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IT dilemma...

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Friday 28 January 2005 6.31pm
I should start by saying that this is not an advertisment, but a serious request for some advice !

I have a desktop PC and monitor, 3 years old, still in excellent nick, but I'm looking to pass it on elsewhere as (get me !) I'm setting up a wireless network at home and getting a laptop.

The question is - what to do with my old PC. I've wiped the disc completely but reinstalled Windows XP and will pass the discs and licence for XP on.

First, I thought I would sell it on Ebay but there are simply too many computers on there ! I don't have much feedback (10, all positive) which I think puts people off bidding, and I don't really want to have to be responsible for postage and packing, so they need to collect. The winning bidder then tried to use a stolen cheque to pay which has really put me off relisting it.

Then, I got all philanthropic, and thought I would donate it to a charity or school - only to discover that there's some recent government or commisioners guidance that says charities and schools shouldn't accept donated PCs because of concerns over what files and programs may remain on there !

I simply can't believe it is so difficult ! Does anyone have any better ideas or experiences of trying to sell private items in London - Loot maybe ?

James, have you given up on the idea of classified ads for the forum ?

Edited for usual

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 28 January 2005 6.32pm by Siduhe.
Friday 28 January 2005 8.20pm
On monday I downloaded the latest BTYahoo 24/7 dialer and it caused a conflict with Media Player resulting in my getting Error 629 every time I tried to go online.
Error 629 = unable to complete connection.
Anyway I didn't know what was causing the problem, but fortunately I have an old Toshiba laptop with which I logged on, and after consulting a computer group I use and google searching I got it sorted and all is well now.
My point after all that is, you never know when you'll need a spare computer and as the sale price of secondhand comps is miserly,
I suggest you use your old one as a photo album and for saving stuff and some day you'll be glad you kept it.
Friday 28 January 2005 8.21pm
Oops! I am posting this using the old Toshiba and got the SQL message so I am deleting this copy.
Friday 28 January 2005 8.28pm
Siduhe -- I completely understand your hesitation with using Ebay as you've just had a really bad experience. Good thing is, you actually caught it before it happened. We use Ebay very often (64 + feedback) and luckily *knock on wood* haven't had any bad experiences. I would relist the item but do the following:

1. Set a reserve for the price you are hoping to get (I believe they now set the minimum for reserve to 50).

2. List the payment option as CASH ON COLLECTION only. A lot of people will be more than happy to collect it so they don't have to pay the shipping fees.

3. I would set the item for the longest time period offered that way you get a better chance of getting the price you want for it.

Good luck!! :c)
Friday 28 January 2005 9.17pm
There are various charities and other organisations that will take computers, wipe them clean and refurbish if necessary, and distribute to community organisations. Mostly they deal with businesses but some do individuals too. I have a few telephone numbers if you're interested but some may be out of date - let me know if you'd like me to start searching my long-collapsed filing system!

Obviously you wont get any money by using this method, and some even charge to collect. Also, from my point of view as someone who has enquired about obtaining computers for community use from some of these groups, they can be not the easiest of people to deal with, and some seemed to charge the community organisations what seemed like a large sum of money for an out-of-date computer.
Sunday 30 January 2005 1.57pm
Can your computer run some pretty basic kids games as well typing etc. My kids have an old computer which has suffered as a result of our house's Georgian wiring. I have now an anti surge plug, but half the hard drive has gone and he can only play half of his Age of Empires Game. (Luckily the bit that allows him to be Ghengis Khan.) It has also meant that I have refused to buy him The Sims on the basis that we now have a number of games we can't load.

If so, or even if not, I might be interested in buying if the price is OK. We added an extra piece of memory to his computer, and I presume I can get the person who did this to take it out of the old PC and do it again.

Plus, and this seems to be an increasing trend as boys struggle to keep up with girls in English, our son is likely to be allowed to do homework on the computer. I have mixed feelings as writing is a key skill and I want him to keep practicing, but other parents whose children have struggled with handwriting rave about it. Perhaps it is all down to boys starting school too early and then we wonder why they can't sit still at a desk or have problems with fine motor skills.

Incidently does anyone know where you can get rid on old computers. We have an old pre-Pentium computer which we need to dispose of?


Monday 31 January 2005 9.45am
Aren't there any little computer shops that do second hand? I was thinking of the kind of place like the one opposite Waterloo Stn. In the parade of shops near work (in Colindale, so not much use to you, unfortunately) there's one place that does 2nd hand PCs, video cameras, etc.

[just an idea. I'm sure you've tried this anyway. good luck]

...if you press it, they will come.
Monday 31 January 2005 11.37am
Siduhe - if you want to sell it, and it's at the right price, I may be interested. Can you pm me the details, spec, price etc.
Monday 31 January 2005 4.31pm
Siduhe - yes, we will be introducing online classified ads. Just not enough hours in the day to get everything done that we want to do...

I received this press release last week which may be pertinent:

OFFERS / Ex-IT to launch the first Computer Reuse Centre in Southwark

The OFFERS/Ex-IT project will launch one of the first Computer Reuse Centres in London. The launch for this pioneering project will take place at 2pm on January 28th on the Heygate Estate at 11 Brandon Street, London SE17 1NA.

OFFERS/Ex-IT is a community-based initiative that provides low cost computers and equipment to local residents, community groups, Tenants Residents Associations (TRA's), voluntary sector organisations and start-up businesses in Southwark. It was set up to enhance the employment prospects, education and skills of local people in the Elephant and Castle area.

The project collects disused computer and communications equipment from businesses and residents, preventing it from going to landfill and contributing to London's waste crisis. Computers in reusable condition are tested, refurbished, upgraded and passed on to beneficiaries at low cost while older or broken computers are recycled. “By far the best way to minimize impact on the environment from a personal computer is to extend its useful life”, says Gloria Miqueles, OFFERS/Ex-IT Project Development Officer, referring to a recent study commissioned by the United Nations. The computer reuse centre is the first of its kind set up specifically to promote the reuse of computers and ICT equipment in London.

The OFFERS/Ex-IT team provides one to one advice on computer/IT equipment for each individual. The team raises awareness and advises users on free open source software thus enabling people on low incomes and voluntary sector organisations to save hundreds of pounds in license fees.

The opening will be performed by Cllr Richard Thomas, Southwark Council's Executive Member for Environment and Transport. Richard Thomas says: “Useful computer equipment is thrown out every day whilst may people are unable to afford new computer prices. This project will stop that by ensuring that computers are either refurbished and reused or their parts recycled. Its good for the environment and good for those local people who might not otherwise be able to have access to a computer”.

OFFERS/Ex-IT is a project set up and managed by CRISP (Community Recycling in Southwark Project). The project is part-funded by the Elephant Links SRB programme, The Big Lottery Fund's Community Recycling and Economic Development (CRED) Programme and London Remade and is working in partnership with Southwark Council, Furniture Reuse Network (FRN) and London Community Recycling Network (LCRN).

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Monday 31 January 2005 4.43pm
OFFERS was one of the groups I was thinking about in my post above. Indeed I got my computer from them some time ago. The dismantling and recycling of dead computers that they do would not be cost-effective on its own, so that is why they also sell the usable and refurbishable computers they get, with community groups getting preferential prices.
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