Computer “Urban Legends”.. Real or Not?? Ask the Professionals at Phoenix

Computer Legend #1: To increase the speed of my PC or Server I need to “buy a new one” or upgrade the hardware:

Many factors are involved with this Computer legend. Buying a new PC may solve speed issues but may also cause compatibility problems with other programs you are currently running; this may end up costing a lot more that you expected. While it’s TRUE that upgrading the components like the RAM memory and Network Cards can improve certain processes on your PC and on your network, it’s not always the case. Aside from doing this, consider other factors that cause your machine(s) to slow down. Almost surely there are unwanted programs; unclean registry items, viruses, malware, spyware and other stuff inside your computer that can all slow your perfectly good unit down significantly. So, try first to remove temporary internet files, uninstall unnecessary programs, run a good anti-virus scan a good anti-spyware scan, and a good anti-malware scan. You can even clean the system registry before spending money for new upgrades or on a new PC.

Computer Legend #2: If you don’t properly stop a USB device before unplugging it you are sure to loose all the data on it.

This is FALSE but with a small disclaimer; as long as the device is not writing to memory you can remove it with no problems. When you unplug a USB Device, without first using the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon in the taskbar, your PC makes a sound and usually pops up a message warning you about removing the device or that what you just did can delete data saved on USB storage devices or damage hardware. In reality it is good practice to “Stop” the device before removing it so that the system and you are sure the device is not in the middle of a writing process.  We have seen USB sticks and external USB hard drives lose everything by being unplugged during a writing process but not when sitting idle.

Also please keep in mind that USB devices are designed as “Backup” devices and not primary storage. With the costs being so low on these items, please do not trust them to keep all your data “safe” upgrade the size of the storage inside the PC and keep everything there, then use the USB as a “copy” so if one dies you do not loose your important data.

Computer Legend #3: Use a screen saver or burn an image on your monitor for life.

This is another bit of advice that had some validity many years ago. The monitors of old that had Cathode Ray tubes and used Phosphorus to display an image would suffer from “phosphor burn-in” but today it’s just FALSE. It’s virtually impossible with today’s monitors, especially LCD flat screens, to leave an image on the burned in on the screen. There’s certainly no downside to using a screen saver, and many people find them fun to use as a way of “expressing themselves”. Others use them to do a slideshow of their pictures. But there’s certainly no necessity for using a screen saver.

Computer Legend #4: My computer technician is the only guy who knows how my system(s) run.

That is completely FALSE a good computer tech can become intimately aware of how your system is setup, settings that can be changed to make it perform better or fix things that weren’t done correctly in the first place. You have all the power here. If you are unhappy with anything about your current Tech, find someone who is experienced, courteous, punctual, and available when you need them and doesn’t speak tech.

Computer Legend #4: Outsourcing IT support is more expensive and less dependable than having our own in house IT guy

While it seems like a good idea for companies to hire a person with technical experience to help keep their computers running, there are several “down-sides” to taking this road. The first is the fixed costs associated with a full time IT person when 40 hours of IT work are not normally necessary when the system is developed and installed properly in the beginning. The 2nd is what a lot of small companies do and that is; if you have an employee whose skills are in the area of your business (i.e. Dentist, Attorney, Doctor, Mortgage specialist) and they also have “some” computer knowledge, you can find them spending time working on your systems when they would be much more beneficial to the bottom line if they did what they are trained to do. We say leave the PC and Network maintenance to the IT guys. The 3rd is this person may or may not have all the knowledge needed to support your environment and assist in designing a path for the company’s growth.

An outsourced company can be a good fit for many small to medium sized business that wants to maximize their IT investment. A local service provider can offer quick response time for on-site service, low cost phone support, personalized service from a Tech with expertise in PC and Network support.  Costs for a good plan with a Local Service provider could cut your costs in half the cost of employing an inside person and even more if one of the Doctors or Attorneys is doing the work instead of billing at your professional rates.  Some other benefits can include higher return on investment, more experienced personnel, backup personnel and consultation services.





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