Building a computer

1.) My STEP project entailed the research, purchasing, and execution of building a desktop computer. I researched what type of parts I should buy and what types of parts were compatible together using online and local resources. I then put the parts together using the knowledge I had gained.


2.)  The most important transformation that happened during this project was gaining a realization that a computer’s hardware and complex concepts in general can be understood given the time and effort to do so. I believe that we put limitations on ourselves by thinking thoughts like “that’s too complicated for me” or “I could never figure that out”. Before I researched this project, I had little idea of how a computer’s hardware worked and had some doubt as to whether I would figure out how to do it. However, as I put together the parts of the CPU, motherboard, power supply, etc together I realized it was feasible to learn and not nearly as difficult as I had imagined it to be. This has given me confidence going into new projects that I know little about that I will have the ability to learn as I go.


3.) As parts that I ordered came in one by one, they formed a daunting pile of  various sized boxes at my house. When the time came to finally start to begin the process of piecing them together, I was questioning whether or not I had done my research right. After double checking the compatibility of my parts online, I was ready to begin the process.

The first step that I attempted to complete was inserting the CPU into the motherboard. This task is as simple as dropping the square-shaped CPU into a motherboard slot and dropping a lever down onto it. As simple as this task was, I was very nervous to mess it up. After all, these parts were expensive and sensitive. After I finally dropped the lever down and heard a satisfying click, I started to relax. This was the point when I realized that I was able to go into the rest of the process with a peace of mind that the tasks would not be impossibly difficult.

This idea helped me when I ran into my first couple of problems. The greatest problem I had was that when I was finished with the build and nothing happened when I turned the switched the power on. Instead of panicking and giving up, I started researching for answers online. After a while, I realized I only had loose cables and was eventually able to get my first power up. These problems and solutions only reaffirmed that I should and could be more confident in my ability to problem solve.


4.) This transformation will help in me in all aspects of my life in the future. It taught me that I shouldn’t fear subjects I don’t know whether that be in my career or personal life. In my career, that may mean broadening my perspective by taking on tasks that I don’t know much about in order to increase my abilities. It has given me confidence that the unknown is not as terrifying or dangerous that I imagine it to be. Overall, this project has taught me both about inside of a computer and the limitations that we put on ourselves.

One thought on “Building a computer

  1. Andrew,
    I’m Aaron and I reviewed your post. The build looks nice! I just built my first computer two summers ago. It was a good journey.

    I’m glad you found confidence of skill, and reflected on developing resiliency for problem solving.

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