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Thread: How to get a PC for free, no really, not j/k

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default How to get a PC for free, no really, not j/k

    This only works if you use your current computer (electricity) a lot. Ever have an old laptop or desktop that is just chugging along and wished you could have the latest and greatest essentially for free? Here is how:

    Sit down and calculate the cost (electrical consumption) of operating your current computer (or laptop) for one year. You will need to know the rates your utility company charges per kWhr at various times of the day, and also the average power consumption of your PC. It will help if you have a Watt meter to measure the power drain of your computer. If you don't have a Watt meter, just use these generic values: 50W for a laptop, 120W for a desktop. If the cost of operating your PC for one year exceeds $75, then you can do this to get a new PC for free:

    Get a dual Windows 10 + Android 8" Chinese tablet from eBay that costs no more than $120 shipped from China. The model I most highly recommend is the Cube iWork8 as I am currently writing this post from this very high quality model tablet. It comes with 2GB RAM, a quad-core CPU fast enough to play 1080p videos smoothly, and plenty of internal disk space with a 32GB eMMC drive. So here's how the free computer part works out:

    Option 1: Continue to use your current computer, pay the utility company +$75/yr to power it
    $75 yr 1
    $75 yr 2
    $75 yr 3

    Option 2: Buy a cheap (but very powerful) tablet from eBay like the Cube iWork8, pay the utility company no more than $25 to power it for one year
    $25 yr 1 + $50 towards cost of tablet
    $25 yr 2 + $50 towards cost of tablet
    $25 yr 3 + $20 towards cost of tablet + $30 for accessories (like USB chargers/charging cables/micro SD cards)
    Bonus: $25 power cost actually includes operating your laptop for 12 hours on the weekends, or about 5 weekend hours if you own a desktop

    So, there you have it. If you choose the tablet route instead of continue to use your current/old PC, it comes at the cost of "free" after 3 years. The only assumption I am making is the tablet will last three years, which I'm pretty confident of since the iWork8 comes from a very reputable company located in China's tech hub, Shenzhen.

    Btw, pitfalls for ppl to avoid (my personal experience):
    The best under $10 USB charger that is safe and high quality is the Blitzwolf USB charger on Banggood (it's the one that has over 70 positive reviews and no bad ones) just make sure you get one with US plug in u live in US.
    All micro SD cards sold on eBay have fake capacities, but if you need one you can get a 16GB one for $7 from an eBay seller called BuyInCoins (they have multiple eBay usernames like ebalan, etc.), actual capacity is around 6 GB, and you will need to reformat everyday (to avoid data corruption, just wipe it clean with a format before copying new files onto it) so it's only for temporary storage (ie. to transfer files to your computer or to copy a TV show on it to watch later), so don't store important things like family photos on it long term.
    The micro USB to regular sized USB dongle that comes with the tablet is unreliable for data transfer, the reliable adapters can be had for $1 from eBay that has no cable in between, just a short neck between adapter ends.
    Most charging cables on eBay are slow trickle chargers, the ones that charges the tablet really fast are called 28/24AWG cables, so make sure this is found in the item's description, by looking it should also have a thicker cable to allow more electrons to move thru it.

    Btw, the recent bout of Samsung devices catching on fire in the news. It was revealed later that the batteries were made in Vietnam and/or India. Batteries used in devices coming from Shenzhen are high quality Chinese ones that do NOT catch on fire. The battery powering my iWork8 tablet is probably made by the same Chinese companies that make lithium polymer batteries for Lenovo tablets, or Huawei smafos.

    These next parts are important so I will save it for the next post:
    Last edited by hirobo2; 03-01-17 at 04:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014


    OK, so here is the second part (the last point is the real important one):

    1. Intel stopped making the CPU that power cheap Windows/Android tablets. And Microsoft will soon switch to giving out Windows 10 Cloud on these devices that require you to buy a license to turn them into full-fledge Windows. It means, if you do it in the future instead of now, you will get very sucky ARM tablets that run Windows 10 Cloud instead of true Intel tablets that run full Windows 10 Pro.

    2. Windows 10 is spyware. Never give out your Wi-Fi password to it, it will share it with the world and the police, FBI, etc. Create a guest login system on your router that is different than the admin/normal one. Use the guest login to connect Windows 10 to the internet. Change the guest login password every few months.

    3. This is the REAL important one. Because Windows 10 forces you to install updates, one bad update will brick your tablet making it useless. There is a way to disable the forced updates completely. Just create a cmd (old DOS) script that disables Windows Update services/telemetry that loops regularly after a timeout period (in case Windows 10 tries to re-enable those services). Run the script in the background on every startup. In addition to the script, you must disable the following: Wi-Fi Sense (Wi-Fi sharing), set your Wi-Fi as metered connection, set Automatic Updates to postpone, and disable automatic device drivers update.

    So here is the cmd script that disables Windows Updates completely. Just copy this text to NotePad, save the file as extension .BAT (ex: DisableWinUp.BAT). Right click to run as Administrator:

    net stop "BITS"
    sc stop "BITS"
    sc config "BITS" start=disabled
    net stop "wuauserv"
    sc stop "wuauserv"
    sc config "wuauserv" start=disabled
    net stop "dmwappushservice"
    sc stop "dmwappushservice"
    sc config "dmwappushservice" start=disabled
    net stop "DiagTrack"
    sc stop "DiagTrack"
    sc config "DiagTrack" start=disabled
    net stop "AJRouter"
    sc stop "AJRouter"
    sc config "AJRouter" start=disabled
    net stop "DcpSvc"
    sc stop "DcpSvc"
    sc config "DcpSvc" start=disabled
    net stop "WSearch"
    sc stop "WSearch"
    sc config "WSearch" start=disabled
    net stop "Wpnservice"
    sc stop "Wpnservice"
    sc config "Wpnservice" start=disabled
    reg add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WpnUserSer vice" /v "Start" /t "REG_DWORD" /d "4" /f
    reg add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\UserDataSv c" /v "Start" /t "REG_DWORD" /d "4" /f
    reg add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\UnistoreSv c" /v "Start" /t "REG_DWORD" /d "4" /f
    reg add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\PimIndexMa intenanceSvc" /v "Start" /t "REG_DWORD" /d "4" /f
    reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PolicyManag er\current\device\System" /v "AllowExperimentation" /t "REG_DWORD" /d "0" /f
    timeout 900
    goto start
    P.S.: I'm loving how these tablets play C-drama shows very smoothly. Three Lives Three Worlds 2017 looks really good on my Cube iWork8 tablet!
    Last edited by hirobo2; 03-01-17 at 04:10 PM.

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