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Myths about technology

10 myths about the technology, myths and facts about the prevention of our computers and other devices.

You must wait 15 seconds before rebooting your computer

Since this is the myth that got me started on this, it's the first one I'll address.
I decided that since this was a hardware question, the best place to turn was to the Geek Squad, those hearty IT folks in the black and white VW Beetles. Last week, I spoke with Ismael Matos, a Geek Squad deputy field marshal, and asked him about the 15 seconds myth, as well as several others having to do with hardware.
Matos said that the question of how long to wait before rebooting a computer has to do with the health of the plates of the hard drive. Since the plates are spinning at speeds of up to 10,000 rpm, and need to come to a stop before rebooting, "it's definitely good that you wait just a little while" before restarting the machine.
But 15 seconds? That might be overkill, Matos suggested, though it certainly couldn't hurt.
"I'd say 5 seconds is [OK]," Matos said, "but 15 seconds to be on the safe side. If you want peace of mind, then 15 seconds is OK, but it's not a rule that's set in stone."

Turning a computer on and off regularly is bad for it

Another myth I heard when I canvassed my social networks was that a computer can be damaged over time by being regularly turned on and off.
In fact, said the Geek Squad's Matos, it's specifically recommended that you do power your machine off on a daily basis, for example at the end of each work day.
According to Matos, "Every computer needs its rest time," in part to be sure that if you're away from it and there are power fluctuations or surges, it isn't damaged by them.
As well, he said, it's recommended that if you're going to be away from your computer for small periods of time, you let it go to sleep while you're gone. But in any case, he said, a regular on/off pattern is definitely good for the computer, not bad.

Read more: cnet News

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