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  • Upgrading

    I've noticed that when most people want to upgrade their computers, they'll take it in to a computer shop to get it done. When you do that, the cost of the installation is somtimes half as much as the product itself, so I've found it's much cheaper to do it myself (so far I've installed RAM, a usb card, and a second hard drive) but lots of people are hesitant to do that, thinking that it's too hard for them to do. Really, it's not hard at all if you take the necessary precautions (backing all your data up, using anit-static guard so you don't fry any of your equipment) I bought a book called "The Complete PC Upgrade and Maintenance Guide" by Mark Minasi, that I'd definitely recommend to anybody planning to do their own upgrading or system building, which explains all the hardware details and gives step by step instructions on how to do everything (most of it is actually pretty easy, it usually just involves opening the case, sliding a card in a slot or screwing a couple screws in and attaching a coupld cables). You can save a lot by doing everything yourself, but there's a few things you want to make sure of before you go ahead and open up the computer: 1. check your warranty on your system if there is one - opening your case might void it 2. *always* use a grounding cable or anistatic strap, because if you don't you could end up doing serious damage to your system.

    - David

  • #2
    I was always a complete technohpobe i regards to the inner workings of computers, but a recent motherboard and processor change resolved any fears I may of had. As David points out I purchased my hardware and enquired as to how much it would cost to have them fitted - needless to say, the price quoted made me go white, it was nearly as much as the hardware. In the end with a friend on the phone and a nervous hand I set about replacing it myself.

    I learned that computer are not delicate like we all think, indeed the components can take wrenching and bending and all sorts of punishment, I even had to shave a section of my graphics card so that it would fit neatly into place - the moral of the story is wade in and be brave - nought ventured, nought saved

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    • #3
      I am with you both with this one. There are now 3 computers in the house and I built each one from scratch. It was more about 'hows it done' than the money aspect of it - although I have to admit that was some what of a encoragement.

      The hard ware side of putting a computer together is actually quite easy and is just a case of getting all the compatible bits together and a screw driver. The only trouble I have ever had is when I bought a Abit motherboard and with a currupt cmos and several other major faults. It took almost 2 days of head scratching to figure out that it was not a hard drive or software problem. I now run on the replacement board and after that it all seemed like a lot easier.

      Don't let this discourage you though its all a learning curve but taking the first step is always that hardest one. Read the magazines and do a bit of web searching, it pays off.

      It can be fun and every satisfing to say,
      There my computer I built it!
      Clare

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      • #4
        A couple of years ago I jumped in with both feet and decided to build a system from scratch. It worked great and resolved any fear I had of the inner workings of "The Mystery Monolith".

        Since that time I have found a nice little niche for myself in building and repairing systems for people I know. I under cut the local shops by quite a bit and still can charge $75.00 per hour without my clients even blinking. It helps that I also allow them to call me with problems or email me and I don't charge them for this type of service. Word of mouth has developed me a nice, manageable client base that serves as one of my many sources of income.

        What is that saying? Jack of all trades, Master of none!

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