Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2002-02-07 Entry: "Parcel Force"

The fan arrived from Maplin yesterday. This was the processor fan that I'd been waiting on before doing the upgrade I had planned. It wouldn't be particularly notable except for the fact we'd had a missed delivery in Thatcham a couple of days ago.

Everyone assumed that the fan was what was waiting at the depot. Well, that idea has been shot out of the water. When I phoned, their computer system was down, so they couldn't give me any information on it. So I guess we won't know until Saturday when I make the trek out there to collect it, but until then? Not a clue!

So last night left me performing major surgery on my PC. Things to note when I do this again:

Processor fans obviously have a special tool for fitting. They've got this nasty spring loaded bit that holds it down on either side. As we had no special tool, I had plenty of fun trying to lever this down. Eventually I managed (bend end out so it just about goes over the spigot it fixes to, apply pressure to top with object that wont slip and dig it's way through the motherboard - in this instance a plastic propellor pencil applied lengthways, and push like billy-o).

SDRAM boards have rough edges - applying pressure to them is painful.

Equally for PCI cards.

PC Cases aren't necessarily built for every motherboard. They assume that the CD drives won't be placed where the bits of the motherboard are. Not sure how I'll get around this, as I can't put the CD drives back far enough that the screwholes are visible. I may have to leave them loose, but I'm not particularly fond of that idea.

IDE cables aren't long enough for the average case. The convolutions I've gone through trying to get the drives connected is crazy. The case demands that the floppy drive be the center drive in the lower bays. The two hard disks fit above and below it. The two CD drives fit above all of this. For performance reasons, I'd prefer the DVD drive as the secondary master, but it doesn't like occupying the same cable as the other CD drive. Therefore, I'm left trying to cable the bottom hard disk and the top DVD drive, the hard disk and the CD drive right in the middle, and the floppy drive making a mess of the whole thing.

All PCI slots are not created equal - my Hollywood Plus card didn't work in the first slot I put it in, so I had to move things around...

Fingers are not designed to take the punishment involved in all this.

For some unknown reason I still can't get the CD drives to work. I can just about get one going, but the other won't coexist with anything in the machine... my next step is to see if I'm doing something stupid (I get the feeling something doesn't like being on an ATE-100 cable).

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