Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2010 November 20

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November 20[edit]

Uses of Microsoft Silverlight[edit]

I just downloaded and installed Office 2010 Professional (don't worry, as an IU student, I'm allowed to download it free from, and it came with Microsoft Silverlight. Not being a tech savvy person — I can't use Excel or Access beyond putting data into the cells, and I'm hopeless with Powerpoint — I don't foresee a use for this program. Any ideas if I'm likely to encounter situations in which I'd find this program useful, or would it be more helpful for me simply to uninstall it? Nyttend (talk) 02:59, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

I recently had to install Silverlight to view a particular graphics rich website. Basically I think this program is much more about viewing certain graphics rich websites (much like Adobe Flash) than using your standard Office applications. In other words, I'd suggest to leave it. I haven't heard of it doing any harm. --jjron (talk) 03:12, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
It is (as above) pretty much a competitor to flash (as used on Youtube, and many other places on the web) - in my experience its use is very rare - there's some examples here. also found this via a forum.
In general its use is very rare, you can almost certainly uninstall without noticing the difference if the disk space is valuable to you. (talk) 03:49, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
Notably, Netflix uses Microsoft Silverlight to stream subscription videos using digital rights management. Nimur (talk) 05:54, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
One of the most conniving puzzle games on the net uses it (highly addictive, click through at your own risk!): Also I've seen online mind mapping software use Silverlight (kind of like a Google Doc or Office, editing live on the net). As mentioned, it is a competitor to Flash, might as well leave it installed, you'll need it one day for some website anyway. Zunaid 07:21, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
MSN utilizes silverlight as do certain other Microsoft subsidiaries/partners.Smallman12q (talk) 14:26, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

During the Olympics, I need Silverlight to view videos on The Hero of This Nation (talk) 18:50, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Faceboook - suggesting people you may know[edit]

Hi How does Facebook suggest people you may know? When a person displays my profile, does it mean that later Facebook will suggest me adding this person to my friends? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:44, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

We've speculated on this before and we aren't sure. Some of the suggestions are clearly friend-of-a-friend or "went to the same institution/work/town" as you. But some seem to be really off the wall and unrelated to that. I don't think it has to do with you visiting anyone's page. But we don't know the "secret sauce" behind the algorithm. --Mr.98 (talk) 14:06, 20 November 2010 (UTC)


how do i watch this

<rapidshare .avi.00# links culled> --Mr.98 (talk)

You download all of the component files. Then you have to combine them. Google ".001 joiner" or "file splitter/joiner" and you'll find lots of programs that can do this. Then you open the resulting .AVI file with a movie viewer. --Mr.98 (talk) 15:09, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

An easy to to do this is with JDownloader. Enter the links into it and it will download and extract them all for you. On rapidshare free service this could take several hours, so Jdownloader is so much better than doing it manually. (talk) 15:50, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Windows - No Disk - Exception Processing Message[edit]

This message pops up on the screen at the end of the Windows boot process (after it is populated with icons);

Windows - No Disk Exception Processing Message c0000013 Parameters 75b6bf9c 4 75b6bf9c 75b6bf9c

There are buttons to Cancel, Try Again, and Continue, but clicking on them is rejected with a loud buzzer. The same with the X delete at the upper right of the information box.

Ordinary applications at first glance seem to work okay. System functions: I was able to free up disk space but defrag and backup are not responsive.

Any ideas what's happening and what I might do? --Halcatalyst (talk) 16:59, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

What version of Windows? What sort of hard disks are connected to this system? Comet Tuttle (talk) 16:51, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
It's Windows 95. One hard disk -- standard issue on this inexpensive HP desktop machine. --Halcatalyst (talk) 03:23, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Clicks Agent[edit]

Clicks Agent is a company said to have been developed by a teenager in his bedroom and sold for $40million. 1) Am I correct in thinking that its business model is that you pay it some money, and it gets traffic to your website? 2) Why was someone willing to pay $40M for it rather than replicating it themselves? I mean, it was created by a teenager in their bedroom so it can't be too difficult. 3) Where does the traffic come from? Thanks (talk) 17:56, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

1) yes. 2) it was paid in the form of stock, so in reality was less than that. Replicating the technical side might be easy, but you'll also have a portfolio of clients, portfolio of contractors, a brand name. 3) I guess from pop-down, pop-ups, parked urls, and so on. Mr.K. (talk) 21:46, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

laptop cannot see dvd writer[edit]

Hi I have a Samsung R510 and I've had to remove the default Vista and install Windows 7 64-bit on it. Now everything works except the dvd writer... it cannot be seen in devices and cannot be seen by Nero 10. Samsung official website does not have drivers for it. Any ideas please? Sandman30s (talk) 18:36, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Try this tool: [1].--Best Dog Ever (talk) 06:50, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks but that tool does not detect the writer. It's weird, sometimes device manager detects the writer and when I click on properties of the TS-L633B device, the device manager hangs. The latest Samsung driver update says 'target device not supported.' Sandman30s (talk) 14:20, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Python + Ubuntu + controlling a program[edit]

I know that you can start a program or execute a command within Python with (stream = os.popen('myprogram or command with parameters'). The result of that is a wrapper object stream. However, if I want to interact with the program, (for example, get information from this wrapper object), how do I proceed? Mr.K. (talk) 21:30, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

I believe that os.popen has been deprecated in favor of subprocess.Popen (which is a class). Once you have a Popen object, you can use communicate() on it. Paul (Stansifer) 22:22, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
OK. Thanks so far.

I am trying:

import subprocess 
stream = subprocess.Popen("klipper", stdin=subprocess.PIPE, stdout=subprocess.PIPE)

And then? How can I interact with a concrete program, (Klipper in this case). Mr.K. (talk) 23:36, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

popen is for processes that run in a terminal window and interact via stdin and stdout. It won't be much use for a GUI app like Klipper. You could try using the dbus package for that. -- BenRG (talk) 00:04, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Dbus is probably too complicated for me (I only need it for a while). However, I can substitute Klipper for a command-line tool: xclip.
import subprocess 
stream = subprocess.Popen("xclip", stdin=subprocess.PIPE, stdout=subprocess.PIPE)

Normally, xclip outputs what I have in the clipboard. But stream.communicate() does not output this information... :( Mr.K. (talk) 01:40, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

To output what's in the clipboard you presumably want "xclip -o", not "xclip". The first value returned by communicate() will then be the clipboard contents. In this case, since you're not sending any data to the process, you can just say f = subprocess.Popen("xclip -o", stdout=subprocess.PIPE).stdout and then read from f like any other (read-only, unseekable) file. I think that all of this is explained in the documentation, with examples. -- BenRG (talk) 09:52, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, the problem is that "xclip -o" instead of "xclip" doesn't work (it raises an error). And "xclip" does not produce any result (without raising an error). :( Mr.K. (talk) 13:32, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Strangely, the os.popen version (which is deprecated) does work. However, for subprocess.Popen I probably need more variables that I got wrong... Mr.K. (talk) 14:19, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Generally, it helps to mention what error you get when something goes wrong. However, I think I can guess what the problem is. You probably want to write Popen(["xclip", "-o"], stdout=subprocess.PIPE) instead. That is, Popen requires that you give it a list whose first item is the program name and whose subsequent arguments are the arguments to the program (but as a special case, if you don't want any arguments, it lets you give it just a string instead.) This makes it look a little different than what you'd enter at the shell, but it saves you from having to worry about escaping issues in some cases. Paul (Stansifer) 18:52, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Amazing. You are a mentalist. You guessed my mistake over the Internet. Thanks. Mr.K. (talk) 20:13, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

How to move a macro in Microsoft Word[edit]

This seems like a very silly question, but I cannot make it work. I have a macro that apparently is saved in Normal.dotm. It is accessible from every Microsoft Word document I create. However, I only need it in one particular document, Document.docx, say. Is it possible to move the macro from Normal.dotm to Document.docx, so that the yellow warning message doesn't appear for every Microsoft Word document I create/open?

I have tried to open "Mallhanteraren", as it is called in my Swedish copy of Microsoft Word 2010. ("Template Manager" is a direct translation. This dialog box can be opened using a push button in the Macros dialog box.) In "Template Manager", under the tab sheet called "Macros", there are two list boxes, called "In Document.docx" and "In Normal.dotm". Between these list boxes, there are three buttons: "Copy", "Remove", and "Change name...". One would expect to be able to use this dialog to copy the macro from Normal.dotm to Document.docx, but the problem is that the Normal.dotm list box is empty, even though Microsoft Word itself tells me that my macro is indeed stored in this very document/template file (when looking in the "Macros" dialog box, for instance)!

What can I do? --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 21:40, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Try hitting alt+f11 to bring up the VBA (VisualBasic for Applications) screen, and see if it has modules on the left pane. If it does you can usually right click -> export and save it to a file, which you can then import using similar steps. 22:31, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes. Actually, a simple drag-and-drop inside this list did it. --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 19:24, 26 November 2010 (UTC)