Myths are half-truths, interested lies, or old truths that are no longer true. In computer science there are also myths, and some have been with us for more than 50 years, refusing to disappear. We are going to contribute our bit by revealing 10 myths about computing that you should not believe.
We have all been prisoners, some time, of some computer related magufada . Either for lack of knowledge, for believing everything that the Internet has, or because at some point it stopped being true, and we have not heard about it. Do you know these 10 myths about computing that you should not believe ?
Domestic computing came to The World in the early 80’s , and had an impact even higher than mobile, because until then the most sophisticated intelligent machine that people had used, was a calculator … Suddenly they had a computer to write , to draw, play, study, communicate … It was something magical, and new, two words that are a breeding ground for myths and urban legends.
There are recent myths of computer science , and others so old that they have adhered so strongly to collective memory, that they refuse to disappear.
We have compiled 10 myths about computing that you should not believe . When before the exile, before we will defeat them. Although it seems incredible, there are people who still defend and justify …
A PC with more cores and more RAM, is better
One of the most widespread computer myths is that the more powerful the hardware or the more things you have, the better. An 8-core processor is faster than another with 4 cores, or a PC with 16 GB is better than another with 8 GB of RAM. Of course, both are not true. Or at least, not always.
The theory tells us that as more cores (more processing units) have a processor, the programs will work better, but not always in that way. First of all, many applications only use one or two cores. So they will work the same in a processor with two cores, than in one with eight. In other cases they make intensive use of the main nucleus, and the rest have secondary functions. Here it counts more the speed of the main nucleus, that the number of nuclei. A CPU with 4 cores at 2 GHz, will yield more than one from 8 to 1.8 Mhz, in this situation.
n the case of memory, it is similar. Many applications or games only use 2 or 4 GB of RAM, so having 8 or 16 GB, will not contribute anything. If it is true that extra memory can be used to accelerate the use of the operating system, but you will only notice it if you use many applications at the same time, or tools that need a lot of RAM, such as a 4K video editor .
If you set up your own PC, it works out cheaper
Many people mount their own PC because, according to popular belief, it costs you cheaper. Nowadays the modern base plates automate all the configuration, so it is a relatively simple operation. But is it cheaper than buying a PC mounted by the store, or a brand?
It is true that in PCs for gaming and in high ranges, surely yes. But in entry or office PCs, things are more even. On the other hand, the mounted PCs are quite low in price after 6 months . If you wait for that time, you will be able to buy a PC mounted at the same price as if you mount it.
The advantage, in addition to the guarantee, is that the components have been chosen by professionals to work well together, so surely offer better performance than a PC mounted by a user who does not understand much about the synergies of the hardware.
Myths of programming
Programming languages are the DNA of computer science. Without them computers would be silly machines that would not do any good. And as is logical, there are also many computer legends related to them. We are going to deny them.
Schedule is only for geniuses and experts in mathematics
Many people believe that programming is a work of privileged minds and geniuses of numbers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Programming is even easier than learning a language. And there are really simple programming languages, that even a child can learn . Anyone is trained to learn to program, even the most professional languages.
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Nor is it necessary to be a mathematician to program. Only the basic algebra that is learned in school is needed.
Schedule is boring
If we see the code of an application without understanding much of the subject, it will possibly seem nonsense, and the result of a boring job. But few people program directly into code. Nowadays the programming languages are very visual: menus, diagrams, color labels and other tools are used that are fun to use.
Programming consists of finding the solution to a problem using a programming language. For this you have to be creative. In a way, it’s no different than writing a story, a detective novel or a poetry.
The X language is the best / modern languages are better
Comparing programming languages does not make much sense. Each language has been created for a specific function, and if it is popular, surely it is because it is one of the best for that task. There is no ” the best programming language “, absolutely.
Nor is it correct to say that the languages created one or two years ago are better than the previous ones. The C ++ language was released in 1979, and is one of the most used today. Python was born in the 80s, and has turned out to be one of the best to create artificial intelligence projects , that’s why it has resurfaced in recent years.
Wi-Fi waves cause cancer
For years, since Wi-Fi and telephony antennas have become commonplace, news has emerged of alleged increases in cancer due to the presence of telephony antennas, or the router and WiFi access points.
To this has contributed that the WHO (World Health Organization) classifies WiFi waves in category 2B (ie possibly carcinogenic). But we must bear in mind that the WHO does it for prevention, since no study has been able to demonstrate the relationship between electromagnetic waves and cancer. The WHO includes in the same category 2B of WiFi to foods such as coffee or products such as talcum powder.
And let’s remember that a couple of years ago the WHO included processed red meat in Group 1 as a carcinogen , a much more dangerous group than 2B, where tobacco, alcohol, solar radiation, asbestos, plutonium, x-rays, and benzene.
Objectively, eating processed red meat, smoking or drinking alcohol is more likely to cause cancer, than Wi-Fi.
The radiation that comes from the Wi-Fi is non-ionizing (a power too light to cause mutations in DNA), therefore, there is no physical mechanism capable of explaining a relationship with cancer, as explained in the blog of Professor Arturo Quirantes .
In addition, epidemiological studies do not indicate any causal correlation between cancer and the use of Wi-Fi.
Mac and Linux are safe from viruses
A myth of computing that goes back to the 80s, is that Mac computers do not have viruses . That was true in the early years, but over time cybercriminals (with a bit of help from MacOS bugs) have managed to penetrate Mac as well.
In fact, according to a Malwarbytes report , in 2017 Mac malware grew 230% and also managed to enter the system through the App Store. Also in an Avast study , it is claimed that more than 250 million threats to Mac were blocked that same year.
Something similar happens in Linux, although on a smaller scale. The system’s own architecture, and constant updates, do not favor the propagation of viruses in Linux. But exist, exist .
In any case, in 2019 viruses are not the main concern of users. The most dangerous is phishing and spyware.
Incognito Mode makes you invisible on the Internet
A few years ago, browsers began to implement an Incognito Mode, which supposedly makes us invisible when browsing web pages. That’s how they sold it to us, and that’s how many people believed it.
If you are up to date on the Internet, you already know it, but it is still a myth of computing , which is still believed.
Incognito Mode does not make you invisible. It does not even allow you to go unnoticed.
What it does is not save where you’ve been in your history, not save cookies, and not save information entered in forms.
In other words, it does not save what you do but it is visible where you have been. The web pages you visit, your Internet provider, or the company or owner of the hardware, if you use Internet from work or a public WiFi, can see your IP address , and therefore identify you, and know where you have been.
The only way to hide on the Internet is to use a virtual private network, or VPN.
So Incognito Mode is completely useless? Not quite. As we have seen, it does not store cookies and your history, so it prevents websites from tracking you and knowing what you have done in other sites.
If I turn off my laptop at night, I extend its useful life
Fortunately, this myth of computer science is slowly becoming extinct, as we have become accustomed to the modern functioning of smartphones.
Like mobiles, modern laptops are designed to never have to turn them off , you can leave them at rest without any problem, and they will turn on instantly when you need them.
Studies carried out by experts such as John Dilley have not found differences in hardware, turn off or not the laptop by last night. So do not obsess about the subject. Now you can use the laptop as if it were a mobile phone.
If you remove the pendrive without ejecting it, your data is deleted
One of the oldest myths of computer science, is about to be banished forever.
Is it necessary to eject a pendrive before removing it from the computer? If you use Windows 10, no longer. One of the latest Windows 10 updates activates by default the Quick Eject mode , which allows you to remove the pendrive without ejecting it.
Actually, it was not necessary for a long time. Pen drives and other USB storage devices, as well as the current OS protect the data and stop the activity on the USB port when you are not using it.
Of course, keep in mind that you can not extract it while reading or writing data. In that case yes you can lose information.
You have to defragment hard drives from time to time
In a similar way to what happens with the myth of ejecting the pendrive before removing it from the PC, it is still believed that you have to defragment the hard drive manually , from time to time.
When you write data to a disk, they are placed in the holes that are free. If the file is too large, it is split into fragments and distributed throughout the disk. This is what is called fragmenting the disk. It takes better advantage of space, but makes the data read more slowly, because you have to search for the fragments scattered throughout the disk.
Defragmenting the disk consists of repositioning the data, so that all fragments are tracked, and thus can be read faster.
For years, this operation had to be carried out manually, a couple of times a month. But in Windows 10 the process is done automatically in the background, and Windows also does it very well.
Also keep in mind that all this only applies to conventional hard drives. SSDs do not need to be defragmented . On the contrary, doing so can reduce its useful life.
Therefore, it is clear that today you do not have to defragment hard drives manually , unless you use an old operating system.
If the computer is slow, it is that you have a virus
If you mention to someone that lately your computer is slower than normal, it is likely that you release something similar to: ” Sure you have a virus .”
One of the most recurrent computer myths is that viruses slow down computers. That was true a few years ago. But now computers are very powerful and viruses, instead of infecting, try to spy, so they do everything possible to go unnoticed.
Although the malware consumes a few clock cycles and a little memory, in the powerful modern computers you will not notice it. That’s why you always have to use an antivirus .
We have seen 10 myths about computer that you should not believe. How many of them did you consider good?