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Jan
21
comment Why isn't it possible to name a folder “._.” in Windows 7?
I remember some old DOS program (running on actual DOS, probably using INT13 functions directly) giving me real grief once by somehow managing to create a file named a:foo.bar on the c: drive...
Jan
17
comment Do most music CDs contain the needed info about their tracks?
Not pointless. CDDA streams are different from the kind used to encode file-oriented data; a CDDA stream DOES NOT have the metadata that would even allow randomly accessing a byte-exact position in it, which would be crucial for filesystem access. Also, subcode channels do not have an exact timing relationship with data OR audio streams. On top of that, an audio stream is expected to deal with minor degradation due to media defects - deadly for data, otherwise "mode 2" data CDs would be common. Over 10% of a data stream is just extra ECC!
Jan
14
comment Do most music CDs contain the needed info about their tracks?
Don't forget that the original Audio CD standard predates mainstream multimedia-capable home computers, and inexpensive alphanumeric displays on appliances, by several years. Also, in an old school CD player, there is very little CPU power to deal with such user interface issues - the typical CPU would have been 8-Bit, about one MIPS, and having 2-8K of firmware ROM and 64-256 bytes of RAM (yes, I am describing an MCS48/MCS51 here - still used today!); the "DSP" stuff would have been dedicated and hard wired circuitry.
Jan
7
comment Why are pixels square?
Interpolation, especially non-integer, comes at a computational cost that is only trivial to something like a multi-100-MHz CPU. Not to a typical home or office PC that existed at the time most standards were devised, not to some of the smaller CPUs in use in appliances today.
Jan
7
awarded  Commentator
Jan
7
comment Why are pixels square?
Also: Keep in mind that the floating point math needed to convert an image from one raster to another raster with a different aspect ratio was expensive in terms of computing power for even a good 1980s or 1990s CPU, and still is for some modern microcontrollers/embedded CPUs.
Jan
7
comment Why are pixels square?
Errr, some computer monitors have that capability (usable as portrait and landscape display) as a feature, and it is certainly a useful one given that dedicated portrait displays are expensive :)
Jan
7
comment Why are pixels square?
@Yakk Most black and white CRTs were built exactly like that - early BW TV CRTs were derived from Radar/Oscilloscope CRTs which are often controlled in analogue X/Y or polar fashion with no raster. The TVs still used line by line scanning because that corresponds with how the signal is encoded, but no pixels on the lines. Some specialty displays (mostly for aircraft cockpits) even used phosphors that changed color depending on how strongly they were hit with an electron beam (that kind of display is called a penetron).
Jan
7
comment Is there any danger when connecting a USB Y cable?
"ports have a maximum rated current draw after which they will not supply any more current. " Dangerous assumption to make in practice, some hubs etc might just have a self-resetting fuse instead of a proper current limiting circuit. As long as we are not powering from two different devices (see Dmitry's answer below), it should not matter much though.
Dec
28
comment Will an Ethernet splitter work?
@David "professionally used" does not always mean "built or maintained to professional and/or modern standards"...
Dec
28
answered Will an Ethernet splitter work?
Dec
28
comment Is there a difference between the first 446 bytes of different windows MBRs?
"Can I use a MBR of one Windows version on a different Windows version?" - in the context of that question, it bears repeating that apart from the mbr code, this 512 byte sector also holds part of the partition table (the rest is distributed across the spaces between partitions as a linked list of further 512 byte sectors of similar structure), so exchanging that whole sector (as many tools would do) can have interesting side effects.
Dec
16
comment Why is Zip able to compress single file smaller than multiple files with the same content?
gzip and bzip2 might end up even worse because they are designed with compressing streams in mind, so they will have to start outputting compressed data before all of the data to compress is even known.
Dec
1
comment Why do I need an SMTP server?
These days, a lot of users couldn't care less about the bounces, BUT a setup that will not accept bounces is usually considered a probable spam source.
Nov
24
comment Hard drive clicking for 16 times during startup
Any non zero "current pending sector count" is always an indicator that the drive is no longer in prime condition; in servers, you would replace the drive at short notice for that alone, clicking or not clicking.
May
18
comment Cannot Create User Account Named 'Con' Under Windows 7
There have been known security exploits taking advantage of such irregularities in the past, so the OS probably will go to great lengths to keep you from using these names.
Sep
24
awarded  Autobiographer
Mar
26
awarded  Supporter
Mar
26
comment Build pc from scratch for first time
Thats why I just upvoted it back to 0 (did not downvote it).
Mar
18
answered Damaged disk recovery