I’ve bought three computers for myself in my life. Two of them were at that time the latest new, last one I brought was circa 4 years old when bought. I got ripped off in that purchase, but I’m still happy. I used that computer for almost a year and was happy with it (though not in the price I paid for it).
So nowadays when home appliences stores advertize for “a cheap computer that can be used for surfing and office applications only 600€“, I’ve got this strange feeling of trying to warn people from getting ripped off. Most of the people I know don’t really need a computer worth of 600€s; most people I know use their computers for doing some text processing, perhaps fiddle around with some spreadsheets and slide shows, do some lightweight programming, manage their photograph collection and surf the Net in all its various forms.
So getting a used computer isn’t in my opinion such a bad idea after all. The problem is that people don’t like buying old, used stuff. I think it’s a crying shame and waste of money, natural resources and effort, but what can you do?
Actually there is something one can do. I did it. We have compulsory course of trainershipment, and we have to have a short three hour class on some subject related with computers and software. I wanted originally keep it on the subject of Ubuntu, but I found a great companion to do the course with and so we are keeping it on the subject of “To Information superhighway with diesel – or expenses under control and getting a computer at home”. The course is aimed mainly for first year students who usually have to buy a computer for themselves and have little or no money for it. But apparently all the students are either rich or don’t need a computer since there’s been only two enrollments. *sigh*