Oh hey. Remember when I accidentally kicked my computer in the face and then spent eight months complaining about it?


Well, I finally decided that I’m a grown-up (who has officially destroyed her credit card debt — roar!) and did something about it. Nerd alert!


Thanks to a few of my (even nerdier) friends, I did the possimpible: I ordered individual parts for a computer online and built it with Ben’s my bare hands.


Okay, you caught me. I didn’t do most of the actual wiring and connecting and whatnot. But I did hunt down bargain prices for all the pieces, and I paid close attention to what my brother was doing as I documented the entire process in photos. Turns out, it’s really not all that hard! I feel like my cred as a self-proclaimed technogeek is finally starting to rise. You know, for a girl. 😉


True, it’s no glorious Macbook Pro. But it didn’t cost me any of my appendages, and it’s a PC that can handle my awesomely nerdy games as well as allow me to edit photos without having to navigate around the spider cracks down its screen. Also, the screen is my TV. So it’s huge. That’s what she said. Somebody stop me.


Even though there’s no way that a PC can ever be as sexy and gorgeous as a Mac, I did try to make sure there was at least something going on with it aesthetically. Just be proud of me for skipping the Hello Kitty keyboard, yes? Ahaha.

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Not everyone was as confident in my ability to actually do something this technologically savvy right, but the joke’s on them…

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Since they’re the ones who are going to have to deal with the glare off of my GIANT AWESOME TV SLASH COMPUTER NOW. Bwahahaha!


All in all, it should lead to good things. I’m going to hang onto my Macbook as a secondary option. I still plan on getting a new one sometime down the road since this one is over four years old now, has a battery life of roughly seven minutes, and, you know, the whole screen thing is still an issue. But for now, this works out! I still have something (semi) portable for when I need it, but a higher-end machine for higher-end stuff. Hooray for progress!

What’s your machine setup? Mac or PC? Laptop or tower?

PS: I didn’t forget my weigh-in this week. I just didn’t feel it warranted a big announcement since it was almost exactly the same as last week. A -0.1 loss, bringing me to 193.8. Not much fun, but given all that Chinese New Year celebrating I did, I’ll take it. Ah well, keep on keeping on, eh?


  1. Katesays:

    I (my boyfriend) built my computer as well! Yeah, its not a Mac, but i bought the parts specifically for the kind of computer I needed and its perfect. Go on with your bad self, Gretchen!! Holla for those PC’s and Newegg!Thats right, I just said Holla.

    • I felt so pro, shopping around on difference sites, doing price comparisons, upgrading to a 320 gig instead of 250 gig hard drive because it was only $3 more… is a great website that my friend found that basically does most of the work for you, once you know what you’re looking for (I didn’t at first, haha)

  2. Glad to see this come together! I custom built PC is the way to go, you will continue to save money with it as time passes by performing do it yourself upgrades.

  3. I am disappointed/proud of you.

    Disappointed because DUDE MAC.
    Proud because you totally did the adult thing and got what you could afford. 🙂

    Side note, we did something similar with our MacBooks. We got bottom of the line used ones off of eBay, then Babyface souped them up with lots of extra thingamajigs. Saved us close to $1000 per laptop. We’ve had them for almost 5 years and they are still going strong.

    • I know, I know. But it’s not like I’m giving UP on Mac, I’m just making adjustments. Plus, at least this way I get to see what all the WLW hubbub is about, eh? Silver lining?

  4. I have a Macbook that’s really old and I need a new one.

    At work, I have a mini mac. I just started this job and while I’m pleased that they are Mac based, there is a PC keyboard and it’s driving me nuts! I guess I’ll get used to it.

    • Does that mean you have to work with PC shortcuts or Mac shortcuts? (like control v. command?)

      • It’s even more confusing because they are Mac shortcuts but the command and the option buttons are reversed! It’s driving me crazy!

  5. Once you go Mac, it’s hard to go back! I got a Mac as a high school graduation gift and it lasted me throughout college… The day I submitted my last final term paper it crashed!!! So. I got a[nother] Mac as a college graduation gift! Unfortunately, doesn’t dish out any of the trendy stuff so I’m sitting behind an ancient PC that spazzes out every few minutes- lovely?!

    Boo for a PC but yay for saving some monies!!! Now you can buy more games 😉

    • It is hard to go back! At least I’m still used to working with PCs because of work, but I still constantly am mixing up my keyboard shortcuts, haha.

  6. Aileensays:

    OH GOD, OLD REPUBLIC. This game, every day, tries a little harder to destroy my relationship. It faced a minor setback when I discovered how great all the characters’ asses look.

    I convinced my boyfriend–err fiancee–to get a MacBook Pro about a year ago after the THIRD PC he bought that year died, but even after he got the MacBook (and admitted how much he loved its sensual Apple-ness), he still insisted on having a PC as well. For gaming purposes. Then, recently, his fourth PC died. Now he’s split the hard drive on his MacBook to work as both his Mac and his PC, and he’s at least temporarily satisfied (this concept was 100% foreign to me until a few weeks ago, so please don’t ask me for any details other than knowing that it’s pretty sweet that this is possible). Also please don’t ask me for any details about how he destroyed four PCs in approximately a year and a half. I’m pretty loyal to Apple (despite the iPhone 4S, which was the worst tech decision I made next to once owning a Dell for several years), but even I think this has more to do with him than with the computers.

    • Yeah, initially I tried to partition my Macbook, install Windows, and play the game on it that way. After like, 2 days of frustration and finally Bootcamp installed, Windows installed, getting it to work, all that…. what do I find? The GD computer can’t RUN the game because it’s too old. WOMP. So, I just bit the bullet and got a new one with a big ol’ fancy schmancy graphics chip. And yes, this may or may not mean I did it just so I could play the game without jacking my brother’s laptop. IT’S AN AWESOME GAME DON’T JUDGE ME

  7. I am so glad that you have come to the PC side. Come, stay. We will provide you with infinite options to configure and upgrade however you would like. And if you really want to spend an arm and kidney on some shiny aluminum, I will happily take your money and send you my impressive tin-foil collection. If you really want to geek it up, install Ubuntu. It’s fun!

  8. Jessikasays:

    How dare you skip the Hello Kitty keyboard?!

    • Hahaha, I’m pretty sure you’re the only one who had this reaction. But don’t worry! There is still PLENTY of kawaii stuff lining the walls… and shelves… and drawers… of my room. Kekeke.

      • Jessikasays:

        Good! My friend had a Hello Kitty steering wheel and Hello Kitty numbers on her car door…so a Hello Kitty keyboard would not have been ridiculous at all 😉

  9. Stevesays:

    I’m really surprised you didn’t get the Hello Kitty keyboard

  10. I have been staying away from Mac products for years, I refuse to get a macbook. Although I secretly want one…

  11. I’ve never owned a MAC but I’m thinking my next computer will be one. I have a desktop PC at work and PC laptop at home.

    I love the jumbo screen!!

  12. I am a total mac girl – I have a macbook that I use when I’m on the couch or the (fewer and fewer) times I allow myself to internet from bed. And then I have an imac in my office, which I use for things like photo editing and work/grad school. I’ve also been known to move the macbook to my coffee table (it’s so easily transportable!) and stream things from Netflix on the macbook while editing on the imac, or editing on the imac while watching tv. It’s pretty ridiculous, but also awesome.

    • That’s amazing. If I had my way (and a bajillion dollars), I’d have iPads and Macbooks and iMacs (oh my!) in every room. Maybe one day… if I marry rich. Hahahahaha

      • Yeah, having two computers at the same time is definitely high up on the list of “most indulgent things i’ve ever done”. I bought the macbook a little over five years ago and then treated myself to the imac in august of 2009 because i needed a new ipod and apple was having its annual back to school “buy a computer and get a free ipod” sale! The macbook has slowed down a ton, but it’s still chugging along and I can’t justify replacing it just because I want something faster/newer/shinier!

  13. Dude, that is wicked impressive, seriously. Super nerdy. I LOVE IT.
    I’ve never owned anything BUT a Mac. My first computer that I bought was a G4 Desktop that had a whopping 20GB hard drive!
    I have a Macbook Pro that I bought in 2006, so it’s a dinosaur now and needs some serious upgrading. My hubby has a new iMac, which is AWESOMMMMMMMMME.
    I’ve got a PC at work, and it pisses me off on a daily basis.

    • I do constantly find myself trying to do Command-C instead of Copy-C and pulling up the wrong menu. Stupid conflicting shortcuts!

  14. I’m a PC girl, more specifically an HP girl. Except my laptop is 5 years old and its battery life is non-existent, which means it’s not portable, which defeats the point of having a laptop! But as a SMADdie, I’ve been coveting the MacBooks for awhile. It woulda saved me the many hours I spent in the Mac Lab during college!

    • I’m so out of the PC loop that when you said you’re “an HP girl” I immediately thought “Harry Potter” bahahahaha

      • Harry Potter this made me literally LOL so hard this morning! hahaha I do like me some Harry Potter too!

    • Just buy a new battery, it’s only like $40 and it will breathe new life into your laptop!

      • But then I have no reason to get a MacBook! No I probably will end up buying a battery at some point. But right now I don’t use my laptop all that much.

  15. Jen Robinsonsays:

    I’m impressed with your adult decision making and the pc built-from-“scratch” approach! It’s hard to resist the pull of the mac… i mean, hell, you know dan was anti-apple forever and now we each have iPhones, iPads and even a macbook pro! Oh how quickly we fall…

    • See? We all grow up eventually.

      But don’t worry. MAC SHALL RISE AGAIN! Just, you know, it’s just gotta wait ’til my money grows up, too.

  16. My husband would be so insanely jealous, it’s his dream to build a computer from the ground up…

  17. Jeffsays:

    Officially impressed you went took the nerd-tastic approach. Now you should experiment with some of those “3rd options” –

  18. I love building computers! I learned with my dad around age 12 and still use the skills. Bad thing is my IT department knows I can do this and other semi-techy things so they don’t send a tech to fix things. They just call me and tell me how to fix it. :0(

    I have a PC laptop currently. I have a PC tower but no place to set it up so it’s boxed currently for when we move…after I upgrade of course.

  19. Great job at assisting at building your computer! It’s definitely rewarding creating your own things.. especially when it comes to building computers. We did this as part of my degree in college and that was one of the coolest things we did.

    Anyhow, I just bought a Gateway all-in-one PC about 3 weeks ago. My laptop died and I needed a new computer ASAP because my classes were starting. Now that we have the iPad, there really is no need for a laptop (or 2, like we have now) so I wanted to go back to the desktop PC. I absolutely LOVE it. It’s touch screen, super fast with a 23 inch HD screen. LOVE.

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