Computer Myths And Urban Legends

from the just-so-you-know dept

Seems like a fairly slow Monday morning, but PC World has put out their own version of Snopes-style urban-myth debunkings for a variety of technology legends that (for the most part) just aren’t true at all. So, stop worrying about magnets getting near your PC and feel free to yank out USB cables (as long as no data is going over them) without “stopping” the devices first.

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Comments on “Computer Myths And Urban Legends”

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Doug says:

Shutting down Windows

They say:

We ran 30 iterations of an informal test, turning off a pair of systems running Windows XP without first shutting down Windows.

Yes, the NTFS that is used by default with WinXP is quite tolerant of that. However, many (most?) Windows users are still running with FAT/FAT32 partitions which are susceptible to corruption by an unexpected power-off.

Nonesuch says:

Dangerously misinformed

The “legends” the article claims to debunk are rather vague, and the three paragraph response to each statement also lack critical details.

For almost every “legend” the article debunks, they mention (but omit detail on) the truth behind the legend — static kills microchips, surge protectors help but a UPS is better, the Gov’t can read your email if they feel the need, powering down a PC can result in it not coming back, hackers could destroy your data (and some worms target certain date file types), and the “opt out” links in spam will get you more spam, not less, etc.

Richard says:

Such an irresponsible article

This is such an irresponsible article. Unlike Snopes, which endeavors to actually seek out the facts and present them, this article relies pretty much on anecdotes and heresay to back up its claims (effectively “we tried some informal tests on a bunch of random things and nothing bad happened to us, therefore any situation / device you can thing of will be OK too”).
And the one about phones on planes, they rate it as a myth even though their explanation clearly states that tests have proven otherwise. WTF?

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