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Photos of Your Computer Rigs
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DragonBomber
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Post#1  Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:48 pm  Reply with quote + 
I am always fascinated by the range in computer setups people I know use for their misc interests. Feel free to post pics of your misc computer setups. I have friends who do multibox arrangements for their WoW habits, but I'm not that cool, sadly. My wife and I have pieced together misc setups over the years from hardware people gave to us. Here is the current range of machines:

Dining room

Wife's side of the room, 2 PCs. One on the left is XP, one on the right is XP Media Center Edition (with Ubuntu 8.04 dualboot for when she's not around). The right hand PC (under the keyboard) is the fastest PC we have in the house, given to us when my brother bought an EEE PC and didn't need a desktop anymore. She uses them both at the same time, often with the silver machine as a multimedia/graphic editing box. She has one external usb drive which I try to fill with stuff over the network.

We can run an s-video cable to the living room TV, a 32" CRT if we desire to watch PC run movies out there, or just audio to a Bose sound system in there. Sadly, my mother is law is often home too often for this to be feasible.



My side of the room. The slowest machine in the house, 300 mhz dino running Ubuntu 8.04. No sound at all. I can do basic web browsing, but mostly keep it running for months with my IRC clients and IM accounts. I can VNC into it from the bedroom, and ideally work, if I wanted to set up the secured access properly. I killed a system just like the left hand Dell my wife uses for IM and document editing horribly, so I used to have a sound-capable system. That silver machine was going to be mine but I bowed to her pressure and desire to make it a media hub on that side of the room for both of us to use as needed.



Bedroom

This is where I am whenever I post messages from home, edit graphics/scans, or work on my video/music/drawing projects. Two wooden TV trays. I have my mic stand/pop guard setup I can sit in there, my Wacom drawing tablet, and hopefully someday a MIDI keyboard. I want to get one of those Nanokey $50 USB keyboards I think, but I'm cheap and keep waiting for prices to drop while I pay off credit cards. Currently have an external USB dvd burner, 3 external USB drives, but need to upgrade them since they are smaller.



Work

I am posting this message from my office at work while I prepare a gift letter for a giant donation of misc things brought in last week. I have had pepper plants in here, some of my original oil paintings on the walls (until the makeshift hanging rigs fell apart), and have a bunch of videogame toys on my desk (more added since the photo was taken). My bamboo plant died this past Christmas Break, but that's close to how it looks now.



Look forward to seeing how you all navigate the tubes of the interweb.  Shifty Eyes
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Plasma Bomber
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Post#2  Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:55 pm  Reply with quote + 
Dang, four computers at home, and none of them look the same.  Stunned

About a year ago I could have shown you my desk, but now it's just cluttered with papers and stuff. I've got a wide, flat monitor on there still, and a wireless keyboard waiting to be used for the first time, but I've never gotten around to fixing it back up again. My computer was always messing up in one way or another, so I have a laptop now. It's sitting atop one of those USB laptop fans, which is sitting atop a smooth piece of wood, which I have on my bed in front of me right now. It's plugged into a powerstrip on the floor, and I have an old binder for a mousepad. Yeah, that's pretty much all you can say about it. I -guess- I could take a picture of it, but it's nothing to see.
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DragonBomber
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Post#3  Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:37 pm  Reply with quote + 
That sounds like an entertaining rig you have setup. I have a stack of 5-7 cd binders I use as a makeshift table sometimes, but it does not support much weight. I hear you on PCs messing up though. The one in the bedroom has been reliable enough since we got it. Buddy's grandmother died. It's some Dell machine, only 512 mb of ram on a 1.6? ghz processor. I am afraid to open it anymore to upgrade it. I barely turn it off and run way too much at a time. I call it the "haunted" PC.

Those other Dells were mostly reliable though one wigged out and killed a harddrive while making buzz saw sounds for ages. The silver PC is an HP and seems "ok" for the most part, though the onboard sound went crazy. Using some cheap $12 USB soundcard but it works fine. My mother in law has some e machine in her room, no need to snapshot that one. My wife had an older laptop I got for $100 from a buddy, but I gave it away to someone when we were separated. haha We have had more than 10 PCs over the past 9 years, maybe more. I get parts and cases of machines people cast off, then do whatever with them. Had to throw away a lot since the garage was a graveyard of sharp metal monsters.

Believe it or not, that 300 mhz carebear sticker machine shown has been the most reliable machine we ever had. Got 2 identical models from a buddy for $50 a pop, and always had them to fall back on when our newer hardware died hard. Lent them out as loaner machines while I worked on PCs for friends also. I wish I still had my 586-133 mhz PC I started on, well the first upgrade as it originally had a 40 mhz DLC processor and a different board in it, but it took up too much space in the garage.

Me with the beastly dino in question. After the 133 mhz upgrade the turbo button no longer worked, but it was an awesome PC overall. Cut my teeth upgrading it, tooling with misc OSs, and fiddling about with all manner of ISA/PCI cards in it. It held an array of SCSI and IDE drives, plus had a box of SCSI drives outside it when I was done, before I took it apart forever.
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Post#4  Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:18 pm  Reply with quote + 
Woah, you look totally different in that picture.

I'd had my old computer for several years (can't remember how many), if I remember right it was basically built from scratch - which would sound good, but I don't think some of the parts were of great quality. I replaced stuff and upgraded the graphics eventually, but it just kept getting problems.

Man, doesn't it seem like all the older computers lasted longer? If I had that old computer that ran on DOS, the one I grew up on, I bet it would still work; we only upgraded it because we went to Windows.
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Post#5  Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:02 am  Reply with quote + 
Dark Zaphe wrote:
Man, doesn't it seem like all the older computers lasted longer? If I had that old computer that ran on DOS, the one I grew up on, I bet it would still work; we only upgraded it because we went to Windows.

My grandpas old kit ohio scientific still works (it's in my possession now as he moved out of state). I'm of the personal opinion that desktops really shouldn't ever break, and if they do it's because they're pieces of garbage... graphics cards might perhaps, but the core system should last forever... laptops... more like 6 years. Though if I were to get a desktop at this point it'd either be an IMAC or a home built tower.
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Post#6  Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:28 am  Reply with quote + 
Yeah, I have tossed more systems that had life left in them than had them die completely. The board on the Dell OptiPlex GX-150 died hardest of any boards I've had, but that was after years in a hospital, then several years of heavy constant use by us. The sounds it made were amazing. It took out harddrives along the way as it died. Thankfully nothing I needed. We bought three of them for a couple hundred dollars and two continue to work fine.

The only other major malfunction I've ever had was to overheat and kill some Soyo boards that were part of some kit sets. They worked a year, but I had not given them near enough fan coverage, better cables to allow more airflow, etc, and died poorly. I have had plenty of power supply failures, between myself and friends (who enlisted my aid), at least one bad ram stick, a couple shorted PCI slots, a shorted IDE socket on an old Compaq under 133 mhz 486 that did not want to live, and semi-fried AGP/PCI expansion/riser cards, but nothing too bad. I've found that most problems seem to come from just terrible parts that should have been recalled/avoided (friend thought I would want to repair her leaking capacitors for example), or some fault of the consumer in maintenance/use. I have never had a brand new PC that was not a case kit of some kind, and brought back several PCs people had tried their best to snuff the life from.
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Post#7  Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:19 pm  Reply with quote + 
Yeah, I suppose one of the reasons I expect desktops to last forever is cause I'm used to replacing anything that breaks on them anymore. That said it's still not ALL that common and it's still generally because something was poorly fabricated.
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Post#8  Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:45 am  Reply with quote + 
My desk in my room at uni



The iMac is my main machine, biggest screen and its wired to my sound system, external hard drive and TV adaptor, if i'm doing anything in my room i use this

The Macbook pro is technically the same specs as the iMac, its recently had a new battery. Used for working within the University (i hate their network, everything about it is slow with the exception of the wireless network that suites my lappy fine).
Also use it downstairs if i need it down there

The indigo iBook in the background is my gateway to MacOS9 as the other two machines are Intel based and thus can't emulate classic environment. Battery doesn't hold a charge but i've ordered a new one




This is my desk at home from December 2006



As i am at Uni, my younger brother has moved in the room (its the biggest) and his Powerbook occupies the space taken by my white iMac. The Lime iMac is still there tho, serving the same purpose to my brother as my iBook does to me. Come christmas time when i'm back home i'll get photos of all the macs round the house, in all there will be 10! And believe it or not they all actually have specific uses
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Post#9  Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:16 pm  Reply with quote + 
Ah the green IMAC, my favorite of the colors. I've a keyboard from one currently for my powerbook, I've gotten rid of my test imacs though, and have dropped OS9 completely except through emulation (I like OS9 alright, just have no reason to keep it around anymore, amiga workbench on the other hand ;P). What I don't understand is how someone can stand to use that puck mouse for anything but a good game of hockey.

I'm personally just sad my old os 7/8 laptops died in fatal accidents, I liked those black beasts for more then a few reasons. A 140 (I think, I have trouble differentiating the 100 series, they all look more or less the same) which was running 6 when I got it and 7.5.3 (my favorite number set) when it died and a 520C with late 7 upgraded to early 8 both served me well even though they were both ancient when I obtained them. The 140 came with a set of disks that included the mac version of Pirates! which is how I found that game, and in thus I'm indebted to that laptop for life... plus the trackball worked for a fun SF better then any other controller I've played with. Also I wish I could still get laptops with trackballs, they're much better then trackpads IMO.
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Post#10  Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:08 pm  Reply with quote + 
I've tried to feel nostalgic over System 7 a few times but its just impossible to. The first computer my household had was a Performa 5200 running 7.5.5, it froze and spat out a type 11 error every 20 or so mins. Everything about it was unstable
7.6 was an improvement, MacOS8 was a godsend :P
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Post#11  Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:53 pm  Reply with quote + 
Old macs even OS9 had issues with stability, 8 and 9 had a tad better crash prevention, but with "cooperative multitasking" and a shared memory pool there really wasn't anything apple could do to really fix it, just improve their recovery. 7.5.3 really never crashed for me, but that's just because I was very careful about making sure what I ran (extensions and all) were as stable as possible. That and I tried to remember every software change I made so I could make them in reverse to find what was causing crashes... heck I still do that a bit.

I've found that the classic OS's when combined with techno still give that sweet mac user high that OSX has never give me. Perhaps that's just nostalgia though.
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Post#12  Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:46 pm  Reply with quote + 
Pretty awesome photos, Hammer Brother! Thank you. I like the visual flair of Mac hardware quite a lot. Never owned any Apple hardware though, sadly. They can do some pretty fantastic things but I just never got around to investing in any of the technology.  Shifty Eyes
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