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..."