Where could a person get a (working) used computer with at least 1 GB ram in it for $100 or less?
September 16, 2011 9:30 PM   Subscribe

Where could a person get a (working) used computer with at least 1 GB ram in it for $100 or less?

I currently own just one computer but would really like to get another one to use as: 1. A backup computer in case this one dies. 2. A computer for guests to use so that I have more privacy.

I live in the middle of nowhere where there isn't public internet access so if this computer is to break I've no choice but to drive very far away to get new parts to fix my computer; I'd really hate to drive a long-distance just to get parts. And some parts, such as CPUs, can only be bought online.

In addition to that problem there's the lack of privacy. Every time a guest uses my computer I'm paranoid to look away from the computer screen as I'm scared that they'll start snooping through my stuff as soon as I look away. And I'm not being paranoid; many people I know are snoopy. And I'll admit that I'm somewhat snoopy at times when using a public computer. If I'm rather snoopy, I'm sure many other people out there are as well. I don't really have anything to hide, but still . . .

I once heard that schools sometimes give old computers to people for free or for a really low price, though I doubt that anything from a school would have anything near 1 GB of ram in it. 1 GB of ram is quite necessary since I'd like to install modern software on the computer rather than outdated stuff. HDD size doesn't matter much since I have a spare drive, and none of the other specs really matter.

Anyway: Thanks. I await your responses.
posted by GlassHeart to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Netbooks meet your requirements, as this eBay link shows.

If you want to go new, and Desktop, Tiger Direct has you covered.

Good luck!
posted by effugas at 9:52 PM on September 16, 2011

Ebay is your source. They will deliver to your door. There are a million youtube links to show you how to install RAM if you like. Buy it from Newegg.
posted by sanka at 9:53 PM on September 16, 2011

No tips on buying a computer, but have you considered creating a guest account on the computer you have now?

I have three separate accounts on my desktop machine: mine, my 8 year old daughter's, and one for guests. The guest account can run a web browser and word processor and nothing else. My files cannot be accessed from it, and no one can log into my account unless they guess my password or get in and change the admin password. That's not the hardest thing in the world, but you'd have to be more of a jerk than any of my house guests have ever been.
posted by looli at 9:59 PM on September 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

RAM can be changed. Look for a processor better or equal to the one you have.
posted by wayland at 10:33 PM on September 16, 2011

Dude, don't you have a multi-user OS?
posted by yoyo_nyc at 2:04 AM on September 17, 2011

I have built several PCs from scratch, with parts sourced completely online. There is really no repair to a PC that should take more than an hour, most are 20 minutes. And as mentioned above, YouTube has plenty of step by step videos.

No matter how small your town, there is probably a thrift store or Goodwill nearby. They'll have cheap computers.
posted by COD at 4:47 AM on September 17, 2011

Scouring your local craigslist, or post a request for broken computers where ever people nearby meet (bar/restaurant/community center/library, you get my drift).

FWIW, I've picked up computers people have trashed to the curb for scrap parts, and have found many to have little wrong (bad psu, or corrupt disc). He'll, I just built a server for little less than $100 from throw aways, an awesome case from IT department, and a donated motherboard. All I needed was a powersupply, ram, cpu fan, and a raid card. Not a bad bill for an awesome build.

/could have saved money if I picked those trashed computers up from the curb....
posted by handbanana at 8:55 AM on September 17, 2011

Check out freecycle or Craigslist Free and Wanted, esp. if you can go pick up a computer someone no longer wants. Free computer makes RAM affordable.

My last laptop was "off lease," quite affordable, and in good shape. There seem to be quite a lot of nice off lease laptops available; maybe layoffs have prompted lots of returns? This company specializes in off lease; i'm sure there are others. I have not bought from them.
posted by theora55 at 9:48 AM on September 17, 2011

posted by treasuretroveoftrollsandlust at 10:20 AM on September 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Our Googwill sells PCs for right around $100.
posted by ducktape at 4:20 PM on September 18, 2011

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