Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2011 August 3

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August 3[edit]

Broken Computer[edit]

What should I do cuz my dumbass kid threw my laptop with all my important info down a really long stairway and it had smoke coming from it when I picked it up crying PLZ HELP!!!!

Hopefully you have computer insurance...otherwise you'll need a new computer.Smallman12q (talk) 01:19, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
More importantly, if you have 'important info' you should always have a backup of it somewhere else. If you didn't, there's a chance you may be able to recover data depending on what was smoking and simplisticly, luck. If it really matters, I suggest you contact a data recovery professional, be warned expect to pay upwards of US$1000 if a cleanroom is needed. (The reason why you want to contact a professional is if you are prepared to pay the cost if necessary and it really matter you want to avoid causing further damage.) Nil Einne (talk) 02:00, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
If the mainboard, CPU, or something else (not the hard disk!) was smoking, you are lucky. If it was the hard disk, I had no idea. Marthelati (talk) 15:03, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
And you may need professional help for the kid, too, unless he's too young to know what he was doing. In the meantime, you need to keep all valuable and important things out of his reach. I suggest you put such things in your home office (or bedroom if you don't have an office), install a good lock, and keep it locked at all times. StuRat (talk) 03:50, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
If it will no longer boot-up due to damaged hardware, then you could try removing the hard disk and putting it as the secondary disk in another computer. Or you can buy an external case to put the HD in so that you can access it via USB from another computer. You might also try using a LiveCD or live usb with the damaged computer and seeing what you can copy off the HD, but this is a long shot if the hardware is damaged. (talk) 10:55, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Or take it to your local computer repair shop, who will almost certainly be able to help. --Colapeninsula (talk) 10:06, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Ha ha... Darn SineBot...
Please chat with me at my talk page. Marthelati (talk) 14:59, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

nostradamus's best and worst predictions?[edit]

Question has been moved to Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Miscellaneous#nostradamus.27s_best_and_worst_predictions.3F. StuRat (talk) 03:46, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Windows Vista behavior copying CDs[edit]

Hello. I've been redundantly archiving a lot of files I have on CDs to a hard drive with Windows Vista and Cygwin. I run a script in Cygwin that copies all the files on a CD to a folder on the hard drive, generates md5sums for the CD and hard-drive copies, and compares the two. I have noticed that after I've copied the files, the CD drive stops spinning while the Cds' checksums are being calculated. I've also noticed that I can navigate the entire CD drive in Windows Explorer and open any file without the CD drive spinning up after the copy. I'm concerned that Vista is playing a trick and is sending me to the hard-drive copy instead of the actual files on the CD. Is this how Vista works, and if so, how can I force it to reread the files on the CD instead of using the copy? Thanks for any advice.--el Aprel (facta-facienda) 05:12, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

I notice that my copy of Vista caches a fair amount of CD info, though I can't replicate your exact problem. Just ejecting and re-inserting the CD causes it to re-read from the CD. There might be a software method to make Vista do this every time. Perhaps an expert can advise? Dbfirs 06:36, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Try using xcopy with the /J option, which bypasses the caching system. Surprisingly, robocopy doesn't seem to support this option. Other possibilities: if the CD tray is motorized then you could open and close it programmatically with nircmd. That should flush the cache for the CD, but the hard drive md5sums will still come from cache. Or you could use dd to make ISO files instead of copying individual files; I think the raw disk reads will be uncached. Or you could copy all the discs, then verify them all in a second pass. -- BenRG (talk) 08:47, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Apparently xcopy's /J option was added in Windows 7. Arrgh. I have no idea what other command-line copiers support unbuffered I/O. I was happy to find one. I see some recommendations for a program called "eseutil" that comes with Microsoft Exchange, but it only does one file at a time and the documentation implies it might fail for files that aren't a multiple of the volume sector size. Probably not worth it. -- BenRG (talk) 09:05, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Ejecting the CD (manually or programmatically) doesn't help. I copied a >650MB CD with a single tar file, ejected, reinserted, ran md5sum on it and it finished right after it spun up, so it must have recognized the CD and went to the cache. Any other ideas?--el Aprel (facta-facienda) 22:50, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I've noticed with Vista that if I run the same command twice, it seems to return the same answer and skip the processing, so this part may be unrelated to CD caching. Anyway, I've decided to copy all my CDs to the HD first, then go back to each one and generate checksums. That seems to be the best way to avoid this frustrating, unconfigurable habit of Vista.--el Aprel (facta-facienda) 23:37, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
It's called disk caching: RAM is much faster than either a CD or a hard drive, so when Vista (or any other operating system) reads data from a disk, it stores a temporary copy in memory on the off-chance that you'll want to access it again in the near future. --Carnildo (talk) 23:07, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
It might be easier to do the copy with software that does that hash-checking itself, overriding the disk caching, like TeraCopy. —Vanderdeckenξφ 15:11, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Voice Memo app for Android 3G MyTouch T-Mobile?[edit]

Does anyone know if there is an app for the Android 3G that works just like the Voice Memo Recorder on the iPhone? Saudade7 06:09, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Not sure what that app does, but pretty much any text input area including the text messages app, AK Notepad, etc. will take speech to text input after you click the mic icon in the keypad area. ¦ Reisio (talk) 22:14, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Creating New Word Document + Content from Macro[edit]

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to create a macro (using VBA) which will create a new word document, and then fill in parts of it determined by the input. I can already get it to create a new document based on a template when I click a button on a form, I just need to know how to add the content.

For example, my form may have 4 checkboxes - A, B, C and D. For each of these is selected, a certain row is added to a table when the new document is created.

The form also has text boxes, I wish to have the data in the text boxes added to a second table when the document is created (for example, there may be a text box for start date, one for end date, and one for cost - which are then tabulated.

Does anyone have any advice or know of where I could learn how to do this?

Thanks! (talk) 06:33, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

What I usually do when I'm trying to figure out how to automate something in Word is to first "record" myself doing something very similar, and then look at the resulting VBA code that the macro recorder creates. Usually it is full of a lot of extra junk that is unnecessary, but you should be able to find the lines where you selected different form elements, changed them, what have you. --Mr.98 (talk) 15:07, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

further question on c++ objects deleting themselves[edit]

Hi again folks, I'm writing a C++ program where objects delete themselves. I don't then use any more member data, but the member function (ie. class method) remains open and manipulates other stuff, namely, its own return value, which is declared inside the function. I've checked in a toy program, and it definitely works ok, but is it considered bad design? I can adapt it to get the calling object to do the deletion, but I'll avoid changing things unless there is some good reason to do so. I've checked the link I was given earlier, [1], and I'm not strictly breaking any of the rules, so long as the local variable declared within the member function remains on the stack, and can be treated like any normal local variable in any function. I'm guessing that's how it works, but I'm not really sure. Thanks in advance, It's been emotional (talk) 10:12, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Legally, what you're doing is fine. The rule for this is the same as any other pointer: you can't use it after deleting the object it points to. Any mention of a member of the current class gets an implicit this-> in front, so that's forbidden, but mentions of local variables don't get this->, so they're okay.
Morally, it can be argued that you shouldn't use delete at all. If you do use delete then you should be sure you know who is responsible for deleting any object that needs deletion. I think it's fine for the object to be responsible for its own deletion if that makes sense in context. -- BenRG (talk) 23:42, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Much appreciated. I wish the rest of my life was as reliable as the ref desk, but that's another story I won't trouble you with :), It's been emotional (talk) 01:09, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

name of city[edit]

what is the name of the city having lettres of the word adrazbufama.Is their any software which can do this — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:56, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Sounds like an anagram. Take a look at Anagram solver#Online_anagram_solvers -- (talk) 14:53, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Neither of the two sources listed there can do it. --Mr.98 (talk) 15:48, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
I just tried to use the dictionaryListAnagrams function in AlgoSim, but there was no match. The dictionary used is a two years old version of the English Wiktionary. It seems like it is not a very common toponym. --Andreas Rejbrand (talk) 16:57, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
It's Muzaffarabad - not at all common. (talk) 17:14, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
I guess that's probably right, although the number of f's doesn't match. Looie496 (talk) 17:20, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
You're right - it's also transliterated with one 'f' (e.g. Muzafarabad, Karachi). (talk) 17:24, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Searching for a computer part[edit]

Hello, I'm looking for a large SSD (250GB+) for a notebook. I'm browsing Newegg, but I'm not sure how to distinguish between SSDs meant for a desktop and those meant for a notebook. Can someone point me in the right direction and help me narrow it down to notebooks only? -- (talk) 16:25, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

When browsing SSDs, you can click "options" on the left and specify a form factor of 2.5", which is usually what you use in most laptops. --Mr.98 (talk) 16:47, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Essentially all SSDs are 2.5 inches, and will fit in either a laptop, or (with an adapter), desktop. This is in contrast to hard disk drives, where drives intended for desktops are nearly universally 3.5", while those intended for laptops are 2.5". If I had to guess why this is, I'd say that the main constraints to the size of solid state storage are probably not so much the physical size of the device, where in a hard drive, the capacity is pretty dependent on the size of the magnetic disk. Buddy432 (talk) 18:54, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
I would guess size may be a factor, but only at the extreme end and most of these won't have SATA or likely to be considered by the OP. However a quick search for 1TB SSD did find [2] from 2010 which evidentally was 3.5" and SATA although probably also not something the OP is likely to consider Nil Einne (talk) 07:24, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Have you tried amazon: Intel 250GB, OCZ 240GB. Smallman12q (talk) 19:52, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Contacting an IP[edit]

If I only know the IP of someone (like, for example, in the case of torrents), how can I contact him? (talk) 20:40, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Generally you can't. Most ISPs won't give you the real identity of an IP address without a court order. Old versions of Windows would let you send messages to IPs via the Messenger service but unsurprisingly this led to a huge amount of abuse and is disabled by default now. You can probably contact the ISP (who hosts the IP) by getting their contact information from their WHOIS registry, but there is no guarantee or even probability that they'll pass on any messages to specific IP users. --Mr.98 (talk) 21:34, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
(ec) This takes some detective work, and may not be possible. For example, I went to and looked up your IP address, and it told me you appeared to be in Spain, but the host or some other related machine was located in the Netherlands. By clicking on the "more information" types of links, a phone number was given, who I could then call and ask who is at your IP address. Depending on the law in that country and the host's policies, they might just tell me who you are, or they might tell me to buzz off and get a court order to force them to give it up. Comet Tuttle (talk) 21:37, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
No, that would be too complicated and there's no legally compelling reason to get a court order. I just thought I could ping an IP somehow... (Note: I'm in Spain right now, so ip-lookup got it right. The machine in the Netherlands is probably a proxy.) (talk) 22:33, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Very rarely, a web search might work. If the IP is relatively static and the person behind the IP is very active without significant concern for privacy occasionally you come across a website which has publicly indexed the IP along with some identity. If you administrate a popular website or forum (or many websites.forums) with some sort of commenting or other such functionality you can look at your logs and see if the IP is associated with any identity which has posted before although bear in mind your privacy policies and local privacy laws. However the vast majority of the time CT and Mr.98 are right, you can't find precisely who is behind an IP without the cooperation of the ISP. Nil Einne (talk) 07:18, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
In the case of torrents, its unlikely you'll be able to find the user even with a court order if they're using several proxies.Smallman12q (talk) 19:52, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
But how common is that? It strikes me as a rather sophisticated user who hides behind several proxies at any given time. Not your average torrenter. --Mr.98 (talk) 14:04, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

mac os x time machine[edit]

Hello. macosx 10.6.8. Does time machine on default settings back up my SVN tree which is in /var/svn? I can't see it when I enter time machine. Is it there but hidden somehow (if so, how do I see it) or is there some configuration that I need to set (if so, where is it?) Robinh (talk) 21:45, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure time machine backs up /var, so I imagine it would also back up /var/svn. To get to it, go to the Finder, find the "Go" menu, and then click "Go to Folder...". Then type "/var/svn". That will take you to the folder, and then click the time machine icon in the dock. --Thekmc (Leave me a message) 18:24, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Brilliant. Easy when you know how! (-:
Robinh (talk) 01:27, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

PC problems with running programmes from icons[edit]

Hi guys-my PC has started doing odd things-if i click on an icon on the desktop to run a program,instead of doing it automatically,it asks me what program I want to open it with(even if it doesn't need one to).If I choose one and start to run it,it gets in a loop of 'Do you want to run this software?-Which program do you want to use to run it?'.It means I can't load up things like Messenger except in my Hotmail or Yahoo. How can I restore it so it goes back to running automatically? Thanks Lemon martini (talk) 22:13, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Can you run the program from the start menu instead? Maybe your desktop shortcuts somehow got screwed up. Can you explain a little better what you are trying to run? I can't load up things like Messenger except in my Hotmail or Yahoo doesn't really make sense.. Vespine (talk) 23:56, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
I think the OP means they can't start the Windows Live Messenger or Yahoo Messenger programs but can access they IM via their browser (which I guess means the browser starts) Nil Einne (talk) 12:28, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
One clarification is needed here: Every icon you click must run a program. Even if the icon is just to a text file, you still need a text editor to display it. That's a program. If the icon is a web site, that needs a web browser to display it. That's also a program. If the icon is a pic, then an image viewer must be used to display it. That's a program, too. StuRat (talk) 23:28, 5 August 2011 (UTC)