Posted by: Erised on Jun 19, 2010
Rule number one; always take to consideration that a computer is just programmed to do certain things and with programming, there are limitations!
A programmed device can only process data that it was designed for. Some technologically challenged dude wanted to play DVD on a CD player, and this is the order of the day in most electronic shops, customers who just want the impossible. I suppose good salesmanship could play a vital role in recommending certain products for people who only want everything but don’t really know it.
It is just as the programmes that are loaded on to the computer that have certain specifications to operate optimally. Their requirements in terms of Space, Memory and processor or even graphic utilities might be more than average for your old system which might slow your PC down a great deal. Now, a computer will not stop you from loading any particular programme, you might get a warning message, and probably also you might have read some of the requirements etc, “if you had the time” about what could and could not work on your incapacitated pc.
Some of the problems like crashes, application hangs, blue screens, etc could be prevented as they occur due to ignorance on the human part but the biggest flaw of them all would be the inability of a computer to know the difference between a genuine application/ software and malware. A computer can carry out instructions from programmes to produce the results as expected or not, and it will do so on most executable files including viruses as long as you do not have an up to date anti-virus that can detect the latest virus “signatures”.
What defines a virus is what enables an anti-virus to detect and recognise a malicious program, that is why virus definitions are updated regularly. A malicious programme (virus) in most cases is automatically set to self extract upon opening a file that contains it with all the permissions as if they were from the authorised user, the computer will then execute the instructions of this programme wreaking havoc or whatever its intentions.
Don’t shoot the messenger! The computer is only going to carry out what the program responds to. Behind a play button is an instruction to your processing unit to play but the codes that are used for the program to display or react a certain way can be altered with extra information to cause the program to behave differently. A play button icon can be used for users to think that they can play music or something whereas a click can trigger a download while playing for example; when you start an internet explorer with no internet connection another program auto starts “Connect to the Internet or Work Offline?” Surely you came across that message a couple of times if you handle the connections yourself!
Someone used an old anti-virus programme to scan a computer, and the report was that a computer is clean – Can you believe it!?