103b-ay PC Lab

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Here is my report of the February 9th lab in which Sarah Iverson and I, Alisa Hartle, took apart a beloved computer known as Optiplex GX620. I'm sure it was a good machine.

This is what Sarah (right) and I look like:


And this is what the computer looked like:


It's clear that this was going to be a good time.

The Procedure

  • The first thing we did was take off the side-cover and looked at the majesty of the inside of the computer


Very interesting inside of there. I was actually surprised at how much open space was inside of the computer.

  • The next thing we worked on removing was the power supply. Since it was connected through wires to every other part of the computer to provide energy it would have been a nuisance to work around it throughout the demolition process.


  • Then we pulled the RAM and video card off of the motherboard just for fun (the RAM are in my hands)


(I'm having a pretty good time)

  • The hard drive came shortly after and removing it was about as simple as baking with store-bought cookie dough.


  • Next came the DVD optical drive. It's not the person (that's Sarah--the drive is actually being held in her hands)


The DVD drive was surprisingly easy to take out.

  • And this left us with an almost bare computer


  • At last came the grand finale: the motherboard! An observation Sarah made that I liked was that at eye-level the motherboard looked like some sort of city.


It was a lot more difficult to remove than I thought it would be, mainly because I hadn't really considered all of the different parts of the computer the motherboard would have to be secured to in order to control the flow of information. Also, since the motherboard is vital to the function of the computer, it is necessary that it be completely secure inside the tower.

  • Here is the magic processor


  • And this left the Optiplex GX620 bare following the autopsy.


It was good while it lasted.


This was basically a pretty interesting lab. Taking a computer apart was pretty neat, since I could see how all of the pieces went together and attach the theories we had discussed in class to a mechanism. Putting it back together was also pretty valuable--it committed the position of the various parts into memory. Plus there were free cookies. Chocolate covered macaroons are beyond amazing. Thanks, Dominique.

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