The Desktop PC Adventure, Part 1

You know, when I came up with this idea of wanting to feel as though life is an adventure, I didn’t think it’d apply to something as non-getting-outside as my computers.

I’ve been having trouble with my desktop PC for a little while. Slow performance, crashes, refusal to render 3D graphics properly, weird crap in the Linux distros I was running (then again, that’s not unusual). It got so bad that a mate once sent me a set of parts – processor, motherboard, RAM, video card, hard and optical drives (thank you once again, sir) – that he knew worked so that I could get my PC running properly again.

I thought I could get away with just removing the sound card and replacing the video card, but it turns out that wasn’t such a good idea – a couple of months ago, not long after I’d reformatted and rebuilt my PC’s hard drive – the display on my screen disappeared, and when I reset the computer it didn’t even get to the “Bootup OK” beep.

It seems I need to replace the motherboard out. Which I’ve been avoiding for the last year.

For starters, it’s a pain in the arse job. I need to take almost everything else out first just so that I can safely unscrew the motherboard from its mounting in my computer’s (rather heavy) case.

For seconds – you know that phrase, “if it’s not a hell yeah, it’s a hell no”? Well, “Hell, no!” is my immediate reaction when people suggest I get into IT as a career (and a lot of people have made that suggestion). I have never bothered with the sheer volume of stuff I’d need to know – the reason I did IT at TAFE wasn’t genuine interest, it was owing to peer pressure – and there is so much stuff that I have little trust in my ability to fix folks’ problems

Building my own PC? Sure, I can do that – the only person whose data and hardware I’m putting at risk is my own. Still, there is that urge to just bypass all the fiddling, wailing and gnashing of teeth that’s usually associated with building a PC from parts and just pay for something new, whether by just outsourcing the gutting of my PC to a tech company or by out and out buying a new PC box.

There are a few things against that, though:

  1. We’re low on money. While I COULD splurge on a new tower, there are other things – like a rattling in my car’s suspension, a drooping side fence – that we NEED to spend that sort of money on. Plus, it’d eat into our emergency funds some, something I’m definitely not keen on doing.
  2. It’s not really adventurous.

Sure, staying in and dedicating a day or two to replacing the main board in my PC case seems a pretty introverted, nerdy thing to do – but it is DOING THINGS, which is what this whole blog is about, and while taking the PC to a shop and negotiating with the staff is also a thing, it’s perhaps not as adventurous as trusting in my own skills and actually learning something in the process.

And getting it done myself with a zero (or minimal) expenditure of cash will most likely have me feeling a lot more confident in myself than just outsourcing the work.

So if you’re interested in photos of printed circuit boards and me taking a vac to the inside of a rather dusty, neglected PC case, stay with me over the next few weeks!

What about you?

How have you turned a chore into an adventure?

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