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Opinions for Dell Inspiron replacement?


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#1 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 11 November 2016 - 06:37 PM

Evening, all. 

 

The time has come, I think, to put my old Dell Inspiron 1100 out to pasture.

 

It has one of those CMOS batteries that's soldered to the mobo. I'm not confident in my abilities to replace this darn thing....and I seriously doubt I'd find a decent replacement mobo for it!

 

Added to which, the P4 seriously sucks (slow ain't the word....only SSE2s, natch), the inverter on the display is getting very iffy (in fact I think it went this morning).....and she will no longer boot. At all.

 

(And it's nearly 14 yrs old.....)

 

I just don't think there's any point sinking more money into it, much as I've grown attached to her. So.....

 

(Before anybody makes the suggestion, I just am not in the market for nearly new stuff with huge amounts of RAM, insanely powerful CPUs, high-end graphics cards, etc...my budget simply will not stretch to such gear, much as I would like it to..!)

 

I'm considering something like a Dell Latitude lappie. Intel Core Duo CPU, 2 GB DDR2 RAM, refurbished, ex-business model, fully tested, etc, etc.....for around £50-60. I'm curious as to other people's opinions of this choice; has anybody else got any positive (or negative) experiences with one of these?

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fast-LAPTOP-Dell-Latitude-D520-Intel-Dual-Core-2-GB-RAM-80-GB-HDD-WINDOWS-7/271869177531?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D38661%26meid%3D6daec678b0ba438e87447f6a41237260%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D6%26mehot%3Dag%26sd%3D301992699611

 

Any opinions will be welcome. I need to move slightly more into the modern world.....but sticking with Puppy, of course!

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 11 November 2016 - 09:02 PM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

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Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

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#2 NickAu

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Posted 11 November 2016 - 07:30 PM

That would make a great Puppy box.

 

 

 

Have you tried a pawn broker? They usually have good stuff and are willing to haggle, also the classifieds in the local news paper?

 

I got a HP laptop, Intel I5 4200u 8 GiB of ram 500 GiB hdd for $200, It was advertised on a community notice board near a back packers hostel, Look around you will be surprised at whats out here.



#3 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 11 November 2016 - 07:58 PM

Hiya, Nick.

 

Oh, I know there's some real bargains to be had out there, simply for the looking. The one I've linked to is only an indicator of the sort of thing I'm looking for; there's no end in that kinda price/spec range. And like you say, I think it'd be pretty good for Puppy, too.

 

We have a strange situation with the local councils here in the UK, at the moment. Time was, you could go have a scout round your local recycling centre, spot something you liked the look of, and probably walk away with it. Not any more. Since the UK gov't have been cutting back on the council's annual allowances, as soon as something so much as touches the tarmac, that's it; as far as the council is concerned, that then belongs to them. It's their property. Y'see, they now have their own 'shops' on site; they now want to sell it to you, rather than let you walk away with somebody else's 'junk. Even if you transfer something straight from somebody else's car to your own, they're watching like hawks.....and they get very snotty with you for doing so. Funny lot!

 

I'm not looking to get summat for probably another 3-4 weeks.....but I'm having a 'nosey' to see what's about. I'll probably change my mind yet; that one, although dual-core, with SSE3s and virtualisation tech, is only 32-bit; I'd prefer 64-bit. Some of the later Latitudes have Core 2 Duos, which are 64-bit. But that's the sort of price range I'm looking at, y'see.... I'll probably stick with Dells, if I can; I've had a lot of positive experiences with 'em over the years. They're good boxes, where Linux is concerned....usually.

 

Just wondering about other folk's views... Any and all advice is welcome!

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 11 November 2016 - 08:01 PM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 


#4 DeimosChaos

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Posted 12 November 2016 - 11:20 PM

Hey Mike!

I have a Dell E6400. Works great for Linux! Just upgraded it to 4GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD drive. Running Ubuntu and even have a Windows 7 VM (using to test some AVs for work). I had gotten the laptop for free, but I bet there are tons of refurbished ones out there for good prices.

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#5 cat1092

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 03:55 AM

Mike, while I don't know if the resources in your region, there is one thing I do know never to purchase on eBay again, refurbished (or really used) notebooks. Second hand notebooks were also once listed in Consumer Reports as one of the worst Top 10 purchases to make, and was supported by many facts. One of which would seem kind of unlikely for a business professional, on the other hand I know how some treated their free cars refurnished every three years. Many of these notebooks are slung in the rear seat, the trunk, as they're going from one meeting to the next (one reason why the Latitudes were popular, they'd take a beating), and like the cars & cell phones, they could care less, because they knew first off, that there was an IT team for a repair/replacement, secondly they'd get a new one every three years. :)

 

Then once the corporation traded up to new models, or lease on those expired, those would be sold in bulk to the highest bidder, often a middle agent to redistribute in smaller lots to eBay & other sellers. Then, finally sold to end users as 'off-lease' computers that had been cared for by a dedicated IT team, making it look the same as purchasing an off-lease company vehicle. While some will luck out and get a model from an employee who cared for as though their own, this is rare, and by far not the rule. Many (including myself) dogged these cars, flooring the accelerator at every stoplight & slamming on the brakes at the next, the only maintenance I had to perform was filling the car with fuel, with their card, of course. So with a new one coming in every three years, why baby it? On the other hand, we had a BYOD policy at my level, so of course I took care of my notebook, though had to have a different account for business than personal, with the data on a second partition, and this was when having a 40GiB HDD was a big deal, it was purchased at a bankruptcy auction with a 20GiB model for $500. Came with a carry case, extra power adapter, and though it had only 256MB RAM, I would later find out via a 3rd party source that Dell lied about the max RAM it would run. Their docs showed 1GB DDR (512MB x2), when in fact it would hold & run 2GB (1GB x2), which again, was a big deal in 2000, as many had as little as 128MB RAM installed on W2K/early XP computers. :thumbsup:

 

BTW, that Dell lying cycle would repeat itself when my mother-in-law gave me a Dell Dimension 2400. Once again, their specs stated 1GB max, yet the Crucial System scanner stated 2GB & was right. Dell lies over & over again. Even installed a fake PCIe x4 socket in the XPS 8700. Physically it was one, electrically was a x1 socket & none of their 'Rockstars' had an answer. Finally a Dell 'liaison' came forward with the truth in regards to the matter. That model was dogged by issues, notably the months when many were returned because these wouldn't accept a NVIDIA GTX 970/980 GPU & it was all Dell's fault, not NVIDIA. Finally firmware was released to fix the issue, but the damage was done. Still, it was a long running model, over 2.25 years. And the XPS 8900 that replaced it was as bad, while they included a M.2 socket for those type of SSD's, it was a 2nd gen one, when the next (3rd gen) had been released two years prior. Customers received empty words of apology for their investment. It's the little things that are killing Dell, wouldn't have cost more than a dollar per PC to have a 3rd gen slot. And would have costed at the most, a couple of dollars to include twin 4 pin CPU power connectors, rather than a single, which starves the included i7's for power & induces random freezing (not a BSOD), everything freezes as shown. 

 

While some of the 'refurbishers' makes their listing look good, all most are doing are cleaning the exterior, maybe blast a bit of air in the exhaust (w/out securing the fan), and I've had two that were nasty as crap within the interior. One of which I believe notebooks & autos were worked on in the same shop, because one of the RAM modules had a greasy fingerprint on the label which I took a picture of & carefully wiped off. Odd thing was, the green sticker on the bottom stated that it was refurbished at an 'authorized' Dell center. Of course, that could had been to the customer prior to myself. 

 

While I was once a notebook enthusiast, mainly because had to have one as part of my prior employment until early 2006, eventually drifted to desktops, which are more solid, and one gets more hardware per dollar spent. Of course, if this is for work, then you may not have a say in the matter. By chance, I once had two notebooks that were very close in model to the Latitude you shown above, mine were the D610's, and prior to that, a C640. All were single core, 32 bit models. Today, you most certainly want 64 bit, as support for 32 bit are dropping as though hot coals. To be honest, was surprised to see a 32 bit Ubuntu 16.04, and will be shocked out of my pants come two more years to see a 32 bit 18.04, because it costs hard cash to upkeep these on the software level to a shrinking user base that cannot be denied. :)

 

I don't make the last sentence above lightly, over 7 years back when Windows 7 was released, close to 15-20% of the Topics were about 'should I go with 32 or 64 bit'. Once Windows 8 was released in 2012, there were few such questions, and it was recommended beginning with Ubuntu 12.04 & Linux Mint 13, if one has 64 bit hardware, then install that OS version. Prior to then, 32 bit was recommended to most everyone, I presume because a lack of driver database. That hasn't been the case for some time, by chance 2012 was also the year that Ubuntu & Linux Mint (same versions mentioned) had NVMe SSD support, long before many Windows users heard rumors of the technology (maybe mSATA at best). Again, this goes to show that Linux is widely used by professionals across the World. 

 

As far as advice on what to get, if used, no need to spend a pile of cash, otherwise you'll be wishing you had want to the nearest Walmart (or similar retailer) & purchasing one of their lower end computers, as long as not Acer/Gateway, for a USD value range of $288-348, converted into your currency. At least you'd have an OEM warranty, and may be offered a 2 or 3 year warranty at point of sale (usually 3 year if from the Internet). 

 

Other than that, all I can suggest is to ask around, maybe you have a relative or friend with a slightly older, yet still 64 bit notebook that you could get at a bargain price. :)

 

Good Luck with finding one that's right for your needs! :thumbup2:

 

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#6 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 09:06 AM

Hi, Cat.

 

Mmm. Y'know, I can't help thinking that you and I have totally different mindsets on this matter. I get the impression that you like the most up-to-date, powerful hardware you can get....brand new if at all possible. Also that you don't mind throwing 100s of $$$$s at your hobby....!

 

Me, on the other hand, well.....I actually enjoy taking older tech hardware, from wherever, in whatever condition, and seeing what it's still capable of. Seeing what I can make it do. Spending time, and preferably minimal outlay, on moulding it to my needs. Doing such actually affords me hours & hours of pleasure, believe it or not.

 

I don't care about high-end CPUs.

 

I have no interest whatsoever in insanely powerful graphics cards. Got no use for them.

 

Maximum possible RAM....yes, I can see the sense in that one.

 

And as much alternate, external storage as possible.....yah, I'll go along with that.

 

-----------------------------------------------------

 

I don't for a moment doubt what you say about how travelling business folk treat their equipment. That's very believable; I have acquaintances who are travelling sales-people, and I've seen the way they treat their company-issued equipment. They don't give a monkey's.....it doesn't belong to them, and it'll get replaced when it breaks. So why bother looking after it?

 

I learnt long ago that happiness is not measured by material possessions, mate. I get hours of enjoyment playing around with what others throw out, but.....well, that's just me. It's not for everyone, it's true.

 

Each to their own.

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 


#7 Al1000

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 11:10 AM

I actually enjoy taking older tech hardware, from wherever, in whatever condition, and seeing what it's still capable of.


Me too. I recently bought a PB Easynote E6307 laptop from ebay, for £28 including delivery. It has 1GB of DDR RAM, 40GB HDD, and onboard VIA graphics which won't even boot Ubuntu 12.04. It doesn't boot anything based on Ubuntu 14.04 either, including Tahr Puppy. Its wifi card is unreliable, and slow when it does work, but I use an old wifi dongle that I already had anyway.

I knew what the laptop would be like when I bought it, as I have an identical one (with 768MB of RAM) which I broke, and am now keeping for spares. I dual-boot it with AntiX 16 and Lucid Puppy 5.2.8.6 and it runs them just fine.

So that's what I consider to be acceptable hardware for regular use with Linux. IMO the laptop in the OP is more than what you need for a Puppy box, but there's nothing wrong with that. :)

Have you had a look at gumtree too? I'm not sure what it's like in your area, but there are always several laptops for sale on it round here.

#8 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 12:22 PM

Hi, Al.

 

I have heard of Gumtree, but I'm not familiar with it. I'll have to investigate that one. 

 

Yes, the example given probably is overkill(!), but I know what a huge difference moving from single-core to dual-core made on the 'big' old Compaq desktop running Puppy (they multitask so much better); that's why I'm thinking dual-core, y'see. And as I said, I've had a lot of positive experiences with Dell's over the years. Always found 'em incredibly easy to work on.

 

Cat's probably right about the source of a lot of these second-hand, 'refurbished' laptops. They like as not are bulk purchases from firms who are doing  a workforce 'upgrade'. I still don't see that as a problem; after all these years, there's not much I can't fix when it comes to hardware.....and I find it intensely satisfying when I sort out a difficult problem, knowing I've fixed it myself, and it's only cost me my time (and maybe parts/upgrades, which I will then have budgeted for, anyway). I get the impression Cat likes stuff to just 'work', without any messing around.....

 

Horses for courses.

 

The Latitudes have always had a reputation for being tough as old boots. I want something solid; the 1100 has spoilt me in that respect; it's built like a brick outhouse!  :wink:

 

My old Mum had an Inspiron 15R a few years ago, before she lost interest, and gave up on that side of things. Talk about flimsy! You only had to touch the case plastics, and they'd bend.....

 

We shall see. I've just had an expensive couple of months; had to shell out on new dentures a wee while back, and this week new glasses (I know, I know; TMI..!) This is going to be an Xmas present to myself; summat I actually want for a change.....as opposed to something I've got to have to make life bearable..!  :lol:

 

Xmas can't come soon enough this year..... (*sigh*)

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 13 November 2016 - 12:39 PM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 


#9 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 12:33 PM

Hey Mike!

I have a Dell E6400. Works great for Linux! Just upgraded it to 4GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD drive. Running Ubuntu and even have a Windows 7 VM (using to test some AVs for work). I had gotten the laptop for free, but I bet there are tons of refurbished ones out there for good prices.

 

 

Hiya, DC.

 

Mm-hm; not a bad box, at all. Looking on eBay, there's literally 100's in the price/spec range I'm thinking of, so; we shall see.

 

I just wanted to get some idea of what you guys thought about the Latitudes, and older Dells in general. I know what I think of them; I like them. Acers, Asus, Lenovo, Toshiba, etc, etc.....sorry, NO. None have a particularly good rep when it comes to Linux. I'll see what's available nearer the time.

 

(I know Wiz (Chris) uses a Tosh as his main machine. There's a few that work okay.....but for Toshiba, that tends to be the exception, rather than the rule.)

 

 

 Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 13 November 2016 - 12:36 PM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 


#10 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 06:15 PM

Not all Toshibas are bad boxes and some of them even run Mint fairly well !  I use my wife's old Toshiba (Satellite Pro L10 - PSL 15E) as a dedicated Linux Box running Mint 18 and apart from a wifi problem - which it has had for years. the internal card doesn't work, is extremely reliable. It was bought in 2004 as her first laptop and I fell heir to it when she bought a newer one with Win 7 on it about six years ago. I will accept comments that I know its full history as I have been the sysadmin since she bought it and it has never been brutalised, but even so.

 

Gumtree might be well worth a look Mike as, apart from being localised, it tends to be private sellers rather than ex-company kit.

 

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#11 pcpunk

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 06:30 PM

Sounds like a good deal Mike, I've read good things about those ones.  Screen is a little small for me though.  It is basically the same as my HP Lappy and that one is going on 11yrs now.  Looks to be the same CPU and Chipsets as mine also, runs every thing from what I've read, XP, W7, W8, W10 as one owner said on a forum.  I have Mint KDE-17.1 and Mate 18 on there now with no issues at all.  Just installed Mate 18 to a 6yr old Lenovo and had issues with Wifi, and that's what I love about those components, they seem to work with everything.


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#12 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 07:26 PM

@Chris Cosgrove:-

 

Mm-hm. I shall definitely give Gumtree a look; you're the second (or third) person to recommend them. See what's available.

 

@pcpunk:-

 

Well, the screen size isn't going to be an issue. I've been used to 15" 1024x768 screens on both the Dell and the old Compaq; my bro 'donated' the Dell monitor for that when he treated himself to a top-of-the-range Apple iMac with the 29" Retina display, a couple of years ago. A real Apple freak, my bro; the entire house is an inter-connected mass of Apple hardware over at his. And (get this!), he's still convinced that Apples cannot catch malware. He will not have it. (When I know for a fact that they can nowadays...)

 

Talk about 'blinkered'!  :lol:  In 2 short years, he's become a total Apple 'fanboi'.....

 

I still like the idea of the Latitudes.....but I'll probably try to get one of the later ones (maybe a D630 or similar, as Cat mentioned); they had the Core 2 Duos, which definitely were 64-bit. I'd like to install Tahr64 and Slacko64 on there, as well as a couple of the 32-bitzers.

 

Thanks, everybody, for the suggestions and advice so far. Keep 'em rolling in.....!

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 13 November 2016 - 07:27 PM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 


#13 cat1092

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 03:06 AM

Mike, too bad you don't live in the US, where there's a site that sells notebooks for as little as $99 ($79.99.99 on promo). I've never seen single core computers on their site, all were Core 2 Duo & above. :)

 

http://connectall.org/

 

I wasn't always as fortunate as today, and wished badly that this site existed then (in 2006-07). Actually am an approved customer, being legally disabled, and have purchased computers for the needy a couple of times. While they now push Windows 10, for the longest time, it as W7 Pro & Office 2010 with every computer sold (some still are because of age). And every one ships with a year warranty & recovery partition. 

 

Maybe there's a similar site in your area. While I could had easily proven that I met the requirements (only one out of 8-10 categories was needed), was never asked for proof of my disability & was able to secure a couple of notebooks for a needy family. :)

 

Not everyone knows the real me, for years have been an advocate of assisting the poor, which is where I learned much of what I can do today, and at the same time, still assist physically when called upon, as long as I'm up to it, though may opt to meet on a neutral ground (don't want strangers in my home, and I'd not expect anyone who doesn't know me to be in theirs as well), to protect the interest of both parties. Obviously though, most of these are folks are those that knows me, often in the neighborhood or very close by. 

 

Anyway, maybe such an organisation exists in your area, just throwing some hope in the air. :)

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 





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