My Custom Computer is finished. Whew!

After waiting 16 years since my last brand-new computer, I decided to build, rather than buy one. I searched YouTube for budget builds. There were several in the $500 budget build range. You might buy the parts for $500 if you’re lucky to get them at the price when the video was made, but they leave out the fact that if you want warranty protection on some components, that can run you another $50-$100. Not to mention the budget builds use the very small cases, and bare components. I needed a mid-sized case, so I could get my big hands in there to work. Plus, larger case, more air, cooler components.

Using the list from a budget build, I upgraded some of the items (most) and began building. I won’t go into detail of where and how much, as the prices change, and even many components get discontinued. I found this out, trying to follow many parts lists.

In the picture below, I had just installed the motherboard, power supply and routing cables. Yes, the label looks upside down on the power supply, the label on the other side is right side up, that is so you can install it either way and the label appear correct through the window on the other side.

The case came with three led fans pre-installed in the front, and one plain fan in the back. There is a tempered glass pane covering the other side of the case. This is a view of the cabling cavity (opposite side from window) of the case. I will install two more led fans in the top, and replace the plain one in the rear with a led fan. Sorry, I like my bling at times. 🙂

Just getting started

Finished at Last!

I installed led light strips, recessed out of sight, and behind the white foam strip I added (to diffuse the light), to illuminate the main component area behind the glass. 

There is a mesh air filter over the top fans
A mesh air filter is located at the bottom of case for power supply air intake
Front view

I LOVE this keyboard! It clicks/clacks like the old keyboards in bygone days. It is preferred by gamers (which I am not) The body is made of steel, so it has weight and feels sturdy. Slender and so easy to type on. The colors being the constant rainbow, seem to help focus quickly if I need to glance at the keyboard. Three levels of brightness, 9 modes of light movement if you’re into that. The grandkids love watching it when I put one of the modes active. 

Red Dragon Rainbow keyboard

Components were picked for what I needed and budget. Not for highest performance. :)

  • Motherboard: ASRock B450M PRO4 AM4 AMD Promontory B450 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600 6-Core, 12-Thread Unlocked 65W Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
  • Ram: 16 GB GeIL 16GB (2 x 8GB) EVO Potenza DDR4 PC4-24000 3000MHz 288-Pin Desktop Memory
  • GPU: Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB GDDR5 128 Bit PCI-E Graphic Card (I have wanted a 1050ti for years).
  • Main Drive (Boot/OS): Crucial BX500 240GB 3D NAND SATA 2.5-Inch Internal SSD
  • Storage Drives: 1TB Seagate HDD 5900 rpm  /  Hitachi Deskstar 3TB 32MB Cache CoolSpin SATAIII 6.0Gb/s 3.5″
  • Power Supply: ThermalTake Smart 500Watt
  • Keyboard: Redragon K551-R Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Cherry MX Blue Switches “Vara” 104 Keys USB Wired  Steel Construction.
  • Operating System: Linux of course! It’s free!

Have questions about choices of components, please feel free to ask that is how we all learn.

Now, it’s time to enjoy it.
Comments always welcome,

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.

Please, stop trying to help me! I’m not a total idiot.

Browsers, websites, anti-virus programs. They all want us to accept, they know what’s best for us. Sure, there are some out here, that can benefit from some help to keep them safe online, but the majority of users today, know the dangers of clicking on links sent by email, or on social media.

First, they came out with “safe web surfing, big name virus companies scanned the web looking for websites with malicious items. That is great, in a way. Except scanners aren’t that smart. If something was detected on your site, you were immediately placed on a list as dangerous. Bad thing is, if it;s a false positive detection, it can take months to be removed from that list. If you’re a business that had a malfunctioning credit card link, you lost a lot of business while you fought to get off the list.


Next they decided SSL (a form of encrypting your data) was the way to go, turns out, it was full of holes itself. Then came HTTPS which shows you are encrypted and verified by a certificate. This was forced on everyone. Very soon, they possibly stop you from connecting to a site, just because it has images from a site that runs only HTTP (because the site can’t afford a certificate).

Then came the breaches of databases, actually these have happened for years, the last few years they are reported more, due to liability to customers. So we now come to browsers, and some sites that you have to sign in to, telling us whether our password is strong enough. They are about to go one step further, and not allow you to sign in if your password has been found in a breach, forcing you to make a new password. When you start to set a password, the site checks a HUGE database of passwords from all past breaches, to see if it is found in a breach somewhere.

Now, while I am all for being safe. Some of this seems to be knee-jerk responses. Overkill, comes to mind. You can’t protect everyone, by trying to protect the minority of users, you place more burden on others. Not to mention, if that massive database of passwords, was ever breached. Well, you can picture that. There is a saying in IT security. Nothing is truly secure, from a hacker with the proper skill set.

Want to check your password to see if it has been used?
Click Have I Been Pwned to find out.

Comments welcome,

What happened to us? We’ve been assimilated.

One of the benefits of life in the slow lane, is the time to sit and ponder the world. When going slow, you can see more around you.

What happened, to us. Once a very cautious and independent society, we have become lazy, and dependent, allowing others to decide what is good for us. This didn’t occur overnight, it has taken years, but it has worked pretty well. I’m not here for fear-mongering, just sharing my observations from slightly outside. Sometimes, it’s like living a Sci-Fi dream. People being controlled by objects, instead of the other way around, to the point of endangering themselves, and others. Texting while driving, operating equipment while texting (distracted).

I’m 67 years old, I’m the odd ball. Why? Maybe because I don’t have a smart phone within reach 24/7, yes I own one, but I control it, not the other way around. I bought and paid for my computer, I want to decide what communication comes in and out of it. Paranoid? Yes, and no. If wanting to protect myself is paranoid, then they can call me paranoid. I prefer oddball.

That switch was finally thrown

There was a time, when we could all control what came in and out of our machines. Slowly companies made things “convenient for us”. If we allowed them permission, they would handle the updates for us, and even collect information about any problems found, and store/share the findings We learned what the fine print of our operating systems meant. It was always there, but who reads 30 pages of legal jumbo when you think you own it. Years and years were spent wondering when the switch would be thrown. We all thought you paid for the software, but the fine print which no one reads, always said we were really leasing the right to use it. That switch was finally thrown after many years, with Windows 10. You now get updates whether you want them or not, ads displayed on your desktop. Your OS sends information back home, unless you dig deep and ferret it out. Most is on by default. Facebook, can even track those that don’t use Facebook. Regulatory bodies seem to look the other way.

Did you know (some of you do)? That your computer happily shares your bandwidth to provide updates to others? This can slow some older machines down, and cost money if you’re on metered service. It can be turned off, but it is on by default. Nice of them to use your computer and Internet you pay for, to help provide their software to others.

Some are truly addicted.

I’m not perfect, just have my head stuck outside the bubble a little. We’ve gone from having fairly decent control over our Internet lives, to sharing our most personal information on social media. Some are truly addicted. Many of us out there are. I’ve watched 70+ adults in medical waiting rooms, sitting right under the “Do not use phones” sign, talking or playing on the phone.

Just observations, shared on a Sunday morning. From Life in the Slow Lane.
Thanks to, Pete of “beetleypete” for jogging my memory to write this, after reading his ‘Anonymous’, Blog Comments, and Suspicious Sites post.

Comments always welcome,