Basically, do-it- yourself, or DIY, is generally the building, modifying, or fixing of things without the direct aid of experts or professionals. Before the advent of computers, do it yourself became popular for home improvements and electronics so there was no need to call on a carpenter or an electronics technician.
Today, do it yourself or the behavior of DIY for computers – sometimes called do-it- yourself computing – can mean either the assembly of your own computer from independently purchased computer parts and components or buying a computer and simply modifying the software and applications for specific needs.
Take this as an example for the second aspect above. Some DIY computing enthusiasts buy obsolete laptops or computer knockoffs that go on rock-bottom price sales, clear the hard drive by erasing the operating system, and replace it with, say, Ubuntu (free open-source operating system managed by a UK-based company), or Linux. However, many swear that Ubuntu is a friendlier variant to Linux. Since networks, printers, keyboards, mouse, and other external equipment are Windows-based dependent in order to function, the user needs to self-install or create extra utilities and file-types in order for the externals to work.
In the case of actual computer programming, do-it- yourself computing can also define the process of creating your own program or application for a specific need. For instance, instead of just using a standard accounting software, a DIY computing enthusiast can create a specific software for, say, agricultural sales, that includes all aspects such as harvest yields, wastage, market sales, inventory, etc.
In the case of do-it- yourself computing in building your computer, most enthusiasts love buying their own computer components and assembling the computer themselves. Many self-assembled computers are done in the name of gaming because, unlike commercial computers that are sold with pre-determined specifications, components can be chosen for purchase off the shelf for gaming purposes.
What does do-it-yourself computing mean in the bigger picture?
It empowers the user/creator/assembler because he or she has learned to do something by themselves as a future skill and it saves money because the paid services of professionals are not needed.