A few months ago, pouting over not being able to run the “World of Goo” game my daughter gave me for Christmas, I decided that I would build myself a new computer this year. The old one was (and is) still going strong, but its components are approaching computer-hardware senility and what was pretty close to state of the art six years ago is now pretty much Granny speed today.
So, this month I started buying the bits and pieces. I got everything on sale, either mail order or locally, and while this is not quite gamer equipment I went for the most power and memory I could afford on my budget of roughly $600. Last Friday, after a trip to Fry’s to pick up the last two items, I spread everything out on the office floor and started building.
Truthfully, building a computer is not difficult. No, really. All you’re doing is attaching bits and pieces to a box and to each other. You need a screwdriver and reasonable eyesight and a willingness to read the directions (an anti static wrist strap is a good idea too). Take the sides off the case, affix the motherboard, snap on the CPU and its fan (the fan is the fiddly bit), plug in the memory, slide in the drives and fasten them down, plug in the power cords and you’re good to go. I worked slowly and carefully and the whole thing took less than two hours and that included cleaning up all the boxes, plastic and wrappers off the office floor afterwards.
The complicated, tedious, boring, frustrating part comes next–installing all your software. If you’ve been using the same computer for a long time you’ve got stuff galore that needs to be moved, reinstalled, re-passworded, etc etc etc etc etc. Registration keys have to be found. CDs or original files have to be found. The stuff you’ve been using for so long you couldn’t remember your password if you wanted to has to be started from scratch and hoo boy, what on earth did you use for a password.
The computer was up and running before dinner on Friday, and here it is Tuesday and I have finally gotten all my software transferred and most of it installed and working. I have not yet customized Word (and I have to do that before it drives me flaming nuts) and it took me way too many tries to remember the passwords for my web sites so my newly installed Wise-FTP would work properly again.
But now it works. I am typing on it. The difference in speed is nothing short of amazing. And best of all, since I bought good name-brand components, this will last me at least another six years before I have to go through all this again.