Actually, my desktop is in quite a bad shape at the moemnt too. Over the last year serveral things have started happening to it that have been keeping it from working at it's best. I think the first thing to happen was the main system fan went out. This was unfortunate because the system was out of warrenty (I got the minimal warranty from Dell because I feel I am quite capable of fixing my own computer problems if they arise, unless it's related to hardware failures, which typically happens in the first few months anyways). Also, purchasing a replacement fan came to be a bother because Dell had created a non-standard plug for the fan power (dunno if they still do this) and I couldn't just go get one off the shelf. I actually ended up getting one and cutting wires and soddering them to the origional plug's wires. Lately I think these connections have been kind of week because my computer starts up and complains about 'previous fan failure' although there still seems to be good airflow.
Second, my harddrive just conked out. It was a 250 gb Western Digital, purchased it just under a year ago. I should be able to send it in for RMA, but it's a hastle that I just keep not getting around to. In the mean time, it's been running off my 20g drive that origonally shipped with the machine (man, I've had this thing for so long... )
Then, my video card's fan died. It's some GeForce 4 card with a standard fan that's perma-tached to the card unless you're gonna use a bit more brute force to get it off. I think I should be able to remove it and replace it but again.. my computers been just falling apart and I really have little desire to fix it. So I ended up borrowing an identical card from my friend (actually the same friend who I bought the card that's now not working), but he needs it back today so my desktop is about to become totaly un-usable again. :(
I'm really starting to think about buying a new computer but I don't want to spend a whole lot on it. I know you can save a fair ammount by building it yourself, but I hardly have the time for that, I'm starting school in the next couple weeks and I don't really have the ability to go out and buy parts (although I suppose it's easy enough to get stuff online). I'm thinking I'm probably going to end up going with a Dell, probably around middle of the line type of computer. Anyone have any strong opinions on what sort of computer I should look at?
BTW, I totally agree with Rowne, you care for your computer a lot more if you build it yoruself, if you're willing to put the time and effort into it (::sigh:: I kinda wish I was)