Time to build another computer.

The main machine is 9 years old this year. Still, a good machine, but has done some strange things once in a while. I think I paid $280 for this refurbished HP. Nothing fancy, just an HP P7-1414. An amazing machine for nearly 8 years ago. 3.2mhz. 

I’m not into speed, as long as it has enough horsepower for video editing, and experiments/projects.

  • I upgraded the power supply, from 300 watt to 450
  • Added more memory, From 6GB to 10GB.
  • Added a low end video card. Nvidia Gforce Gt-710, but better than the onboard video. 
  • Replaced all the hard drives,
  • Removed the CD-Roms,
  • Added new ports to it.
  • Replaced mice and keyboards as they wore out.
  • About the only thing original is the motherboard, and CPU. 

It’s been 16 years since I actually built one from parts. I have spent the last week catching up on the finer points of the hardware world. So I am going to save up, like I did last time, and build another. It won’t be a race horse, but a cross between work and gaming to give me the editing ability I need, without the current occasional hiccups I encounter due to older hardware. I certainly don’t have a lot of money, so will have to pick my parts carefully.

Just for fun, I will share the build images from 16 years ago. I can’t remember what the specs were, since the machine has long been gone, but you get to see the end result.

16 years ago.  Parts and case scattered about. Click for larger images.


The picture below, shows ugly white cdrom (from another machine). I ran short of money. Can you believe we still had 3.5 inch floppies back then?


I always get nervous when I spend money, and Michelle says I research things to death. Drives her nuts. I’m going to try to keep it down to around $600 for the build. I’ll save $149 or so, just by not buying Windows 10 and using Linux instead, which I prefer.
I’ll update later on once I get around to building it (after saving up).

Comments, suggestions welcome.

Cutting the Cord (Cable)

Cutting the worthless cable?

Some readers may remember the post from about two years ago, 57 Channels (And nothing on). Several months ago I totally cut the cord on cable TV. I turned in the receivers, recorders and only have Internet service. We bought 2 Chromecast adapters, and a Roku adapter. Neither the Chromecast nor Roku have a mandatory subscription fee. We have not even mentioned the Amazon Fire Stick adapter (which we have not tried yet).

To subscribe, or not to subscribe.

We subscribe to some services, and still save money. Turning off the cable TV side, saved an instant $90 for us. For subscriptions, we spend about $10 for Netflix, and $9 for Hulu. We already had Amazon Prime for shopping and shipping, so we get the Amazon Prime channels. There are many free streaming services that contain small commercial breaks. YouTube, is a treasure trove of documentaries, movies, and special interest subjects.

So long, to most commercials.

With subscriptions, you usually get no commercials, something that I had come to hate on cable TV. On some free streaming services you may get one or two short commercials every 20 minutes or so. They last from 15-30 seconds each. Many times, the commercial starts, and after 5 seconds you get the option to “skip” the commercial. No more 8+ minute blocks of commercials in a 30-minute show. It’s hard to beat having the freedom to actually choose if you want to view a commercial. Around 2018, the average TV commercials consumed 32% of the program being shown.
(1952 – 13 percent of the time was spent watching commercials (only 4 minutes out of every half hour!))

How easy is it?

We can control, or select what we want to watch, from our smart devices, tablet, phone, computer or laptop. Much easier than using a remote to scroll through all the choices, or type in a search for a movie one letter at the time from the remote. We can use voice, or type on the device.

Comments or questions always welcome,

Curious about Linux? Give it a spin.

If you are familiar with booting from a CD or flash drive, as you did when you installed windows, this is the same. If you’re not familiar, or don’t remember. Then, the best instructions I have found, are on “Lifewire”. Step by step, with the links to the download of the Linux Mint version. I recommend the Cinnamon 32 or 64 bit edition located there.

After downloading the Linux mint .iso, follow the three steps on the instructional. Upon completion, you will have a bootable usb drive to boot your computer with. Please consider, this “live” version of Linux is on a thumb drive, it will not be as fast as a regular install on a hard drive would be. So don’t judge it by its speed from the usb.

  • I started using Linux 4 years ago. No regrets. It was easier than I ever dreamed, and I have truly enjoyed using it.
  • There’s not one paid for program, on my computers.
  • I replaced Microsoft Office, with Libre Office which contains the same components as Office.
  • I use GIMP for graphics, which rivals Photoshop.
  • Kdenlive is my free video editing software. Better than some commercial programs costing hundreds.
  • No more fragmentation of the hard drive.
  • Updates are sent out immediately when a problem or security issue is discovered.
  • I can update when I wish.
  • No antivirus subscriptions anymore. Linux has free programs if needed.
  • No advertisements on “my” desktop.
  • Only what “I” want on or in my computer.
  • Simple backup and restore when needed.
  • Best of all, it’s FREE!!
  • I can choose, Chrome, Firefox, or other browsers as I wish.
  • Complete control over what is on my machine. True freedom.
  • I can’t think of anything negative, that I have run into.
Tux, Linux Mascot

Give it a try, see if its something you might like. If you have questions, ask. I’ll do my best to answer them. I will always have fond memories of Windows 7, but this is where I will stay. Linux may not be for everyone, but I love it.

Microsoft gave us Windows.
Linux, gave us the whole house!

Comments always welcome,