Disaster Relief Effort

April 30, 2013

Okay, so my laptop is hosed. If I could, I'd like to eulogize it a bit. I just feel bad, really. I never treated it well, was irresponsible with keeping it maintained, and ultimately paid a hefty price when a little TLC was all it needed to keep going.

Essentially, as I've mentioned before, the laptop had been overheating for a while. The initial problem was a faulty fan, which caused some major issues. That was eventually resolved, but it left some lasting effects on the thermal paste applied to the heat sink. So a year after the fan was resolved, the thermal paste started to give out. Instead of just resolving the issue, however, I just bought a big laptop fan to stick under it and then proceeded to watch the overheating issue continue to degrade. I guess I just didn't want to lose my computer for a week to get it repaired and didn't realize that with a $10 tube of thermal compound and a little internet research I could have easily solved the problem myself. I'm particularly upset about this issue because this irresponsibility eventually led to the destruction of my video card and processor. Seriously, I am an idiot for letting this happen.

It wasn't even very hot outside, but it had been warming up after a few months of winter cold. And I hadn't turned the fan on and just left the laptop running. I was also baking cookies, so that might have turned the heat up a bit. And the laptop just decided it had had enough. Boom. No more laptop. Unless you want to pay the Geek Squad more money than you initially paid for it to repair it. No, no thanks, I think I'll pass on that.

So now I need a new computer and there are a few issues running through my head. First of all, I still want a computer capable of gaming, as that is something I enjoy, but on the other hand, I feel I need to reprimand myself for my irresponsibility. "Why should I buy you another $1500 laptop that you're just going to break again?"

So I compromised with myself on a desktop. It would be cheaper, and if I just so happened to break something down the road, I could much more easily fix it, and it wouldn't cost nearly as much. Plus a desktop would be much less prone to overheating - the Achilles heel of all my laptops.

After some research, I realized the most cheap and best option for desktop computing is to just build your own. I have never built my own computer, but I am a smart person, and there are plenty of online tutorials, so I figured, why not? If I can save $500 doing it, get better parts and actually get to know the inside of my computer, so that if something does go wrong, I will better know how to fix it, then that seems like a winning situation, and all it would require is a little learning.

I found a couple good gaming templates to go off of, and set about ordering about $500 worth of parts to make a computer that would easily cost 2 or 3 times that from Dell. Hopefully by the weekend or early next week I'll get all the components together and take the plunge.

And then I'll be able to get to work again on coding and other stuff! Holy crap I haven't done anything useful in a week and half, and it is harrowing for my psyche. Seriously.

There is only so much Mage Knight one can play.

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