Illustration for article titled Three computer projects at once

I fired up the Mac mini today for the first time in months and suddenly remembered why I hadn’t used it in ages - internal hard drive needs reformat or replacement, so backup is underway.

I installed a mini PCI card into the HP desktop and gained wireless networking and Bluetooth without using any USB ports or PCIe slots. I couldn’t find my drill so I used a screwdriver to round out a hole in the back of the chassis to mount the antenna. I’m playing a little CoD1 to relax. I also installed a 3TB drive, but it’s Mac-formatted and the software I installed to read it, well, isn’t, hence the need to get the Mac up and running again. Win10 didn’t ask to just reformat the drive, which is nice, but it won’t read it either. Anyone know of some good free software I can install to read HPFS for backup purposes?


And my coworker with the malware-infested notebook said to just erase and reinstall, so that’s going on just outside of this image. I really wish people would stop thinking that they can get something for nothing and downloading crappy games without realizing the consequences. I spent hours trying to eliminate these browser hijacks and it really isn’t any fun.

I did install the 21.5 inch HD monitor instead of the lower resolution 22" unit, but it can be a tad more difficult to read for obvious reasons. I wanted to use the 23" HD but it doesn’t have VESA mounting holes and I can’t find the drill to make new holes (which looks like it would be a PITA anyway). The visibility problem was improved by moving my ass more to the right, towards the center of the desk. I guess too much crap was accumulating underneath and that’s why I was moving over towards the left.

Next task is to remove the dead inspiron under the main monitor. I don’t really care to fix whatever failed because I’m sick of old Dell crap. Instead, I’ll just replace it with another piece of Dell crap, this time taking out this C2D machine and putting in an i5 that’s just sitting around.

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