Anyone who has purchased a computer system has learned how quickly they lose their value, and become obsolete. This rapid devaluation often leads to the dilemma: what to do with an older system, when you’re no longer going to use it? Selling it is most often a waste of time and effort. A computer bought for $3,000.00 on January 1, 2005 and then put up for sale on December 31, 2005 will rarely bring offers of more than $100.00 – $150.00, and even these don’t come often. Older systems are proportionately less valuable.
One quick, easy solution is to donate the computer system to a charity, and write-off what is appropriate. However, charities are quickly becoming more and more skeptical about accepting older computer systems, and less and less likely to surrender receipts (for use with a tax return) for very much money.
Sometimes it is a wise course of action to simply ‘cannibalize’ the older system for components that will work in other systems. Some components can be switched between older and newer computer systems. These can include power supplies, hard drives, RAM, graphics cards, speakers, keyboards, CD and DVD readers/writers and so forth. If you have a use/need for your old DVD burner in your newer system, you’re almost always best off going the ‘cannibal’ route. But there are some other options, some of which can be quite attractive. Sometimes, the otherwise out-of-work computer system can be set to tending some necessary and/or useful affairs and matters.
Hand-in-hand with cannibalizing is stripping out components and selling them individually. This can be especially beneficial if you recently installed a hardware upgrade to the now defunct system such as a good DVD or CD reader/writer, or a new hard drive. Not only are the components often easier to sell, they will bring more money and ship much, much easier – and cheaper.
DEDICATED FAX SYSTEM
You can turn almost any old system into a dedicated fax receiver at either your home or office. It can be incredibly convenient to have a fax at the house! Anyone who has bought a house or car lately will attest to how nice a fax at the house would be. Remember, the system does not have to be set to always receive faxes. You can turn it on or off as you deem necessary based on your use and needs. All your system requires for this application is a phone line, a modem, and Windows®. The fax service in Windows® must be turned on and configured in order for this to work properly. This is very easily accomplished through the Control Panel of Windows.
HOME ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM
Recently, manufacturers of computer systems and components have entered the home entertainment business – with a vengeance. No longer are computers just good for games and music, now you can hook them up to control your TV, cable signals, speaker systems, VCR, DVD player, etc. You can even record to and play from them. The system would need some hardware and software, but not too much, and all of the necessities can be had at reasonable (and quickly dropping) prices. You can learn more about the rapidly growing home entertainment computer systems industry on any number of sites on the Internet. A good place to start is www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/default.mspx.
As you can see, you don’t have to throw up your hands and scream when you’re offered 5% of what you paid for your computer system a year earlier. There are some other options, some of which can be quite satisfying and rewarding.
Last modified: August 23, 2022