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Creating a Mega Monster is One Sweet Gig

Published on January 29, 2013 by Tiffany Coleman

(MERIDIAN) Move over, Frankenstein! A new monster is lurking on the second floor at Broadview University’s Boise campus. A student in the information technology program has channeled his inner geekdom—creating a super computer that could power a small city. We’re talking well beyond mother boards here. Chris Shafer’s creation has turned out to be one sweet gig.

information technology program

Chris Shafer, a first-year student in the information technology program, used his skills as an electrician to build a mega computer from scratch that could power a city.

Shafer is a first-year student at Broadview University. The electrician by trade decided to go back to school when the economy hit the construction industry. He was originally interested in the school’s drafting program, but ended up in information technology.

“My dad taught me to learn every day or scare yourself,” he says, “so here I am.”

For his Computer Essentials class, Shafer was tasked with building a PC from scratch. The idea behind the class is to have students make a computer that they can use throughout their studies. Once constructed, students can use the computer to continually learn about the various pieces, parts, and programs from course to course. Shafer chose to bypass a standard PC, and build a server that he could also use at home. He ended up building a mega beast.

“I call this keeping up with the Joneses,” Shafer says. “I was inspired by my friends to build something bigger and better. Outdoing them is a way for me to stay ahead of technology.”

Tim Thorson, the school’s information technology program chair, is beyond impressed.

“This thing is not only bigger and better, it is as strong and fast as anything else you can get right now,” Thorson says. “There are always advancements in technology, but right now, this is top of the line.”

One does not have to be a techie to appreciate that the mega monster is unique. Not only does it have a water-cooled fan inside, its parts are four times the size as typical computer parts, and it gives off an impressive blue and red glow. While it usually takes only a few hours to build a PC, it took Shafer about eight hours to build this one. It ended up teaching him an important, valuable lesson.

“Attention to detail is VERY important,” he said with a smile. “It definitely would have saved me a lot of time. Another thing I learned is that when you get stuck—call for help! That’s what tech support is for.”

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