Over the years, since tribunals of geeks have perpetrated their amalgamation of ideas, these myths have been presented by various experts, salespeople, and bloggers, making them sacred in their claims to certain facts. However, over time, some of these sometimes outlandish myths and theories have taken on a life of their own. So, in order to dispel some of the most ridiculous claims by these individuals, I have taken the time to recreate their experiments and have been able to, in many cases, scientifically dispel the concept that there are any performance differences or lack of same. That doesn’t mean, however, that I won’t continue to research every new idea or concept to see if it performs as promised or if it appears to be just another con to get the trusting souls out there to part with their few extra dollars.
My determinations as to the value of a given product are based on the personal experience I have had regarding performance and my reasoning behind dispelling the researchers’ work or recommending it to you, the reader. I don’t believe that there is any other way to actually investigate a product’s claims, other than to personally experience the product’s purpose and then check to see if its claims are verifiable. If their claims do not live up to expectation or they lack the expectations of improved performance, my own opinion would be to contact the seller and report your dissatisfaction. Below is a list of seven such myths that will be exposed for exactly what they are: myths and not facts. These are my opinions.
Expensive HDMI cables will improve the picture on your HDTV.
It always amazes me that people will spend $150 for an HDMI cable when a salesperson makes a claim that these high-end cables will actually improve picture quality. I recall a few years ago when my neighbor bought a new HDTV and he paid the retailer to install and set up his system. As the crew was setting up the system, it asked my neighbor if he had an HDMI cable available since the cable was a must have in order to obtain the best picture quality for his new HDTV. My neighbor had no such cable and paid these thieves $75 for a pretty HDMI cable wrapped in fancy blue nylon cord of some type. When he told me what had happened, I brought over a $6 HDMI cable purchased via an Internet store. To test the quality of the individual cables, he activated his newly set up HDTV using his existing Dish Network set-top box on an HD channel. Yes, the picture came in nicely but then I swapped cables and once again activated the screen to see if there was any difference in the picture quality. As I believed was to be expected, neither of us could visualize any difference in picture quality; naturally, he returned his $75 cable to the store for a full refund.
A 64-bit OS will make computing twice as fast as a 32-bit one.
The new laptop system I recently purchased came with a 64-bit pre-installed copy of Windows Home Premium. For those who may believe that a 64-bit OS will run twice as fast as a 32-bit system, I hate to pop your bubble. The fact is, a 64-bit system will perform better and quicker if one has a 64-bit software program installed, and a 64-bit Windows OS can read more than 3 GB of memory. Without this, the systems will run just about the same.
CD/DVD/Blu-ray discs will last forever.
The claims from some media manufacturers is that their discs — whether CD/DVD or Blu-ray — should last for up to 100 years. This reminds me of those infomercials in which the product comes with a lifetime warranty. I have always wondered to myself whose lifetime are we talking about? Your order instructions offer a choice of calling a toll free number, sending a check to a PO Box, and/or ordering the product online. Did you catch the fact that no physical address is given for the company, which means you will most likely be unable to find them if their company suddenly goes bankrupt or just simply disappears.
We had this happen with a vacuum cleaner we had bought from Sears. All we needed were replacement belts for the $400 cleaner, but we were told to contact the manufacturer. Believe me when I say we tried to no avail. It was not to be found and we had no choice but to toss the one-year-old vacuum in the recycle bin. So while this was our experience, the question still remains as to who you should see about collecting on my lifetime warranty. To me. a lifetime warranty on a product should follow the item, no matter how many times it changes hands, as long as the documentation is still intact as to when it was purchased and for what amount.
Realistically, however, I doubt that in 100 years many of us will be around to confirm that our CD/DVD or Blu-ray discs still function. Then, too, with technology whirling at supersonic speeds, is it likely that the units we purchase today or those who sell them to us will still be around to view our data on these discs? I would think that we can better imagine them in a museum where our grandchildren will be asking us how we managed to deal with such clumsy technology. With that being said, I would suggest, just to be safe, that you back up your discs every few years to avoid any possible degradation (the discs may experience erosion from environmental factors). Better yet, back up your discs using the newest technology, because as we are all aware, the latest and greatest gadgets lie just beyond the next horizon.
Companies have employed a secret combination to unlock your smartphone battery.
This is another myth and involves the user being able to press a combination of keys (on the dial pad), that will unlock a secret power reserve on the battery. I received this information via email and the sender had actually included the secret code that was to open this reserve for me. The sender informed me that all I had to do, in order to make this secret power work, was to wait for my cell phone’s battery to run down before entering the secret combination and voila! I would get another jolt of power. This power would then allow me to make additional calls, continue to finish up surfing the Internet, or anything else I wished to do. Though the idea is great, the reality is there is no such additional battery power available by using any secret code.
RAM optimizer software will increase your system’s performance.
Who doesn’t want their computer to run faster and smoother? Over the years, a great deal of money has been made by companies making unrealistic promises of improved performance and faster speeds, which have basically provided little, if any, system improvement. So it is with RAM optimizers, which are an all show and no go type of software. Basically, Windows does a pretty good job, all by itself, of handling RAM for most Windows computers. If anything, adding more RAM in itself will provide the user with a better performance increase than any type of software one can buy. Maybe even more important is the need to keep your system properly maintained, since this is a guaranteed way to increase the way your computer performs.
Using a laptop computer on your lap will make you sterile.
This myth has been perpetrated for years and holds no merit. The myth claims that the heat generated by the laptop as it sits on your lap can make a man sterile. This heat is not just the result of what is generated by the machine itself, but supposedly involves a user keeping his legs closed together. If this were the case, any male who sits in front of a desk all day should, in theory, become sterile. This is total hogwash and there is no reputable scientific proof that this has ever happened.
Newer models are always better than the older models they replace.
This myth depends on what you are referring to. In general, improvements in computer hardware, at least for the most part, are definite improvements, but this doesn’t always hold true in the software market. This is because the consumer is fickle when it comes to the specific use of certain software products. Microsoft learned this lesson the hard way when it introduced Windows Vista and Windows 7. Consumers were so ingrained with Windows XP that they had no desire to upgrade to the newer software products being offered.
Another factor was that many of the older Windows XP systems lacked the basic hardware requirements to even run the newer operating systems, resulting in many XP users just deciding to stay with XP; many still enjoy the same OS today. I even have an old laptop that is still running XP, and have had no difficulties with it as it continues to work just fine. This was one case where newer did not prove to be better for everyone. The myth that newer is always better is not a 100% absolute.
Let me know if you have any myths that need to be dispelled.