06
Nov
08

The road to hell …

We all know that saying — “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Today, I am living it.

I decided for mom’s Christmas and birthday gift to basically build her a new computer and have her join the modern age. And wow, the experience has been epitome of “fiasco.”

Mom’s rig was my old computer, which was pretty cool back in like, oh, maybe 1996. We’re talking a 366 celeron processor, maybe like a whopping 128 megs of RAM and like a 16g hard drive. OK, I’m a nerd and I tee-hee’d while typing that all out — but you old timers, I’m sure, remember those e-Machines from Circuit City. Whel-hel-hel-hell, that sucker is still kickin’. And it’s still running Windows 98. And it’s all original parts — except for the RAM upgrade. I think it originally came with 64 megs. Tee-hee!

Im afraid I cant let you do that, Three.

I'm afraid I can't let you do that, Three.

Now, I’m not a tech, but I’m generally pretty handy with computers and can generally get to where I want to be without a major struggle. I mean, I built my rig from the ground up — 3.6g x2 Athlon, ASUS motherboard, 500g HD (cause my old 60g crapped out on me), 3g of RAM, rockin’ videocard — all in a sleek black HAL case (for all you “2001 Odyssey” fans). It’s stable, it’s fun, it’s everything I need with chips and salsa on the side. Mmm. Chips and salsa. Man I wish Iguana Grill would open back up. I miss that place.

So, the original plan was to basically rebuild my old Compaq and give her that. Except, for whatever reason, the motherboard completely died on me. I had already ordered an 80g HD for it, so, no biggie … I figured I’d just get a new motherboard, throw that into a new case and we’re good to go.

But instead of listening to my instincts — I opted to cheap out and get her some lesser quality parts (cause, you know, it’s not like she’s playing Warcraft all day into the wee hours of the morning — she’s typing e-mails and stories, and watching the occasional wacky video or e-card). What’s the result so far? Motherboard — DOA. $15 Power Supply — alive, surprisingly. Sleek white cheapy case has blue ground effects. Why? I don’t know. But I’m sure mom will be rockin’ with it.

I have yet to send the motherboard back to NewEgg (don’t worry, I still love you NewEgg) — so in the meantime, I bascially threw her old rig into the new case and decided to install XP on the new HD since I know she doesn’t have anything backed up.

OH. DEAR. LORD.

If I ever do that again with such a painfully slow machine, someone shoot me in the face. Really.

Just catching XP up-to-date with the Service Packs and various security fixes took ALL FREAKIN’ DAY. And by ALL FREAKIN DAY, I do, infact, mean ALL FREAKIN’ DAY.

Of course, as I type this, I have about 5 different options clanging around in my head. “Oh, I should just take everything out of the case, put it back into the old case, and then when the new motherboard comes in, reinstall everything at my leisure and present it to her.”

That would make sense. Why didn’t I do that 8 hours earlier?

Christ on a pony. Someone get me a beer. I’m going back in …

And she better freakin’ like it when all’s said and done — that’s all I’m sayin’.

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5 Responses to “The road to hell …”


  1. November 10, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Ma – give me $600 and I’m buying you a Mac Mini.

  2. November 11, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    dude, this is hilarious! i had a 2.2 1gig RAM machine from like 2002. i bought a new 12mp still camera that takes hi-def video. the video playback was choppy. i contacted the camera company and found that i should have 2.8 processor for smooth playback. i thought maybe more RAM would do it so I bought another gig of RAM. No luck. Bought a new 2.8 chip for $65. Putting it in I fried the board. I’m not a tech either, but I have a math/comp sci degree and i’ve been in the industry for 18 years. The chip is a socket 478 and only 2 boards from newegg would take it. I bought one. It was a micro board and my box is full size. While testing, the back of the board touched the box and I fried it as well! so, i shipped it back and got a new board. my heat sink didnt fit so i had to order a new one of those as well. $35. the board was $55. i hooked everything up and the fan would spin one time and stop. upon reading the directions, i needed 350W PSU and my old box only had 200. I bought a decent 580W for $60. so the micro board would stay in place, I bought a new cheap box for $30 with a side window. oh, and the new board wouldnt take the memory from the old dell which included the brand new RAM. so, i sold it and bought another 2gig of RAM. When I got it all together and up, It wouldnt boot. I had to reinstall XP and I only had SP1 so like you, it took me DAYS to get everything installed and updated. what an ass pain. i’m finally back, with a new machine for less than $400, but I spent a lot of time on it.

  3. 3 Three
    November 11, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Isn’t it funny how things that should be a simple project end up becoming nightmares?

  4. November 12, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    and i forgot to mention that the board came with drivers for the network port. when i plugged in my FiOS the light lit up so I thought I was good. No net…..worse, I thought Verizon could help as I must have missed something stupid (well, I actually did). My other machines in the house worked wirelessly…why wouldnt the wired machine work? Ugh.

  5. 5 Three
    November 13, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Oh, I hear ya there. One day, my cable internet goes out. I figure it’s the ethernet card. Get a new one. No dice. Get a new cable router. No dice. Call the cable company and they send a guy out — we’re checking and checking and he says, “Wait a minute,” and plugs in a different CAT 5 cable. I have internet. I was like “Son of a bitch!” Forgot my own No. 1 rule: 9 times out of 10, the problem is always something completely retarded.


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