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View Full Version : Help locating cheap machines



towsonu2003
November 6th, 2006, 12:01 AM
I have been looking for cheap (like, under $20) working desktop -or laptop- computers. I am screening craigslist (local, no shipping as shipping is expensive) for the last 3 weeks.

I would like to get a "test" computer to check out what I can and can't do etc

Where would you look for a desktop that cheap (for the US)?

PS. This is not to request a cheap laptop from the community but to get information about other resources.

jd65pl
November 6th, 2006, 12:04 AM
Here in the uk there are computer fairs where pcs and parts are sold off fairly cheap. The stuff tends to the legacy side of things tho.

towsonu2003
November 6th, 2006, 12:16 AM
Here in the uk there are computer fairs where pcs and parts are sold off fairly cheap. The stuff tends to the legacy side of things tho.

I wonder if these happen in the US too (forgot to tell my location in my OP). as per legacy, that's more or less what I'm looking (you can't get much for less then $20 ;) ) [thanks for the incredibly fast reply]

rattlerviper
November 12th, 2006, 03:29 AM
go to your local Goodwill store the third saturday of the month(half price day)...You should be able to get a computer for less than 20 buck easy as long as you show up early in the day...around here you can get a p3 machine for about 18 bucks.

bukwirm
November 12th, 2006, 03:44 AM
Garage sales also might be a good idea - I found a halfway decent p2 machine at a garage sale for $10.

towsonu2003
November 12th, 2006, 05:02 AM
go to your local Goodwill store the third saturday of the month(half price day)...You should be able to get a computer for less than 20 buck easy as long as you show up early in the day...around here you can get a p3 machine for about 18 bucks.

never heard of it, is this it: http://www.goodwill.org/page/guest/about/whatwedo

it looks like an organization for meeting the needs of poorer people -I wouldn't wanna hog their resources to buy a test machine for cheap. may be I'm misunderstanding what they do?..

garage sale seems like a good idea but I never saw one that was selling computers :) I guess I should look harder ;)

yosef
November 12th, 2006, 05:08 AM
I don't think anyone will get bent out of shape that you grabbed the p3 first.

towsonu2003
November 12th, 2006, 05:34 AM
I don't think anyone will get bent out of shape that you grabbed the p3 first.
ok. so the link is to the correct organization?

Peepsalot
November 12th, 2006, 05:40 AM
it looks like an organization for meeting the needs of poorer people -I wouldn't wanna hog their resources to buy a test machine for cheap. may be I'm misunderstanding what they do?.
Goodwill's goal is not to sell things to poor people, they sell things to anyone and use the proceeds to help the disadvantaged. They are a nonprofit that use their money to help the community. Anyone can shop at goodwill, so it's not like you are taking from the poor ;)
The clothing and household goods you donate are sold in over 2,000 Goodwill retail stores and on our Internet auction site, shopgoodwill.com. The revenues fund job training and other services to prepare people for job success.
...
More than 84 percent of Goodwill’s total revenues are used to fund education and career services, and other critical community programs.

And if you still feel bad about it, you can always donate clothes or other items. :D

voided3
November 12th, 2006, 05:46 AM
I thought goodwill and other such places don't accept computer towers because people used them as a technology dumping grounds? I only see monitors, keyboards, and the like at thrift shops. If there are places where you can get older stuff for under $20, count me in because I love chopping up and souping up old comps (I have a n AT form factor K6-III comp and a '96 Compaq Presario with a P1 I overclocked to 200mhz :-D, amongst other stuff).

d3v1ant_0n3
November 12th, 2006, 05:50 AM
They occasionally have dusty beige pcs at our local goodwill. I've been tempted for a 'see what I can do with it' type project a few times.

Last time we went, there was a Creative audigy4 card for $9. Well. It was the box for a creative card. No idea what the actual card was, but it wasn't a Creative one. No antistatic bag either, just the card in the box. SO I left it.

Peepsalot
November 12th, 2006, 05:50 AM
There is a goodwill store in my town that specifically deals in computers. I think they typically strip down the computers and sell the components separately.

Although, I don't think the deals are always very good at that store. It depends what you are getting I guess. Also I'm sure it varies greatly between store locations.

yosef
November 12th, 2006, 06:15 AM
ok. so the link is to the correct organization?

Yes, this looks like the correct organisation.

bobbybobington
November 14th, 2006, 01:06 AM
I've heard of people getting really nice computers from "recycling centers" for about $20. Its amazing, people throw out perfectly good computers just because windows is infested with spyware and viruses.

K.Mandla
November 14th, 2006, 01:43 AM
Ditto that. Check your local junkyards and recycling centers. I get a whole mess of great stuff at mine.

Additionally, check this out.

http://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/browse/cataucs?catid=1

You'd be buying in bulk, but you could decide how near is local, and get them at a good rate.

lyceum
November 16th, 2006, 08:03 PM
never heard of it, is this it: http://www.goodwill.org/page/guest/about/whatwedo

it looks like an organization for meeting the needs of poorer people -I wouldn't wanna hog their resources to buy a test machine for cheap. may be I'm misunderstanding what they do?..

garage sale seems like a good idea but I never saw one that was selling computers :) I guess I should look harder ;)

Look in the paper, some gurage sales let you know what they have, but you have to get there EARLY, also if you are ing the US, try Freecycle

http://www.freecycle.org/

Mirky
November 20th, 2006, 05:58 PM
A computer recycler may be the place to go, they get paid to take old computers. I worked for a company that hauled away old computers form companies that had bought new. I was able to salvage and sell MANY old laptops and desktops.

JSchwage
November 22nd, 2006, 10:20 PM
I've got an old desktop I don't need anymore. I have successfully installed Edgy on it also. Here's a list of what it's got in it:

CPU: Intel Celeron 700MHz
Memory: 256MB
Drives: DVD-ROM
Hard Drive: 20GB

Unfortunately, I might want a little more than $20 for it. Maybe something like $30.

doobit
November 22nd, 2006, 10:25 PM
Every time I ask around at my office I get three of four of them dumped in my lap. People have old computers stuffed in their closets and don't know what to do with them until someone asks.

creaturex
November 29th, 2006, 12:43 AM
Hey JSchwage, I might be interested in that computer you want to sell, it's just a little more thatn I need. If I can't find anything around (especially locally) for cheaper I'll get back to you.

hkgonra
January 26th, 2007, 07:08 PM
If anyone is near west TN I have quite a few old pc's I would like to get rid of.
PM me and we can get together on them.
I think the slowest is a 233 and the fastest is a 700.

laidback
January 26th, 2007, 08:40 PM
I just keep my ear to the ground and if a friend mentions that they are buying a new PC I ask "What happened to the old one". I have been given (yes given) 4 PCs in the last 6 months. The best has an AMD Athlon XP 1.8Ghz with ECS mobo. The HD was described as US. In fact after a reformat it was fine and is in use as I write. All these systems come from ex Windows use. It would appear that after any serious problems the only solution open to their owners was to buy again, or at least that was the advice provided by our friendly local PC super store!

I do upgrade a little as money allows. More memory, DVD burner rather than ROM etc. But now I have a store of these devices so I don't need to buy anything else even if a newer PC turns up. I just move the hardware over. I've learnt a lot about hardware during the last 12 months! RAM may be a different issue of course. I tend to buy new as getting the right type secondhand proves difficult, and I haven't had the courage to buy it from a magazine/web classified ads source. But all the PCs were/are useable without ram upgrades, the smallest I've been given had 250Mb.

I was given a printer, but I hated it so much I went and bought a Samsung Laser in a sale for 50, new.

I only use Linux and have tried several distros on these machines. The best is Ubuntu.

I get my distros from LXF magazines which are sold in my local market for 1 once they are a couple of months out of date. Linux is such fun.

:)

GCheung55
February 3rd, 2007, 09:27 AM
I'm new here but saw this thread while I was searching for a pc to test out ubuntu.

During my search online, I realized there was a close place that sold used pc's. They have a website. Here's the address. http://www.pcsurplusonline.com

That should help you out.