Basic computer knowledge should be required before you can open a computer business, but there are those that have certifications like A+ that are supposed to represent having gained enough knowledge to equate to six months of experience in the computer world, but often are not.
This CyberStupid! is aimed at another local business that had a monopoly in the area for nearly ten years before serious contenders like Panther Computers moved in and provided an alternative to the old telephone company ways of – we don\'t care we don\'t have to. Unfortunately having those years ahead of the curve didn\'t seem to give Milton Computers the knowledge base they needed nor has some of their younger employees with certifications helped them overcome this deficiency.
Milton Computers reputation has been evident enough from the talk of the town that I\'ve never looked at speaking of them here, but recent events has fortified what I already knew or suspected and feel that consumers should be aware of a lack of basic computer knowledge is evident from the computers they build.
I have worked on at least three computers before this week that Milton Computers have built, the customers had several problems with them, and that Milton Computers couldn\'t, or wouldn\'t fix after several tries, per the customers. In every case the computers had 4GB of memory, but was running Windows XP 32bit, not 64 bit. Now I will explain why this is a problem in a moment, but first confession time. The very first high end gaming computer I built, I made the same mistake. But only that one time, as I learned from my mistake that was an oversight, not ignorance.
Before I start the specifics, you can google or wiki 32bit operating systems and see much that indicates that a 32bit OS can address 4GB of memory and not the 3.25 I\'m about to indicate. Think of a computer as an envelope cover. If you use a standard size font and placed 4 billion letters on the face of the envelope without any formating, you can squeeze them all on there (in this hypothetical) but you have no way of knowing what the 4 billion stand for. Now if you set up rules and formats to follow, oh lets say like spaces between words, punctuation, double spaces between sentences, double lines between paragraphs etc, the 4 billion suddenly is limited to much less. The very overhead of the operating system, and the hardware addresses reserved will limit the theoretical 4GB address space of the 32 bit operating system in the same way.
A 32bit computer can only talk to or use 3.25GB of ram. The mistake is to not know that there are two parts to this equation, the hardware side and the software side. Nearly all computers in that last two years have been 64bit on the hardware side of things with AMD64 and Intel\'s 64bit CPUs, however the operating systems haven\'t been 64bit.
Windows XP was a 32bit operating system as the mainstream, and they did have an XP 64bit, but it was riddled with bugs and lack of driver support for hardware. Much like Vista when it came out (that was also 32 bit) printers, cameras, and other devices wouldn\'t work right unless they had upgrade drivers available. That\'s why 64bit Windows hasn\'t been mainstream till now with the new Windows 7. So to recap, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 by default are 32bit. Each had or has a 64bit available.
So Milton Computers has been building 64bit hardware computers but installing a 32bit operating system on them, which is fine, but putting in 4GB or more of memory. This allows random memory losses to occur and sporadic problems not easily discernible unless you realize the extra memory allows what is essentially a memory leak to occur. The closer you get to using the adress space above 3.25GB, the more eratic the computer will become.
I\'m sure they can try to argue against this, but I\'ve fixed several computers simply by reducing the RAM to 3GB from the originally installed 4Gb. The other fix would be to upgrade to the 64 bit OS. This is common knowledge and there is no work around for the math and physical constraints that 32 bits places on a system design. It is this reason I consider their repeatedly building systems with this configuration a prime example of them being CyberStupid!