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  • LangaList: Three somewhat unusual, but interesting, reader queries

    Posted on February 11th, 2019 at 05:15 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Fred Langa’s back in the groove. This week he tackles three strange reader questions:

    • Getting rid of unnecessary language files
    • When you plug a smartphone into a PC, they used to act like dumb flash drives. Now they don’t. Why?
    • Is a drive heavier, by a tiny amount when it’s full?

    Fascinating stuff about fentograms and MTP.

    In the new AskWoody Plus Newsletter issue 16.5.0 – out this morning.

    If that helped, take a second to support AskWoody on Patreon

    Home Forums LangaList: Three somewhat unusual, but interesting, reader queries

    This topic contains 9 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by

     OscarCP 2 months ago.

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    • #323746 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Fred Langa’s back in the groove. This week he tackles three strange reader questions: Getting rid of unnecessary language files When you plug a smartp
      [See the full post at: LangaList: Three somewhat unusual, but interesting, reader queries]

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #324525 Reply

      Rick Corbett
      AskWoody_MVP

      I use Derek T. Souers’ DelLangFiles from DonationCoder. Note that it’s old (7 yrs now) and needs .NET 2.0. Note also that it does not flag ALL non-English files for deletion.

      del_lang_files01

      It’s slow to scan (doesn’t use Windows’ indexing) and will no doubt show ‘Not responding’ for a while… but it does work. I’ve just tried it in Windows 10 Pro 1803 x64:

      del_lang_files02

      Hope this helps…

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      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #324611 Reply

      Rick Corbett
      AskWoody_MVP

      Note that if you attach an iPhone to a Windows N edition (i.e. a European edition of Windows minus various media-related technologies), it’s not unusual to see an error in Device Manager complaining about a missing PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol) driver. The ‘fix’ is to install the relevant Media Feature Pack from Microsoft.

      Note also that in Windows 10 (without iTunes installed), if you’re trying to import from an iPhone:

      iphone-on-win105

      and get an error, even when you just know the iPhone is loaded with them:

      iphone-on-win106

      then the problem may be because MS apparently only includes MTP drivers, not PTP. If you right-click on Apple iPhone under Portable Devices in Device Manager and choose Properties then the Driver tab, the Driver File Details shows only MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) libraries, not PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol):

      iphone-on-win107

      Note that I wrote ‘may be’… because most people don’t have this problem. It might be related to KB4057437 again, i.e. the Media Feature Pack missing from Windows N editions.

      However, I experienced this myself (which is how I got the screenshots) and, not knowing about the Media Feature Pack – which I shouldn’t have needed anyway as my Windows 10 edition is not an ‘N’ variant – I just installed iTunes.

      Hope this helps…

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      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #324810 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      On the third interesting question, perhaps an even more interesting one is: has an HD more mass when it is full?

      In the case of an SSD, yes, it does. Its mass increases, not only because of those electrons moving in, as explained in LangaList, but because each one of these brings in an electrical field, the electron’s, that was not there already. This added field has energy, and by relativity, energy has mass. For example, because, being a form of energy it also has mass, light bends away from a straight line in a gravitational field, and sunlight pushes on bodies, including satellites and space probes, because having mass it also has momentum. This push is very slight, but over time causes large departures from a calculated trajectory that does not take this into account. (I wrote, early in my career, software to calculate this force on the GPS satellites, in order to determine precisely their orbits.) Heat emitted by bodies also exerts a push, as it is a form of invisible light “kicking out” off those bodies, and is one of the reasons for the rotation observed in some small asteroids orbiting the Sun, what is known as the Yarkowsky effect. The whole issue of radiation (meaning “light”) pressure, including that effect, is discussed here in very understandable terms:

      https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/the-yarkovsky-effect-pushing-asteroids-around-with-sunlight

      Another good and brief article on this here:

      https://www.quora.com/Does-energy-have-weight

      • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by
         OscarCP.
    • #324817 Reply

      Anonymous

      I wonder about the additional mass a flash drive is supposed have when storing data. The calculations are based on additional electrons required to store the data. I would have thought the electrons have to come from somewhere. If they were already on the flash drive then all you are doing is supplying energy to move the electrons from one place to another. (Equivalent to separating charges on an array of tiny capacitors.) Therefore the total mass increase is equivalent to the energy required to change the state of the flash drive from all “0”s to all “1”s. The formula to use is “E” equals “M” “c” squared. This is truly negligible. Happy for someone to demonstrate that this is incorrect.

      • #324847 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Answering your question: You are correct. Separating charges by moving them requires work, “giving energy to something.” Some of this energy is spent as waste heat, because of the medium resistance to current, and the part of this heat that stays and warms the disk also increases its mass. Some of that work is added as energy to the original field of the now separated electrons, as you mentioned. All that added energy increases the SSD mass by a tiny amount. Of course, here the most interesting thing is not the size of that added mass, but whether it exists at all. Which it really does.

        • #326005 Reply

          Anonymous

          The point I was trying to make is that no electrons move in but rather move within the flash memory. Therefore there is no increased mass due increased number of electrons entering the flash memory. In other words the original article is incorrect.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #326408 Reply

      szadk
      AskWoody Plus

      MannieG writes: ” there is no increased mass due increased number of electrons entering the flash memory. In other words the original article is incorrect”, and this is true.

      It can be interested to show why it is “impossible” to increase the number of electrons in the flash drive (i.e – as a total it remains neutral) :

      In the text referenced in the article it is told that 1GB of full memory requires about 700 femtograms of electrons. As the capacity of a flash drive (just left on a table) with respect to surroundings (to “ground”) is of the order of 10 picofarad, simple calculation shows that the charge of those ADDITIONAL 700 femtograms of electrons would result in the voltage (between flash drive and ground) of the order of 10 000 000 volts (!!!). Thus the electrons have to come to the memory cells from e.g. metallic connections in the flash drive.

       

      A.J.Cz.Sz

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #327649 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        The article is not clear on this. In the case of flash drives, storing new information changes the arrangement of the electrons across the disk, and with it the overall electric field they create. And the cold scientific fact is that there is an increase in mass NOT because there are more electrons (or besides that), that is an equivocation, but because the potential energy of the electric field in the disk has changed, increasing when information is added, and energy has mass.

        Here there is an article explaining why storing new information changes the field of the flash drive, and some back and forth on that (mainly about the validity of saying things such as “information IS energy”, a question in modern physics that, if that affirmative is the correct answer, could be clearly so in a very broad sense, and on which I am not sure the last word has been spoken.)

        https://www.researchgate.net/post/What_is_the_weight_of_information

        By the way: Even if the flash drive (SSD) is “electrically neutral” (same number of + and – charged elementary particles forming it), still there is a field observable, at least in principle, at distances from it comparable to the separations between the charged particles that form it (e.g., electrons, protons, etc.), even when farther away, at “normal” distances, no field can be observed with existing instruments.

    • #327548 Reply

      rc primak
      AskWoody_MVP

      Just a note about transferring files and accessing data on smartphones. Windows is not your only option.

      Linux and ChromeOS use ext4 filesystems natively, and can mount phones (usually) more easily than Windows. Tools for Linux allow the entire phone to be mounted and accessed. And the other protocols listed in the article also are likely to work better with Linux than with Windows. Chrome and Android are a natural match, so data transfers are almost always supported and successful without damaging the phone.

      iPhones can be tricky with any OS, and they are not really designed to have their internal filesystem accessed. So there Linux would be of little help.

      So there are safer and more reliable ways to get data transferred from Android phones, if you are able and willing to think outside of the Windows box.

      -- rc primak

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

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