any thoughts as to what might be causing this? There are only two people using the router (hardware restricted—e.g. I have to approve the MAC addresses for a machine to even connect to it) so it's not being overloaded or anything, and it has a pretty unique ID. --Captain Ref Desk (talk) 13:58, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Have your neighbours set up anything that could be interfering? If so, or even if not it's worth a try, try changing the channel that the router uses. -- (talk) 14:03, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
I almost don't want to post this, because the reasoning behind it seems suspect, but I once was told that refreshing the firmware will fix problems like this -- as if the little bits themselves have become weak and need a jolt of energy. On the other hand, I had an old Linksys router that acted similarly when the power supply was beginning to fail. --LarryMac | Talk 14:30, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Remember, other things share the 2.4 GHz frequency allocation. In particular, microwave ovens, cordless telephones, and some wireless video cameras. Any of these can bring down a WiFi ("Apple Airport") network or make it less robust. But I'd bet on the neighors having just gotten their own WiFi network. Pull down the MacBook's Airport menubar thingy and see if you can see a new network.
Atlant (talk) 17:53, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Not a cheap solution, but WiSpy is a handy gadget that can show you all the nearby sources of interference and so help you select the quietest channel. And its got pretty graphs :D — Shinhan < talk > 19:33, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

mp3 to ogg[edit]

How can i change an mp3 file to an ogg file?the juggreserection IstKrieg! 14:50, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

By transcoding. (Decompressing and recompressing.) Don't do it. --Kjoonlee 15:03, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Of course, if you really want to do it (e.g. if you are trying to upload a sound sample to Wikipedia and you only have access to the original as an MP3), I am reasonably sure you can do it with VLC Media Player's "Streaming/Export Wizard". --Captain Ref Desk (talk) 16:17, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
..which specifically recommends against using it for transcoding because it's terrible. mencoder. :D\=< (talk) 16:22, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
There's a free program called Audacity that allows you to record sounds and export them as mp3, ogg, or wav. You could try that. Useight (talk) 16:22, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Audacity is fine for single files, but overkill for groups of files. I suggest:
  • dBpoweramp Windows – I haven't used this in a few years, but in 2004 it converted everything into everything.
  • mp32ogg Linux – found in most distributions
Sorry I don't know a good Mac solution. I've had good luck with transcoding; just don't expect audiophile quality. MP3 and Vorbis are lossy codecs that make different choices in what information to omit, and don't manage each other's artifacts, so transcoding degrades the file a 2nd time. Ogg advocates hate transcoding because it makes unusually poor sounding .ogg's, through no fault of the codec. / edg 18:02, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Why do you want to convert them? You can't "add quality" to an already compressed source. MP3 are ubiquitous anyway. -- (talk) 17:51, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Like Microsoft software, MP3 is dominant, but not universal.
  1. Freely-available Linux distributions (such as Ubuntu) typically include vorbis support, but omit MP3 because of licensing issues. I've never known anyone who hesitated to add (usually in a separate download and install) MP3 and other non-free media support almost immediately, but MP3's do not play "out of the box".
  2. Vorbis is preferred over MP3 for audio files on Wikipedia. MP3 may actually be banned.
I would only transcode if I wanted to use hardware without MP3 support (some of my computers) or wanted to take advantage of VorbisComment tags. / edg 18:10, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
im gonna try some of these, thank you. o and yes, it was to upload a file to wikipedia. again, thanks.the juggreserection IstKrieg! 14:17, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Excellent. Thanks for contributing. / edg 15:40, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

T-mobile's web'n'walk...[edit]

...can I put the sim in a cracked iphone and it'll work? what should the network pin code be?

As far as I know, there's no such thing as a network PIN code. If the phone asks for a PIN code, it is the SIM card's PIN code. You receive all the SIM card codes (PIN, PIN2, PUK, PUK2) along with it when you register at a service provider's office.
Alternatively, the phone may be asking for a Network code, which is, as far as I know, the code that the SIM card owner can set to prevent automatic connection to a network. Default value should be 0000.
If you don't know the PIN code, make sure you don't try to randomly guess it because the SIM card will be locked forever.  ARTYOM  20:13, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Okay, thanks. I really was confusing it with the network code, which however is 8 digits in my case and all 0's aren't accepted, but... The problem was that I don't actually have an iPhone! I was using this phone that has wap and I thought it could work over gprs but I guess they're really different technologies... (wap and gprs)... so, i'll just wait till I have an iphone. btw how much should I pay for an unlocked 8 gb one here in Hungary? I saw one for like 160000 huf which is $957.12- which is really too much I think. so how much should I pay?

Well, I can't, of course, advise you on the price, but the price for an 8GB model on the Apple store is $399.  ARTYOM  21:32, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't think it is worth it. Try haggling a bit. Just my USD 0.02 Kushal 19:57, 26 March 2008 (UTC)


what does quantisize mean? (i ask here, not on the science desk, because it appears[1] to be something different than just a typo of quantize, and it appears to be used in a digitized sound/graphic context). Gzuckier (talk) 18:32, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

It is a typo of quantize - see quantization (music) and quantization (image processing)Matt Eason (Talk &#149; Contribs) 19:37, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Long Delay During Name Resolution By Web Browser[edit]

PROBLEM: When I click (or type) a link in a browser, there is a long delay while the browser says it is resolving the hostname.

DETAILS: The delay is typically around 10 seconds, sometimes ranging up to 30 seconds.

SYSTEM: 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 6400, 2GB RAM, various hard drives totaling approx 2TB, Windows XP SP2, fully patched and updated. System runs well in every way except this one. Connected via a wireless/wired router to a Motorola cable modem.


This is not a browser-specific problem, since FF2, FF3, IE7, and IE8 all behave the same way.
This is not a network transfer problem, since once the transfers start (after "Site found" messages) the transfers are generally fast, taking far less time than the name resolution.
This is not a problem with my network, because all the other machine connected to the same switch have no problem
I found where someone was having an identical problem to this - however they were running a Linux distro. The general solution was to disable IPv6. I did this via the Windows command line, to no effect


What's going on here?
Is there a solution other than 'Reimage/reinstall'?

Thanks. -- Sapph42 (talk) 21:53, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

When you type in an addresses, your browser has to first figure out where the other computer you are connecting to physically is—that is, what its IP address is. This is done by a DNS server, which stores information about which IP addresses connect to which websites. It sounds to me like this might be where your problem lies.
You might try seeing if you can switch what DNS server your connection automatically uses. Usually this is one of the options in your internet connection settings. You might also try contacting your ISP if you think this is the problem. One way to check would be to look up the IP address of a site manually and then try connecting through its normal .com address and the IP address. If it immediately connects using the IP address, it is probably some sort of DNS problem. (For example, a WHOIS database reveals that is
I doubt re-installing would help, unless by doing so you inadvertently put in a different DNS server (or were assigned a different one), if this is the problem. --Captain Ref Desk (talk) 22:03, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Not for snippyness, but for clarity: I'm a network engineer by trade, so core descriptions (like what DNS does) are unnecessary. A problem with my DNS servers is actually the first thing I thought, and found several pages lambasting Comcast's DNS (of course I found several lambasting Verizon, Roadrunner, SBC, etc . . .), so I signed up for OpenDNS and configured my router appropriately. No change.
Additionally, the PCs on my network get their DNS information via DHCP, so if it was just that, the problem would presumably be affecting other PCs as well.
It IS some sort of DNS issue, however. Direct IP addressing eliminates the problem. However since it is not purely the DNS server, I conjecture that it must be something my machine is doing in conjunction with DNS. This is why I suspect a reimage would solve the problem. -- Sapph42 (talk) 22:20, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflicted*2): if you pop open the command prompt (win -> r -> "cmd" -> enter), and type in nslookup, does it still take awhile to do the lookup? If you surf by IP address directly, ie. [2], does it go faster? If you type ipconfig into the command prompt, do the values it returns for the DNS servers match up with the other computers? Running any security software / software firewalls? -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 22:06, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
No software firewalls, no security software that touches the network stack. DNS settings match other PCs on the network. As noted above, IP address surfing is instantaneous. nslookup is fast. --Sapph42 (talk) 22:20, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Are you doing nslookup to hostnames that you won't have already cached? If that's going fast but lookups via the browser are not then the issue flummoxes me. The two commands I'd usually toss in to fix random tcpip stack issues in XP SP2 are netsh int ip reset logfile and netsh winsock reset, but I have no idea what good that would do in this situation. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 22:26, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Prepare to be flummoxed further. The browser experiences this slow down even on domains that should logically be cached. Example: I enter in the address bar. After about 25 seconds, I arrive at the proper page. I click the link for the reference desk, and the delay is another 20 seconds or so. I click the link for the computing section, and this time the delay is nearly 30 seconds. The commands had no effect. -- Sapph42 (talk) 01:03, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Tried packet sniffing using things like Wireshark? --antilivedT | C | G 04:22, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, that's bizzare. Though honestly, in the time you'll spend figuring out what the devil is going on, you could probably have it reimaged or the OS reinstalled and working (hopefully) normally. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 04:40, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Is it possible that, for whatever reason, either your router or your PC is configured/provisioned with "bad" DNS server addresses? The scenario I have in mind is that the primary DNS address points to an overloaded, down, or non-existent DNS server, and every DNS lookup has to fall back on the secondary DNS server — after a timeout. Another possibility to consider is that your router or your PC has been subverted to route DNS queries to a rogue DNS server. -- (talk) 14:05, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
No. As mentioned above, the PC gets DNS information from the router via DHCP. And, again, if it was a server-side problem, it would be affecting the other computers on my network. It is not. -- (talk) 17:45, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
If it's not affecting other computers on the network, the problem is probably with your PC. Although there's no indication that it's the case, but if your PC is subverted, you cannot be sure that it's using the DNS server it is supposed to, even if the info returned by ipconfig looks normal. For thoroughness, if not anything else, I'd suggest putting a packet sniffer on the network to see what's going on when the PC tries to resolve a name. -- (talk) 18:09, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Try configuring IPv4 on your computer to use OpenDNS. and (if you don't know how to do this comment back). If it's still not working try overwriting your TCP/IP stack- there are tools to do this for XP, don't know about vista. Or see if your %windir%\system32\drivers\etc\HOSTS is massive :D\=< (talk) 15:44, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

As mentioned above, I already use OpenDNS. As mentioned above, I am perfectly aware how to change my networking settings. As mentioned above, I am not using Vista. My hosts file defines nothing other than localhost. As for resetting the TCP/IP stack, this is accomplished by the netsh int ip reset <logfile> command, as mentioned above. Negative results. -- (talk) 17:45, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh ;_; :D\=< (talk) 01:21, 27 March 2008 (UTC)