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(C|Net)   Busting (or not) 10 top myths about technology   (news.cnet.com) divider line 215
    More: Obvious, Geek Squad, VW Beetle, power supplies, cdr, downtimes, dishwashers, Library of Congress, digital recording  
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15027 clicks; posted to Geek » on 21 Dec 2010 at 3:29 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



215 Comments   (+0 »)
   

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2010-12-21 11:46:49 AM  
Going to Geek Squad for computer advice is like asking the clerk at McDonald's how to cook.
 
2010-12-21 12:15:46 PM  
eddyatwork: Going to Geek Squad for computer advice is like asking the clerk at McDonald's how to cook.

I was about to say something similar. Good catch.
 
2010-12-21 12:32:57 PM  
Holy crap is this a bad article! Hard drives need to spin down? Bah! Waiting to reboot was about making sure the capacitors were fully discharged.

Letting the battery fully discharge, yes, you had to for NiCd batteries otherwise they would develop a "memory" and would not discharge below a certain point after that. That problem went away with Nickel-metal Hydride and Li-ion/Li-polymer batteries.

Analog vs. Digital? Why are you talking about CD vs. Mag tape? that is NOT analog vs. digital! Why not compare DAT vs. an audio cassette? You know, apples to apples? If you want to compare CD/DVD to mag tape, I bet you will find pressed CD/DVDs will far outlast mag tape in shelf life. Play life depends solely on how well the CD media is treated.
 
2010-12-21 12:57:38 PM  
You don't need "audio experts" to backup digital music.
 
2010-12-21 01:13:05 PM  
haemaker: Holy crap is this a bad article! Hard drives need to spin down? Bah! Waiting to reboot was about making sure the capacitors were fully discharged.

Letting the battery fully discharge, yes, you had to for NiCd batteries otherwise they would develop a "memory" and would not discharge below a certain point after that. That problem went away with Nickel-metal Hydride and Li-ion/Li-polymer batteries.


See folks, this is why you should never go to Geek Squad for any technical information. Haemaker is correct, Geek Squad is not. Also, if you let Lithium Ion or Lead Acid (found in UPCs) discharge fully, YOU WILL DAMAGE THEM.
 
2010-12-21 01:32:31 PM  
ShawnDoc: haemaker: Holy crap is this a bad article! Hard drives need to spin down? Bah! Waiting to reboot was about making sure the capacitors were fully discharged.

Letting the battery fully discharge, yes, you had to for NiCd batteries otherwise they would develop a "memory" and would not discharge below a certain point after that. That problem went away with Nickel-metal Hydride and Li-ion/Li-polymer batteries.


See folks, this is why you should never go to Geek Squad for any technical information. Haemaker is correct, Geek Squad is not. Also, if you let Lithium Ion or Lead Acid (found in UPSs) discharge fully, YOU WILL DAMAGE THEM.


FTFY
 
2010-12-21 01:41:38 PM  
"Every computer needs its rest time."

Are they kidding? Can't they find someone more qualified to answer these farking questions? Keep the components at a steady temperature, and they will last longer.

Plus, how many virus scans and security updates get skipped as a result of this advice?

Not to mention, 15 seconds is for capacitors to discharge, not for the hard drive to stop spinning. Capacitors on different computers will discharge at different rates, and 15 seconds is a general safe number.

What an ignorant douche. He's ignorant because he doesn't know what he's talking about. He's a douche because he's presenting himself as an expert on topics about which he knows very little.
 
2010-12-21 02:16:28 PM  
TFA: Last week, I spoke with Ismael Matos, a Geek Squad deputy field marshal...


I'm guessing it doesn't take more than a pulse and semi-coherent speech to become a "Deputy Field Marshall" with the Geek Squad. It appears that Best Buy employees (and subsidiaries) are still feeding people lines of shiat instead of admitting they don't know.
 
2010-12-21 02:19:57 PM  
Ah the good ole viruses don't affect Macs because of marketshare myth. This is simply not true, but everyone loves trotting it out time and again.

If you look at the past few years, you see the marketshare of Mac has exponentially increased without any increase (linear or exponential) in viruses that everyone likes to claim would happen with increased Mac marketshare.
 
2010-12-21 03:16:28 PM  
Elzar: Ah the good ole viruses don't affect Macs because of marketshare myth. This is simply not true, but everyone loves trotting it out time and again.

If you look at the past few years, you see the marketshare of Mac has exponentially increased without any increase (linear or exponential) in viruses that everyone likes to claim would happen with increased Mac marketshare.


Macs are still about 10-15% of the market. So there is validity in that claim.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2010-12-21 03:28:39 PM  
The full discharge myth came from on generation of rechargeable batteries that exhibited the "memory effect." If you aren't using old NiCd batteries you need to get a different myth.

There was a myth on Unix systems that you should type sync three times before shutting down. To save time people adjusted that to type "sync; sync; sync; halt" all on one line. This is the problem with performing rituals you don't understand. The purpose of the first sync was to work around a bug in pre-V7 (more or less) kernels that didn't flush buffers on halt. The purpose of the second and third syncs was to keep your fingers busy long enough for the first sync to finish. A one line command would complete before the sync, corrupting your buffers. Except on BSD 4.2+ and anything newer than early 1980s, where it would be the same as not typing sync at all because they fixed the bug. (I may be remembering wrong, and it was sync three times then flip the off switch because there was no halt command, making syncs before halt never needed. Then adding the halt command was the bug fix. I learned unix on BSD 4.2.)
 
2010-12-21 03:33:24 PM  
ZAZ: The full discharge myth came from on generation of rechargeable batteries that exhibited the "memory effect." If you aren't using old NiCd batteries you need to get a different myth.

There was a myth on Unix systems that you should type sync three times before shutting down. To save time people adjusted that to type "sync; sync; sync; halt" all on one line. This is the problem with performing rituals you don't understand. The purpose of the first sync was to work around a bug in pre-V7 (more or less) kernels that didn't flush buffers on halt. The purpose of the second and third syncs was to keep your fingers busy long enough for the first sync to finish. A one line command would complete before the sync, corrupting your buffers. Except on BSD 4.2+ and anything newer than early 1980s, where it would be the same as not typing sync at all because they fixed the bug. (I may be remembering wrong, and it was sync three times then flip the off switch because there was no halt command, making syncs before halt never needed. Then adding the halt command was the bug fix. I learned unix on BSD 4.2.)


Damn dude, you must be an old guy. :P
 
2010-12-21 03:34:48 PM  
The moment I saw the phrase "Geek squad" I saved some time and closed the window. Judging from the comments it was the right move to make.
 
2010-12-21 03:39:02 PM  
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

This is where I stopped reading.
 
2010-12-21 03:40:07 PM  
According to Matos, "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./i>

LOLWUT.jpg
 
2010-12-21 03:41:06 PM  
slayer199: Elzar: Ah the good ole viruses don't affect Macs because of marketshare myth. This is simply not true, but everyone loves trotting it out time and again.

If you look at the past few years, you see the marketshare of Mac has exponentially increased without any increase (linear or exponential) in viruses that everyone likes to claim would happen with increased Mac marketshare.

Macs are still about 10-15% of the market. So there is validity in that claim.


Macs had 1.5-2% marketshare in 2003 and now have about 8-9% marketshare.

This same argument was used prior to even 2003, so why is it that even after experiencing a 3 to 4 times growth in markestshare over the last 7 years, there is not a subsequent increase in viruses affecting mac?

/ We probably have to wait until we see 50% marketshare before viruses start to pop up - am i right?
 
2010-12-21 03:42:36 PM  
i stopped reading at geek squad
 
2010-12-21 03:44:41 PM  
I should have stopped reading at Geek Squad. The first one had my nerdrage kick in.

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU. I bet that Matos DB makes more than twice what I pull down. There is no justice.
 
2010-12-21 03:46:42 PM  
That article reads like it was authored by this guy:

moblog.whmsoft.net
 
2010-12-21 03:47:34 PM  
the best place to turn was to the Geek Squad

I'm not even an IT person and I know better than that.
 
2010-12-21 03:47:54 PM  
tota1pkg: i stopped reading at geek squad

Then how can you speak with the full derisive force of righteous indignation at the gross falsities espoused?
 
2010-12-21 03:48:24 PM  
Babwa Wawa: "Every computer needs its rest time."

Are they kidding? Can't they find someone more qualified to answer these farking questions? Keep the components at a steady temperature, and they will last longer.

Plus, how many virus scans and security updates get skipped as a result of this advice?

Not to mention, 15 seconds is for capacitors to discharge, not for the hard drive to stop spinning. Capacitors on different computers will discharge at different rates, and 15 seconds is a general safe number.

What an ignorant douche. He's ignorant because he doesn't know what he's talking about. He's a douche because he's presenting himself as an expert on topics about which he knows very little.


So much this. I have some spare computers that have been on nearly 24/7 for 10+ years.

Electronics don't need to rest. They just need to not overheat.

The power spike thing is stupid as well. Get a good UPS, and chances are you'll never get hit.
 
2010-12-21 03:49:18 PM  
GoodyearPimp: According to Matos, "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./i>

LOLWUT.jpg


Seriously, hasn't he ever heard that computers are like old people, when you put them to bed at night a percentage won't get up in the morning.

Seriously though I am glad I am not the only one picking up on the tard squad there. On the bright side it'll keep IT people employed for the foreseeable future.

/IT person
 
2010-12-21 03:49:25 PM  
Vista/Win7 has more extensive countermeasures against attacks and a codebase with presumably fewer security issues.


I call bullshiat on this.
 
2010-12-21 03:55:58 PM  
actually, turning off your computer will technically preserve its life ever so slightly.

with all transistors and wires in circuits, there are some degradation of wires due to the fact electrons are flowing through them constantly. These charged particles smash into the semiconductor material and and degrade quality over time. This is why flash drives have a limited (though still very high ) amount of writes and reads.

also the idea of waiting to turn the computer back on to discharge capacitors is a bit much, since they discharge in microseconds (at the very most)
 
2010-12-21 04:01:10 PM  
Lebowski: actually, turning off your computer will technically preserve its life ever so slightly.

Even if so, it's rather like one's computer lasting 20 years versus 19 years. What does it matter if I'm going to replace it after 5 years anyway?
 
2010-12-21 04:01:48 PM  
but...but... the GEEK SQUAD, they have "geek" in their name. That means they know what they are talking about. Not like it's the NERD HERD.
 
2010-12-21 04:03:42 PM  
Wow.

Cnet's last shred of credibility has been vaporised.

If only there was some way to park those disks.

TFA sounds like it was written by Ted Stevens.


Elzar: you see the marketshare of Mac has exponentially increased

The Reg disagrees. Link (new window)
 
2010-12-21 04:03:57 PM  
downstairs: The power spike thing is stupid as well. Get a good UPS, and chances are you'll never get hit.

Or maybe just a surge suppressor?

Not to mention that you're going to have problems with a surge whether the thing is on or not.
 
2010-12-21 04:04:02 PM  
flaminio: Lebowski: actually, turning off your computer will technically preserve its life ever so slightly.

Even if so, it's rather like one's computer lasting 20 years versus 19 years. What does it matter if I'm going to replace it after 5 years anyway?


well right now, not so much, but wires are getting thinner and transistors smaller, this can become more of a problem. research into spintronics could alleviate this problem i think? just a guess.
 
2010-12-21 04:04:53 PM  
Summary: "I have a buddy who works for Geek Squad, therefore I am qualified to write about technology"
 
2010-12-21 04:06:13 PM  
Personally, I found this a really good article. It has just enough air of truth around it that it's like one of the best written Onion art--

Wait...*checks comments*...this was a serious article? Nevermind then...
 
2010-12-21 04:07:30 PM  
I decided that since this was a hardware question, the best place to turn was to the Geek Squad,

www.obsessedwithfilm.com
 
2010-12-21 04:08:01 PM  
I'm convinced he got a free TV or something for this 'article'.
 
2010-12-21 04:08:15 PM  
Elzar: slayer199: Elzar: Ah the good ole viruses don't affect Macs because of marketshare myth. This is simply not true, but everyone loves trotting it out time and again.

If you look at the past few years, you see the marketshare of Mac has exponentially increased without any increase (linear or exponential) in viruses that everyone likes to claim would happen with increased Mac marketshare.

Macs are still about 10-15% of the market. So there is validity in that claim.

Macs had 1.5-2% marketshare in 2003 and now have about 8-9% marketshare.

This same argument was used prior to even 2003, so why is it that even after experiencing a 3 to 4 times growth in markestshare over the last 7 years, there is not a subsequent increase in viruses affecting mac?

/ We probably have to wait until we see 50% marketshare before viruses start to pop up - am i right?


Well, yes. Why would anyone bother with creating a virus that was going to affect such a small minority of available systems?
 
2010-12-21 04:09:51 PM  
Lebowski: actually, turning off your computer will technically preserve its life ever so slightly.

with all transistors and wires in circuits, there are some degradation of wires due to the fact electrons are flowing through them constantly. These charged particles smash into the semiconductor material and and degrade quality over time.


The level of degradation you're describing is generally so minute as to not matter. The exceptions are poorly manufactured (or under rated for the application) inductors and plague-ridden^ capacitors. Both cases are manufacturing flaws and should never occur, but obviously do. In those cases, powering the system off will most likely help extend its life, but how's the average puke gonna know they have a lemon?
 
2010-12-21 04:09:58 PM  
Elzar: This same argument was used prior to even 2003, so why is it that even after experiencing a 3 to 4 times growth in markestshare over the last 7 years, there is not a subsequent increase in viruses affecting mac?

Because it is still far more profitable to write viruses for Windows?

Absolute values matter a hell of a lot more than relative values in this case. Yes, Apple has apparently seen a 3-4x growth in market share. (or not, if this is accurate)

But in the real world, Windows has only gone from 95% to 90%. While Apple is making some inroads, virus writers could still hit 18 Windows computers for the same amount of work as it would take to hit one Mac OS computer.

So yes, market share is still why nobody cares to write viruses for Mac OS.
 
2010-12-21 04:13:12 PM  
Eddy Gurge: I'm convinced he got a free TV or something for this 'article'.

That makes more sense than TFA.
 
2010-12-21 04:14:16 PM  
flaminio: Lebowski: actually, turning off your computer will technically preserve its life ever so slightly.

Even if so, it's rather like one's computer lasting 20 years versus 19 years. What does it matter if I'm going to replace it after 5 years anyway?


The other factor is mechanical parts. Fan bearings will fail after a while. Anyone that has had a computer that sounded like a coffee grinder can vouch for that. Keeping the fans from spinning will prolong the life of cooling fans.

Not defending the article, just saying turning off the computer overall is a good idea to prevent wear and tear and keep the electricity bill down.
 
2010-12-21 04:14:53 PM  
Resolute: So yes, market share is still why nobody cares to write viruses for Mac OS.

This is what morons think.

Malware writers have targeted systems that have user-bases measured in the 1000s.
 
2010-12-21 04:18:48 PM  
impaler: Resolute: So yes, market share is still why nobody cares to write viruses for Mac OS.

This is what morons think.

Malware writers have targeted systems that have user-bases measured in the 1000s.


Have they now?

Common sense says otherwise.

/moron
 
2010-12-21 04:19:57 PM  
cdn.hometheaterforum.com
/so hot
 
2010-12-21 04:20:52 PM  
impaler: Resolute: So yes, market share is still why nobody cares to write viruses for Mac OS.

This is what morons think.

Malware writers have targeted systems that have user-bases measured in the 1000s.


A single exploit can be used for many malware apps.

Also, a friend of mine's Macbook caught on fire. Does that mean all Macbooks catch on fire?
 
2010-12-21 04:24:02 PM  
eddyatwork: Going to Geek Squad for computer advice is like asking the clerk at McDonald's how to cook.

Yep, I was going to comment on that.

The guy writing the article also says that Apple has mentioned their comptuers are immune to viruses, which I believe was de-mythed. It's only the idiot fanboys and users who think their comptuer is immune to viruses.
 
2010-12-21 04:25:39 PM  
Babwa Wawa: downstairs: The power spike thing is stupid as well. Get a good UPS, and chances are you'll never get hit.

Or maybe just a surge suppressor?

Not to mention that you're going to have problems with a surge whether the thing is on or not.


A surge, maybe. Lightning strike, absolutely. The issue is really more dirty power slowly causing damage to a system, which will happen if you plug it directly into the wall. There, technically, turning it off would stretch its life.

But that's like saying you're less likely to get into a car crash if you drive less. Of course this is true, but an expert would weigh all factors and tell you the best practice is not to stop driving but to learn to drive safer.
 
2010-12-21 04:27:11 PM  
RE: The Mac virus issue.

Why, then do Macs get less viruses if its not market share? There's no reason I can't write a malware Mac-based application and email it to everyone, asking them to open it. Those who are stupid and on a Mac... well, now they have a virus.
 
2010-12-21 04:27:16 PM  
Malware is spread in one of two ways: Flaws in programming and flaws in users. Macs are susceptible to either of those flaws. It's not like Apple's developers were blessed in some unholy ritual to make it so their code would never have a buffer overflow. And I would venture to say that Mac users could be even more prone to trojans because they've been told that their computer is "virus-proof."
 
2010-12-21 04:28:12 PM  
I should have closed the article at 'Geek Squad', but I didn't. I continued reading, and found out that girls are gamers too! Thank god Cnet put this in an article about technology myths!
 
2010-12-21 04:30:36 PM  
Dr. Goldshnoz: I decided that since this was a hardware question, the best place to turn was to the Geek Squad,

Why did that make me LOL so hard? :D
 
2010-12-21 04:32:06 PM  
bittergeek: Malware is spread in one of two ways: Flaws in programming and flaws in users. Macs are susceptible to either of those flaws. It's not like Apple's developers were blessed in some unholy ritual to make it so their code would never have a buffer overflow. And I would venture to say that Mac users could be even more prone to trojans because they've been told that their computer is "virus-proof."

Jobs, the one true God, has blessed them.
 
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