I have to say that I had never even thought of it, but the managers of the RV park here said that they picked up their laptops at a pawn shop. I had asked where they got them, because I'd done some work on one of their laptops and found the hard drive full of personal information from a previous owner, including links to the grade school records online for 3 daughters, many family photos, videos, and a music library full of rap and hip-hop that I knew the mgr would not be listening to. So I wondered who would sell a laptop and fail to wipe the drive before sending it off to a new home. Anyway, that's how I got the idea to look for a laptop at a Pawn Shop.
Which is why I am now working on a "new to me" unit that's got more memory, more storage space, and windows 7 instead of Vista.
The price was very, very reasonable - in fact, after we bought this unit, we headed over to our Wal-Mart where I'd been ogling the laptops for weeks, because sharing with my son has been difficult for both of us. I was also lucky enough to find a unit that is enough like my old one to be familiar, because the newer models have smaller screens and I really like the large one. For the same price, I'd have gotten a lot less for my money buying new. Of course, I took a risk, because I don't know where the unit has been or how good the internals are, but I was willing to risk it, and here we are, getting to know each other.
Moving up to Windows 7 is a little weird, because it looks different, and things are not where I think they should be. Plus I had to move up from Windows Mail to Windows Live Mail, which I don't really like yet, but am resigned to having to learn to use.
The second issue was, of course, how to move all my files and settings. We thought it would be easy peasy because we had a Belkin Transfer Cable, but it turned out that cable is only good for moving from an XP to a Vista platform. Useless for Vista to Windows 7. I was hoping I could just buy a software upgrade, but neither LapLink nor Belkin had anything like that I could find, and Belkin's customer service options were ridiculously difficult to navigate.
I decided I would move files using my Seagate Replica as an external HD, so I spent several hours letting the old computer copy files, while I let the new computer download a zillion updates for windows, adobe reader, flash, java and all the other things that it needed. I haven't downloaded my free OpenOffice yet, but that will come today.
The one thing I was most worried about was my XSitePro2 software. Lucky for me, I saved the .exe file for installing it, and with a little luck, later today I will install it. I started the install last night, but the computer was still needing to download updates, so I canceled and did all the updates first. Got the virus checking software downloaded and installed, and ran a bunch of tests. One nice thing about this pawn shop purchase is that this machine was carefully wiped prior to pawn, though I suspect it was the owner, not the pawn shop which did it.
And now that I've shared this today, it's back to the task at hand - getting all moved in on the "new" computer so I can get busy listing my stuff on eBay before we have to leave here for our next adventure up in Coffeyville at the Amazon warehouse as part of their Camper