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Aphistolas

Building your own desktop computer

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Greets all,

 

Despite the fact I'm an avid laptop-abuser (surprised my low-level Acer hasn't even got sick on me yet), I've been interested in desktops and top-end computing for awhile. I've looked at quite a few designs and configurations, and I try to familiarise myself with the latest technologies (solid state drives, use of carbon nanotubes in computing, quad core processors, etc.), I'm still a huge hardware n00b though :) .

 

I know building your own computer is substantially cheaper than buying it pre-assembled from any retailer, and perhaps (when I have the space, and money) I shall make an attempt to create my own monstrosity. Right now I'm only interested in buying retailer parts, as OEM parts seem too require more research for each individual part; I certainly wouldn't want to spend money on my chosen part only to find it clocked at a lower speed, or missing a port! Is there any particular reason to buy OEM? If I were seeking to buy OEM parts, is there anything I should avoid? What about support and warranty, does the manufacturer offer these?

 

What chassis is recommended? Now, I'm not exactly nostalgic for the days of my father's 1998 beige-coloured mammoth of a case, but I'm not ready to throw money at a chrome-plated, glow in the dark, blue light emitting monster either. I understand that buying an appropriate size of case is important if I wish to make full use of the widest variety of hardware. I'm thinking about going with a standard ATX, but I'm curious if anyone has any advice regarding this matter. Preferably, I want to avoid using anything so small it would limit my choice of motherboard (miniITX and such).

 

Assuming that I've managed to acquire a chassis that will suit, I'll need to get an appropriate CPU. I'm definitely not just a surf-and-word person, and I'm more inclined toward gaming and media than simple operations like browsing. For this reason I'd like to select a dual-core clocked at an appropriate speed. Also, I understand having a larger FSB and cache is also desirable. I've been around Intel processors all my life (my family do not believe in high-end computing, for one thing) but I'm curious about using an AMD product. What are the recommendations here? I'd still prefer a dual-core for my needs which is affordable, but allows a little leeway for more intensive games (not something that will stay at a constant 10-FPS on EE3, for instance, but that's probably just my crappy Intel card). In summary, I'm not looking for some kind of divine entity in my computer, I'm fifteen and my budget leaves such things confined to the realm of imagination and wonder :) .

 

Now I've got my CPU, I need to get an appropriate cooling system for it. I've heard professionals use liquid hydrogen or oil to cool their overclocked machines, however I doubt I'll ever do much overclocking. I see that most come with an integrated cooling system, but some rely on passive cooling. This is certainly not a viable option for me, if I ever get enough space for my own desktop it'll probably accumulate dust over time, and I'll be on it for hours. My current record is around nine hours, but obviously more if I leave it downloading overnight (when I'm away from my computer I tend to put it in a low power consumption mode so it cools on its own anyway). I'm not quite ready to splash for an expensive chemical system, and I don't appreciate noise so I think a single 120MM fan would be sufficient. I'm curious though, is using a single or two 80MM fans better? I've read that 120MM's are both more efficient and quieter. Would it be viable for me to place an external fan behind my chassis for cooling on extra hot days (not that we get many in Scotland), without risking damage to any of the components? I plan to have my fan connected to the motherboard and use a temperature monitoring programme such as SpeedFan.

 

Motherboards that fit my CPU (or the other way around) and case size would also be a priority. I have no idea what I should go for in this department, but something that can use my other hardware to the best of its ability is essential. Also something that can support additional software- such as if I ever have the money or the inclination to upgrade with a secondary graphics card (or one from my father's ancient machine, if the thing doesn't spontaneously combust).

 

I'm wondering what would be the optimal amount of DDR2 (or maybe DDR3?) for my set-up would be. I don't know how having a 64-bit OS benefits me (aside from being able to use more than 3GB of RAM) so I'll stick with 32-bit for the moment. Ideally I'd like to get three 1GB high quality sticks, as I'd like the additional volatile and I'm considering dual booting (never done that before, so it's very risky for me) Vista/XP (Vista for flashy effects) with a Linux distribution that can optimize my hardware for gaming and such. Also, I'd want a graphics card with dedicated memory, to avoid having my memory sucked up with demanding applications. I've read somewhere that having a RAM higher or lower than my FSB makes additional space redundant, is this true? Will I be able to get FSB in all speeds for RAM, or should I aim for the closest approximation? What is recommended here?

 

It's getting late so I need to finish this post prematurely unfortunately.

 

Hard drive: needs to have at least a modest capacity. On previous computers I've lived with <40GB of memory (old desktop, can't remember exact number), 40GB (first laptop) and 120GB (current laptop). 160GB is acceptable, but >200GB is probably more bang for my pound. Maybe around 250? I'm unsure how much I'm going to need here, but I like to play games and I have a modest music/photo library (music fits into 4GB iPod and pictures are usually in JPEG, though I prefer storage in PNG for detail). I'm unsure what effect the rotational speed does. It must have an adequate cache too obviously, especially if I'm going to be running games.

 

Graphics is still a big ? section. I'm thinking either a nVidia or GeForce card, definitely with dedicated memory and of a reasonable quality to make good use of this memory. Maybe a 128 or even 256MB card, though I feel anything further will surely break the bank. I don't have much understanding here, and I know that vendors can fool ignorant customers by releasing new cards with better sounding names, acting much like pheromones to the average-Joe I'd guess. For a reference, I'd like something that can handle Earth Empires/Age of Empires/Guild Wars comfortably, while maybe being able to chug out enough for Sins of a Solar Empire.

 

Okay, too late now, must sleep. Thanks for the replies in advance.

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My opinion:

 

Item by item:

CPU: Intel quad cores are phenomenally overpowered and rapidly coming down in price. Get one and don't worry about the need for upgrade for 12 months longer than normal.

Memory: Go for DDR2 800MHz - you won't see the benefit above that in the real world. Get 4GB even if you are not goinf the 64 bit route - you will still get 3.5GB usable.

Motherboard: If you want to overclock (not much point with a quad core except for bragging rights) go for ASUS. If you want stability go for Intel.

Graphics card: nVidia 9800GT is at a really good price at the moment - go for the 512MB model.

Hard Drive: These days there is little difference in price between a 250GB hard drive and a 500GB one. Go for the 500GB. SATA has faster bandwidth.

Floppy Drive: Yes - it makes installing Windows lots easier if you need custom SATA drivers.

Case: Cooling is a key factor. Extra fans are cheap and easy to fit and can increase stability immensely. I have 4 80mm fans (and 2 more in the PSU), I hardy notice them.

PSU: Nothing less than 650 watts and make sure it has a 20+4pin power connector, 2 6 pin connectors for graphics cards and 2 12 volt 4 pin headers, as well as plenty of drive connectors (both molex and SATA).

Optical Drive: Unless you have bluray discs and want to watch them on your monitor a standard DVDRW Dual Layer drive will be fine. BluRay blanks cost a fortune.

Drive Cables: Rounded cables make airflow much less of an issue inside your case, as does a good cable management system.

Operating system: Stick with XP unless you really need Vista. Better yet go with Ubuntu Linux.

 

Going for OEM just means you get a white box or basic package (in the case of graphics cards you don't get a load of "free" games thrown in that add £50 to the price).

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Can u please let me know your approximate budget and what country you are from, then i can give my recommendation.

 

@LabRat

I disagree with your recommendations in regard to power supplies and somewhat in regard to motherboards.

 

A ~450watt 80% efficiency PSU will generally provide more than enough grunt for a mid-range gaming system.

 

I've been supplying ASUS motherboards almost exclusively for years now, and in the time before that what brought me to huge ASUS allegiance is the incredible lack of board failures or defects (as opposed to Gigabyte, MSI, etc.).

I don't disagree that Intel make a damn solid motherboard... i don't even necessarily disagree with recommending one for an Intel (CPU) based system, i just disagree that Intel boards are 'more' stable than ASUS boards.

 

EDIT:

Floppy Drive: Yes - it makes installing Windows lots easier if you need custom SATA drivers.

AFAIK there hasn't been a motherboard in a long while now where the SATA controller isn't fully integrated into the southbridge and has full compatibility with BIOS detection/booting/etc. features.

I dont supply floppy drives in my client's systems anymore... i do still ofc have one in my own system.

 

Memory: Go for DDR2 800MHz - you won't see the benefit above that in the real world. Get 4GB even if you are not goinf the 64 bit route - you will still get 3.5GB usable.

Agreed.

No one be suckered by hype, LabRat is right in that the higher frequency and/or overly expensive low CAS latency RAM will offer little to no real world performance increase. I suggest Corsair or Kingston brand RAM.

 

Graphics card: nVidia 9800GT is at a really good price at the moment - go for the 512MB model.

Also agreed.

In fact for anyone who's from the USA and is prepared to risk a NewEgg "open box" product (only 15 days warranty... but in 99%+ of cases if a product isn't dead on arrival then it's fine), this an awesome deal:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...82E16814121266R

 

This "Ultimate" version of a 9800GT from ASUS has memory running at 100MHz (200Mhz DDR) faster than 'normal' 9800GT cards and the core clock is up at 725MHz (as opposed to 600-650MHz on most). Very nice bang for your buck, and i personally would trust ASUS to only be running GPU's and RAM that can properly handle the slightly 'overclocked' speed they're running them at.

 

Hard Drive: These days there is little difference in price between a 250GB hard drive and a 500GB one. Go for the 500GB. SATA has faster bandwidth.

Do keep in mind that most hard drive bus specifications released in the last like decade provide much more bandwidth than any normal Hard Drive can provide sustained data flow, a higher speed bus only has any effect on the data coming out of the hard drive's cache.

I suggest getting a HDD with as bigger cache as possible... i generally recommend Seagate; years of using and supplying their drives with a remarkably low failure rate.

 

On a final note; I generally supply systems with AMD CPU + ASUS motherboard with nVidia chipset + ASUS Video card with nVidia GPU... i find sticking to this rule makes for very stable and still good performing systems.

Edited by Korrode

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Asus mobos are top-shelf. Stable and fast. I have like 4th in a row Asus motherboard, and its working like the rest - with no problems.

 

The power supply, 450Watt is enough. But make sure it's a quite good PSU. If you'd buy one for $30, that wouldn't be enough. Look for Revoltec BeQuiet products, quite good for a decent price. If you'd use quad CPU, look for something more powerful, like 500W. IMO 650W is a way too much.

 

Stick with XP unless you really need Vista.

Disagree. Most of the arguments I hear against Vista doesn't make any sense. I've switched to the Vista 64bit and I'm very happy with that. This OS is much more stable and bs-resistant that the XP. If a driver crashes - Vista will not. Its also fast. (btw when I switched to 64bit my score in 3DMark 06 was 11% higher. dunno why, since 3DM is 32bit app, and this is messing with the theory that 64bit does nothing if you're using 32apps).

 

Floppy Drive: Yes - it makes installing Windows lots easier if you need custom SATA drivers.

Disagree. Floppy drive is useless atm. And having it just to install XP (Vista can import from CD/USB, Ubuntu doesn't need it at all) is pointless. Cant remember when for the last time I put floppy drive to the PC. I dont have it, and none of the PCs merged by me.

 

For the hard drive, I agree -- go for the 500GB SATA drive (btw, I've read that the new Seagate drives are quite fast). With 500GB you pay less $ for 1GB space than in 250GB or 1T.

 

Graphics card: nVidia 9800GT is at a really good price at the moment - go for the 512MB model.

Agree. Or shoot the cheaper, one-step-down nVidia 9600GT, 512MB.

 

Memory: Go for DDR2 800MHz

Somewhat agree - just check the memory timings before buying 800MHz RAM. Make sure they are 4-4-4-12 (like Geil Ultra or Geil Black dragon).

 

 

Like Korrode, the final note: I'm merging PC's with Asus motherboards with Intel or nVidia chipset and Intel CPUs (C2D, Quad (775)). For the RAM i point in Geil, Corsair or Patriot (depends what's available at the store :whistle:). I hate ATI GPUs and their drivers problems, so nVidia rules in here, mostly made by Gigabyte. I have 4 or 5 such PC's merged for my friends, and they are stable and fast. No complains so far :wub: And no one needs that damn floppy drive :hiya:

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(btw, I've read that the new Seagate drives are quite fast). With 500GB you pay less $ for 1GB space than in 250GB or 1T.

 

I agree completely on Seagate. I still have an old UW SCSI Seagate drive that still runs after 10 years. I currently have 2 750GB Seagate drives set up with RAID 1 (mirrored) on my workstation and they run great. I have been thinking about getting 3 of their 1TB or 1.5TB drives for my fileserver, but there seem to be lots of reports of driving dying in those sizes, so I will wait a few months before deciding.

 

I definitely recommend Newegg for parts if you live in the states. I have been dealing with them for many years and they have great customer service if you need to RMA something. Their customer reviews are a good source of information as well.

 

Just to brag, here is the workstation I built in the beginning of 2008:

 

CPU: AMD 9600 Phenom

Memory: 4GB GSkill PC-1066

Mainboard: MSI K8A Platinum

Video: ECS N8800GT-512MX+ GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 (fanless) :whistle:

Hard drive: 2x Seagate 750GB SATA drives

OS: Slackware

Edited by larrystorch

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Aphistolas, I'm currently doing the same thing as you. :)

 

I decided to go next Generation and get a Core i7 920, but from everything I've ever read, the Core 2 Q6600 Quad is a really great processor... And cheap, too!

 

For me, the case was a nearly IMPOSSIBLE decision... But I finally settled on the NZXT Zero (Or Zero 2. The NZXT guys emailed me and said it'll be available in mid-late January)

I just didn't care for the looks of these insane cases, or even the Antec 900/1200 that much, but I wanted one that looked fairly nice and had lots of room and airflow.

 

Oh, and I'd also like to HIGHLY recommend EVGA for a Graphics card. They not only make awesome products, but have GREAT customer service, and a lifetime warranty!

 

Just my 5 1/2 cents. (Inflation + All the spam. :()

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i built my own desktop what you think?

 

Very nice :P What's the applets you are using for sys monitors on the right side. I like how they look like part of root window.

i installed conky and wrote-stole cut/paste most of code:

conky rc

# UBUNTU-CONKY

 

own_window yes

#own_window_type override #seen on top of evry window

own_window_transparent yes

own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager

# Use double buffering (reduces flicker, may not work for everyone)

double_buffer yes

 

 

# fiddle with window

use_spacer right

use_xft yes

xftfont Hemi head 426:size=9

xftalpha 0.5

 

# Update interval in seconds

update_interval 3.0

 

# Minimum size of text area

minimum_size 250 10

 

# Default color

default_color gray

 

# Text alignment, other possible values are commented

alignment top_right

 

# Gap between borders of screen and text

gap_x 10

gap_y 10

 

# stuff after 'TEXT' will be formatted on screen

 

TEXT

$color

${alignr}${color gray}${time %a, } ${color gray}${time %e %B %G} ${color gray}${time %I:%M %P}

${color gray}SYSTEM ${hr 2}$color

$nodename $sysname $kernel on $machine

${color gray}${hr 2}$color

 

${color gray}CPU ${hr 2}$color

${freq_g}GHz Load: ${loadavg} Uptime: ${uptime}

${cpugraph gray ffffff}

PROCESS NAME${alignr}CPU%

${top name 1}${alignr}${top cpu 1}

${top name 2}${alignr}${top cpu 2}

${top name 3}${alignr}${top cpu 3}

${top name 4}${alignr}${top cpu 4}

${top name 5}${alignr}${top cpu 5}

${color gray}${hr 2}$color

 

${color gray}MEMORY${hr 2}$color

RAM: $memperc% ${membar 6}$color

Swap: $swapperc% ${swapbar 6}$color

 

MEMORY NAME${alignr}MEM %

${top_mem name 1}${alignr}${top_mem mem 1}

${top_mem name 2}${alignr}${top_mem mem 2}

${top_mem name 3}${alignr}${top_mem mem 3}

${top_mem name 4}${alignr}${top_mem mem 4}

${top_mem name 5}${alignr}${top_mem mem 5}

${color gray}${hr 2}$color

 

${color gray}DISK SPACE USED${hr 2}$color

OS: ${fs_used_perc /}%${alignr}${fs_used /} / ${fs_size /}

Media: ${fs_used_perc /media/disk}%${alignr}${fs_used /media/disk} / ${fs_size /media/disk}

 

weather script: is different written in pearl - not python and i havnt really got it working right atm:

 

#!/usr/bin/perl

 

use Switch;

use Encode;

use Text::Wrap;

$code=$ARGV[0]; #zipcode or weather.com city code

$system=$ARGV[1]; #f for imperial c for metric

$what=$ARGV[2]; #what are we looking for?

$file="/tmp/weather.html"; #temp holding weather

$update=3600; #time in seconds to update $file if set to 0 don't use $file

 

$leadspace=" "; #spacing before each high low

$trailspace=" "; #spacing after each high low.

$fspaces=""; #spacing between condition symbols.

$dspaces=" "; #spacing between each day

$lines="\n\n\n\n"; #each \n represents one line between the days and temps

 

$Text::Wrap::columns = 58;

$initial_tab=""; #tab before first line in weather output

$subsequent_tab="\t"; #tab before each subsequet line in weather output

 

$degree= encode_utf8( "\x{00B0}" ); #give me the degree symbol, not everyone has same locale

 

#ensure user inputs proper system

if($system !=~ "c" || $system !=~ "f"){$what=0;} #this will give usage error

 

switch($what){ #determine what user wants

case "c" { #if current conditions

&file_op; #save weather to $file

while(<FILE>){ #cycle through file

if (/<em>Current conditions/ .. /<h3>/){ #found current conditions

($cn2) = /<h3>(\b.+\:)<\/h3>/; #save current conditions

if($cn2){print "$cn2\n"; exit;}

}

}

}

case "w" { #if list

&file_op; #save weather to file

while(<FILE>){ #cycle through file

if (/<dt>Feels Like:<\/dt>/ .. /<dd>/){ #found feels like temp

($tmf) = /<dd>(-?\d+)/; #sav temp

}

if (/<dt>Humidity:<\/dt>/ .. /<dd>/){ #found current humidity

($hmt) = /<dd>(\d+\%)/; #save current humidity

}

if (/<dt>Wind:<\/dt>/ .. /<dd>/){ #found wind conditions

($wnd) = /<dd>(\b.+\B)<\/dd>/; #save wind conditions

#do we have current conditions?

if($tmf && $hmt && $wnd){

print "Feels like: $tmf$degree\n";

print "Humidity: $hmt\n";

print "Wind: $wnd\n"; exit;}

}

}

}

case "cp" { #if current conditions symbol

&file_op; #save weather to $file

while(<FILE>){ #cycle through file

if (/<em>Current conditions/ .. /<h3>/){ #found current conditions

($cnd) = /<h3>(\b.+\B)<\/h3>/; #save current conditions

#do we have current conditions? Then translate into symbol

if($cnd){cond_symb($cnd); print "$ctext\n"; exit;}

}

}

}

case "t" { #if current temp

&file_op; #save weather to $file

while(<FILE>){ #cycle through file

if (/<div id="forecast-temperature">/ .. /<h3>/){ #found current temp

($tmp) = /<h3>(-?\d+)/; #save current temp

#do we have current temp? Then print

if($tmp){print "$1$degree\n"; exit;}

}

}

}

case /[1-5]d$/ { #display the days up to specified day

&file_op; #save weather to $file

my $day=(split "t", $what)[0]; #how many days are we looking for

my $count=0;

while(<FILE>){

if(/<th>(\b.+\B)<\/th>/ && ++$count<=$day){ #look for the conditions upto specified day

$days[$count-1]=$1; #save day

&day_space($days);

}

elsif($count>=$day){print "$dtext\n"; exit;} #don't keep lopking if everything has been found

}

}

case /[1-5]dp$/ { #display the conditions from today through day $days

&file_op; #save weather to $file

my $day=(split "p", $what)[0]; #how many days are we looking for

my $flag=0; #set flag for when we find start of conditions

my $count=0;

while(<FILE>){

if(/^<tr class="titles">\s*$/){$flag=1;} #found the start of conditions

elsif($flag && /(\b.+\B)<\/td>/ && ++$count<=$day){ #look for the conditions upto specified day

$cnd[$count-1]=$1; #save conditions

&cond_symb ($cnd[$count-1]); #translate conditions to symbol

#exit;

}

elsif($count>=$day){print "$ctext\n"; exit;} #don't keep looking if everything has been found

}

}

case /[1-5]t$/ { #display the temps from today through day $days

&file_op; #save weather to $file

my $count=0;

my $day=(split "t", $what)[0]; #how many days are we looking for

while(<FILE>){

#get the high temp

(my $high) = /<td><strong>High: (-?\d+)°<\/strong><span>Low: \-?\d+°<\/span><\/td>/;

#get the low temp

(my $low) = /<td><strong>High: \-?\d+°<\/strong><span>Low: (-?\d+)°<\/span><\/td>/;

#print the high and low temp for the specified day

if($high=~/\d+/ && $low=~/\d+/ && ++$count<=$day){print "$leadspace$high$degree/$low$degree$trailspace";}

elsif($count>=$day){print "\n"; exit;} #don't keep looking if everything has been found

}

}

case /[1-5]dt$/ {

&file_op; #save weather to $file

my $count1 = my $count2=0;

my $day=(split "dt", $what)[0]; #how many days are we looking for

my $flag=1; #print days once

while(<FILE>){

#get the high temp

(my $high) = /<td><strong>High: (-?\d+)°<\/strong><span>Low: \-?\d+°<\/span><\/td>/;

#get the low temp

(my $low) = /<td><strong>High: \-?\d+°<\/strong><span>Low: (-?\d+)°<\/span><\/td>/;

#print the high and low temp for the specified day

if(/<th>(\b.+\B)<\/th>/ && ++$count1<=$day){ #look for the conditions upto specified day

$days[$count1-1]=$1; #save day

&day_space($days);

}

elsif($high=~/\d+/ && $low=~/\d+/ && ++$count2<=$day){$ttext.=$leadspace.$high.$degree."/".$low.$degree.$trailspace;}

elsif($count1>=$day && $count2>=$day){print "$dtext\n$lines$ttext\n"; exit;} #don't keep lopking if everything has been found

}

}

case /[1-7]w$/ { #display the weather forecast in words from today through day $days

&file_op; #save weather to $file

my $num=(split "w", $what)[0]; #how many are we looking for

my $count=0; #initialize count

while(<FILE>){ #cycle through file

#get the weather

(my $when) = /<li><strong>(\b.+\b\:)<\/strong>/;

(my $weather) = /<\/strong>(.+)<\/li>/;

$weather=$when.$weather;

#print weather

if($when && ++$count<=$num){

#print "$when";

print wrap($initial_tab, $subsequent_tab, $weather);

print "\n";

}

elsif($count>=$num){exit;} #don't keep looking if everything has been found

}

}

case /[1-5]p$/ { #if conditions of specified day

&file_op; #save weather to $file

my $day=(split "p", $what)[0]; #what day are we looking for

my $flag=0; #set flag for when we find start of conditions

my $count=0;

while(<FILE>){

if(/^<tr class="titles">\s*$/){$flag=1;} #found the start of conditions

elsif($flag && /(\b.+\B)<\/td>/ && ++$count==$day){ #look for the conditions for specified day

$cnd=$1; #save conditions

&cond_symb ($cnd); #translate conditions to symbol

}

elsif($count>=$day){print "$ctext\n"; exit;} #don't keep looking if everything has been found

}

}

case /[1-5]$/ { #if temp of specified day

&file_op; #save weather to $file

while(<FILE>){

#get the high temp

($high) = /<td><strong>High: (-?\d+)°<\/strong><span>Low: \-?\d+°<\/span><\/td>/;

#get the low temp

($low) = /<td><strong>High: \-?\d+°<\/strong><span>Low: (-?\d+)°<\/span><\/td>/;

#print the high and low temp for the specified day

if($high && $low && ++$count==$what){print "$high$degree/$low$degree\n";}

}

}

else { #didn't give proper options

&usage; #print usage error

}

}

 

#print "\n"; # need endline to make things look nice

 

close FILE;

 

sub file_op { #do file operations

if(-e $file ){ #does the file exist and is not empty?

my $size=`stat -c %s $file`;

if($size >= 1000){

my $date=`date -u +%s`; #get current date in seconds

my $created=`stat -c %Y $file`; #get creation date of file in seconds

$age=$date - $created; #determine age of file

}

else{

$age=$update+1;

}

}

else{ #if file doesn't exist make it and set to update the file

`touch $file`;

$age=$update+1;

}

 

if ($age>=$update){ #only get a new file every hour

#obtain the weather forecast and store it in $file

`wget -O - http://weather.yahoo.com/forecast/"...stem".html > $file`;

}

open(FILE, $file) or die "Could not open file $file: $!\n";

}

 

sub usage { #if correct options haven't been passed usage error

print "Usage error weather.pl <citycode> <system> <option>\n";

print "weather.pl <citycode> <system> <option>\n";

print "\t<citycode> - weather.com city code\n";

print "\t<system> - c for metric or f for imperial\n";

print "\t<option> - Only one option can be entered at a time\n";

print "\t\tc displays current conditions\n";

print "\t\tw displays list of current conditions\n";

print "\t\tcp displays current conditions symbol\n";

print "\t\tt displays current temp in chosen system\n";

print "\t\t[1-5]d displays the days up to specified day\n";

print "\t\t[1-5]dp displays condition symbol for days up to specified day\n";

print "\t\t[1-5]t displays high/low temp in chosen system up to specified day\n";

print "\t\t[1-5]dt displays days and then high/low temp in chosen system up to specified day\n";

print "\t\t[1-7]w displays the weather in words up number specified\n";

print "\t\t[1-5]p displays conditions for specified day\n";

print "\t\t[1-5] displays high/low temp in chosen system for specified day\n";

}

 

sub cond_symb { #translates conditions into symbol in weather font

if ($_ =~ "Partly Cloudy"){$_="c";}

elsif ($_ =~ "Fair" || $_ =~ "Sun" || $_ =~ "Clear"){$_="A";}

elsif ($_ =~ "Cloud" || $_ =~ "Fog"){$_="e";}

elsif ($_ =~ "Storm" || $_ =~ "Thunder" || $_ =~ "T-"){$_="i";}

elsif ($_ =~ "Snow" || $_ =~ "Flurries" || $_ =~ "Wintry"){$_="k";}

elsif ($_ =~ "Rain" || "Drizzle"){$_="h";}

elsif ($_ =~ "Shower"){$_="g";}

$ctext.=$_.$fspaces;

}

 

sub day_space { #Adds spaces for aligment

if ($_ =~ "Today"){$_=" Today ";}

elsif ($_ =~ "Tonight"){$_="Tonight";}

elsif ($_ =~ "Tomorrow"){$_="Tomorrow";}

elsif ($_ =~ "Thu"){$_=" Thu ";}

elsif ($_ =~ "Fri"){$_=" Fri ";}

elsif ($_ =~ "Sat"){$_=" Sat ";}

elsif ($_ =~ "Sun"){$_=" Sun ";}

elsif ($_ =~ "Mon"){$_=" Mon ";}

elsif ($_ =~ "Tue"){$_=" Tue ";}

elsif ($_ =~ "Wed"){$_=" Wed ";}

$dtext.=$_.$dspaces;

}

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Just a side note for choosing your graphics card. You can check it out to see how it works on different games (crysis/farcry2/ect) on youtube. Check what settings and fps it will run. They are also available graphed...but graphs are no fun. :D

 

Edit: Also something to look for when you are looking at processors is the CPU cache, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPU_cache. I'd say look for a quad core with a high cache.

 

I'd also recommend doing the math first before you start buying anything. The best resource I found online was HP for prebuilts (that weren't refurbished). I'd always buy new when it comes to electronics. Just compare what you are creating (base cost + tax + shipping + labor 'being the time invested to 1. Learn how to do it, and 2. Actually putting it all together'), with the same type of comp on the HP website. Remember to factor in 100$~ for windows vista if you don't have the cd already. HP also has free shipping and 1 year warranty/tech/ect. You can get everything all in 1, though I'd still buy graphics card separate.

Edited by Hermit

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HP

HP systems are notoriously slow (for their specs) and unstable.

In the years i spent working in computer stores, no other brand of computer came close to HP for repair/troubleshooting work.

 

...even ASUS admitted that the micro-ATX boards they've supplied HP with that aren't from their normal product range are built in a different plant and to lesser quality standards.

 

Then there's the horror stories about HP support and driver issues with many of their peripherals.

 

I wouldn't trust a HP box to run solitaire let alone be my main computer system :P

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i built my own desktop what you think?

I dont like it. The wallpaper sux. Makes the desktop unreadable.

Also too much spam on the right. I dont know why people tent to use such meters. Infromation about how much RAM eats my firefox is totally useless to me. The only thing I need to know, is which process uses the most CPU time. But I dont need to force my OS to show it constantly in real time.

The less information on the desktop, the better.

I saw some of my friend's desktops - like a junkyard, tones of shortcuts, files, documents, pictures... you couldnt tell whats on the wallpaper actually. Mess and chaos. I hate it this way.

 

NO YOU CAN NOT DO THIS WITH WINDOWS! LINUX ROCKS!

Of course you can.

 

HP systems are notoriously slow (for their specs) and unstable.

I must agree. The only good thing about HP PC's is 3 year door-to-door warranty.

 

For me, the case was a nearly IMPOSSIBLE decision... But I finally settled on the NZXT Zero (Or Zero 2. The NZXT guys emailed me and said it'll be available in mid-late January)

I'd suggest one of the chieftec's big towers. Simple and usefull. I dont like fancy, 'uh oh cool' cases... this is just a box, not a decoration. The most important thing for the case is to keep a good air flow inside and access all the devices without any problems. This box does so.

http://www.chieftec.com/ba-01b-b-b.html

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Hey Aphis, long time no see.

 

I just finished building my own computer about 2 weeks ago.

I can give you a few tips if you need, but I don't feel like posting much here.

 

Any questions about compatibility or whatnot, shoot me and email @ toddryoungblood08@gmail.com.

 

Labrat is teh g0d of builders it looks like, it pretty much outlined what I just finished building.

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