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I Hate Computers


Ashoka the Great

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A while back I made a few posts about building a new PC for myself for the first time in about eight years. I got some great advice and ended up building a computer far better than I had initially intended.

And then the nightmare began.

Within weeks, the memory modules on my motherboard started failing. No reason. They just died. So I sent the mobo back to the manufacturer and bought a second motherboard (different brand) of somewhat better quality. SATA3 instead of SATA2, Crossfire enabled and so on. My idea was to simply sell the replacement mobo once it arrived, keeping the upgrade.

After using this for a few weeks, I noticed that my stock CPU fan and rear 120mm exhaust were really quite loud. The CPU fan sounded like a small vacuum, while the exhaust made a lot of noise while moving a surprisingly small amount of air. The CPU was running about 10C hotter as well.

And then I had a great idea. I rushed out and bought an Antec H2O 620 liquid cooler. Reviews for this have been great, especially in terms of noise. The theory was that I would be replacing two loud fans with one quiet fan (and a radiator) that would actually do a better job of cooling.

Alas, t'was not to be. I unpackcaged the cooler, installed it and....the fan was dead. Argh.

Had you been in my house at about 0200 Saturday morning, you would have heard me mutter "Are you !@#$@#$ kidding me?" over and over and over again.

Since I'd bought it only yesterday, today I marched the whole PC back to my local retailer and asked them to yank it out for me and install a different model of a higher-end air cooler. (I'd bought the last 620 in stock. Argh.)

No problemo. My local computer place is pretty good about things like this.

Anyway, they swapped everything out, hooked everything up, hit the power switch and....

Dead motherboard.

Seriously.

Another goddamn mother$%&@ing piece of !@#$ motherboard.

Anyway, three days ago I received an e-mail from the manufacturer of mobo #1. The replacement has now been shipped. Tuesday morning -- it's a long weekend here -- I'll be shipping the second motherboard off to its manufacturer.

For now, though, here I am on my notebook which, thank God, is working just fine.

"This build has really been a nightmare for you," quoth Captain Obvious at my local computer retailer today. No !@#$, Sherlock.

What have I learned from this? Hmmm....I don't know if there's anything to be taken away from this. I don't blame the manufacturers, since all of the products I bought had received great reviews and, well, there's always going to be that one guy who gets (or builds) a complete lemon.

One thought I've had, though, is that once you've built a system, only open it up to give it a few blasts from an air duster every few weeks. Clean out those fan filters, if you have them. (I do.) Otherwise, don't touch a damn thing. Resist the temptation to upgrade. Instead, wait three years -- the average useful lifespan of a higher-end PC these days -- and then go out, buy the components for a new system and, once it's assembled, don't touch that one either.

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Murphy's law claims another victim.

I tend to buy my computers once every two years though, I like to be able to play high end games.

And one of the downsides of high-end computers is that you need a mess of cooling, I have found through expensive trial and error that in the climate where I live liquid coolers will just not cut it on an overclocked computer in the height of summer (I live either in toowoomba or augathella, depending on work demands) and so I am forced to use heavy duty fans and I swear they sound like a mass of jet engines, but all the computers work.

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I wonder if its bad luck, or you don't have a clue with what you are doing when buying correct components.

Prime minister, if you have a high-end computer, why are you overclocking your computer, unless you are actually trying to break your computer, which you have already admitted to doing pretty successfully in the past.

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I wonder if its bad luck, or you don't have a clue with what you are doing when buying correct components.Prime minister, if you have a high-end computer, why are you overclocking your computer, unless you are actually trying to break your computer, which you have already admitted to doing pretty successfully in the past.

Why? Because I can. That's why. And yes I have had a few breakages in the past when I was experimenting, but that is part of the process of experimenting, I learned what I could and could not do.

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Yeah, what you save in money is lost in convenience, so you need to prepare yourself for hell if you're making up your own build.

Of course, that's not to say retailers haven't been known to put out some really bad computers themselves, heh.

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I feel for ya. I just opted to buy a desktop. Asus, it's good enough for what I need it to do.

Although, after waiting two weeks, (back when my old computer broke) I finally bought it. Took it home, and found that it was dead. I called Asus and Best Buy, both proved to be useless, next day, exchanged it for a working one. So I guess, we all get screwed sometimes.

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Schatt: A Dell? Seriously?

I wonder if its bad luck, or you don't have a clue with what you are doing when buying correct components.

Please tell me how computers work. The twenty-seven years I've been working with them and my half-dozen certifications are of no help whatsoever.

I built my current baby in 2005 ish. She's still running like a kitten and all I've had to do so far is replace a power supply and a fan.

My last one chugged along for eight years without replacing/repairing a single thing. However, the PC I had before that, a P3 I think, exploded after two years. Seriously....a capacitor went off like a bullet and made a 1/2" outward dent in my case. This is probably why I continue to prefer steel cases. (I should have kept that panel, though. Dang.)

Sometimes these things just happen. If I had to pick a component most likely to fail in a PC, 'motherboard' would make the most sense. Except for the one cooler fan, nothing else (besides motherboards) has ever given up the ghost.

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Please tell me how computers work. The twenty-seven years I've been working with them and my half-dozen certifications are of no help whatsoever.

Well, mostly you push buttons to do things. You can write papers in Word, and you can look at pictures. You can even look things up with Google! You don't even need to go to the library anymore! It's really amazing everything you can do!

I hope I helped. Computers are cool and it's good to have an interest in new technology!

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My last one chugged along for eight years without replacing/repairing a single thing. However, the PC I had before that, a P3 I think, exploded after two years. Seriously....a capacitor went off like a bullet and made a 1/2" outward dent in my case. This is probably why I continue to prefer steel cases. (I should have kept that panel, though. Dang.)Sometimes these things just happen. If I had to pick a component most likely to fail in a PC, 'motherboard' would make the most sense. Except for the one cooler fan, nothing else (besides motherboards) has ever given up the ghost.

I'm lucky I've not had to replace a lot more than what I did. The part of the country I reside in is notorious for brown outs, power surges, and power outages. The power supply failure came before I made an investment in my first battery backup power supply. No trouble since.

And no, it's not North Maine. Power problems there would be more understandable.

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Please tell me how computers work. The twenty-seven years I've been working with them and my half-dozen certifications are of no help whatsoever.
Well, mostly you push buttons to do things. You can write papers in Word, and you can look at pictures. You can even look things up with Google! You don't even need to go to the library anymore! It's really amazing everything you can do!I hope I helped. Computers are cool and it's good to have an interest in new technology!

Tell him about the you know what HOT and the WHOA! Yeah!.

Also you can balance your checkbook and do budget !@#$ on them, recipe file crap are also available, but make sure you don't leave WHOA! or You Know What on the Monitor (that's the TV like thingy).

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Schatt: A Dell? Seriously?

I was joking when I said that to you, but in all seriousness I've been buying business-class Dell workstations and portables (Dell has pointedly informed me that they are not "laptops", the distinction is how hot they get [too hot to leave on my lap]) from a local engineering firm every two years when their lease runs out for years and never had a problem. I have been annoyed by some limitations (current unit has no USB header on the motherboard), but never had performance issues. Maybe I'm the Unbreakable to your Mr Glass.

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Well, mostly you push buttons to do things. You can write papers in Word, and you can look at pictures. You can even look things up with Google! You don't even need to go to the library anymore! It's really amazing everything you can do!I hope I helped. Computers are cool and it's good to have an interest in new technology!

Yeah, right. There's no way one thing could do all that. Nice try.

The part of the country I reside in is notorious for brown outs, power surges, and power outages.

I live a mile or two away from a nuclear reactor, so yeah....me too. We get three-second blackouts several times each month, which is a real pain. (Nothing like waking up to every electric device flashing '12:00'....) Every few months I'm startled by the sound of an exploding transformer somewhere in the distance, and this is normally followed by an outage lasting anywhere from thirty seconds to thirty minutes.

Without my battery back-up I can't imagine how many PCs I would've burned through.

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Perhaps you just have a powerful magnetic field. My mom doesn't wear wristwatches because her body's natural magnetism fries them in a year or two. (Well... sometimes ironically extremely cheap watches last up to five years or so.)

I dunno, I only buy Macs and cheap used PCs (for Linux) now. But I've been a console boy for videogames for many years; the only computer games I play are the NWNs, and they run fine on this Mac.

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Yeah, upgrading can be a pain. My fiance and I just finished smashing together parts from my 11 year old desktop and her 7 year old desktop together and picked up a few parts to make the resulting box as upgraded as it can go. Took a few weeks to get everything to play well together, though.

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