Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2009 November 29

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November 29[edit]

.emacs and OS X[edit]

When I'm using Emacs from the terminal in OS X (10.6), where does its .emacs file live? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:21, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

It can be at ~/.emacs, ~/.emacs.el, or ~/.emacs.d/init.el (for the ~, see home directory). See the Info node (emacs) Find Init (which should be available locally as well as online). Of course, you may not have one; OS X surely doesn't put one there for you, and Emacs won't unless you use its Customize feature or "Options → Save Options". --Tardis (talk) 08:35, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


Do they still make computers with CRT monitors? jc iindyysgvxc (my contributions) 04:21, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Note that no-one manufactures computers "with" monitors. A monitor is a separate device, although usually they SOLD "with" monitors. That would be like asking "do they still make DVD players with CRT TVs?" So if you're asking "do they still make CRT monitors?" then possibly, somewhere in the world. New CRT TV's are still being manufactured and sold, so I don't see why not monitors too. Zunaidis there when you need him — now he needs you 06:21, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't be surprised if there are some military designs with them from years and years ago and a procurement order has only now been put out after loads of testing and paperwork for ruggedized CRT monitors and they are just about to be manufactured and delivered for the next twenty years at a hundred times the price of an LCD moitor. But apart from ancient designs where changing the paperwork would be just too much work I can't see any point. The space shuttle still runs on something pathetic with one megabyte of store I believe but it does the job and noone feels like replacing it. The Russians used to work till recently with just six kilobytes until they decided to upgrade and that probably caused one of their rockets to crash. Dmcq (talk) 09:25, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
This is a tangent, but as noted at Space Shuttle#Flight systems, the flight control computers' goal is fail-safe reliability, so it's not that "noone feels like replacing it", but that by now the software is probably close to bug-free, and it surely cost years and several million dollars to get there. Not worth tampering with a system that's close to the apex of reliability for software just so the astronauts can play MP3s on the flight control computers. Tempshill (talk) 16:58, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Zunaid seemingly hasn't seen the vast number of Apple iMac computers that are, to the end consumer, computers built into monitors. These have been around for maybe 10 years now - mostly in LCD format, but they start off being CRT (their eMac and their original iMac design). Many other firms do this as well - Sony Vaio have plenty like this. This is being a bit mean though, as Zunaid is right - the question is more 'are CRT monitors available new?' because most of the time the monitor itself is not part of the 'pc' per-se, it's just something sold bundled with it. The answer is - yes there are plenty of CRTs still available (at work so can't provide links but google search and you'll find 'em). 10:42, 29 November 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

According to [1] 'Philips spokesman Joon Knapen said the CRT screens "are still made for a couple of emerging markets, but the volumes produced are very small."'. This was from about 3 days ago but of course is referring to Philips who are a high end brand and is likely primarily referring to TVs. [2] "Since April 2008, the exports of China’s CRT TVs and colorful tubes have been increased gradually compared to the same period of last year; especially the export achievement of upstream color kinescope enterprises represented by Rainbow and Beijing Matsushita, their export situation is gratifying with growth exceeded 20%. Currently, there are 20 manufacturers of CRT complete appliance in the world. 60% -70% of the CRT TVs are produced in China and over 80% of color picture tubes are manufactured in China too." Cathode ray tube#The future of CRT technology also has useful info too. While these are all largely referring to TVs, I don't see any reason to think there will be CRT TVs but no CRT monitors in other words 194.221 is definitely right. Of course non new monitors may also be refurbished if necessary and used too and I think this is quite common in the developing world. (In much of the developed world you can probably buy a good CRT for a very low price from auction sites and the like, e.g. I got a 19" Dell Triniton for about NZ$12 IIRC Nil Einne (talk) 23:36, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

What's the problem with DeviantArt?[edit]

This has been happening for quite some time now. Some times, when I'm viewing DeviantArt, viewing a picture takes me to a phishing or malware site instead. Luckily I spot this immediately and click the "back" button before the content even starts loading. On the next try, everything works fine. This happens once every few days or so. It happens only with DeviantArt, not with any other website. (I don't even go to any shady porn or Viagra sites advertised in spam, just reputable websites.) What's the problem with DeviantArt? Has it been hijacked somehow? JIP | Talk 11:22, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Probably there ad server is directing you to other sites and they get payed for it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:24, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
If you press ALT + V in Internet Explorer and then go to Webpage Privacy Policy, you will be shown a list of sites that are posting content on Deviant Art. You can block these sites from doing certain things (like redirecting your browser) by pressing ALT + T and clicking on Internet Options, then Security, Restricted sites, Sites, and adding the malicious site to the list. I also use this technique to block Flash ads. I experienced a malicious redirect a while ago on the New York Times's web site. These ads are usually hosted on the advertiser's site and not the site you visit. So, the site you visit has no control over what they do. The ads are often web pages (not just images), so they can run JavaScripts and other dangerous things.--Drknkn (talk) 12:00, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
I would definitely report such instances to DeviantArt immediately, giving as much information as possible.--Shantavira|feed me 16:16, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
If the redirects are coming from the ads, then that's a bit difficult. I don't pay attention to ads, so I don't know which ads are displayed on the page unless I am specifically trying to find out. And when I come back from a malicious redirect to the real DeviantArt site, the ad should already have been replaced by a legitimate ad, shouldn't it? JIP | Talk 16:42, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
You could disable JavaScript temporarily. In IE, you'd press ALT + T, then go to Internet Options --> Security --> Custom Level and scroll down to Scripting and disable "active scripting." Then, view the privacy report and block all sites except Deviant Art. Reload the page and repeat. Then, re-enable JavaScript. While you're in the security box, also disable "META REFRESH" under Miscellaneous. Most of the time, redirects are done via either JavaScript or a meta refresh.--Drknkn (talk) 20:44, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Any way to password protect an entire external hard drive?[edit]

It's just plug and play and not secure. Is there any way to password protect the entire drive conveniently? If you password protect a single folder containing all data on the drive, do you have to enter that password every time you add or change data on the volume? (Using Windows Vista)... --Damriteido (talk) 16:00, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

You can encrypt an entire drive using TrueCrypt, although it's probably better to just create a TrueCrypt volume on the drive as it allows the drive to still be used for other things. Or you could store your files you want protected in an .zip file and use its password protect function. As far as I know, most encrypt programs will remember your session and won't ask for the password for each data change, until you exit the program or dismount the volume. —Preceding unsigned comment added by .isika (talkcontribs) 16:08, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree with .isika. BitLocker Drive Encryption and TrueCrypt are probably the articles you'll want to refer to. Tempshill (talk) 16:53, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
If you have Windows 7 Ultimate, then BitLocker To Go is the best way to go (no pun intended). While TrueCrypt wont allow you to open the encrypted partition on another computer without it being installed on that machine, BitLocker To Go adds a small program called BitLocker To Go Reader to the device. When it is plugged into a machine not running Windows 7, it allows you to use the files from the device after entering the password, while keeping the device read-only. (talk) 10:52, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Other use of "Interstitial"[edit]

Hi, I've checked Interstitial webpage and searched the archive for keyword "interstitial", but I can't find what I'm looking for - a system I've seen years ago, of which I can't remember the name. It was a proxy/whitelist system that would offer an interstitial page when the user hit a non-whitelisted page, instead of an "access denied" error page. The interstitial told the user that proceeding to that page *will* be logged, and that if s/he intends to access it, it might be wise to fill out the comment box below (say, you're in a bank's trading department, and CNN reports that sex dot com is going to be bought by foo dot com - that would be a legitimate reason for a short visit to sex dot com, which would usually be blocked by default). Optionally, it could be configured not to let the user access the page until an administrator had reviewed the site and the comment - in that case, the URL and the comment were forwarded to a mailbox set up for that purpose. I don't even remember if that was some sort of plugin for Squid, or if it was a completely different piece of software altogether. :-( Does this sound familiar to someone? -- (talk) 17:42, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

How to compile GNU stuff[edit]

Hello! How do I take the sources that I download from the GNU project and compile them so they'll run on my Windows Vista 64-bit computer? A lot of the Windows binaries I find only work on 32-bit machines, and I know nothing about compiling to be able to create a 64-bit executable myself. Thank you!--el Aprel (facta-facienda) 20:11, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

MinGW has a 64 bit version (although I don't know how mature it is). That'll give you a basic gcc-win64 toolchain which should be enough to get other stuff building. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 20:21, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Okay, MinGW-64 has given me some command-line executable compilers like g++, c++, and gcc, but I'm not sure what files I'm supposed to compile from open sources. I've downloaded the sources for MPlayer, for example, which contain a bunch of .c and .h files, but even the README isn't that clear on what to compile. Do I try to compile the whole directory? Is there a certain "main" file I should look for, pass it into the compiler, and that will take care of it?--el Aprel (facta-facienda) 21:35, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
For clarity, there's nothing stopping you running Windows x32 apps, including MPlayer and other MinGW compiled apps on any version of Windows x64 as all x64 versions of Windows including Windows XP x64, Windows Server 2003 x64, Windows Vista x64, Windows Server 2008 x64, Windows 7 x64, Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 (although it's an optional component there) and almost definitely Windows 8 (which is likely to be only available in x64 versions) include WoW64. While the app will be able to use more then 4GB and in some cases may be faster, this is not guaranteed particularly in cases like I describe later (IA64 versions of Windows are obviously a different case).
For a few things like drivers and perhaps which require very low level or complete interaction, you do need native x64 versions but that's obviously not the case here. I've been using Windows x64 since the XP days (late 2005 I think) and excluding drivers and things with them (including hardware monitoring or overclocking stuff, firewalls, CD mounting utilities and Acrobat) and on access antivirus software none of which is really a problem nowadays (except for the requirement for signed drivers on Vista x64 and Windows 7 x64 which can be turned off if really necessary), the only apps I've ever had problems with have been one which refuse to install (largely games) which also can happen on Vista x32 and two or so games (cheapish adventure games so not something you encounter a lot) which didn't work properly on Vista x64 which I think I never worked out whether because they didn't like Vista or didn't like x64.
Oh and I also know of a friend had problems with SolidWorks (2008 Student Edition) because of a variety of issues which I can't remember I think included strange stuff like the x64 version not running on Vista x64 but only XP x64, the x32 version not running on any x64 OSes or perhaps not without a patch; which I don't quite know the cause of but may be because of their activation/licensing modules or simply because they don't support the platform and therefore have decided to refuse to let you to run it in case it doesn't work. Even this is mostly fixed in the 2009 version I think and the 2008 version has patches, but the Student Editions can be behind the normal versions and they don't appear to support the Student Editions with patches.
Definitely I've never had any problems with any GNU apps I've tried including several of those in cygwin nor with MPlayer (which isn't a GNU app AFAIK even if it's released under the GPL) or VLC. AFAIK, things still aren't that good on the free software Windows x64 compiler front part of the reason I believe for the lack of Windows x64 builds for most of FLOSS software. You may be able to get it to work, but unless you know what you're doing I wouldn't recommend it.
You can get unofficial Windows x64 versions of some codecs and apps (e.g. Firefox) but you should bear in mind that for example for browsers you need x64 plugins which Windows are still somewhat unavailable (a Java plugin is finally available as of late last year, Flash is still not available AFAIK) and for DirectShow codecs you need a x64 media player or app to use them and you may not gain much of an advantage in terms of speed because many have a lot of coded low level optimisations which will need to be reimplemented before you really gain anything.
If you plan to regularly encode a lot of stuff and believe you will gain a speed version with x64 versions (hint: look for benchmarks or even if you want to use mplayer, try ffdshow, x264 or other DirectShows codecs and/or apps which you can find already compiled x64 versions for and use these to test, they by and large the same codecs mplayer uses internally) then it's obviously worth it. Or you have a lot of memory (over 4GB, presuming the app is large address aware and if it isn't it's probably easy to either ask someone or you yourself compile a x32 large address aware version rather then fool around with x64 version) and want to use it with the app ditto. And obviously if the app does have a Windows x64 version then you probably should use. But otherwise I somewhat doubt it's worth worrying about. (In the older days, I used to seek out all the unofficial x64 versions of apps I could find but I've somewhat given up on that.) In particularly, if you only want to use Mplayer as a player it's unlikely to be worth it.
Obviously it's up to you what you do, and if you still want to try it I won't try to further discourage you I'm just suggesting you think carefully about whether it's really worth your time since it doesn't sound like you know what you're doing (this is intended in a negative way, I don't either) and from my experience compiling open sources apps particularly those not natively for Windows on Windows can be tricky as you often have to manually seek out the libraries and then may have to do various things to get it to work or it may even just not worked if no one regularly compiles it on Windows and I'm guessing trying to do it for x64 is going to be even more annoying.
Nil Einne (talk) 23:04, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
MPlayer isn't GNU software (which is important, as GNU software tends to all be built the same way, but other projects can be more variable). In general you run the configure script, which chunters away for a bit and then emits a makefile, and you then typically run make and then make install. That all works because of autoconf (which makes the configure script, but which I think you don't need to run the build); autoconf tries to build a platform-neutral build system. But MinGW (or cygwin) for that matter aren't magical compatability layers that allow any Unix(ish) software to be built on Windows and run. They don't do anything for UI stuff, media stuff, and lots of other things that aren't within the (rather narrow) amibit of POSIX (and a few other things) that MinGW and Cygwin implement on Windows. For stuff like that, I'd check the site for the specific project; if they don't have a build for that platform, they probably don't have an official one. In that event I'd ask on the project's mailing list. And it's not at all a safe assumption to think that a C or C++ program will run faster if compiled to 64 bit rather than 32: the significant expansion of code, data, and stack size will (roughly) half the efficiency of the processor's cache; 64 bit applicatations really only makes sense if important parts of the code have been written to properly take advantage of it. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 23:34, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your responses, Nil Einne and Finlay McWalter. In particular, it was mencoder, mplayer's sister project, that I was interested in. When I tried it on a 32-bit system, it worked fine, but as soon as I moved it over to my 64-bit system, it would become unresponsive. (I guess mencoder-32bit uses some low-level functions that are problematic on 64-bit systems, although, as you both noted, I generally do not have a problem with 32-bit programs.) I will use your advice to see if building it on my system makes it function properly.--el Aprel (facta-facienda) 04:49, 1 December 2009 (UTC)