My PC Metamorphosis

I came to the States with a Pentium 4 1.6Ghz, 256MB DDR with two 40GB Samsung Hard Disk Drives, One 1GB Seagate Hard Disk Drive, a 32x/12x/48x CD/CDRW/CDR CyberDrive all on top of a Elitegroup Mainboard. I also brought the following peripherals with me: A Kworld USB TV Box, LifeView TV Out adapter, iOmega Parallel Port Zip 100 drive, DVII Video Cam / 2 MegaPixel Cam and Webcam in one. I also brought my Olympus D-220L Digital Camera with defective flash, Palm Zire 7.1 PDA and Nokia 3650 Cellphone.

I was not able to bring my HP Deskjet 3325 Printer and Canon Scanner. Mama and Papa said they’ll buy me one and I said we could buy it next time, but they insisted to buy it now. Actually they look more excited in buying that I was, thanks so much Mama and Papa. When we got to Best Buy, which was an electronic appliances store, they had everything there. When we went to the printers, there were a lot of them. There were three main HP models, we got the mid-range priced one, it was an HP PhotoSmart 7760, way better than the printer I left in the Philippines. The printer I had in the Philippines I guess was obsolete already in the States. They also bought me a new scanner, a Microtek ScanMaker i320.

I started applying online to tons of job opening at and I came across one job posting that required me to fax and will not consider resumes sent by mail or email, nor phone inquiries are not accepted. So I ask Papa where could I fax? He said, Bili na tayo ng fax mahine! I said: “Hindi na po, isang padalahan lang ito…” Papa insisted, saying “kailangan mo yan!” and parang galit pa na ayaw kong bumili. This time we went to Circuit City since it was their clearance sale and we bought a Panasonic KX-FPG381. It had a wireless phone with it, with telephone answering machine functions.

One major difference I noticed is that in the Philippines, when you buy something, before leaving the store, you open it and test it if it works before buying it. In the State, you cannot test it, nor open the box. Opening the box already voids the warranty. In the Philippines, warranty is void only if you open the product itself. You can even leave the box behind if you want.

In the Philippines, I test my products before I leave the store because I never trust the product quality and always need to test it before I leave just to be sure everything is running fine. Here in the States it seems QC people do a good job and they are the ones that assure you everything is working, if ever something doesn’t work, it’s the QC people that get the reprimands I guess.

Yesterday, people in the company where Ma and Pa works were throwing away computers, as in really throwing them in the trash! Papa said he got two CPUs right away and Mama even told him aan’hin mo pa ‘yan? And Papa said that I am here back home, baka kailangan ko and Mama started to get some na rin!

Well it was a good decision. Papa got an old Dell PC running a Pentium II processor, still with the old EDO RAM. The processor was Philippine made in Intel’s plant in the Philippines. The other CPU was a Gateway 2000 Pentium III, no memory installed. It had a Quantum 6GB Hard Disk and Philippine made Toshiba CD ROM drive. It had an internal ATAPI/IDE iOmega Zip 100 Drive. The drive was on a Promise Technology Ultra33 Raid IDE Controller card.

Although the parts were not complete, I could get the best parts of each and put them together and build a computer for Mama and Papa and teach them using their email. It had an Internet Lucent Technologies 56K Modem and 3COM LAN Card.

After putting the good parts together, I was not able to test it yet since I have no SDRAM which was missing in the Gateway 2000 PC. The other PC was using EDO RAM while my PC was running on DDR, so there was really no way to test it, until we buy some SDRAM. Since there were two CD ROM drives, an LG and a Toshiba, I got the LG and fitted in my PC. Since I only had one CD/CDRW/CDR drive, having another CD is great for faster CD copying and my burner would not be worn out right away since I will use another player for playing alone. My external iOmega Zip drive was not functioning well it was great Papa got the CPUs, I could now still read my zip disk since I installed the internal iOmega Zip drive on my PC.

One problem I encountered though is my IDE ports were filled up on my motherboard. My primary IDE had a 40 GB hard disk as master and the CD/CDRW/CDR as slave. My secondary IDE port had another 40 GB hard disk as master and 1 GB hard disk as slave. I had no places to add the CD ROM drive and Internal Zip Drive. But it was also a good thing the Gateway 2000 CPU had a Promise Technology Raid IDE Controller card. Just what I needed to add ports.

I added the card and noticed my PC was booting on the added IDE ports. I checked the boot order settings and they were fine. Until I noticed the BIOS chip on the controller card. I removed it and it now booted fine. WinXP had no problems in installing the correct driver for it as well. I removed the 1GB Secondary Slave and made it the Tertiary Master (The primary IDE port of the controller card) and the Internal Zip Drive as Quaternary Master (The secondary IDE port of the controller card.). The Secondary slave now has the LG CD ROM Drive.

Since I also ran out of power connectors from the power supply, I got two connectors from the Dell computer, cut them and soldered them on another connector of my current power supply. Since my soldering iron came from the Philippines, it was a 200 to 220V, 60W soldering iron and it took quite a while to heat up and the lead gets cold easily because of the 110V voltage standard here in the States.