Common Computer Myths EXPOSED
Deleting some of my files will speed up my computer – Most modern hard drives are very empty, with lots more space than a business user will ever use. This myth stems from common confusion of memory versus storage. Memory or "RAM" is the space programs use to run; storage or "disk space" is the space where data is stored for the long term. Computers can get slow when there are too many programs running in memory, not when there is lots of data on the hard drive. Sometimes you can speed up your computer by removing programs from the "Startup" folder on your "All Programs" menu. Very often, you need professional help to remove the pieces of programs that insist on running in memory all the time.
Anti-virus protection will keep my computer safe – Anti-virus software is like having a flu shot – it doesn't guarantee that you won't get sick, but it makes it a lot less likely. You still need to get proper rest and nutrition to avoid the flu, and you still need to use care in your web surfing to avoid viruses and other problems. To be safe, avoid obscure web sites, NEVER click inside a popup ad (always click the red "X" and not a button that says "No Thanks" or "Cancel"), and don't open e-mails from an unknown source. These days, simply visiting a dangerous web page can infect you using what's called a "drive-by download". So have up-to-date anti-virus software, but be sure also to be careful!
A fast processor will make my computer fast – The processor in your computer is used for all sorts of computations, from drawing things on the screen to figuring out where to place text on a page. But most of these common tasks do not tax the capacity of today's superfast, modern processors. Despite Intel's expensive commercials, a very fast processor is not necessary for most business users, unless you are doing lots of complex photo manipulation or video editing. Usually, a "middle of the road" processor is just fine. If you want to invest in better performance when you are ordering a new computer, upgrade the amount of memory (RAM) and hard disk SPEED (in RPMs), and leave the processor setting in the middle of the available options.
Defragmenting my hard drive makes it run faster – Eight to ten years ago, hard disks were a fraction of the size they are now, and were much slower. As drives got more and more full, Windows would hunt around to save new files and would often split them into pieces to squeeze them in the available space. This "fragmented" the files and a heavily fragmented hard disk would get really slow. Today's drives are huge and fast, and most drives are more than 50% EMPTY and experience very little fragmentation. Therefore, the majority of users will see little benefit from defragmenting – so go ahead and take that off your "to do list"!
If you have questions about any of these issues, or any other computer-related matters, feel free to contact Geeks On Call through our form on the Realty Group web site (see below). We are here to help you!