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MacBytes
Aug 2, 2005, 10:28 PM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Two Henrico County supervisors want to let county residents cut in line when $50 Apple iBooks go on sale.
(http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20050802232837)

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by arn

clayj
Aug 2, 2005, 10:45 PM
I agree with the folks who think that the county's residents should get first crack at these laptops. After all, it was their tax dollars that bought them in the first place.

jayeskreezy
Aug 2, 2005, 11:07 PM
good to know...thanks for the update...please let us know what they decide at the end of the week too....i'd like to know before I head down there

larriveejp
Aug 2, 2005, 11:46 PM
If I was a local citizen I would be more concerned that they are leaving good money on the table by setting the price at $50 than I would about not getting to cut in line to buy a cheap laptop.

Bless their poor little confused bureaucratic hearts. These guys obviously don't have a clue what they have gotten themselves into.

Good luck to anyone going down to try and buy one. I am sure it will be quite the spectacle.

mkaake
Aug 3, 2005, 07:00 AM
If I was a local citizen I would be more concerned that they are leaving good money on the table by setting the price at $50 than I would about not getting to cut in line to buy a cheap laptop.

Bless their poor little confused bureaucratic hearts. These guys obviously don't have a clue what they have gotten themselves into.

Good luck to anyone going down to try and buy one. I am sure it will be quite the spectacle.

of course, we have no idea what kind of shape these are in... so maybe 50 dollars isn't too far off the mark...

I like the idea of letting county residents in first - that way they're actually helping out the people who paid for them, which is the way it should be...

gwuMACaddict
Aug 3, 2005, 07:04 AM
hahaha... they really have no idea how to handle this, do they... :confused:

i had been pretty serious about driving down there, not too far from me... but jeez... what a mess...

zelmo
Aug 3, 2005, 07:09 AM
If they make that call (which I agree with), I hope they do it soon so people have a chance to find out before they start their treks.

If someone goes, can you please take a video camera with you to record the madness?

macnulty
Aug 3, 2005, 08:11 AM
of course, we have no idea what kind of shape these are in... so maybe 50 dollars isn't too far off the mark...

I like the idea of letting county residents in first - that way they're actually helping out the people who paid for them, which is the way it should be...

For parts alone they are worth much more then 50 bucks. Pissing away tax dollars is what politicians do best, just clueless. They probably figured since Dells are so popular who would want an iBook.

mkaake
Aug 3, 2005, 09:59 AM
For parts alone they are worth much more then 50 bucks. Pissing away tax dollars is what politicians do best, just clueless. They probably figured since Dells are so popular who would want an iBook.

my impression was that the politicians involved wanted to give locals and the students the opportunity to get a laptop on the cheap... and they didn't realize how fanatical mac users can be. end of story. I honestly don't think they knew that there are mac users who are willing to drive 1000 miles, fly across an ocean, or sell their left nut to get a cheap ibook.

i get mad at politicians when it's due, but I think they were trying to do something good in this case, and just screwed up on the excecution...

shamino
Aug 3, 2005, 11:08 AM
A laptop that's been used and abused by schoolchildren for four years?

$50 isn't going to be all that much of a bargain.

A brand new iBook starts at $1000, these wouldn't be worth much more than about $250 if they were in mint condition. Which they won't be.

Travel a huge distance to wait on line for a chance to spend $50 on something that's unlikely to be worth more than $150? Your expenses for the gasoline, food and lodging will easily be several times what you're saving.

To anybody who thinks this is a good idea, use your brain and get a life!.

nagromme
Aug 3, 2005, 11:45 AM
Yes, give them to the students/parents first/other residents first.

And yes, think twice before buying a used iBook. These are G3s, right? They MAY be worth $50... but is a $50 computer worth the time and trouble? I'd say only if you're picking up a bunch for some fiendish special project, like adding in-car systems of some kind to small company's fleet. Something that demands no OS upgrade cost, and can tolerate a certain number of the units failing.

There are probably enough for all--aren't there 10s of thousands of them? And what OS are they running now? (Surely not Tiger.) If Panther, they might be good for a really cheap prospective switcher to "play with" on a trial basis.

iKwick7
Aug 3, 2005, 11:51 AM
First- there WERE 10 thousand or so. I am sure that students/former students already purchased most of them

Second- there are 1,000 for sale.

Third- look on ebay- these go for about $300+ in fair condition. $50 is a steal.

Fourth- It is a waste of time and money if you are driving an extremely far distance, in a Hummer, and staying overnight. In a normal car with descent mileage, a 10 hour round trip would only set you back about $60 or so.

I still think I am making this trip.

ham_man
Aug 3, 2005, 01:00 PM
HOLY CRAP BATMAN!!! Government officials using common sense!!! :rolleyes:

zelmo
Aug 3, 2005, 01:09 PM
HOLY CRAP BATMAN!!! Government officials using common sense!!! :rolleyes:

Yes, although as mkaake posted earlier, it is most likely that the powers-that-be had absolutely no understanding of how rabidly the Mac community would react to news of $50 laptops. I'm sure they looked at this as just another fire sale of excess gear, and set the price low to try and encourage locals to bother showing up. I can imagine their surprise...
I bet they now wish they had set the price a bit higher, $75-100.

iKwick7
Aug 3, 2005, 01:18 PM
After actually reading the article in its entirety, I do not see this happening. It appears that it is a part of the county's code that anyone be allowed to purchase the laptops. This would be something that is not quite so easy to change, especially with the sale being in less than a week.

I wish they did price them higher-wouldn't be so many people going. I think at $100 they still would sell out like hotcakes.

larriveejp
Aug 3, 2005, 01:24 PM
This is my left field conspiracy theory:

Either some ambitious Board members or "concerned" citizens came up with this plan to position themselves to buy up a bunch of iBooks they could easily resell for twice what they paid. (As someone else already mentioned, $300 is not an unusual price for these on eBay.)

Not very likely, but I still believe that something is off with the $50 price point. Local government is a business, not a charity. Didn't they cite price concerns as one of the reasons to switch to Dell? Even a locals only auction would make more sense than just unloading them for chump change.

jobberwacky
Aug 3, 2005, 01:28 PM
In a normal car with descent mileage, a 10 hour round trip would only set you back about $60 or so.

I still think I am making this trip.
Good for you that the setback for the environment won't appear on your bill...

macnulty
Aug 3, 2005, 02:06 PM
my impression was that the politicians involved wanted to give locals and the students the opportunity to get a laptop on the cheap... and they didn't realize how fanatical mac users can be. end of story. I honestly don't think they knew that there are mac users who are willing to drive 1000 miles, fly across an ocean, or sell their left nut to get a cheap ibook.

i get mad at politicians when it's due, but I think they were trying to do something good in this case, and just screwed up on the excecution...

I don't disagree the politicians want to do something good, but to let these go @ $50 is indicative of a want for research. Heck, it would make a great project for students to sell them on ebay for example, or start out selling at $300 and see if anyone shows up adjusting price accordingly. To just pull a price out of their... thin air to sell at, well, business savvy or innovative thinking may be a bit lacking. If for example, it was a parochial school,
the iBooks would be used until the plastic rotted if you know what I mean.

iKwick7
Aug 3, 2005, 02:36 PM
Good for you that the setback for the environment won't appear on your bill...


Excuse me?? And what is that supposed to mean?? Why don't you tell that to every person on this planet that drives to work every day. I mean really. I am at fault for for polution and whatnot caused by car fumes, eh? I mean, since I drive an environmentally friendly SUV (sarcasm, I would never- I hate gas guzzling cars). Get off your high horse.

And its funny that you should say that too, since I recently semi-purchased a prius (waiting for it to come in). So relax, hippie.

mkaake
Aug 3, 2005, 03:17 PM
well it looks like no-one will be making the trip now.

anyhew, for those of you with the conspiracy theory about pricing, look at what 500 mhz p3 laptops go for on ebay - about 60 or 70 bucks. it's not unusual for a property disposition to sell things a little bit below market - they're not there to make a killing, they're there to clear out. if they asked market price, they'd always be carrying stock, which is pretty much what they want to avoid...

lopresmb
Aug 4, 2005, 08:09 PM
I am ticked...I live in Virginia and had already made plans to make the trip up to Richmond the night before. Not only that, there are going to be a lot of poeople who show up on tuesday, wondering where everything is. (this doesn't seem to be really well advertised in the public at large. I have no problem with Henrico residents getting first dibs, but come on, you can't change this stuff after its been advertised for several weeks.....morons :mad: