1242
votes
7answers
133k views

How do I make a machine “blank screen” for a period of time (as a penalty) if certain noise levels are reached?

My kids (4 and 5) yell a lot when playing games on the computer. I found an effective cure for this. When I hear loud noises, I ssh into the game computer and do: chvt 3; sleep 15; chvt 7 This ...
753
votes
19answers
445k views

What are the Windows A: and B: drives used for?

In Windows you have a C: drive. Everything labeled beyond that is with the following letter. So your second drive is D:, your DVD is E: and if you put in a USB stick it becomes F: and the following ...
737
votes
6answers
635k views

What is the cURL command-line syntax to do a POST request?

How do I make a POST request with cURL command-line tool?
612
votes
3answers
125k views

Transatlantic ping faster than sending a pixel to the screen?

John Carmack tweeted, I can send an IP packet to Europe faster than I can send a pixel to the screen. How f’d up is that? And if this weren’t John Carmack, I’d file it under “the interwebs being ...
524
votes
17answers
60k views

How are pseudorandom and truly random numbers different and why does it matter?

I've never quite got this. Just say you write a small program in any language at all which rolls some dice (just using dice as an example). After 600,000 rolls, each number would have been rolled ...
522
votes
5answers
67k views

Why does this PNG image display differently in Chrome & Firefox than in Safari and IE?

Check this image out: On Chrome and Firefox it will show as a pear. Now, try to save it and look at it saved on your desktop. Also, try viewing in Safari or Internet Explorer. It will display ...
402
votes
9answers
51k views

From a quality perspective, what is better: turning volume up in the software, in the OS, or on the speakers?

If music isn't loud enough, how do I get the best quality (even if the difference is in fact so small it's negligible)? By making the music louder in my music player, game or other sound-producing ...
352
votes
9answers
64k views

Why don't websites immediately display their text these days?

I've noticed that recently many websites are slow to display their text. Usually, the background, images and so on are going to be loaded, but no text. After some time the text starts appearing here ...
344
votes
7answers
20k views

How does a computer restart itself?

How can a computer restart itself? After it's off, how does it tell itself to come back on again? What kind of software is it that can do this?
327
votes
15answers
46k views

Does e-mail address obfuscation actually work? [closed]

Most of the time when I see someone post their email address online, especially if it's a personal address, they use something like me [at] example [dot] com instead of the actual email address ...
326
votes
6answers
204k views

How can I sort the output of 'ls' by last modified date?

How can I sort the output of ls by last modified date? I can't find the answer on Google without digging around, an there is no answer on Stack Overflow either.
293
votes
4answers
37k views

Why does pinging 192.168.072 (only 2 dots) return a response from 192.168.0.58?

I mistakenly missed the dot off of an IP address and typed in 192.168.072. To my surprise I connected to a machine at 192.168.0.58 If I ping 192.168.072 I get responses from 192.168.0.58. Why is ...
282
votes
11answers
11k views

How can I give my wife emergency access to logins, passwords, etc.?

I'm the digital guru in my household. My wife is good with email and forum websites, but she trusts me with all our important digital stuff — online banking and other things that require ...
277
votes
18answers
97k views

If 32-bit machines can only handle numbers up to 2^32, why can I write 1000000000000 (trillion) without my machine crashing?

32 bit computers can only store signed integers up to 232 - 1. This is why we have run out of ipv4 addresses and have entered the 64 bit era. However, the number 232 - 1 (2,147,483,647) is not as ...
268
votes
13answers
165k views

How to clear/flush the DNS cache in Google Chrome?

As you probably know Google Chrome has its own internal DNS cache. Is there a way to clear it without having to wait for the time out or close the browser?
258
votes
4answers
88k views

How do I scroll in tmux?

I just started using tmux, and I really like it, but I need to be able to scroll within the buffers/panes/windows I have open. I don't care if it works with the mouse or not. When I search the tmux ...
254
votes
4answers
22k views

Who provides the Internet service to Internet Service Providers (ISPs)?

I've been wondering recently about how the infrastructure of the Internet really works. I know that I have an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that supplies my connection to the Internet. But what ...
240
votes
4answers
289k views

How can I get the same SSID for multiple access points?

I need to upgrade my existing wireless infrastructure and this time I want 2 access points to cover my house, since I get blind spots no matter what with a single AP. I have physical cabling to my ...
238
votes
28answers
43k views

How to mess up a PC running Windows 7? [closed]

Ok, so for my PC class I have to find 3 hacks that would mess up the lab's PC. Me and my partner are going to mess up the PC and then another team will try to fix it. The system on it is Windows 7. ...
235
votes
8answers
25k views

Why is there such a big difference between “Size” and “Size on disk”?

As you can see below, there is so much difference between the Size and Size on disk fields in my folder. Why is that? I know that Size on disk should be a little more than Size because of ...
220
votes
8answers
76k views

Which Unicode characters do smilies like ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶ consist of?

How do I make Unicode texts like the one in the title, or like the following, without resorting to copy+paste? ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ ٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶ ٩(-̮̮̃•̃). As an aside, note that in your browser the ...
213
votes
16answers
118k views

How do I get rid of malicious spyware, malware, viruses or rootkits from my PC?

What should I do if my Windows computer seems to be infected with a virus or malware? What are the symptoms of an infection? What should I do after noticing an infection? What can I do to get rid of ...
211
votes
12answers
44k views

How can I simulate a slow connection, or limit the bandwidth that Firefox can use?

Is there a way I can simulate various connection speeds from within Firefox? I need to be able to check http://localhost with varying speeds. I know there are standalone applications that can do ...
203
votes
10answers
17k views

Why is Google so much faster than a hard-drive search?

When I search a file on my HD in Windows 7 or Windows XP it takes some minutes to finish the process. If I fill in a search term in Google, the answer is on my screen in milliseconds How is it ...
197
votes
7answers
12k views

Purpose of a “mystery key” on an IBM PC 3270 keyboard

A colleague has just come into possession of a large number of IBM PC 3270 keyboards (don't ask!). These keyboards have a number of very interesting looking keys, but the one that most intrigued us ...
196
votes
12answers
38k views

Why are we still using CPUs instead of GPUs?

It seems to me that these days lots of calculations are done on the GPU. Obviously graphics are done there, but using CUDA and the like, AI, hashing algorithms (think bitcoins) and others are also ...
184
votes
9answers
126k views

Is there any 'sudo' command for Windows?

I always work on a non-administrator account on my Windows computer. Sometimes I need to install programs which requires administrator access. As I mostly use the Windows command prompt, is there a ...
179
votes
15answers
39k views

Is there a modern browser that runs on Windows 3.1?

Ok, so I know what you are thinking: "What on earth are you doing still running Windows 3.1?" Here's the situation. The computer running 3.1 is also the controller for $150,000 bandsaw made in ...
179
votes
11answers
14k views

Why does my microwave kill the Wi-Fi?

Every time I start the microwave in the kitchen, our home Wi-Fi stops working and all devices lose connection with our router! The kitchen and the Wi-Fi router are in opposite ends of the apartment ...
172
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I reset the time on my computer without turning it on?

Alright, so today, I did something very stupid: Do an experiment on my computer without backing it up. So I saw that the calendar in Windows could only go up to 12/31/2999 (or something like that). ...
170
votes
8answers
8k views

How far will you get with an 'rm -rf /' command?

I've often wondered how far the system will actually get if you run rm -rf /. I doubt the OS would be able to erase itself (?) Bonus Question: After the command has been executed, will rm have ...
167
votes
24answers
8k views

What are some options for transfering large files without using the Internet? [closed]

My employer's Internet connection is extremely slow. It's a $6,000 a month, 9 Mb, bonded T1, shared by over 150 users. It's not untypical to see regular file transfer speeds of 20-100 KBps. And ...
166
votes
9answers
98k views

Menu select item stuck on screen after context or command menu has closed

Periodically when I select a menu command, the label or selected option gets "stuck" on screen and won't go away. I can close all open applications, including whichever one I was using when it got ...
164
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the purpose of the holes marked “Do Not Cover” on hard drives?

On many hard drives, there's a text warning to "not cover this hole", sometimes adding that doing so will void the warranty. What is the purpose of this hole and why would covering it cause damage or ...
163
votes
11answers
203k views

How to force refresh without cache in Google Chrome? [duplicate]

Does Chrome have an equivalent to Firefox's Ctrl+F5 refresh? I can't seem to find one. I changed my gravatar last night, and I can see the new one in Firefox after a Ctrl+F5 refresh, but Chrome seems ...
162
votes
12answers
23k views

How can I change to the previous directory instead of going up?

I currently spend a lot of my working hours moving back and forth between two paths which are very far down the tree and divert from each other at root. It strikes me that my life would be a lot ...
160
votes
17answers
12k views

What is the advantage of using 'tar' today?

I know that tar was made for tape archives back in the day, but today we have archive file formats that both aggregate files and perform compression within the same logical file format. Questions: ...
159
votes
8answers
620k views

How do I get different background images on my dual monitors?

Is there a way to set two different background pictures for my two monitors in Windows 7? By default the same background picture is used for both displays. I am looking for a solution without ...
158
votes
12answers
445k views

How to search inside files on Windows 7?

In Windows XP we can search for files that contain a defined keyword (inside all files types). Windows 7 can look inside files for a keyword, but only for text files. (*.doc, *.txt, *.inf, ...), not ...
156
votes
2answers
43k views

How do you reload your .vimrc file without restarting vim?

Can you edit your .vimrc file in vim, and reload it without restarting vim?
153
votes
19answers
37k views

How can I visualize the file system usage on Windows?

How can I visualize which folders and files are taking up all of the space on my hard drive? I'm getting some conflicting reports on the size of hard drive contents. Namely what is and isn't there ...
153
votes
3answers
43k views

Difference between .bashrc and .bash_profile

What's the difference between .bashrc and .bash_profile and which one should I use?
149
votes
6answers
62k views

Should laptops remain plugged in when their battery is 100% charged?

When your laptop's battery is 100% charged, should you leave it plugged in so any battery power doesn't get used, or will that cause overcharging, overheating, etc.? Should the laptop be unplugged ...
145
votes
4answers
30k views

What is randomart produced by ssh-keygen?

When you generate a key, you get "randomart" from newer versions of OpenSSH. I am unable to find an explanation of why, and what I'm supposed to use it for. Generating public/private rsa key pair. ...
143
votes
15answers
14k views

Is the performance of a CPU affected as it ages? [closed]

This is a hypothetical question about how a CPU operates. If I purchase two identical CPUs, and use one long term (say one year), will it be identical in speed to the unused CPU? Will the number of ...
137
votes
5answers
85k views

Notepad++ is unable to load langs.xml, why?

Whenever I open NotePad++ the following error message appears: --------------------------- Configurator --------------------------- Load langs.xml failed! --------------------------- ...
136
votes
19answers
22k views

32-bit vs. 64-bit systems

What are the differences between 32-bit and 64-bit systems? If you have used both of them, what kind of sharp differences have you experienced? Would it be a problem to use 32-bit programs on ...
136
votes
7answers
7k views

What do the parentheses and number after a Unix command or C function mean?

I keep seeing parentheses and a number after a command in Unix or Linux or C function. For example: man(8), ftok(2), mount(8), etc. What do these mean? I see them in man too.
134
votes
9answers
17k views

Is it really possible for most enthusiasts to hack people's Wi-Fi networks?

I heard from a trusted computer security expert that most enthusiastic users (even if they are not professionals) using only guides from Internet and specialized software (e.g. Kali Linux included ...
134
votes
9answers
22k views

How to copy text from Console2?

I just started using Console2 as an alternative to cmd.exe I can't figure out how to copy text from the console to the clipboard -- dragging over it with the mouse won't mark anything, and there is ...

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