Psychotic Princess

The Ranting Tales of a Raving Lunatic...


New Computer, New Site, New New!

Posted by PsychoticPrincess on May 11, 2008 at 12:35 PM
So, I'll start with the most exciting thing first.

I built my own computer from scratch for the first time ever.

That's right, Bambino the third died on me (I'm starting to believe it was just the hard drive but all the more reason to do what I did). I was getting the bsod in XP! That is not supposed to happen!

So, I grabbed the resident hardware expert as well as a ton of research and headed out to microcenter a couple weeks ago. My goal was to build a computer for under $500 that would be easy enough to upgrade well into the future. Here's what I purchased -
  1. Asus M3A Motherboard (click here for product details)
    - This bad boy can handle a quad processor and 8 GB ram. It also had the highest number of PCI slots for my legacy devices and of course SATA for new devices
  2. AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core Processor (click here for product details)
    - I don't necessarily need a quad processor... yet.
  3. Alpine 64 Heatsink (click here for product details)
    - By far the hardest thing to install. Only because the RTFM pictures didn't match anything until I looked at the online manual for the Alpine instead of the motherboard manual (and color manuals help a LOT)
  4. Thermaltake TR2 430W Power Supply (click here for product details)
    - If I ever upgraded the processor I would probably want to upgrade the power supply
  5. 2 x 1GB Ballistix 240-Pin Unbuffered DIMM (click here for product details)
  6. Gigabyte GZ-X2 Chassis - Black (click here for product details)
I already had a video card (Nvidia GeForce 5200 PCI) and a 750 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive. I also bought an IDE controller card because the motherboard only had one IDE connection and I didn't want to run my Optical Drive off the same channel as my Hard drive. I haven't fully installed that yet, so they are in fact running off the same channel. It took me some time to get up the nerve just to turn the machine on when I first set it up, so baby steps I say! The hardest part outside of getting the heatsink on properly was getting the hard drive to work. The only copy of XP I had was pre sp2. And before SP2 XP did not recognize anything more than 130 GB. Last time I tried to reinstall XP thinking it would leave my additional partition alone it deleted all the partition information. Althought I was lucky enough to recover the 250 GB worth of data I thought I lost, I decided this time I didn't want to press my luck. I finally got XP slipstreamed with sp2 and got it installed.

Anyway, I have to tell you, this machine is awesome. I was running both CS3 and Flash MX at the same time and there were no speed issues. Ironically the one thing that makes things a little slow is iTunes!

Another side note is my immediate frustration with Microsoft Office's new file format (.docx). I use OpenOffice because I can. As well as Thunderbird for POP3 access. yes, I might be comfortable with the windows operating system, but my office tools need to be free.

I found myself trying to open a DOCX file with OpenOffice 2.3. After some research I upgraded to version 2.4 which will allow you to doubleclick on the file, where you are then prompted to convert the file to .doc. Then you can open the new file without any trouble.

The Wonderland Ballroom

The other news has to do with a client I've had for a little while now, but the website I built for them officially went live a couple weeks ago. What's special about this site is that it is the first one where I built the CSS file completely from scratch. Usually I take a template from OSWD and use it as a ... well... template... for a new site.

What is also special about this site is the amount of local press it is getting. The DCist posted about the new website, which was then picked up by other local bloggers. Although not all of the comments about the site were favorable (ranging from clean, simple, to *shudder* a FrontPage late 90s design) it was nice to see my work talked about.

The DCist's Article can be found Here.

The Wonderland Ballroom Site can be found Here

And, if you like my simple and basic way of building websites that are search engine friendly, clean, and scalable on multiple computer configurations, you can contact me through my consulting website at Or, maybe I could help you build a computer. Who knows!

Categories: Computers

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