So I've built a few computers. Now, I expect the specifics of building a computer would bore the life out of most people, which is why I will not delve into the dull technical intricacies. I will start off by stating, simply, that there are many reasons you would opt to build a computer rather than purchase a factory-built, standardised system; so if you are already wondering why someone would go to great lengths to build a full, top of the range computer system, then it is because the main advantage is the money saved in doing so (despite still deducting an enthusiastic chunk of cash from your wallet!). Now, the reason I am writing about the fact that I've built my PC is simply because it was a hugely precarious endeavour. Buying all the parts and making sure they are compatible with each other, deliberately buying more expensive parts because the brand is more reliable, and buying four times the amount of cables you actually need are all widely accepted levels of obsession within the PC building industry. This fastidious nature is customary when building a PC, because you would have no real guarantee that a specific component is going to work unless you try it first. If I do it all wrong, then I am stuck with a very large, oversized paperweight, not to mention the huge financial footprint that it left behind. Unfortunately, this is something I have endured first-hand, and there was no telling whose fault this really was: mine, or the manufacturers?
The progressively innovative computer industry is by far one of the most competitive, survival-based markets in contemporary society to date. If you have a computer for one year, its components would already have been surpassed by a massive surge of enhanced electronics, those of which may already have existed on the market six months after building your 'new' PC. The only reason this market is huge is because of the alternating current between the mega-corporations that run it: Would I buy a product from the company that has had a bad reputation this year? No. Would I buy a product from the company that has provided the best service this year? Yes. But there is no telling which manufacturer is going to produce the same component with the better performance and value, and to some people, depending on the brand, the price does not factor into their final decision.
In addition, every company within this business sector thrive off the fickleness of their consumers. They believe the component they buy is something that they really need, when really it is just a great desire to have something valuable and expensive looking; akin to high street apparel. It is the reason successful companies within this field of business make staggering profits from frivolous spenders, both online and in store.
And I admit to being one of those spendthrifts.
But I had already spent my money. I didn't regret my decision; it was not my first time building a computer (this was the second PC I built) but I had the prospect of it being the only computer I built without any problems. In the end, that absolutely was not the case. Contrary to popular belief, it is relatively straightforward to build a PC from the ground up, but making sure everything works before potentially breaking everything is something of a different nature entirely.
And there it was. The delivery van. The courier arrived at my door, and I heaved the huge box of boxes upstairs. It got to the point where I was afraid to make a start, but I took everything out of the package and, after a tedious seven hours, I had it built. I double checked everything ' twice ' to ensure every cable and every wire was connected to the right place. Everything looked fine.
Yet the moment of truth was near, and as I tightened the final screw, I was overcome by an ineffable pang of nervousness. I knew I had to do this at some point. After various frantic changes to the wiring and neatly tucking away obstructive cables, it all came to this. The power on button, right on the front of the case, was going to decide the final outcome. Hesitantly placing my finger on the button, tempted to check the components once more, I couldn't believe how dramatic I was being when simply turning the thing on. What could possibly go wrong? I have checked everything, with reference to the instruction manual (which I do always read) and everything matched up properly. Why was I so afraid to press the button? Maybe it was because I was less than half a centimetre away from finding out whether or not this was a well spent one thousand pounds. However, I finally decided to press it. And, amazingly, something happened: The fans spun into life! It beeped once, which is the common signal that everything was working. But of course, my reliance on a mere sound was not enough: there was a spark, and soon after that, a faint, feeble exploding noise and' everything stopped. Overwhelmed with a sense of guilt (did I just lose over a thousand pounds?) I took the side panel off, and I was bitterly disappointed to see melted cables protruding from the main component; all of which were engulfed in a semi-transparent cloud of smoke.
Consequential to my fallible purchasing, it turned out that the power supply, the main component, fried the main circuit board, so anything that worked was rendered useless when connected to it; electricity was unable to flow through the system. Every other component that I spent a fortune on was destroyed due to a 'power surge.' The excessive amount of money and time I put into building it went up in flames. Well, not necessarily as dramatic as that, but the unnerving 'pop' and exhaustion of smoke signified the loss of an impatiently spent wad of cash. Every time I find out that one of the products I buy are faulty, a huge current of depletion flows through me: I was conned. Or at least, I thought I was. The power supply failed, and it took everything else with it. No one else seemed to have this problem: I watched videos on the family PC that clearly showed the component working flawlessly. In reflection, I suppose I just didn't want to consider the possibility of me wiring it up improperly, or connecting it to the wrong place or ultimately placing all blame in myself because of it. The product was faulty, therefore that is the responsibility of the company. But if I just had a little more patience to test it without actually connecting it to everything first, maybe I wouldn't have had to fork out more money to get another PC. Yes. Another computer. Don't get me wrong, not every single component failed and I was able to return the vast majority of them, though it still cost an extra three hundred pounds for repairs and replacements.
But I am thankful that it happened a long time ago. The reason for that is because, nowadays, the market appears to be more regulated and more reliable. The knock-off companies are being named and shamed. The industry has almost rid itself of faulty components (I hope) and people can have more faith in themselves when it comes to building a computer; if anything goes wrong, you can now more comfortably blame it on the manufacturer and not the quality of your own construction. My final attempt marks the fourth computer I have built, and to avoid any further problematic outcomes, it will be the last one I build for a very long time.
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