Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 131 / JULY 1991 / PAGE 133

Alex Randall's Used Computer Handbook. (book reviews)
by Mike Hubbartt

Known as a computer hardware junkie by most of my friends and associates, I spend a fair amount of time out looking for "good deals." I own two complete systems, but there always seems to be some card or peripheral needing an upgrade to a newer/faster/enhanced version. For those of you looking to buy a computer, whether for the first time or as an upgrade to a better system, reading Alex Randall's book will expedite the decision-making process.

This 240-page book covers the ins and outs of acquiring a used computer for both you and your business. Randall explains the tactics to employ whether you're the seller or the buyer of a system. Also covered well are where to advertise a computer and what to look out for, from both the seller's and buyer's perspectives. Even a computer novice will soon gain a better idea of what to look for and how much to pay.

The author relates a few amusing stories regarding people he's dealt with and reveals common misconceptions concerning both price and value of different products (hint: four- to five-year-old computers are generally not worth 90 percent of the original sales price, but you'd be surprised at how many people hold this misconception). The explanation of how systems depreciate is useful if you're looking to sell a computer (as I am) and may help steer unwary first-time buyers away from that "real good deal" that isn't. Quite useful and enjoyable, Alex Randall's Used Computer Handbook makes clear the state of the secondhand computer market. Don't shop without it.