Henry David Thoreau said you should always challenge the wisdom of your elders, and try things for yourself before you take someone else’s advice. It might sound a little backwards, but that’s the way it comes across on the page, although he was definitely more eloquent than I.
This experiment with the CF card is turning out to be a perfect example of that. Just about every promise I was given by the naysayers has proved to be wrong, from the “it’ll last a week” threat to “it won’t boot a CF card” prediction.
If I had listened to any of them, I would have missed out on one of the best improvements I’ve ever personally made to a computer. Short of painting it chili-pepper red.
So it looks like I get to add that to my list of favorite computer myths. The list is short, but distinguished.
- You can’t put that CF card in a Pentium! At a time when SSDs are still over a hundred US dollars for a relatively wimpy size, dropping US$45 on a card and adapter was a quick, cheap and painless way to get the same thing done at less than half the price. It is 100 percent compatible, thus-far reliable, and the Pentium’s BIOS has never even blinked. Totally silent, totally heat-less and a speed improvement too. Go out there and get one of your own.
- Those old computers are huge wastes of power! Some of them were. But to be honest, I find it hard to believe that a quad-core, 12Gb, dual drive, dual video card machine — something along the lines of this, which probably required its own power substation just to idle — is somehow more efficient than a K6-2 450 with a mid-grade 180W power supply. Think about what you’re saying before you say it: Is my 14-year-old Pentium laptop, with an AC adapter pulling roughly 40W, really much more of a drain than your dual core desktop machine? I doubt it. And this page doubts it too.
- More memory makes your computer faster! No, more memory means a memory retailer just made money off of you. There are very specific circumstances that must exist before adding memory will make your computer faster, and Reacocard did the best job summarizing them here. If you want actual, in-your-face scientific proof that it doesn’t work, you can look at my experiment here, or any of a number of other similar experiments elsewhere on the Web; Google is your friend. Don’t feel bad if you were suckered into thinking more was better; I was too. Windows was designed to keep you spending money, and it still is.
Feel free to disagree on any point, of course. I would guess that you and I are both equally stubborn and intractable, so unless you can offer facts and links — and not just personal anecdotes — your argument could fall on deaf ears. Thoreauvians are like that.