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3 Updates: new build commission, and some rants :)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
For your convenience, I have organized this thread by color. The colors are as follows:

-New Build Commission from My Dad
-Me and Dell (rant)
-A Hard Driven Tale



Alright, so first off, my dad finally decided that his old HP Pavillion Media Center PC is ready to be replaced . He came to me after school and, essentially, gave my an $1800 check to work with on his new build . I have ordered the parts and I will update this thread with pictures once the parts arrive from the egg.

The parts list are as follows: (keep in mind this is a COMPLETELY new build)

-Intel Core 2 Duo Allendale E4600 (Nothing fancy here)
-Abit IP35-Pro Motherboard
-2x 500GB Western Digital Hard Drives (RAID0)
-2x Hanns-G 19" Displays
-Nvidia GeForce 8600GTS
-Zalman 9700 CPU Cooler
-Creative Soundcard (forgot the exact name... haven't gotten my invoice from Newegg yet)
-Windows XP Home OS
-2GB G.Skill RAM DDR2800
-Lian Li V600B Case
-Corsair 550w PSU
-Logitech Wave Keyboard and Mouse Combo
-AS5

And please, no comments about the CPU or anything else. No "but you should have gotten the E4800 or whatever..." The parts have been purchased, that's that."



And Dell...

So... I know this belongs in the Rants section, but just humor me.

Has this sort of situation happened to anybody else? *Phone Rings* "Hey Scott, can you come fix my computer for me, it's running incredibly slow and the mouse isn't working blah blah blah, etc."

You go over to this person's house and... guess what is staring you in the face as soon as you walk into the computer room...



Oh man. I cringe whenever I have to fix someone's Dell.
Now, it's not that I don't think that Dells aren't the perfect "idon'treallyknowwhati'mdoing" computer... It's not that I really care about the fact that Dell seems to enjoy loading up their computers straight from the factory with the latest greatest useless programs... like "Vongo".... or "DELL SYSTEM ADVISOR".... It's just the fact that Dell enjoys rendering their computer's virtually impossible to repair when a hardware failure occurs. This is accomplished by the ingenious Dell system design in which the case "swings open" like a pair of scissors... with the motherboard and PSU on one side and the hard drives and CD ROM drives on the other side... and the cables make a kind of "bridge" that connects the scissors and you can't open the case more than a couple of inches without having to reach in and unclip all the connections you really needn't unclip at all. ARGH. Either way, I can't stand Dell. They fill the entire computer with useless crap and make an "innovative case design" that really does NOTHING. It took two people just to get the case open.




And my last rant... so this kid up the street rendered his motherboard useless when he attempted to install a second hard drive in the computer in order to fit more porn in the computer. (When I examined his primary hard drive later, I found over 60GB worth of downloaded pr0n.... ). Well apparently, he failed to notice the hard drive bays on the other side of the scissor case... so what did he do? he took a diamond coated drill bit and went straight through the motherboard in order to drill holes so that the hard drive would fit. Admittedly, he did a damn good job measuring the holes, as the hard drive fit perfectly... perfectly on top of his board, that is. He called me 20 minutes after I offered to help him install the drive he had brought home, laughing in resignation as he admitted he just couldn't get the darned thing working. 3 minutes later, he was completely shocked to find out he had ruined his computer... I mean, what, those electrical connections probably weren't even that important right.... they only went to the RAM and stuff... his logic was, oh well, I'll just have to make do with a little less memory. Wow.

I think you should have to pass a small test before walking down the computer hardware components of any electronics store.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 GO @ 3.0gHz ABIT IP35 Pro EVGA GTX 285 2GB DDR2 GSkill RAM 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
320GB Western Digital Sony DVD ROM Win7 Ultimate x32 2x 19" Hanns-G Wides @ 2880x900 
PowerCase
750w Antec 900 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 GO @ 3.0gHz ABIT IP35 Pro EVGA GTX 285 2GB DDR2 GSkill RAM 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
320GB Western Digital Sony DVD ROM Win7 Ultimate x32 2x 19" Hanns-G Wides @ 2880x900 
PowerCase
750w Antec 900 
  hide details  
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post #2 of 3
I used to work for a small computer repair shop and to be honest, I actually preferred Dells. For software repairs, it really doesn't matter what you're working on; the solution will be the same. Bad mobos and power supplies were tough because they were proprietary but Dell isn't the only company out there playing that game.

OS reinstalls are where a Dell really shines. Pop in an OEM disc, set it, and forget it. No product key entry (i.e. and the eventual phone call to activation services, etc...) at all.

I do agree that clamshell design was three different shades of stupid. Sometimes you had to wrestle it open only to have to wrestle it shut again. Sometimes, cables would get pinched in the "hinge" so you'd have to try and hold it out of the way while swinging the case shut. The method for adding/removing drives was sleek though. Attach those green slides and it popped right in.
post #3 of 3
Unless something has changed in the last few months, Dell's version of free garbage software and trials is nothing compared to the likes of Toshiba and HP. Go ahead and click the arrow for the tray icons on a new Tosh laptop if you want to see what I'm talking about.

Funniest thing that ever happened at that job:

It was around back to school time. This nice middle-aged woman comes in with a newer Gateway and wants us to figure out why it was running so slow. Simple enough right? It turns out it was her son's computer and he was about to go off to school. He had been complaining about it being slow so she thought she'd surprise him by getting it fixed.

First thing we notices was that the hard drive was running 90%+ full. We told her that unless some data could be deleted, she'd have to have another hard drive installed. She decided on an external so he could transport some of his work if he had to and that was that.

For ethical reasons, we don't go prying in someones data unless something in it is suspect. We started a file transfer and soon notice that some of the file names were unusual. It turned out that her son had MASSIVE amounts of pron on the drive and that was the reason it had filled up and slowed down the computer.

She comes to pick it up and asks how the drive got so full. Moral dilemna but we gotta look out for one another right? I said "I think it was mostly music" and sent her on her way.
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