Monday, January 14, 2013

Building Your Own PC

Two weekends ago, I had the chance to assemble my own PC, and boy was it an experience!  Through some stressful trials and tribulations, I was able to construct something better than I could have bought through most computer retail shops, and at a much reduced cost.  Also, while going through the process, I learned a bunch about myself and my own capabilities.

The build itself.
Over the course of about 3 weeks, I was slowly accumulating parts and pieces for my new PC.  I diligently researched the best prices, and whether the pieces would be compatible with one-another.  Throughout this process, two sites became my best friends: they were and pcpartpicker.  Both of these sites have a wealth of knowledge that will guide you through the process.

After waiting about three weeks for all my parts to come back in stock and finally ship out to my house, I was ready to build.  I made sure to watch a bunch of youtube videos on the subject and also read through my manuals which came with each piece.  Overall, the process seemed pretty straight-forward.

I easily assembled the necessary pieces and found myself at the part in which I had to connect all the wires.  I suddenly realized that nowhere in my research did I even look at how to do this and which one goes where.  Since motherboards and power supplies are so modular, they didn't even have any instructions, so I was left to figure it out for myself.  I made some key observations, and then started plugging in where I thought things might go.

After about an hour of plugging, it was time to turn on the PC and see if everything worked.  I anxiously flipped the switch and was welcomed with a screen that basically said nothing was plugged in.  Messing around with the SATA plugs for about another hour, and I was finally able to access the motherboard's BIOS which allowed me to start installing Windows and other programs.  

About 2 more hours of software installation later, and I was up and running.  

Things I learned About Myself
Throughout this process, I learned a few things about myself that might have been vague beforehand.  

Goals are important - I spread the work out over 2 days.  Towards the end of the first day, nothing was really working, so I made a goal to at least find a way to access the BIOS.  I kept at it, and found my own resolve to successfully accomplish this task.  

Don't underestimate yourself - I was very nervous about assembling a PC in the first place.  I had never done it before, and I'm not that technically inclined (as is demonstrated by my amazing blog site).  I put my mind to it, and gave myself some credit.  Eventually, I figured my way through the process.  

Moral of the Story
This project was a great example of starting something that will extend your abilities, and then actually completing it.  It has been great for my overall morale and makes me feel like I really accomplished something.  Doing these types of projects every now and then will allow you to have a greater sense of well-being.  For your own projects, look around your house/apartment, and decide what needs to be done.  Then, figure out a game plan and don't stop until you've succeeded.  You may even learn more about yourself like I did.

Wonderful Moment of the Day - Getting to use a successfully working PC to write this post.

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