You know those barrio, computer fix-it shops? They're often owned/ run by a charming Hindu guy who's alert, friendly and nice? (Vegetarian cultures, those!) That's where you get decade old used PC's at bottom dollar.

IF the fixer guy is some sensitive nationality like HINDU Arabic or MALAYSIAN,  I go in, run a test conversation. "What do you charge an hour to fix my old PC?" If he answers some fair price answer & I like him, I will usually say 'got any used pc's? They always say yeah, quite a few. HOW COME? I ask. Key question! Was it cuz clients didn't have the gelt for his Mt Everest fix-it prices? That I don't like. If he says "Cuz I fix pc's at big corporations and all the time they give me a half dozen of the five year-old pc's free." Hey, sounds good to me!

I once went to a big fixer shop, used machines in the work room, spotted lots of used stuff. But THE ASIAN (Chinese, Korean,) wasn't nice, he was asleep on his feet, (exclusively pork diet,) not alert, not friendly and he demanded some huge bucks for a simple repair. BIG-TIME meat eating cultures. They even eat dogs and cats! And he didn't say any of this "people GIVE me old machines, I let them go cheap" stuff to me, He just wanted huge money for fixing my old one. SO I left and never came back.

When I had a broken PC, this HINDU guy said, "abandon it. I can take all the info in it, even off a dead hardrive, and stick it in this new one. I've got lots to choose from, used motherboards or towers, all under l00$." Did it and was never sorry. He came from Calcutta. BHANU PATEL was his name. Store on a back street, where rent was cheap. Not on the main boulevard. Himself a thrifty gent, he wasn't looking to gouge me. Wasn't on the big Boulevard where Costly intersects with Outrageous.

I noticed the layout at Bhanu's shop.  USED STUFF all over,  hundreds of neat shoeboxes labelled with parts, all full. Motherboards galore. THIS ONE fifty megs. THIS ONE seventy megs. Now, that is good. That's a big hard drive! I pay 100$ maybe 150$ tops and he gave me all the peripherals, speakers, monitor, power source on one of them, as it was separate, even printers and ink cartridge! Everything. He also cleaned up their hard drives, erased prior owner's text and he gave me WORD PERFECT FOR DOS, wordperfect for WINDOWS, MICROSOFT WORD the key part of MICROSOFT OFFICE SUITE. and WINZIP and a FIREWALL CALLED "ZONE ALARM"  (used to be free online, not sure now, but these guys always have some very fine firewalls,) and some FTP software. (Also free online,) but ask YOUR BHANU to make sure you get one (This was 20 years ago, so now I download things like SEAMONKEY for htm composing, CORE-FTP for loading my websites withfiles. CORE IS ONLY TOTALLY FREE no 30 day tryout, BEST EVER FTP SOFTWARE.)

2014 UPDATE - Bhanu Patel my source of costly used PCS turned  65 yrs old and has turned Alzheimery or criminal. I was gifted with a fairly new PC, a DELL Optiplex. He kept it three weeks then said he fixed it, charge 220$ and gave me back a black DELL DIMENSION. Some of my software was  missing though to cover the theft, he stuck in my 1000 articles from the LIFE 101 FREE SEMINAR. So that proves that he knew what he was doing. This wasn't alzheimers. He rented half his store space to a sandwich spot (built a wall,) and now probably is thinking of retiring so he's taking all he can from his clients, first.

Confronted, by  me, he denied it. Confronted by my 6'4" pal Creighton, he said he had to do it to get the old DOS program ZTREE to work as he maintained ZTREE a file organizer is dos based. IT IS. But ZTREE works fine in new pcs. The inventor and I are friends, Kim Henkel. Know him 20 yrs use his best ever FILE MANAGER which you have to get! So BHANU LIED. He is a CALCUTTA THIEF. He then gave me an optiplex, said it was mine, shoved it in car trunk so I didn't spot it also was fake..... NOT MY OPTIPLEX. None of my software. Second time. I kept them both. NO USE as neither can go online. I've had tekkie pals come over and try!  It's missing the THING that connects with the INTERNET!

I Can't get my 220$ 'fix it' money back. Lady cop heard whole story l0 min long, said without paperwork to prove theft, it's "he said she said." BHANU rented half his shop to a TACO OUTFIT. He plays solitaire in his half shop all day and probably steals every PC he can .. thinking of it, I turn purple and feel faint. I learned this:

WHEN YOU BUY A PC, HAVE ALL PAPERS proving its SERIAL 3s. THEN, HAVE a typed legal AGREEMENT for the TEKKIE when you go in with machine. It cites MODEL NUMBER, (so he can't switch machines on you,) Also show him your PROOF OF YOUR PURCHASE AND legal OWNERSHIP as then he knows you can go to cops .......then cite in writing the various FIXES YOU WANT made as this keeps him on track after you leave it with him. Then  stipulate how much time he has to do it, and last, the SUM he will charge.  He has to come in on budget. Be firm on that price. I didn't get a price so a month later when no PC works, NONE IS MINE, MY SOFTWARE is gone, I'd paid  220$ for his doing nothing AND STEALING MY MACHINE both. Which I didn't spot right away as "ALL CATS ARE ALIKE IN THE DARK." ALL BLACK DELLS are alike.  Didn't recognize it wasn't my PC! SHAME ON ME! So have All this WRITTEN DOWN. And MAKE HIM SIGN IT when you HAND OVER your PC. At bottom a blank space, "HANDED IN, ALL FIXED" on this date, I release FIXER from responsibility. Then one more thing. You must in his shop sit down and go over every fix, every file/ directory/ piece of software.I had a screwball friend drive me there, she was screaming it's 110 degrees and I want my lunch. Let's GO!" She slapped down the 220$ "PAY ME LATER" she said. We left to get tacos, a counterfeit PC in the trunk.  I PAID her that day.  I'd be out of a career as an astrologer who does natal readings typed if a client hadn't dropped his new PC while under warranty and gave it to me.

THIS JUST IN: I registered at the which is in every city in USA, do SEARCH on its main page to see how many i your city. I .get emails hourly offering free sofa, tv., computer, monitor, etc. on it goes, they give em away, just come pick 'em up. answer as fast as you see that ad as someone else will answer and nail it.  Craigs list has a FREEBIE section, and every single day they give away a PC in some part of our town. Get online every single day at 7 a.m. to nail the first PC, and watch board all day. Always, instantly email the owner. My pal the RECYCLER girl, Charlena, one day saw the freebie Craigs ad "SCHOOL recently had many machines donated, we have no room." She shot over, there were dozens of near new PC's with all peripherals.A generous gift indeed. Char  rented a UHAUL. She took a few dozen motherboards i.e. boxes, and keyboards and monitors. I met her and she gave me a box, a faster one. She took the C drive off my really old machine, 250 mghurtz and stuck it in a new box with 700 mgahurtz. REALLY FAST. She gave me a huge monitor, a Hewlett Packard Fast Laser printer.  Char is cheaper than BHANU. He wants 25$ for a fix. All she wants is dinner.

Char told me some things that blew my mind. That 95% of all computer peripherals left out on the curb work. That all of the really old ones are filled with gold, she says she learned it from someone who goes to GOLD REFINING FORUM dot COM and finds that 7$ worth of Acid from LOWES will get the gold out. Her method is to sink the metal in an old crockpot & heat the acid for a couple of days out in the yard on a table. Then, she can separate the GOLD using a coffee filter and sell it on EBAY.

BUT best way is NEWEGG.COM, BUY a REFURBISHED DELL with WIN 10. 179$. NO BEST BUY, NO STAPLES as those are 600$. FRYS is good, refurbished. $229 for WIN 10 desktop. NEVER buy a laptop. You can only type 100 wpm with an ergonomic keyboard spread out wide, not a logitech narrow ergonomic, the full nine yards. And probably the best way is NEWEGG.COM, where I saw they wanted 179$ for a REFURBISHED DELL with WIN 10 (FAB SOFTWARE).  BUYING off CRAIGS LIST can work. Probably half that amount.

So you spend a couple of HUNDRED. No habitual Mall stops .. curtail the shopping, no new SWEATERS, NO RESTAURANT EATING for one month. Instead, GET A NEW OLD desk top refurbished WIN 10  PC!  NO HINDUS with SHOPS on back streets. I LEARNED the hard way !

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