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Sep. 30th, 2011

Kaboom's Adventures in PC Modding, part 1

For about ten years, there's been an old computer in my basement that no one ever uses. For a very long time, it only had Windows 95 on it, and no one really ever bothered to turn it on, because, uh, Windows 95? Come on!

Recently, however, there've been a few changes made to it. The ancient hard drive was swapped out for a newer (well, relatively, anyway) hard drive that definitely was a lot bigger. The motherboard was replaced with a (again, still relatively) newer model, one that can support the newest version of Windows, albeit not very well. Anyway, over the past few months it's gone from being almost two decade out of date to maybe four or five years out of date.

And now it's mine. Apparently my dad was sick of it, and decided to give it to me to upgrade and do what I want with it. So, I'm trying my hand at case modding, as well as just generally upgrading it (because even with the pseudo-upgrades, it is still pretty useless). Now, I don't even have a dremel, much less know how to use one, and I can't be assed to go get one (or learn how to use it), so for this first project I'm just painting the case and messing with the LEDs. Yeah, it's not very exciting compared to what some people do- I'm not turning my PC into a fish tank, even though that would be badass- but it's a start. Modding is a very expensive hobby, and especially considering that I'm going to have to completely replace just about everything, I can't afford to get too fancy with the case, especially not with the holidays coming up. And this is still just my first time- I don't want to screw up too badly and end up tossing several paychecks down the drain.

Well, anyway, this project isn't very far along yet, the only thing I've done is paint the plastic bits of the case, and trust me, it doesn't look like much. About the only thing I can say for it this time is that it's not this dingy sort of beige anymore. It's going to look much nicer when I'm done, anyway, even if I haven't been able to replace the hardware yet. It might still run like crap, at least for a while, but at least it won't look like it's twenty years out of date.

Aug. 17th, 2011

Recovery Buddies

Today I found out about a charity that helps people recovering from addictions and dealing with mental illness. Recovery Buddies makes cute, friendly-looking square pillows to give to those in need, and they need donations for the buddies. I've got a ton of yarn lying around my house, and need something to do to keep my mind occupied, so I'm going to be making a few for this project. If you know how to knit or crochet, it would be wonderful if you'd consider making a few of them. Apparently there is a long waiting list for the buddies.

I've never really tried to knit anything that was supposed to be used/go to anyone other than myself, so we'll see how this turns out. Hopefully it will go well, I want to be able to do something useful for once.

May. 3rd, 2011

Arts-n-Crafts: Birdhouse

Bought a pre-made birdhouse today and decided to paint it, to kill some time. I think it turned out pretty well, despite the fact that I'm not a particularly good artist. I think it's really cute, and might try to paint something else soon. I have actually built a birdhouse before, but I didn't feel like doing that today (not to mention I didn't really want to go to Home Depot and buy the stuff I need... going to the craft store was enough for me).

One thing, though? Acrylic paints are EXPENSIVE. And there's so many of them- it's hard to make a decision on which ones to get for any given project- did I want it to look like a real house, did I want it in cute colors, did I just want to stain the wood, or did I want it to be all bright and obnoxious? I decided to go with cute colors, although I really do regret buying the shiny paint because I think it would have looked OK with a normal, flat color, and the shiny paint was more expensive.

Anyway, now that I'm home for the summer I'll probably try to kill some time by making stuff. Hopefully it will all turn out as good or better than this one did. I'm looking into learning how to make soap, but I don't really want to have to deal with lye- I'm not too keen on the idea of burning my face off if there's an accident...