1317
votes
7answers
143k 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 ...
1265
votes
3answers
135k views

Why does Windows think that my wireless keyboard is a toaster?

I've inherited an old PC from my girlfriend's dad and when setting up the printer I got a bit of a surprise: Two questions spring to mind here: Why does Windows think my wireless keyboard is a ...
904
votes
6answers
802k 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?
790
votes
19answers
456k 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 ...
638
votes
3answers
128k 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 ...
550
votes
18answers
63k 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 ...
547
votes
5answers
70k 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 ...
422
votes
7answers
265k 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?
422
votes
9answers
59k 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 ...
366
votes
13answers
226k 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?
363
votes
8answers
65k 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 ...
361
votes
7answers
23k 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?
344
votes
15answers
50k 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 ...
324
votes
4answers
119k 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 ...
303
votes
4answers
38k 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 ...
292
votes
18answers
108k 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 ...
292
votes
11answers
12k 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 ...
281
votes
4answers
349k 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 ...
268
votes
4answers
29k 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 ...
250
votes
27answers
55k 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. ...
243
votes
8answers
27k 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 ...
237
votes
16answers
162k 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 ...
226
votes
5answers
78k 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 ...
219
votes
13answers
56k 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 ...
217
votes
12answers
50k 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 ...
216
votes
9answers
157k 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 ...
212
votes
10answers
19k 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 ...
207
votes
2answers
58k 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?
203
votes
7answers
13k 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 ...
198
votes
9answers
124k 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 ...
189
votes
15answers
43k 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 ...
189
votes
11answers
24k 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 ...
188
votes
3answers
54k views

Difference between .bashrc and .bash_profile

What's the difference between .bashrc and .bash_profile and which one should I use?
181
votes
2answers
4k 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). ...
180
votes
7answers
53k views

How can I prevent Ask.com Toolbar from being installed every time Java is updated?

As many are painfully aware of, Oracle continues to not only bundle the Java installation with the useless Internet browser toolbar from Ask.com, but also enable its installation by default. In ...
178
votes
11answers
246k 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 ...
177
votes
4answers
35k 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. ...
176
votes
9answers
719k 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 ...
175
votes
13answers
525k 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 ...
174
votes
8answers
9k 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 ...
173
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
172
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 ...
172
votes
6answers
114k views

How to chmod 755 all directories but no file (recursively)?

How to chmod 755 all directories but no file (recursively) ? Inversely, how to chmod only files (recursively) but no directory ?
171
votes
19answers
51k 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 ...
171
votes
12answers
27k 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 ...
167
votes
18answers
15k 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: ...
162
votes
7answers
69k 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 ...
157
votes
4answers
348k views

How to find a directory on linux?

I have a VPS with Suse Linux 10.3. I've logged in via SSH/putty and am trying to find where my web files are located. Since I'm uploading via FTP in a directory called httpdocs, I assume that this ...
155
votes
10answers
252k views

How can I do a Cache Refresh in Google Chrome?

I dunno what exactly it's called, by cache refresh I mean, refresh the page after clearing its cache. I don't want to clear the entire browser cache. I prefer Chrome's Dev panel against firebug... ...
153
votes
6answers
80k views

How to control Windows 7 snap feature with two monitors?

There is the Snap feature in Windows 7. But it seems to not work when dragging window to the edge that are adjoin to the second monitor. How to make it working? May be some regedit cheat or something? ...

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