Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Things Change, Part 79,013


So about three years ago Liam, then seven, decided he wanted to build his own PC. And he's wanted to ever since.

It's just that his idea of "build a PC" was "grab the cheapest motherboard, whatever CPU that's on sale, etc., and throw them together and maybe there's some other stuff, and it will work." And when I explained to him that no, he needed to get together a parts list and make sure that the motherboard, CPU, RAM, etc. he picked would work together and so on,  he'd get mad. And when I told him no dice, not until he did it right, he'd give up.

But a couple of weeks ago he walks up and hands me a list of parts he's sure will work together. And he's willing to use his Christmas money, if we'll help with the overage.

So, starting last night, we built a computer.

Gigabyte 78LMTS2P motherboard
AMD Phenom II CPU @ 3GHz
8Gb RAM
GeForce 8400 GS 1Gb video card

... and assorted fans and cards and such.

I thought I'd help make it cheap by donating some parts I had. We robbed a SATA hard drive from an old box. Unfortunately, all of the DVD/RWs I had lying around were IDE, and this otherboard had no IDE plug-ins. And when we booted up the box overnight, Windows XP wouldn't run on it (that was what was on the hard drive, and it didn't recognize the new hardware).

So tonight, it was out for a cheap SATA DVD/RW and an OEM copy of Windows 7 (I'm a failure as a father -- I've tried and tried and tried to talk him into using a real operating system, going Linux or even Hackintosh, but he insists on Micro$haft).

If it had been up to me he'd have got a nicer case, but he decided to cut corners there.

Anyway, it's running now and he's doing some kind of weird shit I don't understand involving game console emulators now.

The last time I built a computer it was just a motherboard that never got tested: 16k of handwired RAM and a Z80A CPU running at a blazing 4MHz. So I'm a bit rusty. But it's simpler now, sort of. At least you don't have to make your own RAM. It's still nerve-wracking, though.

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