Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2010 February 2

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February 2[edit]

Removing an overlay[edit]

I'm led to believe for the most part that if something is on your computer, you have viewing access to it. For example on this one site, it requires that you pay a subscription in order to view the content, but the way it hides the information is by overlaying a black screen over it, but the text is still there. What I do is use my HTML editor and edit the black overlay out and I have full access to the text. Another example is online streaming music. All that needs to be done is download the source of the music using lovely Firefox addons and you don't have to pay a dime. Other methods include downloading the shockwave flash and decompiling it using your favorite flash decompiler. But the only one that is stumping me (and I hope you can help me) is this one here: click view solution. What it is, is text being partially hid behind a white overlay (I can clearly see the text as the overlay isn't the same width as the text). But unfortunatly, it's embedded in a flash player. When I download it, I can only download the flash player and not the content it's retrieving from this site: Is there anyway this content can be accessed, I mean, the content is right on your computer. (talk) 06:27, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Sure. Run your web browser under a suitable supervisor or debugger, and extract the binary content. Alternatively, replace the Flash plug-in by your own clone that gives you full access. It's probably not worth the effort, though, except as a demonstration that it is pointless to protect content once you delivered it to the customer. If you want someone to make them pay for access, make them pay for actual access. The business model is a bit like giving away canned food and trying to make it up by selling can openers... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 10:54, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
(comment - partial display of the content lets the person with the cash know that the content is there - probably psychologically better than showing a blank page..)
(edit conflict)Yes the text you seek is almost certainly stored on the computer somewhere - probably somewhere in the flash players equivalent of a 'temp folder' I don't know enough about flash to say more. It's possibly also encrypted which would make it difficult to find.
However the site's terms of use [1] section 2, Restrictions on Use of Web site, second paragraph state:

You agree not to reverse engineer, reverse assemble, reverse compile, decompile, disassemble, translate or otherwise alter any executable code, tool or Content on the Web Site. Further, you agree not to attempt to reproduce the Cramster database of links in whole or in part or to extract, data mine or otherwise copy the Content of the Web Site, or any part thereof, including the proprietary Content of Cramster, either manually or automatically.

This means amongst other things, that wikipedia can't help you directly. If it was an answer to a question you wanted we might be able to help anyway, but if you wanted out of curiosity the exact hidden text from the site that is probably not an option.
The page data is probably dynamic - so the flash you download is just the wrapper, someone else with more flash knowledge should be able to explain how flash gets data from websites. (talk) 11:00, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Eh, I don't think we're necessarily bound by some site's arbitrary EULA, which may or may not be legally enforceable in any of our current jurisdictions. --Mr.98 (talk) 15:37, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Looking at the code, what the site does is have one SWF file that then compiles a list of other SWF files for its overlay and content. If you could extract those component SWFs separately you probably would have the answer. But the SWFs that are overlaid seem to check whether they are being called by the site in question. I suspect that for someone who is serious about their Flash work, they could extract it pretty easily with a little spoofing and all that. IMO an easier way to get around it (if you are interested in breaking the rules) would be to just pool with your friends/study mates, buy a single subscription, then take screenshots to distribute the content. --Mr.98 (talk) 15:37, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
You could try using the Firefox browser and see Tools/PageInfo, also install its CacheViewer add-on. (talk) 21:39, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for all the help but nothing seems to work or I don't know how to do it. I checked my cache and I didn't see it in there, I don't know about temp files but I'm guessing that it isn't there either, but I may be wrong. Mr.98, could you be a little more specific in your instructions? And Stephan Schulz, how do I replace the existing player with my own flash player? And once I have the binary content, how to I make heads or tails of it? Thanks a lot guys! (talk) 00:00, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

You could also try the freeware VideoCacheView by Nirsoft. It can find swf and other things in the cache also. (talk) 00:14, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
That doesn't seem to open or work on my computer (talk) 04:17, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
As with, I find this question dubious since it's not entirely clear if the OP is merely doing this for personal interest/to prove it can be done, or actually wants to use the content but doesn't want to pay. However stupid it may be for the site to make the content available and try to hide it, I wouldn't personally consider that a valid reason to use content you're supposed to pay for (some may consider a software provider who gives a free trial with all the features available and no nagware but the condition you're supposed to pay if you regularly use the software or otherwise find it useful stupid and a valid reason to abuse these terms, others may not).
However I didn't come here to complain. While I'm not willing to offer direct help, I will say I'm looking at part of what appears to be the solution (it's in multiple steps/parts) right now and it took me less time then it probably took to write out this message so it isn't very hard. As Mr. 98 mentions the solutions are basically made up of several SWF files which contains the steps/solution along with several other SWF files to compile the content and make it look all nice. Downloading all the SWF files, including the ones you want (i.e. the steps/solution) is actually fairly trivial.
I initially used a tool to find them (there are plenty of tools which are able to monitor links/files visiting a page opens, commonly used to download flash video files and the like) but upon further analysis I found you don't even need to do that. The site doesn't even bother to obscure the links (as a number of flash video sites do for example) so finding them is trivial if you have any understanding of how HTML works and a decent browser (both FF3.5 and IE8 were fine for me). The site hosting the files doesn't appear to care much about cookies or referrers or anything of that sort so downloading the SWF files is also trivial (presuming you know how to download files) once you have the links. Once you have the SWF files it sounds like working out what to do with them shouldn't be too hard for the OP.
And before anyone complains, if you are doing this as a proof of concept/for personal interest, hopefully you'd welcome the challenge of working out how to do it partly on your own, I feel the info I've provided is more then enough. If you're doing this because you want to view the content you may just be annoyed, but as I said, in such a case I don't care.
Nil Einne (talk) 08:31, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I am doing this as a proof of concept. I tried digging through the HTML and removing certain bits that I thought might have been causing the overlay, but with no success. I also tried grabbing some of the URLs from the HTML and putting them in my address bar but they would always redirect back to the front page such as url's like ...409-3_3-1E-Step1_300.swf . I then installed the addon, Download Flash and Video and got ...409-3_3-1E-Step1_96.swf which would not open. But after I decompiled it, I was able to see only one step of what I wanted. The way you did it, where you able to view all the steps? (talk) 00:58, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
From your comments, it sounds like you have the right idea.
First I don't know much about the tool you mentioned, but if it's only finding one file, it's not particularly effective. As I said, there are multiple files, viewing the HTML file probably told you that. From the name of the files, it should seem fairly obvious each step is a seperate file, as I suggested in my first post so unless you can convince it to find each step, you won't get far. That tool is probably an unnecessarily complex solution for the problem anyway, you may want to go back to the HTML.
Now for links from the HTML file, as I said, you need to know how to download files (i.e. the links) and let me add here for clarification I meant 'to a chosen location on your disk'. Or to clarify, since we are talking about HTTP servers then a tool which can download files from HTTP servers is needed (and note that while not primarily intended for downloading files and there are a variety of things like cookies, referrers etc which can complicate things, in general a HTTP download tool is general purpose, it doesn't matter what the file type is, e.g. SWF files in this case).
There are many tools to download files from HTTP servers although even browsers can obviously do it in a pinch. :::However if the browser is trying to open or intrepet the file in the browser, as most would do for HTML files, PNGs, JPGs, GIFs etc by default and many browsers would do with other files with the right plugins (e.g. PDFs, SWFs) then you aren't fulfilling the requirement that you download files to a chosen location on your disk. Of course to open the file the browser needs to download or retrieve the file but the the point is when the browser tries to open or intepret the file, it would usually be stored somewhere in the cache but that means you need to find it which mostly defeats the purpose and while it may be possible sometimes to save the file to disk, that's if the browser lets you.
If the file is one which will be intrepeted in a complex way like HTML or SWF then there's a resonable chance the file may tell your browser to do something like redirect to another website which will make it difficult or impossible to save the file. In fact, I'm not aware of any easy way to save SWFs or for that matter JS and other such files if they are being interpreted by the browser/plugin. Even for PNGs and the like, allowing your browser to open them runs the risk the file may make your browser crash or do other things you don't want.
In other words back to my original point, if you want to download files with your browser, you should make sure it is going to actually gives you the option to download the file or downloads it automatically rather then interpreting or opening the file. For files that are interpreted or opened by a plugin, there's an obvious solution to stop this happening however what happens then may vary depending on the browser (some may let you try to download the file, others may just tell you they can't do anything with the file).
Of course the other solution as I hinted at originally is to use another tool capable or designed to download files via HTTP which does not attempt to intrepet the file. This may be a better option since you'll likely want to download each step rather then just a single one.
The final option if you know some simple html would be to make a simple HTML file containing each file as a link, that way with most browsers you can right click and tell it to save-as and it won't try to interpret the file.  :::Whatever way you choose, once you have the files, it sounds like you already know what to do with them. As I mentioned early on and you found out yourself, each step is in a seperate SWF file. If you want to combine them, then you'll have to do this manually. This is clearly a somewhat labour intensive method, and I'm sure you could program some sort of tool which would do all that automatically but that's probably beyond my capabilities (well I haven't really thought about it, it may be something you can do with a macro). In any case a few examples should suffice as a proof of concept, so the simple manual method would seem enough. (There are probably other solutions like that suggested by Stephan none of which are likely to be particularly easy unless you know how to program.)
P.S. Although I mentioned file extentions, with HTTP the MIME type is what really matters so in some cases the file extension may be a misleading thing to discuss but I used it here for simplicity.
Nil Einne (talk) 09:49, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks a lot! I was able to get what I wanted. This is what I did: I used an HTML editor (Firebug) and found the multiple .swf files, I then used an external downloader (IDM CC) and download each of the swf files. Then, using a flash decompiler, I was able to see each step of the answer. The whole process is really time consuming though ... I'm curious if there is a different way to approach this, like writing a Greasemonkey script, or something. Thanks for your help though! I appreciate it (talk) 06:36, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Windows 2000 Virtual Machine[edit]

I have just installed Windows 2000 in Microsoft Virtual PC 2007. The problem is, I do not know how to connect it to the Internet, at least not to the same connection as my main computer. When I open up Internet Explorer, I get a box asking whether to sign up for a new Internet account, transfer my existing account to the virtual machine, or set up a connection manually/to a LAN. I have Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows ME virtual machines connected to the same connection as my main PC (they were already connected when I installed them), so how can I do it with my 2000 VM? jc iindyysgvxc (my contributions) 06:31, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Make sure your VM program has given the machine access to your real machine's proper connection, then try a direct LAN connection from inside the VM. Hope that helps. CompuHacker (talk) 06:56, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

How to export/import a specific Windows 7 firewall rule?[edit]


C:\Windows\system32>netsh advfirewall firewall show rule rsync

at a Windows 7 command prompt gives me a textual description of the firewall rule(s) in question. That's rather neat, but how can I export this rule in a way that I can import it on another Windows 7 machine?

  • I would like to import only this specific rule, not the entire ruleset present on the source computer.
  • The command
    netsh advfirewall dump
    returns empty.
  • The command
    netsh advfirewall export c:\foobar.txt
    saves a file that isn't exactly human-readable, and probably contains the entire ruleset of the source computer.

Any hints? -- (talk) 12:37, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

I know this works in Server 2008 and Vista, so I would think Windows 7 also has this..
netsh advfirewall firewall show rule name=all

to show all of the rules. Alternitively, if you know the name of the rule you are trying to see, you could just do

netsh advfirewall firewall show rule name=bob

(if you named the rule bob.) From there, adding ">>filename.txt" will pipe that output into the chosen file name. I would run the commands without this first, to see the outputs, then when you find what you want to capture, add the above to send it to a text file. -Avicennasis @@17:38, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Hello, original poster here.
netsh advfirewall firewall show rule name=bob
is exactly what I'm doing (only with rsync instead of bob, as that's the name of the rule in question), and it outputs a plain text display (which I could send to a file as you described) - which is totally useless for me.
What I'm looking for is a file I can import on another Windows 7 machine so that the particular ruleset is *added* to the machine's existing ruleset - as opposed to the "export" command, which pulls the entire firewall configuration and would replace every rule on the target computer upon import.
This means that the file generated would either have to contain the
net advfirewall add <blahblah>
lines needed to recreate the rule, or a binary snippet that can be *added* with a command like
net advfirewall import ruleset.txt
*instead of replacing* the entire firewall configuration. -- (talk) 19:28, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Ah. Forgive me. I failed to fully comprehend what you had tried already, and was making an educated guess (mebbe more of a SWAG) as to a solution. Since I don't have a vitural machine to test it one, futher research should have been done on my part. I accept the trout. Avicennasis @@19:28, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

a gimp question[edit]

I want to print as many passport size photos as possible on an A4 page. How can I multiply images on a canvas using GIMP? When I use Filters>Map>Tile, what I get is a couple of images with a few truncated. (talk) 18:15, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

The "Print Photo" wizard in Windows Vista/7 is quite good for this, I believe. --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 20:54, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Use Filters>Map>Tile, set the units to millimetres, and tile it to 210 × 297. Marnanel (talk) 21:25, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

an unexpected error is keeping you from deleting the folder[edit]


I have a folder on my computer which I cannot delete. Every time I try is gives the error "an unexpected error is keeping you from deleting the folder. Error 0x80070091 the directory is not empty". The folder IS empty, I've tried various third party unlockers, I've tried safe mode, I've tried deleting it from the command prompt, I've tried booting a linux live cd but it just gives some error about not reading the source. The OS is Windows 7. Any suggestions? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:17, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Have you tried a full DiskCheck on that volume; sometimes inexplicable problems are caused by a corruption in the filesystem (such as bad reference counts). Try that, and then try to delete the folder (and any contents that the check might have magically resurrected). (talk) 19:35, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
I tried checkdisk, scandisk, a third party disk checker and none of them have fixed the problem. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:49, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Is the path length very deep, or does it contain non-ascii characters? Try moving the affected folder to c:/ and then deleting it. Try renaming the affected folder to something super simple and then deleting it. Try putting a few trivial files in the folder, then deleting them, then the folder. Of course none of this should be necessary, but clearly you're in weird city, so we need to fight weird with weird. (talk) 22:27, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the suggestions. I couldn't move or rename it, or paste files into the folder without errors. But trying to do those things must have unlocked whatever the problem was because it just successfully deleted! Thank you!

Free file sharing service needed: Multiple uploads AND downloads at once[edit]

Hi. I know that there are many long lists of file sharing sites - and this is part of the problem: I am overwhelmed with the huge variety. What I need:

  • Upload multiple files at once
    • I don't want to upload each file separately but I want to select multiple files or a whole folder at once
  • Let people download all uploaded files at once
    • People should not have to download each file separately
    • There has to be a "download all" button
  • The limit for the size of one individual file should be
    • either bigger than 10MB (for one purpose)
    • or bigger than 200MB (for another purpose) -- this is not so important but nice if possible
  • The total amount of space should be at least 1GB.
  • The service has to be for FREE!
    • I do not want to pay anything
    • Premium paid services are not what I want
    • The service can of course have other features for what you have to pay but all above-mentioned features have to be for free.

Hoping to get some answers as soon as possible... Thanks for your help! --Tilmanb (talk) 19:49, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

P.S. Oh I forgot to mention that most of the times I would be sharing pictures! I HAVE considered photo sharing sites (such as Picasa or Flickr) but they don't let you download all pictures at once! Generally speaking, however, a photo sharing site would be ok, too.

Have you considered a plugin, such as DownThemAll for Firefox, that allows the user to download all items (without modifying the server/host configuration)? Have you considered hosting an FTP server instead of a website? Have you considered posting an archive file such as a .ZIP or .tar file, in addition to the individual files, to allow easy downloading? Your quest for a free service that satisfies all of your needs is probably futile; maybe you can consider hosting the server on your own personal computer. This doesn't account for the overhead of electricity and internet connection that you will require. Nimur (talk) 20:43, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
How would DropBox fit your needs? I can't recall right now if it does simultaneous up/downloads but otherwise I think it fits what you want. Dismas|(talk) 23:16, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer! Yes, I have considered all of those options but they are either too complicated (like setting up an ftp server) or require too many steps either for me or the receiver (like installing downthemall). However, in the meantime I found Fileai! It fulfills all the requirements I mentioned above. Unfortunately there is just one problem with it: It does not work for my client who is behind a firewall to whom I need to send files :( Anyway, I think I am now much more able to define what I am looking for, so I will start a new question. In case you have any other ideas (for example how to host a server on my own computer), please do let me know :) Thanks! --Tilmanb (talk) 01:42, 3 February 2010 (UTC)s


Mediafire would be otherwise good but bulk download is possible only if you pay :( I need something like that but for free! --Tilmanb (talk) 15:04, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Try rapidshare .Smallman12q (talk) 16:11, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

I wanna e-book. But which one?[edit]

e-books, e-readers, ipods, iliads, kindles, nooks, etc.

I want it cheap--like less than $300 Canadian.
I want it to operate in minus 40 degree temp, or in a closed car on a hot summer's day, with long lasting charge.
I want to be able to read it under the blazing sun and in otherwise total darkness.
I want the page turn to occur in 0.25 sec or less, and it to have a fast search.
I want it to be able to read most text file formats including WORD and OpenOffice,
and take USB.

For all of this, I will accept a monochrome screen and an absence of all that app frufru:
just let me down load text stuff from, say, Wikisurce or Limewire.

Any and all comments and help would be appreciated. Thanks. (talk) 21:37, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

I doubt there is such a miraculous device, sorry. If there was (cheap, does everything you could want, works everywhere, lasts forever!) don't you think you'd have heard about it? I suspect you'll get further in this inquiry by looking at what e-readers are actually out there (of which there are less than a dozen) and figuring out which balance of features/price will actually work for you. Making an arbitrary list of things ("I want it all, and I want it now!") in such a comparatively small and new market is kind of fruitless. (The question immediately preceding this one sets up a similarly impossible task.) In any case, most e-book readers these days seem to use e-ink technology, because it works well in high-glare situations (i.e. outside), and has low power drain. But it won't work in the dark, so that rules out most of them right away. --Mr.98 (talk) 21:47, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
The old IPAQ's do this and more with the right free reader software. Nanonic (talk) 21:55, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
(Mr.98) Hmmmmm,
Traditional books, broad sheets, and printouts seem to be able to do most of the above. You mean that techno-revolutionaries like Steve Jobbs, Bill Gates, et al can't?
:-D (talk) 22:16, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Hey, I'm fine with the old-fashioned book... haven't run into any problems with them, yet, other than the apparent failure of their publishing model... (sigh) --Mr.98 (talk) 22:59, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
For most of the above meaning about 50% of the points listed, yes books can do. Taemyr (talk) 11:53, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

As Mr 98 said, I don't think any product on the market today fills all those criteria. I gave my mum a Kindle for Christmas and I thought it was great. It fills all your requirements except these: be able to read it at night (it's not backlit, although you can buy a reading light for it) and opening word or open office files (it can read .mobi or pdf files, and it's usually pretty simple to convert your documents into one of these formats). You can, for example, download any of the books here and read them on the Kindle (26000 books from Project Gutenberg). However, it seems to be general consensus that the price of the Kindle and other similar eReaders will have to come down if they want to compete with the iPad. So if you can, you'll probably save a lot of money and probably have a wider choice by waiting for a few months, or maybe a year. TastyCakes (talk) 23:14, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

While not really answering the OP's question, as TasyCakes raised the issue of prices it's something I looked into recently perhaps this may be of interest. I see the Kindle is now at US$259 but as TC says that's still quite expensive.
Looking at the situation in China, which should I think give you an idea of where the state of the market is atm and it's something I did recently after I came across something of interest. Looking at Taobao there's the Dr. Yi M218C reader for around (CNY)¥930 (US$136) (depending on seller of course) and Dr. M218A+ for around ¥1150 (US$168) (well there's one seller for 970 and another for 1100 but they don't appear to have much feedback so I'm a bit sceptical of their reliability, and not understanding Mandarin or even bothering a machine translation there may be something in the description). There's also the M218B with wifi but I didn't really pay much attention to that.
[2] tells us these are sold as rebranded models in the US and elsewhere as for example the Jetbook lite US$149 [3] and Jetbook US$179 or the Aluratek Libre reader [4] which kind of tallies with what we would expect given the price in China. However they use some sort of reflective LCD rather the e-ink and are therefore rather think so may not be to everyone's taste although they do have decent batteries lives.
Then there's the Hanvon/Hanwang/汉王 N510 for ¥1100 (US$161) or ¥1200 (US$176) (again a few cheaper e.g. [5] but the sellers didn't look particularly reliable and I there may be info in the description I missed). They also have some newer or different models like the N515, N516, N517, N518 (possibly more) that I didn't look at but they all seem more expensive.
This is perhaps a more interest device as it's an e-ink reader and 5 inch 600x800 although it's a bit thick at 12mm. It's also supported by the Linux based Openinkpot distro.
And in fact you can even buy a N516 in/from? the Ukraine with it preloaded (couldn't workout the price from the website) although this says $230 I presume that means USD. I also did find the Hanvon N516 (I presume with standard firmware) sold by someone on Amazon UK for £150 (US$239) (including VAT I guess) and considering it's ¥1650 (US$ 242) from a reliable looking seller that's cheaper then in China, I presume either because it's new or because the difference between the N510 and N516 is small enough that the N510 remains far more popular. Also Hanwang seems to be fairly heavily pushing the N516 to the overseas market.
Considering the Kindle is US$259 with mobile connectivity this is fairly expensive however although at least Hanwang don't stop me buying the N516 in NZ or Malaysia and doesn't go around deleting my books randomly. Incidentally there's a review in English of tne N510 here. There should be a fair amount of stuff on the mobileread forums too I guess. Supposedly the N510 was supposedly used by the astronauts of the Shenzhou 7 space mission.
Next we get to the Teclast (台电) TL K3 which is what first interested me in this, This is fairly new but appears to be a 6 inch e-ink reader with 600x800 display and it's also fairly thin (8.9mm) [6]. Already it seems to be available for ¥1239 (US$181).
So around ¥1100-¥1200 (US$161-US$176) at the current time for a 5 or 6 inch e-ink reader. Still expensive IMHO, ¥500-¥600 would seem a more resonable price range to me at least for the developed world. The question of how prices will respond to the iPad is obviously speculation so not something the RD can really answer. However I will say mention that considering the Teclast is fairly new it wouldn't surprise me if it'll fall to under ¥1000 in a few months. This would create similar pricing pressuare on the Hanwang devices. So ¥800 within say 6 months to 1 year seems plausible to me even ignoring the iPad.
P.S. I doubt Mr 98's figure or 'less then a dozen' is particularly accurate. Even if you think the Hanwang devices I listed are similar enough to be considered one and the Dr. Yu devices too, we still have 3 here, add the Kindle and Kindle DX (given the different sizes doesn't make much sense to count them the same), Sony, Hanlin (翰林) 7, and there are more here [7]. In fact possibly for the Sony or Hanlin devices some of them are different enough it makes little sense to count them the same, e.g. I see they're making some with SiPix. Of course I'm ignoring the rebranded readers which may make sense in some cases but not always (with different firmware which some of them have they can obviously behave quite differently). I'm not of course saying that there is a device which can met the OPs requirements. The temperature ranges for example seem a bit extreme.
P.P.S. For the OP, as with a number of fairly specialised questions, I would suggest a more specialised forum may be better. [8] seems a good bet to me from what I've seen on it although I don't use it personally.
Nil Einne (talk) 16:06, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I would think that operating at -40° would be the most difficult requirement. If you just want one that won't be destroyed at those temps, that's one thing, but actually operating it at those temps is out. For one thing, you'd need to wear thick gloves, so how are you going to operate the controls ? StuRat (talk) 16:16, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
After playing with a wide variety of eBook Readers, I'd say the Barnes & Noble nook comes closest to what you're looking for right now. That said, there's nothing out there as mind blowing as what you describe currently, but maybe in a year or three a good eBook reader will come out like that. With the exception of the operating temperature range... -40 to 50C is a good way to destroy any electronic device. Caltsar (talk) 16:28, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Those operating tempratures alone will kill your dream. eInk has a Operating Temperature Range: 0º—50º C [9]. APL (talk) 19:10, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I know a little bit about operating electronics in cold temperatures - and I have to say, -40 is pushing it. Even military and aerospace requirements, such as these Altera devices rated to "-55°C to 125°C", rarely operate well at those kinds of conditions. Even at 0 Celsius, batteries cease to function. At -20, other stuff begins to happen - things your average circuit designer really wasn't prepared to handle - things like failure of temperature-compensated voltage regulators; diodes; semiconductors become conductors; LCD screens are just plain off of table. At -40 C, well, more stuff starts to happen. Sometimes, batteries start working again - at high efficiency! All your conductors become awesome conductors - you might short out the system just like that! Thermal contraction of your solder joints against FR4 printed circuit board starts tearing components out of their sockets. Metal pins deform. Wirebonds inside of ASICs break down. And this hasn't even begun to address what happens when you thermal cycle - i.e. cool down to those temperatures and then back up! The biggest problem is thermal expansion-related stress, and condensation (especially inside "hermetically sealed packages"). I recognize you might be in the far north, but outdoor-ready electronics for such low temperatures are very hard to design. The consequence is that you either pay a premium for custom engineering jobs, or you severely limit the technology options you can use. Surprisingly, a lot of non-integrated circuits (think wire-wrap and tubes!) work extremely well in the deep sub-zero range - if you can keep your batteries warm. The best solution is to put the device in a controlled environment - say, inside a heated environment or at least a well-insulated case that you can keep closer to 0 C. If you really, really need deep sub-zero temperatures for your electronics - not just a label that says so - then you're gonna pay a lot more than $300. Nimur (talk) 02:34, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Great answers everyone. As for the cold and heat, I'm thinking more of what if you left one in a car overnight in a cold Canadian winter, or conversely during a hot summer's day in a similarly closed up car in, say, Mexico. If either had a book, mag, or newspaper, you retrieve them, and in a better environment, start reading them. What about the e-readers? Thanks. (talk) 18:59, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Most electronics will survive storage temperatures like you describe, though repeated exposure to exceptionally hot or cold days may cause the device to malfunction. That said, it's not something you would want to make a habit of doing as too much stress from the expansion and contraction of parts will probably cause the device to fail sooner than if it was kept as close to room temperature as reasonably possible. No device manufacture expects you to keep your eBook Reader in ideal conditions, but you should take care to avoid extremes and any of the devices on the market should be able to handle those temperature stresses. Using the glovebox as a storage area will help prevent a lot of the direct heat from the sun as well as any other safe place away from direct sunlight. Even without temperature considerations, these shaded and protected areas of the car are a good idea for storage to prevent theft. Caltsar (talk) 19:20, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
There's also the fact that when I'm listening to some device, I often have it in a pocket--and thus often guarded from the cold. As for the headphone wires, such are, as some indicated, improved by the cold (I think--superconductivity--or increase conductivity and all). This is not the case for e-readers--at least the ones I've seen on the web. (talk) 20:41, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Automatically updating chart in OpenOffice Calc[edit]

Background: I'm attempting to track sales and I am making a chart of this in OpenOffice Calc. I am running OpenOffice 3.1.1, which I believe is the latest released version, since 3.2 is still in the RC stage. My chart has two columns; the first is a list of dates, the second is a list of income values for each day. I've made a graph of this in a second sheet.

Here's my problem: when I add a new entry, the graph does not automatically update. I have to edit it, select the new row, and only then does the graph update. Is there any way to make it automatically update?

I've found some solutions for Excel, but they don't seem to work. I used the ideas from This page, but ran into issues because OpenOffice does not display a "series" item in the formula bar when you select the graph.

Searching with Google did not help much either. I also tried making the changes in Excel on another computer and then opening the file back up in Calc. This, however, just causes Calc to display a blank graph.

Irish Souffle (talk) 22:29, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Try searching for "open office dynamic chart" - which I think is what you want - for inserting in other OO programs use [10] insert the chart as an OLE object (OLE object is an option when inserting) - and select the 'link' box when going through the insertion wizard - I'll come back in a bit when I've tried it out myself.
(also does 'refresh' F5 ? help?) (talk) 13:34, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
[11] - it automatically updates when in the same spreadsheet - I assume the absence of info for when the chart is in a separate spreadsheet means that it doesn't work. (talk) 13:59, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
In calc to update an embedded chart (from another spreadsheet) one method is to link to a chart in a spreadsheet as a spreadsheet object... then use 'edit'>'links'>select the source>then press update
-if the source was not linked then it is just a copy of the data when it was created.
-if the source was linked when created then it will update to give the most recent data, annoyingly though you have to close the data source (due to over enthusiastic editing protection) (talk) 14:35, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
So to try to clarify this mess - it doesn't seem possibly to have a linked chart - but the work around is to insert a link to a spreadsheet containing the chart (needs to be the same spreadsheet as the data) - insert that as an OLE object with 'link' turned on. The content including the chart will change as the data changes. (talk) 14:56, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
The chart is in the same spreadsheet as the data, just on a different page. If I change the data, the chart does update. The issue is that when I add new data (new rows), the chart does not update, because it has been given only a certain range of cells to include as part of the chart. For instance, right now I have 14 rows of data. If I change anything in any of those rows, the chart will update. However, if I add data in the 15th row, it will not. I tried including all the cells up to the 65,536th row as a workaround, but it ends up interpreting empty cells as zeros, which ruins everything.
this covers what I want. I'm hoping there's a way to do it now that we are in OpenOffice 3.x. I may try installing OpenOffice 3.2 RC4 just to see what happens. Irish Souffle (talk) 15:14, 3 February 2010 (UTC)