Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2008 November 15

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November 15[edit]

are there any totally-lightweight "spreadsheets"?[edit]

So I barely use spreadsheets for formulas, it's just cells and coloring to me, maybe at most some sums. Is there some totally lightweight spreadsheet thing, like uTorrent is for bittorrent? That would rock so hard. I mean a few kilobytes, and instant even on a 100 mhz computer... and under active development, like uTorrent is. I'm so in love with uTorrent. "lightweight, feature rich, high performance" -- and boy do they mean it!

Hell, forget the spreadsheet: what other application domains have something like uTorrent in them. The bundled notepad.exe on Windows is good for text files, not bloated at ALL. Any other application domains with something like that? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:49, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

My favourites: Notepad2 for text editing, PuTTY for SSH, KeePass for passwords, Winamp for music (without most plugins it's quite small). These I don't use, but still nice: foobar2000 for music, IrfanView for pictures. --grawity 16:04, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
You might want to consider trying out some of online Office suits such as Google Docs. Please also see this link. Basically, idea is that all of the work is done by server, which means that if you can run browser, you can run spreadsheet program. I personally use Google Docs for everything MS Office used to do and haven't looked back. Not sure whats your specific situation, but it might be worth a try. --Melmann(talk) 16:18, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm not totall sure that a 100 Mhz computer could run Google Docs. JavaScript ain't exactly the most optimized language, it takes up a fair bit of memory to both run a browser and Google Docs. Try it out, for sure, but I'm not totally convinced it will work. (talk) 17:16, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, I'm just throwing out ideas. Its not like there is wide selection of spreadsheets programs that will run on 100mhz computers.--Melmann(talk) 10:46, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Try an old version of MS office excel (v6 or v7), although these might not be very fast on 100MHz. (excel97 certainly was very fast on athlon xp 2000, but that probably does not counts). Even faster might be some very old spreadsheet programs, bet these might be written for dos and might not support mouse. -Yyy (talk) 11:01, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Lucid 3-D. It may be dead, but it's good. Given 100 MHz, it should fly. -- Hoary (talk) 13:47, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Poster of a flickr image[edit]

Given the url of a flickr image such as how do I find who posted it? Thanks. Saintrain (talk) 01:09, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

The easiest way is to just append the image id after the string which in teh example given would be , however that particular image has been protected by the uploader. No doubt there are webtools somewhere that can do this as well. Nanonic (talk) 01:51, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
An alternative (and probably more successful way) is to call the flickr api using the online forms at , for instance - you can use the form - enter in the photoid 303174125 and the secret 67b62986df - tick both boxes to send the info and click call method. The output is displayed underneath in XML giving the username, user profile and direct link. Nanonic (talk) 02:01, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. That was easy.
What's the "secret". Seems to be the same for different pix whether or not I'm logged in? (talk) 23:42, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

PSP Inviso-files[edit]

I'm asking this question for a friend of mine. Several music files that he's put on his PSP simply don't appear when you browse through the files on the PSP. They're clearly present on the Memory Stick when you check on a PC, though. I can't imagine why, though. The files aren't hidden or anything, and I know the PSP should be able to open them, because the files are all the same type...any possible reason they aren't showing up?--The Ninth Bright Shiner 02:56, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

To clarify one point in there, all the files that I put on his PSP are the same type; some work perfectly fine, but others aren't displaying.--The Ninth Bright Shiner 03:43, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Could you tell us the extensions of the files? Because some do not work on the PSP. Rgoodermote  04:05, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I believe they are MPEG-4. My own knowledge tells me that the PSP shouldn't be able to open any files like that, but it is. Have I been wrong for many years?--The Ninth Bright Shiner 04:34, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I believe it can play that. However, just to make sure. Encode videos/music using SUPER. Rgoodermote  02:44, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

The Feeble Beep of Doom[edit]

This is a strange and rather irritating phenomenon my laptop has exhibited at some points. Upon taking the computer out of standby mode, the computer will just beep at me, without the display coming up (I also don't think that the hard drive starts, because when I turn the computer off from this state, I don't hear the characteristic "sudden hard drive shutdown noise"). The beeps repeat the same patter of one long beep, then two short beeps; I guess it would be like the letter "d" in Morse code. The computer stays in this state until I shut it off by holding down the power button.

I think that its occurrence is connected to keeping my computer running for a long time, and the computer automatically going into standby mode. I know it doesn't happen every single time, though. Any possible explanation for this? I think I've heard somewhere that if your computer doesn't have enough RAM to start up (or something along those lines), then this happens.--The Ninth Bright Shiner 03:30, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

I think lack of RAM is unlikely. Could you try to boot using a Live CD? Oh, and do you by any chance know the model/make/year of your laptop and the motherboard inside it? Thanks. Kushal (talk) 04:41, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Many computers have a feature where they do some basic tests as they start up - if those tests fail, the computer may find itself unable to display an error message. In that case, it'll emit a pattern of beeps to help you figure out what's going wrong. I assume that's what you're hearing here. If you can find the tech manual (or perhaps call the manufacturer's hotline) you should be able to get that specific pattern of beeps decoded - and that should tell you what's broken. But a clean powerup works OK - and that's something that can maybe give us a clue as to what's happening. When you put the computer in standby, it actually writes everything that's in memory out to disk - and then powers down. When you restart, it has to read that data in order to carry on from where it left off. So this could be a hard disk problem. I agree with Kushal though - I don't think a RAM shortage can do this. Ideally, you need to decode that beep pattern...but that requires finding/obtaining the full tech manual - or getting someone at the manufacturer to look it up for you. We have an article about this stuff here. SteveBaker (talk) 06:34, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
It may be obvious, but I'll say it anyway, go ahead and disable standby mode to stop it from locking up. To save power and the screen, use some other power saving options like turning off the monitor and stopping the hard drives, instead. If you ever solve the issue with standby mode, then you can try it again. Also, I don't see any reason to ever use standby mode when the computer is plugged in. This option should only be used when on batteries, and then only if it's working properly. StuRat (talk) 17:58, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

organising favorites across various comptuers with different OSes and browsers[edit]

I have a desktop with Windows XP Media Center Edition and I use both Firefox and Google Chrome regularly, I also have another Desktop with Ubuntu installed where I use Firefox and I also have my Eee PC with Ubuntu where I also use Firefox. I have different sets of favorites on each of them, but I'd like to know if there is a way I can homogenize my favorites so that I have the same set of favorites on all my systems and on all my various browsers. Also, I have an old laptops whose screen no logner works (thought it can be hooked up to a monitor, so no worries) and I'd like to get my old favorites off of that. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks ahead of time. (talk) 13:43, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

For firefox, you can use the extension FoxMarks which is supposed to do just this (I've no experience with it however, so I can't testify to it personally, but I hear wonderful things). I don't think there is a way to do this easily with Chrome (as it doesn't allow extensions), but you can import your bookmarks from Firefox with Chrome, so if you synch your Firefox browser, I guess you could just import the bookmarks into Chrome directly. (talk) 14:29, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Can't reformat a drive[edit]

I had an original install of Windows Vista on my (what is now) D: drive. I've since installed Windows Vista again on my (what is now) C: drive. I've finished moving any important data over from D: so I was going to reformat it so I could install Ubuntu on it. However, Windows won't let me do anything to the drive ("Windows cannot format the system partition on this disk") because it's a system drive (it could also maybe be because it's marked as active?)

Help! -- (talk) 00:35, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

I believe FDISK will allow you to format the active partition. Of course, once you do that you won't be able to boot from the disk, so you'd do best to use FDISK to change the active partition first. StuRat (talk) 19:06, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
What do you mean "reformat it so I could install Ubuntu on it". To set up the new partitions, you will have to use the partitioner anyway, which is part of the Ubuntu installer. The partitioner obviously can delete partitions and all that too. -- (talk) 19:23, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the Ubuntu installer will let you format the D: drive anyway. Plus, Windows Vista can't format your D: drive to anything Ubuntu can use as a root filesystem. --wj32 t/c 21:42, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Not what I meant. I wanted to erase everything off that drive from windows. But my main concern is doing so would fuck up everything. Like not being to able to boot into the Vista on C:. I mean, why is D: marked as system? Shouldn't C: be marked as system? How would I change that?

Also, I can't run FDISK. "'fdisk' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file." -- (talk) 00:35, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't understand why you need to erase the drive from Windows. Formatting D: wouldn't do anything to your Vista installation either. --wj32 t/c 07:00, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Have you tried using "Computer Management" as shown here? I am not absolutely certain about it but perhaps the 'installation' of Windows on D: is still registered with your bootloader. You can use the instructions here to find out for sure. Kushal (talk) 11:12, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Broadband connection problems[edit]

So I sought to change my IP address by resetting the BT homehub, now it's just going at a STINKING one meg per second. It's been like this for five F***ING hours. Yes I am angry and would like it solved immediately.--Troupmnronger (talk) 19:04, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

...and you're talking to the Wikipedia Computing ref-desk instead of BT's tech support people...why? I presume that changing your DHCP hookup also got you connected to a different server - one that happens to be overloaded right now. If so, the answer is to reset it again - possibly several times if necessary. SteveBaker (talk) 19:46, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Your first port of call should be BT Broadband Support, not the volunteers at Wikipedia's Reference Desk. And when you are asking for help it is wise to adopt a more pleasant tone. Astronaut (talk) 20:40, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
So I'm using another neighbour's broadband connection. Seems to be fine, but is unsecured. What are the chances of someone seeing what I visit? (I mean, realistically. I don't believe that many of the people in the neighbourhood where I live are going to give a shit.)--Troupmnronger (talk) 23:31, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't know how you were brought up - but I was taught that stealing is wrong. It doesn't matter whether you get caught or not - it's still wrong. Why can't you call BT and ask them why your legitimate connection isn't working as it should? SteveBaker (talk) 06:08, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

TI 89 assembly language[edit]

I have a program that I wrote in TI89 BASIC that I wish to transform into an assembly-language program. However, I do not know C, the assembly language used by the TI 89 Titanium, so could someone please do this for me? The program may be found on my userpage. Lucas Brown (talk) 21:04, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

What? C is an assembly language? According to TI-89, it has a Motorola 68000. See [1] --wj32 t/c 21:48, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Well, C is what the ASM compiler (TIGCC) uses. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lucas Brown (talkcontribs) 02:00, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Why do you want to translate this to an ASM program? Doing so is (probably) not going to be as simple as merely translating each line of the BASIC source. It appears that you are just doing some computations, so I would think that your BASIC program would be sufficient for what you're trying to do. If you are trying to gain speed, your best bet would be to learn how to use something like Maple, Mathematica, MATLAB, or Sage and do your computations on a computer. —Bkell (talk) 15:12, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
So how would this be translated into a Mathematica program (I have Mathematica 6.0, student version, on my computer)? Lucas Brown (talk) 19:11, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, I don't actually know Mathematica, but I'm sure that by looking through the help or doing some searching on the Web you can find information about programming in Mathematica. —Bkell (talk) 22:47, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

If it's a game and you're attracted by the speed of assembly games, then it's not going to be easy to just "translate" it. Assembly development is like 20 or 30 times slower than BASIC development for an equivalent program. Or 40. And assembly is really very different than BASIC; you certainly won't be able to use many algorithms from your BASIC program in the assembly version. Well, you will, but assembly development is very different from BASIC development and you'll find you don't want to. .froth. (talk) 18:04, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Free online music hosting[edit]

I'm looking for a Youtube-like music hosting service. I want to be able to upload music to the hosting service and then embed the music in my webpage. Is there a respectable service like this? -- kainaw 22:22, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Well you can not upload, but you can use the site. Project Playlist searches for music for you and lets you make your own embed playlist and you can download if you use the URL that is usually with the song. The site is pretty good at finding songs..but I have had issues finding songs from certain bands. Rgoodermote  02:47, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, but I need to be able to upload music. -- kainaw 03:08, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I think can do this? -- (talk) 03:38, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. It appears you have to be an artist or label to upload music. I could be wrong. I have a account, but I don't see where to upload music (without getting an artist/label account). -- kainaw 05:36, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Embed music? Please don't, that's tantamount to <blink> and <marquee>. I know that putfile lets you upload music but I'm not sure if it'll let you embed. I actually did need to embed music in a page once; what I did was upload it to the webserver and used XSPF to play it. It's extremely flexible; I had it stripped down to just a round button that toggled Play/Stop and that autostarted. You could also use rapidshare/megaupload/mediafire and just link to it. .froth. (talk) 17:57, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
This is not a web page for the public. This is a request for a project that is heavily restrained by bureaucratic rules that often conflict with one another. The admins need to upload audio clips and an outline. The students will go to the pages and see the outline and hear the audio. Administration wants this to happen yesterday. However, the web server has been set up to deny streaming audio or video. You can't even link directly to an audio file. Why? Administration rules. So, they say "you can't have audio on the server" and then say "we demand that we have audio on those pages". If these were videos, I could easily set it up to upload videos to Youtube and embed them into the pages. But, these are audio files. So, I hope you can see why I am interested in a Youtube-like music service. -- kainaw 18:06, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
It is possible to upload/embed music to Imeemproof of concept and You could also create videos from the audio files by making a slideshow or something. Just one photo or image should be sufficient ... :) About the future, your catch22 situation aside, <audio> and <video> tags will be here soon (at least on Mozilla Firefox and other standards-complaint web browsers) which should make it possible to upload the files on google pages and hotlink it to your website (if you have access to html editing). By the way, why do you not want an artist/label account on Kushal (talk) 20:41, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. As for, I'm not an artist or a label. Plus, I'll be hardcoding the account info into the uploader so each doc that uses it will be uploading to the same account. One might, for some reason, upload a song. Usually, they will be uploading just a bunch of spoken notes. Who wants to download and jam to a bunch of random notes about hypertension? -- kainaw 13:06, 17 November 2008 (UTC)