OCN is a great place for PC enthusiasts to gather round, gab about tech, and develop friendships and share information. However, I must confess a little irritation I feel occasionally with certain trends and tendencies that I see on the forums.
For one thing, there is an apparent assumption that certain parts families will hit certain target speeds. I'll cite an example I'm very familiar with: If we say "dual-core Opterons have been known to hit around 2.7GHz, but more is possible," that's one thing. But to say "your Opteron 170 will get to 2.7-2.8GHz, no problem" or "your Opty 165 should be able to hit 2.7GHz at least," well... that's careless. Do you see the differences between the statements above? It's not just a semantic point. It's also very very easy to disprove. It only takes ONE example of a chip not even getting within sniffing distance of 2.7GHz to flush these statements down the crapper. The first way of stating a dual-core Opteron's potential, though, is factually accurate and allows for exceptions to any rules that may apply.
Semantics do count for a lot, especially when dispensing information that has a basis in reality. In other words, we all must be very careful in not only what we say, but also in how we say things.
Another disturbing trend is an all-too-frequent tendency to regurgitate information, even if it's merely based on opinion rather than fact. It's one thing to cite a source of an opinion; however, to present it as one's own is irresponsible. What if you advise someone on an issue based on something you read, but never bothered to test yourself? And what if a disaster occurs as a direct consequence of your advice? I can understand the enthusiasm to be helpful, but recklessly-dispensed information, especially unsubstantiated opinions not based on any real experience, is far more dangerous than complete ignorance on a subject.
Experience in techniques or specific advice or facts is a must, in my opinion, because it is factual. Something either happened, or it didn't. But it must be presented properly, as well. Also, for the love of truth, never comment on something you don't even own or never have even used. You don't have a right to an opinion if you don't know what you're talking about.
Then there is the unintentionally ridiculous notion of "future-proofing." The cold hard fact is nothing is ever future-proof. What is new becomes old pretty soon, especially in this hobby. This is admittedly probably just a personal pet-peeve, but if I'm honest I'd like to declare my real irritation over this notion.
So, let me repeat, with emphasis: NOTHING IS EVER FUTURE-PROOF. Okay?
Another personal annoyance is that oh-so-annoying need for certain groups (you know who you are) who feel compelled to incite conflict amongst their OCN brethren by insisting that theirs is the only way to roll. Brand X is not for people who, for whatever reason, like Brand Y. Homogeneousness is completely contradictory to the hobby that is custom PC building. You can state why something is better, and may even back it up with statistics or benchmark figures or whatever, but please do not ridicule someone or incite his/her ire by insisting on a point that is based purely on personal preference. There are Coke people, and there are Pepsi people. That's what makes the hobby so interesting, so don't kill this by insisting that there's only one way to PC-enthusiast nirvana.
Finally, I think that quantity has somehow become far more important than quality. Take this statement as you will; it honestly applies to so many different circumstances and contexts, it's not even funny.
OCN is good, but I think it can be even better. It's a collective, collaborative entity that depends on responsible individuals who truly care about the integrity of the community.
The sooner we cotton on to this imperative, the better off we'll all be.
As always, thank you for reading. Discussion and commentary are sought and welcomed.
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