Abyatt vs. Ace Hardware vs. Platform

Recently in Kuwait there have been many hardware stores opening, which I think is a great thing. We have lots of choice for all our hardware needs as well as a different selection. Abyatt and Platform coincidentally opened right across from each other, Ace Hardware is still a bit on their own. I’m not sure if there are any more major Hardware stores of this type that are going to open, but I am really happy with the selection available. We went in one day to all three Hardware Stores to see what the difference was in service, materials and other details.

Abyatt

  • Water Pumps and Piping
  • Gardening
  • Bathroom Items (Large Selection)
  • Bathtubs and Showers
  • Doors
  • Large Selection of Paints and Painting Equipment
  • Some Electrical
  • Price is reasonable for some items but high in others
  • Great organization
  • Lots of raw materials for building
  • Helpful staff
  • There is a rewards program and if you buy from them you do save in bulk.

Platform

  • Huge selection of tools (Car, Home, Electrical, and more)
  • Very high quality tools
  • Electrical selection is very large such as outdoor connections, cabling, and more
  • Some selection of raw materials for homes
  • Very organized
  • Extremely helpful and knowledgeable staff
  • Prices are very reasonable
  • Open 7 am to 9 pm Everyday (Fantastic)

Ace Hardware

  • Vehicle tools
  • Vehicle liquids
  • Camping equipment
  • Some garage equipment
  • Large selection of odd items such as grills, and other things
  • Reasonably priced
  • Decent Staff
  • Huge electrical selection Electrical items for every kind of converter and wiring

All of them have their positive parts, and Platform and Abyatt are similar but they also differ with their items. Ace Hardware will take a hit from them, but it still has its niche market. If you are the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) type of guy then you will love Abyatt and Platform. I’m very happy that they are both around, and their location is very accessible in Shuweikh.

Platform

Up early Friday morning we just kept on going from place to place, at around 10:45am we went to Abyatt to find out that they don’t open on Friday, so we went across the road to Platform to find that they are open from 7 am to 9 pm every day.

We were the only four people in all of the warehouse, it reminded of home depot in the states. Nothing fancy, just everything you are looking for in an organized fashion. We took a cart, both me and K had somethings we wanted to pick up for our homes and a few wiring issues that we have been looking into.

First off I have to say that the staff at Platform are the friendliest and most helpful staff I have seen. I bought a completely new tool box for my house as well as new tools since everything we had was over 20 years old and brittle. I told them I want simple items for the home, nothing fancy but all American made tools which last. They had two brands that I kept taking for the my tools which were Stanley and Bosch. Both are very good brands and I already use some Stanley tools when working on my bikes for the past two years, they still look like new. So I knew Stanley is a good brand and I think they had every Stanely tool available. Then I needed a new ladder for the house, the one we have is really flimsy and old, we tried using it the other and a step broke while I was going up, so I had to find a replacement and they had a nice selection.

We also picked up some electrical items to equip some items outdoor and they had the perfect enclosure for them as well the supplemental items. The best part was the selection of tools, couldn’t get enough of them. Then there is the home materials which is good for a Do It Yourself type person, but its fantastic to see places like this in Kuwait. They weren’t even too peeved about us talking a million pictures of the whole place. We were like kids in a toy store, we wanted to try everything and picking up everything, it was great that nobody else was there.

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Windows Home Server – Stage 3

Due to complications with the setup we had to change the server case from the Alienware case to the Thermaltake Kandalf which is large full tower case that handle all the drives I was looking to install. The main issue of the Alienware case was that we weren’t able to install the Silverstone 1200 Watt PSU and the Athena Backplane, they were pushing against each other without allowing any of them to fit in.

The Athena Backplane was holing 5 Sata Drives 3.5″ in the place of 3 5.25″ Drives, so basically 3 CD-Roms for 5 Hard Drives. The PSU fit in the Alienware, and the Athena Backplane fit in the in Alienware case but just not together.

The Thermaltake was the only highquality full tower case available in Hawally at the time that we picked up for 75 KD, and even though it is overpriced the case was worth it and needed to continue our work. So we transplanted everything in the Alienware case to the Thermaltake case. I was dismantling while K was putting it together which was going smoothly.

It took us sometime to take off a few pieces from the Thermaltake since they weren’t needed. The hardware wiring was cleaned up, we removed the extra USB/Firewire/Sound connections of the case to fit the 1200 PSU, its a large one so it takes up space. It fits vertically rather then horizontally which makes things very accessible when connecting all the items for power. We fit the Athena Backplane, and everything was going very smoothly. We removed the LED fans and installed quiet fans on this case, these fans would provide ample cooling by pulling cool air from the front and the back to would pull out of the case. Even though there were four fans (1×120 mm & 3x92mm) running, the machine is extremely quiet, this isn’t even including the fan of the PSU.

Then the wiring came into play, we had a total of 7 SATA connections, and one IDE. Then there was the Addonics SATA controller for more SATA connections at a later point. This will help support a total of 15 hard drives if I wanted to fit them in the machine. Right now I have a total of 7 Hard drives in the machine which are enough to start off with.

After all the hardware configuration we started it up, it started which was good without shorting so everything seemed to be connected correctly. We started the Windows Home Server installation but we were too tired to continue except the next day. When we did continue it was only about mounting the new hard drives on Windows Home Server Share pool. It is going to take some time to tweak everything but overall everything is very straight forward in this machine, can’t wait to fully utilize it. There are still some steps to take.

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The Package

I have been following up on my packages everyday since I ordered them from Amazon. There were two things I was worried about, one was the large amount of Hard Drives I was ordering, and the other was the Voip phone which supposedly illegal in Kuwait.

I called up Aramex and they said my package didn’t arrive, so I took the tracking numbers and headed over there to get my packages. The website didn’t update throughout the trip, just that the packages were in the box last Sunday, and then arrived in Kuwait by Saturday. After giving them the tracking numbers they somehow found the items with them and they were cleared which is great.

I wanted to rip those boxes open as soon as I got home, but I waited a little while before opening them.

  • 1 TB Hard Drivers, Qty 8
  • Addonics Host Controller
  • Phillips Voip Phone

I knew that I am probably going to start ripping into my Windows Home Server but that is going to take some time to work on.

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