Hardware

Hardware is what makes up a computer. A rather basic concept... but not so simple for many individuals to grasp.

Overheard in a school computer lab which used Dell PCs:

  • "I don't like Dells. My mom has a Dell, and it always breaks."

One of my friends wanted my old computer.

  • Him: "Can I have your old computer?"
  • Me: "Yes... but why would you need it? The thing is like 10 years old."
  • Him: "I want the RAM slots."
  • Me: (with an incredulous stare) "You want what?"
  • Him: "The RAM slots, you know, where the RAM sticks plug in. So I could put more RAM into my computer."
  • Me: (Still incredulously) "You can't put more RAM slots into your computer."
  • Him: "Yes you can. They had to put them on at the factory, right?"
  • Me: "The slots are soldered onto the motherboard."
  • Him: "Well, I've got a soldering iron."
  • Me: "You'd need the circuitry to support the slots too. Plus, those RAM slots are for PC133 SDRAM and your other ones are most likely DDR."

I was helping out the IT guy set up new monitors at my dad's workplace. They had recently gotten 24-inch widescreen flat panel monitors with a native resolution of 1920x1200. I noticed that the IT guy set up each monitor to run at 1280x800 instead of the native resolution.

  • Me: "Why aren't you setting these to 1920x1200? It's the native resolution."
  • Him: "I know, but since the video cards in these computers only support 60 Hz refresh rates at this resolution, I want to use a resolution that allows at least a 70 Hz refresh rate."
  • Me: "What's wrong with 60 Hz?"
  • Him: "It makes the screen flicker too much."
  • Me: "That's true for a CRT, not an LCD. A CRT at 60 Hz redraws the screen 60 times per second, but an LCD only redraws the parts of the screen as they're updated. That's why LCD monitors don't flicker."
  • Him: "Oh yes, they do flicker at 60 Hz."
  • Me: "The only thing that could make an LCD flicker is the backlight... and if that's the case, it doesn't matter what refresh rate you set."
  • Him: "OK, OK, but I still think it makes a difference. Tell you what... after we're done here, let's take 2 identical monitors and put them side by side, one at 60 Hz and the other at 75."
  • Me: "Sure"

Sadly, we never got around to performing this experiment, so I was unable to prove the guy wrong.

An actual review on TigerDirect.com for a BFG GeForce 8800 Ultra (which is a high-end video card that cost nearly $800 at the time):

Stupid thing doesnt work got it to play games and install it in my new dell its so big i need to remove my sound card to make it fit and disconnect cdrom to get power connector so i plug everything in correctly and turn on my computer and smoke come out of power supply stupid thing killed my computer and i couldnt get it returned wasted 800 bucks on the stupid piece of junk had to get new power supply and i got a geforce 6200 its so much better and now it works.

  • Friend: "I just overclocked my CPU and I'm so happy!"
  • Me: "Great! How did it go?"
  • Friend: "Well... I overclocked it but it was at 45 degrees IDLE. I had to turn on Cool'NQuiet to bring my temps down."
  • Me: "You WHAT?"
  • Friend: "Turned on Cool'NQuiet. Now it's idling at 37."
  • Me: "Cool'NQuiet underclocks your CPU when it's idle. That's why you're getting the lower temps."
  • Friend: "Oh..."
  • Friend: "Is it true that EFI will replace the BIOS someday?"
  • Me: "Yes"
  • Friend: "I really hate EFI."
  • Me: "Why?"
  • Friend: "Well, with EFI, you won't have the BIOS, so you can't overclock any more."
  • Me: "Doesn't your laptop have a battery"
  • Her: "Maybe it does, but I don't want to use it since I will have to buy new batteries."
  • Me: "A laptop battery is rechargeable and is charged whenever you plug your laptop in."
  • Her: "Oh..."

Comments (2)

Maverick
Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 2:40 PM
The last one is pretty funny.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 4:20 PM
@Maverick:
I liked 'em all, but the last one I had to lol at xD!
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