The Reborn of My 7-Year-Old Computer — A Brief Summary

How an untypical long-term relationship with a tech gadget not only works out fine, but becomes even more exciting than the first day.

After a meticulous & time-consuming restoration encompassing hardware, software, casing and the accompanying furniture, my 7-year-old PC has been given a new life. It’s time to briefly write up what has been done & how is everything working.


Nowadays, hardly any veteran computer could escape from the seemingly inevitable destiny of becoming obsolete (or at least disqualified as the main workhorse for serious work). Even if everything is still working just fine as it was in the beginning, people just can’t wait to get rid of them because of their sluggish performance, ugly user interface, lack of software update and security patches.

I also thought, more than one time, that my PC should retire. But after numerous minor and several major surgeries, it is not just still alive, but arguably more vigorous than ever.

The latest rework covers the following main points:

OS & Application Software

  • OS: Antergos Arch Linux
  • UI tweaking of Gnome shell
  • Media archiving suite: abcde ripper, MakeMKV, Handbrake, SACD-Ripper etc.
  • Graphics creative suite: GIMP, Kdenlive, Darktable, Geeqie etc.

Hardware & OS Driver Support

An obsolete low-end Nvidia graphics card: GT520 with passive heat sink.
CPU heat sink
Case fan
  • Revival of my old Nvidia graphics card: install the notorious Nvidia proprietary driver for Linux; get OpenCL support for Darktable, Kdenlive, as well as other GPGPU applications
  • Repackage & compile the Debian driver for Epson V30 scanner and make it work under Arch Linux
  • Total rework of the cable management inside the computer chassis for improved air circulation
  • Revisit silent PC related issues: CPU thermal paste, case fans configuration, sound & vibration dampening mod etc.
  • Overclocking of CPU at 3.8GHz & DDR3 memory at 1600MHz

Casing & Appearance

Anti-slip feet
Cleaned dust mesh & cable management
  • New lacquer finish of the top, bottom & side panels of the Antec Solo chassis in RAL 9005 Matt.
  • Add new anti-slip feet to the case
  • Dust removal of major cooling components

Furniture

Tube cutter
Aluminum tube + pine wood stock as support
New table top support mechanism
  • New color scheme: Alpina Sonnenturm (sun storm yellow), RAL 9005 Tiefschwarz (deep black), RAL 6011 Resedagrün (Reseda green)
  • Replace the old grey & black PVC synthetic leather with Kunstleder Madryt in the color beige.
  • New supporting mechanism for the table top: m6 x 20 brass screw covered with 10mm aluminum tube.

つづく…