[nSLUG] Selling Used Computers

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Fri Mar 26 17:46:51 ADT 2010

On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 12:28 PM, D G Teed <donald.teed at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 12:59 PM, George N. White III <gnwiii at gmail.com> wrote:
>> In the past I know there have been efforts to make older computers available,
>> sometimes connected to a trade school where students "refurbish" older
>> computers.  One problem is that old hard disks are too failure prone and should
>> be one of the first components to be replaced with new, so you need some real
>> cash for new disk drives.
> Watching desktops die at work, and with home and friends, I would
> differ with that.  The generation from within the last 3 to 7 years
> have sometimes gone through a hard drive upgrade already, as HD
> prices came down, capacities leaped, and the desire for modern
> games, movies, etc. has driven a need.  The component failing in
> many PCs first is often the power supply and motherboard.

Motherboard is a bit much, but replacing a PS or fan is not that
hard, while failed disk drive is usually painful for typical home users
who have no backups.

> I personally have a number of idle IDE drives as a result of this
> and replacements with modern systems running on SATA.
> The biggest weakness in using old systems today is the upper
> limits on their RAM.   Even in Linux, since the 2.6 kernel, beefier
> web browsers, fatter browser plugins, Open Office, etc., you
> don't want to use a system with only 512MB or so.  There are
> ways to run the system with leaner apps, but people want
> typical UI + mouse experiences and they want to use facebook,
> youtube, PDF readers, etc. on a daily basis.

People want nice cars, big TV's. etc. but if you don't have much
money sacrifices are required.  PDF is probably necessary for
gov't documents, etc. these days.   A typical > 5 years old business
PC intended to run WInXP had 512k, but if you get a large lot you
could provide half as many with 1G RAM if the original owner hadn't
already upgraded.   I've done quite a lot of work with linux in VM's with
512K and think that would be adequate to provide basic web browsing
and email but not multimedia.

<http://savethefrogs.com/donate/computer-donations.html> is looking
for 2006 vintage laptops.  Large organizations often replace laptops
after 3-4 years, so that is a good fit.

Also: <http://www.computerswithcauses.org/computer-donation-faq.htm>
in the US "Business donors can deduct the un-depreciated value of the
computer, and individuals can deduct the current market value of a

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

More information about the nSLUG mailing list