Free Computers: A Simple Guide to Building a Working Computer from Scavenged Parts

Overview

A computer doesn't have to be expensive - in fact, it can be absolutely free! James MacLaren has written the perfect guide for beginners who want to plunge into the wonderful world of scrounging, assembling and really understanding computers. If you've ever wished for a plain-English explanation of why computers do what they do, wanted to jump into computers but didn't know where to start, or seen a computer on the curb on trash day and wondered if it was worth a look, this is the perfect nothing-to-lose, what ...
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Overview

A computer doesn't have to be expensive - in fact, it can be absolutely free! James MacLaren has written the perfect guide for beginners who want to plunge into the wonderful world of scrounging, assembling and really understanding computers. If you've ever wished for a plain-English explanation of why computers do what they do, wanted to jump into computers but didn't know where to start, or seen a computer on the curb on trash day and wondered if it was worth a look, this is the perfect nothing-to-lose, what does this thing do? wow! eureka! guide to getting the pieces, putting them together and getting them to act like a real computer.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781581604559
  • Publisher: Paladin Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Pages: 176

Table of Contents

Warning vii
Acknowledgments ix
How to Use This Book 1
Chapter 1: What's Up with Free Computers? 3
Why You Might Want Your Computer for Free, Including the Unobvious Reasons 4
You Can Get Something for Nothing, but Don't Go Expecting a Cadillac, OK? 5
We're Talking PCs Here, Not Macs, and while We're At It, Skip the SCSI and the Laptop Too 7
What This Book Contains and How You Will
Make Use of It 11
The Basic Premise: Giving Computers Away 23
You Needn't Worry If the Damn Thing Cost You Nothing 29
Chapter 2: Places to Look for Freebies and How to Work Them 39
Computer Stores 40
Work 42
School 44
Friends and Family 45
Church 46
Dumpsters and the Side of the Road 47
Chapter 3: What Do I Do with This Pile of Junk? 49
Keep It Simple, Stupid 51
Inside the Box 52
Monitors 103
Peripherals 107
Chapter 4: Software 123
Operating Systems 123
BIOS 124
Partitioning, Formatting, and That Kind of Thing 131
Face It, Bill Gates Owns the Entire World 141
Must-Have Software 147
How Too Much Software Will Choke a Computer 153
Chapter 5: Concluding Tidbits 157
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