[nSLUG] Selling Used Computers

Richard Bonner ak621 at chebucto.ns.ca
Thu Apr 1 09:35:18 ADT 2010

On Tue, 30 Mar 2010, George N. White III wrote:

> On 3/30/10, Richard Bonner <ak621 at chebucto.ns.ca> wrote:
>> On Mon, 29 Mar 2010, George N. White III wrote:
>>> On 3/29/10, Richard Bonner <ak621 at chebucto.ns.ca> wrote:
>> ***   So only Apple users can access iTunes?
> The vast majority of iTunes users run WIndows.   You can use Apple iPods
> on linux, but you can't purchase from Apple's iTunes.

***   So Apple and Windows users both can? If so, why not open it up 
to others? Business is business.

>> *** I have heard of more newer drives failing lately. Are they not 
>> as well built as before? I have 10-year-old drives that function 
>> fine. The last hard drive I had fail was around 12 or more years 
>> old.
> New drives pack a lot more data into a smaller package, and with the
> low prices people are moving into data-intensive tasks (editing
> multimedia) and loading up systems with lots of disks.  At work we
> have some Mac Pro systems with 4x 1TB disk, one for the system
> and 3 drives in a stripped configuration to store on-line remote sensing
> images.  We have problems keeping the systems cool, which likely
> contributed to the two drive failures we have had in 1 year of use.

***   Perhaps people should stick with multiple, smaller hard drives, 

>> ***   I can't believe that so many don't seem to bother with backups.
>> With the low cost of floppies and flashdrives - even used zip drives,
>> there is no excuse except for laziness, as I see it.
> Well, this thread is about getting computers to people with very little
> computer experience or money.

***   Even so, those persons will be suing older systems of which 
there is a glut of free, or nearly free, components. I have an 
inventory of floppy and hard drives, and CRT monitors available 
for when mine current ones fail.

>>     I was at a friend's place earlier this month. He has severe
>> respiratory problems. His system is MS-DOS 7 with a Win 98 overlay and
>> I went there to check out an issue. We determined that it appears to
>> be his hard drive, but he has decided to replace it all with another P
>> II or P III.
> Someone who does not expect multi-media has lots of options, from 
> 10-year old P-III ($50, but may need PS, fan, or disk at any moment) 
> to new atom-based box with free-dos or command-line linux.

***    Even older systems can do multimedia provided the users don't 
want top resolutions.

>>     On a related subject, at A1 Laptop, the owner mentioned to me that
>> he has a customer looking for a large quantity of P iIs. So the demand
>> is there for these older systems, or at least newer ones that will
>> accept older software and operating systems.
> Yes.  Many of these older systems have specialized hardware interfaces
> on 8-bit or 16-bit ATI cards, or even 5v PCI that can't be used in current
> mainstream systems.   A few years ago there were "industrial" system
> boards that still had ATI slots, and also an external chassis with a PCI
> interface that could be connected to a newer PC.

***   I saw a demo of one about 5 years ago. It had every slot and 
port from the previous decade or more on it.

> The problem is that much of the older software used polling loops, 
> etc. that only work on a specific CPU, so even if you can find new 
> hardware that accepts your cards you have to completely rewrite the 
> software if you change CPU, and many of those older systems didn't 
> come with source code (and the sources may be long lost due to 
> bankruptcy, reorganization, etc of the original company).

***   Good points.


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