Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2009 January 21

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January 21[edit]

video file[edit]

Is there a way to or a free download tool that lets me keep video files I play on my computer? I'm running WindowsXP. I was trying to find a downloadable copy of Obama's inaugural address, but all I could find were commentaries. It's already being cut down to sniplets at most news sites. I'm afraid if I don't save a copy now I'll never get to watch the whole thing again. -- (talk) 09:06, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Try searching for '<your browser name here> cache path' or something like that and you might be able to find the things you want from there. There also seems to be some "flash video resources downloader" plugin for firefox, but I haven't tried that. -- (talk) 09:22, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Ten years ago, on Windows 9x and IE, this was really simple. You just had to copy the *.avi or *.mpg files from "C:\WINDOWS\Temporary Internet Files". Today, it is slightly more complicated. Although browsers still store files in temporary folders, many (perhaps most) videos are Flash based and/or streamed, and cannot be saved and played in common media players that easily. --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 10:41, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Not really a technical matter, but I believe the recordings of Obama's speech will be available for a long time. --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 11:04, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Yea, but probably at sites like YouTube. News orgs always seem to want to edit things down to sound bites, making them essentially useless. StuRat (talk) 13:35, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
  • It depends on the format of the video. For YouTube, you use a site like this to download the .flv file, which you can then play in VLC player. If it's Quicktime, you can just examine the source code (View... --> Source) for the .mov file link, or right-click on the movie if you have Quicktime Pro to download it. You can also look in the cache, as was mentioned above. In XP, the path is C:\Documents and Settings\<your user name>\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files.--K;;m5m k;;m5m (talk) 11:28, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
I would skip the keepvid site and go right to here, which will convert the file to something useful and download it for you as well. Matt Deres (talk) 16:09, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I had meanwhile managed to capture one, but it will only play with a lot of distortion. I'll get to work on feeding it though the site Matt suggested today. -- (talk) 00:08, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Be sure to check the file(s) carefully. I checked through the files I'd downloaded and about a third had no sound in them. Sorry for the red herring; the first two or three I'd tried came through perfectly so I thought the site was good. Matt Deres (talk) 11:41, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I personally find the original files far more useful then crappily recompressed ones. You don't actually need KeepVid or any website, Orbit and other tools are able to download mostly anything you throw at them and able to find the URL too. Really if you have VLC you should have no problems with most files you download, except perhaps RM files for which there's RealPlayer Alternative, if you're using Windows Nil Einne (talk) 12:12, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
If all you want is Obama's speech, then you should go to the Below each youtube video on website is a download link to a high quality MP4 file. Much better than using special youtube downloaders and converters. For other Youtube videos, VLC media player will play .flv without converting. — Shinhan < talk > 07:38, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

gnuplot with XCode[edit]

How can I use gnuplot with XCode (programming in C) on Mac OS? If I have an output file with data in, how do I plot it from within C? Is it something to do with a makefile?

--Cash4alex (talk) 12:24, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Google is your friend. (I understand, however, if you don't yet know the keyword API to search for. In this context, "a Y X API" means "a library for controlling program/system X from language Y".) Makefiles are certainly irrelevant. --Tardis (talk) 15:40, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Sound doesn't work[edit]

I am running Damn Small Linux on an eMachines T5010 computer. How would i go about setting up the sound card so it works in Linux? Step-by-step would be nice; i am relatively new to Linux.  Buffered Input Output 13:58, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

  1. Figure out what sound hardware you have. "lspci" is useful for this.
  2. Configure the kernel. Assuming you're using menuconfig and a 2.6-series kernel, you'll want
    Device drivers ->
    <*> Enable sound support
    Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ->
    <*> Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
    Find your hardware under either USB devices or PCI devices and enable it
  3. Build and install the new kernel
  4. Install the ALSA libraries and utilities
  5. Run "alsamixer" to un-mute the sound on your system
There are additional steps for programs that only support the older OSS API, and for MIDI support. --Carnildo (talk) 23:23, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

DSL uses a 2.4.31-KNOPPIX kernel. There is no menuconfig.  Buffered Input Output 13:44, 22 January 2009 (UTC)



Is there a way to apply a forumla to a cell location? I have a list of 100 values, repeated 4 times on one above the other. I'd like to average each position over all 4 repeats so I'd like to write a formula like:


I can't do this, is there another way I can achieve the same thing?


Aaadddaaammm (talk) 14:21, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

You probably want =average(B1,B101,B201,B301). If you place this formula in a separate column (D, for instance) and then auto-fill from D1 to D100 you will have a column of 100 averages. -- (talk) 14:43, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, new question: I've copied and (special) pasted formulas I made with the concatenate command, and now they are not calculated. If I double click on each and hit enter it calculates them, but I've got several thousand and I don't want to click on them all. Any hints here? Is there a "calculate all formulas" button, or something? Thanks Aaadddaaammm (talk) 15:16, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Pressing F9 should recalculate everything. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 15:33, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
I would so love for it to be that easy, but F9 does nothing for me. Excel doesn't seem to understand that they are formulas until I double click them... Any other tips? I've been trying macros, but they are not working for me. Aaadddaaammm (talk) 15:47, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Why is it necessary to "(special) paste" the formulas? You should be able to accomplish most everything with standard "paste" or the auto-fill feature. To create a constant formula (one that doesn't change cell identifiers automatically) either use '$' to specify invariant terms or complete three cells manually, select them all, then use auto-fill. If it still isn't working we're going to need more information on what exactly you are trying to do. -- (talk) 21:19, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Total size of all Wikipedia articles[edit]

Hello RD. Quick question, what is the total size of all Wikipedia articles in TB if summed together? -- Samir 14:24, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Does this help? Cycle~ (talk) 14:45, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
And this. Cycle~ (talk) 14:46, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Rock on. You are awesome. For some reason couldn't find it when I searched. Take care -- Samir 14:51, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
You can even download the entire wikipedia DB if you want, see WP:DD. :) -- Aeluwas (talk) 17:46, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Not even close to a terabyte. How about this oldie for a real challenge "I want to download the Internet. Do I need a bigger hard disk?" :) Dmcq (talk) 23:53, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
If you go here: [1] you'll see raw files - available for download. The relevent file is enwiki-latest-pages-articles.xml.bz2 - which is the raw text for all of the articles. No Talk: pages, no WP: pages, no User: pages and no pictures. So the raw text of the English-language Wikipedia articles is only 4.1Gbytes. That's using BZ2 file compression. That's actually the October 2008 version - it'll have grown quite a bit since then. But even allowing for some growth - you could fit it onto a single DVD-ROM (indeed a single-sided, single layer DVD-ROM). Unless you have a very old computer or your hard drive is very full - you should have plenty of space to download it onto your computer and if you have a decent net connection, you should be able to download it all overnight. SteveBaker (talk) 03:25, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

ipod shuffle (clip version) with old USB (1)[edit]

Does the iPod shuffle (the clip version) work with a very old computer that only has old USB (USB 1)?

Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:14, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Yep. As long as the computer can run iTunes, then the iPod should work with it. flaminglawyerc 22:19, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, all USB 2.0 devices should work on 1.1 connectors (at a lower data rate, of course). -- (talk) 05:16, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Inkscape fire[edit]

Does anyone know a way to make fire lettering in Inkscape? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:13, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

It depends on what you want "fire lettering" to really look like. Options include (combinations of):
  • turn the text into a shape, and then manually manipulate the top vectors of each letter to resemble a stylised fire effect (that's a lot of heavy lifting)
  • turn the text into a shape, copy, expand, and repeat a few times. Then overlay the resulting forms with a roughly common baseline, and colour in a fire-like way
  • a firey gradient fill in the text object (talk) 20:02, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
I think I'd paint the effect I wanted in a paint program (GIMP, Photoshop, etc) at really high resolution - perhaps with a limited color palette - then use Inkscape's capability to convert raster images into vectors. Do a couple of letters first to make sure it does what you want. SteveBaker (talk) 03:01, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I want it to look like this: [2] or like this: [3]. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:13, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Conficker virus/trojan whatever?[edit]

So, I come back from a month abroad in Europe (to the UK); I switch on my PC and find a dirty big but incomplete message that has no Close button obliterating a large part of my screen telling me in part that my automatic update has failed. So there I am wondering what has happened whilst I was away and I decide to bypass the message and log on to AOL and then on to my Windows Protection Suite as provided by McAfee via AOL telling me my PC, Files, EMail and Internet are unprotected so I click on FIX and nothing changes, so now I worry. And then I decide to delete McAfee from my Program list and then I re-install it successfully and do a full Scan and then my McAfee tells me I am fully protected again. Phew. But now I am wondering why do I pay AOL/McAfee/Windows XP £2.99 per month for protection if I am exposed to viruses such as Conficker in my absence (I only learned about this from Wiki's Main Page today). And why wasn't I told about this by AOL - I did try their Live Help Desk but got a message telling me that in order to improve their customer service to me AOL had discontinued that facility??????? And having done all of that, why do I still get the incomplete message at startup telling me that the automatic update has failed despite McAfee telling me my PC etc., are all now fully protected? Thanks for letting me rant and thanks in anticipation of any helpful responses to this novice PC user. Oh - and is anyone ever traced who has initiated these viruses worms and trojans and are they ever prosecuted? (talk) 19:42, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Well, with AOL, that's kind of what a lot of people would expect; it's not exactly a universally beloved service. Still, as reviled as AOL may be, in this instance, it's not necessarily their fault. McAfee is probably a little more to blame here, since they're the ones who provided the software that was supposed to keep this from happening. But even then, it's a little hard to say it's their fault: they can only prevent what they can catch in time, and if the worm slipped under their radar, well, that's that. It can be argued that their software should have caught it, but, well. Can't catch 'em all. I'm sure their software did tell you that your computer is fully protected, but any piece of software that tells you that is lying -- at least if by "fully protected" you expect it to mean that "it cannot be breached or infected by malware". It simply means that there are no security problems the program is aware of. There are always going to be bugs that can be exploited, and a piece of malware can always avoid detection if its creator is clever enough.
Perhaps a tiny bit of the blame could also be said to fall in your own lap: a patch for the bug in Windows that enabled Conficker to work was released three months ago, and if you'd installed that patch at the time, chances are that your computer wouldn't have been infected.
But that is blaming the victim. The malware's author is obviously the person who really should be blamed -- and to answer your question, yes, sometimes these people get caught, but a lot of the time they don't. Usually, there's not a lot of evidence to go by, but sometimes these moral cripples do get caught: David L. Smith, who wrote the infamous Melissa worm, for example, was caught and got a ten-year sentence (which was reduced when he turned stoolie, but still). Likewise, Sven Jaschan, the author of the Netsky and Sasser computer worms was caught and convincted, though he got off relatively easily since he was a minor. -- Captain Disdain (talk) 21:04, 21 January 2009 (UTC)