Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2008 November 2

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November 2[edit]

JavaScript Support in OS X[edit]

Hi. Outside of Safari, can one run JavaScripts that manipulate files inside OS X, without downloading third-party tools? I understand that one can double-click on AppleScripts, but can one do the same with JavaScripts? OS X also natively supports Python, right? Thanks.--Account created to post on Reference Desk (talk) 01:40, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't think you can run Javascript to manipulate files in any case. Javascript doesn't have file system functions. Anyway if I were to imagine some native way to do it, I'd think of having it somehow execute within Automator or something like that. But even then you'd probably be using Safari's engine... -- (talk) 04:11, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
In Windows, you can use JavaScript to manipulate files and system settings via the Windows Script Host. It can interface with almost anything, like MS Office. You save the code file with the .js extension and double-click on it. JavaScript cannot manipulate the file system via the browser, but once you execute the standalone file, it can. That's why I was asking about it, because I heard about JavaScript OSA, but it sounds like a third-party add-in. But then, I also heard that Dashboard widgets use JavaScript, too, so I wasn't sure how they execute the code.--Account created to post on Reference Desk (talk) 04:24, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Dashboard widgets use Javascript, but the execute it through a Webkit interface, I believe (that is, they use Safari to execute it). The widgets that manipulate things beyond the scope of a browser's ability usually have little custom Applescript or execute regular code, I believe. -- (talk) 14:14, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
I just want to put out there as well that I don't think there's any easy way to use Javascript this way in OS X. Applescript is definitely the better approach. Just my two cents. -- (talk) 16:12, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
ok. Thanks for the help.--Account created to post on Reference Desk (talk) 00:23, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Question about image to sound converter[edit]

Why in those image to sound converter, I have to change settings??? Since its a image converter, the lenght, frequency..... why not the sound that is created after is not based only on the image???? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:36, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure what the question is. Some people have produced holograms using sound that they can then shine a light on, so you see an object in 3D as it interacts with the sound. I guess the opposite would be possible but only of use to bats and suchlike, I can't think why I'd want to do it, though one might want to direct sound in strange ways like one can with light and a suitably designed hologram. Dmcq (talk) 10:09, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
I presume this is related to software like that on - if so it should be noted that there is no real link between image and sound and one does need to associate the image height with a range of frequencies and the image width with the time in which one imagines a vertical scan line to move across the image. Remember that here the idea is to allow the visually impaired to interpret the sound in terms of visual elements. Shyamal (talk) 12:57, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

I am talking about programs like the java program the_voice, and windows program coagula light. They are used to convert the image into sound, and create sound. The thinng that i dont understand is why I have to configure a bunch of things before converting. I just want to convert the picture in a sound that when looked on a spectrogram would be the picture (or something very near that). (talk) 15:00, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't really understand the question(s), but a really easy image-to sound converter is Audacity. Go to "import raw data," then locate your target image. flaminglawyerc 17:25, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
When i said sound to image converter i was talking about programs that convert images to sound and if you look in the spectrogram of this sound you will see that image. And i was also talking about this: In those programs that i tested you had to changes some things before converting (minimun frequency, maximun frequency, the lenght....) Since they are creating sounds from the images, those sounds caractetistcs should be based on the image on things that the user of the program selected before converting. The things when looking in the spectrogram from the created sound, the image was allways very diffenrent from the original image. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:23, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
(For the still-confused, here are some examples of what the OP is asking about) — Matt Eason (Talk &#149; Contribs) 21:16, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Can a USB drive survive after being in the washer?[edit]

I accidentally washed my USB drive in the clothes washing machine. I heard it clicking around in the dryer. What's the likihood that it will still be good? (talk) 12:46, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Nevermind. I did some research and it turns out it should be fine, provided that you let it dry first before plugging it in. (talk) 13:32, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
It might survive...but it's not a certainty. Letting it dry out gently but completely before turning it on/plugging it in will help your chances a lot. SteveBaker (talk) 19:17, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Definitely I've put one of mine through a few times and all the files are still fine, as far as I know that is.

WinXP limited account and taskscheduler[edit]

I created a limited account on Win XP and I cannot any longer see the tasks under taskscheduler that I created on the Admin account. When I tried to create a task with the same name on limited account, the message says the task already exists. Does this mean that those tasks I created on admin account will run on limited account as well, without any extra changes in scheduler settings? Thanks for any advice. (talk) 11:20, 2 November 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Did you put a check in 'Show processes from all users' on the 'Processes' tab? Washii (talk) 01:32, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

If you can't see the Process in Task Manager, then download "Process explorer" from Microsoft's sysinternals page User:Maheshkale

Mail (app) cache[edit]

Does Mail (app) in Mac OS X Tiger (Intel MacBook, 10.4.11) cache everything locally for an IMAP account? I have a GMail account which I use from Mail (app). If I have about 3 GB worth of Mail in GMail, is all 3 GB being cached locally? Including all attachments? Where? Any ideas? Kushal (talk) 15:54, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it is cached locally. Look in ~/Library/Mail. Attachments are in ~/Library/Mail Downloads/. -- (talk) 17:01, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Thank you very much. That was very fast! I am curious how Apple's folder is 4.12 GB ( while size in GMail is only 2483 MB ( Maybe that depends on how they organize their mail? I believe that Apple creates a separate file for every mail message. Or am I running off a tangent here? Kushal (talk)
Yes, it creates a separate file for every message. You can see them all in there if you look in the folder. As for why it takes more than Gmail... no clue. Apple Mail just stores the messages as plaintext; perhaps Google compresses them. One of my mailboxes is 1.06 GB in Apple Mail; when I compress it as a ZIP it is only 697MB—40% less than before, about the same as your difference. It's odd that compression is not available in Apple Mail—it seems like an obvious thing to do at this point in time. -- (talk) 18:40, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Thank you very much. I guess the answer to not compressing is just the reason it creates separate files for each message—faster indexing. People are already complaining that Spotlight is too slow (they obviously haven't used Windows Search for a long time). Things may change with 10.7 once we get Finder rewritten and debugged. I believe Snow Leopard is not bringing many changes to Kushal (talk) 12:06, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Missing wireless network?[edit]

Hello, we recently restored our Comcast subscription after some difficulty with them in paying our bills. Before these problems, we had cable TV and an Internet connection, the latter for which we had a wireless router. After fixing the problems, we have cable TV back, but we do not seem to have a signal from the wireless router. I am able to have an Internet connection by plugging into the router with an Ethernet cord, but my laptop does not pick up our specific wireless network as it did before. I imagine that the deactivation might require manually restoring this wireless connection, but I'm not sure how to go about doing this. What can I do? (talk) 16:18, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

What make and model of router? Kittybrewster 16:22, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Linksys WRT54G series. (talk) 16:36, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Type into the URL bar the IP address ... username leave blank ... password admin. Kittybrewster 18:12, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! I was able to go from there... poked around on Google and found what changes I needed to make. Appreciate it! (talk) 18:46, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Now change the username and password. Kittybrewster 19:07, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

"This" and "first" memes on online forums?[edit]

Lately I keep seeing this goofy meme on some forums, where someone will post just the word "this", or just the word "first" in response to a question. Maybe I'm out of touch, but I just don't get it. Any takers? Squidfryerchef (talk) 19:02, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

I've seen it more on blogs. Big blog post at a major blog, and oh boy, you've stumbled upon it before anyone else has commented. Within minutes there will be twenty comments or so, but you are first! Oh boy. What an achievement.
I've seen it on forums I've been on since at least 2001, but it's probably from earlier. It's pretty lame. I think it's generally called "first post" as a phenomena. Like many internet things it's probably hard to pin it down though it's probably been on slashdot for quite awhile. -- (talk) 20:03, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
"This" means that you agree with the quoted statement. It's fairly common on the comments of stories on Like many things, there is an entry on Urbandictionary.--droptone (talk) 12:30, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Followup question (I admit, it belongs on the Language Desk) - is internet communication, as a whole, unifying or schisming the English language? Any good academic papers on this subject? Nimur (talk) 17:57, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Probably tons of papers. Once in a while they get picked up by Slashdot but I have no idea which tag you'd use to find them. Squidfryerchef (talk) 23:24, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
So, "this" is for when one really, really has nothing to add to a discussion? Wow. Squidfryerchef (talk) 23:21, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Enjoy the new crap. Same as the old crap. -- Captain Disdain (talk) 01:00, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
From what I've seen, "this" tends to mean the poster agrees with the previous post. --saxsux (talk) 20:12, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Excel and HTML tables[edit]

1. How is data stored in excel? I notice that when I copy cells from excel to notepad, the cell divisions show up as tabs and line breaks. Also, when I copy text from notepad to excel, the tabs and line breaks show up as cell divisions.

2. Is there a straightforward way to copy an html table into excel? Merely copying and pasting does not work, and neither does paste special.

Thanks! -VectorField (talk) 19:02, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

See Microsoft Excel#File_formats. In short, for Office 2003 (version 11) and earlier, Excel uses a proprietary binary file format. Beginning with Office 2007 (version 11), Excel uses a new compresses XML format. If you have Excel 2007, you can get a good idea of how Excel stores data by using the Save-As function to save into an XML file format. You can then view the file using your favorite text or XML editor. You will find a lot of overhead at the beginning of the file, with actual cell data near the end.
As for cut & paste from Excel, the results you get depend on the application you paste into. Excel makes several versions of the cut/copied data available. If you paste into another Excel spreadsheet, Excel native data will be pasted. If you paste into a word processor of web page editor, you may get a tabular view that preserves data formatting to varying degrees. If you paste into a text only window, such as Notepad, you will likely get tab delimited text.
Pasting from HTML into Excel an be tricky. If the HTML table is simple, you may get good results. If the HTML table has nested formatting, the results may not be what you want - often containing data split between cells, merged cells, and other formatting strangeties. I often copy and paste first from a web page into a text editor, clean up the data there, and then copy & paste from there into Excel. -- Tcncv (talk) 19:52, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
I've done this too, but do you know of a way I can quickly clean out all the tabs that result from pasting a table into Notepad? My strategy consists mostly pressing enter when I see a tab (to put them into a large column which I just paste into Excel). Do you know of an automated way of doing this?--droptone (talk) 16:40, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Highlight the whitespace that represents a tab. Press control-C. Press control-H. Make sure the cursor is in the "Find What" field and press control-V. Place your cursor in the "Replace With" field and type in whatever you want the tab replaced with, such as a comma. Save the file, the start Excel and do File /Open. Select Files of Type = text files. You will then be presented with the Text Import wizard. Which, by the way, will happily accept a file with tabs as the delimiters between columns, so all that copying, pasting, and replacing shouldn't be necessary. --LarryMac | Talk 17:04, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

TrueCrypt and Autoplay[edit]

(Windows XP Pro)

I've noticed that every time I uninstall TrueCrypt, it screws up Windows' AutoRun/AutoPlay feature so bad, nothing can turn it on - only System Restore helps. (Autoplay Repair doesn't ("Shell: deaf" or something like), IniFileMapping isn't set for autorun.inf).

Any ideas why it does this and how it can be fixed, other than System Restoring everything?

--grawity 19:49, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Check the registry key cited in wikipedia's article on Autoplay (that is, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\CDRom). Is it set to 0? If so, try setting it to 1 and see what happens. Belisarius (talk) 21:30, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Check the Group Policy for AutoRun - Open Run... and type mmc. Choose File > Add/Remove Snap-in... and click Add.... Choose the Group Policy Object Editor and click Add. Click OK, Close, then OK. Expand Local Computer Policy, Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, then click System. There should be an item called Turn off Autoplay. Set that to Disabled. Do the same thing for Local Computer Policy > User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System. --wj32 t/c 06:22, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
First, would the Cdrom entry affect USB drives? (I can't test, because I've already SysRestored the system.) Second, TrueCrypt's *un*installer shouldn't mess with policies, and if it did, I'm sure Microsoft's AutoplayRepair would notice that. (Its logs say it didn't.) --grawity 12:35, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure most programs use Policies to disable Autoplay (it's in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Policies\Explorer\). But have you tried what I said? --wj32 t/c 08:31, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

World of Warcraft: Treasure yield[edit]

For the World of Warcraft boss monster Gehennas, three different sites give a wide range of figures for the monetary value of his average treasure drop. Allakhazam says he has a "value" of 16g 53s 50c, Wowhead indicates his "average money dropped" as 73g 60s 85c, and Thottbot gives an "average coin" of 5g 39s 12c and a "vendor/auction value" of 30g 19s 51c (although the "total" that apparently combines average coin and "vendor-only value" is reasonably close to Allakhazam's figure at 16g 93s 39c).

Why the discrepancy between 16g, 30g and 73g? Is such wide variation in measurements common? Does it interfere with measurements of the game's GDP etc? Which figure is the most useful for the player that wants to maximize income? NeonMerlin 20:57, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't have specific knowledge of WoW at the higher levels, but I do know that gaming companies keep tight control over the economies of their MMORPGs by controlling a number of dials, such as how much money monsters drop and how much money dissappears through "sinks" (in WoW, I believe one of the biggest sinks is the cost to repair equipment). If there is too much money in the system (i.e. inflation is high), they turn up the sinks, if there is too little, maybe they up money-drops from the biggest monsters. In this way, they can keep a pretty efficient control over the in-game markets (I heard some economist say once that MMORPGs are truly the only functioning communist societies in history).
I have no idea if that is what is going on, but it could be. It could also be that since these sites get their information second-hand, they simply haven't gotten enough data to give a good estimate and weed out the anomalies, and thus the information varies. Belisarius (talk) 23:32, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
one value is net, one is distributed among participants, one weights value of inventory by frequency and valuations (talk) 20:44, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Copy home folder on Ubuntu?[edit]


I tried to copy my home folder, on Ubuntu, but I always get errors, I already tried to do it in a root nautilus, root terminal, doing "chomd 777" to that folder, and nothing! Any ideas? SF007 (talk) 21:11, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

What errors? -- kainaw 21:13, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
"Error making symbolic link: operation not permitted" SF007 (talk) 21:19, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Sounds like you are copying a symbolic link from your home directory onto a computer that doesn't have the file (or you don't have permission to see the file) that the symbolic link is pointing to. Remove the symbolic link from the files you are copying. -- kainaw 02:53, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I tried copying from the running system, and also from a Live CD, and nothing! Is there an easy way to do that thing you mention, in a easy and foolproof way? Thanks SF007 (talk) 14:18, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Where are you copying to? It appears that where you are copying to is telling you that the symbolic link is not allowed. -- kainaw 20:42, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
It is solved! I just went to my home folder, pressed "ctrl" + "H" (to show all files), and then just copied all the stuff EXCEPT the "examples" folder. Thanks! SF007 (talk) 01:33, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
The symbolic links were likely in the examples folder is where the symbolic links were. Removing that folder removed the problems of trying to copy symbolic links. -- kainaw 14:17, 4 November 2008 (UTC)