I took a series of classes through work, then built my dream
After successfully completing Computer Troubleshooting and Building classes, paid for by work, I built a "Shuttle", small form factor, system over 4 years ago. It is still, my main system, is used daily and doing a great job. I used an "Athlon- Barton" core 2.8ghz processor and 1 gig, (two Cortez 512 Meg) Ram, matched Platinum cooled, Sticks. I installed a TDK 440N DVDRW writer/player, an external floppy and just recently attached, (Firewired), a Lacie 250 Gig by "FA Porsche" External Hard Drive, to keep my 120 Gig internal Western Digital uncluttered with Data Storage. I partioned my internal hard drive when I installed my XP Pro Operating System at "C" 22-Gig and "D" 98-Gig. I recommend learning as much as one can, before attempting, building a computer to help understand the myriad of choices and price differences, so; what you want is what you build, cost effectively, (so you don't feel ripped off after you are done). It cost me $2100.00 initally with operating system and other software. I want to upgrade my processor and DVD and will do so in the next month or two. I occasionally build systems for friends/family and really enjoy the process. I love troubleshooting, what I do for a living, on Aircraft, and can usually find the time to help friends and family ,(DAD) with keeping their systmes, I bulit running effectively. Even though I understand electronics at a technical level and have many years experience with Acft. Systems troubleshooting, I could not of built these Personal Computer Systems wihtout the knowledge I gained in the classes I attended. It makes my job easier now, as I can intelligently discuss systems design and integration with Engineers at work and I have become a better troubleshooter as a result. I think work realized this when agreeing to pay for the classes. Any added information learned about personal computers is beneficial and becomes a requisite to moving forward no matter what your job is. Interfacing with Computer Systems is and most likely will always be a fundamental baseline for most all careers and learning all we can about them an intelligent choice.
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