In 2018, The Verge published a guide to building computers, hosted by tech writer Stephane Etienne, which, frankly, wasn’t very good. We’re talking about dragging us so hard that you can see the tracks from orbit. In fact, the online satire was so powerful that it resulted in an entire explanation of Know Your Meme – never to suggest that things were going well. The Verge itself acknowledged in the written portion of the guide, which is still available online, that the video “included a number of errors in the build process”, as a result of which it was removed.
Awkward but not the end of the world. However, over the next few days, the rhetoric became increasingly heated as criticism of the video turned to personal abuse. Verge’s editor-in-chief, Nilay Patel, said in a message posted on Twitter that the site “has zero tolerance for online harassment campaigns,” and cautioned that “badly intentioned” comments on the guide should be ignored.
The whole thing has gotten a lot uglier and more special than it should have been, which is why we’re glad to see that, three years later, Etienne has teamed up with Linus Tech Tips for a new video called “Fixing the Verge PC Build”. The video follows Verge’s original guide, with edits and corrections made as necessary, and there’s also some very interesting conversations about how the whole incident happened.
“[The written guide] It is the script that is supposed to turn into an hour-long video, “Etienne explained.” Maybe around 3:00, they were like, ‘Do you think we can finish at 4 so we can get out early? I only get to see it 48 hours before it launches, and that’s next Friday. So I can’t tell the editors, and I can’t Call Nilay, and I can’t tell anyone that’s bullshit. She gets up on Mondays at 8 a.m. That’s it.”
He also admitted that he was not an experienced systems builder when the video was shot. “At that point, that was the fourth machine. That was the first time I had done it in front of the camera.”
A lot of my comments against some parts of the community that were sending out threats rubbed some the wrong way. Sorry about that! But that’s why I traveled 3,000 miles to do this build. I’ve always taken pride in learning, so I hope it teaches you as much as it makes you laugh.September 7, 2021
There’s some nice ribbing at the points, but the Etienne rolls smoothly as the casing holds together, and the scales balance out a bit as host, Linus Sebastian, drops the CPU to the floor while displaying a custom 3D printer stand. There’s also a late-day defense of Etienne’s enthusiasm for the infamous thermal paste in the original guide, with Sebastian saying that for all practical purposes, you can’t actually put a lot of thermal paste on a foil: “The worst thing you can do is make a mess.” The video is a great end to the tale, and it ends with a good looking computer too.
Speaking of PC building guides, we have one that will help you build a powerful gaming PC on a reasonable budget that I encourage you to check out, and we can help you with thermal paste as well.