Young Mac Fan Dabbles With 'Dark Side'

Macintosh Fan Kent Salas was very happy with using his 533MHz G4 tower and iBook SE 466 but he wanted to build a fast PC from scratch and document his experience on a Web site. This doesnit sound so unusual until you learn heis only thirteen years old.

After being comfortable with Macs since the age of four, Kent decided to see if the grass was truly greener on the iother sidei but he wanted to take a hands-on approach. From his Web site:
I decided I would try using a Windows PC to see how it works and what is different about using one. I thought instead of buying a pre-configured one at a store I should try and build my own PC from scratch. That way I would have a better understanding of computers in general and what makes them tick inside and out.
He goes on later to explain that, besides the educational value of the project, he also takes pride in the fact that itis not a computer that one can quickly purchase from a store. It is his very own creation.

When asked about the scale of the job Kent said, "Iim always up for big challenges and this seemed like a pretty big project for me. It took a long time to research on the internet and I asked a lot of questions." After spending nearly two straight weeks doing that research, from online newsgroups and consultations with his father, he made his choices and got down to the business of ordering the pieces. Two short days and a FedEx shipment later, he gathered the roughly $1,800 worth of parts on his parentis dining room table for assembly. From Kentis Web site:
Building the computer was quite a puzzle. First you have to figure out where all the drives, fans, and especially cables go. Did I mention how many cables there are, about 42 in all, wow, talk about techno-spaghetti.
Despite the complexity and the lack of complete instructions, he finished his PC puzzle in a day. And after sorting through a few minor problems and tweaks, he was up and installing Windows. In comparison to Mac OS X, Kent found that it installed quickly and even bore a striking resemblance.

But his project didnit stop there. For the next month, between school and guitar lessons, he spent his time creating the Web site detailing his experiences. "Iive been trying to learn more about Web design and thought this would be a good project and challenge for me too," said Kent.

Despite the need to deal with BIOS and the Windows Registry, he states in the conclusion of his Web site:
Windows XP and Mac OS X operating systems are similar in many ways. If I had to decide between the two I would choose the Macintosh but Windows XP is not bad at all...
Overall Kent is pleased with what he calls "a hard, fun, and an educational experience" and in learning both platforms, now better understands the benefits of both. If he is at all representative of the next generation of IT professionals, the future looks bright indeed.