Ruminations on Building a New Rig, or: Laptop or Bust.


I have been building desktop computers for over 10 years, however I suspect I have come to a crossroads in terms of needs for portability and general processing power. I fear that this desktop may well be the last one I self-assemble, or purchase, for that matter. In fact, I have been in this new apartment for 1 day shy of 2 weeks, and it is still not necessary to plug the 1100T system in. This, despite the desk being set up, and the power all sorted out. If I set it up, it may be simply because this blog post goads me into doing it.

My desktop is not truly portable in most senses and my laptop, tablet, and smartphone have seen much more use than the desktop, despite its considerable horsepower and stability. This combined with my lack of desire to Game anymore has left the desktop unplugged and forgotten… destitute and forlorn.

I had planned on building an A10 system as a backup desktop, but this move to the upstairs apartment and the general lack of need for the desktop, and more importantly, the lack of desire for the back pain that comes with a desk and chair, has resulted in my decision to end my adventures in desktop computer building. I never did LAN parties, I was never that good at the MMOs I played for 9 years, and I started to develop back pain from all the time spent at the computer, not to mention a necessary move from mouse to trackball thanks to repetitive strain injury. Also, a $1200 laptop could easily pump out enough pixels to do the game playing should I ever desire to return to Azeroth or Telara.

My desktop building days started when  needed to upgrade my $2000 HP Pavilion that I had when I started at the local Technical College… purchased by my Father who felt I needed a good system to last for a few years. At that time it had come with a 14.4 kbps telephone modem, and I eventually wanted to upgrade to a 33.6k modem. The modem cost $210 dollars, the process was difficult, and I was sweating bullets. Once everything worked though, I was as hooked as an automotive student who had just installed a new engine.

Many self-made desktops later, I think I will look back on this experience with both pride and shame. Pride because I usually had the best rig of anyone I knew (for a few months at least), and shame because I rarely had a truly stable rig… there was always something amiss with my rigs, from something as simple as a device driver, all the way to blue screens that caused me to fly into a rage after working on those problems for days. I think a BSOD is a good psychological stress test, and I am afraid I failed most of them. Somehow the loss of the girl in high school shone through greatest when the computer refused to work.

Oddly enough, now that I am finally letting go of all that pain, I am also no longer going to build desktops… perhaps there is a correlation…


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