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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:57 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:00 am
Posts: 85
Last year, about mid summer, I got some great deals online at auction of county.city surplus electronics, as practically no one was bidding. I was able to pick pallets with a dozen or so old towers with windows xp, or 98, or vista for as little as one dollar per unit. Missing hard drives, still a profitable scrapping buy, as the twenty pound steel case more or less recovered my initial investment.
Throughout the autumn, more bidders began to bid, and often I would stop bidding when the price reached about two or three dollars per unit...again, I was buying strictly for scrap.
As of now, the competition has become too fierce for me. This month, the heavy duty field laptops went for around 30 to 50 dollars per unit, and even the Dell towers went in excess of twenty dollars each.
Last month, there were several lots that went for 14 or 15 dollars per pallet, or about 3 or 4 dollars each unit, but I had neglected to enter a higher maximum prebid, as I was expecting to bid online live. Most of those lots went for a dollar more per pallet than my max bid, with only one other bidder than me.
I did have a friendly conversation with a gentleman who had outbid me on one pallet from police surplus, where he mentioned he had installed a harddrive in a couple of the machines, costing him $50 bucks each for the hard drive, but then he sold two machines for $150-$200 each.

Now for the second part of this post: I still have a half dozen of the optiplex towers without hard drives, and a couple of smaller dell box type computers. One of these was fully working, except the main system was password protected, but it had another operation system, I forget the name, that one could use to access the internet, etc, just couldn't download or save anything.
So, a couple weeks ago, I ordered the "Xtra PC" flash drive, which is a USB stick with the Linux operating system, which supposedly allows you to boot up and use a computer that is missing a hard drive, or else just make your existing unit faster and better. I haven't tried it yet, so have no info to report on its function.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:57 pm
Posts: 7802
Location: Low DOS
Auctions rarely stay quiet for long.
Sorry users, but there’s reason I don’t post where I buy from outside of the obvious.
I’ve pointed out the obvious before though. You will eventually be bidding against the refurb market.
You can pick up a 20GB or 50GB ATA solid state drive for around $20. 120G SATA for $35.

As for passwords? Good for data protection. Bad for protection of hardware.
OS password just format the hard drive and install a new OS.
BIOS password? Swap out the bios chip with a new one. Brand new. $15 or less on eBay.
EFI and UEFI are a bit more difficult. You need to understand rom flashing etc.
But download and install OFI over the UEFI. They return to the board manufacturer site and download the UEFI flashing tool. And flash UEFI over OFI.

No hard drive? You have found one solution.
Or use a live CD or Live DVD. All nix and BSD Derivatives have a few options.
Look at the distro watch site for help.
Windows 10 also has live Windows to Go.
But that adds $80-$199 to the price.
Want a Mac compatible option on your PC? Darwin live. No Apple App Store but most non-store binaries will run.

It’s not all that difficult for the most novice of users to get a system from 1995 up and running let alone modern ones.
Generally it’s a failed part. But even electrical issues... the older the machine the bigger the components the easier the soldering.

Fixing an 8086 or Apple ][ or Commodore or kit computer is more about searching out the component number, waiting to find the part, and 2 minutes of playing with a $10 soldering stick to pop the old and seal the new.
Don’t over think it. “Pins” go in “holes”. Clean up when your done. just like reproductive activities.
That’s exactly how an old Professor explained it.
It’s that simple.

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-- my grades are my own and do not represent an offer from boardsort, nor are they guaranteed. Please keep that in mind.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:39 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:00 am
Posts: 85
Another online auction, and Meowpher is begging for table scraps and raiding dumpsters, because he could not afford the lot prices this time. Dell and Getac and other laptops, which I used to turn my nose up at $10 bucks each went for $600 plus for lots of 6 at auction. However, I had been in the local Walmart, and they didn't have a single laptop in stock. Same deal with the Dell Optiplex with no harddrive at auction...25 to 40 each, and these were Windows XP era.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 1:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:57 pm
Posts: 7802
Location: Low DOS
Consider entering the refurb markets? I you can’t outbid them, join them?
Lol.
The retro market rebound is going to make entries level scrap difficult.

You may need to change up your auction searches. Surplus is no longer in the scrap category.

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-- my grades are my own and do not represent an offer from boardsort, nor are they guaranteed. Please keep that in mind.


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