Friday, November 6, 2009

DIY Project Report #1

Last week I mentioned that I'm in the process of building a new computer build based on the Videoguys DIY-7 specifications. Here are some early observations on that process.

The barebones kit came from Tiger Direct. The kit mostly follows the Videoguys specs, and exactly follows them as far as the motherboard and processor. Putting the machine together was easy and went together in less than an hour. SATA technology as really made hard drive configuration simple.

Tiger Direct's 64-bit workstation which includes a Core I7
processor, 12 GB of ram and 750 watt power supply.
Don't forget to order a video card.

I do want to caution those that have never built a computer before. It can be a frustrating process and Tiger Direct provides no customer support. So if you don't know what you're doing,
find a skilled friend who can help you or buy a Dell or HP.

I installed the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Professional which went very quickly - the full install was less than 30 minutes. System booting is much faster than older versions of Windows.

Things slowed down considerably after that. After installing Adobe's Production Suite and attempting to activate the software, I noticed the computer lost Internet connectivity.
To troubleshoot, the first thing one looks at when things go wrong is to examine what changed. I spent a couple of hours online (with a different computer) searching for clues.

As it turns out, the Adobe installation adds a small networking application called Bonjour Service. Apparently on some installations, that service breaks the computer's Internet connection. By disabling the service from the Computer Management Console, Internet service was restored after restarting the machine. Now why this would break the Internet connection is a mystery to me. The same applications ran fine on my old XP Pro machine. And this is the kind of problem that can drive you nuts.

I did see a lot of online griping about Windows 7's networking problems. Now you do have to take what you read online with a big grain of salt. I've never seen a product that didn't get flamed online. But I'm still wrestling with networking my older Windows computers with the new Windows 7 box. I can say confidently that it's not as simple as it should be.

I'll post more on my progress soon.

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