Five Great Tech Myths

Bob Lewis' list of the five things we all believe about tech (and why we shouldn't):

1. Installing new software causes widespread computer crashes. This used to be true once upon a time, with earlier versions of Windows and the legendary "DLL hell." These days, the most common failures occur when end-users install their own software. Then they expect IT's tech support to know how to use it and help them figure it out. The exception: Windows software written by Apple. Draw your own conclusion.

2. End-users can't figure out how to use a new piece of software. This is another relic of a bygone age. These days, younger employees have decades of experience buying and installing new computer games and other software, each of which has its own, entirely unique user interface -- and they've been figuring it out for a while without help. Good thing too -- otherwise they wouldn't have been able to save Earth from the mutant nasties.

3. If you want a faster computer, you need a faster CPU. This is another relic. The two best ways to speed up a slow machine are to add more memory and replace the hard drive with a faster one. Just about everything else you read about ways to speed up your computer -- disabling seldom-used services and so on -- have very little practical impact in comparison.

4. People only use 10% of the features of any software. It doesn't matter what the software is, "everyone knows" that "people" only use 10% of it. It's probably true that each individual only uses a fraction of the software's capabilities, but it isn't true that every individual uses the same fraction. Put 100 users together and they probably use most of what a package has to offer. And if they don't, it's time to wonder why your company's training is so bad that nobody knows how to use features that would probably make their lives easier and the company more productive.

5. Today's new technologies mean everyone is always accessible, 24/7. The fact: Today's new technologies all come equipped with an off switch. Those who complain the technology means they never get a break simply aren't willing to use this switch.

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