Anything about old PCs, their uses, related OSes and their users
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This market is very variable, depends on specific demand. So, knowing the buyers closely will help. It is vital to watch the market for this and keep on learning not only about where to buy old PCs but also to see who buys them, for how much and also what kind of PCs.
Based on the above links, my old PC is presently worthless for resale. Perhaps, another 10 or 20 years down the road it may be worth atleast 500 bucks, half of what I paid for it. I am probably getting more worth from it by using it well. Here is another site about antiques: http://antiques.about.com/
One great thing about using older PC and older software is that I haven't see any flash, popup
ads. or adult stuff online. This greatly helps maintain focus and reduce uptime. It feels
so clean and free, peaceful also.
As opposed to going to stores that sell new stuff and seeing their flyers etc., It will be interesting to go to these stores
that sell old PCs, chat with the folks there and develop a friendship with them. It must be hard
to sell stuf at such low prices. Also, will be nice to see what else they sell, what other services
they offer. It will also be a learning experience to know what kind of IT stuff they throw,
how often and where. If some of this is useful, then perhaps they can be salvaged.
They may also have info. on what happens to other really old PCs, who their users are etc.,
If they have so many old PCs to sell and are over stocked, then they may even sell them at
3 for 20 bucks each as a lot. However, if they are real pressed to find buyers, in the next few weeks,
they may even drop it down to 20bucks per PC, then this will b excellent for parts,
price of ethernet card alone is like 15 bucks or so new. It is hard to find a new SCSI drive,
these PCs mostly have them. It will also be interesting to dumpster dive around these stores.
I was and am still very happy with floppy drives, floppy disks again. They are sufficient
for text typing. For the most part, I use pen and paper also still, I have been using ball point pens
but may get back to fountain pens again. This helps to reduce the uptime of my PC also.
It will not be fair if I am not sincere about the challenges of using older software here. I downloaded 6 EBooks from gutenberg and it became a 30mts. mini project. Links doesn't load the search page in gutenberg properly, lynx is still blocked by proxy, so I had to use seamonkey which is super slow on this old PC. My net direct file download program also doesn't work as it is blocked by proxy.
A good solution to this is to create a TEST PUPPY PERSONAL FILE and do all testing under that profile, specially anything new and doubtful. That way if there are any issues, this profile can be deleted. Only once it is found to be acceptable must it be installed to the mail puppy file.
Also, best to try as many things as possible in advance and don't wait for last minute rush. Better to know system limitations in advance.
Also, to be sincere, Deli Linux is still just alpha and leaves a lot to be desired. Unless one has a lot of time and is interested in testing etc., it is best left alone at this stage.
Someone is giving away a Pent 3 PC for free on local freecycle as his hard drive crashed. Haven't seen any other offers for free PCs locally. So, this can sort of be considered the baseline old PC locally. Anything older has probably been recycled or stored in attic. For that matter, even I had my P2 stored away for 7 years almost.
Inorder for something to gain real antique value, it must have a special significance, must be unique, very few of the same type around and there must be a good buyer with a lot of money who sees value in this product. The 386, P1 and P2s are far from this for now. They can even be called Free PCs, where one can try to give them away for free and see if someone else even wants them. It appears that several are beginning to avoid these older PCs as not only do they give slow performance today, they also consume too much power. So, businesses try to get rid of these PCs more these days.
In the future, in 3 to 5 years, one can expect more used laptops in market as these were purchased more. Lastly, with time we can expect the pi like devices to be sold as an entire kit in stores like Walmart, Target etc., for 25 to 50 bucks that are made in bulk in China. In 10 years we may even see them in dollar + stores. Already these dollar stores are carrying scientific calculators that were expensive in the past. Once, things go this route, the older desktops will be shunned.
We can see this law in reality today clearly. It is creating a Tsunami of change in the IT world for sure.
However, when one is hungry and wishes to have a simple meal in peace(old PC), this is like being forced to eat a restaurant(Power of present, future PCs). Also, when eating this, the meal is upgraded and one is forced to eat more and more. There is no end to this, in the longer run just as eating in excess causes one to be sick, excess computing power can cause the small user to get mentally tired when he/she is forced to use all this. So, old PCs are Zen and peaceful in this regard.
EDIT: In contrast, if the present trend continues, 5 to 10 years down the road, we may even have 100Gig or even 1Tb operating systems. This may be useful for some special purpose, but for most routine tasks for the common man is such bloatware needed ?
There is one hope for more use of older PCs. This is the decline of retail industry and malls. Desktop prices are as low as possible in retail stores and can't get any lower I was advised. There are more and more dead malls where a lot of IT stores exist. End of these communities and the associated malls means lesser cash to go around, lesser local stores to buy PCs from. Hence, more folks may be forced to use older PCs as long as possible and look to buy a used PC once it dies. Time will tell if this is true. Some interesting links to dead malls follow: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_mall http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/1875...of-dead-malls/ http://www.deadmalls.com/
Most of us with an older PC have never opened a laptop. However, it is vital to know about opening a laptop as the insides of these also tend to get dusty with time and need to be cleaned. There are 3 parts to this, here is the link to the first one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS2ol0ZsYuo
once each part is viewed, the next part comes up automatically.
We all agree that due to system requirements, older PCs are less desirable for browsing current, main stream sites. Moreover, we agree that with time, parts get harder to find for older PCs. So, if one really likes their old PC and also wishes to conserve power, then using pen and paper to do most tasks is an alternative. Only those that can't be done with pen and paper, or typing notes of vital points can be done on PC.
There are several who love using pen and paper and review them. It is not hard to get into them and is a pleasurable experience. Here is one forum about fountain pens in this regard: http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/
I used pen/paper for most of my writing today and then used color pencils for drawing, coloring landscapes. Here online very briefly. This is also good for the eyes and saves eye strain.
I got a free server just now from local freecycle. A very nice and kind person was offering this without the OS. So most didn't want it. I emailed him with a link to this thread, he was impressed and offered it to me. I just collected it and returned. Thanks again for his kindness and generosity.
It is a P4 with Raid, floppy drive, DVD rom drive etc., Real big case, there is some snow outside but managed to carry it home. Will try it later and see how it goes.
If I come across anymore older free PCs, I might keep them for spare parts or I might put an OS on them and then give it to someone else in return, or I may even give it to the Salvation Army.
I am almost tempted to volunteer at the salvation army for any old PCs they get. It will be an interesting experience, will see.
Yes, thanks. Whenever I am wrong here, I will be the first to admit it. There is one person offering an ipad2 on local freecycle. I said here ebfore that we will not see smaller items given on freecycle as it doesn't help much with declutter. I never expected this ipad2 offer. For now, I am going to assume that this is a random, one time happening. Will watch and see if there are further trends.
As an aside, I am not using old PCs to annoy anyone or prove any point, resist anything etc., Someone asked me this yesterday, so I feel others may also have similar questions. I just feel more comfortable using older PCs and am just trying to save old hardware, use it as long as possible.
EDIT: I met a few on the puppy linux chat on IRC, who are also like me. They have newer hardware but also use their old PCs.
If someone is annoyed by Linux and old technology, then befriend them, get to know them and try to develop a long term relationship with them for declutter when they upgrade. Even if this means buying from them at a cheaper rate. Then this will be a good opportunity.
I just got offered a P3 tower with hard drive crashed. It is snowing outside, once this stops in a few days, I will try to collect this also.
Meanwhile, if there is an old PC that can be restored using Linux, then it increases its value and can be given to someone else or even bartered for other goods. If it can't be recovered, then its parts can be used, sold or bartered. In the last few days I have also seen printers, scanners etc., offered on local freecycle. These can also be bartered if they can be made working or even used as such.
Lastly, if no one wants it, atleast collect the hardware and keep for sometime if convenient. Try to think creative uses for it. Specially, look close to moving days(Univ., company closure etc.,)
Also, going to stores that sell used PCs and getting to know folks there seems to be more and more a good idea. See what kind of stuff they don't need and are forced to trash out etc., Know as many people as possible for this both online and in person. Keep in touch with them and try to offer something in return. Even if nothing else comes out of it, at least one gets some good chats.