yophotoman's journal of diy projects

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on this website
Project Articles Laptop Icon
About This Site .................. pg 1
DIY Sailboat .................. pg 2
DIY Rowboat .................. pg 3
DIY Wood Shed .................. pg 4
Amateur Radio .................. pg 5
Radio Station .................. pg 6
Radio Clubs .................. pg 7
Christian Author .................. pg 8
Bible Websites .................. pg 9
The Iconclast .................. pg 10
Gardening .................. pg 11
Photography .................. pg 12
Writers Guild .................. pg 13
DIY Computers .................. pg 14
 
About & Contact Laptop Icon
Contact Form .................. pg 20
About The Author .................. pg 21
Donate To Projects .................. pg 22

Contact me with the contact form
or call Cell: 727-412-3603
(write first, your not on my contact list, so I probably won't answer unknown numbers)
Bare Bones Computers

Computers Computers are not exactly a Do It Yourself project since manufacturing is far beyond an individual's ability. However, a DIY user can custom assemble 6 to 8 componants into a working system. The result is a custom system, unique to that user.

My computer learning curve included building up various systems from hand me down componants and installing a variety of operating systems on them two decades ago. However, when I wanted a more modern and permenant system, I ordered a custom system, from my componant choices, built for me by a company who specialized in gaming and enterprise systems (2010). I ordered a Shuttle Xpc, pictured, because it fit my credenza shelf. Since then, I've replace the power supply and am on my third hard drive. Then the HDMI monitor audio became unstable, sometimes failing altogether. Years before the sound jacks on the CPU went dead so HDMI sound was all I had. Time to invest in a new computer and monitor. See the AMD Ryzen 5 build plan below.

Asus Bare Bones Computers
Computers

For years I ran my Windows tax software on my Linux box using WINE (runs older MS Windows programs on Linux) until the developers upgraded it and it wouldn't run on WINE anymore. That's when I acquired the Asus VM40B. It was the cheapest MS Windows machine I could find. It came with with Win 8.1, a mechanical hard drive and limited memory but it was sufficient for my one job: annual income tax filing.

Computers When my wife's 11 year old Mac Mini began to fail, I ordered a Bare Bones Asus UN65U (right) but the OS had problems with the hardware. It often failed to wake up from suspend ... apparently a known problem with the OS I chose ... didn't know. After a few months of frustration, I customized the older Asus VM40B (above) with a new solid state hard drive, Linux Mint OS and swapped out UN65U. I could still swap in the old hard drive for taxes if need be. So far, so good ... fingers crossed.

That left me with a free computer, which I dubbed "little Asus," and used it for OS experiments. I installed a series of Linux versions but eventually turned it into a dual boot machine, Win 10 & Linux Mint 19, with a solid state hard drive. The Win 10 is used when programs I need will only run on MS Windows, like my income tax software. The Linux side is mostly Amature Radio, like a software defined radio (SDR) and ham radio info files. I'll shuffle between two machines until I build the Ryzen 5 computer. Then I will consolidate everything onto one rig ... leaving little Asus with no job again.

AMD Ryzen 5 APU Gigabyte Build (Future Plan)

ComputersFor the AMD Ryzen 5 build, I chose a Cooler Master Elite 110 case. It was one of only two cases which fit the credenza shelf on my desk and it had the highest count for hard drive mounting options. Cooler Master discontinued it by the end of 2018, Amazon was already out of stock, so I ordered it from Newegg, cheaper too.

The rest of the build will be near state-of-art. I chose the Ryzen 5 APU for its core and thread count and it had Vega graphics in the CPU chip. Handy since dedicated graphics cards are very expensive these days. I plan to future proofed the build with 16 GB memory and a 500 GB M.2 drive and a 1 TB SSD hard drive. Backing up old data is done by simply installing my old hard drive in the Elite 110 box along with the other two SSD drives. I've done this before. This will give me access to all of my existing data without having to resort to an external box or copying over gigabytes of files. The 500 GB M.2 drive will be split between Win 10 and Linux OS boot partition, 60-40 repectively, since the 1 TB SSD will be my Linux Home partition plus 600 GB free space on my old mechanical drive, I'll be good on digital storage for quite awhile.