Humpty Desktop

I have wanted to build a computer for a long time.  I researched build specifications and determined my minimum acceptable benchmarks.  It’s not going to be a gaming computer, I haven’t played video games in years, so my plan isn’t too demanding.  The build has to be lean, mean, and clean.

Unfortunately, I have no funds for such frivolities.  My five year old MacBook Pro works just fine, so I don’t need another computer.  I’m living in the guest room, so I don’t even have a desk to put it on.  I wanted to build a computer, but I was unable to do so.  Like all deferred dreams, I pushed it from my mind and filed the spreadsheets for future reference.

On Wednesday, I asked the IT department at work if they had any old computers I could take off their hands.  On Friday, I walked out with a Dell Optiplex 330, keyboard, and mouse.  My Dad borrowed a monitor from his job, so I had everything I needed.

Last night, I successfully installed Lubuntu after several failed attempts at making a bootable USB drive.  Everything worked, we were in business.

This morning, I completely disassembled the tower, down to the bare metal.  I popped the side panel off, removed the DVD drive, 80gb hard drive,  processor, heat sink, CPU fan, power supply, RAM, internal speaker, and mother board.  All I needed were two screwdrivers.  It was much easier than I thought it would be and this computer was from 2008, I’m sure current designs are even simpler.


After basking in my victory, I put it all back together.  Getting the board into place was the most tedious step.  I bent some metal, scraped the side of the board, and nearly cracked it.  Eventually, I tried dropping it in the correct way, and it took about ten seconds.  Several screws and SATA connections later, I closed the case.


I threw it back on top of the cedar chest and plugged in all the peripherals.  It started with no problems.  So far as I can tell, everything still works.


I’m not entirely certain what I’ll do with it, since I achieved my goals for that box within 24 hours.  It’s in the basement now, next to my books, ready to stay or go.

Humpty Desktop

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