Monday, April 07, 2003

Fun with computers

Got up relatively early on Saturday. Okay so 9:45 isn't that early, but seeing as I hadn't gone to bed till about 3:30am I think I did well. A friend came around at 10:00 and we went off to Maplin's to get one of their motherboard/CPU/fan offers. We also got a case and a few other bits and pieces. Walked home with purchases, stopping off at Henderson's for lunch (giant potato, spinach and cheese croquette, with a three of the salads on the side and a nice big glass of fresh fruit smoothie to wash it down - yummm).

Arrived home inspected purchases, and took existing computers off line. Opened up the boxes to see what was where and decide what additional bits were needed (not much). Friend had some things to do at his home so we went to the cash point for more dosh, on to another computer shop for the missing bits (RAM, hard drive, ect) and we each went to our respective homes.

Friend came around later and we built the new machine, set it up to install the OS and set up my old machine so that we could transfer the data from one to the other. At that point we called it a night.

Sunday wasn't such an early start (about noon). Friend has a machine that is in a half size case and is running out of room , whereas I am going to have a firewall machine with next to nothing in a full size case, so we were going to swap them over.

Problem one

Both machines are old, but not of exactly the same vintage so whilst my stuff would happy go into his case, his wouldn't go into mine (power supply cables were different). We thought about swapping the power supplies but the switch on one wouldn't work in the other case.

Put everything back and then my power supply unit failed completely. Not a problem I have a spare. We balance the spare PSU on the case and wired it up, the machine booted okay. So we swapped it for the broken supply. At this point the newly installed supply decided not to work. Anyway it was Sunday, it was late, and I had work today so we left it.

I set up what was my old machine (and is now going to be a windows (games) machine) and started playing Command and Conquer to relax before bed only to discover

Problem Two

The CDROM is cutting out intermittently. It was working fine right through the first mission but then just died, causing the game and by extention the machine to crash. I rebooted and this time the CD wasn't even detected, three attempts later it recognised the CD and spat the disk out but when I closed the tray it had decided that the disk wasn't there again.

The result is that I now have three machines that are currently about as much use as door stops and no time till next weekend to get things up and running. It seems that whoever said that computers were going to make life easier was lying.

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