Rules for building computers

  • You will draw blood at some point. Usually when trying to remove stubborn cd-bay covers. Have plasters available. Try not to drip on the motherboard.
  • Never do anything in a hurry. It won’t work.
  • Do not leave USB card-readers plugged in. Windows will decide your 250gb hard drive should be designated H:, because it has no sense. You will only notice this after ninety minutes of configuration.
  • Those drive-rails you have lying around won’t fit. Don’t even bother.
  • Autopatcher is your friend.
  • It is a little-known consequence of the second law of thermodynamics that is it impossible to get a floppy-drive cable’s orientation correct first time.
  • Don’t screw the side of the case back on until you’re about to leave the building.
  • Electrical components are more robust than you might think. Touching the sides of graphics card / ram probably won’t cause any problems. Keep yourself earthed, though.
  • Do not install RealPlayer. Do not.
  • People installing modern heatsinks do not appreciate how lucky they are. Tell them.
  • The pause between ‘checking for connectivity’ and ‘your copy of Windows has been activated’ never stops being worrying, no matter how sure you are of legality.
  • Install the dotnet framework now and get it over with.