Tag: apple

Past Stories: Adventures in OS X

This takes place in late 2012. I was browsing my usual sites, and a PowerMac G4 on Gumtree caught my eye, at £20. At that I thought it was worth a go to try out OS X, so a friend of mine who lived up the road collected it (at the time he was the only one of us that had passed his test!) and I got it home.. Not too bad a system, 1GHz single processor MDD model, worked alright. I bumped the RAM up to 1.5GB, and stuck another DVD-RW drive in, and began to use it as a workshop PC. A few weeks later, eBay threw up another one of these, with dual 866MHz processors. Won that for £1.64, went to collect (aided by dearest mother this time), got it home, oh fantastic, 3 500GB IDE drives inside it! One went in the 1GHz, one stayed in the 866MHz and one went on eBay, fetching £23. Set up the 866MHz with a spare keyboard and mouse from a lot of free stuff I had, and a 19″ Viewsonic monitor with DVI that I got with another PC for £20 (there will be a story about this soon!), and sold them for £70. Nice profit! I continued to use the 1GHz, and got an Apple keyboard for £1.

Eventually the 1GHz started to die, apparently one of the caches had packed up and it was struggling to recognise RAM a lot of the time, and I got fed up with it late 2014 and sold it to a friend for £5. The 500GB drive was still in it, but I was busy with assignments and didn’t have the time to take it out and sell it, and I only really dealt with systems with SATA from then on anyway. I got my use out of it, so I’m not too bothered. Overall, counting the money I made off the two systems, the total spend was £21.64 purchase + £1 for the keyboard (the monitor money was made back on the tower I got with it), making £70 + £5 + 20 (that’s the 23 minus eBay fees), so £95 – roughly £23 = roughly £72 profit.

Then, a few months after I sold it, I stood a car boot with the friend who I sold this to, and he managed to get £10 for it there! Since then aside from a couple of Apple USB keyboards and my work MacBook Pro, I’ve not really dabbled in Apple hardware much.


Tales from the Car Boot: Inspirons and Updates

First things first, the Dell Dimension 5150 has left us. Sold for £10 plus an iPod touch (which doesn’t work and will be scrapped), which means I need to make another £5 on the 9150 and the other desktop PC I got with them. Honestly, I need the space so this isn’t too bad. At some point I’ll sort out a hard drive for the 9150 (Current plan is to clone the 250GB currently in my second PC to another HDD, and put the 250 in the 9150), install an OS and get it gone.

Assignments are over, and aside from a couple of exams this brings an end to my second year of university. This means I’ll have a lot more time to dedicate to buying, selling, and blogging! A large amount of parts have been purchased to complete machines, so I’ll list what’s been bought below.

  • Acer Extensa 5220 – New palmrest and base plastics
  • Acer Aspire 9300 – New palmrest
  • Dell Mini 910 – Screen cable, which didn’t fix it. I’ve removed the RAM and the 16GB mini PCI-E SSD from it, will sell the SSD. May also nick the 3G card off it.
  • Fujitsu D9510 – HDD caddy
  • Fujitsu V5535 – HDD caddies
  • Advent 7211 – base plastics
  • HP Compaq nx6125 – base covers and HDD caddy (stole the screen from the nx6110)

Still left over to buy are donors for the Inspiron 1525, 6510b, 6930p, the blue 1545 mentioned below, and a lid for the Fujitsu Pi2515 (which again will likely wait until I have a charger). Other donors that may be purchased include one for the Inspiron 6000, 6400 and the Latitude D510s. Another couple of items that may be looked for are chargers for the Emachines M5118, Advent 8109 and Toshiba A60.

As things stand,  the Acer 9300 sold for £30 (total spent £10, £20 profit, on the job lot of 7 it came from we’re now at £67 profit with the 3 Fujitsus and the Inspiron 1525 left to sell), the two V5535s are almost ready for sale, although they both need chargers as the one I bought doesn’t work, the 7211, D9510 and nx6125 are going up for sale as soon as they’ve finished doing updates, and as soon as the palmrest arrives for the Extensa, that will be going too (the base is already here. Some other machines I no longer need (Dell D410, Sony PCG-GRX316MP, Acer 5100s, Acer 7520, HP G62, and what’s left of the Mini 910) are up for sale as spares machines. Everything else will either be done up or sold as is, as I’m preparing to clear out as much as I can prior to moving back home later this month!

So, a week or two ago, it was assignment week and it was a nice day, so I decided to take a break and head to my usual Wednesday boot (possibly in an attempt at procrastination) and picked up these!

Dell Inspiron 1545

A smart little machine, with its glossy blue lid, a Core 2 Duo T5800 2GHz, 3GB RAM (now 2GB), no hard drive, a cracked bezel and no charger with it. Screen lights up for a couple of seconds then goes off. Another inverter doesn’t fix the issue, so likely a screen fault. I don’t have any spare ones in (this takes 15.6″ LCD not LED), but I may have a way of getting one.
Price Paid: £20

Office Home and Student 2007

I pick these up all the time when I can. People think they’re not worth a lot, but I’ve had £50 and £60 on eBay for them in the past. This is currently listed, anything it achieves I’ll be happy with. I’ll be listing it as soon as I get chance to pop into town and get some envelopes from the pound shop.
Price Paid: £3

And then on the Saturday, I got this.

Dell Inspiron 1545

I paid too much really but it was OK! Pentium dual core, 2GHz, 3GB RAM, a dead 160GB hard drive (I will attempt to revive it though), no charger. The glossy red lid was cracked too. Upped to 4GB RAM out of the other 1545. New lid (in the right red, but matte not glossy), a non-camera bezel (this one has a camera so the bezel will go on the other one) and a set of hinges, £5 new due to a pricing error on eBay! I tried the inverter from this in the other one, no dice, so the other one wants a screen. Oh well, 320GB comes out of that, and into this alongside the extended battery (a less good regular but genuine Dell battery goes into the other one!), which gets the new lid and the existing bezel. Total spend of £5 for the charger, £5 for the lid, £5 for the HDD, equalling £55. Sold the other day through Gumtree.
Price Paid: £40
Price Sold: £100
Profit: £45

Tales from the Car Boot: Come Fly With Me! + TomTom Lives!

First things first, updates. The dock for the TomTom has arrived, and it only works fine! Maps are due an update, but this isn’t too tricky to sort. This will definitely be kept, it’s so much quicker and louder than Google Maps on my phone, and I like that it doesn’t rely on having a phone signal. Not buying a windscreen mount, as I’ve found a flat place to mount it in the car with the desktop dock, and the rubberised base ensures it stays in place. Annoyingly, I can’t use my car stereo’s USB port to charge it, as it thinks it’s a computer and keeps trying to turn it off for power-saving reasons, but I’m simply going to reuse my old USB 12v adapter from my old TomTom One, which if I can find someone who wants an old, out of date, chunky, slow and modified sat-nav (soldered a wire internally so it can charge off miniUSB. Great, except it thinks it’s a computer, so you have to charge it a bit, then unplug, turn it on, and once it’s booted, plug it back in!), I will consider selling. I’ll claim my 1GB SD card out of it first though, and put the original 256MB card back in.

So, with that done, here’s a few bits picked up from the car boot on Wednesday. I might be at the one on Sunday, not sure yet, I know I’m working Saturday.

Apple AirPort Express (A1392)

Typical sleek Apple looks, once I cleaned it up!
Typical sleek Apple looks, once I cleaned it up!

This I was very impressed with. This was bought from the same person who sold me the 4 laptops, the camcorder, the sat nav and the Kindle a couple of weeks ago. Was a bit mucky, but has cleaned up well. Seems to be working fine, once I remembered to install AirPort Utility on my machine! I’ll probably take it to CEX, who at the time of writing will pay £31, or I might sell it elsewhere, as they seem to fetch around £50 on eBay.
Price Paid: £3

Advent Roma 2000

Mistake number 1.
Mistake number 1, and YES, that is a 2L bottle of pop holding the screen up for the photo!

This didn’t go so well. Seller informed me it was complete… Our survey says? WRONG! No HDD and only 1GB of the 3GB of RAM it’s supposed to have (and that was hidden under the keyboard, probably why it was still there!). Also doesn’t boot, and as you can see, needs new hinges, a new bezel, and a new screen. Powers on for 10 seconds, then reboots. No luck getting the board going, so this has been scrapped. Kept the keyboard, the battery (which I think works), the 1GB stick of RAM, wifi card and DVD drive, the rest’s been thrown.
Price Paid: £10

Asus F5SL

Mistake number 2!
Mistake number 2!

Same seller, same lies! No HDD, no RAM. Powers on and stays on, but fan doesn’t spin and no video output. Screen looks to be OK, so not as bad as the Advent, and I can source a working motherboard relatively cheaply, but it does need a palmrest, base plastics, a key (possibly a keyboard) and a DVD drive (or a faceplate at least), and obviously I’d need to source a charger, add RAM (not a problem) and a HDD (more annoying but doable). Board was dead, so ultimately, I’ve scrapped it, keeping the keyboard, wifi card, the entire top half (screen still untested so far!) and the battery.
Price Paid: £7

If we’re lucky, the AirPort Express will cover the cost of the other two! Now, someone remind me not to buy off that man again!

Current Stock: A Tale of iThingies

One of my better bargains was purchased this week. Doing my usual scroll through local Facebook for sale pages, I spotted a potential gem: an iPhone 5. The main fault was the lock button not working, the listing picture wasn’t great, and it looked to be in a scuffed case, but it was £60 with charger and headphones, so well worth a punt, thought I.

A 10 mile drive out of the city into a nearby village later, and to my surprise the phone was in good condition, and boxed with everything bar the SIM pin, and a brand new case to go with it. Furthermore, it had been kept in this scuffed case (some Gear4 job with a cover for the screen) from what looked like new, with only slight marring on the bevelled edges of the metal band, and an immaculate screen. The only downside was the fault and that the phone was locked to EE. Unsurprisingly my attempts at haggling were refused, but I’d already hit a relative goldmine here.

For those that have been living under a rock for the past few years, this is an iPhone.
For those that have been living under a rock for the past few years, this is an iPhone.


Upon getting it home, I set about looking at how to change the lock button. I’d already had a brief look online to see the cost of parts, and I could have got a new button assembly for around £3 on the bay of E. But wait, what’s this? Apple are doing free repairs for this fault on certain iPhone 5 handsets (link here)? And this handset I have here happens to qualify? Ker, and indeed, ching! Apple have sent me a box to send mine in for the repair, and I should receive it back within roughly two weeks repaired. UPS are collecting this today.

Less impressive is EE. Despite me owning numerous SIMs (phone testing purposes, not burner phones), I had never had a device before that accepts nano SIMs, and therefore did not possess one. Off to the local EE store. “Oh, you’ll need to buy at least a £5 top-up with that SIM, sir”… Great, £5 credit I’ll never use, just what I always wanted! If sold privately I’ll probably leave it with the phone, an extra selling point maybe. I might just keep it in case I buy more nano-SIM equipped wonders. Who knows?

So where do we go from here? In good condition (and this is mint!) I can get £110 for trading it in, or £150ish on Ebay. I think I’ll aim for somewhere in between. I’ll probably stick it back on the for sale sites and on Gumtree to save buggering about with postage.

Next up we have probably one of the quickest turnarounds I’ve done. A friend contacted me about the cost of fixing his friend’s iPhone 4, with a cracked front glass. Said friend of friend then decided they no longer needed their iPhone 4, so I then agreed to buy it. Arranged to collect the phone at 11am on Saturday morning, and paid £25.

By 2pm on Saturday afternoon, I dropped it off with one of my usual contacts for £35, and at that I kept the genuine Apple charger. Not bad for basically no work whatsoever. No pictures were taken in the three hours it happened to be in my possession as I had better things to do, such as RAM testing on a laptop I’d also picked up (more on this in a future post!) and food, so imagine a black iPhone 4 with cracked front glass.

Finally, iPod nanos. This one was a mistake to buy. 6th generation nano, in silver, 8GB. Picked up on a car boot a while ago for £5. Cracked screen. No problem, replacement for £10 off eBay… Oh wait, the backlight doesn’t work now. Get replacement from seller… Nope, backlight still not working. Alright, try the existing screen… no, backlight not working on that any more. Shit. Currently up for £10 and hoping I get rid as soon as possible, but this will be a definite loss!