Looking back, looking around, looking ahead

I never mentioned the fates of those computers I sold off last month: the Inspiron and the Pavilion. As you can see for yourself, the Inspiron finished at around US$112 for the entire set, and the Pavilion at around US$202.

I am nonplussed about the results; naturally I would have liked both machines to have recouped more of their value, but for all the trash-talking I do about ebay, it does level the field, so to speak. I never feel like I paid more — or was paid more — or less than the actual market value on an item. ebay might be a wet dog in my book, but at least it’s a level market, so to speak.

And really, the value in those computers is to be determined by the people who use them. I had the Inspiron for four or five years, grew to love it, and when I realized I was holding the functional value over the sentimental value, it became time to move on. And the Pavilion … well, the Pavilion was a challenge way back in 2006. Now it was just an unusual piece of work.

I have my eyes on a couple of other machines in the local area, that might be viable resells. I had never noticed the market before a few months ago, but when foreigners move to Japan they occasionally bring machines with them, and as luck would have it they do occasionally break down. And since the lack of a Japanese keyboard makes them nearly valueless here (speaking specifically to laptops, of course), it’s almost worth the price of shipping it back to its country of origin for auctioning off.

Kind of a bizarre niche market though. And not something I think I would actively pursue.

For my own uses, I am still keeping my eyes open for a new workhorse. My experiences with Thinkpads has made me partial to those machines, and I have seen a few secondhand machines for sale in electronics shops and local computer stores that have tempted me. I don’t know enough about particular models — or at least no more than what ThinkWiki tells me — but I have seen X40s, one or two T41’s and a T61p in local stores, usually at a decent price.

For my own part, cruising through the ‘wiki suggests a G40 or a T30 might be interesting to me, but I would like to hear some direct reviews on models before I clamp down on one. I have skimmed through the Thinkpad owner’s thread in the Ubuntu Forums, and seen a few enthusiastic responses. I take those as better endorsements than any other.

In any case, a processor with at least 2.4Ghz in it, a decent video card and an easy-to-use network card are my priorities. Things like USB2.0, a DVD burner and maybe wireless are also bonuses. Memory and hard drives are easy to replace. With that short list, it shouldn’t take me long to find a winner. 😀


6 thoughts on “Looking back, looking around, looking ahead

  1. MK

    I am rather shocked too. 2.4Ghz and decent graphics!? Somehow, I must have assumed the trend was going the other way, P2 and next to no graphics. What happened?

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      Well, I realized a few months ago that I was keeping the Inspiron around for its processing muscle (what little there was of that). That, coupled with a need to creep forward a little technologywise, and I started thinking that something circa 2003 might be a good idea.

      And since Pentium 4s are now old and slow, it doesn’t feel like I would be moving out of the basement. 😀

      1. mulenmar

        You could always get a netbook that doesn’t have that stinkin’ Poulsbo chipset. Perhaps not the best CPU and graphics to date, but they can get great battery life. My Acer Aspire One a0751h gets at least the same performance as my 1GHz Pentium 3 machine does, and that’s with only the fbdev xorg driver. (Blame the Poulsbo chipset again.)

        Of course, my netbook has the 1.33GHz Atom cpu rather than the standard 1.6GHz, so most netbooks probably have slightly better performance than mine.

  2. Rickard

    I have been owner of both a X40 and a X61 which is my current machine. I must say that both is really nice. My only beef with the X40 is that it uses a 1.8″ hard drive which is a bit hard to replace. If i’m not remembering wrong the bios of the X40 has a white list over which 1.8″ drives that it likes which i think was due to some chip bug so it can’t handle all types of 1.8″ drives. The X60 – X61 uses normal 2.5″ drives, but are still quite expensive. Anyway, the X40 is the best laptop i ever owned, it’s damn small. I really like my current too though which is running ARCH.


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