Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2009 March 1

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March 1[edit]

change camera drivers[edit]

I have a HP Pavillion laptop with an integrated webcam, however I really like Dell's webcam center. I was able to download and install the dell webcam center but the webcam driver isn't supported. Where would I get one that is supported and how would I get thoe drivers to replace the ones currently installed? --omnipotence407 (talk) 00:27, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Since your webcam is integrated, it is, of course, and HP webcam. An HP webcam can only work with it's own drivers, and it's own software. Software from different vendors, Dell in this case, will not support the webcam in question. The exact same thing applies to the drivers installed for the webcam.
So, in a nutshell, your stuck with HP's webcam software, and essentially the only way to bypass this is to download a freeware webcam application, or switch to a different operating system, such as Ubuntu. Sorry. Until It Sleeps 01:56, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Manually backing up Hard Drive[edit]

I want to back up my Vista and XP machines. Suppose my computers each only have 1 hard drive (let's call it C: in both cases), is it sufficient to just double-click on the hard drive in "My Computer", hit Select All and copy all into my external hard drive? Acceptable (talk) 00:54, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Um, well this depends on what you want to do... Do you want to just back up all of the files on the backup drive itself, or do you want to make the external drive bootable? Until It Sleeps 01:51, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
If you either want to do the latter or want to make a copy within a backup drive that you can later turn into a bootable disk, I highly recommend Clonezilla. (Alternatively, you may feel reassured by a product coming from a conventional corporation, and want to shell out 70 bucks for Symantec "Norton" Ghost; it won't actually be of any additional help, but maybe we should all do our bit to save large corporations.) Clonezilla will ask you lots of questions that you probably won't be able to answer; just hit Enter for the default choice every time. Well, almost every time: don't become too zonked out by the process, as although the program can "read" your computer it can't read your mind, and a couple of the questions ask you what you want to do (back up, restore? to and from a drive or an image?) and of course you have to get those right. Hoary (talk) 04:08, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

If I'd like to just back them up, bootability is not a necessity, just doing what I described is adequate right? EVERY file from my computers will be copied over? Acceptable (talk) 04:20, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

I've been running a WinXP program called Drive Snapshot ( which claims to address the low-level issues in copying a complete operating system. It allows you to back up while doing other work. According to the company, you can restore a complete, runnable system from backup (including the OS), though luckily I've not had to test that. Drive Snapshot saves a 40 gigabyte XP system to an external hard disk in about an hour. (Both Drive Snapshot and Ghost cost some money, order of $70.) I would not be confident that the simple method of a 'Select All' on the C: drive would do what you want. What happens to files that are in use by the OS? Older backup programs would choke on anything that was in use when you tried to copy it. EdJohnston (talk) 05:09, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Clonezilla will do what you want, and it will do it for no money. However, you won't be able to do any other work while it is at work. (Incidentally, I'm surprised by your desire to copy every file but lack of interest in bootability from the result; why else back up every file?) -- Hoary (talk) 05:36, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
To be a little more specific here: generally speaking, you can't just copy the files of a piece of Windows software to another machine and expect it to work. So, typically, unless you're creating a restorable (and bootable) backup of the entire hard drive, it's not very useful to copy anything except the files that contain your work and other files you use for business or pleasure -- typically, the "My Documents" folder and its equivalents on the computer. The rest of the files tend to be largely useless, because the majority of the software on that hard drive won't be much good without the Windows registry entries they require to work. -- Captain Disdain (talk) 08:51, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Well put. Though if copyright issues didn't stop me, I'd grab some of the fonts too. Hoary (talk) 10:28, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Sure, there may be other things. Browser software bookmark files, your mp3 collection, if it's not under My Documents, game saves, that super secret porn stash... stuff like that. But the point still stands. -- Captain Disdain (talk) 12:37, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
If the OS is running at the same time, you will almost certainly encounter locked files. Copying files to a set of DVDs or external drive will stop dead when it encounters a locked file, leaving you with a big manual job trying to decide where it has got to in the copy process. As Captain Disdain suggests, just copying "My Documents" (XP)/"Documents" (Vista) and some other choice bits that you can't replace or recreate easily, is probably the best way (and it's smaller too, so it might go quicker and it might fit on one DVD). Oh, and don't forget to backup your email files either. Astronaut (talk) 20:20, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
If you're doing a backup in case the drive dies, something like Norton Ghost (or some free replacement) works well. You can also try doing a bit-for-bit copy using a *nix utility like dd, which is also very free and very straightforward. Shadowjams (talk) 08:28, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

CSS hover[edit]

What CSS elements of divs can be changed with the :hover thingy? I tried to change a bunch of things (see testing page; the ads aren't there by any decision of mine), but all I can see that actually changes is the size of the div. What else can you change? (I'm trying to build a website completely without Java and Javascript; I realize that those would make this easier) flaminglawyer 01:29, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Technically, you should able able to change any property of the element using any selector. In practice, there are always a few slips for each browser, especially Internet Explorer, but it's mostly for very obscure usage of CSS. There are two problems with your code, though, here marked in bold:
div:hover {background color:gray; border:5p solid blue; color:white; height:20%}
It's background-color, with an hyphen, and "p" is not a valid unit, so it is ignored. Use pt for points. — Kieff | Talk 01:35, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Oh, sorry, I knew that, just typos... Thanks, my hope in CSS is restored. flaminglawyer 01:45, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
IE is the big difficulty with :hover. It supports it on nothing except anchor (a) tags if I recall. If you are clever about it, you can get a lot of mileage out of the anchor tags, but it is not straightforward and can lead to some somewhat nasty nesting of things. -- (talk) 14:59, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Format a disk that refuses?[edit]

I'm using WinVistax64 and detected a diskerror when TrueCrypt refused to encrypt my device. CHKDISK comes up with nothing. It won't format with the right-click+format guide, so I tried "format E:" in cmd (as admin), but it came back with something like "You are not allowed to format this volume". I am the only user and admin. I formatted another drive today as well, w/o problems. If you know a solution - great! I have no idea what it could be, since I've never seen anything like this before. Also, as a quick fix, do you guys know any bootable CD's or software that would allow me to format it as NTFS? Thanks in advance! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:00, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Did you right-click on 'Command Prompt' and select 'Run as Administrator' to open cmd.exe? If not, do that, and then issue the format command.(Nevermind that, I apparently can't read) Also, I'd suggest trying to run a 'chkdsk e: /r /f' before trying a format. It may tell you how much of the drive has gone bad (sector-wise). (Washii) (talk) 07:31, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Almost any bootable OS CD will allow you to format the drive (not necessarily to NTFS); at which point Windows will most likely jump at the opportunity to format an "unformatted" (read "non-windows-formatted") drive. It'll take a little longer to format it twice, but this way you aren't relying on some reverse-engineered code to NTFS format your drive. – 74  13:20, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Ched ~ (yes?) 14:35, 1 March 2009 (UTC) ← <* wonders if 74 is making an indirect reference to the good old "Partition Magic" disk *>
<* 74  disavows all knowledge of Partition Magic, citing this interview instead at 15:11, 1 March 2009 (UTC) *>

OP here, tried to format via the Vista DVD. Told me (after reaching 100%) that one sector was "bad". Then it said that the first and second (=all) NTFS-boot-sectors were unwriteable. Format Failed. Now what? (talk) 18:04, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps now would be a good time to replace your failing harddrive with a new one? – 74  18:35, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
It's 6months old, could it be failing already? Keep in mind that it worked fine before I tried to encrypt and format it.... (talk) 20:35, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
While not impossible it would be rather unlikely. Perhaps windows is merely confused. You could indeed try's suggestion below to NTFS format it using Linux. If that doesn't work, you could try formatting it in Linux with some other disk format, then try reformatting it as NTFS in Windows. If that still fails, it's time to replace the drive. – 74  22:21, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Pretty much any Linux LiveCD will be able to format it as NTFS. You can run "mkntfs" from the command-line, or use graphical programs like QtParted and GParted if available. SystemRescueCD is a good LiveCD which includes GParted and other rescue tools. Knoppix 5 is a good LiveCD which includes QtParted. If you want a more dedicated CD, GParted has a GParted LiveCD. -- (talk) 21:44, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Firefox bog[edit]

As my link to the past or whatever, I still sometimes use one computer that has Windows (specifically, Win 2k). For a long time I was using Mozilla ver 0.7 or thereabouts on it; this seemed a fine program to me. Then I upgraded to Firefox ver 0.92 or so; this seemed slightly better. Last week, having at long last broadened the band to this computer, I thought that I should kowtow to "virus" hysteria etc via all the "security enhancements" of the latest Firefox. (Also, my beta version of Firefox did have minor annoyances; for example, consistently made it crash. And I even thought I'd read somewhere that newer versions of Firefox ran faster.)

So I upgraded to Firefox 3.0.6 (as of a couple of minutes ago, still the latest). But what a slug this can be! Some days, it's OK. On others, even typing a message such as this is tiresome, as it can't keep up with my typing. When this happens, if I close it down completely (and check in MemTest that none of it lingers) and reopen it, it's often as slow as it was before.

Right now, it's open in a different window. MemTest reports that it's using 56kB of memory; which I don't suppose is excessive. In order to type this, on the selfsame computer I'm right now using Opera 6.03 (yes, your grandfather's Opera; I think it dates from 2002). It's fine; no drag at all. So all in all I don't think the computer has got any malware.

As far as I can remember, I've plugged in no plug-in or extension. (I don't even have Flash.) What stunningly obvious factor might I have overlooked here? -- Hoary (talk) 03:38, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

What kind of websites are we talking about? Do you have anything open (even in another tab) that's super-AJAXy (like Gmail or Google Reader)? They can sometimes really bog firefox down on low-performance computers (I've frequently noted that on my Eee PC running Ubuntu, Google Reader will spike to 100% CPU usage after using it for a while, bogging the whole browser down). Or does this happen if you only have relatively light-weight pages open (like Wikipedia articles).
One thing you should definitely do is to start monitoring your processes. Install Process Explorer and have it running in the background, it'll give you a little graph of CPU usage in the system tray. You'll start to notice what behaviors that bring the browser to a creeping halt (or if it even is the browser at all. it's possible that it's some other program messing with you). BTW, when you said it takes up 56 kb of memory, you really meant that it takes up 56 mb of memory, right? Because at no point in the history of any universe has firefox taken up that small amount of memory.
I would recommend you install Google Chrome (as it is known in all the lands for it's amazing swiftness), but I don't know if it works on Win 2K. Probably doesn't.
My best guess is that your computer is simply old (btw, what specs do you have?) Software from 2002 is obviously going to be running faster, because it assumes that the hardware it's on is also from around 2002. Your computer may simply be too slow for the latest version of Firefox. If that's the case, there's no shame in just using the version of Opera you have that works (but for God's sake, don't use IE 6!) Belisarius (talk) 09:00, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Thank you, peoples. Er, yes, not 56kB, I meant 56MB. I don't remember the specs of the computer or even how to look them up; of course it's primitive by 2008 standards and it has 192MB of RAM. It's a curiously durable laptop, and since its screen is tolerable even by today's standards and its keyboard is far better than any other I remember trying (not that my experience here is wide), I'm in no rush to get rid of it. (When it does eventually conk out, I plan to replace it with something running Debian.)

No Gmail, no Google Reader.

However ancient the computer is, it's easily good enough to run Firefox ver. 0.9.2 or whatever that was. And no offense to the hundreds of people who've together put thousands of hours into improving Firefox since then, but I see little change to the program beyond increased stability (good!), increased prettiness, and even more desperate attempts at URL completion; there's no obvious reason why it should be slower.

The sluggishness is very localized. I'm using Firefox now, and as I type this autoreferring sentence, it's fine. But when I go to type in the "Edit summary" box of this very same page, I type ahead of what I see -- which doesn't matter, but it's disconcerting (and I'd certainly never experience it in the beta).

I know that WP isn't a RS, but for what they're worth its articles say that neither Chrome nor Safari runs on Win2k. Perhaps K-Meleon, said to be slimmer than Firefox, is for me. Or, after I've treble-checked that it won't zap ver. 6.03, perhaps a recent Opera would be the thing. -- Hoary (talk) 10:21, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

You might try disabling javascript and see if the performance improves; I've seen any number of sites that bring my browser to a crawl with poorly-formed javascript. Beyond that, there are a number of features that theoretically could be the source of the slowdown, many of which are controllable using about:config. You could go down the list disabling everything you don't need and see if the base performance improves. That being said, it is certainly possible to install and run multiple copies of Opera (just make sure to choose a new install directory). – 74  12:33, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Those are good ideas all. I'll try them. Consider the matter "resolved"; thank you. -- Hoary (talk) 12:56, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Restoring deleted files[edit]

I have an old Windows 2000 laptop that I recently dug up. It was reformatted about 5 years ago and I haven't used it since. Is there anyway I can retrieve/restore these reformatted files? I have not written anything to the hard drive since I reformatted it 5 years ago. I recall that there are software out there that will do the trick. Can anyone recommend one for an old Windows 2000 Pentium 3 machine? Acceptable (talk) 04:33, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

What filesystem? -- (talk) 09:53, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
I think Windows 2000 uses NTFS. -- SGBailey (talk) 12:22, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
I'd probably try the unformat command with the disk you did the format with first (old-school, may not be an option with 2K). Norton Utilities circa mid-1990's had a direct disk access disk editor (also old-school, and for techs only). I'll see if I can find the website for the Restore program I have. b-back-shortly. — Ched ~ (yes?) 14:32, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

This works well: --Wonderley (talk) 14:46, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

YEP ... that's the one, know I have it in my little toolbox somewhere - just couldn't find it that quick. Good deal Wonderly! — Ched ~ (yes?) 15:54, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
If it was a partition issue on top of the formatting, try gparted. It does really well at reconstructing destroyed partitions. If NTFS was reformatted over it in the same spot, I think you'd lose the NTFS tables (since it would put them at the same places) (although could be wrong), and so you'd need to do the more labor intensive file-carving. There are a few good file carving utilities out there, so start looking at that route. Shadowjams (talk) 08:25, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

250W PSU and a new Video Card[edit]

Hi all. I was wondering if you could recommend any half decent video cards that would work with a 250 watt PSU. I have a HP A6632F with 4GB RAM, 2.4GHz E220 DuoCore processor, and Vista Home Premium. This computer uses PCIE 2.0 x16. I used to have a ATI Radeon 9800XT for my old HP (200W PSU), and I liked it quite a bit. I'm hoping for something a bit better than that, but an equivalent would be okay, I guess. I'm not sure what else in the way of information I should provide, so feel free to ask. Thanks in advance, --AtTheAbyss (talk) 04:52, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

I see that nobody has recommended such a graphics card yet, and I won't either. You've got a pretty good machine, I wouldn't recommend spending money on a bottleneck-esque video card. I'd recommend the 8800GT as good bang-for-the-buck, but you'll need a PSU with at least 400 watts. But if you're going to purchase a new PSU, perhaps future-proof it a bit and get some more wattage. Useight (talk) 20:18, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree - given the amount you're going to spend on a graphics card - it only makes sense to buy a decent power supply and not let such a trivial thing limit your choices. 250 watts is hopelessly inadequate these days. Even if you find a card that'll work - it'll be slow and nasty - and the power supply will run hotter and fail sooner. Then you'll end up paying for a new power supply - and still be stuck with an unnecessarily slow and nasty graphics card. Better to upgrade the power now and have a free choice of which card you can use. Then you can look for the best deal without being limited to a small range of cards. SteveBaker (talk) 03:36, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm. The way the economy is I'm not sure I'll be able to afford a new PSU as well as a new graphics card anytime in the near future, although you both make valid points. The reason I brought up my ATI Radeon 9800XT is because I was able to play battlefield 2 and call of duty 2 (both released in 06) even though the card came out in 03. I was hoping I could find an older card with that kind of staying power. I plan on going into the military soon, so I don't need something that can play games released last year, this year, or next year. I'm just looking for something that can play BF2 and CoD2.--AtTheAbyss (talk) 04:25, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Konqueror, Firefox and openSUSE[edit]

Earlier I was updating the Kenn Borek Air article. This involved going to Transport Canada's database and searching for the aircraft registered to Kenn Borek, which gave me a list of 38, with 15 to a page. In Firefox I seem to be stuck on page 1, clicking on the links for page 2 or 3 just reloads page 1. If I use Konqueror I can look at each page but the "common name", "serial number" and "owner regist. since" fields are all blank, with that information on two lines just below the "return to search" and above the "38 matches found" and looks like "Beech B 42 1992-12-03 Dehavilland 311 2000-10-11 Beech BB 7 1992-09-17..." Any ideas why that is happening and how to solve it. By the way it's not a problem with Firefox in Windows. I was able to work around it by clicking on "printable version", so it's not a major problem but it is annoying. Enter CambridgeBayWeather, waits for audience applause, not a sausage 08:21, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

The page is using IE-specific javascript. Specifically, it is manipulating an object named 'frmsubmit' (e.g. frmsubmit.action), where "frmsubmit" is the name= of a <form>. Both js and css (which was evidently an afterthought) is quite amateur.
IE5.0/Wine saves the day; I'll post the contents of the list to your talk page. -- Fullstop (talk) 09:51, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
I missed the bit about you already having it. -- Fullstop (talk) 09:55, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. At least I know now that I can't cure it. And I fixed my error above. Just went to work and checked it with Windows to be sure and it doesn't work. Enter CambridgeBayWeather, waits for audience applause, not a sausage 11:09, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
When this happens - it's very important that as many people as possible complain to the webmaster at the site. Very often the people who do the job of running these sites have drunk the Microsoft cool-aid and believe that all other browsers are irrelevent. Getting a decent volume of complaints is the only thing that can prevent that. SteveBaker (talk) 03:22, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Don't know why I didn't. But I have now. Enter CambridgeBayWeather, waits for audience applause, not a sausage 06:56, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Blackberrys, Outlook and Exchange[edit]

Hello....what are the different options for connecting a Blackberry to an Exchange Server? There's Web access via a browser, and OMA which I believe is also done via a browser. Is there not a Outlook client that runs on a Blackberry? I keep running into OMA, which I don't think is a client in itself. I don't have a Blackberry here to check and I need to make some recommendations...unfortunetly I'm not super fluent with those devices... (talk) 18:12, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Time Zone Software for OS X For Scheduling Appointments[edit]

I often need to schedule phone calls in different time zones. While the dashboard world clocks are great, they only tell me what the time is now in a given city. Is there any software for OS X where I can enter any time (e.g. 8:00AM in two weeks) and it will show me when that time is in selected cities?

Thanks --Grey1618 (talk) 18:24, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

MoWeS to Real Server[edit]

I have installed MediaWiki onto my flash drive (as a wiki on a stick), as part of MoWeS. That was recommended to me here That includes Apache, PHP and MySQL. Now I am wondering how I would go about turning that into an actual website. I know I need to buy a domain name, like at GoDaddy. What else would I do? Thanks, (talk) 20:53, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

You'll need to explain more about what you really want. If you want your MediaWiki install to be used by people over the internet (and not just inside your school or office) then you 're really best to get a web hosting package and install MediaWiki etc. there. While you could host it on a regular home machine, you'd need to use Dynamic DNS or get your ISP to give you a static IP address - and even in that case, I don't know why you'd want to have the software on a USB stick. I'd have thought the only reason you'd install someotng on MoWeS is for purely personal use, with you the only person accessing it. (talk) 21:17, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
SOrry, I should have said that I want to move it off the flash stick. I would like for it to be available over the Internet, to anyone. I had heard about Dynamic DNS, but wasn't sure. I am pretty sure I have a static IP address, as I have the same one now as I did in the previous post (is that correct?). I would use my home machine only to save the costs of using a web-hosting service. Thanks, Genius101Guestbook 21:42, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
You can get some very cheap hosting solutions, from people like DreamHost and GoDaddy; remember that hosting it from your desktop machine means that a) that machine has to be on all the time (24/7/365) burning your electricity and warming your home. And if that machine needs to reboot for software updates, or because it's crashed, or runs slow because you're playing GTA5 on it, then the web service suffers. Worse, that A in ADSL stands for asymmetric - your upstream is much much slower than your downstream, which means that only a few visitors to your site can exhaust your upstream bandwidth and make your site very unresponsive. Hosting centres, by contrast, have high-bandwidth symmetric connections, so they're not handicapped in this way. Now all of this is fine if you're the only user of it (like you're just connecting home when you're elsewhere) but if other people are going to use it they're going to be disappointed in anything that's hosted in your home. If you really still want to host at home, then you'll need a guaranteed static IP address (you rarely get that without asking for it explicitly, and paying extra) or a dyndns (or the like). Then you buy a domain and have your hosting company set their name servers to point to your static IP. Then someone can access your machine at home as easily as if they were in the next room - including all the ports you left open and the services you didn't disable (which makes security a real headache). (talk) 22:12, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
After reading that, I think that I probably will end up going with the paid hosting services. It's just a lot easier. Thanks a lot for your help! Genius101Guestbook 22:45, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
As for transferring it, if both your stick and the server are using MySQL, you can use a tool like phpMyAdmin to transfer the whole database in one big step. I don't know what other complexities are entailed in a MediaWiki data transfer, though. (Also, paid hosting is pretty cheap, on the whole, and worth it.) -- (talk) 00:02, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

What is the best web browswer for Windows?[edit]

I've been trying to figure it out for a while now. IE 8 looks promising, and it may be even more secure than the other browsers. Opera has always been an underdog favorite of mine with lots of innovative features. Firefox is thrusted towards the top because of its ability for extensions and add-ons. I've never liked Safari, but Safari 4 seems and sounds to be really good. What do you guys think is the best web browser for Windows? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:02, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Notice at the top of the page: The reference desk does not answer requests for opinions... Do not start a debate; please seek an internet forum instead. -- (talk) 21:11, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Of the browsers you name, IE has been (for years now) the slowest, buggiest, least standards-compliant, and overwhelmingly least secure browser. Alleged improvements have always been in the next version, whatever than version will be, but it's consistently failed to catch up. Of the others, Firefox has the advantage of lots of extensions, Opera tends to be a bit faster and a bit further up the standards curve. Safari is perfectly good, as is its cousin Google Chrome. Beyond that it's a matter of taste; there isn't a "best" out of Opera/FF/Safari/Chrome. (talk) 21:13, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
I disagree with that. IE7 is loads better then Safari and to a lesser extent Chrome in most regards even though it's a lot older. And there are a lot of people who share my view, Apple products on Windows are often lambasted. I'm not even convinced Safari is more secure [1] [2] beyond the fact no one targets it due to the tiny market share. Nil Einne (talk) 05:30, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
You may also be interested in Comparison of web browsers and the bunch of comparison articles linked in its see-also section, including Comparison of layout engines (Cascading Style Sheets). (talk) 21:24, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Without any doubt: Google Chrome. It is fast, stable, modern and has a simple and non-ugly UI. --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 22:19, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
And we were doing so well at maintaining neutrality (well, except for IE, but that's quite understandable). – 74  22:25, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
My response was neutral, because didn't ask "What browser is the best?" but rather "What browser do you guys think is the best?". There is indeed a subtle difference. --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 22:55, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

None of these programs costs any money. Unlike operating systems or indeed plenty of free-as-in-speech-or-beer programs (such as R) for very different uses, getting acquainted with them requires a trivial amount of time of time and effort. Therefore experimentation is free in all senses. Further, it's obvious that what people prefer will depend on their own, well, preferences (notably, on what they're already used to). So why ask? --

I think it's all a matter of opinion - there are features in each that others lack - some people need JavaScripting speed - others need cross-platform compatibility - others want loads of plugins...who knows what else? But if you have a Windows PC, you can download pretty much all of them for free - they don't interfere with each other - you can have all of them installed at once. Play - enjoy - pick your favorite. Mine happens to be FireFox - but your mileage may vary. SteveBaker (talk) 03:11, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

I personally prefer FireFox with IE7 a close second. My main gripe with IE is the way it handles content you've typed in (like this) that is it doesn't save it very well so if you visit another website and come back, it's liable to be gone (very annoying when I compose a long response and lose it). I've briefly used Chrome but didn't find that appealing (the individual process was interesting but it had numerous other issues but that was a beta). Safari is of course even worse from my brief experience (to be honest, I don't know of any Apple product on Windows that is worth jack shit). Haven't used Opera in a long while. Security wise, I trust Firefox much more then IE, not necessarily because FireFox is a load better but because it's still targeted a lot less. Safari, and all Apple products like to try and force junk down your throat and keep constantly running crap on your computer (updaters and other bullshit). Chrome and Google products are heading in that direction but thankfully are not as bad as Apple yet. FireFox and IE are a lot better (unless you count the stuff that already comes with Windows, but even that little of it is specific to IE nowadays) Nil Einne (talk) 05:25, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

I personally use Firefox, Flock, Chrome, Opera, Maxthon, and Safari, in that order of preference, all for different reasons. I wouldn't touch IE with a shitty stick and I get rid of every application that tries to open it in favour of my other preferred browsers. Why vote for the Tories when you have loads of other choice?--KageTora (talk) 23:19, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Looking for something that says "Ready" when startup finally finished, and requires entering a key code to allow computer use[edit]

I have Win XP, set to autologin (*). After startup has technically finished, the resident antivirus scanner and ccleaner keep the computer busy for a few minutes more. During this time the computer is very slow - I prefer not to use it. Is there something I could install that would show a sign on the desktop indicating the computer was now ready to use, all scanning and cleaning done? I imagine it would be put in one of the startup folders. I would also like it to stop anyone using the computer until I enter a secret key of some kind. ((*) Note - you might be thinking of suggesting that I no longer use autologin, and use the password login option instead. But this would be much slower and much more inconvenient as I would have to return to the computer twice - once to switch it on, then wait a long time, then return the second time to enter the login password, and then wait several more minutes for stuff to finish. ) (talk) 21:26, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't know. But have you considered Linux? No tiresome "antivirus scanning" necessary, and startup not only is fast but also can be made to be "verbose", so you get impressive-looking screenfuls of inscrutable technical stuff whizzing past during the short period while you wait. These screenfuls, combined with your dark mutterings about "Linux" and "Unix", will also scare all but the most intrepid of your workmates/chums/relatives away from your computer. -- Hoary (talk) 00:14, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
"Sorry, I don't know." Then with respect why write anything. (talk) 00:32, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps in an attempt to provide you with alternatives you haven't considered? I realize the answer wasn't to your liking, but that is no reason to insult somebody who was trying to help. – 74  01:21, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm sick of how often people here use the slightest pretext to try to ram a different operating system down your throat. Regardless of its intrinsic merits or not, its very counter productive and in fact dissuades rather than persuades. Contributes nothing to an answer. A misuse of the reference desk. Plus its a daft idea - so I'm going to throw away the months of work getting Windows how I like, and have more months of work finding out to use another operating system and getting it how I like, with its own problems and bugs, just to solve a small problem. Its like having this board haunted by evangelists who try to convert you to their religion at every opportunity. This is not the place. (talk) 20:04, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I too am appalled by the notion that anyone here would attempt to ram anything down anybody's throat. Has anyone done so? If so, name the author and we'll see what we can do with him. ¶ As it happens, I made a polite suggestion that the original questioner might care to consider a different operating system, a suggestion that was greeted "with respect". ¶ I rather think that you are not interested, but if anyone is interested, I suggest that it usually doesn't take months either (a) to get Windows to work the way one wants (it recently took me one afternoon to do this) or (b) to move from one GUI OS to another GUI OS; after all, they're all designed to look much the same. -- Hoary (talk) 02:00, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
You could do a screen-lock when you walk away. That should keep others from using it (by requiring your password to resume), but won't tell you when it's done with everything. StuRat (talk) 03:02, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
This is a good idea. With "Fast User Switching" on, you can often times begin login and do Winkey + L early on to go back to the Welcome Screen (or simply 'Lock Workstation' if the Welcome Screen and/or 'Fast User Switching' don't do it for you. It won't help with the 'startup finished' prompt, but will provide the 'keep people from using machine' aspect (Washii) (talk) 06:33, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
But does that work if you use autologin? I don't know as I never use autologin on any Windows computer I use at work, and I run five Macs at home. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 07:39, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Transfer contributions list to new account[edit]

I finally opened a new account after being an anonymous contributer for some time. I wanted to know is there a way to transfer my contribution list that is associated with my ip address to my new account. Does that make sense? Is that possible and if so how? Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zramjg (talkcontribs) 22:12, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Just for future reference, questions like this should be asked at the help desk. I believe that it is not possible, but someone else will probably know for sure. Thanks, Genius101Guestbook 22:17, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

I thought that's what this page was. Sorry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zramjg (talkcontribs) 22:18, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

It's no problem. I got confused my first time too. Thanks, Genius101Guestbook 22:30, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

I also believe it to be impossible. SteveBaker (talk) 04:47, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
You could do the Special contributions list for the IP, save it to a file and then put it as a subpage of your user User:Zramjg/contributions Graeme Bartlett (talk) 20:23, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
But then anyone looking for his contributions would use Special:Contributions/Zramjg, so I don't think that would work. Thanks, Genius101Guestbook 22:24, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
That most likely won't work (without a lot of manual editing); Wikipedia doesn't allow certain HTML tags (like the ubiquitous anchor tag) so you'd have to go through and "wikify" all the links, at which point you're probably better off selecting all the text and just copying it to a new page. – 74  23:09, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the advise folks I appreciate it. Its no big deal I just thought I'd ask. --Zramjg (talk) 07:22, 4 March 2009 (UTC)