7 Technology Myths That Cost You Money

Technology myths are everywhere. You might read about it from the Web, or from retailers who are trying to push big unwanted product out of their shops. In some cases, these can be harmless. On occasions, it can cost you money and make you poorer. Let’s take a look at some of the technology myths that cost you money.

When you are evaluting software to use for your projects, don’t write off open-source software. Most of the time, they are as competent, or even better, than those commercial software.

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Most software companies want you to believe that their product is the best and the open source alternative is not up to par to their offering. There is some truth to this, but it is not always the case. For popular open-source software, like Android, the more people collaborate and work on it, the better is the product, and not to mention that it is free.

A 2.1 MP photo is clear enough to use as a wallpaper while a 4MP photo is good enough for a 16×20 inches print. We have shown you that it takes more than the pixels to produce a great photo, but sadly to hear, retailers are using the megapixel as the selling points for their cameras. For a simple point and shoot camera, 8MP is more than sufficient.

You might be laughing at your friend for the $700 PC that he built himself, thinking that it is not up to par to the $1500 PC you got from Best Buy. You might be surprised to find that the $700 PC could be better – hardware specification, functionality and performance wise. Most PCs in the store come with generic configuration for the mass market. Unless you are willing to break the bank, you won’t be able to get a customized PC to do heavy-duty work. In additional, the Windows OS installed on these PCs often come with a lot of crapware that can further slow down its performance.

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On the other hand, when you built your own PC, you can compare the various hardware and get the best one that suit your needs and is within your budget. You can also choose the OS of your choice – Windows, Linux or Mac OS X (hackintosh), which doesn’t come with any crapware.

If you have purchased an anti-virus software that cost $100+ or more, I am sorry to inform you that some of the best anti-virus software out there are free. Most anti-virus software, free and paid, can do a good job in detecting virus and malware. The only point of failure is the user, which is you. If you always click on link, or run exe file without checking the source, even the most expensive anit-virus software out there can’t prevent your computer from being infected.

When you buy a computer, mobile phone, or any electronic device, the retailer will often upsell you with an insurance or extended warranty. Is it really necessary? We don’t think so, particularly for small item that get obsolete very fast. Consider the cost of all those warranties that you never use and the probability that you need a repair outside of warranty period, it just doesn’t make the insurance (or extended warranty) a worthy deal.

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Of course, for big expensive item that costs a hand and leg to repair, and one you expect to use it for years, extended warranty is one thing you surely need to consider.

It all depends on the screen resolution. If you are getting a 30-inch (or bigger) monitor with a minimum resolution of 2048×1152 (better still, 2560×2048), then you are good to go. However, if you are still stuck with the 1920×1080 resolution for a 27 inch monitor, instead of clear images, you will get pixelated images (where each pixel is stretched to cover more screen space). When you are getting a monitor, you hav to look beyond the screen size.

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Have you ever seen a $3 HDMI cable selling in Amazon and another selling at $2000? You might be tempted to think that the $2000 cable can give you a better quality that justifiy the 66666% difference in price. The truth is, the $3 cable will work just as fine without any noticeable difference in quality.

The above list of technology myths is definitely not conclusive. There are tons of technology myths out there that cost us money. It is pertinent for us to think and do research before we pay for the bigger or more expensive product.

Image credit: How university open debates and discussions introduced me to open source, coupons, Installing Computer Parts

10 comments

  1. “You might be tempted to think that the $2000 cable can give you a better quality that justifiy the 666% difference in price.”

    That this myth is the work of the Devil should be obvious :-)

  2. The HDMI myth is only partially false. Different cables support different versions of HDMI as well as signal strength.

    • True, but the point he´s trying to make is that an expensive HDMI cable, say version 1.4 by HDMI standards, is not better than the bulk type (no brand, shiny package) that you could get from a respectful e-tailer. The days when a “gold plated” RCA cable could be better than one that wasn´t are gone since the signals are digital and there´s no degradation due to cable quality.

  3. I disagree with you regarding the extended warranties. I alway buy the extended warranties for printers. Printers often crap out after a year or two and, with the warranty, I can get a new one, no questions asked, for virtually nothing.

    Also, most people don’t realize that when you purchase electronics using many of the Mastercard and Visa credit cards you will have an extended warranty. I have replaced a bad laptop battery and fixed a laptop that broke using this feature and after the standard manufacturer warranty has expired.

    • “Printers often crap out after a year or two”
      Maybe you should buy better printers. :-)
      My experience with printers has been the opposite of yours. I use printers that 5, 6, 7 years old and have no mechanical problems. The problems I do have are that the drivers and the ink cartridges are no longer available. I just had to recycle a bunch of HP DeskJets because of that. I will grant that you maybe using the printers quite bit more than I am and that is why they break down so often.

  4. 1. “Open Source” in most people’s minds equates to free and we all know that “You get what you pay for.” Or is that another myth? :-)

    2 & 6. Isn’t bigger better?

    3. To maximize profits, PC makers use the cheapest parts they can get away with. When you build for yourself, you buy better parts.

    4. Some of the best anti-malware software is free.

    5. When a salesperson pressures me to buy insurance/extended warranty, I just say “If the product is so badly made that I need an extended warranty, then I don’t want the product.” Besides, we all know that the device will break right after any warranty runs out, not before.

    7. Just try to keep the contacts clean and a cheap cable will work as well as an overpriced cable or at least well enough so you will not notice the difference.

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