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Desktop Drought


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#1 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 08:22 PM

You may have read my other post where I was installing the latest Linux Mint on a 10 year old Dell desktop and returning it to Jean, my 90 year old client.
I'd really like to be giving her a newer desktop junker but sadly I don't have one. 10 years ago it was easy to pick up a 6-7 year old desktop and in fact the one I got for Jean was exactly that old when I obtained it in 2012. Today if I see a desktop at all it's ready for the recycle bin.
Most folks have switched away from Desktops to laptops and even tablets so when something reaches its "end of life" now it is unlikely to be a desktop. The last two machines I recycled with Linux were laptops
I would love to get an early Core i5 or even Core i3 desktop machine for Jean but sadly it just doesn't appear to be possible. She doesn't need a laptop in a seniors home. But it isn't in the cards right now.

Edited by raymac46, 04 September 2017 - 08:29 PM.

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#2 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 11:11 AM

The days of the desktop system are approaching their twilight hours. About the only folks (private, not business or commercial) who still use desktops are geeks and gamers.

#3 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 11:16 AM

Plenty of old pc's over here.

In the last year or so I have rejuvenated a 32Bit Dell for myself as a backup pc. An I have just bought a 64Bit Dell with a i3 and USB3 and W7 Pro for my sister for £130. Which is not dirt cheap but still cheap enough for a pretty modern pc. I am going to throw in another 4GB of ran for about £15 and I have donated a cheap 120GB ssd. Even with out the extra ram the old thing still flys along nicely and should handle everything sis throws at it. I would add a discrete silent gfx card but as it has onboard graphics which will handle all her requirements I decided against it.

:breakfast:

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 05 September 2017 - 11:11 AM, said:

The days of the desktop system are approaching their twilight hours. About the only folks (private, not business or commercial) who still use desktops are geeks and gamers.

An the odd barbarian :Muahaha:
Install ARCH
You'll never need to install it again
"I did and I'm really happy"

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#4 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 11:18 AM

And an old Viking of Spanish descent. ;)

#5 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 05:49 PM

It's possible to buy off lease Dells and Lenovo commercial grade desktops around Ottawa but you have to pay (the price is reasonable.) In the past I used to get them given away. Many of these commercial machines are smaller form factor so they won't take a standard power supply or full sized video card.
I don't do a lot of gaming but I need discrete video for my train sim games. My only option in future appears to be building my own desktop. My last new purchased desktop was an Acer Veriton M - a micro ATX tower that is full width. I have upgraded memory, power supply, video and added an SSD so I hope to get a few more years out of it.
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#6 OFFLINE   saturnian

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 08:41 PM

Interesting... I happen to know that people are still picking up desktop computers -- new or refurbished -- from my local Walmart. I haven't stopped in to check at any of the small, local computer stores that sell used computers, though. I use only laptops now at home, but I use them as desktop computers; most people wouldn't do that, no doubt.

#7 OFFLINE   goretsky

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 01:37 AM

Hello,

Currently putting together two desktops for testing software, but I also test on laptops.

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Aryeh Goretsky
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#8 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 08:41 AM

Laptops/notebooks are great if you're still working or if you want portability. However for robustness, longevity, cooling, big screen, ability to upgrade you really can't beat a desktop. A retiree is generally better off with a desktop although many of them have been sold laptops as a replacement.
Another thing I really like about desktops is that you can have a cheap SSD for the operating system and a larger capacity mechanical drive for storage. Lots of room for that sort of thing in the case
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#9 OFFLINE   Pete!

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 09:35 AM

View Postraymac46, on 06 September 2017 - 08:41 AM, said:

Laptops/notebooks are great if you're still working or if you want portability. However for robustness, longevity, cooling, big screen, ability to upgrade you really can't beat a desktop. A retiree is generally better off with a desktop although many of them have been sold laptops as a replacement.
Another thing I really like about desktops is that you can have a cheap SSD for the operating system and a larger capacity mechanical drive for storage. Lots of room for that sort of thing in the case
Re: Retirees..... as we age:

We become more "farsighted", a full size monitor can be set at a comfortable viewing distance, without regards to the best location for the keyboard.


We lose hearing in higher frequencies, a full size speaker transmits enough bass to be heard. Larger, more powerful, external speakers are an option.


A full size keyboard and mouse are comparable with clumsy arthritic fingers, there are even mice specifically designed for arthritis.



#10 OFFLINE   wa4chq

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 10:17 AM

Hi all...
My desktop is in storage.  :(  I wanted to get into video editing so I put one together early 2k..... I had some of the parts from other desktops but the majority came from NewEgg.  It was pretty hi-tech (for me :) )back then.  I had three hd's with a hd switch....Slackware 9.1 on one HD, Windoze 98 on another and the last I'd play with other Linux distros.  I bought my first flat screen monitor a few years later.  I put it away around 2010-2011.  About 2 years ago I brought it out just to see if it still worked and to see if I remembered my passwords!   The p/s fans and the video card needed some gentle persuasion but she booted up.  Maybe sometime in the near future I can get out and use it full time again.....

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#11 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 10:23 AM

Another thing that's happened locally. A few years ago people would drop off used PCs at the local thrift shop so you could pick one up really cheaply. Today with all the concerns about privacy, viruses etc the thrift shop no longer accepts used PCs - they go straight to the recycler.
I have seen a couple of decent used desktops lately but in each case I convinced the owner that he could still get some life out of the machine if he installed Linux. The architect of my own destruction as it were. :w00tx100:
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#12 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 10:30 AM

View Postwa4chq, on 06 September 2017 - 10:17 AM, said:

Hi all...
My desktop is in storage.  :(  I wanted to get into video editing so I put one together early 2k..... I had some of the parts from other desktops but the majority came from NewEgg.  It was pretty hi-tech (for me :) )back then.  I had three hd's with a hd switch....Slackware 9.1 on one HD, Windoze 98 on another and the last I'd play with other Linux distros.  I bought my first flat screen monitor a few years later.  I put it away around 2010-2011.  About 2 years ago I brought it out just to see if it still worked and to see if I remembered my passwords!   The p/s fans and the video card needed some gentle persuasion but she booted up.  Maybe sometime in the near future I can get out and use it full time again.....

You can fix up your own old junkers but there are limits to what you can give away to someone else. Right now I don't want to work on anything that isn't 64 bit and probably dual core or better. The machine that Jean currently has is about the minimum I'd consider.
I have a 10 year window and anything older than that will have technology that is too obsolete - IDE or SATA 1, 32 bit, USB 1.1, DDR or DDR2 memory.
Jean's machine could use another 2 GB of DDR2 but it's expensive, I don't have any here to put in it. She doesn't want to pay for anything and I've already given her the machine, a wifi card, a Video card plus installed and configured it.

Edited by raymac46, 06 September 2017 - 10:30 AM.

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#13 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 06:15 AM

I just bought a used Dell Precision T3400 off of Ebay for 55.00. These represent a great
price/performance point for those of us who don't need the latest/greatest. I have several
of those now. Works great. I did have to surgically extract an 1/8in stereo plug where
some careless person had snapped it off in the socket. A tiny PCB drill and equally tiny
forceps did the job. Voila- audio. Oh, and this one is pretty fast- the only one I have with
a quad processor. It's pretty fast even on the 240G HDD it came with. I have a fast 128G
SSD I'm going to put in 'soon'. I love the old desktops, and especially the Dell Precision
series because they are so darned easy to work on. Well thought out mechanical
design- and I think it's right around 10 years old.

Wish I lived nearer to you Ray. I have several old P4 machines not getting much use...
But all 32 bit...

Edited by Cluttermagnet, 07 September 2017 - 06:23 AM.

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#14 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 07:50 AM

Thanks Clutter but I've pretty well given up on 32 bit P4s too. The machine Jean has is a dual core 64 bit - one of the early C2D processors.Processor isn't really its problem. It needs more memory but can only take a max of 4 GB.
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