Any old school computer builders here?

raggie33

*the raggedier*
Joined
Aug 11, 2003
Messages
13,340
I miss them days building them then heading over to futuremark and 3d mark to bench test are latest builds any of you all. Ever used to build? First build specs?
 

sween1911

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
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2,038
Location
Pennsylvania
Not a die hard builder from raw components, but I've swapped hard drives, disk drives, cases, etc. I'm the generation of 5" floppies when the 3.5" 1.3MB ones were a big deal. We've put two machines next to each other with the covers off and powered the HD in one from the power supply on the other to get data off of it. I remember buying my first SoundBlaster card from my best friend and installing it in 1993 when having speakers on your PC was a BIG DEAL so I go back a long way. When Wolfenstein 3D sound coming from the speakers in my room was mind blowing! First CD-ROM drive I had was as big as a shoe box.

I still had my old DEC 386 when I found a Tandy 486 lying on its side in the trash room at our old apartment. I picked it up like I found gold and my wife stared at me like "What's wrong with you?" I threw my hard drive into the 486 and BOOM I was off! Running Doom in FULLSCREEN! CRAZY!

I picked up a desktop computer a couple years ago from our local FB Marketplace thing, $30 no hard drive. Put an old hard drive in it, slapped Ubuntu on there and it was a great house PC for web browsing etc for awhile. The already-old HD died awhile back and it sat in the basement. I went to the local Microcenter earlier this year to find a replacement SATA HD. I walk up to the kid... sorry... salesman and showed him the old drive. He's like "Ohhhh... well... I mean.. *shaking head* the smallest cheapest drive I have is ...*whew*... like 1 TB for $40." I wanted to grab him by his lapel and yell "DO YOU REALIZE HOW RIDICULOUS THAT SOUNDS?!?!?!? MY FIRST HARD DRIVE WAS 50 MEGABYTES. I WAS ONE OF THOSE KIDS THAT DELETED SYSTEM32 FOR MORE SPACE FOR GAMES BEFORE I REALIZED IT NUKED MY COMPUTER! I'VE SEEN THINGS YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE!!!!" but I reigned it in and was like "uh yes, I believe that will be satisfactory."
 
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jtr1962

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
7,502
Location
Flushing, NY
I built every single machine I've used. I used to do this a lot. Not so much lately. My current PC is still fast enough. Plus taking care of my mother means no huge blocks of time to immerse myself in hobbies. I don't like starting a project where I'll constantly be interrupted due to other responsibilities.
 

raggie33

*the raggedier*
Joined
Aug 11, 2003
Messages
13,340
loved frys omg how i miss that store they would sell a cpu less then other stores then throw ina mobo lol..
 

PCC

Flashlight Enthusiast
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Oct 28, 2007
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Sitting' on the dock o' The Bay...
I used to go to the Robert Austin Computer shows in San Francisco to buy components, bring them home, and have a working computer by that evening. That was in the early to mid 1990's. Now I do computer desktop support for a living. I haven't built a computer in decades. I only have Macs and iPads at home now.
 

cyberhobo

Enlightened
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Messages
533
Location
Highlands
I miss them days building them then heading over to futuremark and 3d mark to bench test are latest builds any of you all. Ever used to build? First build specs?
Oh yeah. My first PC build consisted of an overclocked P4 2.0 Ghz Northwood clocked to 2.428 Ghz on air and seated on an Abit BD7 Raid coupled with a Radeon 8500. Corsair RAM with voltage boost. Remember PC Pitstop?
 

raggie33

*the raggedier*
Joined
Aug 11, 2003
Messages
13,340
Oh yeah. My first PC build consisted of an overclocked P4 2.0 Ghz Northwood clocked to 2.428 Ghz on air and seated on an Abit BD7 Raid coupled with a Radeon 8500. Corsair RAM with voltage boost. Remember PC Pitstop?
i recall useing a pencil to jump the bridges on a amd cpu so we can unlock the multi to oc
 

PhotonWrangler

Flashaholic
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
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14,367
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In a handbasket
I miss them days building them then heading over to futuremark and 3d mark to bench test are latest builds any of you all. Ever used to build? First build specs?
I've built all of my home machines. Honestly I don't miss the day of having to set all of the bios settings manually, including interrupts, hard disk heads/cylinders/tracks etc. I had to recently recover some files from one of those old vintage machines from the days before smart hard drive controllers (remember MDM drives?) and it was a pain. It's so much easier to build a PC now.
 

Poppy

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Joined
Dec 20, 2012
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Northern New Jersey
I guess it was 1984 when I got my first computer, a $200 Commodore 64. 28K of Ram. I guess it was '86 or '87 when I had a clone XT built with a 8088-2 chip and a 40 meg HD. A year later I upgraded it to a 120 meg HD. Man I was hot!

After that I bought a number of kits from TigerDirect.com. I would typically get last year's hot model for about $300-$350. I wasn't doing any heavy crunching, just mainly word processing, so any improvement would be fine.

I'd swap in better sound cards, video cards, larger hard drives, and faster modems. If I wanted to upgrade the CPU, I'd often also get a new motherboard.

Once windows started identifying your original equipment and not allowing you to swap in too much new equipment, that became a limiting factor for me.

I used to run a Linux box with a static DSL line, but that was 20 - 25 years ago.

I haven't built a box in years.

I'm currently running on a HP notebook with an intel core i5 processor. I have no idea what that means. But it is fast enough for me.
 

blah9

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
2,105
Yes I still build computers for the lab where I work and also for my consulting company. I don't do it super often, but it's nice to get up to date once in a while haha.
 

3_gun

Enlightened
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
635
Built my own until the point that what I could find in the used market surpassed my needs from the computer. Nothing I do now needs more than an i5 quad w/12g of ram + a 1g vid card. My latest computer cost a whooping $12.50 & has a i7 octa core, 16g of ram, 4g vid, bluray, 2tHDD, 250g SSD so why build one. I did have to spend a bit of time sorting out some issues & still need to replace a failing video card. Still much easier & cheaper than a clean build
 

Toulouse42

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 14, 2008
Messages
211
Location
Jersey
Yes much the same here. I haven't built a new box in decades. Nowadays its just upgrading the basics like RAM, HDD fans and Graphics. The last major job was 10 years ago when my brand new computer's motherboard went pop. It was fixed under warranty but went pop again taking the HDD with it. I replaced it with a different mobo, HDD and reinstalled everything. I got a good 10 years out of the PC.
 

bykfixer

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Aug 9, 2015
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John 3:16
My son used to build them with a big ole open box for massive amounts of fans. His mom complained about the increase in the electric bill.

These days he uses a Windows slate.

The closest I've ever come to "building" was swapping the dead battery for a new one in my wife's Vio laptop.
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
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10,080
Location
Pacific N.W.
My son used to build them with a big ole open box for massive amounts of fans. His mom complained about the increase in the electric bill.

These days he uses a Windows slate.

The closest I've ever come to "building" was swapping the dead battery for a new one in my wife's Vio laptop.
Our oldest son's data miners have been our house's only needed source of heat this season. He was prepared when I mentioned the electric bill had doubled. Using a plug-in wattage meter he calculated the usage/cost of operating the pellet stove per hour and also factored in the cost of a bag of pellets. The miners cost less than the stove.
 

Bob2650

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Joined
Aug 1, 2021
Messages
66
Was an electronic tech back then. Owned a TV shop. My guys and I would fix anything customers were willing to pay for. Anything with a digital display such as most TVs, Stereos, VCRs and others had a microprocessor in it. Usually a version of something like the Intel 8080 back in the '70s.
We repaired a lot of Commodore 64 and 286 based computers.
When DVDs came out the VCR repair business dried up and went the way of the 8-track.
That killed most "TV shops".
Used to build everything until it became less expensive to buy a laptop. The last system I built ran on XP at the top speed at the time of 2.8Ghz and was stupid expensive. It became obsolete in just a few years but I got over 10 years of heavy use out of it. Still have it, it still runs. But it can't run any of the current software. I still mess around with electronics as a hobby. I just rebuilt another laptop by switching out the old school hard drive with an SSD and maxing out the memory. From my point of view this was a super easy upgrade to a very much faster laptop.
 
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