Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2009 January 20

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January 20[edit]

Links in email signatures[edit]

I use Outlook 2003 for my emails. In the signature for one of my accounts, I include a link to the Google Maps entry for my Scout Group. This is a very long and ugly-looking link, but it is very useful to help people find our building. Is there any way to make the link just appear as something like "Find us on Google Maps"? (Like we can do with links on Wikipedia). DuncanHill (talk) 00:35, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

You could use one of the URL shortening service (such as TinyURL) to make it something that's shorter, but it'll still be a URL in your signature. -- JSBillings 01:48, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks - I've done that and it looks a lot better. DuncanHill (talk) 02:02, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
If you are using HTML email (which most everything supports these days) then you can just stuff in an HTML link, like so:
<a href="">My link text</a>
(You might also need to tell Outlook to use HTML mail by default.) -- (talk) 02:40, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Cool, thank you. DuncanHill (talk) 03:12, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Note that this is fine for private emails. For serious emails (at least say in acedemia, which I am familiar with) HTML emails are at least frowned upon, and worse increase the chances of your mail being gobbled up by the spam filter. Not sure about businesses, but I wouldn't be surprised if similar rules operate. (talk) 23:05, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
HTML emails are generally accepted by marketing and management, frowned upon by engineering, and forbidden by IT. --Carnildo (talk) 23:45, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
That's really a rather... outdated view. Suggesting businesses that often choose clunky, bloated, and insecure email software would condemn HTML email is rather humorous. I personally don't care for HTML email (never have) but the world marches on. Nowadays nearly every mail client can handle HTML email (many users get their email in HTML form regardless), and short of "not impressing" some old-school computer geeks and being *marginally* more likely to get caught in a spam filter, there isn't a real downside. -- (talk) 00:13, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
One annoyance is that when someone sends me a link as cleartext (i.e. not as an <a> tag) within HTML mail it's not clickable in Thunderbird. —Tamfang (talk) 20:37, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Difficulty in Installaing Windows XP.[edit]

Hello everybody. I've recently bought a Compaq Laptop with Linux pre-installed. But recently I've decided to install Windows XP as an additional operating system on it, for efficient coordination with my Windows XP Desktop. But each time I enter the Windows XP SP2 CD into the disc-drive of the laptop, a message appears as "Please press any key to boot from CD". After I press any key, another message appears "Setup is inspecting the hardware configuration of your machine" and the screen turns black and remains unaffected until I switch of the laptop and Windows XP is not installed. The CD is also not corrupt, since it is original and I used it to install XP successfully on my Desktop. What can be the problem? Is there any solution to this? Any help is gladly accepted. (talk) 13:54, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

How long have you waited ? It may take several minutes to inspect the hardware configuration, which might involve doing things like turning the monitor on and off. StuRat (talk) 15:39, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Actually, I've waited for about 2 hours but nothing has happened. (talk) 16:00, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

You may need to connect (or disable) an external monitor. Windows can be somewhat "flighty" when it comes to choosing a primary monitor. -- (talk) 16:09, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Oh. Thank you, but is there any other way (a bit easier) to solve the problem? (I have not enabled any external monitor yet, so it is not quite a difficult task for me to connect any external monitor to it). Whatever it may be, thank you for rendering your kind help of cooperation. [To be noted that and Anirban16chatterjee are the same, i.e I am now logged in].Anirban16chatterjee (talk) 16:23, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Take a close look at the install CD. Are there any scratches or delamination ? I've had install disks go bad on me before. This isn't very likely, given your symptoms, but still worth a check. StuRat (talk) 17:40, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
  • What model of Compaq is this? The first thing you'll need to do is look in your BIOS for the problem by pressing F10 at boot time. Check your hard-drive settings, because Windows XP doesn't support SATA drives by default. It needs to come pre-installed with the drivers for those. If that's the problem, you'd need to change the configuration inside the BIOS to use IDE instead of AHCI, over-write Linux with XP, install the drivers, partition the drive, and re-install Linux. If that doesn't help, unplug any external devices and try disabling some more features in the BIOS.--K;;m5m k;;m5m (talk) 18:04, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Have you made space (ie. a partition) in which to install XP? If all partitions are configured as ext3 Linux partitions, the XP installer may be struggling to identify a partition it can use. However, the lack of any display is the most worrying aspect of this problem - you should at least be able to see something, even if it was a message about not being able to find a usable partition. Does the laptop still start up in Linux OK? Astronaut (talk) 18:32, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

AWB on WINE on Ubuntu 8.10[edit]

My main problem is with AWB, but I'm not sure my .NET 2.0 is installed properly - it thinks it is but it seems to generate a load of "fixme"s when repairing. Basically, AWB loads, I can see everything, but then dies (read "exits itself") whilst "Initialising" - am I missing something simple? (I got WINE specifically for AWB, so it isn't tweaked, patched or anything.) Any help appreciated. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 18:59, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

If "AWB" is AWB then you might find this quote from the article helpful:

AWB works with Wine; you have to do "winetricks gecko dotnet20" to install the correct .NET framework first.[1] If you find any problems running AWB on Wine, please file a report at

-- (talk) 20:13, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I saw that (hence why I tried it in the first place really); I haven't reported a bug yet though. Wine has known problems emulating IE, I now suspect that to be the problem in my case. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 20:52, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Software mirror sites[edit]

I've made a program (licensed under the GPL v3) and submitted it to Softpedia and MajorGeeks. Suddenly it's appeared on all these other websites. I expected that and I don't really care. There's one site at which has bundled my program with an Ask toolbar installer. Great way to make money off free software. Is there any way I can stop these people from mirroring my program? One way might be to say that they're violating the GPL by not providing/offering source code with the download, and since I've given the first two sites permission, they can do that... --wj32 t/c 20:48, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Good luck with that one ;) Seriously though, the bigger the provider the more likely they are to read your complaint, so target the bigger ones / the ones with most to list first, and hope the other websites don't matter. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 20:52, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps can help you. -- (talk) 22:58, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
It's not that big... Anyway, does anyone know of any sites similar to I mean, are there any sites which take free software and bundle it with adware/spyware, then submit it to download sites claiming that they wrote the program? It's just greedy and unfair. --wj32 t/c 23:54, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I have to ask - why did you license it under GPL if you didn't want people to do that? The WHOLE POINT of GPL is to allow people to do that kind of thing. You've already given them permission! If someone is making money - then the people they are making it from are idiots. They could be getting your software for free - yet they are paying for it. I don't think there is anything you can do...nor should you. Learn a lesson and read the fine print of the license you use before posting your code to the web with it!
The GPL says (in the chatty prelude section): "For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must pass on to the recipients the same freedoms that you received. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights."
So they are certainly allowed to charge people for your software...but they DO have to say someplace that it's under GPL and they have to point to a place where people can get the sourcecode (although they are allowed to charge people 'a modest fee' for the source code too). If they aren't doing that - then the correct thing to do is to remind them of this fact and ask that they fix that. SteveBaker (talk) 03:37, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I just emailed them with a cease-and-desist type letter saying that they didn't even display the license and that they didn't offer source code. I know that the GPL allows people to do that, I just didn't think anyone would do that! --wj32 t/c 08:48, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Closing tabs in Firefox -- switch to next unread?[edit]

Hi all,

Firefox has recently started behaving differently than I'm used to, and I'm trying to work out whether it's some extension messing with the defaults, or if I'm now on the defaults and an extension was messing with it before...

If you open up two or more tabs in the background (e.g. by ctr/apple-clicking), then switch to the first new tab, and then close it, which tab do you now see? Up until last week, I would get the next tab to the right, i.e. the next unread tab. Now I go back to the tab that I originally clicked on the links from.

1) Which is the default? What happens when you try it on your Firefox? 2) Does anyone know what might cause this change?


Sam (talk) 23:59, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

There are several extensions which do this - I use Tab Mix Plus which has an option to do exactly what your talking about. I don't think it's like that by default, though. --wj32 t/c 03:41, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
"Next tab to the right" is (or atleast was) the default (my relatively unmodified Firefox behaves that way). There seem to be a significant number of people who prefer that behavior [2]. -- (talk) 21:32, 21 January 2009 (UTC)