[sf-lug] build-a-box project report

jim stockford jim at well.com
Tue Sep 12 12:08:40 PDT 2006

report number one: after the build, before the return
to the computer store

    well it was fun getting together and taking turns
talking and laughing and pressing things together.

    the motherboard seems not to fit the case, so we
built it on the workbench.
    the motherboard presents four prongs for power
to which the power supply can't mate.
    to get interleaved RAM memory, do we put the
1GB RAM sticks into the two blue sockets or into
a single pair of one blue and one black socket?

    Julie at Actnet says bring it back, they'll put it
together (with new, better case, per Rick Moen's
comments, that has more fans, per Nathan's
comments) and afterward we can take it apart to
see how it's done by the pros.
    I'll report again after i get the box back.

    a note about grounding straps: some use 'em,
some don't. I'm in the use 'em crowd, tho' i
occasionally step out.
    if you do your laundry in the dark you can
see the yellow sparks as they snap. static
electricity, according to some, gets up to 200V
or more--enough, so some claim, to burn out
the teeny weeny little transistors in the chips
that we handle as we put systems together.
    these same some recommend wearing a
grounding strap that's connected not to just
any old piece of metal but to earth ground
(the round hole in an electrical receptacle).
    Why not any old piece of metal? Because if
the metal is not grounded, then the electricity
spreads itself across you and the metal, and
when you touch the teeny weeny little
transistors, the electricity may travel from you
and your metal through the transistors.
    If the metal is grounded, then your electricity
drains from you through the metal to the earth
ground, leaving you at neutral potential--safe
for the teeny....

    if you de-static yourself, your neutral charge
remains neutral for a while (minutes). That's
why i seem to be a bit affectionate with those
who don't wear groundstraps--i touch them
when I'm grounded to drain possible static
from them (like when you tease your little
brother with a comb that's charged--brush
your hair a lot then snap him--my brother
lives in Alameda).

More information about the sf-lug mailing list