Posted in Computers

Building my own Computer

Building my own computer is something I’ve wanted to do ever since I learned I could do such a thing. That was back in around 1982, when my weirdo uncle built one. He was a person that was too smart for his own good, but lived an interesting life, wherever he may be these days. Last heard of in Nova Scotia in Cape Breton. I think he literally sailed off into the sunset. And that was that.
These days I believe it’s a lot easier, although I honestly have no idea. I’m pretty good with my hands and building stuff, and am not afraid of a soldering iron, so I don’t know how much more “difficult” it would have been . Maybe more technical. Definitely more technical, since a lot of building a computer these days is a modular experience, and fairly plug and play. Most people don’t realize how true that is, or they wouldn’t give Dell and Apple so much money to build something for them that has way too much software, not enough memory or power, or USB ports, is noisy, the memory’s inadequate, it’s slow, and all the other crappily-configured stock machines available on the shelf.

This guy shows how easy it is to get a first-class build, although he’s obviously a gamer. I’m not, but I need a workhorse of a computer for photo and video editing, development purposes, and I run several programs that hog memory and my CPU, mostly from Adobe. I work machines hard so I tend to get the higher end stuff. Fortunately, I get lots of free software from the university, so that saves me a lot of money.

NewEgg is a great place for inexpensive gear. There aren’t many websites I’ll shill for, but that’s one. And they have a series of videos to help with building your own computer:

Here’s the same guy, Paul, doing his own video on building your own computer. This was in 2014. I try to be very conscious of the freshness of material I pass along. Things of an electronic nature tend to be replaced in some way or another quickly. Except for Apple MacBook Pros.

And then after installing Windows, there’s some setup. Here are 5 things to do after installing Windows on your shiny new machine:

So, this is really something bloggers should consider: building your own custom machine. It’s really not difficult if you prepare, plan and take your time. There are copious resources and people that are helpful online and around your city you can find via Meetups and Maker Faires. But poke around online first; Any question you may have has probably been asked, and many of the pain points that you may imagine have been addressed. It’s a point and click procedure at PCparts, and NewEgg and Amazon usually have a really good selection of computer components and prices. Reddit has some forums that are super-helpful as well.

This guy at Linus Tech Tips, although nerdy to the point of distraction, has some helpful tips and videos for all stages of a computer builder’s endeavors. I notice a lot of people seem to build one, post about it a lot, and then that’s it. They either built the ultimate machine or lost interest in spending a fortune of video game equipment. Tiger Direct and B&H have consistently good deals on electronics and computery stuff, too.

Around when I became interested in computers

Posted in News

The Rebirth of

As indicated elsewhere on this beautiful shiny new, yet old website, this is a new birth for this site. The old girl was obsolete, so I took her out back and put her out of her misery. And what is growing in her place is a nicer, stronger, more useful and up to date, and all around badass site.

The web’s changed a lot, and although I’ve had this website for several years -5 or so- I often burn it to the ground to keep things fresh. I don’t plan on running a repository or archive for the internet’s use or anything, so in the name of my hosting bill, it makes practical sense as well. I keep my files hosted at GitHub.

Not a world has really changed since I began the site, amazingly. WordPress is still a tank chugging along, with starry-eyed developers nipping at its’ treads. Setting up websites has gotten a bit more complex and time-consuming, with things being so mobile-intense, and so many options available to developers. Lots of expectations and considerations that didn’t exist 5 years ago. Many for the better, mind you. Being able to work with SVG and the focus on accessibility is great, for example. HTML5 opens up some much needed doors, as does the WordPress REST API.

phoenix photo
Like the Phoenix, is rising from the ashes

Another plus of nuking the whole site is being able to use a new theme. Just like I’m a big fan of going to the pound and getting a free dog, I’m a big fan of finding solid free themes for WordPress. And they exist. I don’t see any reason to spend $50 plus for a theme that isn’t necessarily going to be around tomorrow any more than something on the WP theme repo. And I feel it’s a safe bet the┬áthemes the ThemeShaper/Automattic develops will be around as long as WordPress is around. And that’s where I snagged this theme on this site. I use and modify Automattic’s themes all the time and The Foundry’s Make theme is an awesome free theme that’s super-versatile and well-built and maintained. Their premium themes are quality, too.