Well, it happened. My computer that I built around January 31, 2002 had a massive overheating of the VIA VT8366A system bus controller, or northbridge. The motherboard manual states that, "...it houses the high-speed system elements critical to overall system performance while also containing the system interface to the processor. The key functions...include the 266 MHz Athlon System Bus, the 266 MHz DDR Memory Subsystem, the AGP 4x/2x/1x modes Graphics Interface (AGP 2.0 Compliant) and the 33 MHz/32-bit PCI Bus Interface." The main cause of overheating was a stupid $3 fan quit turning. The first signs of it heading down hill was the video went blank and then came back on. I got a new fan for it, but it did little to help as the system finally quit working all together. The BIOS screen didn't even display anything. The trouble of it is, if I even wanted to attempt to salvage the computer, I'd have to go to EBay and wait 3 days to even win a bid on a new motherboard.
So, today I ordered our first Dell. I decided to try the Dell Outlet or Refurbished route as they're cheap. The price of computers these days is so cheap it's hardly worth spending a ton of money on stuff that's outdated the minute it leaves the factory. I never thought I'd be buying a pre-built system. Every computer that I've owned, except my first one, has been one that I've built. My first one was a 33 MHz 16 MB or ram Gateway 2000 (yes, that was before they changed their name to just Gateway). The "new" one is a Dimension 2400, 2.4 MHz with 256 MB of ram and cost $159 plus the rip off shipping of $99. I think my first computer was around $2,500. Luckily, I had my old 233 MHz PC that has FreeBSD installed on it up and running so that Kim could at least surf a little bit while at home. It's amazing how much our society relies on computers to get ordinary day-to-day activities accomplished.