There should be an image here!Gnomie RyGuy 5320 writes:

Hey Chris! I have seen in your videos that sometimes people send you little “Top Five Lists” about a multitude of things. I thought I should take a shot at it, so here goes!

I can’t tell you how many people have asked me “How do you know bow to build a computer? Can I learn how?” So here are my tips for them.

1. It’s not as complicated as you think. Computers in themselves are extremely complex, but the way the components come together is not! Everything in a computer has a special place, and it’s actually quite hard to wire something in a way that will damage it. This is even the case with compact computers like laptops and flatscreen all-in-ones, though they are hard to work with due to the scale of components and because everything is crammed into a tiny space.

2. Start with a tower computer. Tower computers are amazingly simple! You can put together a working tower computer in minutes! I first put together a tower at the age of 11. My only prior experience was that I saw my dad tinkering in an open computer. It really is simple if you see past the mess of wires and complex-looking labels.

3. Don’t be afraid to open it up! Want to see what’s in your computer? Most tower computers are designed to be easily popped open with the removal of a few screws. I’ve even seen a few that pop open when you press a button! They are designed to be opened, and you can only damage them by messing with something recklessly.

4. Experiment! Now, you may not be as lucky as me, but I have a supply of old computers from my grandmother’s attic. If you have an old computer that you don’t care about, experiment! Hook things up, move things around, see what works!

5. When all else fails, ask for help. If you don’t know what something is or what it does, look it up, or ask for help. Most geeks, like me, will be more than happy to help you out. Almost everything is labeled, too, so you can find out what something is and find out what to do with it.

I know this is a top five list, but let me add one more thing. When you’ve built, or at least messed with your computer, you can make yourself look pretty darn smart! How many preteens do you know who have built computers? In case you were interested, I’m now 14 years old. I can also truthfully say I’ve built six working computers over three years… from a pile of “junk!”

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this, and have a great day!

P.S. I wrote this all on an iPod touch. My fingers hurt now!

[Photo above by Extra Ketchup / CC BY-ND 2.0]