Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The PC Genesis

Finally, a computer that I can call my own.
For several years, or let's say since my college freshman days, I had been dreaming about having my own computer. Perhaps it was just the natural tendency of a geek to get hung about anything electronic, just like the good old computer.
Oh, our humble desktop computer runs on an Intel Celeron 2.2Ghz. The PC was a gift from Alisa's father who had been working overseas. A simple Dell Dimension 2400, and as its website says, a basic package for home use.
When we first saw our gift, naturally we were too excited to forget that the CPU was supposed to be plugged into a 110-volt outlet. In seconds, there I was, somehow trapped between a computer table and the wall, stunned by an explosion ripped off the power supply unit by a 220-volt electric surge.
Good thing I had a spare power supply unit at my parent's house. For the past few years I had been buying PC components, so that I could eventually build my own PC. I had bought fans, CD-ROMs, a set of high end speakers, even a 17-inch Philips monitor.
Until I was fooled into buying a junk CPU for a whopping six thousand pesos.
Nah, I will not tell that story. I have learned its lesson, and that is, to be patient.
Just like with our very first PC.
First, I had to replace the burned power supply unit. We were able to test the unit for, uh, thirty minutes.
Then, when we got back in Cebu, the whole CPU wouldn't power on.
After pulling everything out and putting each part one by one to isolate the problem, we found out that somehow, the surge had burned through a capacitor in the motherboard – specifically the capacitor connected with the memory modules.
Now, our humble PC is an Intel Celeron 2.2GHz-powered CPU on an ECS motherboard powered by a twin-fan 300-watt PSU, with 650 Mb of memory encased in an original Dell Dimension 2400 micro ATX case. Bought a second-hand 15-inch monitor for P1,500, and a Dell keyboard and mouse set completes the ensemble. An Altec Lansing ACS220, which I bought sometime 2004, provides whopping sound.
A good start for a good PC.

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