It’s been 10 years* since I’ve had a Windows powered computer. While it took me a solid 2 weeks of kicking, screaming and clawing my way into OSX, it is a journey I am glad I completed and have been cruising along happily ever since.
But, I’m a nerd. Just because I don’t have Windows on a dedicated PC doesn’t mean I still don’t want it. I mean, professionally, I need it to keep up with the rest of world. Also, I have yet to have held down a job where I was able to use a Mac, full time. They have all been Windows shops. So, ideally, I should have a windows PC.
I’m also poor. This means that owning a Windows PC should be a snap, right? Cruise down to Walmart and pick up whatever rattletrap, malware infested computer they have for less than $400. Done and done. Except I can’t justify wasting $400 in such a hideous manner.
So, a few weeks ago, Woot had a Shuttle Barebones PC on sales. Instead of Barebones, however, it was a complete I3. Low on RAM (which I took care of), still came with 2x160GB drives, a DVD drive and Windows 7. And it’s refurbished. Totally ok by me, I’ve bought reverb gear before.
Open the box and pull everything out. First thing I notice is the case for this computer appears to have been used for a jack stand at some point in it’s former life. Not that big of a deal for me, except the chassis is so out of whack the CPU fan buzzes like a herd of bees stuck inside of a backhoe bucket. It’s quite an unpleasant noise.
Get everything connected and the new RAM installed and fire it up. Windows boots as expected until I’m prompted to provide a Windows Key. Sure, not a problem, should be right here on the side of the case. Or in the box. Or in this other box that they keyboard came in. Ok, maybe the RMA form might have it on a sticker.
How about Windows 10? Let’s give that a shot. Seems to complete without issue until I go to login. It’s connected with a WiFi adapter that works perfectly well under Windows 7 before I started the install. No dice with Windows 10. I had to pull my 50′ ethernet cable out of storage to connect it to my network. As soon as I did that, I was able to login. Sure would have been nice to have an error message or something.
The only reason I bought this was to offload some of the load from my Mac MINI. I figured I could make that my Media/Backup server easy enough and let it run in my entertainment center. Oh, and it was cheap. Less than $180 (shipped) cheap. Plus, having access to Windows again for reference and other things would be nice.
I suppose that’s what I get. I’m going to see if any of the boys at work will buy it from me.
Or, maybe I’ll put linux on it? Otherwise it’s going on eBay/Craigslist and I’ll go back to saving my pennies for another Mac Mini instead.
*10 years sounds really dramatic. It’s actually been about 8 1/2. But, drama wins here.