Byte Me Article 377 – IT Tall Tales

4th August 2018

Don’t Believe These IT Myths

This week we look at some of the tall tales that are created in our industry and the resulting propagation of often illogical myths.  We see so much of this and after running an IT business for over 20 years there are a number of particularly wrong notions that come to mind.  Lets’ try to dispel some of them here.

To start with the most popular we would have to look at the notion that your email account does not have an associated password.  This is simply not true and for good reason.  All email accounts are secured by a password and unfortunately the password that people often use is too simple and easily hacked.  Hacking an email address is simply trying several hundred thousand password combinations until the right one is discovered.

Next in popularity is the statement – “My PC has been sitting in the cupboard for the last 8 years, so it should be like new!”  In this instance (if it still boots up) it will in fact operate like a new computer from 8 years ago.  This means that it will absolutely struggle to run a modern anti-virus, a modern web browser and other modern applications which have been constantly evolving and becoming more complex for every one of the last 8 years.  In simple terms – it has still passed it expiry date.

Similar to the above statement we often hear – “I have used it every day since purchase, so it must be near cactus”.  Again, this is not necessarily the case as computer CPU’s, ram and hard drives don’t slow down.  They run constantly at certain frequencies or rotation speeds whether new or old.  It is rather the number of software programs and system changes that you have made that slow them down.  Viruses and malware also slow them down.

“My hard drive died so I got a new computer”.  Desktop computer towers and sometimes even laptops are often wrongly referred to as ‘the hard drive’, when in fact they should be referred to as desktop computer towers or laptops.  The hard drive is simply a component in these devices much the same as the motherboard, ram and CPU.  A hard drive can die, but so too can your ram or motherboard.  In around 90% of ‘dead’ computers users data can still be recovered from the hard drive.

“I moved all of my photos off the computer to speed it up”.  Unless your hard drive is completely full, moving all your photos to an external device will not speed up your computer be even 1 percent.  Moving all these photos to an external device will however put them at risk if you have not copied them to two separate external devices.  As long as you have sufficient room we recommend keeping a copy of photos on the computer and on one external device.

“The more expensive a PC is the better it is.”  This is totally not the case if looked at closely.  You could spend $1000’s on a PC with multiple hard drives, overclocked CPU and ram, twin video cards and water-cooling.  This would provide great performance while running but the same machine would prove very prone to breakdowns and failures.  In the same spec / size machine quality will mostly cost more and the old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ will in this case normally ring true.

“If I spend enough on the purchase price, I should be right for ages.”  Again, not necessarily true as even modern computers need a user with a certain level of expertise – or they need to be serviced by a professional at least once a year – or more often if used extensively on the Internet.  If a salesperson is telling you an IT story that simply does not make sense – time to exit their shop. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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