Do we need Presidential Debates?

Over the last couple of years, I have been a rather serious student of public administration and before that, for over a decade I have been a student of government and politics. I can honestly say that the party in office controls the presidency and not the individual person in power. The executive branch of government simply has built up to much machinery for one person to be able to make all the decisions all the time. In fact, I would argue that we do not need debates between the presidential candidates.

Continue reading “Do we need Presidential Debates?”

Coffee at the Denver Airport

Wondering around the airport is not as much fun as you would think; in fact, when you have to go from the first gate to the last gate on people movers it is actually fairly draining. I stumbled into a Seattle

Colorado –> Kansas –> California

Tomorrow, I will be leaving the wonderful City of Boulder, Colorado to return to Kansas City landing at Kansas City International Airport. I will be in Kansas City for a week and then I will be off to California. The ICMA conference is in San Diego. I do suffer from some anticipatory anxiety when it comes to traveling, not really planning to travel, but the activity itself. Sometimes I wonder how my calendar fills up so fast. For somebody who tries to never do anything, I seem to find myself running all over the world.

New Belgium Brewery Tour

Thursday at about three in the afternoon, Joni and I went to the New Belgium Brewery. Proudly offering award-winning Belgium style and Pilsner beers made exclusively in Fort Collins, Colorado. The brewery tour is not very long about half an hour and only moves about one thousand feet from one side of the building to the other. Being able to see the employees, hear them talk about loving wind power, moving toward green business, and advocating the Belgium brewing tradition was insightful. Anyone of legal drinking age that would like to visit the brewery will receive some samples of New Belgium products in funny shaped glass cups.

Continue reading “New Belgium Brewery Tour”

What do you need to build your own computer?

How do you put the parts together? What parts do you need to build your own computer? In pure computer nerd speak, somebody could say, You need to have KVM, CPU, MOBO, HD, RAM, CD/DVD, A/V, and a good NIC. If that sounds like the kind of technological jargon that makes you worry, want to pull your hair out, or scream at the kid at the computer store. Then you have found the right technology guide. This is still an early draft of this guide and it going to need a couple of revisions before it is useful to the general public. If you see something that needs to be changed just let me know and I will make sure it gets updated! Why write this guide? David Borys asked a question about computer hardware and the internet did not have a comprehensive clear and concise answer.  I have solicited both David and Andy Phelan to make sure than the content is clear and concise enough for the new computer user to be able to understand.

Warning: Make sure that you know what you are getting into before you
decide to build your own computer! A note to the keyboard cowboy, this guide
is operating system free and discusses x86 architecture, and the current state
of technology. This is simply the relatively well-informed opinion of an
educated computer user. I post this guide to the internet for the express
purpose of providing information and allowing discussion. I do not warranty,
certify, or provide any acknowledge any responsibility for technical
assistance, or catastrophic system failure.       

You do not need to worry if you are not up to date on all
of the acronyms and jargon that surrounds discussions of computer technology. I
am going to go thorough each part in detail then at the very end of this
technology guide I will describe two hardware configurations, and how to put
them together. The objective of
writing this guide is that after reading this guide on, What do you need to
build your own computer? You will have the knowledge base to think about what
technology you can use to build a computer and what new technology is
developing. If you see a dotted underline allow the mouse driven cursor to hover
on the acronym and a box will appear that tells you
what it means. I also have an

Acronym List
at the end of this guide.

With a little due diligence and some reading you can build your own
computer. Every personal computer built and sold in the United States is
modular. What does that mean? Anybody can build a computer without having to
rewire, build, or really do any electrical engineering. Almost every computer
part simply has to be correctly installed and then for some devices you just
have to setup the software. When you make the decision about what type of computer you want to build two
basic scenarios exists that I am going to provide sample computer parts
configurations for both 32bit and 64bit x86 architecture system.

From this point in the document
you have officially started reading the guide, “
” You can certainly are
welcome to read the guide
from start to finish, but if that is not your intention,
please finish reading this paragraph before you
jump ahead to different sections of the guide. The
first part of this guide is
the navigation list all
the computer parts, that you need to understand to build a
computer. The internal
computer parts include the

power supply


CPU Fan,






video card
and the increasingly important
interface card
External computer parts
include the


and the

The second distinct part of this guide is the practical application of your
newfound computer hardware knowledge, explaining what parts you need
to build your computer. I am going to discuss both a
Sample 64bit
Parts Configuration
and a
Sample 3
Parts Configuration

explaining the fundamental differences and challenges associated with both
hardware configurations.

I will then discuss how to assemble that sample computer parts configuration
in the final section of this guide in the form of the rather monolithic, “
The Computer
” section,
recently I decided to include an appendix on Troubleshooting Your System Configuration, you can thank me later.
If you find this guide useful, then please consider linking to this entry.




A keyboard is a fairly simple device
that allows you to enter text one letter at a time. Keyboard represents the K in KVM, while most computer nerds (myself included) spend large amounts
of money on an ergonomic natural split keyboards and wireless keyboards. If you are really going to
spend hours in front of the computer please make sure you have a comfortable
keyboard with a nice gel wrist pad to help prevent health problems.

  1. New Technology You can officially get at least two
    kinds of wireless keyboards that plug into the computer s motherboard
    through a USB or PS2 connection. Wireless keyboards are great you can move
    around the room and type, remember keep some spare batteries around!
  2. Industry Standard Without question if you have ever
    used on the USB ergonomic natural keyboards are faster and are growing in
    popularity. What is a natural keyboard? When you look at a bunch of
    keyboards at the store, they are the ones with the giant split down the
    middle of the letter keys so that you have to type with two hands.
  3. Technology History PS2 connection keyboards
    are everywhere if your keyboard has a wire and plugs into the motherboard
    with a small circular interface this is probably what you have. This classic
    technology standard will probably be around forever, until the wireless
    keyboards become an affordable Industry Standard.

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The mouse puts the M
in the technology acronym KVM (sometimes people call this the rodent or other
nicknames usually associated with mice. While technically  the mouse is
optional, you will find that practically speaking the mouse is a necessity in
modern computing.

  1. New Technology Wireless keyboard and mouse combos
    are becoming relatively cheap and are probably the wave of the future.
    Wireless mouse and keyboard technology can be a little slower, require
    batteries, and software or hardware configuration. Internet gamers contend
    that the weaker the batteries get the slower your mouse and keyboard get,
    but this type of computer user is very demanding and spends hours playing
    online games.
  2. Industry Standard The relatively recent industry
    standard is the optical USB mouse with a third button and a selection wheel.
  3. Technology History Almost every mouse in
    existence uses the classic industry standard PS2 connection, having an
    optical mouse is cool, but does not provide a large enough difference for
    everybody to run out and buy one overnight.   

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Make sure you
have the right size case and all the necessary case fans, modification kits,
and of course, cable ties to secure the wires.

  1. New Technology Right now, a new design revolution is
    occurring with liquid cooled cases, small cube traveling cases, and massive
    modifications including colored lights, glowing fans, neon switches. This is
    a cool trend because so much equipment is hitting the market that prices are
    quickly falling!
  2. Industry Standard Most cases are your standard ATX
    full to mid tower setup that comes in the standard colors of black or white.
    A full tower comes with four external 5.25-inch device bays in the front of
    the case, while a mid tower usually has two of these device bays.
  3. Technology History Think back to the days of
    computer cases that say underneath a monitor not under a desk. I am glad
    these cases have gone the way of the dinosaur they are difficult to work
    with not module and constrain your ability to upgrade your computer
    yourself. If you are going to spend hundreds of dollars to build a computer
    you want to be able to upgrade the parts without having to purchase another

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Sometimes this
device comes with the Computer Case, but you need to make sure you have enough
power to run your CPU some people use slang and call this the chip.

  1. New Technology Power supplies are getting much more
    powerful these days exceeding 500 watts of power. They now have serial power
    cables to connect to SATA devices. The faster your CPU the more power you
    are going to need, make sure and check the manufactures documentation for a
    power recommendation.
  2. Industry Standard Right now, the average power
    supply does not have serial power cables and is between 300 and 500 watts of
  3. Technology History Power supplies exist below
    300 watts of power, but they are somewhat older and cannot support the
    demands of new technology. For this device to functionally change an entire
    new line of products would be required. For the most part only the power is
    going to change not the actually power supply.

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Some people use slang and call this the chip, but it is one of the most
important parts of the computer.

  1. New Technology Both Intel and AMD are now offering
    64bit technology for personal home computing. I am a huge fan of the AMD
    64bit chipset, because it uses a duel core technology that simply blows
    Intel out of the water. (Disclosure: I own a 64bit AMD chip.) 
  2. Industry Standard Right now most people have Intel
    or AMD 32bit processors running over a gigahertz.
  3. Technology History According to Moore’s Law every
    year the computing power of a chip will double. Any 32bit processor
    running under a gigahertz is now considered slow. The frantic race for speed
    has produced a large number of chips in the market that companies are not
    designing technology for anymore. This means that you have to be careful
    what kind of chip you buy, because if your motherboard fails it might be
    difficult to find another one, and if your chip fails you are going to have
    a hard time finding a replacement, except on eBay.       

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, because you
will need a special fan to cool this device, seriously this is incredibly



  1. New Technology   You can get liquid cooled fans
    and specialized exhaust systems to make sure your processor does not
  2. Industry Standard Make sure you have a fan that is
    designed for your processor.
  3. Technology History  This technology has
    not changed that much, but the older fans do not work on modern processors,
    make sure you spend the money to buy a new fan.

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This is one of
the most complex parts of the computer and if you do not buy a quality
motherboard, you will regret it for years. A motherboard can possibly have
audio, video, networking, and other specialized cable connections already
installed. Some people really like this kind of motherboard it can potentially
reduce your purchase to eleven items instead of as many as twenty.



  1. New Technology   64bit motherboards with all the
    really cool technology included: SATA, Fire Wire, USB 2.0, next generation
    video, and fancy audio.   
  2. Industry Standard Most motherboards do not have any
    onboard video and audio, providing limited support for new devices without
    purchasing additional interface cards.
  3. Technology History Motherboards are usually
    associated with the processors they support. Any motherboard that uses PC133
    memory or slower is probably considered somewhat older technology, and is
    starting to become obsolete. 

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Right now I am a
major fan of the SATA drive, but that does not mean that a quality ATA drive
will not work for you, this device stores all of the information on the
computer and needs to have a large capacity.



  1. New Technology   SATA! The new hard drives use a
    different power and motherboard connection cable that makes them much
    faster. Running the required ATA150 controller card for serial hard drives
    is what allows a major increase in the speed of data transmission.
  2. Industry Standard Most hard drives are IDE devices
    that connect to the motherboard through an ATA133 controller card built into
    the motherboard or attached through an expansion card attached to the
    motherboard. The current industry standard is a 7,200 RPM hard drive with at
    least 8 MB of buffer.  
  3. Technology History  Any computer using
    ATA100 technology or slower with a hard drive speed of 5,000 RPM is now
    considered to be somewhat older technology.   

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Sometimes people just call
this Physical Memory. 



  1. New Technology   Any Memory speed above PC2000+
    is new technology.
  2. Industry Standard This PC133 Memory was produced in
    mass quantities and is everywhere .
  3. Technology History Any Memory that is slower
    than PC133 is somewhat older technology.   

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I really do
not like this devices, and have no interest in discussing them, but some people still love them.
They are still the 1.44 MB single disc drive
you remember from years ago, this
truly a legacy device. 


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Compact disc
(CD) or digital video disc (DVD) drive (Maybe even a CD/DVD burner if you



  1. New Technology With two competing media types DVD+R
    and DVD-R this technology was fragmented and has now gone from DVD5 to DVD9
    nearly doubling the data capacity of a DVDR.
  2. Industry Standard Almost any computer is going to
    have a DVD or CDR drive. 
  3. Technology History   A computer that
    does not have the capacity to record with either a DVDR/CDR probably has a CD
    drive, which is the minimum requirement for a modern computer.

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If you want to
be able to hear sound, then you better get one of these cards or buy it built
into the motherboard.



  1. New Technology   You can get new audio cards
    that have Dolby Digital 5.1 and other amazing sound configurations.
  2. Industry Standard Make sure you get at least a 24bit
    audio card.
  3. Technology History The lower end of sound
    cards only matters if you care about what kind of sound you are have. My
    64bit computer does not have an audio card, because I have not bothered to
    install one. It only matters if you want to hear sounds!

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For some people
graphics is the most important part of a computer, you can get this card built
into the motherboard or purchase it as a separate card.



  1. New Technology The
    All-In-Wonder 9800 Pro 128MB 8x AGP Video Card, is certainly near the best
    technology at just under $300.
  2. Industry Standard Most video cards are 64MB and
    produce quality graphics.
  3. Technology History Any video card with less
    than 64MB of memory built into the card is definitely somewhat older

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Want to connect to the internet, then you better make sure you have one of
these cards or purchase it built into the motherboard.



  1. New Technology Wireless network cards including the
    new amazing 802.11 standards A/B/G/G+ are allowing people to connect to the
    internet without wires.  
  2. Industry Standard RJ45 or Category 5e/6e fast
    internet connections using Network Interface Cards are the most common form
    of Network Interface.
  3. Technology History Modems all of them are old
    they use RJ11 cable standards, the same as the telephone system.

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One need one of these!


  1. New Technology  Digital flat screen LCD.
  2. Industry Standard CRT Flat panel
  3. Technology History Recently the market has changed
    from being all glass CRT monitors to flat panel glass monitors. Then the
    entire market changed with the advent of plasma screen technology and liquid
    crystal displays. 

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A Uninterruptible Power Supply is the modern version of a surge

  1. New Technology   Voltage regulations, surge
    protection, and a long batter backup.
  2. Industry Standard A surge protector with short
    batter backup.
  3. Technology History It used to be that only companies
    and true computer nerds had battery backup systems. While a surge protector
    is essential for any computer owner, having at least a surge protector with
    a batter backup should be a requirement. 

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  I have put
together a minimum list of parts that you will need to build a 64bit computer
that conforms to my standards. Most of the parts I have included in this sample
64bit parts configuration also work with 32bit configurations. The main
difference is going to come from the motherboard and CPU. I will go ahead and
talk about each part you need and list some of my part choices. This section is
does contain some of my personal bias in the form of my opinions, but that is
why you read this kind of guide right? To find out what I think about a sample
parts configuration. I am going to discuss parts in terms of High End
Technology, some people call this the bleeding edge of technology, that might
have something to do with the higher prices or with the fact that you experience
more problems with less established products, and I am will tell you what I
consider to the industry standard. The parts and prices I suggest are simply for
example purposes, I do not own stock in any of these companies, but I will let
you know what parts I have had serious problems with in the past.

  1. CPU – It is no secret that I am
    a big fan of the AMD 64bit chips. They duel-core architecture that is native
    in 64-bit chips will allow you to upgrade your CPU in the future by adding
    an additional L2 cache processor, Intel does not have that option. My friend
    Seth works for Intel so I will not say anything exceptionally terrible about
    the company, but my allegiances are currently on the side of AMD.     

    • High End Technology AMD
      ATHLON 64FX 5100 OEM ($749)
    • Industry Standard – AMD ATHLON 64 2800+
      RET ($176)
  2. CPU Fan – This fan is
    important, because it keeps that really expensive processor cool. Make sure
    you get a nice one whatever you do, having a CPU Fan burn out and toast your
    chip is a terrible experience. I speak from personal experience, buy a
    quality fan! 

    • Industry Standard – FOX K8 OPTERON AMD-64 FAN ($40)
  3. Case – My personal case is a
    (S-201 ATX Server Case with 17Bays $170 before the cost of the power
    supply), which is way bigger than most personal computer users need. I have
    had several different cases and have been happy with most of them. 

    • High End Technology – EVERCASE ECS5000LX-B BLK SERV ($149)
    • Industry Standard – XION BLACK GAMING CASE 450W ($89)
  4. Motherboard = Right now I am on a GIGABYTE kick and have been suggesting
    these motherboards. Remember that you have to make sure to purchase a
    motherboard based on what CPU you want to have! Motherboards only support
    certain CPU’s I also recommend new computer users  purchase a
    motherboard with built in audio, video, and network interface.  

    • High End Technology – GIGABYTE 8KNXP 875P FSB800 8X L/R ($229)
    • Industry Standard – GIGABYTE 7N400PRO2 GBLAN SATA 1 ($125)
  5. RAM – Pick your ram
    based on what your motherboard and CPU support! I know it gets expensive,
    but you want to make sure you have at least 512MB of RAM. 

    • High End Technology – 512MB PC3500 433MHZ DDR ($139)
    • Industry Standard – 512MB PC2700 333MHZ ($99)
  6. Floppy –  MITSUMI 1.44MB FLOPPY DRIVE ($12)
  7. DVDR – When you build a
    new computer you have to make a choice about moving to the dual layer DVD9
    format or staying with the DVD5 single layer format. Personally I still have
    the DVD5 format which has a 4.7 gigabyte capacity. 

    • High End Technology – OPTORITE 12X DVD+/- DUAL LAYER BL ($99)
    • Industry Standard – SONY DVD+/- 4X WRITE ($60)
  8. SATA – I am
    really a huge fan of the SATA Hard Drive. You can get other types of hard
    drives, but really on a 64bit computer you might as well realize the best
    potential computing speed by getting a faster hard drive. 

    • High End Technology – WESTERN DIGITAL 250GB 8M SATA ($199)
    • Industry Standard – SEAGATE 120GB 8M SATA ($105)
  9. Keyboard – I really do enjoy my natural keyboard with custom gel wrist

    • High End Technology – MICROSOFT Natural Elite Keyboard ($35)
    • Industry Standard – Check the local computer store you can get a
      keyboard for ($3-$10).
  10. Mouse – Buy what you like to use, if you do not know what you like go to
    the store and look at them. 

    • High End Technology – LOGITECH MX500 OPTICAL MOUSE ($49)
    • Industry Standard – Check the local computer store you can get a mouse for ($3-$10).
  11. Monitor – This is probably the most important part of a computer for
    most people, because this is what you you spend your time in front of on a
    daily basis. Make sure you think about how big of a monitor you will want
    and what you want to do with your computer.   

    • High End Technology – VIEWSONIC X910 19″ LCD Display ($650)
    • Industry Standard – VIEWSONIC 19″ E90F FLAT ($200)
  12. UPS – Please buy
    one of these! 

    • High End Technology – APC Back-UPS XS 1500VA 865 Watts ($200)
    • Industry Standard – Belkin Enterprise Series 900VA UPS 540 Watts

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Prices seem to range between $600-$1500. This is still a work in progress!  

  1. CPU = AMD SEMPRON 2400+ RET ($72)
  2. CPU Fan = ($20)
  3. Motherboard = ASUS A7N8X-VM NF2 8X S/V ($95)
  4. RAM = 512MB PC3200 400MHZ ($101)
  5. Floppy = MITSUMI 1.44MB FLOPPY DRIVE ($12)
  7. HD = SEAGATE 40GB 7200 IDE ($60)
  10. Mointer = VIEWSONIC 19″ E90F FLAT ($200)
  11. UPS = Belkin Enterprise Series 900VA UPS 540 Watts

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This is still a work in progress!  

  1. Once you have all of the parts together in one place. Find a flat
    surface that is clear, static free, (Not on the carpet, near a plastic
    table, or plastic tablecloth) and has enough room to work. Make sure you
    have a static free Philips Screwdriver that is not magnetic. Get our an
    empty coffee cup to put the screwdriver in when you are not using it and to
    store the screws that come with the next hardware. I know this sounds simple
    and easy to do, but if really does make a difference to be prepared. Make a
    stack of all the documentation that came with your devices and then make
    sure you take the time to sit down and read everything! This guide does not
    cover every possible step that you might need, and reading the manuals is a
    good habit to develop.
  2. Take the motherboard out of the box and make sure that it is still in
    the static free foil bag. Place the computer case on the work space. Once
    you have the computer case open and have put screwed in motherboard risers
    if necessary. There are little screws that are still open on top allowing
    one screw to raise the motherboard so that it does not touch the computer
    case while also connecting to a screw that holds the motherboard. This
    process is very important to make sure your motherboard is not damaged. Make
    sure you carefully place the motherboard into the case and use every
    possible screw point provided by the motherboard. 

  3. If you did not have the people at the computer store place the chip into
    the motherboard and place the fan on top make sure you follow the exact
    directions provided with the central processing unit and the central
    processing unit fan. This is the one part of the process that you might want
    to consult your locally owned computer store about if you have never placed
    a chip on a motherboard before. If you are still not nervous enough to
    consult a professional then read the instructions on the directions, every
    process is different.  Make sure that the power cable from the central
    processing unit fan is plugged into the motherboard. You will also want to
    connect the jumpers from the computer case to the motherboard. This is not
    difficult simply read the documentation with the motherboard and connect the
    cables to the right spot. These are your computer case speaker, power
    switch, and hard drive activity lights. 

  4. Remove the RAM from the protective antistatic bag and carefully place it
    into the motherboard in the correct slot. Almost every motherboard is
    clearly market with the primary RAM slot clearly identified. RAM is rather
    large and only fits into one type of slot on the motherboard, so you do not
    need to be worried just follow the directions in the motherboard booklet to
    make sure you have properly locked the RAM in place. Make sure you do not
    leave greasy fingerprints on the RAM this will cause trouble, simply make
    sure your hands are dry and only touch the edges of the RAM

  5. Now is the time to insert any video cards, network
    interface cards, or any other specialized cards that require a Peripheral
    Component Interconnect slot. I know you are surprised to find out that these
    cards can only plug into one type of interface on the motherboard these are
    the interface slots that allow you screw them into the case so that the back
    end of the card is still accessible. 

  6. Gather any disc drives, hard drives, and the floppy drive and check the
    jumper settings on the back of them. This is really simple do not be afraid
    make sure that the hard drive you want to put the operating system on is set
    to master and that if you have a disc drive that can write disks it is set
    set to the master setting as well. Everything else should be set to cable
    select or slave. After you have configured the jumper settings make sure
    that you install the drives in a logical fashion. You probably have three
    IDE cable connection slots on the motherboard. Two bigger ones and one
    smaller one for the floppy drive. You probably received ribbon cables with
    your floppy, hard drive, disc drive, and motherboard. Look at the back of
    your drives and figure out what size cable they need before you put the
    drives in the case. Place the drives in the case so that the ribbon cable
    can connect to the drives. The end with two connections relatively close
    together is the one that should be connected to the derives and the end that
    is all by itself should be connected to the motherboard. 

  7. Make sure you have not accidentally plugged the computer case into a
    power supply, because you should never have the power supply plugged into
    the wall or the UPS while you are working on the computer. Find power supply
    connections for all of the devices you have just installed, and then make
    sure the power supply is connected to the motherboard. The power supply will
    only have one cable that can connect to the motherboard and the connection
    is generally near the RAM or the CPU.
  8. Take a moment to make sure that you have followed all the directions
    that came with the motherboard, CPU, CPU fan, Hard Drive, and other devices
    you have just installed. Make sure and check the connections of every device
    to make sure everything is plugged in all the way and secure. Did you use at
    least two screws on both sides of every device that connects to the case,
    excluding the Peripheral Component Interconnect cards because they only use
    one screw. Once you are sure everything is put together correctly go ahead
    and close the case and screw it shut.
  9. Plug in the KVM (Keyboard, Video, and Mouse) to the correct interface
    slots on the back of the computer case. Make sure they are plugged in
    securely and that the monitor is completely secure.
  10. Connect the power cables from the power supply in the computer case and
    from the monitor into to the slots on the UPS that are backed up by the
    battery. No other devices but the monitor and computer case power supply
    should be connected to the battery backup on the UPS. I have my alarm clock
    connected to the batter backup on the UPS, but that only draws 9 volts of
  11. Take a deep breath and make sure that you have followed all of the
    directions. Did you really read all of the documentation that came with your
    hardware? Think about how much money you spent on all of that computer
    hardware. Now ask yourself again did you really read all of the
    documentation that came with your hardware and carefully follow the
    instructions and warnings. If you are confident in your abilities to follow
    directions and you read all of the documentation, then plug the UPS into the
    war and turn on the computer and monitor.
  12. Having problems read the next section of the guide about troubleshooting
    your system configuration.

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More fun than
you should be allowed to have right? Don’t panic we have all had problems
building computers here is a list of common problems and potential solutions.
Please make sure that you have read all documentation related to your specific
hardware configuration. 

  1. You push the power button and nothing happens.
    • Did you remember to correctly jumper the power switch cable from the
      computer case to the motherboard?
    • Is the UPS turned on and the lights are correctly flashing in the
    • Have you checked the power supply switch on the back of the computer
      case and make sure it is on?
  2. You can hear the computer case turn on and see the lights, but nothing
    happens with the monitor. 

    • Did you check the back of the monitor to see if it has a power switch?
    • Is the power cable correctly plugged into both the monitor and the
    • If your computer has both an on board graphics card and an AGP
      graphics card that you installed did you try testing the other connection?
    • Can you see the power light on the monitor turn on?

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  1. AGP – Advanced Graphics Port
  2. ATA – Advanced
    Technology Accessory
  3. AMD – Advanced Micro Devices
  4. A/V – Audio and Video
  5. CD – Compact Disc
  6. CDR – Compact Disc Recorder
  7. CDRW – Compact Disc Re-Writeable
  8. CPU – Central Processor Unit
  9. CRT – Cathode Ray Tude
  10. DVD – Digital Video Disc
  11. DVD-R – Digital Video Disc Recordable
  12. DVD+R – Digital Video Disc Recordable
  13. DVDR – Digital Video Disc Recordable
  14. DVDRW – Digital Video Disc Re-Writeable
  15. IDE – Integrated Drive Electronics
  16. HD – Hard Drive
  17. KB – Keyboard or KiloByte
  18. KVM – Keyboard, Video, and Monitor
  19. LCD – Compact Disc
  20. MB – Megabyte and sometimes Motherboard
  21. MOBO – Motherboard
  22. NIC – Network Interface Card
  23. PC – Personal Computer
  24. RAM – Random Access Memory
  25. RJ11 – Telephone wire standard
  26. RJ45 – Network wire standard
  27. SATA – Serial Advanced Technology Accessory
  28. UPS – Uninterruptible Power Supply

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If you find this guide useful, then please consider linking to this entry.
The only way people will be able to find this information is if search
engineers know it exists, that is why if linking is so important, please
spread the word! This guide is constantly being revised and will always need a
couple of revisions, to make sure it is still useful to the general public. If
you see something that needs to be changed just let me know via a comment at
the bottom of this page and I will make sure it gets updated!


Current planned updates to this guide include: hardware pictures,
illustrative pictures in the build the computer section, a major update to the
hardware section attempting to make each hardware description more
comprehensive, and finally a major overhaul to the troubleshooting section.  


The Kansas City Chiefs

Some congratulations go to Priest Holmes, for being the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. No congratulations go to Jason Whitlock sports reporter for the Kansas City star who has perfected the art of being almost beyond the pale of what is acceptable for an inflammatory statement and then never having to apologize to the people of Kansas City or the athletes that Jason criticizes. The Kansas City Chiefs are 1 and 3 this season, and I have gone ahead and made Kansas City Chiefs 2004-2005 National Football League Predictions.

Continue reading “The Kansas City Chiefs”

Cray XD1 + AMD = Progress

If you remember back a couple of days, I was excited about
the innovations over at AMD. Well my predictions about the potential of scalable
core processors are starting to come true. Cray, Inc “The
Supercomputer Company
” is working on a great new design that allows the
connection of 12 processors to one massive computer board. In fact, “Highly modular,
the Cray XD1 base unit
is a chassis. Up to 12 chassis can be installed in a rack. Multirack
configurations integrate hundreds of processors into a single system.” That is
right if you are keeping track the new a
Cray XD1
can support 12

chips, which means that with a

duel core
upgrade your chassis can be running processes on 24 separate
computing cores on the same
machine, before you build a distributed computing network! The Cray Webpage says
it best, “Designed to meet the requirements of highly demanding HPC applications in
fields ranging from product design to weather prediction to scientific research,
the Cray XD1 system is an indispensable tool for engineers and scientists to simulate and
analyze faster, solve more complex problems, and bring solutions to market
sooner.” The technology curve is about to seriously shift ahead of the schedule
predicted by Moore’s

Equitist Confessions of a Futurist Mind

This highly anticipated frequently revised essay is an open letter to society, truly a written plea for rational coherent thought that is desperately necessary to move from subject objection to an Equitist solution framework using the broader fabric of logic. The minds of autonomous thinkers must feel the pressure to move forward realizing a world of possibility. The more minds that focus on rational coherent autonomous thought the faster society can move from problem identification based on relative condition to embracing the process of finding solutions.

The broader question of modern philosophical thought, and all of the theories associated with that string of thought, is about the reaction to the epiphany, the crash, realization, the mind shift, or put simply the change that is required in perceived reality to change the postmodern condition. What happens when it occurs? If the authors of the giant postmodern collections of isms (Nuclearism, Environmentalism, Feminism, Militarism, etc) are correct and the conditions that we perceive as functions of reality are fundamentally oppressive, then does the realization of the postmodern condition facilitate an instantaneous change? The next step exists to reject postmodern assumptions and begin to move from objection to solution. Central to the postmodern stream of logic is the suggestion that everyone should question the very nature of existence and the patterns of interaction that are the very nature of being a part of society.

To facilitate discussion and perhaps pervade the depth necessary for a functional challenge to the structure of thought and the system that allows the perpetuation of the normative game, this essay offers this journey throughout history. Modern philosophy has concluded that perhaps a fabric of logic exists; the threads of this fabric resonate throughout modern argumentation. The specific pattern of interest today is from classical theory being the foundation of logic –> the shift to realism –> postmodern thought and the ability to object –> neo-realist objection to postmodern thought –> rejection of postmodern thought –> resolution of objection and the final realization. At the most basic level of this fabric of logic a series of realizations have occurred that allow the thinker to see the world and to perhaps become aware of a condition known as reality.

Reaching a resolution of the current trend of objection and finding the final realization is why the thinker strives to question, not necessarily to object. Understanding the normative game enough to move form questions of the postmodern condition to a broader understanding of the nature of existence is an important step. Requiring the thinker to move beyond questions and release the litany of manufactured isms. This release allows the thinker to use the fabric of logic to make a rational coherent choice about future interactions and the very nature of the conditions reality presumes.

How do you go about describing this release? Perhaps only a series of Equitist confessions from the thoughts of a futurist mind will open a window into what is possible instead of requiring the thinker to answer questions. Neo-realists have been able to put down the objection of the system to see that even if you knew and understood every ism ever created reality requires action. Thinkers are not static objects and the conditions that presume reality are the very conditions that define action as a necessary part of sustained existence. That is why the resolution of the objections raised through isms is the last step to the final realization of what possible when the thinker is allowed to use the larger fabric of logic to make decisions.

Equitists make an objection to the very structure of how some modern philosophies conceived in the formation of isms define the current debate about the future of individual empowerment. Postmodern thought developed for a reason, as a response to a specific train of thought and as a result questions developed that have been labeled with isms (For example, Feminism), through label, argument, and action focuses on defining a firm dichotomy of difference between two sides of a debate. Embracing postmodern thought and futurist assumptions does not require any serious theoretical revision or counter intuitive debate. Equitists define the debate in terms of progress toward equality striving to explain the game board (broader design of the structure of the system) in terms of everyone being equal.

Every argument has to consider the long-term consequences of structural formation and of course resolution. That is why the rejection of postmodern thought by letting go of the need to define reality using the litany of isms is the only way to find a resolution of objection and reach the final realization. Every thought is a precious commodity, because it is potentially the solutions that will allow the thinker to use the fabric of logical thought instead of seeing reality from the prison of a castle in the air perpetuating the illusion of objections being change instead of expressing the possibility of a solution oriented society that answers the big questions.

Just because the game board exists, does not mean that we have to continue playing the game. Playing a game without understanding the consequences of the game boards design is a sign of poor strategy. Understanding the self is an essential element to understanding the game. All people are equal. Categories and labels create inequality. Reject inequality in favor of equality. The thinker might ask, “Do we move forward as a society, or do we simply proceed to the next location where we plan to occupy space?” Basing existence on the notion that movement is a function of occupation defines a specific logic system. Does one ism matter more than the structure of theory does?

Think about this argument in the context of two different strategies of conversation for a moment. If you start, a conversation based on a perspective that is full of prejudice then your chances of removing bias are not very good. Now when you start a conversation without walking into bias and prejudice it makes argumentation from the opposition more difficult. When you start with the Equitist premise, it works some like this, the thinker says, “Everyone within society is the same in terms of equality. Equality is an idea that applies to everyone. Do you believe in the idea of equality for all of the people?” This frames the debate outside the confines perpetuated by echoing objections to the postmodern condition in the form of an ism devoid of a specific rational for the philosophical direction or coherent rational for thinking about solutions to objections.

To foster a certain level of understanding, the following example requires the reader to replace (ism) with any postmodern objection. An author writing to express a postmodern ism might alternatively suggest, “(ism) defines the problem, now is the time to stand up and fight for (ism)!” This statement defines difference inherent in the title (ism), instead of the title of unification like Equitist. One of the reasons that many people disagree with (ism) specifically is that arguing against the oppression of something is much more difficult that arguing against oppression at face value. If the structure of the argument requires identifying difference to raise one side to the standards of another, then the broader question is about why labels are necessary to separate two ideas in terms of one being the other.

The practical answer is that they are not necessary, because the separation is not fundamentally necessary. In fact, it might be the separation assumption that is the structural problem of the argument. The thinker might say, “We are all the same, borders, language, and culture only serve to confuse the real issue. People are just people. No person is any better than any other person is, just because society simplifies things with an artificially contrived label.”

Raising the Equitist objection to the next level requires moving beyond objection to a framework of solution. Maybe the thinker would say something like, “I object to the structures and confines of (ism). As a society, we should endorse the value of equality. No difference exists between people.” A postmodern author might get defensive about this premise for a moment. Most people will recognize that everybody in the end is equal. If the objection made in favor of two sides existing then automatically a structure confines the creation of a solution. It is possible to advocate for one side or the other. Equitists raise an objection to the confines of this structure.

We should be able to step forward as a society and let go of an out of date theory and move forward in the pursuit of equality. Rejection of postmodern thought seems like a complicated intrusion into the foundation of modern philosophy, but it is only a natural step in the resolution of objection and the final realization at the most basic level a fabric of logic exists. In essence, the objection is that postmodern ism specific argumentation is structurally self-defeating. If you frame the debate in terms of subtracting from one side to benefit they other side, then you have intrinsic division within your potential set of outcomes.

The values behind the Equitist objection grounded in a belief that everyone is equal. Individuals do not need external definitions and biases that create a dichotomy of difference. Equality is one of the most important values that upheld by a society. Perpetuating labels and systems that stand against equality, even when the functional premises might be the same are repugnant. Now is the time to find an alternative to the current system.

A potential alternative does exist to objection and the solution is equality. Perhaps the only way to explain a potential alternative to the current system is to listen to the thinker, “If everyone is equal, then we should treat everyone as equal. Reject borders, language, and culture in favor of equality. Labels are divisive misrepresentations of the fact that people are just people.” Some observations about the game involve conclusions like, “Tear down the confines of current thought and expand the future potential for pure equality.” Equitists confessions of a futurist mind in the end is about the idea that, “We are all the same.” I do not understand why so many people hold on to borders, language, and culture to define them. As if, some meaning comes from where you are born and what you look like. It is the middle years of life when people forget the truths of life.

One day we will all treat the social animal as a rational autonomous thinker. Fellow futurists understand the confession that the postmodern preference for objection through isms breeds both piety and pestilence. Society promotes a foundation where the social animal receives categorization, labels, and is eventually just a game piece moved through the system without regard for meaning or the value of solution that comes from rational autonomous thought. The thinker has to consider the long-term consequences of the ideas currently supported.

Equitist confessions of a futurist mind form a series of conclusions about how to solve problems by making solutions the form for identifying problems. Postmodern thought only allows isms to consider the nature of a condition and form an objection. For an objection to be meaningful, it has to present a solution to correct the condition. I object to the idea of defining reality through the postmodern framework of objection without hesitation. The postmodern mind believes in a series of terms with a very complex influence on reality. The solution is equity, and at the most basic level that means that all things are equal. As a futurist, I do not believe that national borders define anything more than arbitrary lines defining arbitrary rules. Everyone everywhere is a capable of being a rational autonomous thinker. A thinker that is capable of so much more than having to relay on something external like culture to define and facilitate a series of differentiations.

Have postmodern objections lead to the epiphany, the crash, realization, the mind shift, or put simply the change that is required in reality to change the postmodern condition? What happens when it occurs? The broader question of modern philosophical thought asks if isms are the answer. Postmodern thought reflects on objections and now is the time to define a logic proof advocating change. Maybe that Equitist logic proof moving toward the rejection of postmodern thought finding a resolution of objection mentality and allowing society to begin the final realization is meaningful. The Equitist logic proof would sound something like this: Do you believe in equity? Equity means that everybody is equal. If you believe in equity then you believe that everybody is equal.

Postmodern thought has created a series of objections wondering off in the wrong direction, because the basic underlying idea of ism style argumentation is that a condition exists that defines the subject to a disadvantage-requiring objection. The Equitist confessions of a futurist mind confess that in the end the rational autonomous thinker has the power of choice. A power defined in the ability to treat everyone equal without dichotomous difference. This is a confession that is looking ahead to a point in the history of society. The futurist tradition allows the thinker to transcend to a point in time where the game board is no longer a structure and thought exists on a broader fabric of logic that is equal for everyone. Insisting that society continue to focus on artificial differences only perpetuates the real problems. Reject the social conventions that only inhibit progress. Progress is being able to accept a vision of a society where everyone is equal regardless.

Defining the end of the debate about the nature of the postmodern condition involves noting the hypocritical de-justification of objection without solution. Questioning the nature of any condition is part of learning to use the broader fabric of logic that allows meaningful rational coherent thought. Providing a solution framework is a necessary part of resolving any condition that is disrupting equity. Raising an objection about the postmodern condition by forming a differentiation of objects not equity, through dichotomous relations is inherently counterproductive, because it values the object over equity. The hypocritical nature of defining object drive dichotomous relationships provides a de-justification of the postmodern critic. Equitist theory clearly allows the thinker to realize the resolution of object based objection and allows the broader fabric of logic to produce a final realization of the value of social equity.

Any rational autonomous thinker has the power to embrace change and uniquely reject the assumptions that underpin the structures of postmodern thought. The postmodern condition is not a state of reality that requires pure objection; problems require solutions, realization of the necessity to strive to find the final realization of equity drives progress, not infinitely regressive objections to observations about a theoretical condition. This essay of Equitist confessions of a futurist mind does not holistically reject philosophy, but rather it embraces the tradition of revision expanding the potential of critical thought.