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Old 10-11-2006, 11:38 AM   #1
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Smile A Tale of Three Computers, by walkinman

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times......

I must be a junk computer magnet. I purchased my first Windows 98 computer about 7 years ago. As long as I put up with the "blue screen of death", I guess it worked okay for several years. Then I upgraded to Windows 98 Second Edition, and it still had problems.

About 3 years ago I decided I would like to build one myself. I was on a budget, so I purchased the parts over a one-year period. I used a book which showed how to buy and put together. I was never sure if it would work out....surprise, surprise! It worked! Now, several years later, it has apparently developed a problem (possible power surge?) and it will not load Windows XP. I think it is a motherboard problem. I would like to purchase another motherboard to determine if it will correct the situation. Does Windows XP allow motherboard replacement? The motherboard is an FIC AN-11 Stealth, and I m interested in purchasing something that will not conflict with my current setup, so I want to purchase a motherboard with similar specifications.

Currently I'm using my older computer, but it appears to be having a modem and/or graphics problem. Modem will not dial, and graphics appears to be limited to just 16 color.

Needing internet access, I asked my dad for a computer sitting up in his closet, an old Compaq Presario. I tried to fire it up, but it just sits there and imitates a paperweight. Power supply problem? Is it possible to purchase a compatible power supply for an older computer or even financially feasible?

Disgusted with my bum luck, I called Outpost.com (Fry's) and ordered a cheap Linux box I saw on sale for $149.99....figured it wouldn't hurt to learn how Linux works, and I needed something cheap to get back on the internet. Now I can't get anyone to answer the customer service phone! I don't think I will purchase from Fry's anymore. At any rate, if I ever do get my Linux box, will it interface with my HP PSC all-in-one printer and display monitor? Is there a way to retrieve files from my Windows hard disk using a Linux OS as well as transfer all of my browser bookmarks to a Linux browser? And....is there any Linux support for sound and cam during Yahoo IM chat?

If I solve all of these problems, I'll probably then be qualified to be a computer tech! Wouldn't mind learning since I'll retire in ten years and would love to work part-time in that field.

Drop me a line if you have any solutions to these little challenges...I am in need of expanding my knowledge of these fickle computers. I am reduced to sneaking a little web time at work and using the library's computer to web surf! Thanks much!

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Old 10-11-2006, 04:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: A Tale of Three Computers, by walkinman

Built computer:
Yes, you can replace the motherboard. Here's a link for that type of mobo to an online store that I think most people on these forums will agree is the best for buying computer parts:
On the other hand, that motherboard, which uses a Socket A processor, is extremely outdated. It would be good to upgrade to at least socket 939 and preferably socket AM2 or 775 if you have the money.

Older Computer:
To change from 16 to 32 bit color, right click the desktop and choose properties. Go to the settings tab and change the Color Quality to 32 Bit.

Dad's Computer:
Is the computer doing anything at all? Does it make any noise, movements, anything? If not, then yes, it probably is the power supply. First though, check all the connections or the cables inside the computer case. Something might have gotten loose and is causing a problem. Is the computer a standard size (ATX Form Factor) case? If so then you can use any standard power supply with it.

Do you know which version of Linux it is? There are many out there (ex. RedHat, Ubuntu, Debian to name just a few)
You need different drivers for hardware with Linux computer than a Windows computer. Linux and Windows understand different programming languages, so you need different programs. Drivers are the software that makes the hardware work (they "drive" it). As for the printer drivers, here are the 2 websiotes you will need to download drivers from:
The monitor should work with no set-up, if you have problems, post a new thread about it.
Most files in Windows won't be able to be read in Linux.
Yahoo messenger has a Linux version here that supports Red Hat, Debian, and FreeBSD. I assume that it has sound and webcam support just like all the other versions.

C2D E6600 | 4GB DDR2-800 | 9800GTX+ | Asus P5B-E | 150GB Raptor | 320GB 7200.10 | 750W Xigmatek PSU
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Old 10-12-2006, 05:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: A Tale of Three Computers, by walkinman

Thanks very much, freestyler, I will follow-up on your suggestions.
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