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My current computer is a Frankenstein's monster formed from the remains of a homebrew box and an HP Pavilion. The Pavilion was free and the motherboard on the old box died. I am using the ugly-ass HP case because I was too lazy to mod the other case to take the HP's stupid proprietary power supply. I regret this every time I open it up and try to mess around in my computer's guts.
It has pretty much the same stats as its original incarnation except it has 60 extra gig of Harddrive, a much nicer video card than either computer possessed previously, and a DVD drive. It also has an AMD 1000 mhz processor instead of a P3 1000 mhz processor (significant downgrade in performance, that) and the motherboard is not a Raid Board (meaning only 4 ide devices for me mutter) and it has fewer ram slots (meaning that if I want more ram, I have to replace a chip instead of just add one.)
I built the base system in 2000 I think. It has no part that could not have been bought at the time I built this computer. I got some of the pieces a little cheaper than they would have been at the time. My 256 meg graphics card cost less than the 16 meg card it replaced. On the other hand, while it won't run a lot of modern games, it is quite happy with World of Warcraft, and a bunch of stuff a generation or 2 back.
Best thing? 2 years before I built it, I was given a laptop computer, not a monster box, but with competitive stats when compared with the stuff available at the time. August or September 1998, I was given a P2 200 with a 2 gig hard drive. Within 2 years, my middle of the road PC had 10 times the processor speed and 10 times the harddrive space (the first HDD I bought was a maxtor 20 gb pos, that got replaced with a WD 40 gb hdd when it died. No I didn't take advantage of Maxtor's replacement offer. I'm not stupid. Free is nice, but crap is crap and free doesn't overcome crap.

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