Wednesday, 9 February 2011

What Does It All Do?

I've never built a computer before. I've done quite a bit with my almost four quarter decades, but never built a computer.
About 3 years ago I converted our old desktop PC into a Windows Home Server, but that was relatively easy. Take out the two CD-ROM drives, stick a couple of 500gb drives in cradles in their place and plug the wires back in. Load up the operating system from a USB CD drive and then two hours later voila... but that was re-using the basic beige box.
This time I needed a low-powered PC that I could turn on and forget about, plus it needed to be Windows XP plus have a RS-232 (serial) port so the home automation software I've chosen can communicate with the hardware bits and bobs.

As I have huge knowledge gaps in all things PC I tend to result to searching online forums and other peoples blogs for advice and techniques. So after a fair bit of surfing I decided to go for these bits:

1 x  Intel Atom 1.6GHz System Bundle
1 x  Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 80GB SATA-II 8MB Cache - ST380815AS
1 x  Kingston 1GB 533MHz DDR2
1 x  Windows XP Home OEM Edition
1 x  Panasonic CW-8124-B Slot Loading DVD/CDRW + SATA Adapter and Cable

This lot came in at just over £300, I probably could've got it already built cheaper, but screwing it altogther and hoping it works is half the fun!

I bought it all from LinITX who promptly delivered it.
Now the trouble was that we were living in a flat at the time, and although I actually didn't need the pc yet... I just had to have it and build it and test it. Am I the only one like this, no patience when it comes to IT and and new toys?!

Windows XP installed fine, took ages, but the Home Server I built a couple of years back took ages so I knew what to expect. After loads of windows updates, I had a fresh clean copy of XP running on a small energy efficient-ish box. All ready to have Cortex installed on it. More on that to come.

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