Hand built PC's

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Forum' started by Aunty Jack, May 2, 2015.

  1. Aunty Jack

    Aunty Jack

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    Hi,

    Does anyone enjoy building PC's. In the 1980's and 90's we all, well some, built up a PC from bare motherboard to suit our respective needs. Well, 2015 and still at it.

    Road Kill PC.

    Found a tower case and a box of bits put out for rubbish collection.

    Box of bits contained front panel for tower case, Microsoft LifeCam VX1000, many assorted cables etc.

    Tower case “pre loved” and a bit scratched. Grabbed the lot and found inside.

    Asus P5KPL-AM EPU 64 bit motherboard.
    1 GB DDR2 RAM.
    Intel 1.8 MHZ CPU.
    80 GB Seagate hard drive.
    CD/DVD burner.

    Stripped the lot back to bare metal.
    CPU fan had come adrift from motherboard, easily fixed.
    CD/DVD burner jammed. (I have spare CD/DVD burners).

    Cleaned everthing up. Re-assembly.

    Maxtor 100 GB hard drive (one of my spares).
    Extra 2 GB DDR2 RAM added (giving 3 GB RAM).
    TSST CD/DVD burner (one of my spares).

    USB to IDE connector for CD/DVD un it.
    Second hard drive (Seagate 40 GB). The 80 GB hard drive with the tower case is so slow it is useless.

    Operating system. Various. XP Home 32 bit. XP Professional 32 and 64 bit. Windows 7 32 and 64 bit. Slight problem with Windows 8.1, would not recognise some hardware.

    Have settled on my OS of choice. Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit. (yes 32 bit on a 64 bit motherboard – when I put an extra 1 GB RAM on and, budget permitting, a dual core CPU, then Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit). For now, Win 7 Home Premium 32 bit is fast, and I mean fast on this hardware.

    Not bad for a free “road kill” PC. All I have spent is the costy of a DDR2 2 GB RAM chip.

    Cheers from Aunty Jack.

    BTW – a bit sad about leaving XP behind but dear old XP still lives, all set up on a spare hard disk if I want a change.
     

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    Aunty Jack, May 2, 2015
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  2. Aunty Jack

    Termingamer2-JD

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    That's pretty lucky find!
    How is your system running?

    No surprise 8.1 doesn't work since it is a useless operating system, that even makes BSODs really soppy.
     
    Termingamer2-JD, Aug 28, 2015
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  3. Aunty Jack

    Aunty Jack

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    Hello Termin,

    The "road kill" PC lasted quite a while but, being road kill the elements (rain, dust and possibly a dog lifting a leg - joking) had attacked the power supply with the eventual result - frzzzzzz.

    But, being a born tinkerer I had a lot of fun making a compact caseless PC out of all the bits. It ran quite well but graphics capability for high demand programs (Flight Sim 2004 etc) was not exactly a major problem but need all graphics options set very low.

    And, being virtually a free PC I had a lot of fun with various operating systems from Win 95, 98, 2000, XP 32 and 64 bit, Vista, Win 7 and Win 8.1. Linux from the small ones like Puppy Linux up to Ubuntu and Linux Mint 32 and 64 bit. A lot of time spent happily swapping hard disks and set up and testing and just having fun. Sometimes I am more into the nuts and bolts of an OS or hardware than just browsing. A great opportunity to keep learning and store anything useful in my tired old memory just in case that little tweak or trick or crash/bang failure could be useful for some body else.

    In all, try and do things you would not dare to do on one's daily, "in use" PC.

    But, as I said, eventually frzzzzzz but much fun and learning while it lasted.

    Upgraded to a medium spec new Lenovo H30.00 with Win 8.1 as my, "daily drive". Actually Win 8.1 can be made to behave and is almost as generally useful as dear XP. But, that is another topic.

    Yes, if I get the chance I would like to have/find another box of bits to go with all my spare PC bits and build another PC to have XP on as the OS and generally have fun.

    Cheers and thank you for your reply to my post and your interest.

    Regards,

    Aunty Jack.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
    Aunty Jack, Aug 29, 2015
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  4. Aunty Jack

    Termingamer2-JD

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    That's a shame.

    So, did you really were bothered for the graphics having to be set on Low or not really? I think the accomplishment of making a road-kill PC is enough to not really be bothered.

    See you also like running OS's too but XP is the best :D

    But the question is: is Windows 8.1 as fast as XP?

    ----
    Anyway thanks for your reply too, it's good to see that a couple of people are still interested in this site (I'm one of them, too, now) and I hope to see you around this site. :)
     
    Termingamer2-JD, Aug 29, 2015
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  5. Aunty Jack

    Aunty Jack

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    Windows 8.1 Notes

    XP became intuitive, second nature to almost any user with a modicum of technical knowledge.

    Vista drifted from being intuitive, especially with User Account Control but in all Vista was not overly demanding on the user.

    Windows 7 addressed some issues and was the last Microsoft Operating System to offer user input systems similar to XP even though Windows 7 was a natural progression of Vista.

    Windows 8 “lost the plot” in not offering a desktop as we know it and offering Metro icons and tiles for the first time. Unless the user installed a shell manager, Classic Shell is an example, Windows 8 was confronting for the average user.

    The element which made Windows 8 confronting (from my observations) was the lack of familiarity. Windows 8 did not offer the familiar to users. The desktop, clear file structure, tiles as opposed to icons to mention a few elements.

    We, as a species are resistant to change. The change in the familiar with XP to Windows 8 was perhaps too radical.

    Windows 8.1, from the user perspective can be safely changed from within to give back some familiar elements. The average user may find the process daunting however.

    Installation of Windows 8.1 gives the user choice with regard to including or excluding many Windows, “apps” and default programs.

    Windows 8.1 does offer the, “traditional” desktop.

    Windows 8.1 does offer the Control Panel although in the Windows 7 variant but still quite understandable to use.

    Most importantly Windows 8.1 can be changed to offer many of the familiar XP features.

    Attached are many screen shots of a typical Windows 8.1 install on a modern PC with. “ usability” changes completed. The end product offers the advances in the, “core” of Windows and some of the , “familiarity” of XP.

    These changes are in the main, “under the bonnet”, or if the reader is of the American persuasion, “under the hood.

    XP, in my poor opinion, can be likened to a classic motor vehicle. For those who speak the Queen's English, a Rover 3.5. For our American cousins, the first of the 260 cid Ford Mustangs.

    Speed of operation, XP and Windows 8.1

    My recommendation with Windows is to disable Superfetch. XP has Prefetch which worked quite well and did not overly take up resources (RAM). With Windows 8.1 Superfetch over time accesses more and more RAM. With medium specification hardware (4 Gb RAM) Superfetch eventually competes for RAM with other processes. This is my observation and may be refuted.

    Speed is relative to many factors. Relativity is not a constant as postulated by Einstein and the subject of one of my early posts on this forum.

    In terms of what the user perceives, the difference can be negligible. The difference is often measured in nano-seconds between XP and Windows 8.1. Very much depends upon the platform (hardware) and the programs being used. XP can appear to be faster on a newer high specification PC and Windows 8.1 quite slow if installed on aging low specification hardware.

    With both XP and Windows 8.1 installed on identical hardware and both versions being either 32 or 64 bit the differences in speed of operation may not be discernible. The user decides what appears to be the faster Operating System.

    Simply put, there are too many variables to state with confidence which Operating System is, “faster”.

    Cheers,

    Aunty Jack.
     

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    Aunty Jack, Aug 29, 2015
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  6. Aunty Jack

    Aunty Jack

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    More screenshots.

    Aunty Jack.
     

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    Aunty Jack, Aug 29, 2015
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  7. Aunty Jack

    Aunty Jack

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    And more screenshots

    More,

    Aunty Jack.
     

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    Aunty Jack, Aug 29, 2015
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  8. Aunty Jack

    Aunty Jack

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    Still more,

    Aunty Jack.
     

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  9. Aunty Jack

    Termingamer2-JD

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    I don't know what else to say except the classic ground-breaking word:

    nice
     
    Termingamer2-JD, Aug 29, 2015
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  10. Aunty Jack

    Aunty Jack

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    Hello Termin,

    Under a bus you say for not using XP.

    I don't think so. !


    All in good humour,

    Aunty Jack.
     

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    Aunty Jack, Aug 30, 2015
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  11. Aunty Jack

    Termingamer2-JD

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    I'm targeting that at people who refuse to switch because they think XP is rubbish.
    Because those people are wrong.

    But you said that you think XP is good. So you do not apply.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
    Termingamer2-JD, Aug 30, 2015
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