Common Computer Myths and Misconceptions – Geeks.com

Common Computer Myths and Misconceptions

Tech-Tip# 345 By Mark Tiongco- February26, 2012

"…Megabits is used to measure transfer speed while megabytes is used to measure storage capacity."

This Tech Tip reflects on popular tech-related trends and everything in-between that is commonly misunderstood, misused or contradictory.

I will try to clarify (but some are self explanatory!).

Yes, the following are true stories and I have encountered many of these myself!

  1. When people refer to new televisions as “flat screen TV” or “flat screen monitor”
    Flat-screen means the screen is flat; there are still plenty of bulky CRT monitors and TVs in existence that are flat screen – the accurate term is “flat-panel” because the TV/monitor’s chassis [or panel] is flat
  2. People can’t stand to watch TV shows or a movie on a computer screen but squinting on a 3-4” smartphone’s screen to watch YouTube/Netflix is popular.
    This is one of the aforementioned “self explanatory’ trends.
  3. Some people think a computer processor’s clock speed is the arbitrary deciding factor of its capabilities.
    • I’ve been told a 3.2 GHz Pentium 4 is more powerful than a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo
  4. When someone asks “how much RAM do you have? ” and the response is “500GB” or “1 Terabyte”
  5. When someone asks “how big is your hard drive? ” and the response is “4 GB”.
    RAM and Hard Drive size are not the same thing
  6. Common Computer Myths and Misconceptions – Geeks.comWhen people complain their computer is full because their music and movies have eaten up the all their RAM.
    (See # 5)
  7. When people misuse the word “download” (“Yeah, I downloaded that video game but it took a while because there were 3 CDs”).
    The accurate term is "install"; For example, you can download a game from Steam Online and it will install it after the download finishes.
  8. People think the terms “megabytes” and “megabits” are the same thing and use each term interchangeably. Megabits is used to measure transfer speed while megabytes is used to measure storage capacity.
    1 bit =0.125 bytes or 8 bits = 1 byte
  9. People think Wi-Fi is secure even though they use password protection but leave their Wi-Fi on 24/7.
    Ahem, war-driving and GPU brute-force hacking…
  10. When a customer’s Internet Service Provider temporarily goes down and he or she quickly thinks their server has crashed and attempts to send an email to get it fixed.
  11. Notebook computer manufacturers continuously engineer their products for longer battery running time yet many people always hunt for the nearest power outlet right when they walk into a coffee shop with their notebook.
  12. It is still assumed by many that Windows and Office are one and the same thing (“What version of Windows are you using? ” – “Well I have Word and PowerPoint 2007... ”).
  13. When someone says they work in “I.T.” and the response is “Oh, so you’re a programmer?”
    I.T. encompasses a broad range of disciplines such as networking, computer repair, programming, cyber security, etc.
  14. It is still commonly assumed that 8GB RAM will make casual web browsing run twice as fast than 4GB. 
  15. When a customer thinks that simply adding more RAM will make their notebook run computer games better even though the notebook’s non-upgradeable graphics card is beyond obsolete for today’s games.
  16. When people freak out because they can’t take anymore pictures due to their digital camera’s memory card “film” being full.
  17. People still refer to the desktop computer tower as the “CPU” or “Hard Drive” and the computer monitor as “the computer”.
  18. Many still think charging a device’s battery overnight is essential to fully charge it.
    That was true with the 1980s – 90s Nickel Cadmium/Nickel Metal Hydride batteries.
  19. Common Computer Myths and Misconceptions – Geeks.comWhen new notebook owners wonder why they suddenly have a computer infection months after their 90-day anti-virus trial software expired.
  20. When the question asked is “What kind of Internet connection do you have, Cable or DSL? ” and the response is “Yes, I have Wi-Fi”.
  21. People think the Apple Macbook Air and other similar-sized and spec ultraportable computers are “netbooks”.
  22. When Internet Service Provider (ISP) companies still say “10-20x faster than 56k dial-up” in their advertisements.
    As if 56k dial-up is still widely-used today to represent an industry benchmark.
  23. When people say “There’s 1000 MB in 1 GB” or “There’s 1000GB in 1 Terabyte”.
    • (See # 8)
  24. Common Computer Myths and Misconceptions – Geeks.comWhen people discover their computer’s maximum RAM capacity is 4 GB or more and ask to upgrade even though they’re running a 32-bit version of Windows.
    32-bit Windows will recognize up to 3.72 GB RAM while 64-bit Windows will recognize up to 192 GB RAM.
  25. Some people still think Wi-Fi and 3G service are the same.
    • I’ve actually had someone ask me “How would I connect my iPad 3G to the Internet if there is no Wi-Fi network around? ”
  26. When it comes to computer infections, many perceive Mac infections as “Social Engineering” while Windows is just inherently infection-prone
    Social Engineering infections involve duping the computer user to install/download/open/click something questionable [or give up sensitive information] which happens to both Mac and Windows computers)

If you’re an IT guy/nerd for your company, family, or friends and you have your own stories you would like to share, please post it to the Geeks Tech Tips Blog!     

Common Computer Myths and Misconceptions – Geeks.com

Print Friendly and PDF
Computer Parts and Desktop Computers -Geeks.com Computer Tips And Online TechTips - TechTipsBlog.com