Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2011 September 9

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September 9[edit]

did will wright design sim city on his own?[edit]

I was reading about Will Wright's Sim City, and the article made it seem like he designed and programmed it on his own, not least because it appears he had no backing for the game. Is this true, and how long did he take? Are there any books or articles describing how he did it, and what obstacles he faced? It's been emotional (talk) 02:24, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

You might want to look into this book, which I found on a Google books search for '"Will Wright" Simcity'. Nevard (talk) 03:43, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, in fact I did some more googling, and came across this: [1], which answers the question. If others are interested, yes, he basically did it all himself over 2 years, although it mentions a team of helpers, external to the programming and design, whose contribution is not made clear. It's been emotional (talk) 03:17, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Aglets - Installation[edit]

Aglets is the new technology of Mobile Agents...but it's installation is quite a bit complex, can anyone specify the installation procedure of aglets?Rajesh Voleti (talk) 03:16, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

No updates to Aglets in ten years means you probably shouldn't bother with it. Heck, Java Web Start's had more recent updates and noone uses that, despite the fact that it's actually pretty useful. Nevard (talk) 05:19, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

HTML Code cleanup[edit]

Please suggest a program to do HTML code cleanup. The code I need to work with is very simple HTML but it is highly redundant. E.g., there are numerous <FONT....> and </FONT> codes cancelling each other. This makes it very hard to read & edit. Thanks, Wanderer57 (talk) 06:56, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

There is a web based version of the HTML Tidy utility originally developed by W3C Fellow Dave Raggett available here. Nevard (talk) 07:44, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
HTML Tidy rarely removes redundancy. It fixes missing end tags. There was talk a while back to add redundancy reduction to it. I believe the consensus was to make it an add-on option. That wasn't good enough for me, so I wrote my own script to remove redundancy - which isn't very user friendly, but I thought someone may want it so I put it here. -- kainaw 12:46, 9 September 2011 (UTC)


I'm trying to run the latest version of VirtualBox via Remote Desktop Connection on a Windows 7 64-bit computer, controlled from a Windows 7 32-bit computer. VirtualBox has no operating system on it yet but I am trying to install Windows XP. Whenever I start VirtualBox it either crashes or freezes. This problem didn't happen in the last version of VirtualBox. I have 4GB of ram with no other programs running. What could be causing the problem? (talk) 12:09, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Use the last version. ¦ Reisio (talk) 15:37, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
That doesn't really answer the question. I'd like to use the new version if possible (talk) 17:01, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
What happened when you tried launching VirtualBox while sitting at the 64-bit machine instead of using Remove Desktop Connection? Comet Tuttle (talk) 17:36, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Firefox/Gmail log-in oddness[edit]

  1. On most log-in pages, Firefox will autocomplete the username and password when I type the first character of the username. On Gmail, though, it has always filled them in just in reaction to visiting the page. Why is that - does Firefox treat Gmail differently?
  2. Today, I had to fill them in again because Firefox had apparently forgotten, after months or years of remembering them for me. Why is that - does its memory of passwords expire after a while, or did something else happen? Update: now after I entered my username and password, it's remembering them again, despite my having told Firefox "not now" when it asked whether to remember or not. I always have cookies set to delete when I close the browser. Is this something to do with zombie cookies perhaps?  Card Zero  (talk) 12:40, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
This is speculation, but it may not be Firefox that's entering the username and password on the GMail site. It may be GMail doing it with JavaScript based on a GMail cookie that's unique to your system but which doesn't actually contain the username and password. But I am guessing. Comet Tuttle (talk) 15:51, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
Since then, I've had one more occasion where the details didn't appear automatically, and now they're appearing again. I think you must be right, it must be Google tinkering with their log-in page in some way. I wonder what form the cookie takes, since it can't be a proper one.  Card Zero  (talk) 17:01, 10 September 2011 (UTC)


Hi, I live in the UK and hope you can help me. Back in January of 2004 I purchased the above Online Software that quite simply allowed me to create a "video" of still digital pics on my computer and add different photo effects and music, that once completed to my satisfaction could be archived on my PC and/or copied onto a DVD for future use either in a DVD Drive or DVD Player. So far so good. But yesterday when I went to play one of my movies on my PC for a friend, it would not play. Instead, I am being "offered" a new download for around $59 plus an optional Clipshow for a further $19. I am no lawyer but I feel angry that the product I thought I had purchased now lived on my PC and would always be available for my personal use, unless I should wish to purchase any future upgrades in which case the upgrade charge would be reasonable. But clearly that is not what is happening here. I am being denied access to material I have created using software I purchased in good faith. Or am I missing something here? Maybe someone here can clarify what has happened or even, suggest a free site that allows the same facility. Many thanks in anticipation. (talk) 17:27, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

I've noticed that there does seem to be a steady erosion from the idea of "buying" digital programs and media more to the idea that you are "renting" it. What's even worse, the period of the rental seems to be at the discretion of the company, and not mentioned at time of purchase. Some examples:
1) If you bought a music CD, they don't seem to feel you have the right to move the same piece of music into other digital forms, say for use on your MP3 player. So, in this case, the CD "expires" once CD players pass out of use. I suppose the same was true of vinyl records, but they lasted a century, while CDs only seem to have a few decades. MP3s, for all we know, may only last a few years. Note that this philosophy gives the manufacturers an incentive to constantly change the formats, so everyone will need to re-purchase the same songs (or movies) again and again.
2) Windows operating systems are only supported for few years. After that, you will no longer get new drivers or fixes or anti-virus patches. So, you use it at your own risk, or do as Microsoft suggests and shell out money for the upgrade to the new version. Again, this provides them with an incentive to develop new operating systems solely to cause people to repurchase essentially the same product.
Also notice that if you were promised a "modest upgrade fee", that is meaningless, legally. About the only legally enforceable part of that is that the upgrade be less than a new purchase, but I suppose 1 cent less would qualify.
As for the solution to your problem, you need to avoid using a proprietary format. When you do so, the company basically owns anything you create, and can do as they please with it, including denying you access unless you pay regularly. Perhaps others can recommend a good open format for your videos. StuRat (talk) 17:50, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
(1) Is expected to change soon in the UK as a result of the Hargreaves review, which supports the freedom of format shifting. (The article seems to say it is already allowed under EU law? I didn't know that.)  Card Zero  (talk) 01:08, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

There is an online forum for this product at -- your best chance at resolving the problem would probably be to ask about it there. Looie496 (talk) 18:10, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

I realise that I am suggesting shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, but if you'd only saved to CD or DVD, then this format would not require the upgrade. A more useful suggestion: have a look at the file extension of your video. It is just possible that the format can be converted or played by alternative software available free. I assume you've tried right-clicking the file and choosing "open with ..." -> Windows Media Player (for example). Dbfirs 08:03, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Turning T9 off on a Nokia 1800[edit]

How do I turn T9 texting off on a Nokia 1800? -- (talk) 23:35, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Use your favourite search engine to search for "nokia 1800 user manual". Here's one I found, that says (top of page 7) "Deactivate predictive text input: Select Options > Dictionary > Dictionary off.". Mitch Ames (talk) 07:42, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. I found out the dictionary was set to a different language than the phone. Solved.-- (talk) 21:53, 10 September 2011 (UTC)