Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2013 September 16

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September 16[edit]

How can computer convert software to hardware ?[edit]

How? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:29, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps by 3D printing? The question doesn't really give enough information to gain a reasonable answer. You can put software onto a computer chip, which is hardware. Is this what you were asking? (talk) 09:46, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Our articles on machine code, microcode, instruction set and microarchitecture may help you. Gandalf61 (talk) 13:54, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

That’s not possible… software is information and hardware is matter!!
Iskánder Vigoa Pérez (talk) 17:33, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Iskander sums it up pretty nicely... when taken literally, no - software can't be "converted" to hardware. --.Yellow1996.(ЬMИED¡) 23:39, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Do hardware description languages (VHDL/Verilog) count? --Wirbelwind(ヴィルヴェルヴィント) 23:41, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Not really because it's still not the software itself being "converted to hardware"; though I guess that's about as close as you'd get. --.Yellow1996.(ЬMИED¡) 02:39, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

I think the most close computers are on transforming software into anything else is in transforming the software into another kind of software, but I guess we are more in the stage of transforming the original software into “just the same software” but with very little code variations due to data readouts, that maybe… maybe, after a lot of hard work and a lot of god luck, some of this variations improve the original software.
But hey! Be careful, my school teachers always claimed: “do NOT mess the code with the data!” so do it at your own risk
Iskánder Vigoa Pérez (talk) 06:06, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

How can a computer that shows us digital information on hardware on form images and other programs?[edit]

How can a computer that shows us digital information on hardware on form images and other programs? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:20, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but this doesn't mean anything in English. (talk) 11:07, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

You might want to post questions in your native language, and we can translate them for you. But, in case you are asking how digital information can form pictures, I can describe that. The digital info describes a series of dots (pixels) which are drawn on the screen. If you look closely, perhaps using a magnifying glass, you can see the individual dots. For a black and white image, the dots are only two colors, black and white (although they could really be any two colors). If we draw extra large "pixels" here, say using the "O" symbol, you can see how they run together to form letters and pictures, if you stand back a bit:
O   O   O O O  
O   O     O    
O O O     O     
O   O     O  
O   O   O O O 
For color images, the pixels can be be many colors, and there is a digital code which describes the color of each pixel. For example, 00000000 11111111 00000000 might describe the color green, for one pixel. I can go into more detail here, if you are curious about how we get from the codes to the color. StuRat (talk) 12:20, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Are you believe general relativity theory ?[edit]

Are you believe general relativity theory ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:24, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

A) Wrong desk B) As I'm not smart enough to know otherwise, yes, I believe it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:57, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

General relativity is the best theory we have to explain a number of observed phenomena, but then, a hundred years ago, Newtonian mechanics held that honour. Perhaps sometime in the future, we will have a grand Theory of everything that includes both relativity and quantum mechanics, but don't hold your breath. I expect that, at least for the rest of my lifetime, general relativity will be "believed" by nearly all scientists because it provides the best explanation. I'm not sure that I'd elevate my confidence in it to a "belief", but I know that it works, and gives correct predictions. What more can you expect? Dbfirs 15:41, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

This question would be better suited to the science desk. --.Yellow1996.(ЬMИED¡) 23:40, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Automation in arranging and labelling pictures[edit]

I have to print out pictures to stick into a logbook for work/PhD project. I've been having to arrange this pictures in MS PowerPoint along with text boxes to say what each image represents. The pictures all have descriptive file names in the form 'Exp.SS.4.4.193 - DF1 - pRHS-98 - Without Antibiotic - Replicate 3 - 15x - Field 2 - Merged B-R - 2013-05-11'. Is there some way I could automate the abhorrent chore, fitting about six images from a specified folder onto each page, with the file name serving to identify each image? To make things harder, the folder also contains images titled as follows 'Exp.SS.4.4.193 - DF1 - pRHS-98 - Without Antibiotic - Replicate 3 - 15x - Field 2 - Brightfield - 2013-05-11' and 'Exp.SS.4.4.193 - DF1 - pRHS-98 - Without Antibiotic - Replicate 3 - 15x - Field 2 - UV red - 2013-05-11' which I don't want to be included in the print outs. Thanks a lot for any help you can offer! -- (talk) 14:12, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

I had to do huge amounts of that sort of thing for my own data analysis, but I was working in the Unix environment and handled it by writing writing shell scripts and a couple of small helper programs. If you are willing to accept PDF output rather than PPT, you might be able to do this using a program called "montage" that comes with ImageMagick -- it's not clear how hard you would have to work to exclude images you don't want, though. Looie496 (talk) 15:22, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Hi. Thanks. I have used Linux in the past and have access to UNIX at university (though I'm not sure in what form) though I don't know how to script and may or may not be able to interpret a prewritten script. Do you still have the script(s) you used? (talk) 15:43, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
For renaming the pictures there are a handful of programs out there that will let you do basic pattern recognition on renaming files. I would investigate those for the simplest fix of that. As for putting them into powerpoint, that will take a little more doing. There may be some visual basic plugins that you could macro, or there may be a module for whatever programming language you choose. But short of learning some scripting language (perhaps find a CS person who'd do it for a fee?) I can't think of an easy way to put them into powerpoints. If there was a good powerpoint creation module, that would work. Maybe someone more familiar with Office macros could help. Shadowjams (talk) 23:32, 16 September 2013 (UTC)


How do I make Bing my search engine? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Crescentiaws (talkcontribs) 14:35, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

- Said no-one, ever... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:28, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
That depends, what is your Operating System and browser, with versions if you know them ? StuRat (talk) 23:37, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Go here, then set that page to your homepage. --.Yellow1996.(ЬMИED¡) 23:42, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
The instructions for making Bing your default search engine vary depending on which browser you are using. Fortunately, Bing has a guide set up at that explains the various methods. Navigate to that page, select your browser by clicking on the drop-down menu, and follow the directions that appear to the right. If you are a Chrome user and would prefer to follow their directions, you may find Chrome specific instructions here. For yet another method, check wikiHow's "3 Ways to Change Your Default Search Engine" article. Utahpolis (talk) 01:15, 20 September 2013 (UTC)


What is this character called? It got deleted several years ago (perhaps because it was created by Grawp?), and since all I know is the ALT+4 code, my searches only reveal lists of ALT+4 codes. 2001:18E8:2:1020:34BE:9914:31CB:EBF9 (talk) 14:43, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Search for 157 in the table at C0 and C1 control codes, which explains, somewhat. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 14:58, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

BIOS problem[edit]

A friend has this really old pc with an Intel DG965SS, all was working fine but due to a power failure (the power cable got unplugged from the wall) the BIOS lost its information.
A technician checked the board and tested all the components, and everything is OK, including the BIOS chip. When he tried to replace the BIOS from the one in the Intel site, it still didn’t work.
What could the problem be?
Iskánder Vigoa Pérez (talk) 16:12, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Maybe the CMOS battery died coincidentally near to the same time the cable got unplugged. "Nonvolatile BIOS memory refers to a small memory on PC motherboards that is used to store BIOS settings. It was traditionally called CMOS RAM because it used a volatile, low-power complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) SRAM (such as the Motorola MC146818 or similar) powered by a small battery when system power was off." (talk) 16:28, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
so... in that case how could it be fixed?
any other idea?
Iskánder Vigoa Pérez (talk) 16:49, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
"so... in that case how could it be fixed?" That's just a button battery, probably CR2032, that you can buy at most supermarkets for a couple dollars and replace. It's the shiny silver circle in the image shown at Nonvolatile BIOS memory. (talk) 21:58, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes; I'm looking at a pack I have on hand right now. Price tag isn't on it anymore, but IIRC it was about CAD$2 or less for a pack of three. --.Yellow1996.(ЬMИED¡) 23:46, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Ah, now I see… you are pointing to the battery, earlier today I was thinking something about RAM, it seems I jumped some lines…
But no, that was the first thing that got discarded… we proved the battery even before taking the whole system to the technician.
Iskánder Vigoa Pérez (talk) 06:02, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

That motherboard has an onboard beeper, and has a code (3 beeps) for RAM problems. Try disconnecting everything from the board except for the processor and power supply. If it can't even get to the point of beeping at you then there is a problem in one of those three components. If you can borrow a power supply from another computer you could see if that is where the problem is. Katie R (talk) 12:06, 17 September 2013 (UTC)