Building a gaming computer for winter

  1. I used to identify and select parts, using their guide for a Great Intel Gaming build.
    • I modified the setup to include a less colorful Case and the recommended 1 TB solid state drive (SSD) from The Wirecutter
    • I added in a wireless/bluetooth card since (don’t tell anyone) this computer won’t be using an ethernet cable for data and I like the option for bluetooth headphones
    • I purchased a Windows license from Microsoft directly since I didn’t feel like dealing with Linux and game compatibility
    • Decided that a soundcard was overkill since we already have one computer with a nicer soundcard and we’re not planning to record sound or run speakers from this computer
    • Any extra cords needed for monitors
  2. Install the frame for the motherboard inputs so it doesn’t come back and bite me later. This required me to remove the fan (take a photo before removing) and took a bit more force than I expected to push it into place.
  3. CPU install: lever to open case was awkward to pull out. CPU just floats in place. I used the triangle to line it up in the correct alignment.
  4. RAM went into non-adjoining slots (Got this advice from BIOS after initial install). Took a bit more force that I wanted to install.
  5. Cooler had goo on it and I used that instead of the thermal paste I had since I didn’t want to clean the cooler goo off. This may be a mistake and I may have to go add back in again.
    • Push pins on cooler base took more force to go into place than I wanted.
  6. Hard drive was easy peasy to install following the instructions that came with the drive
  7. Install the power supply unit.
  8. Install motherboard on the risers.
  9. Install GPU.
  10. Plugg all the things in
    • the power went into two places on the motherboard
    • all the fans
    • the case plugs took some work to sort out where they wint
    • install the case plugs before any extra PCI installs (I had to remove a card on a different computer install in order to get some wee sound plugs in place)
    • GPU probably needs power. 🙂
  11. Turn things on and follow any instructions.
  12. If everything is happy, rationalize the cords. I mostly used little velcro straps. My case had a ton of extra room (but will be nice and cool?) so I used the bottom of the case where the optical dries would go to store extra cords since my power
  13. Add the operating boot disk (I use a wee USB drive)
  14. Install operating system
  15. If everything is happy, close up the case.
  16. Install drivers/support for GPU (I went to AMD for my Radeon card and it worked like a charm)

Extra notes:

Civilization didn’t work until I installed Microsoft C++



Standard programs for a fresh computer

  1. Chrome and Firefox browsers
    • Tighten privacy settings, install PrivacyBadger, change search to DuckDuckGo
  2. Dropbox
  3. Password management tool
  4. Gaming software
    • Steam
    • Epic
  5. Productivity software
    • Scrivener (for writing novels)
    • Evernote (capturing things online and ideas)
    • Adobe Reader (when needed)
    • Zoom/Skype/etc. as needed
    • Paint.NET (simple image editing)
    • Microsoft Office (if license available/needed)
    • CutePDF (if still supported)
    • Notepad++ (editing code/text)
    • BeyondCompare (File compare and SFTP)
    • FileZilla (simple SFTP)
    • 7Zip (when needed)
    • VPN software  (when needed)

Notes for reinstalling Android on a phone

These are my running notes for when I’m reinstalling Android on a phone. Most everything these days is synced to Dropbox or Google, but there are still a few little gotchas. (Sorry, Ben! And everyone who texted him in 2017-2018)


  • Signal messages
  • Contacts – should be syncing to Google
  • Photos – should be syncing to Dropbox
  • 2 factor authentication apps for work will need to be reinstalled. Have spare codes if possible.
Music setup:
Convince VLC to see the music on the phone. I thought that I had convinced it to see the Dropbox music folder, so all we needed to do was make some music files offline via Dropbox. But VLC did not like the Dropbox music location in July 2018, so we moved files into Android Music location. Bah!

Things to consider when purchasing a new laptop

My running notes on what to consider when purchasing a laptop computer. And I also run over to The Wirecutter to review their latest advice, along with the little googling.

  • Screen resolution: screen resolution and how does it play with programs (the blurry tool bars with my silver Asus)
  • Track pad: can it take two finger input? Does it get bumped really easily (my blue Acer)
  • Physical assembly: Can the screen push way back? When sitting on the coach, I want to push it way back (more than the silver Asus)
  • Ports: options for connecting to other things (what are the plugs and how many are there? USB, USB-C, HDMI, mini-HDMI, )
  • Keyboard: quality of the keyboard and placement of keys
  • Drive: Solid State Drive that is big enough for Dropbox to sync
  • RAM is comparable to other computers in similar price point
  • CPU is comparable to other computers in similar price point

A template for new documentation

One of the common challenges for us is a blank page. How do we start capturing our knowledge with there is nothing captured yet?

A template can be a huge help! Be sure that your template is stored in a location that is readily available (discoverable) to everyone — good habits with storage location, cross-links, and any additional information organization functionality that your current knowledge management technology allows. When communicating with people, reference and celebrate this template whenever possible.

This template is in Word format, and is only meant as a starting point for you to adapt for your purposes.

If sharing or adapting for outside your immediate internal organization, please consider attribution. Thanks!


Knowledge management intro presentation

I have been doing variations of this presentation since at least 2013, and you should use my slides if they would be helpful for you!

Add, change, adjust however works best for you. The presentation file is in PowerPoint format. Please provide attribution if sharing beyond your immediate internal organization.

Some of this content is covered in my intro post (and I will work on getting other key concepts pulled into their own posts as well).

Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

Introduction to Knowledge Management by Catriona Buhayar is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Knowledge management introduction

Organizations that can capture their knowledge, re-use and reflect on that knowledge, and then fold back in what they learn will have less rework and waste.

There will be greater resiliency and redundancy, and everyone will be able to take a vacation. The organization can recover faster from disasters. Energy and mental space can be spent on new, complex undertakings.

I think of knowledge as information plus people. Knowledge implies the involvement and engagement of human beings.

Knowledge management is capturing our knowledge, finding it again, and updating (or removing) the captured knowledge with what we learn over time.

A robust culture of learning and knowledge management requires careful use of technical tools and information structure, but will also only work with attention to the people who are participating in the learning and knowledge management. Behaviors, technology, and information structure are all critical aspects of successful knowledge management.