Building the Perfect PC Cabinet

Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Angle Grinder

by Chuck “PFunk” Bellows



Gaming is an expensive hobby that can fill at least one corner of your house with clutter. Between wheels, joysticks, game CDs, manuals, replacement wheels for the first one you broke after trying to race Monza Junior in a ’78 Vette and three beers, it can really pile up. That was my problem. To compound it, I was working with a machine that state-of-the-art about three years ago. I hadn’t done any upgrading since the release of the Lock-On demo, and it showed. I needed a new machine, storage space, and to toss my Windows 98 legacy machine in the junk pile. I didn’t have enough time for the games I had, let alone ones I hadn’t played since the whole Y2K thing. Speaking of which, does anyone want seventeen cases of Spam and about 400 rounds of .30-06 ammo?

I knew I was going to have to complete this entire project all on my own. No help, no assistance. My son is two years old and can completely disassemble a DVD player in the time it takes to turn my back. This was, as a matter of course, part of the reason I was doing this. But more important, what I wanted to do involved the use of many tools, most of which could remove one or more of limbs unless I knew exactly what I was doing. I knew one thing. I wanted to avoid going here:


But first, I had to get this past the accountant. This would not be easy.

Nervously, I adjusted my tie. Normally, I’m not allowed in here and I wanted my first visit to go smoothly. I’ve never asked for this much money for computer upgrades before and my sales pitch had to be good.

The accountant shifted through the sales papers, comparing prices to the available funds. Finally, she looked at me.

“And you want how much again?”

I cleared my throat. “(Cough) Um…about $1200 dollars, ma’am?”

“And how is this going to help us?”

“I’ll be better able to evaluate software and write articles on a part-time basis for SimHQ.” I fidgeted in my chair, quailing under her gaze.

“That project seems to be taking a lot of your time.”

“Eventually, I hope that this will be making the firm a little more money.”

“I would hope so, since it isn’t making us any money at all.” she consulted the papers and my ‘wish list’ again. “Very well, the expenditure is approved.”

“Thank you. You won’t regret this.”  I turned to leave before she spoke again:

“One more thing…”

“Yes, ma’am?”

“Go make sure the kids have cleaned the living room and are ready for their bath.”

Well, the exact exchange with my wife didn’t happen that way, but it was close. Site rules, FCC regulations, and my wife herself forbid reprinting what she said, but the end result was the same. I had a portion of our tax refund to spend on a major upgrade in computer hardware after three years of drought.

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