Computer myths – part 1

Nobody specialises

Everyone who works with computers has encountered this misconception in real life. There are a lot of things that can be done with a computer. You can create books, animations 2D and 3D, music, crunch numbers from a scientific experiment and more. Nobody has time to learn all of this. Nonetheless if you program or maintain computers for a living you are expected to know how to do everything. All you can do is guess quickly.

There is no copy command

Every time someone uploads or downloads data in a film or television show the original copy is implicitly deleted. Think of the Emergency Medical Hologram in Star Trek Voyager. Why did using the mobile emitter mean having to stop using the original medical bay emitters? This myth extends into debate on copyright law. Downloading music is an act of duplication not theft.

Bill Gates is everyone’s hero

The kindest words I have heard about Bill Gates are that he was a less embarrassing CEO than Steve Balmer. A very common view that he used dubious dubious business practices to push poorly written software on the world. As the saying goes Avoid the gates of Hell. Use Linux.

Ping is insidious

This one is perpetuated by seemingly every news organisation on Earth. Every time there is a story about security they will show someone running ping. For those who don’t know this is a program used to check if a network connection between two machines can be made. That’s it.

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