Myths about Computers
© 2013 Stan Yack

There have been many articles published listing common misconceptions about computers. See my essay "Myths About Computers"; or read Myles White's equally skeptical, but shorter debunking in "Back to Basics - Computer Myths", a 1998 Toronto Star "Fast Forward" column.

Some lists of computer myths focus on particular user communities, such as in the 1998 book extract "Six Myths about Young Children & Computers", and a 2004 list from the State of Queensland, Australia titled "Women in IT&T - Myths and Perceived Barriers".

For tongue-in-cheek advice to a rather unlikely user community, check out "Your Cat's Guide to Your Computer", which reports that "cats are using computers more and more these days" and "contrary to rumour, no one has ever lost a tail in a disk drive door".

Charles Cazabon's 2004 list of "Computing Fallacies" complains that industry seems to "put all the not so good programmers into quality assurance (QA), when really it is the hardest part". Having read that assessment, my ego is bruised a bit, because during my career I not only designed and built a lot of software, but I also worked in QA tracking down and eliminating errors that software builders like me left behind.

One uncontroversial statement about computers is that their influence over our lives continues to increase. I hope that this short introduction and its linked articles will help you to think more critically when someone tells you about some of the "facts that everyone knows about computers".

Another truth about computers is that they have facilitated the creation of a global encyclopaedia called the "World Wide Web". Don't stop your investigations about computer myths with the comments that I and others place just a click away as "hot links" on our websites. If you haven't done so already, it's time you learned how to use Internet search engines like Google to find more information on your own.

Stan Yack
Instructional Designer and Softsmith