Keep it Frugal

A lot of my personal computers have come through hand me downs after several generations of technology decay. I have no problem with this as it presents me with usually a new learning experience. I can remember being a young child and using Windows 98 to perform simple tasks. It is a whole new experience finding a way to maximize the capabilities of those dated systems. I’ve had the luxury of troubleshooting a PC that did not have any USB ports or even ps/2 ports, it went further back in the timeline of ports. Luckily we had the original keyboard and mouse.

Remember this screen?

2 summers ago I wanted to build a computer, but I did not have much in teams of expendable cash. Before that I had done plenty of hard drive swaps and basic hardware troubleshooting and installation, but I had never had the chance to gather parts and build a computer.  I had to find a way to make a bare bones system, using what I budgeted for $50. I was lucky enough to find a garage sale, where a gentleman was selling computer parts. I picked up a case, a motherboard w. CPU, Cables, Power supply, a 9 GB hard drive, and 1 stick of 512 MB DDR1 ram. Enough to start with, and all for less than my budget. The hardware was built for early XP era OS and I new their was no way Windows 7 would run. I instead decided to go with a free option, and went with Kubuntu, the KDE flavor of Ubuntu 10.4 LTS. After constructing the Frankenstein desktop, I installed Kubuntu with a live USB key, as I didn’t spare the money on a CD drive. The only problem I ran into was that the wire for the front USB/Audio ports on the computer case did not reach the desired location on the motherboard, luckily it had on board USB ports in the back. After another hour of installing updates to the computer, I had a slow but working machine and was able to run Open office suite and browse the internet. All I needed the computer to do. As every computer enthusiast dreams, once I start making enough money to have expendable cash I would like to build a super computer, but that will have to wait until next time.

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