Friday, December 18, 2015

She wanted a pink one

I've been busy this week, building a new computer for Emma. As the title reveals, she wanted a PINK computer to replace her old iMac.

I'm a bit disappointed in the iMac: I thought Apple computers would continue to be upgradeable and compatible with newer programs pretty much indefinitely, but that wasn't the case. The machine is about 5 years old now, and is running OS X, which was superseded shortly after we bought the computer. It worked fine for the next 4 years, but recently Emma found she couldn't upload the latest version of iTunes on it - it was too out of date. That's a big problem for her, because she's got a big collection of music and videos from iTunes.

Was it worth buying a new operating system? The hardware was starting to show its age too: she'd damaged one of the header pins for the earphone jack, so couldn't listen to music on it anymore. And a new iMac is running about $1400 or higher. So since she wanted a more personalized look to her computer, I said I'd build her one. Of course, this means going back to a Windows operating system (I don't think she'd want to learn Linux) but that's what's on our other computers, so she'd have no trouble getting used to it again. Except that she wanted Windows 10, not 7, as I have on all the other computers. I said Fine, but she'd have to learn the details herself, as I wasn't used to that version.

Anyway, the whole build went really well. Here's what we put into it:

Pink Apevia case
Thermaltek 650 power source
ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer motherboard
Intel Core i3 with onboard video
G-Skill Aegis 16GB RAM
1TB WD hard drive
LG cd/dvd drive, LG bluray drive

She wanted 2 monitors, and Newegg was having a sale, so I got 2 21" Sceptre HDMI monitors. Only 1 can connect to the computer with an HDMI cable, the other will use a normal VGA cable. Also a pair of "pebble" speakers, which connect via USB, and as we have a lot of USB ports, that's quite convenient.

Here are the photos:

It took us several days, but we also managed to migrate all her music, video and picture files from the iMac to the Windows computer. I was very proud of that; it took some research on the internet, but we connected the two computers with a LAN cable and got them to recognize each other, and it went well. Although we had to take it a bit slowly; they couldn't seem to handle large folders with many files, so some TV shows with multiple episodes ended up being done one episode at a time.


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