That was the first thing I thought when reading about an article in Extreme Tech (weren’t they supposed to be gone as a result of downsizing?) that speaks of building PCs under $200.

While I would be the first to acknowledge that PCs should be available to everyone, I don’t agree with the method of making it happen.

[slashdot]

"Computers are getting cheaper to buy every year, but there are still sometimes advantages to building them yourself. ExtremeTech has a story about how they sought out the parts for a $200 computer that (of course) runs Linux as a way of breaking the budget barrier. They even test it against a commercially available eMachines nettop to see how it compares in terms of performance. This probably isn’t something everyone will want to do, but it’s an interesting example of something you can do on the cheap if you put your mind to it."

It’s nice to see things getting less expensive, but one problem with less expensive computers is computers being built cheap. Cheap parts cause problems because they don’t conform completely to standards, and bad things happen that are unexplainable.

What should be happening is a system of used computer refurbishing should arise, and a set of responsible dealers should sell quality refurbished systems that are supplied with a warranty – at least 180 days.

Not all need that bleeding edge computer, and if we think about it, there are many dual core machines being retired that have nothing wrong with them whatsoever, save for the fact that they are not the latest, greatest and most shiny. They are still “shiny” enough for many, who would be more than happy to have a $200 computer with a dual core Socket 939 AMD processor.

So what if it won’t do virtualization…people using entry level computers won’t be worrying about that at all, and the dual core computers from 4-5 years ago do just fine on everything but the latest games – again, a gamer knows that $200 is not even a budget for the video card, much less the entire computer, so there won’t be any surprises there.

Computers are something that, if taken care of, will last and last, except for the mechanicals like fans and hard drives. They are something that should be getting cleaned and handed down rather than thrown away. Even responsible recycling is silly when compared with refurbishing, or keeping within a family or community.

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Quote of the day:

Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.

– Samuel Johnson


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