Buying A Used Computer

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grandpaw7

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I want to buy an inexpensive, used computer for a friend who has an old pre-pentium computer and who uses it very little. While, using Juno, she can get email from me, she cannot access any attachments I send her, such as website pages, nor can she access email from me which include graphics or pictures. Nor can she listen to anything I might send her that includes sound. I want her to be able to acess those things.

Does anyone have a recommendation as to a fairly reliable place where I might shop for a used computer?

Plus, I don't know for sure what to look for. I know I should be concerned about processor speed (I want about 200 MHz), HDD size (need only a very little, like 2GB or less), modem, sound card, RAM (I have 56,000KB and it has been quite enough; she could do with a much smaller amount), color, OS (Win95 or 98). But I'm not sure what all it takes to have sound and some graphics capability. And I don't understand many of the specs I see listed for used computers I have looked at online. My friend does not need CD Rom capability and really doesn't need floppy capability.

I would appreciate any comments that might put me in a better position to know what I am doing.

Thanks, grandpaw
 

~Candy~

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Hi grandpaw,

I would suggest looking in your local newspaper. As people want newer and faster machines, they tend to sell their 'older' ones for reasonable amounts.....plus you get the chance to see it set up and working before you buy it......

In the Las Vegas area the last time I was there, I saw Pentium II 450 mhz going for around $400. Kinda makes you want to cry if you spent well over $1500 for one.......technology...isn't it wonderful! ;)
 
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is this strictly for email? or is there anytime it is used for anything else? if it is just for email, then she doesn't even need a computer. I know there are some really, really inexpensive things that strictly do email (I don't know of any good ones off hand), and I think some can handle graphics and music. When we built our new house we put it on the home tour and this company was going to give us one of their things that are just like that in exchange for the advertising it would bring in, and it handled email, internet browsing and music and video files (streaming) They backed out so we didn't get it but it was supposed to be pretty inexpensive. (I think $100 to $150)
 

~Candy~

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And BTW, grandpaw, who is this 'she' friend of yours????? :D
 

grandpaw7

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AcaCandy, thanks for the suggestion. I will do that.

BUT I'M HOPING TO GET SOME INPUT ON WHAT SPECS I SHOULD HAVE IN MIND WHEN I SHOP. PARTICULARLY, WHAT KIND OF SPECS SHOULD I LOOK FOR TO KNOW SHE WILL HAVE SOUND AND BASIC GRAPHICS AND BE ABLE TO OPEN EMAIL ATTACHMENTS WITH THESE?

ALSO, CONSIDERING MY SIMPLE NEEDS, I DON'T KNOW IF I SHOULD HAVE ANY CONCERN FOR THE MODEL I BUY. FOR EXAMPLE, IF IT WOULD MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE WHETHER I GOT A COMPAQ PRESARIO OR A COMPAG DESKPRO, OR WHETHER I GOT AN HP PAVAILLION OR AN HP SOMETHING ELSE, ETC. I PRESUME THAT FOR MY NEEDS IT MAKES LITTLE DIFFERENCE. BUT AM I WRONG?

Deuce_mn, thanks to you as well. The trouble with the kind of things I know about, such as WebTV, charge a "nice" monthly price for the service. My friend would want to continue using free juno.

grandpaw
 

~Candy~

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Grandpaw, DON'T YELL AT ME! :mad:

Now you made me cry....... :(

Try to stay away from a Compaq if you can.....pretty much if you get something like a Gateway or Dell or even an HP pentium II 450, it's gonna have everything your friend is going to need....but have them start it up for you and test everything.
 
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for somewhere around $400 (sob, yes i too spent $1500 a few years ago) you should look for:

pentium II, 200 - 450 mhz
2 - 8 Gb hdd
56k modem
64 Mb ram (although 32 would probably do ok for what you say she needs)
video and sound cards
floppy drive (they all have them)
and probably a 8x - 16x cd rom
windows 98 preferably, but W95 is good enough for limited use as you've described

sounds like you have a good handle on it already in terms of what you want,
- if the display is decent and sound comes out of the internal speaker then that's about as technical as you need

netscape or ms mail and browser free software will enable her to receive, open, & view graphics - any file attachments though may need office 97 or 2000 or similar to open them (if you meant word processing, spreadsheet, etc)

look around for a computer trade in place, the price will likely be a bit more, but the machines will come with software on them and guaranteed to run (at least till you get it home)
 
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Hi grandpaw7

The reason your friend may not be getting attachments, etc, may be that she is using the free Juno. (Some one will correct me if I am wrong about this). I seem to remember that they have a size limit on this service or may not support attachments with the free version. So upgrading her computer may not help if she continues to use Juno. Also you want a computer with a cdrom and floppy drive. If the computer needs to be reloaded it is much easier with these.
 

grandpaw7

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Sorry, AcaCandy, sometimes I just can't suppress the male chauvinist pig in me. I'll never oink at you again. I'd tell you to have a nice day but you might accuse me of being bossy for telling you what kind of day to have.

My thanks to AcaCandy, Lurker1, jbcalg for the additional input.

grandpaw
 

grandpaw7

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My dear sweet AcaCandy (we old men are entitled to do that), just to tell you that you sure have the TechGuy on your team. He sent me three letters advising me of your post. Maybe because he made you cry some time back there. grandpaw
 

~Candy~

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Thank you Grandpaw, sent you a PM as well.....

I didn't really take you serious, I just figured you fell asleep on the cap lock for a few sentences :D

Hope all is well with the little grand daughter too. ;)
 
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