The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.

— Albert Einstein

Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind.”

— Samuel Johnson

Let’s just say I was testing the bounds of reality. I was curious to see what would happen. That’s all it was: curiosity.

— Jim Morrison

Originally, I wanted a cheap, low-spec workstation for Internet connectivity, writing and perhaps some programming every now and then. It was to replace my aging laptop, give me something that was upgradeable over the years, and needed to be the “best bang for buck”. I had an artificial price limit of £500, which would have to cover all components and peripherals, including a monitor and a printer. With this kind of limit, the Duron chips from AMD were looking like the best option …

I didn’t buy this machine, mainly because I didn’t have a spare £500 lying around (and my laptop was still working — just! — so scraping the money together wasn’t perhaps as high-priority as it could have been). We got to the end of the year, I got a bonus and suddenly I had more than enough! But with the extra means, I expanded my budget accordingly, doubling it in fact.

So curiousity has been bought and built from some brilliant components: an Intel Core2 Duo chip (overclockable!), Gigabyte motherboard, 2GB of OCZ RAM, a SATA drive, an Nvidia GPU and a shiny, shiny case. It’s my workhorse, my rig, my favourite system and past-time.

There’s plenty left to do with this machine. See below for details.