I am a certified tech who has been selling computers since the introduction of the first IBM PC Model 5150. I saw the value in computers right away, just as you probably have. The IBM PC 8088 model 5150, IBM XT 8088 model 5160 and the IBM AT 80286 model 5170 were selling for a for as much as $ 3,600 plus any added products such as more ram and a modem. I had one of these IBM's that I is used for word processing and for creating brochures. The real value for your dollar came in with the introduction of windows and Desktop Publishing. The amount of value or increase of return on investment increased exponentially with the introduction of these 286 computers using windows.
* Upgrade Ram:
The values of a 286 or 386 processor based computer can be taken advantage of now more then ever. I have 286 computers that seem to run just as fast as a 486 processor based computer. The 386 based computers are better for this example project. But, a 286 with a beefed up ram can be used as well. The first thing you will need to do is increase your ram. Most 286 and 386 computers use PC100 or PC133 ram. Please check your computer to confirm what ram your computer is using. In most cases you can upgrade from PC100 to PC133. However, always use LOW DENSITY PC133. Your computer will not recognize all of the memory on the PC133 high Density card unless your BIOS has been upgraded to take advantage of HIGH DENSITY. Upgrading the ram will increase the speed by more then 100%. It will increase the speed of your page loads and more. You will need to expand your RAM to at least 512MB or 1GB for this project. Also, upgrade your hard drive to at least 40 GB.
* Up Grade Your Operating System:
You should upgrade your operating system. If you have a 286 or a 386 processor, you most likely have Windows 98, Millennium or Windows 2,000. For this project, you will want to upgrade to Windows XP or Windows XP Professional. Windows XP works very well on 286 and 386 computers. You will notice a dramatic increase in performance just by upgrading these items on your used computer.
* Get Rid of Your Phone Company:
Now, I am going to show you how to really save money with your used computer. You can get rid of your abusive phone company by converting your old used computer into a VOIP Communications System. WOW, what is that? That is a technical term for telephone system. You can use your old used computer as a completely automated office system with free phone and free Fax. There are two very reliable VOIP companies that I recommend.
* Reliable Cheap VOIP Systems:
I personally use the Magic Jack for business and personal use. You will need at least 512mb of RAM and DSL internet service to get good clear voice with the Magic Jack. The Magic Jack is the cheapest and offers the best bang for your dollar. I have not been able to use the fax with the Magic Jack. You may not be able to use your Visa Master card machine with it either. That has to be checked out. But, there probably is a good way to do it. The Magic Jack is only $ 19.95 for the whole year with unlimited local and long distance calls. I also have a SKYPE account. SKYPE is my second recommendation. Skype is at SKYPE.com. SKYPE has an unlimited service for 5.95 per month. They also have a completely free service for those who sign up as a free member. They have other features such as free WECAM service. At these low prices, I am sure that you can afford both the Magic Jack and SKYPE.
* Get Free Cable With Your Used Computer:
There are 100 percent legal cable boxes that work very well with these used 286 and 386 computers through the internet. These cable boxes can provide you with all of the premier channels that your existing cable company charges, for free. I do not have one. So, I can not recommend one. However, some of my associates have recommended an IV 9000, that sells for about $ 150 dollars.
* Learn How To Fix Your Own Computer:
You can save even more money by fixing your own computer or laptop. There are very cheap computer repair video courses that you can take over the internet. You will save a lot of money both now and in the future by investing some time into learning how to fix computers. You can check the internet for computer repair courses or become a member of my site and get the course for free.