Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2010 March 7

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March 7[edit]

Contacting UEFA[edit]

What is the email address through which I can contact UEFA? They haven't specified one at their contact-us page. -- (talk) 03:34, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

It's odd that they hide it -- probably because they were getting spammed. (It happens fast. After putting out my dedicated Slashdot e-mail address without any obfuscation, 30 minutes later I had gotten enough spam to justify deleting the e-mail address and making a new, slightly different one.) After some Googling I found, which does list an address. If you want to contact them about something specific -- for example, their fantasy games -- check the applicable section of the website first to see if there is a dedicated e-mail address. Xenon54 / talk / 03:43, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

What would happen if I submitted forwarded domains to Google?[edit]

One of my sites has five domain names. All of the domain names point to a single IP address. I purchased four of the domains yesterday. They simply give the browser a 301 redirect pointing them to the primary domain name, which is hosted by another company. I was thinking of submitting the new domain names to Google for indexing. Would that improve my search-engine rank? Also, would Google consider this to be black-hat SEO? Thanks.--Chmod 777 (talk) 06:23, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Google doesn't let you increase your search rank unless you pay them. Your search rank is determined by how many other websites reference your website and the relevance of your website to the original search query. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ApplePie456 (talkcontribs) 11:33, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
"Google doesn't let you increase your search rank unless you pay them" - I don't think that's even remotely correct - was it a joke? - page rank isn't achieved through payments at all. (talk) 11:43, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Google uses PageRank - so since your dummy domains will have close to zero ranking - it won't help your page rank. (talk) 11:43, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
It's not possible for me to say what google would think of your plan - perhaps you could contact them and ask - maybe they will reply. On the surface though it would appear that your purchase of the 4 domains will be wasted unless you can extract some other use from them. (talk) 12:01, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
ok. Thanks for the reply. It's not a big deal. They were only $10 a piece.--Chmod 777 (talk) 21:48, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Windows 7 Updates Problem[edit]

HI THERE! I have a very strange problem with windows 7 update.when i download the updates ,installed them correctly,it restarted automatically but fails it configuration phase every time it takes 3-5 time reboot at this phase, so how i can install the updates correctly i have done it before correctly. thanks......usman —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:37, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Have you got the update numbers - also try searching for those update numbers and see if it is a common problem.
It might be something on your machine, or the update - but it's impossible to say.
As a possible solution - do not install the update. Wait a few days. Then try again. (talk) 10:46, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Try downloading the updates manually —Preceding unsigned comment added by ApplePie456 (talkcontribs) 11:31, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

There is a "Windows Update Support Center" site which has a "Get Help" now link over to the right; it'll tell you how to get e-mail support for Windows Update. To my shock, I received free support for a Windows Update problem I had several years ago; the tech sent me an exact list of steps to follow and my problem was fixed. Comet Tuttle (talk) 16:11, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Dell hard disk[edit]

My Dell laptop has just gone brick. When I press the power button, absolutely nothing happens. So I've taken my hard drive, and placed it into my mother's Dell laptop, and it was fully compatible. My question - will my hard drive be portable to another manufacturer's laptop?

And while I'm at it, if anyone has any tips on what to do with a laptop that won't even start, when it's clearly not a power cord or battery issue, let me know. Magog the Ogre (talk) 08:30, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm not really offering an answer here, but just out of curiosity, what model is your laptop, as well as that of your mother's? (talk) 08:47, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Dell doesn't make hard disks. The biggest factor in portability is the interface (SATA or PATA). Older drives use PATA. Newer drives use SATA.
As for not starting, how do you know that it's not a power issue? Does the light illuminate on the charger? Did you test for an appropriate voltage on the end of the power cord? Is the battery dirty? Does the laptop turn on when you remove the battery? Have you tried plugging it into a different wall socket? Is the power jack in the laptop loose? What does the laptop's power jack look like with the laptop's case off?
Also, what changed before the laptop died? Did you do anything to it? Take the thing apart. Check for loose wires or loose parts.--Chmod 777 (talk) 08:54, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes, as long as it's a similar computer with similar specifications it should work. As for the laptop itself, it's probably an issue with your motherboard. There's nothing you can do with it to fix it on your own, you'd need to take it to a repair show. Probably not worth it —Preceding unsigned comment added by ApplePie456 (talkcontribs) 11:29, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

That's what I figured, ApplePie. I know it's not a power cord issue because I plugged the same power cord into another computer, and it worked, then another's computer's cord into mine, and it didn't work. Additionally, I've run it without the battery and with the cord before so that's not the issue. Finally, in the past month or so my computer was acting oddly if I started with a low battery, even with the power plugged in: it would not give any power to the peripherals, evidenced by the fact that my ethernet, wireless/bluetooth, and USB all didn't work. Magog the Ogre (talk) 13:55, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Laptops aren't meant to be user-serviceable, unlike desktop computers. So, professional repairs might be in order. But, if it's an older laptop, perhaps it's not worth it. Thus, if the choices are tossing the laptop or trying to fix it yourself, go for it. When I had a similar issue on my laptop, I was able to fix it, but also broke the paper ribbon cable used for the track-point mouse (I now use an external mouse). In my case, with an IBM ThinkPad, the problem was that the place you plug the cord in wasn't properly secured, so it broke loose after repeatedly plugging and unplugging. A little soldering fixed this. If you have the same problem, perhaps you had an intermittent power level coming from the cord, and were using battery power when that failed (which would explain the probs when the battery was low). Eventually, it may have either developed into a permanent failure to get electricity from the cord, which in short order discharged the battery, or perhaps the battery was damaged by this chaotic charging and discharging pattern, and finally failed. Try swapping batteries with the working laptop, too, if they are compatible. Note that on my laptop, changing the angle at which the cord connected to the laptop helped for a brief period, before it broke completely. StuRat (talk) 14:57, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

How to remove Skype logo and other annoyances.[edit]

I use Firefox as a browser. Since installing the latest version of Skype I have a Skype quick start icon on my menu bar which I don't want. (on the principle that I decide what's on my menu bar) I also have another associated irritation that when I am browsing sites Skype highlights any groups of numbers that look vaguely like a telephone number with a Skype link and a national flag (UK). Can someone advise me how I can get rid of these irritations. Richard Avery (talk) 08:58, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Do you know if you have the Skype toolbar installed on your browser? (talk) 09:08, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

I have never used Skype, but I know that sometimes when you download a program, you are offered the option to have a toolbar installed as well, so unless you made it clear that you don't want to have the toolbar during the install wizard, it will install itself. (talk) 09:14, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

This website might help. – Elliott(Talk|Cont)  10:12, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Uninstall programs -> Skype —Preceding unsigned comment added by ApplePie456 (talkcontribs) 11:27, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Hey, thanks guys, like it says on the mydigitallife site it can be a little buggy to get rid of but tools > addons >Skype did the business! Richard Avery (talk) 22:12, 7 March 2010 (UTC)


Can Chatzilla be run independently of Firefox? I want to use chatzilla but I don't want firefox. ARe there any chatzilla clones? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Moairity (talkcontribs) 10:48, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

You can look up IRC clients that run independently of web browsers. Try Comparison of Internet Relay Chat clients, there's a list of all sorts of IRCs for every OS. (talk) 11:06, 7 March 2010 (UTC)


If I put a Hard Drive in a fire box and then there's a fire, will the drive be protected? What is the maximum temperature they can withstand before then are damaged beyond help? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chime444 (talkcontribs) 11:11, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

I guess you mean a fire safe? It depends on the safe - different safes are rated to maintain different internal temperatures during fires (and for different durations of fire before they start to fail). A popular standard for firesafes is the Nordtest Fire 17 standard (Nordtest is a standards and testing agency that's co-owned by the governments of the Nordic countries). This specifies a maximum of 170°c for paper, 70°c for hard disks, and 50°c for floppy disks. You'll see different safes advertised by their compliance to this (and other) fire resistance standards. In my limited experience the price of "data safes" (those with the lower numbers) is very much greater than the ones suitable only for papers and jewels. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 11:22, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Google auto-suggest discriminating against lesbians[edit]

On google when you start to type it gives suggestions. I've noticed that when you begin to type "homosexual" it auto-suggest the word, as does "gay", "faggot" and "man on man". However, "lesbian" and "girl on girl" do not auto-suggest. Why is google discriminating against lesbians? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14:19, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

I believe Google runs its autosuggest based simply off metrics and what people type into the search engine. What you are seeing is a compilation of what people sometimes type in; therefore it is a reflection not of the discrimination of google but of the attitudes/patterns of internet users. Magog the Ogre (talk) 14:52, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
You're saying more people type "man on man" into google than type "lesbian"? I find that a bit hard to believe, but even if it's true there must be millions of people typing the word "lesbian" into google every day and yet even if you've typed all but the last letter or the word it still won't auto-suggest it. It seems more likely to me that someone at google has disabled the word "lesbian" from appearing on the auto-suggest feature, the same way the word "fuck" or "shit" doesn't appear.
You're right, auto-suggest does have some sort of filter against "offensive words", I doubt its discrimination, that's not exactly googles style, i think its just to stop people finding content they don't want to --Jac16888Talk 15:08, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
[citation needed]. Comet Tuttle (talk) 15:34, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
So why is homosexual acts between men acceptable in Googles eyes but homosexual acts between women not acceptable? Surely if it was to prevent people finding content that might be inappropriate they would have also removed phrases related to male homosexuality, but they haven't. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:27, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't think Google is denying anyone the use of their services even if Jac16888 is correct. Comet Tuttle (talk) 15:34, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
You can read briefly about how search suggestions are generated for google here [1]
If you have issues with google, or the web search suggestion, or want to report inapropiate results - take it up with google (we can't do anything about it) - there is a link on the page I provided above. (talk) 15:38, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Mine, incidentally, does not suggest "faggot", or many other "offensive" terms. "Shit" won't come up, though, "shitmydadsays" will. Anyway, my guess is that this is a "don't shock grandma" sort of auto-suggest filter. It doesn't affect search results. If you type in "lesbiaaaan" it'll then ask if you mean "lesbian." I don't consider "lesbian" offensive, personally. --Mr.98 (talk) 15:48, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Want to stop auto suggest, set this as your homepage—Sandahl (♀) 05:15, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Windows "calling home"[edit]

I've read a bit about Windows Vista and 7 "calling home" to microsoft every now and then, telling them stuff about the computer. Do older versions of Windows, like 98, 2000 or XP do this? Does Microsoft still care about older versions of Windows or do they just ignore the calling home from those computers? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Goington3 (talkcontribs) 14:53, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

XP uses Windows Genuine Advantage if you don't have a genuine copy of windows you can't get updates, or downloads from MS - later they introduced 'Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications' which starts to downgrade non-registered copies of windows XP [2]
Vista and 7 use Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications [3] - which has similar effect to the updated XP method.
According to [4] Win2000 is also covered, as for any other versions - I don't know if they are covered by similar but differently named programs. (talk) 15:29, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Solid state hard drives[edit]

Do solid state hard drives have a shorter lifespan than normal hard drives? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Uosipes (talkcontribs) 18:15, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Flash drives, which if I understand solid state drives are very similar, do have a certain amount of times they can write and delete. I don't know what happens once you get past that point. Maybe it becomes read only, but I haven't had a solid-state drive equipped on this computer. ArchabacteriaNematoda (talk) 19:29, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Solid state hard drives will have the same life span as other solid state devices (e.g. USB flash drives and SD Cards used in cameras). These devices can be written to an almost unlimited number of times and do not seem to deteriorate. A solid state hard drive should last a long time. --tb240904 Talk Contribs 20:55, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
I've had about half my USB flash drives fail on me, despite fairly light usage. StuRat (talk) 22:45, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Depending on its usage, a SSD will last roughly 51 years [5].– Elliott(Talk|Cont)  22:07, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
It actually depends on the type of SSD. SLC SSDs last longer (and are faster) than MLC SSDs. The 51-year figure would only be relevant for an SLC SSD. MLC SSDs only last only about a tenth of that, and they get slower as they age since the drive controller tries to level the wear out across the drive. MLCs are more popular because they are cheaper and have larger capacities. In my experience, traditional disks with platters also go bad after about five years, although some go fail sooner (as early as one year) with heavy use.--Chmod 777 (talk) 22:38, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
It's perhaps worth remembering the 51 year figure and similar figures are usually an extreme situation involving overwriting the entire disk multiple times per day. If you're a home user and not using the entire disk for some sort of swap file or something and presuming good wear levelling and you don't allow the disk to get too full, then the disk will almost definitely last a lot longer. In other words, even with MLC SSDs the write cycle limitation shouldn't be great issue particularly if you avoid putting the page or swap file/space on the disk.
Of course as I mentioned wear levelling is important as is not allowing the disk to get too full. I don't own any SSDs other then memory cards and USB sticks and I'm not really sure what the current state is but if there's no current implementation of some sort of 'optimisation' to ensure adequete wear levelling on existing data then that could be a problem. For example, if you have 95% of data is consistent and never overwritten and 5% frequently used, e.g. for temporary files and swap space I can imagine the 5% failing prematurely. Also I'm not sure how well wear levelling is implemented even on disks with adequete free space.
In any case not surprisingly according to [6] manufacturers reserve free space which they use to help wear levelling. In fact, if I understand the last comment correctly, the reserved space is often the difference between the actual capacity (which would often be in GiB or whatever, i.e. 1024/binary based since the memory cells are in GiB) and the advertised capacity (which would nearly always be in GB or whatever i.e. 1000/decimal based). Perhaps that applies to memory cards and USB sticks as well, if so that would explain why they're always GB which I never really understood. BTW I gather from that and then later reading the article that, in terms of maintaining performance [[TRIM] I believe is important regardless of SLC or MLC.
In any case, other components could cause failure. I believe SB has posted some data from Google before (which I found it here [7]) that may be of interest when it comes to normal hard drive failure.
Nil Einne (talk) 07:33, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Dell d520 Laptop[edit]

I was about to purchase this item on ebay, and put the old parts from my (broken) 1525 Inspiron in it. I noticed it will accept another 2GB RAM slot, which is good, but will this motherboard be able to accept a 250GB SATA hard drive? This looks like a great deal for me, but I do not want to purchase something that will be incompatible with my current hard drive. This page makes it look like it accepts such a hard drive, but it also doesn't mention that 2GB capacity for RAM that the purchase page seems to imply. Magog the Ogre (talk) 22:32, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Looks like a decent laptop. Dell's website seems to think it can take a 500g hard drive, but recomends you upgrade to a 160g. This site seems to think you can take a 250g hard drive. And this site doesnt say anything about hard drive sizes at all. I hope this was helpful. – Elliott(Talk|Cont)  22:46, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree with the above and the hard drive should be fine, but you'll need to check more about the memory. According to Crucial (who are usually pretty accurate) the D520 has 2 memory slots each capable of holding 2Gb for a total of 4Gb. On the eBay link though it doesn't say how the 1Gb is broken down. Is it 1*1Gb or 2*512Mb and what memory do you have already? Because they're (according to Crucial) individual memory banks you don't need to have matched memory, but you are limited to 2 slots. Hope this is of some help! ZX81 talk 23:10, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
I have two 5300s from my 1525, 1 GB and 2GB respectively. I will take the memory from that. (talk) 23:14, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Searching for raw graphics[edit]

Is there GPL software for displaying a binary file as raw graphics? Something like Gimp's "raw image loader" (Open - Raw image data) would be ideal, where you can input the width and offset of the file. I am looking for images in older video games (sprites, textures, or other images), or hidden in other files. Unfortunately, looking for information on Google almost exclusively yields results about a camera's RAW image format, which is not what I am interested in. Daram.G (talk) 22:46, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Photoshop can do this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by AdaptionCube (talkcontribs) 23:05, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
That does not answer his question. Photoshop is not GPL. APL (talk) 23:15, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Note that AdaptionCube has been blocked an abusive sock puppet; his reply is nonsense and I'd recommend Daram.G ignore it. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 23:23, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Imagemagick imports a variety of unformatted binary types, including RGB,UYVY, and (headerless)DIB. The trouble is that many very old games (particularly 8-bit ones) will work off a palette, so simply importing the pixel array doesn't give you a picture (you'd also have to locate the palette and provide that too, at which point you're essentially having to reconstruct a palettised BMP. If you're at the level of digging through a ROM image trawling for images, I think you'll find that you'd need to write your own code (either an importer for something like SDLimage, or a translator that emits a BMP). You may find the MAME people helpful, as they've got tons of experience of digging out images from obscure places. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 23:17, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Thank you everyone! Daram.G (talk) 02:58, 13 March 2010 (UTC)