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.