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Lately, I’ve been spending some time on Craigslist, browsing all of the free stuff that people in my local area are giving away, and all of the computer stuff that they’re selling.
I find Craigslist to be much more convenient and secure than eBay, because Craigslist lets me narrow my search to show me only the deals that are local to me. That means that if I find something that I like, I can drive right over to see it, and deal with the other person face-to-face, without having to wait for online auctions to close, without any shipping costs and delays, and without having to worry if some anonymous online seller across the country is going to cheat me.
And that’s exactly what I’ve done twice in the past few days. Over the weekend, I saw an ad saying that a local guy was selling 3 all-in-one printers and one inkjet printer for a total of $25. I don’t need another printer, since I’m still very happy with my Brother HL-5240 laser printer that I bought more than 2 years ago. But I could use a scanner, and those all-in-one printers each have a built-in scanner.
So I called the guy. We met, and I walked away with all 4 printers. And he also threw in a stand-alone HP Deskjet 4100c flatbed scanner that is missing its AC power adapter and two new-looking SDRAM modules that weren’t marked with what size they were.
The fanciest of the all-in-one printers — a Canon Pixma MP160 — refuses to even work as a scanner unless I buy and install its ink cartridges, so I won’t be using it at all.
But the other 2 all-in-ones both scan just fine without any ink cartridges in them. So I’ve been using one of them as my scanner for the past few days. Pretty soon, I will probably either order a AC power adapter for the HP scanner (for less than $20, including shipping), or wire one up myself, using one of my existing AC adapters that outputs the right voltage and amperage but doesn’t have the correct connector to plug into the scanner.
The SDRAM turned out to be a matched pair of 512MB boards that were exactly the right RAM for my main PC, and upgraded it from 1GB of RAM running in single-channel mode to 2GB of RAM running in dual-channel mode.
Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you the best part: I got all of that stuff for free. The seller gave them to me in exchange for me going through 2 of his PCs, to tell him exactly what’s inside each one, and going through some boxes of computer and electronics parts with him, to tell him which things were worth saving, which were worth selling, which should be recyced, and which should be scrapped.
Then yesterday, I got another great deal. A young man who had just ordered Verizon’s DSL Internet service decided that he wanted to use his own DSL modem instead of the brand new Actiontec GT704WG Wireless DSL Router/Gateway that Verizon had just sent him.
So he advertised the Actiontec for sale for only $15. I immediately snapped it up.
I’ve been using the Actiontec since late yesterday afternoon, instead of the combination of my original Verizon-provided Westell 6100 DSL single-computer modem and my old D-Link router. Like my D-Link router, the Actiontec has 4 wired ethernet ports, which is how I’m connected to it right now. But because it’s also wireless, I’ll be able to evolve into having wireless Internet and printer access in the future. For security, I turned off its wireless connectivity for now.
So to summarize, in the past few days, I’ve paid a total of $15 and have gotten 3 all-in-one printers, one inkjet printer, one flatbed scanner that just needs an AC adapter, and a wireless DSL router/gateway. And I’ll donate all of the stuff that I don’t use to a charity a couple of hours away that recycles old PCs and gives them to special needs kids and their families.
Thanks to Craigslist.
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