NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, October 2010
A $2.50 Pentium 4 Desktop Computer
By Bill Pryor, Internet SIG Coordinator,
Lehigh Valley Computer Group, Pennsylvania April 2010 Issue,
The LVCG Journal, Monthly news for the Lehigh Valley Computer Group

bpryor (at) ptd.net (click to email author)

Boy what a beautiful day today was. The sun was shining, the birds were greeting, and the trees and flowers are coming into bloom. The terrific snow banks are gone, and today, believe it or not, all the flea market people were out at the Quakertown Q-Mart outside.

Around 12 PM today, I came across a table with three CRT monitors, 2 keyboards, a tower PC, and an old Gateway computer, and the guy there said, “Give me ten bucks.” I said, “I’ll just take the computers.” And then he said, “You can take everything for $5 bucks.” And so I did take the two computers, not knowing exactly what I had gotten, or if they would work!

I brought the tower PC home, and took a look at it. I plugged it in, hooked up the keyboard and mouse, and noted the supplied network card, and plugged in my Internet router to it. When it booted up it had an XP operating system with service pack 2 on it with the updates shut-off. It had an Intel Pentium 4, 2.8 GHz, 500 Megs of RAM, and Intel motherboard (which I like best); 4-USB functioning slots, an 80 GB Seagate hard drive, a 50X CD player, 3-1/2” floppy, and Iomega floppy drive as well!

When it first booted up it was a little unstable. But most of the hard drive was open with few programs on it. It even had office 2003 on it, and when I opened up the IE 7 browser that was there, the MSN network came up beautifully, and the Internet runs perfectly on it. First I removed some of the strange looking programs that I did not need or care for. I took off the installed out-of-date Symantec virus checker, along with the “Live Update” which I do not like, and replaced it with the free AVG 9. I then used the free Eusing Registry Cleaner which took off 250 superfluous lines from the Registry, and then ran the Malware cleaner, and the anti-virus 9 that did not detect anything, and then defragged the drive.

Here is a fine machine with an operating system installed, a hard drive, floppies, CD, and USB, Internet ready, with a little software to clean up, and it is ready to go! Something like this is much more powerful than a new $300 Netbook, and even powerful enough to run graphic programs of this vintage!

I do not know, but I am having more fun lately reviving the dead than buying the latest and greatest every minute. And with all the old parts and software around, almost anything can be replaced with a little patience and very low cost. It is certainly uncanny so much amazing technology is being ignored and discarded everywhere.

Why when $2.50 won’t even get you into a computer show, how about buying a whole computer ready to go? „

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