Ten years ago, I cobbled together a desktop computer tower. Rather than go to the local CompUSA and buy a tower off the shelf, I ordered all the component parts and jiggered them together.
The tower survived a couple of hard drive crashes – one in 2010, another in 2015 – as well as an upgrade to Windows 10 from its original Windows Vista operating system. But as of late, I noticed a few things about my tower. It was running slower and slower; it was taking longer and longer to edit and fix pictures in PhotoShop, and there were moments when it just straight up froze.
Time to bite the bullet, Chuck. Get a new desktop.
After much consultation and research, I originally settled on a Dell Inspiron tower with a 250g hard drive, 8g of memory, and an I5 processor. But at the last minute, I decided that for just a hundred dollars more, I could get a Dell Inspiron with a 1T hard drive, 12g of memory (expandable to 16g), and an I7 processor – by ordering it directly from Dell.
Yep, dude, I’m getting a Dell.
Yesterday, the tower arrived at my home. A day earlier than I expected. Thankfully, I had already archived any remaining files off my old white label tower (took for-ev-er to move all my iTunes songs), so all I had to do was open the box, take out the tower, plug everything in, and and this computer and I would be together in electric dreams.
Rather than order a monitor and other peripherals from Dell, I figured that my current monitor – a Samsung that I bought from Circuit City waaaaay back when Circuit City was a “thing” – would work just fine. Economy is an important virtue. And the speakers – heck, these things still work, it’s not like I’m hooking up a pair of Bang & Olufsen speakers with a Peavey amplifier…
Okay. Internet wire connected. Keyboard connected. Mouse connected. Monitor –
Wait a second.
I checked the back of the computer tower. There is an HDMI port and an RGB monitor port.
I looked at the back of my monitor. There’s a DVI digital port and an RGB monitor port.
But the only cable I have for the monitor has DVI connectors on both sides.
Oh hell no. I spent all this time and effort on this computer, and I’m getting thwarted by not having a cable that can connect my monitor to the tower?
Okay, deep breath Chuck. Maybe I can go to Best Buy and get an RGB monitor. Yeah, and maybe they also sell VHS VCR’s while I’m there. Urgh.
Then I remembered something. There’s an independent computer repair place on Central Avenue, just adjacent to Hannaford Plaza – Computer Answers, I think it’s called. Hey, anything’s worth a try. I grabbed my DVI cable, put it in the car, and drove to the shopping center.
Hope the store’s open. Yep, sign says they’re open until 9pm.
Hope they have some knowledgeable techs. Yep, two guys in the repair area, both looking like they’re participating in a Mr. Robot fsociety cosplay. This is what I need.
I explained the situation and showed them my DVI cable. “Do you have anything that will bridge or connect what I currently have to my new tower, maybe some sort of HDMI to DVI adapter or …
“Hang on,” said one of the employees. “Funny you should ask for that …”
He walked over to a pile of cables. In moments, he returned with – I kid you not – a lengthy HDMI to DVI cable. “This came in yesterday.”
I looked at the DVI end of the cable, and compared it with the DVI cable I currently possessed. All the pins were properly aligned. This could work.
“What if I threw in this old DVI cable?”
“I’ll do six dollars.”
Six dollars later (plus tax), I was on my way back to the Town and Village with a new cable and a tonload of prayers.
Okay, let’s plug this in. Wire to the back of the monitor – fits. HDMI connector to the HDMI port of the tower … fits.
And the moment of truth… press the power button.
Whisper-quiet whirs from the tower. At first, I wasn’t even sure it was on – only the tiny white light on the power button convinced me that the unit was receiving energy. And then … the monitor powered up. Hi. We’re glad you’re here. Microsoft Windows 10 startup engaged.
And thanks to the good people at Computer Answers, I was able to get the machine connected to my monitor without any frustration.
I spent the rest of last night installing software – thankfully I saved my installation discs for Photoshop and several other programs – and, one by one, my new tower evolved into a quick-as-thought component of my life. And this is good. I need less stress in my life.
And this totally counts as less stress. 😀