yophotoman's journal of diy projects

**     Current Page:  14 Subip is managed by an old fart, retired webmaster   November 26th 2020   **
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
Shed Setup .................. pg 15
Leixen VV-898E .................. pg 16
 
About & Contact Laptop Icon
Contact Form .................. pg 20
About The Author .................. pg 21
Donate To Projects .................. pg 22

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or email yophotoman@gmail.com
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), pocket size computer 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 18 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 added a larger SSD HD and turned it into a dual boot machine, Win 10 & Linux Mint 19. The Win 10 is used when programs I need will only run on MS Windows, like my income tax software or radio programming 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 a new AMD Ryzen computer. Then I will consolidate everything onto one rig ... leaving Little Asus with no job again.

New Computer Build: AMD Ryzen 4000 Series

ComputersFor the AMD Ryzen build, I chose a Cooler Master Elite 110 mini-ITX case. It was one of only two cases which fit the credenza shelf on my desk, but had more hard drive mounting options and uses a standard ATX power supply. 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 state-of-art. Having procrastinated the build for nearly two years, I'll be buying into AMD's newest 2020 introduction of the Ryzen 4000 series CPU's, specifically their Advanced Processing Unit line (APU), with the Radeon graphics in the CPU - eliminates the graphics card. I'll be using the midrange Gigabyte motherboard, based on the new B550 chipset. Doing that allows me to mount two M.2 drives, one being the newest PCIe 4.0 standard.

My old Shuttle xPC will get upgraded with a PCIe adapter to mount a M.2 hard drive and booted with a USB Flash drive. The OS will be Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. The wife will get the updated Shuttle xPC. The Ausus VM40B will probably end up at Habitat for Humanity and Little Asus will likely be stored in the shed.