Busted Stuff

I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things.

Rebuilt White Nexus 5

Him: Why wouldn’t you just buy a phone? That seems like a waste of time and money.

When I was in college, my buddy Buckley used to fix my computer for me, which was often because I had no idea what I was doing. After the umpteenth time, he finally slammed the door in my face and said, “Fix it yourself!”

Which ended up being a really good thing because I taught myself how to do just that – before the age of YouTube – and ended up paying for part of law school with money I made building computers and networks.

Similarly, after I realized I didn’t know a thing about cars, bought a really beat up old BMW 325i and essentially fixed most things I could. To this day, a lotta of my old friends remember me driving around without a passenger seat while I was looking for the perfect one.

In any case, couldn’t sleep well last week so I started a project I’d been wanting to do for a while; built a phone from scratch.
Cracked Red Nexus 5

After doing some research, I ended up choosing the Nexus 5 because (a) I’ve owned a few and (b) it got an iFixit rating of 8 out of 10 to repair and the parts were pretty available.

My cousin Lynn was nice enough to give me her busted phone to practice on, which was also a good thing because I absolutely destroyed that.

With those lessons learned, the whole thing went surprisingly fast; only about three total hours and I was done. The most expensive part was the screen, which I managed to snag for $90, new.

Figure I’ll just sell it for what I bought it, which prompted a buddy to ask me why I did it in the first place.

And my answer has always been the same as for why I built my own computer, car, DVR, network, etc.

Me: I didn’t do it for the phone. I did it for the understanding. I don’t like not understanding things.

We should all die knowing something, cause we’re not here for very long.

But there’s another reason, of course. Like the good Mr. Lannister, I have a soft spot for discarded and broken things.

Should mention that I remained friends with Buckley for over 20 years; he and I ended up buying the Manhattan apartment I live in now.

Good friends challenge you to be the best version of yourself.

Location: my UWS apartment
Mood: accomplished
Music: Rolling stone gathers no moss but leave a trail of busted stuff
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Picking up the pieces we break

Ended up with a completely jacked computer

Asus ET2700 disassembled
Part of the reason I splurged on the new desk because – on the days that I work at home – I spend almost the entire day sitting there.

So if I’m going to spend money on anything, it should be a nice work space.

Similarly, a few years ago, I bought myself a really sweet computer. It was a single piece computer with a touchscreen; essentially, it was like having a 27″ table computer to work on. I loved that thing and it made working that much nicer.

Last week, I decided to upgrade the processor for a slight step up in power. I installed it during the mess of building out my desk and everything else and ended up blowing out my computer.

Complete black screen of death. There seems to be a string of completely destroyed computers in my life.

Meanwhile, I had a portfolio of work due to client so I had to do that on my office computer or my actual 10″ tablet (which is as fun as a root canal) while rushing back to (a) finish building out my home office and (b) trying to salvage my machine.

tl;dr: The furniture is essentially assembled but my computer has given up the ghost. So my physical and digital states are both a mess right now.

I ended up buying a set of parts – essentially, this exact list of components – to build myself a dual-booting Windows/Macintosh system.

This has been a really expensive and tiring few weeks. Hopefully, after I’m done, I’ll be happy I did it.

As always, it’s about making it to the other side.

 

Location: in the midst of computer and furniture parts
Mood: still so tired
Music: in the strangest places, picking up the pieces we break
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