My dad used to work on his cars all the time when I was a kid. At one point, he replaced the motor in his late 70s Volvo station wagon with some big giant Chevy monster, then amused himself by driving around town drag racing Porsches (and winning). Hilarity.

I am not very good at fixing cars. I am, however, reasonably fluent in the innards of a PC. At the start of 2006 I ordered a custom Cyberpower gaming rig, and it was awesome. It came pre-installed with Windows XP, a hot video card, a decent HDD, etc.

Over the years, as parts have failed or aged, I’ve replaced them. But I’ve NEVER REINSTALLED WINDOWS XP. This is the SAME installation that was running when I first got the computer delivered.

The list of parts I’ve replaced is pretty amusing:

  • Replaced original 73GB Raptor with a 250GB Velociraptor
  • Added 2 quiet blue LED-lit case fans to deal with heat from above
  • Added a 500GB SATA HDD for backup and media storage
  • Added an eSata card and an external 2TB HDD
  • Replaced a burned out 500W power supply with another see-through 600W power supply
  • Replaced a dead power supply fan with a new super quiet fan
  • Replaced Mobo/CPU/RAM with faster stuff
  • Replaced original 7800GTX video card with a 9600GT
  • Added one more quiet blue LED-lit case fan to deal with heat from previous 2 items
  • Replaced failed original CPU cooler with a badass logisys cooler including copper heat pipes

I’m pretty proud that it’s still running. It’s quite long in the tooth now, but it works quite well having been pressed into service as, among other things, the Smashball.tv web application server, our internal Quickbooks server at home, our Crashplan internal backup destination, and occasionally, pretty serious video gaming. I’d probably never have been able to get away with the above on a more ‘toaster-like’ machine (Apple), and this is another reason (besides gaming of course) why I’ll probably be running Windows for quite some time yet.

Every time I hear about folks reinstalling Windows regularly, I tell them “you’re doing it wrong.”