This is my computer.

There are many like it…


Right in the middle of a rather busy time in the development of the fledgling consultancy, the motherboard died on my KAOS box.

It was a good motherboard. The KAOS box in general served me well, and outlasted many another PC as far as obsolescence for performance purposes. But, well, the on board sound card started flaking out, and the writing was on the wall. I already had a replacement motherboard and CPU combination picked out, but this wasn’t exactly budgeted.

When it happened, thanks to some generous (and satisfied) customers, it’s replacement was wending it’s way to me within the hour, along with an AMD Phenom II Deneb Black Edition quad core CPU.

I fretted and stressed a lot. I’ve done this kind of work mostly on Sun hardware. Some minis, some mainframes, the odd small SGI or IBM. Not a whole lot of complete system builds from scratch on modern X86 hardware. I mean, sure, replace some RAM? Swap out a video card? Not a big deal. But this was my KAOS box, my BAYYYYBEEEEEEE, so I was approaching the whole thing as if it was open heart surgery.

In the end I self-medicated with large quantities of caffeine and the knowledge that the people I bought it from have an EXTREMELY forgiving RMA policy in the event of DOAs or massive incompatibilities. Taking a large swig from a half-liter Hofbrauhaus stein of double-dose Lapsang Souchong, I grabbed the silly purple flowered screwdriver and went in.

“Scalpel”, I didn’t quite mutter as my husband brought his leatherman to bear on some flashing that was preventing the installation of the Thermaltake TS1 double expansion slot fan. AMD quad cores run super hot. While the Thermaltake Xaser V case has four fans and temperature gauges all over the machine, the new mobo was so much smaller than the original that I figured the extra room freed up as applied to another fan which would direct airflow out of the back of the machine would NOT go to waste.

During occasional breaks I reflected on how much I had always hated the gothy black, grey and red front of the case. I’d hated this color scheme on sight. I am SO not a goth. The other two cases in the Xaser V series were much cooler, especially the blue one. But this had been the one with the best combination of components at the time, so I was stuck with it.

The thing is, I’m 100% out of the shit taking business now. So I’m not actually stuck with ANYTHING I don’t want, see? I was going to have all new, top-of-the-line components of my own choosing on the inside. So why not make the outside more compatible with who and what I am, too?

So I found myself taking apart the front of the case and wandering over to what I call my “studio” where all the art supplies live with assorted metal bitty bits. I’d paint them a little, then go back to work on the hardware while the paint dried. It was all good.

Soon all thingies (that’s a technical term, you know) had been installed, configured, cabled, labeled, injected, detected, inspected and in some cases resurrected. It was time to put the freshly painted front of the case back together and bask in the glory of KAOS II.

KAOS II does not merely look cool, it also rewarded me for my trouble by installing the gigantic XP Service Pack 3 in a BLISTERING 10 MINUTES.


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  1. Yay. 🙂

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