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MrIceCremeLollipop

How to teach someone PC hardware?/Where to start?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

ive got a cousin, Who Is 11, Who likes technology - I want to teach him about building pc's, And the hardware that goes inside, But I dont really know where to start. Im relatively good with teaching people stuff, But I can often over complicate things. And when I say about building, I mean stuff like the market, AMD, Intel, Cores, IPC, Single thread ratings, Overclocking, Architectures ect, Alongside the basics, Such as just putting one together - Which we will be doing soon. 

 

I just dont know where to start, So Can someone give me a few pointers, To get him going on the basics.

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2 minutes ago, MrIceCremeLollipop said:

ive got a cousin, Who Is 11, Who likes technology - I want to teach him about building pc's

 

start with making sure they want to learn computer hardware rather than you wanting to teach them

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7 minutes ago, MrIceCremeLollipop said:

ive got a cousin, Who Is 11, Who likes technology - I want to teach him about building pc's, And the hardware that goes inside, But I dont really know where to start. Im relatively good with teaching people stuff, But I can often over complicate things. And when I say about building, I mean stuff like the market, AMD, Intel, Cores, IPC, Single thread ratings, Overclocking, Architectures ect, Alongside the basics, Such as just putting one together - Which we will be doing soon. 

 

I just dont know where to start, So Can someone give me a few pointers, To get him going on the basics.

YouTube is always a good source for learning certain things I find - plenty of videos. 

 

And as @emosun mentioned, make sure your cousin actually wants to learn 😛


 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
7 minutes ago, emosun said:

 

start with making sure they want to learn computer hardware rather than you wanting to teach them

Good point - Im pretty sure he does, but il be sure to check. 

 

2 minutes ago, Stormseeker9 said:

YouTube is always a good source for learning certain things I find - plenty of videos. 

 

And as @emosun mentioned, make sure your cousin actually wants to learn 😛

It was more, Me talking to him rather than youtube.

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11 minutes ago, MrIceCremeLollipop said:

ive got a cousin, Who Is 11, Who likes technology - I want to teach him about building pc's, And the hardware that goes inside, But I dont really know where to start. Im relatively good with teaching people stuff, But I can often over complicate things. And when I say about building, I mean stuff like the market, AMD, Intel, Cores, IPC, Single thread ratings, Overclocking, Architectures ect, Alongside the basics, Such as just putting one together - Which we will be doing soon. 

 

I just dont know where to start, So Can someone give me a few pointers, To get him going on the basics.

You can take one of your rigs apart and go through step by step what each part does and how it works together to work as a computer. Once he understands that concept, you can start with the connections inside (Sata, PCIe, M.2, Molex *ew*,) and even the CPU Sockets and what they mean. Next I would start teaching him operating systems and little tricks that you can do inside Windows or a Linux Distro. I think if he has all of these down by age 11, he is sitting pretty good. If you want, you can teach him the components on a motherboard and GPU?

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25 minutes ago, MrIceCremeLollipop said:

ive got a cousin, Who Is 11, Who likes technology - I want to teach him about building pc's, And the hardware that goes inside, But I dont really know where to start. Im relatively good with teaching people stuff, But I can often over complicate things. And when I say about building, I mean stuff like the market, AMD, Intel, Cores, IPC, Single thread ratings, Overclocking, Architectures ect, Alongside the basics, Such as just putting one together - Which we will be doing soon. 

 

I just dont know where to start, So Can someone give me a few pointers, To get him going on the basics.

Go to any yard sale, thrift shop or surplus center and get an Optiplex 740-780 mini-tower for $5-10. Take that apart with him piece by piece (using the Dell service manual from their site) and explain what each bit is and does. Talk with him about the differences in parts, what to look for to see if a part is likely to work or not, the pros and cons of new parts vs used, anything important and relevant to each part as you go. After it's stripped down to a bare case, show him how to properly clean the system, get it shining and sparkly inside and out, then rebuild it with him from the ground up.

 

Once it's put back together and in great shape, test it with him. Show him how to use DBAN to properly wipe a hard drive he's just added, and the consequences of not wiping one (like having to sneak into an apartment complex's compactor at 2:00 AM to make sure that drive is well and truly buried and gone forever...long story). Show him how to SMART test the reformatted drive from a Linux USB, then how to use MemTest 86. Finally, install Windows if that's the OS of choice and install AIDA64 to put the whole system through a stress test. After it's tested, he'll have had the experience of breaking down, cleaning, prepping and rebuilding a PC from scratch and will be able to safely attempt it with a modern, more expensive system. Give him his "new" PC. That's the best first couple days of PC hardware enthusiasm one could ask for.


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Start by not watching educational videos. 

 

Get your little cousin into fun and crazy stuff like Linus and JayZ videos, and gaming-related hardware & software stuff.

 

If he's into tech, he's going to find this stuff interesting and entertaining, so he'll want to watch it. This will likely spark a natural learning process that will eventually make him want to understand how computers work, how to assemble his own, and so on.

 

That's how I went from barely knowing what a CPU is, to being able to build and troubleshoot my own computers. 


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Get him an A+ cert book ;) if techTV was still around the screen savers and call for help is where I learned almost all the stuff that got me into computers and my current career. Its old now, but they might be on youtube. I know the main host Leo Laporte (spelling?) used to still be active with twit TV. (twit.tv) havent looked at their offerings in while though.

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Aisle9 is absolutely bang on. The best possible way to teach PC hardware is hands on. Find an inexpensive system to pull apart and experiment with, so you don’t mess up a good system.

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if techTV was still around the screen savers and call for help is where I learned almost all the stuff that got me into computers and my current career. Its old now, but they might be on youtube. 

Redtube Beeg Spankbang

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As aisle9 said, find a cheapo pc or old pc that works (so you don't have to risk your own stuff) and take it apart.

Teach him about all the basic parts and what they do.

Find some videos that appeal to him. I think the way I learned was reading Wikipedia articles and watching Linus drop things. Of course, you should also have a hands on experience. Ask him what he already knows, then build off of that.


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I'm trying to remember how I got into PC hardware and I think it was mostly when I figured I wanted to build a computer. I didn't know what computers were like inside but my parents were about to throw out an old computer and they let me take it apart first. Maybe get an old second hand computer and take it apart with him and maybe try and put it back together. Then move onto like your own PC and show him how it's the same but different from the computer the two of you took apart. Watch some of the mad stuff Linus and Jay do on their channels cause that'll really get him excited.


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Here's a thing; instead of "Teaching about computers" why not start with what it's really all about in the first place; physics/electrical engineering. I often find that it's relatively easy to explain computer related things to people with a good understanding of those things.

 

It turns out that just knowledge about computers in the context that I suspect you're referring to is not as useful as you might think;  knowing what an ATX plug looks like and which damned socket it's supposed to plug into is fun, but that type of knowledge isn't really valuable as you can look up that kind of stuff in 10 seconds. A deeper understanding of the underlying concepts however, has enormous value as that's the kind of knowledge and skill you don't just acquire in 10 seconds of googling. Not only is it more valueable in that sense, it also doesn't get outdated; an ATX plug might not even be used anymore in a couple of years. And sure that doesn't matter because of course you'll update your knowledge, but why would you bother remembering that kind of stuff anyway? 

 

Of course an ATX plug is kind of a dumb example, but I used it as an exaggerated example of the kind of knowledge that isn't going to get you anywhere in the world except when you're buidling a computer of a specific type in a specific era.

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My basic route for getting into computer hardware:

  

Thing is broken

Take thing apart

It turns out that just knowledge about computers in the context that I suspect you're referring to is not as useful as you might think;  knowing what an ATX plug looks like and which damned socket it's supposed to plug into is fun, but that type of knowledge isn't really valuable as you can look up that kind of stuff in 10 seconds

Nox Vidmate VLC

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1 minute ago, touchar said:

It turns out that just knowledge about computers in the context that I suspect you're referring to is not as useful as you might think;  knowing what an ATX plug looks like and which damned socket it's supposed to plug into is fun, but that type of knowledge isn't really valuable as you can look up that kind of stuff in 10 seconds

Were you trying to quote? Use the arrow that kind of looks like an undo arrow in ms office on the post you want to quote.

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Ok this is going to sound funny, but I had a young nephew that wanted to get in to the PC building.

 

I got him a cheap copy of PC building simulator on steam. He LOVES that game. He has also learned all the components, how to build a PC, and how to troubleshoot issues. He did need my help on overclocking, but after explaining voltage/temp balance and how it relates to CPU clocks... he has even been doing decent there.

 

So if young I would recommend this game. Gives them knowledge in a fun way.

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I got into hardware by having an old Win98 Compaq clunker to screw around with, it didn't work so I started messing around with things like unplugging stuff and plugging it into other areas, even made a handful of jumpers out of aluminium foil and I eventually got it to work just to discover the hard drive was RIPed.
I still can't do crap with programming and software, but as some others have pointed out, get them an old pc (I'd say go for one with a small, fixable issue) and work on it with them, even let them tinker with it on their own, even if it breaks, it would be a learning experience.


I can't seem to avoid making myself seem like I have the equivalent intellect of half a brick.


Dude, I game on a Dell! 

Spoiler

Dell Optiplex 7010 mt
--mobo= Dell 0GY6Y8--cpu= Intel Core i5-3570 3.40 ghz--ram= 8gb generic Samsung DDR3--gpu= Gigabyte Nvidia GTX1050 2gb 1540mhz oc--hdd= Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1tb 7200rpm--monitor= Element LCD hdtv 1080p--OS= Windows 10 Pro 64bit


Still a Dell, but portable.

Spoiler

Dell Latitude E6510
--cpu= Intel Core i7 640m 2.4ghz--ram= 4gb DDR3 unknown brand...hmmmmm--hdd= 500gb WD Scorpio Black--display= 60hz 1080p built in--OS= Linux Ubuntu 16.04lts 64bit


Dude, why does this Dell still function?!

Spoiler

Dell Optiplex 980 sff--mobo= Dell OEM for 980 sff--cpu= Intel Core i5 660 3.2ghz--ram= 8gb Samsung DDR3--gpu= Asus Radeon HD6570 1gb 800mhz oc--hdd= WD Scorpio Blue 500gb--OS= Windows 10 Pro 64bit    
!System not in use, possible psu failure immanent!


Wait, these aren't pc's!

Spoiler

2x Xbox One SPlaystation 4Playstation 2, Wii U3DS XLNintendo 64

 

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On 5/10/2019 at 2:33 PM, AlexTheGreatish said:

If not fixed - shoot with potato cannon

did you put your potato cannon together yourself?

what if your potato cannon broke?

what would you shoot your broken potato cannon with?


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On 5/10/2019 at 7:31 AM, MrIceCremeLollipop said:

ive got a cousin, Who Is 11, Who likes technology - I want to teach him about building pc's, And the hardware that goes inside, But I dont really know where to start. Im relatively good with teaching people stuff, But I can often over complicate things. And when I say about building, I mean stuff like the market, AMD, Intel, Cores, IPC, Single thread ratings, Overclocking, Architectures ect, Alongside the basics, Such as just putting one together - Which we will be doing soon. 

 

I just dont know where to start, So Can someone give me a few pointers, To get him going on the basics.

 

You don't, youtube is a free resource, the internet is filled with endless information.  In past times people had to learn from manuals and necessity, and so you should let them learn in the same way as its so much easier now.  Frankly you don't learn much about tech "building" a pc now, its just expensive legos and a low value skill.  

 

Necessity....if the kid only has the budget for used ebay components then they might learn more.

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