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Reference desk Archives Computing 2019 September 21

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= September 21 =

Access Question: Specifying Default Option for Field in Table

In Microsoft Access, if I am defining a table, using Design View, is there a way that I can specify a default value (either text or numeric) to be pre-filled for a new record in the table, which can be changed on entry? Robert McClenon (talk) 03:35, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
I believe so, yes. Hopefully this explains it: SinisterLefty (User talk:SinisterLeftytalk) 04:00, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

Thank you, User:SinisterLefty. Robert McClenon (talk) 04:03, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Access Question: Increasing Size of a Join Key

I have an Access database on my PC. I have a table with a fishhook relationship. That is, a field links back around from the table to the table, so that I can define a hierarchy. I want to increase the width of the field that is the key, from 48 bytes to 60 bytes. But when I tried to increase the size of the field, I was told that this could not be done because the field was used as a join key. I would have expected this on trying to decrease the width, but not on increase. I was able to do what I was trying to do by deleting the relationship, and then increasing the width of the field in the two places, the one where it is the child and the one where it is the parent, and re-establishing the relationship. Is there a way that I could have increased the width without breaking the relationship and re-creating it? Robert McClenon (talk) 03:42, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
If the concern was that you couldn't take the table down for maintenance while you made this change, perhaps you could have created a new field, established this relationship, copied the data over to it, then deleted the old relationship and field, then rename the field and relationships. I prefer the way you did it, though. SinisterLefty (talk) 03:55, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

There wasn't an issue about keeping the database up for other users, User:SinisterLefty. It's a single-user database. Robert McClenon (talk) 04:05, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

:In that case, the way you did it is exactly what I would recommend. Perhaps some future release will allow you do it in a single operation. SinisterLefty (talk) 08:10, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Desktop monitors

Are they usually compatible with most makes of PC (and vice versa, I guess)? Specifically, a Medion tower? Any advice appreciated!
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11:55, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
In my experience, a monitor's VGA (D-sub, 9-pin) connector is compatible with just about every PC (although not with all TVs, as some lack a VGA port). An HDMI connector is more iffy, especially if the monitor is also designed to be a TV. The TV/monitor I'm on right now causes the display to extend beyond the edges of the screen on all sides when using HDMI, at any resolution, but VGA is fine. I haven't used other types of connectors, so can't comment on those.
Speaking of screen resolution, regardless of the connector, some resolutions may not display on some monitors. This can cause a severe problem if the PC is set to that resolution initially. Then you must use another monitor, which can display that resolution, to change the resolution to one that will display on the new monitor, but you may not know which resolutions the new monitor will display, requiring a lot of switching back and forth with trial-and-error. Old CRT monitors also were picky about the refresh rate they could display, and maybe color depth, but newer monitors don't seem to care about those settings. Newer operating systems tend to have a time-out where if you attempt to change the screen resolution, and don't confirm within 15 seconds or so, it switches back to the old resolution. This can prevent a lot of hassle, in that this prevents changing to a resolution that won't display, which if course would make it quite difficult to change back.

If doing the trial-and-error, I suggest starting with old, moderately low resolutions, like 800×600 and 1200×1024. Those are more likely to work on all monitors than uncommon resolutions and those which push either the upper or lower limits. Once you are able to get a usable resolution, then you can try all the others to find the best one which works. Note that the highest resolution which works isn't always best, as it may not fit the screen as well, may be blurry, and the text may be too small to read. And just because a res works and looks good on VGA doesn't mean it will on HDMI, or vice-versa.
As for audio, some HDMI ports on PC and on TV/monitors support audio, some don't. It may be necessary to use a separate audio cable (usually light green). For VGA, this is always required. If you are plugged into an HDMI port on the PC which does output audio, that might disable the audio on the green cable.
Some comments on PCs with multiple output types:
*Usually you can only use one at a time. For example, if you have both VGA and HDMI plugged in, only one will work.
*A graphics card typically disables the onboard (motherboard) output type(s). For example, if you have a graphics card with a HDMI output only, and the onboard output is VGA only, then the VGA output will be disabled while the graphics card is in. Therefore, it may be necessary to open the case and pull out the graphics card to use the VGA connector. It may also be possible to disable the graphics card in the BIOS, but this option isn't always available and doesn't always work even when present. Pulling the graphics card will also typically reduce the graphics performance.
*A reboot may be required after switching between VGA and HDMI.
*Some TV/monitors are smart enough to automatically switch to whichever input is providing a usable signal, if only one, but many others require you to manually select the input using the remote control menu. SinisterLefty (talk) 12:32, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

The problem with TV and monitor connections using HDMI not showing the whole picture is known as overscan and is a relic of analogue TV which can generally be fixed as described in this CNET article Egglz (User talk:Egglztalk) 14:20, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

To look up the "Medion tower" specs, I'd need the specific model number, but the ones I looked at both had VGA outputs and lacked HDMI. One also had composite video and S-Video. Of course, even if we found the specs for the stock device, it's always possible that a new graphics card was installed, adding HDMI capability. I'd just look at the connectors on the back panel to figure it out. So, you will need a monitor that at the very least has one of those connector types in common with the PC, and you will also need that type of cable. (Although it is possible to convert some types of signals to some others with an adapter.) SinisterLefty (talk) 16:48, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Short answer: we need more data before we can say anything. Medion made a lot of different computers throughout the years. What type/build year are we talking about?
Also, SinisterLefty mentions VGA above but this is an old standard. Newer devices tend not to have these anymore. Converters exist but these are not good for image quality. Rmvandijk (talk) 12:39, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

Here's a fairly recent Medion PC with a VGA connector (they refer to it as "D-sub" in the specs, which is technically one kind of VGA connector): It even has the old PS/2 connectors for keyboard and mouse, but also has the (somewhat) newer stuff (8 USB ports, 1 TB hard drive, HDMI, DDR4 RAM, etc.) SinisterLefty (User talk:SinisterLeftytalk) 02:30, 25 September 2019 (UTC)

 
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