Fixing the desktop and playing in the mud

Just for fun my Desk top PC died! A little annoying but I had plenty of spare parts and got it up and running again so no big deal.  Repairing or building your own desktop PC is fairly simple. Most of the parts can only be inserted the correct way and there are a ton of instructional videos to build your own desk top. Knowing some basic repair such as adding memory sticks, a hard drive or video cards can help save you a lot of money.  If you ever have to replace a dead hard drive I would recommend physically destroying it if you can’t format the drive.  Just scratch the platters (round mirror like discs) and hard drive won’t work. Don’t throw any parts in the trash! There is some very valuable metals like gold, silver and platinum used in small amounts on those computer parts that can be recovered and recycled! Some recycling companies will pay you a small fee or pick up and recycle those parts for free. Recycling  keeps the landfills  clean from toxic chemicals and the landfill has more space for trash.

Of course a Dead PC always brings up the subject of backups and how often you are backing up your data. With external hard drive so large and cheap now you don’t have a very good excuse not to do back ups of your data. But if you are like me you forget until you have problem with your PC/Laptop.  I prefer having an external hard drive that is physically in your possession rather than some of the internet/cloud based backups. Jump drives are great for your critical files that you might need if you have to bugout and you can carry one on a key chain. Copies of insurance policies, ID/driver licenses,  Birth certificates, SS cards, resumes and other critical documents can be saved on a 8-16 GB  jump drive for under $20.00 and would be a huge help if you ever have to recreate that documentation.  Even if an EMP happens it will be Line of Sight (LOS) so computers will survive somewhere and if you put  your external hard drive in your Faraday Cage the data should be recoverable.

It is amazing just how much mud has been created by digging the trench for the water main.  The soil here has a lot of clay so it is very sticky when wet and sort of humps up in some areas and washes out or undercuts in other areas. With the weather so warm I moved some of the dirt into low lying areas and cleared the back  gate that goes to my wood pile. With the gate cleared I was able to load up the party buckets with wood using the garden wagon and the gate no longer just pops off in my hands.  We have more rain/snow in the forecast but I got a the worst of the trench washed out areas filled in, stacked up wood for the week and even started the dirt and stuff for growing potatoes in a bucket in March. I should be able to add the green house this March and while it wont be a huge help starting plants early this year,  it should add a bit of help this fall to extend the growing  season.

The budget looks okay and I should be able to double the amount of money to pay back Mom and Dad for the leftover debt when I got disabled and now the cost of the water main. Dave Ramsey would probably say pay down the interest loans first but paying off my parents is important to me. I’ll keep working on my savings plan, plan for a little bit of money for repairing/replacing some of the older things around the house and hope that life/ karma and God don’t hand me any more challenges at the last minute.

15 Responses to Fixing the desktop and playing in the mud

  1. I am a firm believer in desktops still. Most people go the laptop route these days but you can get so much more life out of a good desktop. I also hate wireless crap like mouse and keyboard but these days it’s getting hard to find wired stuff.

  2. Jamie says:

    Pioneer, So many people don’t know that by building a PC you get more bang for your buck compared to a store bought pc/laptop. The Mobo I’m using was cutting edge 7 years ago and it still get’s the job done with just a few upgrades. Technology/upgrades have passed it by so I’ll need to get a new Mobo, memory, CPU and probably video card but seven years isn’t too bad a life cycle on a computer.

    I love wifi for networking but for keyboards and mice not so much. I started PC’s as a gamer FPS mostly and you just can’t be direct connects when gaming. I don’t have the extra PC’s anymore but my computer room is still setup with routers and switches to set up for an 3-8 person Lan party and if lag isn’t too bad I could go up 64 people theoretically 😉

    • I don’t even like wifi connections for the most part. And yes I was a gamer extraordinaire once myself until I finally realized I was getting too old for such stuff and the internet connections in the cities got so much better than mine out here. Most games these days if you are still running DSL your not allowed in.

      The batteries always go out on the wireless stuff at the worst possible times.

      • Jamie says:

        Pioneer, I was okay gamer nothing special but with my disability I needed every advantage I could get. I didn’t mind getting toasted by a better shooter/player but I hated people who camped a spawn point/aim bots or counted on lag to toast a gamer. Hell, I wasn’t all that hard to kill in the first place.

        I don’t think I will ever get to old for games but my tastes have changed a bit. What I really wish is to smack down console gamers via a PC. Even a home built mid range pc stomps the crap out of any console.

        What are consoles going for now about $400-$600.00 range. For that price I can build a cutting edge/upgradable desktop that will do games and all basic PC stuff as well.

        Sure your x-box or playstation could order pizza but can it do spread sheets?

  3. Rob In His Bunker says:

    I have 2 lap tops that need screens replaced, and a desk top that was showing blue screen and now just beeps. I want to fix them but not sure how too. Oh well. We too are looking at snow. I have heard of 2-3″ to 6″ to 10″ who knows. Glad things are well with you.

  4. Jamie says:

    Rob, laptops are hard to repair because so many companies use propietary parts that are very expensive to buy. I bet the hard drives are good and you could use those in your new pc.

    On the desk top depending on it’s age it might be better to build a new desk top and scavenge parts such as the hard drive, DVD/CD drives/burners and perhaps the power supply and case.

    I looked up a good price on a new mother board, Memory and CPU at for under $350.00 with free shipping. What is great is you could buy a peice at a time and for about $100.00 per month in 3 months you could have a very solid Desktop that would be upgradable for years.If the case, power supply are good and you scavenge your drives.

    I have an internet phone and a Verison cell so you can call me if you want some info. You got my email address and it is possible for me to help you via email. Heck I have helped several folks build Gaming PC’s via forums, email and chat.

    Store bought computers are very cheap on software. The software such as Windows will most likely cost more than most of the hardware on your “Frankenstein” computer you build yourself. Unless you are a gamer, you could probably go with an Linux type Operating system such as Ubantu or a Denbian OS.

  5. riverrider says:

    j, my sister got diagnosed with fibro basically by default but she describes symptoms more in line with your condition. any advice or links available for her to look into it? fibro from what i read just gets worse over time but she describes flares, usually after stress/physical exertion. thanks.

    • Jamie says:

      river: My Mom has fibro and it seems very similar to CIDP. There is a test for CIDP/Giullame Barre that can be done via spinal tap. CIDP is rare so many doctors don’t know about the test.

      As far I know fibro can be all over the place with symptoms and while it often gets worse it can also stabalise for many people. I don’t know to much about fibro but what my Mom tells me but I’ll see if she has a place for info.

  6. Idaho Mom says:

    River: Jamie’s Mom here. I have Fibro as Jamie has told you. I recommend the book “Fibromyalgia for Dummies as a good overall information book. It was written by Dr. Roland Staud. The cause of the disease isn’t know. Some think it is a connective tissue disease others think it may be neuerological. I know that I hurt terribly when I have a flare. A person hurts all the time but the flares are the worst. I find that the cold causes me pain. When I have a flare heat gives me relief. I can’t use a lot of Medication. I am either allergic to a lot of the pain meds. or I get some sort of reaction. The “Fibro Fog” ( acute brain fuzz) is frustrating. The Fatigue is always there, it sometimes worse than other times. “Fibromyalgia for Dummies” gives a lot of infor. about symptoms, Meds, treatments for relief, Natural Supplements and Resources and Support. Web MD has information and a blog. — This disease very frustrating. It is always changing, When you think you have a solution that will help you cope with it and it works for awhile, then your body and fibro will change on you. Try to avoid stress (Ha Ha Ha)!! Try to not get to tired!! It helps me mentally to try to stay of a schedule. Try to not take on to many things in your day. Some people will think you are a whinny baby, or that you are a hypocondriac or you just don’t want to do anything, or that you are crazy. You tell them to “Kiss You Grits”. This disease is “for real”.

    • riverrider says:

      mom ,thank you so much! yes, she gets that “whinny”thing but i know she’s no whiner. in fact i thought it was just old age catching up to her before she set me straight. i’ll pass this on. thanks again.

  7. When my laptop went down, I took it to a computer repair shop. They said it was overheating, and they did something to the heat sink, and cleaned it, but to no avail. They didn’t charge me anything, though I offered to pay because I knew the young man had several hours in it.

    • Jamie says:

      Harry, I would keep that shop as you PC guru guys. It’s very rare to see a shop that actually does a basic diagnosis and works to fix the PC instead of up-selling you or charging an arm and a leg just to reformat and reload software and “hope” it fixes the problem.

      I’m still not sure what the problem was on my PC, though I’m leaning towards a flaky Mother board, perhaps a bad transistor/Southbridge bus. I’m not complaining as a 7 year old PC is ancient, technology wise and I figure it’s about time I upgrade a bit to keep pace with the software.

      One very nice thing about building your own desktop is you can go super cheap or you can build a PC that is upgradable for the future. Your average store bought PC is obsolete out the door and usually isn’t built to be upgradable.

  8. I’d rather play in the mud.

    • Jamie says:

      rat, Playing and building a PC is sort of like folks that reload or restore cars. It’s not that you can’t buy bullets instead of reloading or that any vehicle will take you fron point A to point B. I don’t think you save money so much as you get more bang for your buck. Plus if you are bent that way it is a fun hobby.

      • Oh, I agree! I’ve had a new computer sitting in the box for a month. Just can’t bring myself to getting the files transferred, up and running. Think I’ll head back to the mud puddle now.

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