After two tries with eBay Dell SX280s, I’m giving up. A second one arrived a day or two ago, and it doesn’t boot, even to the BIOS setup. After researching this it looks like it might involve capacitors on the motherboard. The first eBay seller promptly refunded my money and told me to keep the unit.
The second seller also refunded payment promptly and requested that I send the unit back. I won’t be able to try the capacitor replacement fix.
Out of three purchases, one works fine, and two were dead on arrival. Not a particularly great record, and I think I will end this experiment and go back to looking at purchasing at the Dell Outlet, or even new machines.
I just configured a low-end new Optiplex for $371. Of interest is this does not include any floppy, CD, or DVD drive. I added an extra 1 meg of RAM for a total of 2 megs, and kept the Windows Vista home OS with the idea of replacing with a license that I have here for Windows 7 and/or Ubuntu Linux.
So, the upshot is we’re still looking at a minimum of around $500 for a basic Dell desktop machine which includes a flat screen. The hardware guys recommend Samsung and Viewsonic flat screens.
A new stock analysis service called Trefis has this to say about the Dell company.
Dell is known primarily for its product line of desktop and notebook PCs, printers, and PC displays. However, much of Dell’s value comes from higher profitability businesses, such as managed services and consulting, through which Dell provides business customers with services, such as desktop outsourcing or IT call center support.
We foresee Dell contemplating an exit from the desktops, printers and displays business.
Hmm.. They calculate that desktop machines are roughly 2% of the company value, laptops about 20%, (ten times the desktop figure!) and that the largest proportion of value comes from Dell’s acquisition of Perot Systems in “business services”.