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To buy or not to buy, that is the question

Discussion in 'Consumer Affairs' started by Kerr, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Kerr

    Kerr Well-Known Member

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    Hi all.

    Basically my laptop has been acting up for some time. This weekend I finally got around to taking it to a computer guy and he told me its a hardware issue. Basically, he suspects there is a fault in the graphics card, causing it to randomly crash the computer (I have two operating systems, the problem exists in both, and appearently Windows has logged quite a few malfunctions in the graphical hardware, or something like that). The laptop is a few years old, and it has other issues as well, for example the screen is slightly glitched causing lines to appear on it if I have it in the wrong angle. The battery has also basically died, since it only have about a minute or two battery life in it and I have been unable to find a new one.

    Is it time to get a new laptop?

    Take care,
    Kerr.
     
  2. dust1n

    dust1n Zindīq

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    Do you take your computer around with you often? Could you do the same work on a netbook? If so, perhaps you can get a cheap netbook if you are only surfing the web in public places, and a small desktop for home for the tougher stuff. But I love desktops, so, and always recommend one. Laptops are so fragile and there are some serious problems with cooling laptops that causes them to degrade faster. A desktop is always going to be a sturdiest option and less expensive.

    But it all really depends on exactly what ya need to do.
     
  3. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey
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    I've done really well buying my last 3 laptops on Craigslist:

    Right now I'm using a Lenovo/IBM ThinkPad X41 Tablet:
    Lenovo/IBM ThinkPad X41 Tablet Review & Rating | PCMag.com
    Bought on CL for $150. Already had a $70 drawing program installed, which was the selling point for me. At the time I was looking for a decent laptop + a graphics tablet + the app. Figured on paying over $300 easy before I was done. Like I say, wound up spending half that and I only have to carry the tablet around with me (the whole thing's self-contained).

    Before that I had a perfectly functional Dell (except for the battery) with a 2.50 CPU. Bought on CL for $75.

    Before that I had a Powerbook, also bought on CL for $75.

    So basically, Craigslist has kept me covered cyber-wise for the last 6 years for a grand total of $300.
     
  4. dust1n

    dust1n Zindīq

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    It's like the older you get the better the deals do. :D I get overcharged everywhere, especially car insurance.
     
  5. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey
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    Nah, it's just that after you've been screwed over a few thousand times you learn a few things:

    When you're buying something used (or something like car insurance where you have countless choices):

    Shop around, and start hunting in advance (even when I don't think I'll be needing a new laptop for a while, I'm still watching Craigslist pretty much everyday looking for my next one. Never know when a "I'm leaving town and I have to sell this RIGHT NOW" might show up. :D).
    Be anal.
    Assume everyone you deal with is trying to screw you.
    Pay close attention to the seller: if they're trying to sell you something used and they have a guilty look on their face, assume there's a reason for that.
    Ask straight questions and if you don't get mostly straight answers, walk away.
    If somebody acts like they're doing you a favor by letting you buy what they're selling, walk away.
    If someone tries to pressure you into buying, walk away.
    Pay attention to the sellers appearance: if he isn't taking care of himself (or his house/garage/car) he probably didn't take very good care of whatever he's trying to sell you.

    In a nutshell, my rule of thumb is: if I've checked something out and I still have to think about it, I shouldn't even be thinking about it.
     
  6. dust1n

    dust1n Zindīq

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    Duly noted! Thanks for the advice. So far I've managed to stay pretty safe. I worry about electronics and music equipment that I pick up from various pawn stores around here. It's fun to haggle when you know you can get a great price when someone rather have you walk out with it than sit on the shelf. :D
     
  7. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey
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    Oh yeah, forgot one: YOU CAN'T HAGGLE WITH PAWN BROKERS! They invented haggling. :D

    And they're trying to make money. Much better off dealing with someone who's just looking to clear out some space in their garage.

    You're better off waiting outside the pawn shop until someone shows up looking to pawn whatever it is you were looking to buy. :D
     
  8. dust1n

    dust1n Zindīq

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    True, but some of the fee for me is getting what I want immediately! The hunt for specific music pieces over time can be long! But it is best to just have money aside and keep lucking all the time, that way you at least have a chance to see any deals that are there.
     
  9. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey
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    Excellent strategy. :yes:

    Right now I'm looking for a portable keyboard with a midi.

    I found one of these for $15: YAMAHA PSR 77 KEYBOARD with Power Supply Working Fine Only $15

    But no midi. :(

    So the search is on! :D
    (not really bummed. I'd be bummed if I didn't have anything to hunt for. :D
     
  10. Kerr

    Kerr Well-Known Member

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    I have a desktop, its just at my parents home rather then my own. In any case, I decided to solve it without buying a new computer. My laptop I tend to use as a desktop anyway, because of the issues with the screen, so I decided to get a USB wireless network thing and use my desktop instead (going to bring it to my home soon). Unfortunately its a rather serious downgrade since my desktop is a few years old and has, with todays standard, rather horrible specs. But I can live with that.
     
  11. Reverend Rick

    Reverend Rick Frubal Whore
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    Dust1n, you have to bleed money for car insurance at your age. The only thing you can do is not have any claims or traffic tickets and try to raise your credit score.

    You can insurance shop on line as well. The key is to not give them any excuse to screw you.
     
  12. dust1n

    dust1n Zindīq

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    Nice find! I love collecting any little noise tinkerer at all. I want to start circuit bending soon. That's a good deal, seriously. Those things will be artifacts soon. Lots of people are starting to collect vintage synth. :D Midi would be nice, but it's so hard to get set up anyways.
     
  13. dust1n

    dust1n Zindīq

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    True. But at least you know that computer is going to run longer. It really depends. I never have the need to bring a computer with me somewhere, so there's no convenience factor for me.
     
  14. dust1n

    dust1n Zindīq

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    Haha, I have to admit I have done an incredibly terrible job at so far. I think it got the worse when my license got suspended for a day cause I waited one day too late to pay a speeding ticket. They have undoubtedly used this to bone me as much as possible. But at least I turn 25 next year, so I will finally get a break! And only 2 1/2 years until it's off my record. My goal is to garnish no attention from the authorities. :D
     
  15. Reverend Rick

    Reverend Rick Frubal Whore
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    LOL yeah, that would help. Years ago my son did a fiery burnout in McDonald's parking lot. I told him, "smooth move, you could have went to Cancun for spring break on the money this is going to cost you".
     
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