Advice on buying a good used laptop?

softdownsoftdown Posts: 1,879Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
The first three used laptops from Ebay were generally solid. The next three all had various issues though one came in a known not working state and turned out fine after intalling a hard drive, video card, and memory. 

I have decided that buying units with swapped out operating systems may be dicey. I think people try replacing operating systems to "fix" bugs....which may not work. Units that are virtually unused may also come with significant issues. Which brings up this possibility: Would people normally sell a perfectly good laptop? Well.........sometimes they just want the latest and greatest?

Turn out that orking on the fan got it to ork a little bit no. Too bad that a couple letter do not work now. Not too bad for a novice.
First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries

Comments

  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,760Registered Users ✭✭✭✭
    Would people sell a perfectly good laptop? Sure, if they stole it ;-)
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Posts: 1,879Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    Would people sell a perfectly good laptop? Sure, if they stole it ;-)
    That is a pretty grim outlook. I buy a lot of stuff used. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. One thing is for sure, it is a bit rare to get a complex used item in perfect operating condition. Perhaps most complex entities have a couple flaws? 

    Anyway I bought a newish laptop that was "used a couple times" before having the manufacturer change the defective hard drive. The newer laptops are often lightweight and very energy efficient. Dang.....some gaming laptops go for a few thousand dollars. Paid $250 for mine... The $150 laptops seem to have issues...
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • dennis461dennis461 Posts: 106Registered Users ✭✭
    softdown said:
      Would people normally sell a perfectly good laptop? 
    Yes, I have two I cannot give away.
    Why..operating system becomes obsolete (thank you Microsoft).
    Windows 10 made my older laptops useless, not enough memory to upgrade, older laptop is limited to small memory upgrades. then you get the XP and VISTA warning where you can no longer use IExplore or Google Chrome.

    You will be better off buying new for these reasons.
    It also looks like Microsoft office is now a subscription, forcing us to buy it every year.
    My older Microsoft office will not load on new machines, somehow the product key get blocked by Microsoft.


    Camden County, NJ, USA
    19 SW285 panels
    SE5000 inverter
    grid tied
  • softdownsoftdown Posts: 1,879Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    dennis461 said:
    softdown said:
      Would people normally sell a perfectly good laptop? 
    Yes, I have two I cannot give away.
    Why..operating system becomes obsolete (thank you Microsoft).
    Windows 10 made my older laptops useless, not enough memory to upgrade, older laptop is limited to small memory upgrades. then you get the XP and VISTA warning where you can no longer use IExplore or Google Chrome.

    You will be better off buying new for these reasons.
    It also looks like Microsoft office is now a subscription, forcing us to buy it every year.
    My older Microsoft office will not load on new machines, somehow the product key get blocked by Microsoft.


    Agreed....I don't try to use my XP laptops for these reasons. The writing is on the wall for my beloved Windows 7 OS. Part of the reason I bit the bullet and went Windows 10....assuming the seller is the real owner and has the box and CDs and paperwork. Sometimes I trust too much....

    The greater reason for going 10 is the lightweight and energy efficiency of the newest laptops. Solar aficianados will generally put a premium on energy efficiency. 

    I consider Microsoft to be a somewhat evil entity but great options are not readily available. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,776Super Moderators admin
    Linix Mint (or Cinnamon?) is not bad (or others). Very easy to install (easier than Microsoft products). And use Open Office or LibreOffice are good alternatives (for Linix or Microsoft OS). Linix will allow you to boot and run from USB memory stick to see if you like or not (dual boot possible too). I suggest that ~2 GBytes of main memory is about the minimum to run the modern OS (Windows XP shipped with ~250-500 MBytes minimum--Amazing. Don't even bother to try and run modern OS with that small of memory--Will barely install and not really run any useful programs).

    All free and stable. Pretty compatible with MS Office (newest file types not always "convertible" between Open/Libre and MS office--I just save in an older file version to be sure).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,760Registered Users ✭✭✭✭
    I just put debian linux on an old Vista laptop in a dual boot config. The windows filesystem is easily accessed from linux, and I can still boot vista if I really want to run a windows application. I also did a vista desktop, but added an SSD as the boot drive. Boy, does that ever make a difference.

    I'm also running Raspbian linux on a raspberry pi. It runs off a micro-sd card in a board about the size of a credit card. Even with ethernet, wifi, hdmi, and 4 usb ports, it's about the size of a pack of cards and costs <$50. Draws ~100 milliamp at 5v (plus whatever for monitor), and does pretty much everything the laptop can. I haven't tried youtube videos on it, but I suspect they'd run ok. Video intensive games maybe not so much.

    My first computer had 640K ram and a 10MB hard drive. Oddly enough, I still had it 15yrs later, and needed it to handle a job in which source data had been stored on 5.25" floppies, and nothing else could read them. With stuff in the cloud now, maybe it won't be an issue, but I still wonder if we'll be trying to find a way to access stuff stored today in 15 years from now.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Posts: 1,879Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    I have used Linux and found it slightly more intuitive than Windows. Basically I cruise the net and play Monopoly and field land lording nightmares......   8GB of memory (and a SSD hard drive) are great things to make modern Windows perform as well as it should. 

    My newly ordered computer has a slow 5400 RPM hard drive with 1 TB of memory! Curious. Since I saved a $100 buying used, I will probably switch to an SSD hard drive for general operations and store some truly beautific battery pics on the 1 TB hard drive. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,776Super Moderators admin
    Make sure to have good backups (if needed).

    SSD drives are reliable, but usually do not give any warning before they die.

    Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,760Registered Users ✭✭✭✭
    Ironically, USB SSDs seem to be widely sold for backup purposes.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Posts: 1,879Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    Ironically, USB SSDs seem to be widely sold for backup purposes.
    I've seen a lot of USB sticks go bad pretty quick. Some in as little as a week. Perhaps my electronics got/get hacked... On a similar note, I'm a bit worried about the storage and retrieval of almost everything we store on our electronic memory devices. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Posts: 1,879Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Imagine future historical museums. The period from 2001 to WWIII will show a few memory devices that can not be read. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,760Registered Users ✭✭✭✭
    They will feature the black obelisk scenes from the Kubrick film 2001, especially the one where the chimps touch the obelisk, discover tools, then bash each others brains in. Next to this old school film footage will be some old school newspaper stills, taken by old school photogs with the last remaining kodachrome, of billions of people staring at and touching small, black, handheld obelisks.

    Billions of these small obelisks will be found dumped in a site in what was once called China.

    Knowledge of history thereafter is indeterminate.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Posts: 1,879Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    They will feature the black obelisk scenes from the Kubrick film 2001, especially the one where the chimps touch the obelisk, discover tools, then bash each others brains in. Next to this old school film footage will be some old school newspaper stills, taken by old school photogs with the last remaining kodachrome, of billions of people staring at and touching small, black, handheld obelisks.

    Billions of these small obelisks will be found dumped in a site in what was once called China.

    Knowledge of history thereafter is indeterminate.
    If only we resembled bonobo behavior rather than regular chimpanzee: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonobo 

    Peacefulness

    Bonobo (Pan paniscus) mother and infant at Lola ya Bonobo

    Observations in the wild indicate that the males among the related common chimpanzee communities are hostile to males from outside the community. Parties of males 'patrol' for the neighboring males that might be traveling alone, and attack those single males, often killing them.[64] This does not appear to be the behavior of bonobo males or females, which seem to prefer sexual contact over violent confrontation with outsiders.[4]

    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • OldManOldMan Posts: 32Registered Users ✭✭
    Used Mac laptops are quite forward compatible, if they're less than five years old. I had one Windows laptop. I ended up using it for a rifle target.
  • softdownsoftdown Posts: 1,879Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    OldMan said:
    Used Mac laptops are quite forward compatible, if they're less than five years old. I had one Windows laptop. I ended up using it for a rifle target.
    Was just reading that Bill Gates gets 800 million/year from the government in exchange for giving them absolute access to all of his products . Skype didn't want to play ball with the NSA so they had Uncle Gates buy Skype for Uncle Sam. I can't verify this but it sounds possible to me. Hell.....to me it sounds probable. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,760Registered Users ✭✭✭✭
    800mm sounds about right for an unlimited use (vs per seat) licence for US govt. Such a licence would be easier to administer for both MS and govt.

    Could they also get (limited, read only) access to source code? Maybe, but doubtful. Could they buy the ability to introduce monitoring code into general commercial MS software? No way. 800mm is loose change compared to the profit stream, and such an arrangement would be impossible to keep secret.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • stmarstmar Posts: 280Solar Expert ✭✭
    I use Libre Office in place of Microsoft Office, has same functionality and it is free open platform. Do a Google search and check it out. I am on Windows 7 on my newest laptop.
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