Archive for the 'systems' Category


AMD system build

I’ve created a feature which details the building of a PC using an AMD 690G motherboard.


Hitachi 1TB…big boys toys

It’s not often that I’m in awe of computer kit these days, but today Hitachi very kindly sent me once of the their new 7K1000 drives. This baby has 1TB!!!
It’s easy to dismiss stuff like this and just say it’s a bit bigger than the 750GB Western Digital I reviews a while back. True it’s entirely arbitary amount of data, like any other size, but an entire terabyte on a single drive, numbs the mind a little.
Let me put that in a little perspective. The first hard drive I owned was the 30Mb MegaStore for the Atari ST. This drive is a thousand gigabytes or a million megabytes, which is a mere 33,000 times bigger! I’m not sure how many MegaStore’s Atari sold in the UK, but I think I could hold more capacity in one hand in these drives than they pushed in all the MegaStores. Assuming the rate of growth is proportional, which it isn’t, in 2027 we’ll have 20,000 or 40,000TB drives. Or, more HD movies than it’s possible to watch in lifetime. Bring it on!

Hitachi 1TB


AMD 690G build crazyness

Cheng Build
I’ve spent the day trying to complete a PC build for a friend, which I’ll document more completely at a later point. But this morning the PC had XP on it and was pretty ready to go (or going as in the picture). So why have I just finished mucking about with it???? In a word ‘sound’. For a reason that still defies logic I noticed that no sound device had been installed, and then more strangely that the sound device was missing! I assumed, wrongly, that it was an XP driver muck-up, and reinstalled XP using repare mode. That didn’t fix it. So in desperation I threw Vista on it, mainly to find out if it was something wrong with the hardware. It was, because I got no sound in Vista either!
In the end I wondered if the BIOS settings weren’t being shown correctly, and considered pulling the battery out to reset everything. Before doing that I reset to factory defaults and kerrr-pow!…We have sound. Now all I’ve got to do is scrap off Vista and start again with the OS my friend actually wants…
Perhaps I should write an article on how to waste about five hours on something stupid.


Server Build

Server BuildThis week I’ve been working on building a server, for my friend Mr. Cheng. As with all these things it will also be a feature in Micro Mart. The machine is actually finished now, but I’ve had a few ups and downs along the way. The system uses an embedded Linux solution called NASLite V2, written by a great guy called Tony Tonchev. But when I first built the rig it used a Sapphire motherboard which didn’t pass the drive details on correctly, and the two 500GB SATA drives in there didn’t register! I switched to an ASUS board and it’s all cooking now!


Crazy Computers – updated

I’ve added some new machines and pictures to the Crazy Computers page. Enjoy!
UV Extra


Crazy Computers

I’ve put up some of the stranger computers I’ve made…just three to begin with…more to come later!

Stella Computer

You’ll find them at