How I Got a Laptop for $70
After the OLPC program started getting big, cheap laptops became â€śthe new thing.â€? I tried to capitalize on any deal I could find by tracking the search terms â€ścheap laptopâ€? and â€śinexpensive laptopâ€? to see if I could land a lucky deal.
Several frustrating months later, no dice. I've needed a laptop for quite a while, but it just wasn't worth the minimum $400 to $700 to get a super cheap refurbished or ultra-portable laptop. Until lucking out with a $70 steal, I just made myself as portable as possible with a thumb drive containing all the documents and programs I might need on the go.
That thumb drive turned out to be what made it worth my time to get an 8 year old clunker from a friend. You read that right â€“ I have an 8 year old IBM ThinkPad laptop running Windows 2000 with a 6 GB hard drive, 128 MB of RAM, and negligible processor speed... but that is all I need.
The left hinge is coming out of its socket, it has 3 hours of battery life, the mouse is one of those annoying nipples in the middle of the keyboard, I think the mono speaker is on its way out, and it is definitely at least 10 pounds of lap happy â€“ but it can do WiFi, has a keyboard, and one whole USB port.
For a writer, that's perfect. Sure it's slow as heck, but it allows me to go anywhere and work. Anything more than that would've been like a bra made of diamonds â€“ too â€śpreciousâ€? to really use because it's a thief magnet.
So â€“ before making that big ticket purchase, think about what it really needs to do. Focus on function, and you just might be able to keep it instead of finding yourself gadget-less six days later because it was stolen.
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