Tutorials Thread

For tech wizards and n00bs alike. Questions, answers, or just general hoo-haa.

Moderator: RobbieThe1st

Locked
Message
Author
User avatar
Templar Master
Posts: 484
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 6:55 am
Contact:

Tutorials Thread

#1 Post by Ashpool » Thu Oct 06, 2005 6:15 pm

This is the tutorials thread, where you can find useful/interesting tech tutorials.

Tutorials posted so far:

Formatting a dard drive:
Yash, Teh Cool person wrote:In the event of a virus that has sucessfully trashed your system, or any other unfortunate event, you hard drive will need to be wiped clean in order to get rid of whatever is causing the damage. This is a useful guide on understanding what reformatting is, and how to do it.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

When installing a hard disk drive (commonly called a hard drive) for the first time, attempting to remove errors from your drive, getting rid of a nasty virus, or even cleaning a hard drive because you are selling or donating your computer -- those are just a few of the many reasons why one might consider formatting their hard drive.

Format actually means to prepare a storage medium, usually a disk, for reading and writing. When you format a disk, the operating system erases all bookkeeping information on the disk, tests the disk to make sure all sectors are reliable, marks bad sectors (that is, those that are scratched or otherwise damaged), and creates internal address tables that it later uses to locate information. You must format a disk (floppy or hard disk) before you can use it.

When you take a disk that has been formatted and run it through the format process again, it is referred to, logically, as "reformatting".


Back it Up!
Before the format process, you want to make sure that if your goal is hard drive recovery, you back up as much personal data and information from your hard drive as you need. In some instances where a virus has caused serious system damage, this may not be possible, but if your format is planned ahead of time you certainly can copy and archive data off your hard drive before you start the format process.




How to Format
If you purchased your computer from systems vendor such as a Dell , HP Compaq or Gateway system, you most likely will have a set-up or a restore-and-recovery CD (also referred to as a master CD) which came with the system. If this is the type of system you use, then a format is an easy process as the master CD will format the hard drive, reinstall your Windows operating system, and install any software and programs which came with the system. If you no longer have your master set-up CD, you should contact the manufacturer to get a replacement.

If you aren't using this type of mass-market system, then a hard drive format will consist of you formatting the hard drive manually, installing your Windows OS from CD, then installing your software programs and hardware drivers. Before you begin the formatting process, it is important to make sure you have all your driver CDs located, Windows CD and your software CDs to ensure a smooth set-up.

It's also important to know about your operating system before you format. For example, if you're going to be reinstalling Windows 98 or Windows Me then you should have a Windows 98 or ME start-up disk to complete the procedure. In this instance, you would restart the system with the start-up floppy in the drive. Upon system boot, you will choose to have CD-ROM support. Once the files load you can then choose to run the format command on your main drive (usually C drive). If you are using Windows 2000 or Windows XP, the Windows installation process offers "format your hard drive" as an option. Here you would ensure your computer is set to boot from CD-ROM (a setting in your system BIOS), insert the Windows CD and restart the computer. From there you will be on your way to reformatting.


Does Formatting Really erase All Data?
It's important to remember that "format" and "delete" do not mean erase! Reformatting a disk does not erase the data on the disk, only the address tables. The good news is that if you accidentally reformat a hard disk, a computer specialist should be able to recover most or all the data that was on the disk. The bad news is that for any business or corporation that is planning to donate old computers to charity, this could pose a security risk if that computer disk drive contained confidential business information. Remember — just because you may donate the computer to charity that doesn't mean an honest person will end up with it. While that shouldn't deter you from recycling old computers in this way, it should be an incentive to ensure all business data has been completely wiped from the hard drive. Never just delete the files and assume they are gone because you can't see them on the hard drive. Businesses should at the very least run the format command to erase the hard drive. The safest method to completely remove data is to overwrite the disk. You can do this yourself, although it is quite time consuming. To overwrite the disk would mean to format, then fill the disk completely with data, and format again. The easiest way to do this is to use a software program that will overwrite the disk for you. Most of these programs, which are often referred to as "Data Dump" software, will meet even the strict deletion requirements of the U.S. military. As an added bonus, a few good data dump programs can be freely downloaded from the Internet.
Understanding digital audio formats
Yash, The bringer of Tutorials wrote:You may listen to music on your computer, but have you ever wondered how it works? And also, does it confuse you when people talk about "file formats" and "codecs"?

I've found a guide that answers those questions and more in a simple and easy to understand format. Once again, this is not my work, merely information that should be shared.



Hundreds of file formats exist for recording and playing digital sound and music files. While many of these file formats are software dependant — for example a Creative Labs Music File is a .cmf — there are several well-known and widely supported file formats. While different operating systems have different popular music file formats, we'll mainly focus on those that are most commonly used on Windows-based PCs.
Many different digital audio formats and different software are used to create, store and manipulate these files, the good news for consumers is that there is also a wide range of devices and products available that support multiple formats. Should you not have the correct device for playing a particular file, you can also look for software conversion tools that will convert one file type to another. Because some audio files are open standards and some are proprietary, chances are we'll be seeing a wide variety of digital audio formats for some time to come.

File Format and Codec
An audio file format and audio codec (compressor/decompressor) are two very different things. Audio codecs are the libraries that are executed in multimedia players. The audio codec is actually a computer program that compresses or decompresses digital audio data according to the audio file format specifications. For example, the WAV audio file format is usually coded in the OCM format, as are the popular Macintosh AIFF audio files.

Audio Formats
Audio Formats can be broken down into three main categories. Uncompressed formats, lossless compression formats, and lossy compression.


Uncompressed audio formats (often referred to as PCM formats) are just as the name suggests — formats that use no compression. This means all the data is available, at the risk of large file sizes. A WAV audio file is an example of an uncompressed audio file.

Lossless compression applies compression to an uncompressed audio file, but it doesn;t lose information or degrade the quality of the digital audio file. The WMA audio file format uses lossless compression.

Lossy compression will result in some loss of data as the compression algorithm eliminates redundant or unnecessary information — basically it tosses what it sees as irrelevant information. Lossy compression has become popular online because of its small file size, it is easier to transmit over the Internet. MP3 and Real Audio files uses a lossy compression.

Common Windows-compatible Audio Formats

MP3 (.mp3)
MP3 is the name of the file extension and also the name of the type of file for MPEG, audio layer 3. Layer 3 is one of three coding schemes (layer 1, layer 2 and layer 3) for the compression of audio signals. Layer 3 uses perceptual audio coding and psychoacoustic compression to remove all superfluous information (more specifically, the redundant and irrelevant parts of a sound signal. The stuff the human ear doesn't hear anyway). It also adds a MDCT (Modified Discrete Cosine Transform) that implements a filter bank, increasing the frequency resolution 18 times higher than that of layer 2. The result in real terms is layer 3 shrinks the original sound data from a CD (with a bit rate of 1411.2 kilobits per one second of stereo music) by a factor of 12 (down to 112-128kbps) without sacrificing sound quality.

WMA - Windows Media Audio (.wma)
Short for Windows Media Audio, WMA is a Microsoft file format for encoding digital audio files similar to MP3 though can compress files at a higher rate than MP3. WMA files, which use the ".wma" file extension, can be of any size compressed to match many different connection speeds, or bandwidths.

WAV (.wav)
WAV is the format used for storing sound in files developed jointly by Microsoft and IBM. Support for WAV files was built into Windows 95 making it the de facto standard for sound on PCs. WAV sound files end with a .wav extension and can be played by nearly all Windows applications that support sound.

Real Audio (.ra .ram .rm)
Real Audio is a proprietary format, and is used for streaming audio that enables you to play digital audio files in real-time. To use this type of file you must have RealPlayer (for Windows or Mac), which you can download for free. Real Audio was developed by RealNetworks.

MIDI - Musical Instrument Digital Interface (.mid)
Short for musical instrument digital interface, MIDI is a standard adopted by the electronic music industry for controlling devices, such as synthesizers and sound cards, that emit music. At minimum, a MIDI representation of a sound includes values for the note's pitch, length, and volume. It can also include additional characteristics, such as attack and delay time.

Ogg (.ogg)
Ogg is an audio compression format, comparable to other formats used to store and play digital music, but differs in that it is free, open and unpatented. It uses Vorbis, a specific audio compression scheme that's designed to be contained in Ogg.

Converting Audio Formats
With a slew of software applications available today, consumers can convert one digital audio file format to virtually any other. many of the programs available today offer standard burning or converting tools to enable consumers to create CDs on their computer which can be played in home or car stereos. Usually these tools will convert or burn uncompressed WAV PCM, compressed WAV , MP3, and Ogg Vorbis.
How to use Safe Mode
Yash wrote:This is yet another installment of useful, if not critical, information for your computer. I did not write this guide, and obviously, this guide will not work if you do not use windows.




Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode of Windows which loads only the bare essentials to give a usable desktop. It is not intended to be a working environment. In fact, many programs will not run in Safe Mode, and with some older computers not all drives are available (often the CD drive is unavailable). If possible, make sure that whatever programs you intend to use in Safe Mode (like spyware or virus scanners) are installed and updated.

However, Safe Mode is a good environment in which to run a complete virus scan or junkware scan, especially if the computer is very compromised. NOD32, SpySweeper, Ad-Aware, Spybot, and ESET-NOD32 AntiVirus will all run scans in Safe Mode. Viruses, spyware, or other malicious processes that run in the background in a full-mode load of Windows are not running in Safe Mode, so they can be removed more easily.

To get your computer into Safe Mode you must first shut it down. Find the F8 on your keyboard and get your finger ready to press it. Power on the computer and tap the F8 key every second or two, but not too fast or you will get a keyboard error. The trick is to catch it before you see Windows start to load. When you succeed, then you will see a "boot menu" of white text on black background something like this:

Image

You can use the arrow keys on the keyboard to select the Safe Mode option. On older systems you may have to key in a number that corresponds to this choice.

Image

You may have another warning box to click OK on which warns you that you are in this special, diagnostic mode of Windows. Windows ME opens a "Help and Support" page that you may have to close to get to your desktop.

Once you are in Safe Mode you will see that the desktop looks different. That is because Safe Mode uses very low-level video settings. You should still be able to get in to Start Menu and run programs like SpySweeper, NOD32, Spybot, Ad-Aware and the like. When you are done with your scans, simply shut down and restart. Windows should start normally.
This is what Yash posted So far, any other tutorials are welcome. If you want one placed here, PM it to me and I'll decide if it goes here.
Fastchapter wrote:...now the kitchen smells like summer rain and liquid poo.

User avatar
Forum Administrator
Posts: 1395
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:52 pm

#2 Post by Yash » Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:16 pm

This is a list of basic IRC commands, useful for when you are in #twokinds. This guide was not written by me, just edited by me.

Basic IRC commands wrote:/join Type /join #channelname -- to join a channel of your choice Example: /join #bossmom What it looks like: [18:44] *** Now talking in #beginner --Op-- bossmom has joined the channel [18:44] *** Topic is 'Beginner's Help/Chat Channel....All Are Welcome Here!! ®© [ENGLISH]' [18:44] *** Set by X on Sun Jul 23 16:10:34

/me The /me is an action message. Type /me 'does anything' Example: /me waves hello What it looks like: * bossmom waves hello

/msg Type /msg nickname (message) to start a private chat. Example: /msg puddytat Hey tat, how are you? What it looks like: -> *puddytat* Hey tat, how are you?

/nick /nick changes your nickname Example: type /nick newnickname (limit 9 characters) What it looks like: I typed /nick luv2quilt *** bossmom is now known as luv2quilt

/notice A notice is used to send a short message to another person without opening up a private window. Type /notice nickname (message) Example: /notice badnick Please change your nickname for this family channel. What it looks like: -> -badnick- Please change your nickname for this family channel.

/part Type /part -- to leave one channel Type /partall -- to leave all the channels you are in

/ping Type /ping nickname. What this command does is give you the ping time, or lag time, between you and the person you pinged. Lag can be explained as the amount of time it takes for you to type your message and for others to read your messages. Unfortunately, lag is always a part of IRC, although most times it's not a problem, just a nuisance. Example: /ping luv2quilt What it looks like: [19:04] -> [luv2quilt] PING [19:04] [luv2quilt PING reply]: 0secs

/query Similar to the /msg, except it forces a window to pop open. Type /query nickname (message) Example: /query Sofaspud^ Sooo....what's new? What it looks like: <luv2quilt> soooo....what's new?

/quit Type /quit to leave IRC altogether. This disconnects mirc from the server. Example: /quit Going out for dinner...nite all What it looks like: *** Quits: saca (Leaving)

/ignore Unfortunately, there will be times when you don't want to talk to someone, or else someone may be harassing you. By typing /ignore nickname 3, you will not receive anymore messages from that person. Example: /ignore luv2quilt 3 To Unignore them, type /ignore -r luv2quilt 3 What it looks like: *** Added *!*bossmom@*.dialup.netins.net to ignore list *** Removed *!*bossmom@*.dialup.netins.net from ignore list

/whois Type /whois nickname to see a bit more information about another user. You'll see what server another person is using, or what their ISP is. Pretty helpful when you don't recognize a nickname that wants to chat. You may recognize the IP, (Internet Protocol) and then feel more comfortable carrying on a conversation. You'll also be able to see what other channels a person is in, which might be a good indicator if you really want to talk with them or not. Example: /whois bossmom What it looks like: luv2quilt is bossmom@elwo-01-094.dialup.netins.net * Enjoy the Journey........ luv2quilt on @#bossmom luv2quilt using Seattle.WA.US.Undernet.org the time for school is during a recession. luv2quilt has been idle 18secs, signed on Sun Jul 23 18:47:26 luv2quilt End of /WHOIS list.

/chat This opens up a DCC/CHAT window to another user. What's nice about these is that you can continue to chat even if you get disconnected from your server. Word of Caution: Do NOT accept dcc/chats nor dcc/gets from anyone that you don't know. Type /chat nickname. Example: /chat oddjob^ What it looks like: Chat with oddjob^ Waiting for acknowledgement...

/help Type /help, you'll see the the mIRC Help Menu open up. You can do a search from there, or you can type /help topic. Either way, a TON of information at your fingertips. Example: /help Basic IRC Commands
Forum Rules.

"Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving." - Dale Carnegie

User avatar
Templar Master
Posts: 484
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 6:55 am
Contact:

Posting images.

#3 Post by Ashpool » Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:50 am

I figured it might be good to have this in one place at all times. How to post an image on the forum.

First, you need to upload it to an image host, such as http://www.photobucket.com or http://www.imagecave.com. Then, to place it in your message either paste the URL of the image(It generally looks something like http://usera.imagecave.com/DelusionalKa ... heView.jpg or http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v710/ ... hocobo.gif), or, alternatively you can embed the image in your post by pasting the url, highlighting it, and clicking the Img button above your post. If done right, it will look something like this:
Image
Simple. :D
Fastchapter wrote:...now the kitchen smells like summer rain and liquid poo.

User avatar
Templar GrandMaster
Posts: 723
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:06 am
Location: Behind my computer.
Contact:

Re: Posting images.

#4 Post by RobbieThe1st » Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:18 am

Delusional Kangaroo wrote:I figured it might be good to have this in one place at all times. How to post an image on the forum.

First, you need to upload it to an image host, such as http://www.photobucket.com or http://www.imagecave.com. Then, to place it in your message either paste the URL of the image(It generally looks something like http://usera.imagecave.com/DelusionalKa ... heView.jpg or http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v710/ ... hocobo.gif), or, alternatively you can embed the image in your post by pasting the url, highlighting it, and clicking the Img button above your post. If done right, it will look something like this:
Image
Simple. :D
Another good host is www.imageshack.us. Also, for reference, the img button should make it so its in the form of:

Code: Select all

[img]http://www.website.com/path/to/file.ext[/img]
And to make a linked image its:

Code: Select all

[url=http://www.site.to/link/to.php][img]http://www.website.com/path/to/file.ext[/img][/url]
Images should be posted in:
PNG if its a drawn image, or pixel drawing, or even screen-shot this should be everything other than what should posted in the following file formats.
GIF if its animated. GIF is the only animated web file type. It's almost as good as PNG, but less colors.
JPG for scanned images or camera pictures. PNG will also work, and it depends on the number of colors, as to which is the best.
BMP for NOTHING! A PNG file will have the same amount of colors, and is a smaller file type. Now basically, a PNG file is exact in its colors, and looks clean. GIF is animated, and also clean, but limited in the number of colors used to 255. JPG is a variable file type, meaning that you can set quality. As the quality lowers it gets more blurry and ends up making the colors shift a bit, so while a high quality JPG file may look good, it's impossible to edit really.

User avatar
Templar Master
Posts: 484
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 6:55 am
Contact:

Re: Posting images.

#5 Post by Ashpool » Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:45 pm

RobbieThe1st wrote:Images should be posted in:
PNG if its a drawn image, or pixel drawing, or even screen-shot this should be everything other than what should posted in the following file formats.
GIF if its animated. GIF is the only animated web file type. It's almost as good as PNG, but less colors.
Actually, GIF has far fewer colors than PNG. PNG is lossless and displays as many colors as your monitor will(up to 32 bit, meaning 16,777,216 colors, if I recall correctly), whereas GIF only produces 256. While most image editors can use dithering to make it look less distorted, there will always be far more loss with GIF than PNG.
RobbieThe1st wrote:JPG for scanned images or camera pictures. PNG will also work, and it depends on the number of colors, as to which is the best.
I don't really see the need to use JPG for scanned images, considering PNG has no great debilities when compared to JPG and is lossless.
Fastchapter wrote:...now the kitchen smells like summer rain and liquid poo.

User avatar
Templar GrandMaster
Posts: 723
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:06 am
Location: Behind my computer.
Contact:

Re: Posting images.

#6 Post by RobbieThe1st » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:01 am

Delusional Kangaroo wrote:
RobbieThe1st wrote:Images should be posted in:
PNG if its a drawn image, or pixel drawing, or even screen-shot this should be everything other than what should posted in the following file formats.
GIF if its animated. GIF is the only animated web file type. It's almost as good as PNG, but less colors.
Actually, GIF has far fewer colors than PNG. PNG is lossless and displays as many colors as your monitor will(up to 32 bit, meaning 16,777,216 colors, if I recall correctly), whereas GIF only produces 256. While most image editors can use dithering to make it look less distorted, there will always be far more loss with GIF than PNG.
RobbieThe1st wrote:JPG for scanned images or camera pictures. PNG will also work, and it depends on the number of colors, as to which is the best.
I don't really see the need to use JPG for scanned images, considering PNG has no great debilities when compared to JPG and is lossless.
the problem is that a full 1024X768 png image real life picture can easily exceed the 1mb limit of imageshack. jpg is great for rl images, and was designed that way, which is why camera's put out jpg images i think...
other than that, i use png.

if you have a good program, you can make a normal looking gif image, as long as you dont try to go over 256 colors, so unless you have a realy tiny real life image, it wouldnt be good. as for drawn images, depending on the shading, it could be fine. remember, its the only web-safe animated image type(sure theres flash, but not everyone has flash, or blocks flash animations)

User avatar
New Citizen
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 3:08 pm
Contact:

#7 Post by Cryzbl » Mon May 26, 2008 10:47 am

How to correctly post spoilers:
http://2kinds.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=167708#167708

Overkill imageshack and how to paste images on a forum:
http://2kinds.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=167706#167706

EDIT: Though maybe this belongs more in the FAQ subforum :P


I'd love to talk about gif, png and jpg formats but since the previous post is from January I'll keep it to myself...
Just because you have the right of free speech doesn't mean you can speak freely.

Oh, look what I made :3
Image

User avatar
Templar Master
Posts: 484
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 6:55 am
Contact:

#8 Post by Ashpool » Mon May 26, 2008 4:52 pm

The only problem with that spoiler method is that some of us are using different themes, on which the spoiler will not blend into the background. The best way is to use incredibly small text that isn't readable at first.
i.e. This is a spoiler.
Fastchapter wrote:...now the kitchen smells like summer rain and liquid poo.

User avatar
New Citizen
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 3:08 pm
Contact:

#9 Post by Cryzbl » Mon May 26, 2008 7:30 pm

Delusional Kangaroo wrote:The only problem with that spoiler method is that some of us are using different themes, on which the spoiler will not blend into the background. The best way is to use incredibly small text that isn't readable at first.
i.e. This is a spoiler.
Ah, yes, that makes my method rather useless...
Just because you have the right of free speech doesn't mean you can speak freely.

Oh, look what I made :3
Image

User avatar
Templar GrandMaster
Posts: 657
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:37 am
Location: Not where I'm meant to be

Re: Tutorials Thread

#10 Post by FlaminPheonix » Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:58 pm

well this is a tutorial i made of sorts

really dhould go in a funny thread instead of a tutorial thread but still
basically most people who have played TDU (Test Drive Unlimited(for those of you who are not enlightened)) have heard of the problem with uninstalling the game and loosing your boot.ini . (basically this means your pc can't boot).

so i got a fix for it (its in here cause the FAQ system is turned off im told). basically i was warned of the problem but uninstalled tdu anyway because it wasn't working. and lo behold the boot.ini was gone so i had to restore it the long way (using Microsoft's instructions i have linked them further down). I thought that there must be a shorter way. so here is what i found fixes it. (this was written for people who are relatively computer illiterate, so please bare with me).

firstly you have to back one up like this

Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
-or-
Click Start, click Run, type sysdm.cpl, and then click OK.

2. On the Advanced tab, click Settings under Startup and Recovery.

3. Under System Startup, click Edit. This opens the file in Notepad ready for editing.

4. In Notepad, click File on the Menu bar, and then click Save As.

5. Right click in an empty area of the Save As dialog box, point to New in the Context menu, and then click Folder.

6. Type a name for the new folder, for example temp, and then press the ENTER key to create the folder named temp.

7. Double-click the new folder named temp, and then click the Save button to save a backup copy of the Boot.ini file.

*NOTE* you have to save it as 'BOOT.INI' (without the quotation marks) even if it says text documents in the save type box. the name must be BOOT.INI
*NOTE* also make sure you have file type set to "all files" not txt


now simply uninstall test drive. Even if it prompts to restart DON'T.

go to start> Run > and type msconfig and press OK

in the window that appears at the top there 'should be' about 6 tabs however if the uninstall has messed up the BOOT.INI there will be less

if there is tab saying BOOT.INI skip to step 11 if not do the following

8. Find the location at which you saved your BOOT.INI backup.

9. Copy it and paste it into the c drive (directory C:\ )

10. close the window and reopen msconfig (start> Run > and type msconfig and press OK)

the fourth tab should now say BOOT.INI

11. Click on the BOOT.INI tab

12. under a white box full of gibberish there is a button that says 'check all boot paths. CLICK IT

13. the message 'It appears that all BOOT.INI lines for Microsoft operating systems are OK'

14. it is now safe to close the msconfig and reboot.

*NOTE* if you do not get to the message 'It appears that all BOOT.INI lines for Microsoft operating systems are OK' or this proccess goes wrong at any other point you will have to revert to hell itself http://support.microsoft.com/kb/330184 (the microsoft website) BEFORE REBOOTING.

thats all i can help you with it works for me so i hope it helps you.

P.S. If u haven't installed or done anything major since you installed tdu SYSTEM RESTORE works a treat. :thumb::thumb:

but then again unless anything goes wrong with the game i see no point in uninstalling it. it's a brilliant game.
ImageImage
Ultramus wrote:I just got the mental image of the north pole being raided by Bolsheviks :shock:

Locked