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PoliCon
12-21-2010, 10:43 PM
For as long as I can remember, whenever I've needed to reboot my computer, I've always shut it down, counted off 15 seconds, and then started it back up.

Why? Because at some point in the distant past, someone somewhere told me that to avoid damaging them, computers need a minimum of 15 seconds of downtime whenever they're rebooted.

Whether or not that was true, I've followed the advice ever since, and I can't tell you how many times I've powered down, counted off "one-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand..." for 15 seconds and then powered back up.

Not long ago, I started thinking about that habit. Why did I do that? Even if it had once been a necessity, was it still? Or was that 15-second "rule" nothing more than a myth. And that, in turn, got me thinking about what other great myths about technology are floating around our geared-up world?

So, in no particular order, what follows is an anthology of sorts of some of the best myths about tech that my friends, my Twitter followers, my co-workers, and I could come up with.

You must wait 15 seconds before rebooting your computer
Since this is the myth that got me started on this, it's the first one I'll address.

I decided that since this was a hardware question, the best place to turn was to the Geek Squad, those hearty IT folks in the black and white VW Beetles. Last week, I spoke with Ismael Matos, a Geek Squad deputy field marshal, and asked him about the 15 seconds myth, as well as several others having to do with hardware.

Matos said that 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.

But 15 seconds? That might be overkill, Matos suggested, though it certainly couldn't hurt.

"I'd say 5 seconds is [OK]," Matos said, "but 15 seconds to be on the safe side. If you want peace of mind, then 15 seconds is OK, but it's not a rule that's set in stone."

Size matters (in megapixels)
If you've listened to any camera marketing, you've probably had it pounded into your head that with megapixels, more is better. And of course, the more megapixels you want, the more you have to spend. What a coincidence.
Do megapixels matter?

Do megapixels matter?

But the reality may not back the camera companies' marketing.

As photographer and self-described photography expert Ken Rockwell puts it, "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.

"Even when megapixels mattered, there was little visible difference between cameras with seemingly different ratings. For instance, a 3-megapixel [photo] pretty much looks the same as a 6-megapixel [photo], even when blown up to" 12 inches by 18 inches.

The Geek Squad's Matos would seem to agree. While he says that megapixels might matter if you're trying to put together a mural--or its cousin, a billboard--the average camera user would almost never see the difference between photos taken with most lower-megapixel and higher-megapixel cameras.

"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.
CONTINUED (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-20026047-52.html)

Gingersnap
12-22-2010, 10:11 AM
Interesting. I knew the right answer for most of those. The degradation of digital media is going to be a big, big concern in a few more years.

Zafod
12-22-2010, 01:15 PM
I should highlight the mac part for hamps :D

Novaheart
12-22-2010, 01:23 PM
I should highlight the mac part for hamps :D

In 12 years of owning Macs, I have never had a virus, nor have I had a hard drive crash with data loss or cease to function. I have bought three macs in that period of time, and the 266 desktop graphics workstation still works great and runs photoshop faster than some newer computers. I have an old Lombard that my nephew gave me, which I use just for back up, and two white macbooks which I just can't bear to get rid of, even though they weren't Apple's finest product.

Zafod
12-22-2010, 03:06 PM
In 12 years of owning Macs, I have never had a virus, nor have I had a hard drive crash with data loss or cease to function. I have bought three macs in that period of time, and the 266 desktop graphics workstation still works great and runs photoshop faster than some newer computers. I have an old Lombard that my nephew gave me, which I use just for back up, and two white macbooks which I just can't bear to get rid of, even though they weren't Apple's finest product.

and thats great!

In the 15 years I have had PC's I have never caught a virus, worm or what ever else.
I can build a PC that runs circles around any mac out there for about half the price of a macbook.

I like games......

but to each his own. Mac snobs or PC geeks its all up to taste and wallet size.

By the way, Fuck iphone :D

fettpett
12-22-2010, 07:45 PM
/puke....the worst possible place for computer information is Geek Squad. They should have gone to PC Magazine instead

edit: Mac's suck, overpriced POS's

Novaheart
12-22-2010, 10:47 PM
and thats great!

In the 15 years I have had PC's I have never caught a virus, worm or what ever else.
I can build a PC that runs circles around any mac out there for about half the price of a macbook.

I like games......

but to each his own. Mac snobs or PC geeks its all up to taste and wallet size.

By the way, Fuck iphone :D

Years ago, I asked a friend (a professional photographer) what kind if digital camera I should buy. Since he was a known devotee of Sony, I asked him if I should get a Sony. His answer was, "Maybelline, as a rule you buy cameras from camera companies. Buy the Nikon."

That's why I have a Nikon camera, an Apple computer, a Toyota truck, and a Sony telephone.