Thursday, 21 January 2021

Building a computer...difficult? Not really...

Wow, and because I am marooned at home, oh it's not so bad, the little lady supplies me with enough coffee to fill the river Severn (Môr Hafrn in Welsh) and I started to build my own powerful desktop computer. That is to say it is really assembling because you buy all the constituent parts ready and all you have to do is assemble them in the RIGHT ORDER! Something I forgot and moreover you have to make sure all the parts can fit together and are of the type required. There are so many things that can go wrong, anyway I carried on. I purchased a desktop box, a nice  Corsair Airflow 275R which can show some interesting light effects if you want that. But I don't need that. All the other parts as well, graphics card, processor (AMD Ryzen5), motherboard (mobo), power supply (PSU) and some small bits and bobs like memory (RAM). The actual assembly only took 4 hours because I could not figure out where all the cables had to go. Mainly as the PSU had a few connecting links at the side which I had not noticed. So I did not see how the two 1Tb HDD drives would fit and be attached. I have to say that the websites are plentyful but full of half-soaked information. Most of them are pretty useless for beginners. Now I am not a beginner, in the end I found out for myself. One of the main problems is the lamentable accompanying documentation. Why do the manufacturers not engage proper English speaking authors? Don't answer that, I don't want to upset my Chinese and Japanese friends. Anyway I am typing this now on my new system. Hurray!

Ed 26/1/2021

The new Linux Mint works like a dream.  I have to say why would anyone use Windows? But yeah, it is a choice one has to make. I have used Linux for years now and never had anything bad to say. Of course you get problems, mostly due to mistakes by oneself but with use of the various forums easy to overcome. 

This time, to change the subject, I have used a graphics card. Not particularly because I wanted to but because I needed to. When buying a processor check whether these are configured for graphics! The Ryzen5 I purchased did not have graphic capabilities, not the level I require. But as my family likes to play very involved games like OAD and Minecraft a graphics card would be handy in any case. So, a cheaper version of a very good processor and a £100 P400 Nvidia card. Job done. The other thing I like to say is this, if you do build your own, use at least 500Gb SSD as the main memory. Yes, you need to get a mobo that will fit the small cards but the computer will be a lot faster loading software. You can always also install the SATA drives as secondaries. I have done so and it really works like a dream. The system recognised them immediately. And for RAM if you want to play games at least 16Gb, I purchased 2-16Gb Kingston strips which will kill almost anything now. Lastly, security. Yep, not to be forgotten. Linux is already pretty secure, there are practically no virus concerns. Unless you use dual booting eg Windows and Linux side by side, then I would use the usual virus checking software for Windows. Linux has an excellent Firewall (ufw) which can be tweaked to make an almost unbreakable system. Of course there is no such thing as 100% safe. But, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so try it for yourselves. In the end I am one of those who can be called paranoid. So, use a VPN. It is good thinking anytime! Pay for one as the free ones are OK but record your data to sell. I use PIA, only about £80 annually. So, there it is, a nice desktop and as safe as can be unless I am stupid and start clicking on everything I see. Most of the danger is - guess? Yes, ourselves!

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