Friday, March 04, 2011

One piece at a time: Interlude

Lydia has been anxious to start putting things together since the hard drive arrived. I'd told her we couldn't put anything together until the motherboard arrived. Well, we got it on Tuesday, so on Tuesday evening after supper instead of watching NCIS I was working on a computer with my twelve-year-old daughter.

I am going to say now that it was a good experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. I want to say it up front because some of what comes later might sound like complaining. For instance, when I mention the fact that there is a reason I when I choose my own time to work on a computer it is 8:00AM on Saturday morning when I am fresh as opposed to Tuesday at 7pm. (For some reason Tuesdays are a tiring day for me. I don't know why.)

While I was finishing up some other chores, Lydia and her mom prepared the kitchen table as a workspace. When I arrived, I had her bring one of our cereal bowls as a place to hold the screws. This is very important. I've spent more time looking for screws than any other part of the process, but the solution is easy: have a place for them.

The first part of the operation was opening the case. This is a nicely designed case, so the rule of thumb in opening is that it will be easy...if you think. And it was. The entire case is just a marvel of design. There is not a cubic inch of unused space.

Once it was open and we had cleared out the case, we began the process of installing the motherboard. It was at this point I made an important discovery. Lydia is good help. She does what she is told and she thinks. And she has thin, long fingers that will fit into these small form-factor cases.

She attached the motherboard, and attached the cables, but I had to figure out what cables went where.

I have entered the age of bifocals, but have made the discovery that they made certain print very clear but very small. To light a candle rather than curse the darkness, I have purchased a magnifying glass with a light as part of my tool kit. It is great in reading motherboard diagrams. The diagrams and connections are all straight forward except for the front-panel, but Lydia's young eyes and thin, long fingers were useful again.

Once the motherboard was in with the cables attached, we proceeded with the hard drive, whose bay was cleverly tucked away.

We then closed it up and are waiting for the next round of parts.

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