Just a generic geek, with a tendency for taking things apart


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This blog is in the process of moving to Markw.us, just take note.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005
It's Alive, Aliiiive I say!
 
I've never been intimidated by computer hardware before, until tonight. Somewhere between 5pm and 6:15pm Aug 22nd the final (ordered) component to my linux box arrived, meaning I had all the major components of a PC, carefully researched, all ordered independently of each other (no bundles), from a variety of sources all over the country. Tonight all of that waiting, paying, and drooling has finally paid off and over the last few hours I have been piecing together my very own custom PC.

This is not the first time I've speced a PC from the ground up, I've been doing that since I first got my hands onto a copy of building and upgrading home computers (newly revised for Pentium 486 processors) Its not the first time I've built a PC from parts, I must have done half a dozen of those. Nor is it the first time I've booted linux. So what makes this creation so nerve racking to do a simple power up on? Never before have I speced, shopped, financed and build a custom PC from scratch. It wasn't harder than any of the times before (well aside from the sourcing of low profile components) but knowing that I've invested $600-700 (minus rebates) on parts that could very well not work with each other (and potentially get blowed up) makes that first power on a little more nerve racking than the usual building for someone else deal.

But now that I have passed the first POST test I'm golden. There's a mile wide grin on my face from booting up a live version of Ubuntu x86 and seeing that the only two problems were either expected or simple to solve (the first was no network connection for time/date/device checks, and the second was the wireless mouse not working - because I put the batteries in the wrong way because of some counterintuitive industrial design from the fine people at Logitech)

Anyways I'm powered down now and tomorrow after classes I'm going to see what can't be done about modifying the PCI/APG backplanes so they fit the half height card slots, partitioning the drive to install Ubuntu to the hard drive, then getting the whole shebang set up as a mythtv box.

This only leaves me with a couple of final touches to look into and implement. First there are unconnected internal ports that need wires, which means buying overpriced cables or the much lower cost parts and DIYing. The other is an IrFd flasher that will enable the myth box to change the channel on the satellite service.

Have I mentioned that I'm feeling great?



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