Thanks to Microsoft

Thanks to Microsoft, there are many things people believe about computers that they think must be true. Have you heard any of these? Or worse, have you ever thought any of these? It could happen to a friend, a loved one, or even to our selves.

My computer is slow so I will delete some files and uninstall some applications.

How does the amount of files and not-running applications on your computer have anything to do with how fast it is running?

Don’t run too many applications at once or your computer will crash.

Have you ever found yourself thinking this? Why would starting a music player affect the CD burning software?

You need to reboot your computer after installing an application.

Why do I need to reboot my computer after installing an instant messenger application?

If the computer has a problem just reboot.

Someone once tried to tell me that this was a strength of Windows. I’m skeptical. I’d rather have a computer that does not have a problem during regular use.

If you leave your computer on for a long time, it will start running slowly. Reboot the computer to make it run at normal speed again.

Why? What is Windows doing when you leave it on? Do you have any idea? Me neither.

Newer software always requires more hardware processing power than older software.

It doesn’t have to. What do you use your computer for today that you couldn’t do 10 years ago? 15 years ago? 20 years ago?

If you want to completely uninstall an application, you will have to erase your entire hard drive and reinstall the operating system.

…and the related…

There is an application that automatically starts when Windows starts, but I don’t know how to remove it.

Sometimes it seems like Windows is at the mercy of the applications that people write for it. I understand that all operating systems are like this in a sense, but with Windows it seems to be the standard way to do things.

Do you suffer from any of these ideas? Do you think this is how using a computer has to be? Because of Microsoft, there are many people in the world that think computers have to be incomprehensible and painful to use. It’s as if people have to fight with the computer instead of just using it as a tool.

It doesn’t have to be this way!

7 Comments

  1. anikom15 says:

    “My computer is slow so I will delete some files and uninstall some applications.”

    It is true that the less files you have on disk, the faster the harddrive can find and read files, but the speed is trivial.

    “Don’t run too many applications at once or your computer will crash.”

    Try running firefox with a bunch of youtube videos, flash games, gimp and inkscape on your favorite laptop. Enjoy your corrupted files.

    “You need to reboot your computer after installing an application.”

    The registry needs to be reloaded! (among other things)

    “If the computer has a problem just reboot.”

    See above.

    “If you leave you computer on for a long time, it will start running slowly. Reboot the computer to make it run at normal speed again.”

    It’s caching crap.

    “Newer software always requires more hardware processing power than older software.”

    This is true even on Linux.

    “If you want to completely uninstall an application, you will have to erase your entire hard drive and reinstall the operating system.”

    Commercial software tends to leave stuff around (on purpose)

    “There is an application that automatically starts when Windows starts, but I don’t know how to remove it.”

    Try uninstalling Norton antivirus. It’s hard.

    All of these are true on Windows, some are even true on Linux.

  2. drcouzelis says:

    Thanks for the comment! ^_^

    “Try running firefox with a bunch of youtube videos, flash games, gimp and inkscape on your favorite laptop. Enjoy your corrupted files.”

    I’m a little confused. Did you mean that running those three applications would cause a problem in a modern Windows installation?

    “Newer software always requires more hardware processing power than older software. – This is true even on Linux.”

    I agree, but it doesn’t have to be! If I choose to use Microsoft Windows, then my options are a new version that requires modern hardware, or an old version that can’t run applications built for the newer one.

    For example, there is no Windows equivalent of DSL, which is small, fast, AND contains software that was updated this week. I think Haiku is also a good example.

  3. KBennett says:

    There IS a DSL type of Windows, you simply can’t go buy it on a shelf, you have to have an MSDN or “know someone” wink wink. There is WinFLP, which is a stripped down Win XP SP3, or if you have access to any popular file sharing app look up “TinyXP Beast Edition” which is a hot rodded XP SP3 complete with many popular apps and a nicer windows 7 Shell included.

    It is a shame they don’t just hire the Beast guyand have him design a “Windows 7 Gamer Beast Edition” but since the XP Beast edition works just fine with your XP Pro key, it isn’t like you can’t use it legally. As for Linux the problem isn’t the OS, its the apps!

    Working retail I can tell you every single customer has a “must have” app that guess what? Either doesn’t work at all or you have to jump through more hoops than its worth to get running on Linux. iTunes, Quickbooks/Quicken (and NO GNUCash does NOT work anything like the real thing!) there is ALWAYS a “must have” that will keep you from selling them on Linux. Sorry but its true and as a retailer that is why I quit even bothering to mess with Linux at my shop anymore, it simply costs too much in time and effort than a copy of Windows 7 Home does to me.

  4. Exin says:

    Also, about the Uninstall thing of Applications to make your computer run faster (a bit).

    Have you ever looked whats going on with the task manager? What programs leave open even when you didnt have started them in a while´?

    I’ll give you a few hints:

    Nero Burning rom:
    NMBgMonitor.exe
    NMIndexStoreSvr.exe

    Java Installation:
    jusched.exe

    Catalyst Control Center(The program from AMD to configure your gfx Card)
    MOM.exe
    CCC.exe
    atiedxx.exe

    Well, thats what i didnt spot…
    Also, Yahoo messenger leaves alot of crap open.
    A while back when using Outlook, it did run parts of the MSN Messenger in the background, even if you didnt use its functionality.

    While that seems to be avoidable, go tell an “average” user that half of his programs he uses is bullshit.
    Also, alot of people fall into these browser windows where they say that a virus is somewhere and they want you to install their “Antivirus 2009″.

    Ive had that alot. This is why Microsoft tries everything to stop dumb people downloading all kinds of crap. Even if thats not a very good strategy…..

    If you ask me, i’ve heard even more stupid myths…especially from people who think they know what they are doing. Here we go:

    “Installing a firewall helps against viruses”

    Actually, it doesnt do a thing. Its mainly good to prevent some strange or pirated programs to access some other host to do bad deeds. That or maybe avoid getting hijacked if you are online with your Microsoft Network Filesharing…..

    But thats all actually obsolete. Every more or better router from at least 5 years ago has already a firewall built in….

    “Installing Windows with no service packs or updates is the best idea”

    ….seriously. I almost got a mindfuck when i’ve heard that from a book seller that told my dad to do that.

    “Reinstalling software fixes its problems”

    Yeah right.. but in most cases the configuration files still remain.
    As seen on when someone of my friends had problems with some settings in the Media Player Classic that rendered his player useless….

    Reinstalling didnt work…because these settings were in the FFDshow decoder configuration…

    “A newer Windows will be actually slower than the older one.”

    While its actually true that a newer windows will need more memory, the rest is bullshit. I did run Windows 7 on my Dual Pentium 3 and i didnt see a fucking difference between Win2K or XP.

    “Windows Vista and 7 dropped AGP support”

    What kind of Bullshit is that…. They could also have dropped PCI, USB 1.1 etc….who still uses that PCI anyways? :P

    Seriously, i was able to run my (Haha, thats also funny) Radeon X1950 Pro with full driver support and 3D in that Said P3 Dual.

    “You cant drop a AGP 8x card into a 2X slot, it will Fry”

    HAVE ANY OF YOU NUTS EVER TRIED THAT?

    I did. And none of my Geforce 5900, 7600 or radeon x550/x1950pro/HD 3650 which are all “AGP 8X only” fried. Not in a P2 mainboard, not in a Super Socket 7 mainboard… There might be some Protocol problems with different revisions of the bus…. some cards didnt work on some mainboards. But that was always the case. Back then.

    “Always “securely remove” USB sticks or else….”

    When you see its really still writing data onto the stick, it can cause unfinished files, corruption in the directory…. but hey, most of them have lights to indicate that. If it doesnt flash, you’re safe. If you’Re reading from them, you could pull them out everytime without any damage….for the stick.

    there’s alot of other strange stuff i’ve heard and read from others…

    But i need my sleep. Good night! :)

  5. Icaria says:

    “Try running firefox with a bunch of youtube videos, flash games, gimp and inkscape on your favorite laptop. Enjoy your corrupted files.”

    This has never happened to me, after years of running *nix systems on a variety of hardware. The worst I’ve gotten is the system becoming unbearably slow under heavy swap usage, or unstable video drivers killing X. Funnily enough, using WINE is the only time I’ve been able to get complete system lockups and even then, a quick check of /lost+found reveals no file corruption.

    “The registry needs to be reloaded! (among other things)”

    Which it should be able to do without reloading the entire OS. Kernel upgrades are about the only thing that really deserve a system restart.

    “For example, there is no Windows equivalent of DSL, which is small, fast, AND contains software that was updated this week. ”

    DSL still ships with the 2.4 kernel and Xfree86. That’s where most of it’s memory and performance savings come from. What up-to-date software there is in DSL, is just as light weight when run on a modern kernel and xserver. It’s basically equivalent to running modern light-weight Windows apps on an old release of Windows.

  6. Wolf_fire says:

    Ok the two that bug me most in that list have or could have nothing at all to do with the OS you’re using. Namely: the computer is running slower the longer it’s running, or the longer windows runs the slower it gets.

    The first OFTEN has NOTHING at all to do with what operating system is running on the hardware. Why? Because consumer grade hardware has no way of recovering from memory related errors. Google did a study a while back on the incidence of RAM memory errors in consumer grade – non parity – non-ecc – ram and it’s actually far higher than people realized. What’s more, once you experience a ‘bit flip’ the likelyhood of you experiencing more in the future increases greatly.

    This is a hardware problem and ONLY a reboot will fix a ‘soft’ memory error. It doesn’t matter what OS you’re running.

    The other is pretty much OS agnostic as well. Windows and it’s related software has been known to have plenty of memory leaks over time. The only way to fix this is to restart the app until a patch is available. If the ‘app’ is the OS or some component there of then you must restart the OS (reboot). This holds true for any operating system under the sun, not just windows. But Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, any is vulnerable because programmers are not perfect.

    These two “myths” are not myths at all and plague any and all hardware/software combinations.

  7. drcouzelis says:

    Thank you for your comments.

    @Wolf_fire You have a good point, but my post isn’t about myths or technical details. It’s about what people might think about and feel when they use a computer.

    In the 90s, I used Microsoft Windows. I remember noticing that my computer started running slower and slower throughout the day, and having more and more problems as it was left on. The solution was to restart the computer, so that it would be “fresh”. When I switched to Linux, I didn’t experience that anymore. Instead, the computer always seemed to run as smoothly and quickly as when I first turned it on, even after days or weeks. Thanks to Microsoft, I didn’t know a computer could be like that.

    Of course, nowadays, versions of Microsoft Windows such as XP and above can run a long time without feeling sluggish. Even so, I still hear coworkers saying their computer is running so slowly and that they need to restart it. In these situations, I ask myself, why? What is the computer DOING? Why is it wasting my time doing something that I, the user, didn’t tell it to do? Why is it so hard to stop it from doing whatever it’s doing?