Wednesday, December 29, 2010

True or False - Confirming the Myths about your PC

[Disclaimer: great wall of text. But I don't give a flying F cos this info is useful]

Excerpt from article at Busting (or Not) Top 10 Myths about Technology by Daniel Terdiman, Dec 20 2010.

(1) You must wait 15 seconds before rebooting your computer
True, the question of how long to wait before rebooting a computer has to do with the health of the plates of the hard drive. Since the plates are spinning at speeds of up to 10,000 rpm, and need to come to a stop before rebooting, "it's definitely good that you wait just a little while" before restarting the machine.

5 sec should be sufficient.

(2) Size matters (in megapixels)

True, but "sharpness depends more on your photographic skill than the number of megapixels, because most people's sloppy technique or subject motion blurs the image more than the width of a microscopic pixel.

You really start noticing the differences when you blow the picture up," Matos said. But "it really depends on the size of the image, and how much you plan on blowing it up...If you blow it up to 16 by 20 [inches], you'll still maintain the quality, and you won't notice any difference in quality" with fewer megapixels.

(3) You have to run your nickel-cadmium battery all the way down before you charge it  (My personal Fave)
True, The best possible thing you can do for your device's battery is, in fact, to run it down to zero before re-charging, each and every time.  "If you start plugging an AC adapter in while it's half-charged, components in the battery start to settle, and so it doesn't maintain its ability to re-charge, and so you end up weakening the battery a lot quicker."

(4) You can put a keyboard you've spilled coffee on in the dishwasher
True, but it only applies to wired keyboards. As long as you don't use soap or warm or hot water, a cycle through the Kenmore will wash away the coffee and get you pounding away at the QWERTY before you know it.

(5) Anything stored digitally will last longer than that on analog media
False. Digital files run the risk of being corrupted, and some physical forms of digital media, such as CD-R discs, can begin breaking down in as little as three years.

(6) Turning a computer on and off regularly is bad for it
It's specifically recommended that you do power your machine off on a daily basis, for example at the end of each work day. Every computer needs its rest time, in part to be sure that if you're away from it and there are power fluctuations or surges, it isn't damaged by them.

As well, he said, it's recommended that if you're going to be away from your computer for small periods of time, you let it go to sleep while you're gone. But in any case, he said, a regular on/off pattern is definitely good for the computer, not bad. Oops.

(7) Macs are immune to viruses

False. It has much more to do with market share--there simply aren't anywhere near as many Macs out there as there are Windows machines. This reminds me of this C vendor. He kept expounding on how excellent his software is as compared to Windows, that there were significantly lesser bugs and security attacks. I was laughing to myself, thinking, sure, but how many people use your software? Or even know its existence?

(8) Your ISP is tracking everything you do
True.  Your ISP "is your local link to the worldwide computer network known as the Internet," Dave Roos wrote on Get Stuff. Every page request you make and every e-mail you send must travel through your ISP's routers first. It would seem, therefore, that your ISP has the power to scan and save every piece of data that flows through its system."

But before you get alarmed, Roos also wrote: "The truth is that it does have the power. Fortunately for us, it doesn't have the money or the desire to archive every bit of information that comes its way. ISPs in the United States don't routinely save the Web surfing histories and e-mail conversations of their users. It would simply be too expensive to save all of that data and the public outcry from privacy rights and civil liberties organizations would be deafening."  Of course, we know that is not true of Singtel, which offed alot of its loyal users to ODEX in the sensational (to the geek world at least) court case of ODEX vs everyone who downloads fan-subbed anime.

(9) Girls don't play video games

Definitely false (I can tell you myself)  Women and girls make up a very large bloc of gamers--they just are a little more quiet about it.

Reuters reported that in an IBISWorld study, "38 percent of U.S. gamers are female, up from 33 percent in just five years. From January through August of 2008, females ages 18 to 45 made up 28 percent of the total industry revenue, ranking second to males ages 18 to 45, who made up 37 percent."
So while they may not be the largest group of gamers, it's clear that women and girls are spending their fair share of time playing.

(10) Anything you delete from your hard drive is gone forever
It's very difficult to permanently get rid of your data. And if you want to do so, you probably need to go get a drill.
"When you delete [data], yes, [its] icon may be gone, but that information is still intact on the hard drive. The only thing the computer does is [mark] that section to be overwritten. It just gives the operating system the OK to write over that area." This means, you may not ever want to just hand an old computer off to someone else if you're worried about them accessing your private data.
The only way to ensure that no one can ever access it is to bring tools to bear. "Let's say you're getting rid of an old computer, you're going to want to take the old hard drive, take a drill, and drill 10 to 12 holes through the drive--and not in a straight line. Scatter the holes and make sure they go straight through."

Or you can pay a lot of money and get them defragmented. I tried the water treatment, hammer treatment, I wanted to try the microwave treatment (but I resisted).

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