Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!

Anyone got a spare computer?

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Hickey on November 20, 2011

My desktop computer, which I bought for a fiver about nine months ago, will no longer power on at all. I do have access to a work laptop, but the crucial word there is ‘work’ – I can’t watch DVDs on it, for example, and I wouldn’t feel entirely happy about doing anything non-work-related that might have a financial benefit – such as writing my books.
Unfortunately, I’ve not got any money at the moment. We had to pay to fly to my in-laws’ for Xmas last month, and I made a loss on Thought Bubble (still worth doing, but a loss nonetheless). I certainly can’t afford a *new* computer (and apart from anything else, Holly’s using my old cast-off laptop, so it’s her ‘turn’ for anything new), but I do need something for this kind of thing.
Does anyone in the Manchester area have a spare machine I can borrow for a few months or that I can buy for a very small amount?
It doesn’t have to be any good at all. The machine I was using was a Pentium 4 with a dodgy video card, and I have DVD drive, hard drive, memory and so on. I just need anything with a processor from within the last decade or so, that I can run a low-footprint GNU/Linux install (Debian Sid with XFCE as desktop).
Before anyone answers ‘helpfully’, I am aware of hire-purchase schemes. My credit rating’s not good enough.
I’m just glad my work machine runs GNU/Linux, or I’d be bashing my head against the wall with frustration.

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2 Responses

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  1. Mike Taylor said, on November 23, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Hi, Andrew. Sorry to hear this. They certainly don’t have anything as cheap as £5, but Morgan Computers have a lot of refurbished gear that today is considered low-spec, but would have been state of the art a couple of years ago. I’ve often ordered from them, and trust their process and their gear. They are at http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk — click the Bargain Basement tab to see, for example, an IBM ThinkCentre M50 for £50 including VAT or a Compaq EVO D51S for £35.

    • Andrew Hickey said, on November 24, 2011 at 11:57 am

      Thanks. I’ve got something now, but I’ll definitely bear that in mind for the future. Low-spec’s always fine for me – I run Debian with XFCE as the window manager, and a very stripped down install (not even GDM installed – I have to type startx on boot)


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