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Old 02-25-2021, 10:39 PM   #21
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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Yessir.
Too bad you can't upgrade the GPU in it. The motherboard looks like it has the BGA pads for a higher-end GPU and dedicated RAM, but it wasn't installed... well maybe that was a good thing, as both ATI/AMD and nVidia GPUs in these AIO's are a lot more problematic than Intel's IGP. At the end of the day, this should make a nice office/browsing/GP PC for someone. Is it touch screen too by any chance?
There was a version of this system that has a nvidia GPU with dedicated RAM.....

Apparently there's a non-touch version of this system, I found the non-touch front bezel for this system for $27.00. I also found a digitizer for it for ~$200. That's an easy choice....goodbye touchscreen!
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Old 02-26-2021, 01:41 PM   #22
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

Beyond this point, this one is kind of an experimental.... I located a new-old-stock non-touch bezel on ebay for $27 shipped.....so a little gamble as to whether this thing will go back together....so while I wait for parts to arrive, I'll reassemble what I can and prep for the new fascia.

Panel separated from the destroyed bezel....yea, I busted it even more in the process.



The perfect condition panel, hidden behind the glass. The glass digitizer is not polarizing....so no affecting panel function without it.



Backplate.



Removed the USB controlled touchscreen control board and all the ribbons.





Ready for the new bezel.



Trash.



Now for the stand... Paint is good and set up now. Smell is gone, and it sure looks better!!



Bottom reassembled.



The rest reassembled.



Set aside....can't go any further. I need to get new foot pads for the stand. The originals are smelly and gross, I have thrown them away. These are nothing unusual, just stick-ons....can get them anywhere.



Stay tuned.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:27 PM   #23
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
Well, disaster struck.... I was getting close to the end of the physical refurbishing when I was wiping down the front and noticed the digitizer had cracked.
Man that sucks for sure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
Apparently there's a non-touch version of this system, I found the non-touch front bezel for this system for $27.00. I also found a digitizer for it for ~$200. That's an easy choice....goodbye touchscreen!
Yeah, I was about to say, wouldn't it be possible to still sell the system without the touch screen?
If there was no non-touch version, I probably would have attempted to cobble something out of plexiglass... though I'm sure that would have looked like ass, which some customers likely wouldn't appreciate. But for the right price, you never know.

Glad you were able to find a non-touch front bezel version, though. $200 is ridiculous just for the digitizer. I bet Dell knows that and that's why it's priced so high.

I've seen worse, though. When I worked as a restore tech, this one 6th gen i7 AIO Dell came back due to overheating issues. It was one of those AIO's with the motherboard and all hardware installed in the base of the machine - everything was super tiny and packed. Anyways, long story short, after stress-testing it once more to determine what the problem was, the soldered CPU overheated again and died. Eventually, I tore it open and found the soldered CPU heatsink stand-offs had broken off the motherboard, and that's why the CPU was overheating. Since I couldn't change the CPU, I needed to order a new board. IIRC, that PC at the time was retailing for something around $600 or $700 new, but the motherboard alone from Dell cost just shy of $1000! Fricken' rip-off for sure. And of course, it was either order that or scrap the machine, since that place where I worked was Dell, HP, and Apple -certified, which meant that all parts we got had to come from the manufacturer only. No eBay or any other 3rd party. Needless to say, that machine was chucked in the recycle bin... brand new, never saw much use, but probably dropped by the customer, which broke the CPU HS standoffs and killed the machine.

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Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
The perfect condition panel, hidden behind the glass. The glass digitizer is not polarizing....so no affecting panel function without it.
Lol, that's good. Otherwise, you'd have to go to find some sunglasses that work with the panel and sell the PC with the sunglasses.

On the other hand, you could advertise that as an extra security feature - privacy screen! Never know when some big CEO might want to get a machine like that so they can watch pr0n right in the office without anyone else noticing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
Removed the USB controlled touchscreen control board and all the ribbons.
...
Trash.
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1614367922
If you do any kind of circuit board designs, you might want to save those cables and their connectors - they're handy for interconnecting boards.

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Now for the stand... Paint is good and set up now. Smell is gone, and it sure looks better!!

Last edited by momaka; 02-26-2021 at 10:31 PM..
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Old 03-02-2021, 08:05 PM   #24
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

The bezel arrived today....I didn't take any pics or diddle with it much, I was busy with other stuff....but just a quick test has it fitting nicely. The pics in hte listing weren't very good, I couldn't tell if it was white or gray/silver....it is white with the protective film over it.....so it'll be a 2-tone now, white fascia and black back cover.....no biggie.
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Old 03-03-2021, 06:45 PM   #25
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

Got to work on this a little today. The bezel is a perfect fit, not much to assembling it other than a bazillion little screws....but here we go!

The new bezel:





...and the box it came in....



about half way there...I also deleted the camera & microphone....I hate them. If the buyer wants them, I will put them back in.



Not bad!



New genuine Dell PSU (I've had horrible luck with the chinese knockoffs).



Just about ready to test fire!



It lit up!! screaming about the HDD not being plugged in (I'm replacing it with a SSD).



A pleasant surprise, it is an 7th Gen (as I knew), but an i5 7200 instead of the i3 7100 I thought from searching....but only has 12gb RAM. I only looked quick, thought both modules were 8gb....but one is 4gb. I did order a matching 8gb to go with it....



Booted off Hiren PE. NIC works, so does WIFI.



Happy with it so far.



I did discover a USB slot was trashed.... I'll have to pull the motherboard and see if I can find a replacement slot.



YAY!



Wow, that thing speedsteps down a lot!



...and that's all for today...
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Old 03-05-2021, 07:42 PM   #26
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

Since the discovery of the damaged USB and the good fellas that helped track down the piece to fix it, I'm at a standstill waiting for the part from China....which will be weeks probably....so I went ahead and reassembled this minus the missing port.... It takes all of 5 minutes to remove the board, so when it gets here I'll install it. The 8gb RAM module got here, so now it indeed has 16gb. I also stuck a 240gb SSD in it and reassembled it.

Installed S2K12 R2. The only driver issue was as per the usual; the Intel GPU driver shell game.....but I finally found one that worked. Everything else was supported/worked with the drivers from Dell's site.

The white bezel looks good, all things considered.



Goodness!!



When updating Windows, WUS was bitching about an unsupported CPU by the older OS.....I installed the most recent rollup update and that issue went away....but geez....between M$ and Intel and their constant quest for forced obsolescence..... ...but all things are happy!

Now a better look at the 2-tone look....black back cover and white fascia. The oddball is the gray stand. I actually thought about taking the plastics back down and either painting them black or white to match the rest of the case..... I'll ponder that one in the weeks to come while waiting for the USB port replacement...



Of course this post created from it.....for what it is, it's pretty decent/snappy.
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Old 03-07-2021, 12:17 AM   #27
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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about half way there...I also deleted the camera & microphone....I hate them. If the buyer wants them, I will put them back in.
LOL

At least that would make those ransomware programs with the camera feedback a little less believable when the camera doesn't work.

I just wish PCs like this had a physical camera & mic switch to be turned on/off, and I wouldn't mind them as much.

Then again, your phone has a camera and microphone too.

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New genuine Dell PSU (I've had horrible luck with the chinese knockoffs).

https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1614818212
No doubt.
The cheapo's are fire hazards most of the time.
You can also use genuine used too... though the only problem with those is that sometimes their output cords get abused too much and may stop working in short order. Luckily, this is an AIO that shouldn't be moved around too much, so that is less likely to be a problem there.

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A pleasant surprise, it is an 7th Gen (as I knew), but an i5 7200 instead of the i3 7100 I thought from searching....


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I did discover a USB slot was trashed.... I'll have to pull the motherboard and see if I can find a replacement slot.
:\
I don't know if it's just the common people being "rogue" as usual or those USB 3.0 ports being more fragile... or a combination of both... but I see busted USG 3.0 ports are lot more frequently.

They really need to bring back d-sub in use for common people. Bulky - sure. But those d-subs can take a TON of abuse. In terms of connect/disconnect cycles, though, I think USB might be rated higher.

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The white bezel looks good, all things considered.
It does.

And you can also place a large Apple sticker logo over the Dell one, and then jack up the price x3.

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Now a better look at the 2-tone look....black back cover and white fascia. The oddball is the gray stand. I actually thought about taking the plastics back down and either painting them black or white to match the rest of the case..... I'll ponder that one in the weeks to come while waiting for the USB port replacement...
Don't care much for the aesthetics myself, but if I had to pick, I think I'll go with white. Black attracts fingerprints too easily - at least the glossy stuff. And since the rest of the plastic on that unit are glossy, I imagine you're going to try to match that?? Probably going to take a few clear coats, I imagine. At least you're a car guy too, so this isn't anything new to you.

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Of course this post created from it.....for what it is, it's pretty decent/snappy.
Should be.
Though isn't mobile i5 just a dual-core with HT? If these things used a proper desktop i5, they'd be smoking hot... maybe literally too, though, unless the cooling was majorly improved as well.
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Old 03-07-2021, 11:12 AM   #28
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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I just wish PCs like this had a physical camera & mic switch to be turned on/off, and I wouldn't mind them as much.

Then again, your phone has a camera and microphone too.
My laptop at work (A Dell Latitude Rugged 5414) has a privacy cover for the camera. Before that, all work laptops were custom ordered with no webcam... that's before the current day where video conferencing is prevalent.

My old logitech webcams have such as well...
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Old 03-07-2021, 11:43 AM   #29
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

There's still no physical switch to mute the microphone (with a few exceptions).

My old Gateway laptop also has a built-in microphone with no mute switch, but those were the days of the Cancel button on the login screen. Also, it just records the hard drive parking its heads.
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Old 03-07-2021, 09:09 PM   #30
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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LOL

At least that would make those ransomware programs with the camera feedback a little less believable when the camera doesn't work.

I just wish PCs like this had a physical camera & mic switch to be turned on/off, and I wouldn't mind them as much.
Me too... I've been asked many times to remove cameras from laptops by paranoid people....

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No doubt.
The cheapo's are fire hazards most of the time.
You can also use genuine used too... though the only problem with those is that sometimes their output cords get abused too much and may stop working in short order. Luckily, this is an AIO that shouldn't be moved around too much, so that is less likely to be a problem there.
It was a whopping $18, new in box.... I've had knockoffs melt on me...twice. Haven't trusted them since.


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I don't know if it's just the common people being "rogue" as usual or those USB 3.0 ports being more fragile... or a combination of both... but I see busted USG 3.0 ports are lot more frequently.

They really need to bring back d-sub in use for common people. Bulky - sure. But those d-subs can take a TON of abuse. In terms of connect/disconnect cycles, though, I think USB might be rated higher.
Agreed. I've never broken a USB port....but I'm one of those that's quite careful. I've repaired a lot of them for careless people....and other shops that aren't equipped for that kind of soldering. I've seen careless people that could break a ball bearing in a bucket full of grease....


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Originally Posted by momaka View Post
Don't care much for the aesthetics myself, but if I had to pick, I think I'll go with white. Black attracts fingerprints too easily - at least the glossy stuff. And since the rest of the plastic on that unit are glossy, I imagine you're going to try to match that?? Probably going to take a few clear coats, I imagine. At least you're a car guy too, so this isn't anything new to you.
Its resale is coming back, looks-wise. I bought paint for the stand today.... Apparently this one is an oddball, most of this model don't have the adjustable pedestal stand.....they normally come with kickstands in the back and the front rests on those 2 rubber feet...the pedestal was maybe some kind of upgrade? Not real sure... I've seen a small handfull with the pedestal stand in my huntings for a replacement pedestal when I saw how rough this one was.....but I couldn't find the stand by itself.....so had to redo this one.


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Originally Posted by momaka View Post
Should be.
Though isn't mobile i5 just a dual-core with HT? If these things used a proper desktop i5, they'd be smoking hot... maybe literally too, though, unless the cooling was majorly improved as well.
It's a dual core with HT. Great web browsing facebooking emailing letter typer..... I did find a motherboard for ~$180 that had the i7 quad core and the nvidia GPU.....but just didn't want to spend that on it unnecessarily.
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Old 03-08-2021, 04:37 PM   #31
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

Ok pedestal paintjob done. Overall, it came out nice....but not without a flaw or two....but here we go!!

Base disassembled....once again!! heh..



I sanded out a few nicks & scratches.





This piece set aside, as it's not going to be white.



Inside seams shot.





Exposed surfaces shot...



...and the pedestal back, done in black....inside seams...





Exposed portion.



...and done...allowing to set up...





A few hours passed and the parts were safe to handle...and reassembled.



The black for some reason didn't flow out very well...there were a few shrink marks and blurbs in it....you can see it in this pic...



Overall, not bad. The black part could have been a little better, but overall I'm happy with it. I do like the look. The white flowed out & settled fabulously & flawlessly....and since you look at it from the front, really all that matters... If nothing else, it's very one-of-a-kind now.





Let it sit and cure out while waiting on the USB3 header. There's also an internal USB header that's freed up from the removal of the touchscreen....I hatched another idea for utilizing that one....more later.



Not bad.
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Old 03-09-2021, 11:56 PM   #32
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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Ok pedestal paintjob done. Overall, it came out nice....but not without a flaw or two....but here we go!!
...
A few hours passed and the parts were safe to handle...and reassembled.

https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1615242392
I like it.

Especially considering the rust bucket it was before, this is a darn fine job.
But really, the 2-tone blank-n-white paint seems to go quite well.

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The black for some reason didn't flow out very well...there were a few shrink marks and blurbs in it....you can see it in this pic...
Meh, that's a very minor imperfection.
My luck with spray paint tends to be worse (though not always, of course.) That's one of the reasons I shy away from it. Also, I don't like spray painting, since I have to do it outside and that kind of sucks because...
- if it's Summer, I get molested by mosquitoes (they really love my blood.)
- if it's Spring (thus good warm weather, but before mosquitoes had time to fully hatch), it's the tree pollen that gets stuck on everything
- if it's Fall, it gets dry and dusty, so leaves and dirt stick on everything
- and if it's Winter... it's usually too damn cold to work outside, lol.

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Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
Overall, not bad. The black part could have been a little better, but overall I'm happy with it. I do like the look. The white flowed out & settled fabulously & flawlessly....and since you look at it from the front, really all that matters... If nothing else, it's very one-of-a-kind now.

https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1615242392

https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1615242392


It does look really clean... and almost like a Mac too.
Seriously, you should consider the Apple sticker idea.

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Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
It was a whopping $18, new in box.... I've had knockoffs melt on me...twice. Haven't trusted them since.
Seems like you're not the only one with that problem. :\
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/showpo...postcount=1665
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/showpo...postcount=1667

Last edited by momaka; 03-09-2021 at 11:59 PM..
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Old 03-11-2021, 08:33 PM   #33
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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I like it.

Especially considering the rust bucket it was before, this is a darn fine job.
But really, the 2-tone blank-n-white paint seems to go quite well.
Thanks. Unlike some of my other weird builds, this one isn't arguable as to whether it was worth fixing it or not...unless you're a certain someone who's time is worth crazy amounts per hour. For ~2 working days effort, I'll make a buck on it. I don't have much in it dollar-wise (parts)....inspite of the improvisation due to the digitizer. Trashing this one would have been a horrible waste....not much besides the RAM and HDD would have been salvageable, and those by themselves wouldn't be worth much....but FWIW, the motherboards are worth ~$100-ish realistically. In the process of parts hunting, I found a seller that had some used ones with a $100 BIN, and he had sold quite a few.

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Meh, that's a very minor imperfection.
My luck with spray paint tends to be worse (though not always, of course.) That's one of the reasons I shy away from it. Also, I don't like spray painting, since I have to do it outside and that kind of sucks because...
- if it's Summer, I get molested by mosquitoes (they really love my blood.)
- if it's Spring (thus good warm weather, but before mosquitoes had time to fully hatch), it's the tree pollen that gets stuck on everything
- if it's Fall, it gets dry and dusty, so leaves and dirt stick on everything
- and if it's Winter... it's usually too damn cold to work outside, lol.
Yea, I'm not sure what went wrong with the black...it was cool, but not cold....low humidity. It should have been ok....I'm a decent rattle-can painter...and the white came out stunning! Only one shrink mark after curing, and its tiny!


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Originally Posted by momaka View Post


It does look really clean... and almost like a Mac too.
Seriously, you should consider the Apple sticker idea.
If I didn't sell it, I'd do it just to fool people that come in the shop.
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Old 03-15-2021, 05:12 PM   #34
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

...and this one is now complete...

This was the fastest shipping from China I've ever seen, the USB3 header arrived today.....so here we are, motherboard removed....again (I was getting real good at this)...



Soldered in....







I did have to trim those small tabs off the new slot, they interfered with the housing. It wasn't a big deal.

Slot works.



Now here's where it gets fun, and as mentioned earlier in the thread about repurposing that internal USB connection that used to run the touchscreen that has been removed.... Inspired from THIS POST, I found a complete boardset from a ET2203 that had a broken screen from ebay and it had the wireless keyboard/mouse controller....for pretty much the cost of shipping. It was originally intended for 'Project:PAT'.....but the rack cabinet and a different route because of it left this kb/mouse+receiver unassigned.



Then I found a brand new compatible keyboard & mouse:



...but there was a problem...the plugs were same/compatible on both the Dell & Asus harnesses, but they were not wired & pinned out the same. The Dell pinout did not match the Asus harness at all. The Asus cable was a simple passthrough. The Dell OTOH did a weird crossover from one connector to the other.....so some voodoo had to be done. I chose to modify the Dell cable, as it was a little longer, and the Asus cable was potted with some kind of glue to prevent depinning it....so here we go!

Asus on the left, the way I had to wire the depinned Dell connector on the right.



Completed.



...and the acid test...



Nothing went *poof* and I heard the 'new device' chime....and Winders detected it!



Married the new KB & Mouse to the receiver...they work.



Now to reassemble. I routed the cables in an existing trough and ziptied the receiver to some cabling....easy peasy.



Reassembled & done! Things are happy and this one is finished!!



This one was a mild challenge, but came out well and for not much money. When I sell it, I'll wipe S2K12 and doom it to it's native OS, W10.....but that'll be someone else's problem...but until then, I'll leave it as it currently is.
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Old 03-18-2021, 01:21 PM   #35
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

....and gone....

Sold it this morning.....so nuked S2K12 and put W10 on it....



It went to an older lady who was still using an XP-based laptop.....so I carved it down to be as "XP-like" as I could possibly make it....but it's gone!
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Old 03-18-2021, 05:55 PM   #36
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

yea thats certainly nice. im sure she will appreciate the considerate out-of-the-box design changes u made to make win10 as xp-like as possible! sure way to spread word of mouth on how well and considerate u treat your customers! im sure many more customers, especially older folk will be flocking to buy your win10 de-nutted systems soon! lol!
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Old 03-18-2021, 08:50 PM   #37
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....and gone....

Sold it this morning.....
Dang, that was fast! Almost didn't have time to cure the paint, lol.

I like the KB and MS mod you did - really cool stuff. And the black KB and MS go with the B&W color theme of the system too.

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It went to an older lady who was still using an XP-based laptop.....so I carved it down to be as "XP-like" as I could possibly make it....but it's gone!
Nice! I like how we were able to see the story of this machine from start to finish. That lady will probably need a little time to get used to Win10, but given the mods you did, it may not be anywhere near as bad as on a stock store-bought PC with Win10 that instantly picks up your WiFi and asks you to make a MS account - screw that! Sure we are not going to see the internet go anywhere anytime soon... but I still think it's silly to be dependent on an online account to use your own PC at home - it's just nonsense!

At least she can't get spied on through the webcam anymore!

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Old 03-19-2021, 10:26 PM   #38
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but I still think it's silly to be dependent on an online account to use your own PC at home - it's just nonsense!

At least she can't get spied on through the webcam anymore!
I always set them up with local accounts. She didn't even know about M$ accounts, when I brought it up she was clueless. I just left it as "It's nothing you need to wrorry about for your needs"....

I asked her if she wanted the camera & mic put back in, it was an instant NO!
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Old 03-20-2021, 03:21 PM   #39
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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a stock store-bought PC with Win10 that instantly picks up your WiFi and asks you to make a MS account - screw that!
At least Windows 10 doesn't automatically connect to random hotspots anymore. Now it actually gives you the option of connecting to your own WiFi or using Ethernet instead. I'm surprised that more people weren't talking about that.
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Old 03-24-2021, 11:47 PM   #40
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I asked her if she wanted the camera & mic put back in, it was an instant NO!
Not all of them from the older generation say no, though. For example, my neighbor's parents have an older (but still recent-ish) AIO at their home and they use it to (or used to?) Skype with their grandkids.

And now with virtual meetings getting even more popular due to Covid, I can see why even more people may want a camera and mic... though IMO, a properly configured and separate/external mic by itself is more than adequate (if not better in some situations) for that task. Built-in mics, especially, tend to have pretty poor pickup quality anyways.

Don't even get me started on all the people (kids) using their built-in Xbox One mics in online games.
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