In-Depth 2017: Let the Chaos Begin

Once again, In-Depth has returned to Talons. But this year I find myself much more excited rather than afraid to dive into my studies. Now that I have a more realistic idea of how everything goes, I really think that things will go smoother (fingers crossed) and I can enjoy everything more than I did last year. This year I can hope to enjoy a journey into Computer Hardware!

While at first glance it may seem quite similar to web and application based programming, I would argue that other than both being with computers, they have almost no parallels. Programming has to do with computer software, whereas building and deconstructing computers has to do with hardware.

I chose to study computer hardware because I am fascinated with computers, and hardware is one area where I know virtually nothing. While I have spent some time volunteering at Free Geek, they don’t teach you so much about how it works, instead focusing on making sure you do your job right. So while at this time I could take a computer apart for you, it is unlikely that I could do anything past that. Thus, I am hoping that this project will be greatly centered around how everything works, rather than just getting it to work.

Throughout this project, I should be able to work with countless computers, each of which I aim to look at with a curious and knowledgeable eye. This year I have already received a computer donation, and it even came from my school! Despite some of the flaws that it has (no hard-drive, not in working order, very outdated) it still has what I am learning to expect in a computer. I have dubbed this computer “Tear-down Terri” in respect to its lack of function, as well as its components validity. I was able to take Terri apart with no real degree of difficulty, as most computers (school ones in particular) were built with disassembly in mind. Below I have included some images of what Terri’s insides look like.

"Squishy Bits"
“Terri’s Squishy Bits”
"Terri's rough exterior"
“Terri’s rough exterior”
"Side view of Terri's Exterior"
“Side view of Terri’s Exterior”

Unfortunately, as far as mentors go I have had no success in finding one thus far. Although I have many more emails than I had last year as of yet I still lack a mentor. As predicted Free Geek simply did not work, and every hardware expert that I have found has simply declined or failed to respond. Thus at this point I am praying that I can convince a larger store such as  Best Buy or NCIX to take me on as an unpaid assistant so that I can still learn from someone experienced. Regardless of my current mentor situation, there are many goals I hope to achieve throughout this project.

Of the many things that I hope to accomplish during this project is simply to be able to construct and deconstruct a computer. Immediately following that in priority is to have an understanding of the role that each part serves, as well as how the parts themselves function (this area in particular is where a will benefit from a mentor). I would like to be able to know the difference in quality between two computer components, although to some extent you can do so simply through research.

In the end, I have to say I am looking forward to this years In-Depth, and can’t wait to see where it will take me.