Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2009 September 24

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September 24[edit]

Does Microsoft Office 2007 product activation keep track of uninstallations?[edit]


I'm considering the purchase of Microsoft Office 2007, but I've noticed that the retail version available in stores says that the program can only be installed on 3 computers. Does this mean 3 computers at one time can be running MS Office using the same product key, or does it mean that 3 installations on a given key are permitted (which would be more restrictive)?

To clarify: if the user installs MS Office on one computer, I assume the product activation system notes that one copy of Office has been installed using the user's specific activation key. However, if the user uninstalls MS Office from this computer at a later date (e.g. he or she is getting rid of the computer, it has a virus and needs to be formatted, or one of several other potential scenarios), does the product activation system record this and decrease the number of installed copies of MS Office associated with the user's activation key by one?

On a related note, if the user's computer is destroyed before MS Office can be uninstalled (e.g. by a house fire), has the user irrevocably lost one of their permitted installations, or is there a way to contact Microsoft and deal with this?

I've tried to find the specifics of Office 2007's product activation online, but there seems to be no concrete answer to this question one way or the other (Microsoft's website for Office 2007 was decidedly unhelpful). As such, any information regarding this would be much appreciated.


- (talk) 00:30, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

3 computers does mean 3 computers at the same time, and from my experience uninstallations are not tracked, so if you install the program on 3 computers, remove it from 1 and try to install it on another, it will deny activation. If this happens, a phone number should be shown on screen which you can call, tell the Microsoft staff member that you have uninstalled 1 copy, that only 2 installations are now active, and they will give you a code to bypass activation. This answer comes from Canada, but I would imagine that the process is similar or the same everywhere. Vancouver Outlaw (Speak) 01:46, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
No, CD's such as Norton 360, or games such as Team Fortress 2 have always kept track of un-installations so I would assume Microsoft Office does as well. warrior4321 04:03, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
I prefer preventing the program from keeping track in the first place. You own the program now, forget about the originator's terms. Mac Davis (talk) 03:02, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, but that's not true. You own a licence to USE the program (subject to the agreements of the licence), not the program itself. There's a big difference. ZX81 talk 13:16, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

UNIX dd command[edit]

Hello, I was wondering what dd does with the output when "of" is not specified. I ran:

dd if=/dev/zero bs=1000
dd if=/dev/zero bs=1000 count=400

Did I create anything? I know that this writes to stdout when of is not specified, what does that mean? Also, does anyone know of an easy way to create a large file (not a sparse file, I want to actually reserve disk space) without actually writing anything? Thanks, Brusegadi (talk) 06:55, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Stdout means standard output, that's the console if you haven't piped it to somewhere else. You didn't see anything because you used /dev/zero, try some text file and what happens should be more visible. -- (talk) 08:59, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict)If you don't specify an of, dd sends its output to stdout, which will mean to your terminal. If you do dd if=/dev/urandom then you'll see screens full of garbage. Because you were reading from /dev/zero, those zeros are sent to the terminal, which ignores them. I don't know of a way (and I don't think there is a way) of reserving disk space without actually writing, and in the past I've used dd for the job myself. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 09:07, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
To actually take up disk space, just use dd as you did. Sparse files require the use of the sparse or seek option. (talk) 19:58, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
You didn't create anything. If you want to see whatyour output is then try using "hexdump -C" or maybe "xxd". Either of those will show you the actual bitstream you're creating. Shadowjams (talk) 09:15, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I formatted the part of your question containing the two dd calls, by adding a leading space, which is useful if you want the output to appear exactly as it does in the edit window where you enter the text. As it was renedered, it was confusing, becuase both dd calls were printed on the same line. --NorwegianBlue talk 14:54, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Thank you all, you were very helpful and informative :) Brusegadi (talk) 05:44, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Password vault for OS X[edit]

I run OS X 10.4.11. I would like to use a password vault like Password Safe. Does anyone have any recommendations as to which to use? -- (talk) 14:20, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

I like 1Password myself. I got it at a deep discount ages ago so I have not compared recent password managers lately. OS X's keychain also acts in a similar way as Password safe if you don't want to pay money for it (you just have to make sure to lock the keychain when you're done to keep it completely secure!) Caltsar (talk) 14:30, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
I use KeePassX on Linux, which also runs on OS X. It's been fine for me. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 17:33, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
1Password and Wallet are good. I got 'em from MacHeist :) Mac Davis (talk) 03:00, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Apple filing system; changing search sort parameters from last opened to date modified[edit]

I cannot tell you how much time I lose and things I can't find because when I perform searches on my mac it sorts by "Last Opened" rather than by "Date Modified". I'm on an IMac G5 (Powermac12,1, PowerPC G5 (3.1)) running Mac OS X. version 10.5.7. When I go to my normal filing system screen menu, where I have documents such as word/excel/pdfs etc., the default sorts are: Name, Date Modified, Size & Kind. However when I go to the search window at the top of the screen and type in a search term, the sort categories on the results of the search are limited to: Name, Kind and Last Opened. Is there any way to change Last Opened to Date Modified (or add Date Modified as a fourth category to sort by? Thanks in advance.-- (talk) 14:35, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

How To Find Out When A User Last Logged In To A PC On Win XP?[edit]

How is it possible, if at all, from another user account (or from the login page) to find out the last time a particular user logged into a PC running Win XP? --KageTora - SPQW - (影虎) (talk) 15:06, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

You can read the System Event Log. Microsoft's knowledge base has an article: How to view and manage event logs in Event Viewer in Windows XP. You might have to set group-policy to log user-login events (depending on your version of Windows XP). Even if the actual logins are not logged, you might see "footprints" in other system events (such as program launches and starting of system services) that indicate a user began running the system at that time. To enable logging of the actual login sessions, you need to enable login auditing, as described in this Microsoft document. Nimur (talk) 15:18, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
The date/time stamp on the file used to store the user registry hive is usually a good indicator of that user's last session. The relevant files are "C:\Documents and Settings\username\NTUSER.DAT" and "C:\Documents and Settings\username\ntuser.dat.LOG". You'll normally require Administrator privileges to see another user's files. Mitch Ames (talk) 01:28, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Choise of motherboard (ASUS P5Q-EM Motherboard)[edit]

Hello there, I am looking for better motherboard for my gaming rig. Here's my specs (except motherboard) :

  • Intel core 2 quad 9400
  • DDR2 RAM 4 GB ( 800 MHz)
  • PSU 750W
  • XFX ATI Radeon 4890 1 GB or XFX 9800 GT 512 MB
  • HDD 320 gb
  • Chasis - thermaltake chaser VI

I was planning to get this mobo but confused with the review in newegg ( and cons) as it runs too hot during gaming and some other issue. I did not find any hitpipe on this board. I noticed two blue colored box on this board and one of them contain "Asus" name on top. What are those boxes? A user from newegg mentioned that Vista 64 bit sp1 takes to much time to install on this board and even it hangs the system.

I have XFX 750i SLI mobo which is causing freezing problem from the very first day when I built up my system and tested system on other mobo and found problem with 750i SLI Mobo. I don't need cross fire or SLI enabled platform, just need a stable system which will run both ATI and Nvidia High end cards smoothly. Any advice for getting this new mobo would be appreciated. Thank you-- (talk) 15:34, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

I have a similar setup and I've been happy with a rather inexpensive MSI Micro-ATX motherboard I bought. Look for something with the correct number of expansion slots for your needs and make sure the FSB and memory standards match up. A higher price doesn't always mean the motherboard is better, and heatpipes are not always necissary on the board. You could improve performance by finding a board with higher cockerate memory, but then you'd need to invest in new memory. Newegg is very good for finding the correct motherboard based on components you already own (you may need advanced search). Caltsar (talk) 19:09, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Is there any reason why you need integrated graphics or m-ATX form factor? I have a P5Q-E and I've never had much problem with it. Just looking at Newegg even the P5Q-Deluxe (open-box?) is cheaper than the board you chose, so unless you really need the G45 or the m-ATX form factor I don't see why you'd choose that. PS: 4890 is in a completely different class to a 9800GT. --antilivedT | C | G 20:00, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
The specific board I chose was on sale at the time from another retailer, and I wasn't recommending it specifically, but I was mentioning that it is not necissary to buy an expensive board such as those targeted toward gamers. A board that is cheap and gets good reviews will generally last just as long and perform just as well as the "top of the line" equivilant board of compatible specs. Everything the op has listed will fit onto a mATX board, but if he can find a full sized ATX board for less, that would be great! Also, having integrated graphics on a board often adds little to no cost, and it is found on almost all of the cheaper motherboards I've come across. Boards built to use a PCI Express graphics card and no integrated graphics are often targeted at a higher end market and come with a similar markup. Obviously this is not the case 100% of the time, but I've always found it easier to look for boards regardless of the inclusion or lack of inclusion of a built in graphics card. (Minor Edit) Indentation made me believe you were replying to me. My points still stand regardless of who they're aimed at. Caltsar (talk) 20:30, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the reply. I don't need integrated graphics or m-ATX form factor. Well, I have just found this board in new egg (Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3L). Shall my system match with this mobo? Any thoughts ? thank you-- (talk) 21:20, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Download some pages, links and content from Wikipedia[edit]

We are a group of researchers and would like to build a mathematical model for change in the Wikipedia network. To begin this, we intend to focus on a small subset of the Wikipedia site (pages under the "Statistics" subcategory). The analysis requires three kinds of information:

1. a list of all pages under the Statistics subcategory, with information on which pages are linked to which other pages within that subcategory;

2. a list of the dates on which each of these pages and links was first established (history or date stamp);

3. a file for each page that contains the text in the current entry (which we shall use to create a "bag of words" model).

Are there any tools that Wikipedia currently has that would help us in download this specific information?

Thanks (talk) 16:09, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

You can get the raw data two ways:
a)You can download database dump - as you care about the history, you'd need to download the entire history, which is a pretty huge file. Then you'd read that into MySQL, and run queries on the result.
b)Alternatively you can use the MediaWiki API and query just the stuff you want. As you want a small subset, this is probably the better approach.
But I'd caution that the creation date of an individual article isn't nearly as informative as you'd think (and may very well confound what you want, or at least render it a partially-manual process). Many articles are forked out of existing articles (so maybe once there was just a "statistics" article, then someone took the "Descriptive statistics" section and made the Descriptive statistics article, and so on. There isn't a good machine-readable way of tracking that (people really should credit the originating article when they're forking, but they sometimes don't, and there is no standard rubric for you to parse to detect that). In general this is a major obstacle to analyses of Wikipedia such as you propose: mediawiki is very good at tracking changes within a given article, but motion of stuff between articles (which is very very common indeed) is entirely an untracked, manual process. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 16:49, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Are you guys at Duke? I recognize the 152.* IP ... - You might find Category:Wikipedia_resources_for_researchers useful. Often, when research has been done with Wikipedia, it is best to do it out in the open, with active communication among the research team and the Wikipedia contributors; but some research needs a "double-blind" methodology. The MediaWiki API linked above is a bit heavy-handed, since you just want the Page History data (this is easy to get, either by screen-scraping or manual checking). Nimur (talk) 19:11, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
@ User:Nimur, whois says that is a Duke University IP. :) --[Belinrahs | 'sup? | what'd I do?] 17:13, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Espon P-4000 and Linux?[edit]

Is the Epson P-4000 compatible with Linux? My Creative Zen Vision W doesn't appear as a mounted device under Linux, but Gnomad2 recognises it. I've been thinking of getting an Epson P-4000, as it has a 80 GB hard drive compared to the Zen Vision W's 30 GB one, but I'm not sure if it will actually work under Linux. JIP | Talk 18:16, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Processor failure or something more benign?[edit]

Lately I have been having bizarre crashes on Windows Vista (although it happened once when I had XP last month), the entire system just stops with the sound quickly stuttering then cutting out, no hard drive activity, and the screen is frozen in place - no blue screen of death or anything. The system responds to nothing, so I am forced to reboot. Initially it only did it within minutes of me starting to play The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, so I figured it was a problem with the game. But now it does it when I'm screen-sharing over Skype while running NESten (an NES emulator). Just now it did it after only 5 minutes of screen-sharing.

Now I'm worried that something is wrong with my processor or something, but I hope there is some kind of simple solution.

My system specs: Pentium 4 HT, 2 GB of RAM, ATI Radeon X1650 (AGP), running Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit. Nothing on the system is overclocked or anything.

Chris16447 (talk) 21:38, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

This sort of crash / lockup is almost always due to a software bug and not due to hardware malfunction, in my experience. If you want to do a thorough memory test anyway, download memtest86, make a boot disc, boot from it, and let it run through a cycle's worth of testing. Crashes under XP were more frequent than under Vista because of Vista's improved driver model. I bet the problem is with crappy video card drivers. ATI and NVidia suck at writing drivers that never crash, seemingly. (Granted, it is a difficult task.) Download the latest video driver available for your video card and see if that fixes it. Comet Tuttle (talk) 23:08, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Very likely a video driver problem; Skype's video capture system relies on hardware video acceleration, which may fail if you are running other software (including the NES emulator) which may also have some form of video acceleration. Consider checking this first - find the latest version of your video driver, and see if the failures persist. Nimur (talk) 18:23, 25 September 2009 (UTC)