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Thread: Computers and parts for free or nearly free.

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001

    Computers and parts for free or nearly free.

    Ok, this is a short how-to on getting free or nearly free computers, monitors, parts, printers..whatever. It is fairly easy and a lot of fun. Ok, here goes.

    1. There are many ways to go about getting free computers & accessories legally, one being simply driving around your town on trash day and grabbing the goods. In my hometown people will actually put their old pc and things in a plastic bag to protect it from the elements.

    2. Take out a free ad in the paper offering to take peoples old computers off of their hands for them. Something like "Don't toss that box away silly one, donate it to me. Contact me at..." Offer to come to them and pick it up also. There are also some free online classified services for many areas also, this is a great way to get some gear.

    3. Calling the specialists. Ok this one is so darn amazing that you will dance with glee. Check out your local phone book and look for network installation/removal companies. A simple call explaining that you would gladly take the trash off of their hands will usually do the trick. It goes something like "Hi, I seen you have a few trucks over at blah and I was wondering if I can have that nifty old Cat-5 and a couple of those old HP's you are tossing out? I could really use them." They will most likely just say yes OR they will give you a contact number to someone inside the company that they are removing the goods from. Which then you would just call them and ask. I have gotten SO much cable from this and even a few phones.

    4. The Junkyard, yep...I said it. But fear not. You will not be jumping around in the junk my friend. This actually happened by chance. My friends and I where driving and we seen a pc tower sitting all alone behind chain link fence, so we drove around to the gate and seen that it was a junk yard. I asked the man at the front gate about the computer case and he said, "sure, I will get it for you, do you want the rest of them in the office?" WHAT WHAT WHAT!??..the REST of them in the office? It seems that most sanitary employees do not like to toss electronics in the back but rather place them safely in the cab and bring them to the yard, where I am assuming someone assesses the items worth and decides if its trash or treasure. It seemed that on that day no one was interested in a bunch of pc's without monitors so we loaded 6 towers and who knows how many keyboards into my trunk.

    5. Ok this one may cost you a little something, but not much! Pawn Shops are known for ripping the common man/woman off. Often owners will throw an IBM PS/2 running DOS 6 onto their shelves and claim it to be cutting edge and charge an arm and a leg without really knowing anything about it. Some people assume that just because its a computer that it is worth a fortune. Ok, first check out the shops items, look at the PC, the specs and ask questions to see what the seller knows, ask them to fire it up and if at all possible see whats inside and finally the asking price. Now go home and do your research, find out the worth of the pc and go back and get ready to do some haggling. If need be arm yourself with some stuff you have been meaning to get rid of from your own home. See if you can't make a trade. And be nice, knowledgable and fair. Don't make them sound or look stupid. After all they are the owner and can kick you out as fast as you came in.

    6. Ebay! Online auction services are GREAT for getting cheap computers and parts. Just look for what you want and bid as you see fit.

    Well, thats it. I hope this was informative, and useful. Cya!

  2. #2
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Redondo Beach, CA
    One thing about dumpster diving is that it may be illegal in some cities, provinces/states, countries so perhaps people might want to do this at their own risk.
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
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  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    in my country people buy those kind of pc, it is a good bussines here to sell the unused pc.
    many student use them and install linux inside it

    free ~ poverty ?

  4. #4
    Wow, I never thought of some of those ways. Dumpster diving may not be legal, but it's not always neccessarly illegal either. My brother used to work for trash company and he drove a truck and picked up the huge dumpsters and hauled them off. This company would actually ask people if they wanted stuff they were throwing away, one time it was computers from a wood mill, and I got a couple Aptiva's with P3's and 512 MB inside running WIN2000 and some expensive wood manufacturing design programs like I used back in school. A lot of companies don't mind you getting in their dumpsters because they have to pay the landfill by the pound on how much they deposit, so if you take weight of their hands it actually saves them money. But given that if you get in McDonalds dumpster that would probably be illegal and nasty cause I'm sure they don't have anything of much value in there..... So if you gonna raid a dumpster make sure it's a trash company that is throwing stuff away for a business that's likely to have goods you want, and all you have to do for permission is usually just ask one of the workers.

    [EDIT] I have found to be the best computer dealer I have ever found. I have rarely seen their prices beaten.[/EDIT]

  5. #5
    AO Decepticon CXGJarrod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    A couple of schools around our area are getting rid of all their Pentium 1 300 MGhz machines. So schools might be another way to get free computers.
    N00b> STFU i r teh 1337 (english: You must be mistaken, good sir or madam. I believe myself to be quite a good player. On an unrelated matter, I also apparently enjoy math.)

  6. #6
    Wow! Pentium 1's! Your schools waited awhile to upgrade! I'd like to have one just to mess with. In college some of the computer labs still had some Commodore's for typing on. Now that's old school! I think they just kept em around for just having because we had HP's and IBM's with P3's and Athlon's and the such.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington

    "Dumpster diving" I find the expression rather amusing, although MsMittens is absolutely correct in warning that you must check your local ownership laws. Sometimes you might have to go to the disposer first to get permission. They are hardly likely to say "no"?

    OK I am a bit older.........oops "more experienced" than a lot here, so I go down the local bar/pub and buy a few beers for the refuse disposal guys and their foreman: result, they collect from and deliver to my house (deliveries are put in the porch, in case it rains)

    This is IMHO an excellent form of recycling, as it is zero cost to the local taxpayer, and even saves the donor money.

    I am not surprised at recent disposals of PI/300s. That must have been the absolute top of the range? Never even seen one, this is a PII/266, and I thought that was the tops at the time..........I did want MMX though

    Nice post


  8. #8
    Wow, home delivery! That's pretty good, I should try this one. I wish I lived near some more bars than I do. I might have to try this technique. Thanks nihil.

  9. #9
    Another comment on dumpster diving on the scrap yard. I have a friend that used to work in a scrap yard (I even worked there as an extra a few times and I tell you, you can find a lot of cool stuff there, not just computers). At least in Sweden it's illegal to do as many people do. They go there after the scrap yard is closed and snoop around for interesting stuff. As a result, many of them get caught by the security who requently patrol the area. Not an impressive thing to put in your resume, "NN was cough breaking in to a scrap yard" .
    The thing is, if you go there during their opening hours you are allowed to take away anything you like (well, maybe not asbestis (not sure of the spelling but it's a poisonous material)).

    The electronic gadgets are all gathered in one place for recycling and is easy to find. Just browse trough the piles of old computers and kitchen fans and you might find something you fancy.
    A little reminder though! Stay away from the "cadaver pit" where butchers and fishsalesmen dump their leftovers. This place doesn't smell to nice, you've got my word on that
    [shadow] Nobody\'s perfect, but I\'m damn close...[/shadow]

  10. #10
    Our landfills here in the US aren't that organized I'm afraid! I wish they were. Asbestos is what used to be used as an insulating material and it is nearly fire proof. It's not a poison but rather the particles it is made up of are so small that none of the natural filtering devices in the human body, nose hairs, cillia, can capture it so it goes on to become en-lodged in the lungs thus causing cancer. Asbestos is not a threat until disturbed when it creates dust and is inhaled. Most houses built up until around the 1930's and 40's incorporated asbestos. The removal for it is extremely expensive because none of it is allowed to leak out into the environment, therefore the house must be completely sealed for it's removal and the workers are at a high risk for inhalation even with protection, so it's expensive. They just have it in your landfills in Sweden? In case your curious about it:

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