I had this brilliant idea. I've been wanting a DVR for a while, so I got a TV card for my 5-year old Sempron.
The same Sempron that has been a pain in my ass from footprints to hair follicles for the full 5 years.
That was the Great Computer That Would Solve My Problems, replacing a Pentium II-533 pain in the ass that I've had since 2000.
Nope. Didn't solve a damn thing, other than some sort of issue I had with $300 that needed to go from my checkbook to the store's cash register. It was a bare-bones system: case, power, motherboard, CPU, and memory. I took it home, aglow with the anticipation of 1.5GHz clock speed, 4 USB ports, and the ability to run Win-XP so I could maintain my iPod.
Drop in the hard drive, CD drive, keyboard, mouse, and an old 56k modem...install the OS...modem doesn't work. No game port! Only one serial port! Add external modem (can't plug in my Wacom drawing tablet if I'm using that)...crappy connect speeds. Took me a few weeks just to get the modem to work right.
Once I worked out all that crap, I wanted to add music software and a MIDI keyboard. Heh. I ended up with about 1/4 second between hitting a note and having it play. Crappy on-board audio system. Tried to disable that one in favor of a sound card, but the system couldn't "see" it, so I was stuck with the crappy on-board system--and no music software.
Three months later--in January of 2006--my hard drive turned itself inside out and wiped out all my stuff. A book I'd been trying to write, several fort projects, a couple thousand photos, magazine and newspaper clippings I'd scanned, all gone. I managed to recover maybe 40% of it from CD's, floppies, and a couple of ZIP disks.
This past Sunday, I got around to putting in the TV card. Heh. Crashed the system and took out the hard drive. I worked at fixing it for 4 hours...no luck. I couldn't even get a working CD drive for reinstalling Windows, let alone a working hard drive.
So here I am at 2 in the morning on Wednesday, finally back online, with the pain-in-the-ass Pentium, a 90gb hard drive and CD burner salvaged from stuff in storage, and running XP. I'd forgotten how slow the thing was. No way I'm rebuilding the Sempron, though. That one's gonna be a Frisbee.