Wednesday, 11 November 2015

How to Build a Computer

I got all this stuff just to play with the boxes.
Oh hai there!

"Hai" - You
It was my birthday this week; my 21st to be exact. What with it being a big deal and all I was asked what sort of big deal present I wanted. My totally reasonable and attainable answer: I asked for HAL-9000. I mean, that's not that bad. I did cut it down from demanding Deep Thought and golden goose eggs.

"We're afraid we can't let you have that." - My Parents
By HAL-9000, I meant I wanted a super awesome PC to play reeeeally pretty screensavers on when it's not running Netflix. Also I wanted it to look like HAL. Now, I have absolutely no experience or knowledge in computer building other than the fact that it definitely requires at least two RAM, so the job was handed to my kind, benevolent brother to handle. Now, ah yes, it says here that, as a sibling, I am contractually obliged to state that he is indeed a smelly poo face who looks like a really sad badger; but he is actually quite good at computers, so he gains one point for that.
Brother: 1, Malodorous Melancholy Caniform-Likeness: 592
This brings us to the first, very important rule of building your own computer:

Rule Number 1 - Get Someone Else to Do It

You'd think that building a PC would have reached jigsaw levels of simplicity by now, with everything fitting nicely together and working in perfect harmony like all the animals in a Disney forest. No. To put it simpler: N. Every plug is different, every make and model works with some and doesn't work with other different makes and models, it's all very complicated and I swear the companies that make this stuff enjoy watching poor sods like me suffer by numbering all of their products in completely illogical ways. Say last year, Big Computers Inc. releases a new graphocapacimory card or whatever; they call it the XT449-alpha. That's confusing enough, why not just name it Bill? But then what they do is, the next year, they'll call the new model of exactly the same thingamabob the WIKY610-Agamemnon. There's no continuity! WHY? Why do you hate me, MSI? I suggest that from now on, we name all computer components the same way we name hurricanes; A-Z names. With that said, here's all the crap that went into my compyooter:

MSI Z97 Gaming Motherboard
Intel i5 4690K Quad Core Processor
16Gb RAM (2x 8Gb)
MSI GeForce GTX960 Graphics Card
2Tb Hard Drive
Other sundry bits like fans and tiny little hamster wheels.

So, with a great deal of help from my kin, the components had been chosen. Now was the simple task of putting it all tog- oh, who am I kidding; this bit is equally as over my head. All the computer crap was in Edinburgh and I in Dundee, so he sent me regular photo updates of the build as it happened.

Rule Number 2 - Watch From Afar

I have to say, it all looks very flashy. Here's the metal skin of my soon to be robotic slave:

It's got a window in it so you can watch it learn how to feel.
First thing's first is putting in the power supply:

The green arrows are to remind me where the hell everything is in two months time.
Then the motherbrain, with the processor plugged into it:

The best thing about the motherboard is that it came with a "Do Not Disturb" sign.

What was next...? Oh yeah, RAM.

Sexy, sexy RAM.
Then, as far as I can tell, my brother just sort of balanced the graphics card on top of everything else.

Just behind it are a bunch of tiny spinning plates.
Lastly was the hard drive (and the cooling I believe, but I wasn't sent any photos of that), which isn't the most interesting picture ever so I'll skip it. Oo, and because I refuse to leave the past I demanded at least one means of reading physical media; a floppy drive was vetoed so I got this new fangled Dee Veedee thing?

Witchcraft if you ask me.
And that's everything all crammed in! Hurrah! My total contribution to the process: 0.

Rule Number 3 - Make it Look Cool

Now for the awesome bit: turning this-

"O hai."
-into an awesome, evil, red-eyed AI. Step one: spray paint the edges of the case's front panel silver.

Incidentally, the graph of "Use of MS Paint" over time for this post is an exponential curve.
Bless him, me bro even went so far as to spray the hard drive racks red like the memory room in 2001; sadly there is no photographic evidence of them in situ as of yet. Next, very delicately and with great precision, bash a hole out the middle of the case.

It appears he used a hacksaw blade wrapped in masking tape. Safety first kids!
All you've got to do now is shove a big red button in the middle and print out a HAL-9000 sticker. Sadly, the plan to make the button turn the PC on when you press it had to be scrapped due to too much awesome computer shit taking up room inside the case, but it still lights up!

"I'm feeling much cooler now."
And that's my new computer thingy. I'm super happy with it, and want to thank my brother for slaving away at it for the past three weeks and to everybody who put money towards for my birthday; I am a very happy nerd right now.