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Re: Good buy or not?

On Sun, 5 Jan 1997 wb2oyc@cyberenet.net wrote:

> 	I wonder if anyone on the list may have experience with Packard
> Bell machines, running Debian ?  The reason for the question is, a local
> store is selling excess stock that didn't sell during the holiday season
> at a price that is very, very, tempting.  Actually, the price is only a
> little more than the cost of a decent motherboard, and it is for a
> complete system, including monitor, 4X CD-ROM, etc.  The processor is a
> 75Mhz Pentium.  I don't know the whole story of the Pentium line, but
> would it be reasonable to assume that the cpu could be readily upgraded?
> Thats a detail that might depend entirely on the capability of the board
> in the machine, and I know little about PB, other than the adverse stories
> of the recent past.  Are they still using "refurbished" stuff and selling
> it as new?  Do their machines use standard memory components, so they
> could be easily upgraded with parts from other vendors, etc?  They don't
> mention the vendor, but the machine includes an video accelerator type of
> card, and the machine is billed as a "multimedia home PC".  The monitor is
> one of those goofy looking things with speakers glued to its sides.  It is
> a model 4240.  Anyone have any comments on its insides, and whether it
> might be as good a buy as it appears to be?
> 	My current machine is an old 486 box, and I need space for an
> additional HD, etc.  Running an AMD 486/133, so this machine would not
> really be much of an upgrade in itself in terms of performance, but if
> possible, I would quickly upgrade its cpu and memory.  Would this be a
> decent platform to build on or not?
My experience with Packard-Bell machines is that these folks made a decent
car an an ok telephone, but their computer stinks worse than a landfill of
diapers. These machines are almost completely NONE upgradable. They are
typically incompatable with all other components (memory etc) and in order
to get their "low profile" design they mount expansion boards horizontaly
rather than virtically, typically giving only 2 or 3 expansion slots.
Literally everything is on the mother board, so if the least thing breaks,
you own a "not so functional" boat anchor. 
If you never need to upgrade or fix them, they are just fine for "limited"
applications, but my advice would be, upgrade to a pentium mother board
(PCI) and you will get two ide channels to hang drives on. Spend the rest
of your money on memory and drives. You will be much happier with the
results. Remember: You get what you pay for!



------------                                          --------------

aka   Dale Scheetz                   Phone:   1 (904) 656-9769
      Flexible Software              11000 McCrackin Road
      e-mail:  dwarf@polaris.net     Tallahassee, FL  32308

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