secrecy in computer world.

  jtrucka 02:23 25 Sep 11

why is there so much secrecy involved in computers. many problems become greater issues through a lack of info about the actual computer itself. This is not helped by the fact that a lot of information passed out is false and misleading, which only makes matters worse. i am a fully qualified tv enginer and also a radio ham. in my trade every product and its contents can be easily identified and obtaining parts is a formality. there are, it has come to my attention, computers made by reputable companies, that have no information at all on them to identify make, model or motherboard. scans used ,again from reputable companies, bring varying results most of which is misleading, causing only more confusion. Some dont even properly recognise the makers. and not even two results come anywhere near each other. i must of course state that the computer is original and is as it was made, so no excuses there. Just out of curiousity i used some of the widely advertised scans for upgrades for ram, i was told that my computer used a different type of ram by each seller. surely this cannot be right. If i was to listen to them and purchase it, and install it, what are the consequences ? it is my opinion that the word ERROR was created solely for the computer world, which in my opinion is a total mess. Is it like this i wonder because it generates so much income by being this way ? Is it not true that if the computer industry was the car industry that it would have gone to the wall years ago, cars on every street with the bonnet open, an rac man scratching his head trying to figure out how he can get spares, and for what make and model does he order them for. Again i say that the situation has been manufactured to generate income in the computer industry, and take advantage of the less informed. maybe the introduction of skips did coincide with the arrival of the computer for a reason !

  gengiscant 07:57 25 Sep 11

I must admit that identifying motherboards can be a bit hit and miss particularly with mass produced PC's as motherboards used will very rarely be supported by the mobo manufacturer which can mean finding drivers can be problematic. I have spent many hours finding drivers for friends PC's after it had become necessary to reinstall windows.And I agree that the scanners used by the leading RAM sellers can be very wrong.

I have on occasion used the FCC ID which can be found on components, bit of info here: FCC ID

  morddwyd 08:24 25 Sep 11

It's the same with cars.

When I got my car I was given no information on what make of bulb was in the headlamps, who made the fabric on the seats, or where the rubber seals on the brakes came from.

  Forum Editor 09:18 25 Sep 11

To understand why computers are the way they are you have to understand a little about the nature of the industry.

Computers are assembled using a collection of components manufactured by a dozen or so different companies. Each of these companies is a separate entity, developing products that it thinks will sell well into the computer assembly industry. The small hand-full of major computer assemblers may well specify some manufacturing parameters to these component makers, but the vast majority of smaller assemblers don't - they make their computers from a range of standard, off-the-shelf components.

Car makers do much the same thing. They may well design and make the body panels, and assemble the car on a production line, but they do it using bought-in components from other engineering companies. Electrical components, wheels, seat covers, air-conditioning units and so one are all made by these companies and shipped to the car assembly plants.

As morddwyd says, you'll have no chance of knowing who made many of your car's components, or what version number they are, just by looking. In fact you'll have a better chance of identifying computer parts by looking at them, because almost all components are marked with identifiers.

  OTT_B 11:30 25 Sep 11


You're assuming that cars & computers are supposed to be 'home repariable and serviceable'. Cars are not designed that way. But what the industry does have is a highly developed spares network. Spares catalogues and repair manuals are produced for every model of car that a manufacturer sells, to avoid the RAC man needing the scratch his head.

There is a small niche of people who will open a computer case and play, and sites like this cater very well for them. But as a percentage of the computer using population, these people represent a very small number indeed. If you want to know what parts to upgrade or replace, then as FE says, open up and have a look at the labels. The computer industry is remarkably good at standardisation. Once you know the RAM format and voltage, getting upgraded or replacement parts is very quick.

I can't say as I use online hardware scanners to determine memory types, but I'd guess that the scanners all have something in common, if not the results they give, and that will be a warning that they may not be entirely accurate. May the user beware.

  rdave13 18:25 25 Sep 11

Surely the car industry is getting more secretive? Do you not need one of those secretive laptops to find fault with engine management these days?

  OTT_B 18:42 25 Sep 11

"Do you not need one of those secretive laptops to find fault with engine management these days?"

Not really secretive. Diagnostic Trouble Codes can be read from an [E]OBD port using a scanner you can buy for £10, and many cars have a diagnostic mode that will display coded DTCs on the instrument panel.

Detailed engine management data is available from more expensive hardware, but keeping the parallels with computing, it doesn't cost any more than setting up an electronics test bench. In fact it's probably a bit cheaper since £800 will get some very good software and support, which is the same as buying a half decent oscilloscope for testing a motherboard.

  rdave13 18:49 25 Sep 11

OTT_B, that's exactly what I mean, "not really secretive", and neither is the PC.

  jtrucka 20:21 25 Sep 11

Firstly thank you all for your comments, which were generally what i expected. it would seem that the computer industry has made people very much like the computer itself, programmed in everything that they say and do. How you can defend an industry that is so out of touch with itself, apart from the desire to make money, is beyond me. You only need to supply your registration number of your car and every single component in that car is listed as per manufacture. Computers give no information at all. If a car manufacturer encounters a problem ,every car is returned and put right, if an operating system encounters problems they move on to the next one and say " we dont support that anymore sorry " And people are having problems with operating systems toay that came out years ago and were never ever put right. That of course is because the greed and desire to make money is put before everything else. i had a problem only 2 days ago with automatic updates. I was to to follow a link to the help centre which was suppose to be free for update problems. When i finally got there i was asked for £46 to speak to an adviser, urm not free tut. And what about all the FREE downloads offered all over the internet. In any other walk of life the trading standards would be worked off their feet. But this behaviour seems acceptable in the world of computers. This is only a small portion of the reality of the computer world, just hope that they stick to making computers and dont ever consider making pacemakers, or the undertakers would never be able to cope, have a nice day all.

  rdave13 21:04 25 Sep 11

Now you're not talking about PCs. You are now talking about the internet and the downfalls of it.

i had a problem only 2 days ago with automatic updates. I was to to follow a link to the help centre which was suppose to be free for update problems. When i finally got there i was asked for £46 to speak to an adviser, urm not free tut.

That is purely lack of knowledge of using the internet.

  Aitchbee 21:08 25 Sep 11

The downloads to update windows should be more user-friendly.My computer internet connection 'stops' for ten minutes, while these downloads are happening.They are cloaked in a mystery, inside a mystery, disguised as an update, inside an enigma...and they still have the cheek to call it windows...let some daylight in.

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