The Wide Angle: I’m just asking for trouble

Published 6:30 am Saturday, December 26, 2020

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COVID-19 has been a pain in our collective … backsides … for a long time now.

Mostly, we understand the dangers of the pandemic and what it represents in terms of our health.

But there are other dangers involved, namely the danger of having far too much time on one’s hands. My hands.

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To say I’ve had ideas is an understatement. Good ideas? Not necessarily, but very little of my life has been advanced on the notion of good ideas. How else do you learn where to step in a hog pen?

A story for another time.

The decision to jump fully into homebrewing mead has turned out to be a wonderful decision and I’ve loved every minute of it; however, my most recent idea may be less so.

Building my own computer.

I’m in a technical gray area with computers. The adage “I know just enough to be dangerous,” fits my stroll through life in this regard quite nicely.

In my life I have done some minor altering of settings, installed some hardware, added some memory and updated plenty of operating systems. For the most part everything has gone okay, mostly because I’ve tempered my expectations enough to know when things should be done by a professional.

It’s the same approach I take to plumbing … leave the big jobs to the professionals.

But let’s be clear, there is nothing in my past that should lend any kind of confidence to the idea of building my own computer.

And yet, here I am, on the threshold of making some questionable purchasing decisions that will further vault me into a world I understand very little about.

Quite frankly, everything about this is questionable now that I think about it.

In the shadow of the news that I am considering building a gaming computer, let’s go over what I know.

I know a little bit about RAM, storage and graphics cards … and that’s about it.

Here’s what I don’t know: Motherboards, cooling systems, casings, wires, overclocking, various combinations of letters and numbers … I think you get the picture.

So why, you might be asking, would I be encouraged enough to entertain this idea of assembling something that will require me to do a ton of research?

I blame YouTube.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Aside from the over abundance of cat videos and assorted rants by “YouTube celebrities,” YouTube has a number of resources. It was YouTube, for instance, that made it possible to change a rear lighting kit in my Escape after unceremoniously backing it into a concrete column in Rochester.

There are good, informative things on that channel, which is how I came to the idea of taking on this possible project.

As I was scrolling for something or another, a random suggestion was floated my way by the site. JayzTwoCents was the channel and the man, who I’m guessing was Jayz, (Jay?) was talking about the pros and cons of budget building. Having had this interest for awhile now in both budgets and building my own computer, I clicked on it and quickly subscribed to the channel. It was a wealth of information and what’s more, I found it immensely approachable. I began watching more videos and found myself beginning to plan and budget inside my tiny little mind.

I even found a video that gave me five reasons to build your own and two reasons why not to build your own. Invaluable, considering I could give it a third –— if your name is Eric Johnson, just don’t.

Listen, I have no clue where I’m going with this or if I even complete a build of any kind. I’m a nervous wreck when it comes to these types of things, though I do have several friends who have volunteered to help if I’m so inclined.

It’s either that, or they just want to bring popcorn for the show.

I can see it going either way.