Programming Blog

Jeremy Morgan

Mostly Coherent Ramblings of a Silicon Forest Software Developer

Where to Find a Cheap Computer in Oregon

By: Jeremy Morgan

This post isn’t going to be much use for the majority of my audience, but I am creating this post because I am often referring people to these places, and wanted to create a nice page to send them to.

This is a small list of computer recyclers in my area that I’ll be updating and spreading around. I’m a huge fan of computer recycling and low cost computing, if you’re curious you should look around in your area for some similar non profit recyclers!

Can I use a recycled computer?

The answer to this isn’t always yes. If you’re looking for the latest and greatest, or you play games (real games not Facebook games) you won’t be able to find what you need here. But mostly what I get asked about is: “I need a computer for school but don’t want to pay a lot” and that’s one area where recycled computers shine. Here’s what you can use recycled computers for:

Schoolwork - High School, college etc. Creating documents and reports, etc. A cheap computer running OpenOffice will work just fine.

Programming - A high end machine is nice for programming but not really necessary. You can do web development on just about anything for instance. I do most of the work for this website on a 2004 Powerbook, because it’s basic text editing. My Windows stuff is done on a 2007 Toshiba Laptop.

Office Management - Again using a cheap older computer with OpenOffice and you can do pretty much anything a high dollar new machine will do, only a bit slower. But if you’re saving $1000 it might be worth the price.

Kid Computers - If you want a computer for your kids to browse the internet and play learning games an old computer works great. If you’re ready for the challenge, you can install Linux on it where most versions have TONS of educational software for free. Take Edubuntu for a spin and check out all the awesome stuff they have.

This list could be a lot longer but it’s not the purpose of the article. Basically if you aren’t playing online games, ripping videos or something of that sort you might notice that a new computer isn’t a whole lot better than an older one.

Cheap Computer Recyclers in Oregon

Here is a list of people I’ve dealt with personally and really like. You can walk in with a couple hundred bucks and come out with a decent desktop or laptop that works great. They test their equipment, set it up and don’t try to upsell your or rip you off.

Computer Drive Connection - Cornelius Oregon

Their Website

Since this one is closest to my hometown I’ve been sending a lot of people here. The guy running it is great, he’s very knowledgeable and honest. Just tell him what you need to use a computer for and he’ll steer you right. Great prices as well.

For instance, I picked up a 20” LCD flatpanel monitor there recently for $100. Worked great, no scratches or dead pixels. It’s the 3rd or 4th monitor I’ve picked up there that works great.

Map to their location

Phone: (503) 992-0180

Eco Binary - Beaverton Oregon

Their Website

I just recently discovered this place, and they treated me really well. I picked up a laptop for $100 (the Core2 Toshiba) and an old G4 machine for a server. The dusty old G4 had been sitting a while but he said “yes, it works if not bring it back”. Great policy, but the machine did work exactly as advertised.

Again it’s a good place with knowledgeable people and no sales pressure. It’s family run and they do a great service for the community and their customers.

Map to their location

Phone: (503) 352-4991

Free Geek

Their Website

For those in the Portland Metro area this is another great service you gotta check out. They are a non profit that offers free computers (if you qualify) and free computer classes as well. But if you don’t qualify for a free one or you feel like supporting them you can visit their thrift store and purchase items at a great price. All purchases support their mission.

Map to their location

Phone: (503) 232-9350

Recycled computers are awesome!

I will be researching more of these types of companies locally and adding to this list. There’s many reasons getting a recycled computer makes sense, you save money and help keep this stuff from hitting landfills. You support families and volunteers rather than giant corporations.

If you’re not from the Northwest Oregon area, search for some recyclers in your area! Even if you already have your dream machine it may be worth getting a machine to tinker with for projects, media servers etc. Enjoy!