New Hardware Tales of Woe

Jeremy’s woes are the reason that I didn’t mind the $50 “assembly” fee when I ordered my new computers today. Of course, I didn’t include buying an OS, so not all hassles are going to be eliminated. But neither of them will run (sadly) Linux, so it’ll be just the assembly hassles that I’m eliminating.

Oh, and I did go with the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro Joe 🙂

For Firefly’s system I got the nVidia GFX-5200. From what I found it’s a decent card for gaming, without being outrageously expensive. We’ll see how it is. They are ordering in parts tomorrow, getting them the next day and then assembling, so I get to pick them up (in theory) on Thursday. Then I get to try to install an os. I have a ghost image from my last install, but of course it’s on a totally different motherboard/cpu so because of the lovely way that XP is tied to the motherboard, or at least will not boot if you change the MB under it), it’s completely and utterly useless.

At least my web cache will mean I only have to download the 40 or so service packs once. On the other hand, installing the OS from scratch means I don’t have to deal with vendor installed OS options. Yea, like I need to remove three different versions of AOL from my new system, and pretend I trust whatever else they install. I don’t think so.

Thanks Jeremy for a great story though.

6 Comments on “New Hardware Tales of Woe”

  1. While you are conceeding that integration of hardware/software into “the whole widget” isn’t bad, let ME concede that I do like the x86 world’s ability to piece together machines to do what one needs.
    A prime example of that is my multimedia machine. If I had done it “the apple way”, it would have cost me $2000 because I would have had to buy a tower, get the card, etc. etc.
    A lot less headaches, but more expensive and a lot of overkill.
    It is just funny that a lot of the woes of the Windows/Linux world would be overcome by just getting an OSX box, and a lot of the woes in the Apple world can be solved by DIY of an x85 machine. Irony. Gotta love it.

  2. This story isn’t about how building a new computer sucks, it is how Linux sucks. Getting video card settings should not be as hard as XFree makes it out to be.
    Also, this guy didn’t do his research first and got hosed. if he had looked at the specs for each of the pieces of equipment he was buying, he would have been OK.
    When I was making my multimedia box, I had similar problems but they could not have been avoided. Minium requirements to do MPEG-2 recording was 500 mhz and I had a 700 mhz Athlon.. and yet it would record well (it would only record at VERY low framerates). Not my fault, this is a limitation that was seen later, when benchmarking.
    Then, when I got the new motherboard it had a power problem… bad or too little power from power supply. Again, the specs said I could use the old PS, but realistically it didn’t work out that way.
    This guy got hosed because he probably had not made a machine for himself in a while (which is understandable), and since 1998, this young whipper-snapper generation of computing is just close enough to the old generation to be confusing. Do your research (and buy ALL NEW hardware, don’t piece together from old) and you won’t run into these problems.
    And oh yeah, ob Mac reference.

  3. As for your obMac, don’t forget that you have to get a different video card just to run on a mac, you can’t use an off the shelf card (which is stupid IMHO). Bah, Macs.

  4. Yeah, but except for hardware failures on the video card’s end (not Apple’s fault, and rare at that), I have never heard of a Mac video card that had problems in software, etc. “it just works”.

  5. (that is not to say that that’s not a good thing of course, apple hardware is sure sign of this! none of this change the fact that I got a good giggle out of JZ’s story 🙂