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Testimonial to CF

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by Cockles, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Hello all

    This post is mainly aimed at new guys to the forum thinking of self study

    My name is Cockles, and I joined CF some point last year (I think). At the time, I was considering studying IT and had no idea which direction to go in. I joined here, scanned through the forums, asked questions, and eventually decided on the A+. At the time, I was getting tons of catalogues through the door from Skillstr@in and the like about spending 4 figures on learning to turn a PC on. But looking through here, the possiblity of self study was highlighted and I opted for that.

    I didn't have any real ambition to pursue a career in IT, (nor have I ever worked in the field), I was just interested in it and was eager to learn. Unfortunately, owing to work commitments and other factors, I knocked the A+ on the head, but I still research and look around for soultions to IT problems.

    Why am I telling you this? Well, this weekend I was very happy to be able to upgrade my system with a brand spanking new SATA drive which I intend to install a new OS on for a faster system with a higher storage capacity. 'Big wow', you may say 'I can do that with my eyes closed whilst eating a sandwich, what do you want, a medal?' No thank you.

    Consider, a few months ago, I could open a PC up and barely identify a single component in there. You said RAM to me, I'd say male sheep. You say IDE or SCSI, I would think you were talking about sexually transmitted diseases. Yet, this weekend I was able to:

    1: Identify a possible upgrade for my PC
    2: Inspect the motherboard architecture and identify the best possible solution
    3: Purchase a component and the necessary cabling for the upgrade, without any assistance from salespeople or seeking advice.
    4: Remove old slave IDE drive, install new SATA drive, following safety guidelines.
    5: When hard drive is not recognised, go through the necessary steps to correct it. Check cabling, update BIOS, check drive is in working condition. All correct.
    6: Identify source of problem - my motherboard is not configured for SATA II, so researched into it and discoved you have to set a jumper for WD drives that allow it to slow to 150MBS.
    7: Install SATA drive, format and partition as necessary
    8: Voila!!!

    The best thing is, I have learnt to do a reasonably complex upgrade and it has not cost me a penny - I got donated an old PC to tinker about with and use for practicing removal and installation of components on and identification, and managed to get hold of a free copy of the Myers book. On top of this, I have also recently done another upgrade with a graphics card, and also managed to fix a laptop slowed to a snails pace through virus checking, removing start-up programmes, registry cleaning etc, among other things.

    I managed all this through self study, and the incredibly helpful place that is CF with its resident experts here. It really is possible to do with a little application and the desire to research and discover for yourself.

    So thanks very much all. Now I need to do the final test by installing an OS on the thing!!!

    Cockles
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: Trying to find my car keys
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Good article Cockles.

    This sort of post should be pinned for newbies to IT to read.

    It shows how the technical aspect to IT can be done with a little bit of research and determination.

    Well done mate :)

    Rep given
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Nice testimonial. Rep given. :D
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  4. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Excellent work, Cockles! Most of us got started in computers by doing exactly those sort of upgrades and computer builds.

    My wife still doesn't understand how building a gaming computer nowadays helps me in my career... but it truly does help me gain knowledge about current hardware and technology. It changes your mindset from "It just works" to "This is how it works."

    Rep added as well. Great testimony!
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  5. grim

    grim Gigabyte Poster

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    i think its the only way to learn and i'm renown for taking things to bits as i live by the moto "if it aint broke, mode it" :oops:

    cockles what's next ?

    grim
     
    Certifications: Bsc, 70-270, 70-290, 70-291, 70-293, 70-294, 70-298, 70-299, 70-620, 70-649, 70-680
    WIP: 70-646, 70-640
  6. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Thanks very much guys, and not a problem at all.

    The fact is, CF is an excellent tool to assist (notice ASSIST) learning and I also wanted to highlight the fact that with the right attitude and the drive to do so, you certainly can - as BM put it - go from 'it just works' to knowing how, and not necessarily at any expense to the individual. Plus, I also wanted to highlight that by researching the answer to a query yourself, it helps to implant it more securely in the old grey matter rather than looking for handouts.

    Oh, and Grim, I might go for the biggie next, the motherboard!!!! (then see me cry)

    Cheers!
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: Trying to find my car keys
  7. grim

    grim Gigabyte Poster

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    yup that ones a bit more advanced as it affects pretty much everything

    grim
     
    Certifications: Bsc, 70-270, 70-290, 70-291, 70-293, 70-294, 70-298, 70-299, 70-620, 70-649, 70-680
    WIP: 70-646, 70-640
  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I typically start by seeing which processors perform the best (best performance for the money, that is - I never get the top-end stuff, and the computers I build are STILL quite fast). Then, I'll research which motherboards are available for that processor, and I'll get one from a trusted manufacturer that has gained positive reviews and includes the features I want (type of memory, type of drive, type of slots, BIOS features, integrated components such as video/audio/NIC). Finally, I'll buy components that are compatible with that motherboard: RAM, video card, sound card, NIC, hard drive(s), PSU (don't skimp on this part!), mouse, keyboard, case, and fans. Top it all off with a monitor, a legal OS, and an anti-X solution, and you're ready to go! :)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  9. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Cheers for that BM. Some advice I did get when shopping for motherboards was to pay particular attention to the FSB, as you could have all the bells and whistles but the speed of that is what really makes a difference, does that sound right?

    You're right about skimping on the SU though did that a while back. Silent my @rse!!!!!
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: Trying to find my car keys
  10. grim

    grim Gigabyte Poster

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    what you trying to imply ? LoL

    grim
     
    Certifications: Bsc, 70-270, 70-290, 70-291, 70-293, 70-294, 70-298, 70-299, 70-620, 70-649, 70-680
    WIP: 70-646, 70-640
  11. grim

    grim Gigabyte Poster

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    the fsb affects the CPU, motherboard and memory although if you bought different speeds it would run at the speed of the slowest component.

    grim
     
    Certifications: Bsc, 70-270, 70-290, 70-291, 70-293, 70-294, 70-298, 70-299, 70-620, 70-649, 70-680
    WIP: 70-646, 70-640
  12. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    I think im gonna cry Cockles...that was an emotional speech. Well done my friend...and ur right, not knowing about components back then and now ur able to tell whats what. I remember when I first started learning...happy days :biggrin by the way Rep added my friend :biggrin
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: my life
  13. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Sir, you never fail to crack me up mate :D
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: Trying to find my car keys
  14. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Usually, a motherboard that is compatible with a particular processor will usually have the same FSB speeds. Some motherboards are better at overclocking than others... I don't overclock, but I like to have the ability to do so, should I decide to.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  15. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Just saying that some people don't believe in paying for software. And the cost of the OS is often overlooked when budgeting for a build-your-own PC. :)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  16. Stemac

    Stemac New Member

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    Interesting and informative..Well Done Cockles.

    My first ever foray into computers was the ZX Sprectrum 48k..which I think those old enough to remember used the Break key to hack in your own code..great for beating those dastardly games with limited lives.

    Then the Amiga...the Beasty boy from the A 500 up to A 1200...this is where I learned all my skills from installing HDs into A1200 boxes not big enough to swing a cat...reluctant as I was to switch to PC I persevered with the Amiga till the end...finally succumbed.:cry:

    Have found CF so far to be very informative Friendly and Helpful...well worth visiting of which I intend to often.:biggrin
     
    Certifications: 5 GCSEs 2 A lvls.and lifetime Experience
  17. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Thank you kindly

    I was a keen Speccy fan as well, praise be to Emulation, that's what I say. Only used it to play games on though and programme the most basic of adventures

    You are on a cliff. Exits are: West

    Go west

    You have fallen off the cliff. The end
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: Trying to find my car keys
  18. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I started on the Timex-Sinclair 1000, similar to the ZX-81 there.

    I hooked up my 18-year-old Amiga 500 a couple of weeks ago... my brother found it in his garage! It still works! All I need is a mouse and joystick, and I'm ready to go! :onthePC Absolutely a high-quality machine.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  19. Stemac

    Stemac New Member

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    My remaining piece of Amiga equipment is the old Goliath Power pack...still comes in handy when your puters power pack fails...used as a stop gap item.:biggrin
     
    Certifications: 5 GCSEs 2 A lvls.and lifetime Experience
  20. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Lovely post and experience, life is all about learning as I have not met any yet that knows it all. Cheerio:)
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell

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