Cameron’s Computers In Dickinson, North Dakota

The first laptop computer that I owned, was a Compaq Preserio that I bought in 1999 for $2,400.  The company that I was working for agreed to pay for 1/2 the cost of this computer, because I needed it for work.

This was a very good, high quality computer, that I still have to this day, in perfect condition.  I use it to watch DVDs.  It has a 500 MHz processor, and the operating system is Microsoft Windows 98.

In 2007, I purchased an Acer Aspire 5100 laptop on-sale at Best Buy for $500.  I needed to get an updated laptop in order to have one with a built-in wireless adapter, so that I could access the internet at restaurants, cafes, and hotels.  This Acer laptop had a 1.4 GHz processor and it came with Microsoft Windows Vista as the operating system.

This Acer laptop was nothing but trouble the whole time that I had it.  It was very slow to boot up, the wireless adapter seemed to always have problems connecting, the computer would lock up, and the battery never allowed very much operating time.  Whenever I went to a public place to try to connect to the internet with this Acer laptop, it was always a battle.

In 2013, I was living in Dickinson, North Dakota, and I was looking to buy some equipment for my self-employment work, when I met Cameron Loffelmacher.  Cameron is in his late 50s, and he goes to auctions to buy equipment and tools:  pumps, motors, generators, compressors, air tanks, gang boxes, truck tool boxes, trailers, and vehicles.  But he also buys computers.

After Cameron showed me some of the equipment that he had, he started talking about and showing me some of the computers that he had:  laptops, tablets, desktops, monitors, keyboards, and hard drives.  He sold me the cheapest laptop that he had for $40, explaining that this laptop was pretty much mostly good for going on the internet.

This generic brand laptop computer that I bought from Cameron in 2013 worked O.K. for getting on the internet, but later in 2014, I needed a better laptop for producing work schedules and creating documents.  I went back to Cameron’s, and he had a very good business grade Dell laptop computer that he sold to me for about $120.

This Dell laptop was very heavy-duty because it was for business use.  It was not damaged, dinged, or scratched in any way.  Cameron had bought it an auction, and he told me that it had come from the University system in North Dakota.  I can’t remember if the processor was 1.5 GHz or 2 GHz, and I believe that the operating system was Microsoft Windows 7.  This was the best, fastest, and most reliable computer that I had owned so far.

I used this Dell laptop for two years without any problems, it worked great.  But, I had always kept the power cord plugged in, and I never used the battery.  Because I had not routinely allowed the battery to go through discharge and recharge cycles, I ruined the battery.  I had no operating time at all with this battery.  I bought a new Dell battery, but this new battery would not charge because I did not have a Dell inverter power cable.

In 2016, I was working out of town every week, and I wanted a laptop computer that I could use in hotels and restaurants, not just to access the internet, but to create schedules, documents, and to watch movies after work.  Cameron had a very, very nice HP Pavilion laptop, which he sold to me for about $140.

This was the best laptop that I had ever owned.  It was so quick to boot up, so quick to access the internet, there was no lag time in watching movies, it had several hours of operating time on its batteries, it had Microsoft Windows 10 as its operating system, it was just flawless.  This HP Pavilion laptop was so good, that I was scared to take it anywhere.

In 2016, I bought a Microsoft Surface tablet from Cameron for $100.  For those of you who don’t know what this is, its dimensions are approximately 12″x 9″ and 1/4″ thick, and it weighs about one pound.  It is a computer, and its surface is entirely a touch screen.  At first, this technology was unbelievable to me and other people.  How could this thing, take photographs, video record with sound, play video, play movies, access the internet, and do everything that a computer could?  After about six months, it was a pain in the ass to type using the touch screen keyboard, and it lost its appeal.

Many people are mad at me, and you just can’t tell what anyone will do in North Dakota now, so I wasn’t about to take my HP Pavilion laptop to a library, diner, or truck stop and let it sit there on a table, where I might get up to go do something.

Just for a “beater” laptop, at the end of 2017, I bought an older heavily used Toshiba laptop from Cameron for $100.  He had replaced the processor, and installed Microsoft Windows 10 as the operating system.  This Toshiba is pretty quick, it has about two hours of operating time on its battery, but the letter “Z” key does not work, and the “?” key does not work.

This Toshiba laptop is perfect for using in public places.  When I have to get up and get something to eat or drink, or go to the bathroom, I just shut the cover so that I am logged out, and I walk away without worrying too much about someone taking it or damaging it.

The Acer Aspire 5100 laptop that I bought in 2007 from Best Buy for $500, that was the worst computer that I ever owned, I took it to Cameron this week to see what he could do with it.  We both agreed that we needed to get rid of Microsoft Vista as the operating system.  But with only 1 Gigabyte of RAM, Cameron said that I would not be able to load Microsoft Windows 10 onto it.

I was having a very hard time saving my Documents folder from this Acer laptop to disk.  I accomplished this just before this Acer locked up and crashed repeatedly.  Cameron and I looked at this laptop computer, and it was done, it would not even stay on.  We tried removing the battery, and using a different power inverter, but nothing helped.  I told Cameron that he could have this Acer laptop, because we worked on it for about one hour and could not determine everything that was wrong with it.  Cameron removed the hard drive from this laptop, and wiped it a using a magnetic device that reads and wipes data from hard drives.

The following day I returned to Cameron’s to pick up an aluminum truck bed tool box that he sold to me for about half of what they cost new.  He had my old Acer Aspire 5100 laptop taken apart, but it was running very well.  He was using an external fan to cool it, and an external Lennox operating system.

The Acer laptop had had a bad fan, which was causing the computer to overheat and shut down.  He had added more RAM, which had greatly increased the processing speed.  This laptop was now playing movies from the internet without any lag or pause.  Cameron had found that he could order a new fan for about $10, a new generic battery for about $12, and a lot more RAM for about $10.  Doing this, would allow this old computer to be updated to the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system.  He offered to do this and sell this computer back to me for not very much.

I am writing this blog post to recommend Cameron for desktop and laptop computer repair, and for consultation on what you can do with your old desktop and laptop computers.  Can you replace hard drives, processors, RAM, and other components, and have a greatly improved computer?

Do Not throw away your old laptop computer!  Believe it or not, laptop computers are fished out of the garbage.  Cameron will accept your old laptop computer that you do not want, and remove the hard drive right in front of you, give it back to you, or magnetically wipe it.

Cameron does not charge a lot of money, because he does not have to pay for a downtown office space or employees, it is just him.  He can be reached by telephone at 701-290-6655, or by e-mail at ndkid77@gmail.com.

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