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Not the Happy Cuddle Club.
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First some observations:
- my iBook is losing f100 or $50 in value every month since I bought it last December;
- I see friends wasting time, becoming frustrated with the annual upgrading of their PCs;
- selling a computer(stuff) secondhand is annoying;
- I can't miss my computer more than one day
when it needs to be serviced;
- I lend my external cd-writer to several friends, they all plan their cd toast weekends/weeks when it's their turn, very efficient;
- I like certain gadgets on new computers but I don't want to spend a lot for the occasional usage of it.
The solution, computer rental for home users.
Pay a fixed monthly fee for a minimal computer, an iMac for example. When I want to do some video-editing I can get an iMac DV over for some weeks. Or perhaps I want another color. Or a system with a huge harddisk, computing power and cd-writer (for MP3 compression). I might want to have a Windows PC over for some specific software (hypothetical).
This service is not for everybody. It's for those who plan and organise their time already very carefully. I personally don't mind reserving a computer 3 weeks in advance through the website of this service. They bring the machine over, make backups, transfer the files and preferences to the new system. The machine is cleaned and checked. You won't have unused equipment, manuals nor empty boxes ("just in case it needs to be serviced or to sell it 2nd hand") cluttering your high rent urban apartment. When it breaks down, it will be replaced at no extra cost.
What should it cost? I said I pay f3,25 ($1.5) every day, just to own the latest iBook. Depending on the extra service I might pay upto $5 a day for the best system. I have no problem with signing long term contracts.
Quite baked. Lots of different options (for companies or individuals, short-term or long-term, with or without service agreements). [egnor]
I used these guys on a recent trip to the US. They were moderately efficient, but took their time refunding my deposit after I sent the computer back. [egnor, Aug 20 2000, last modified Oct 21 2004]
I used these guys on a recent trip to the US. They were moderately efficient, but took their time refunding my deposit after I sent the computer back. [gilest, Aug 20 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]
In addition to being added here as commercial spam, the Rent-A-Computer site provides NO rental pricing information instead requiring you to provide information so that a sales agent can get a hold of you. [bristolz, Mar 17 2005]
Computer rental rates vary by location, duration of the rental, specifications and availablity. Prices for computer rentals change everyday and sometimes more than once per day. Best thing to do is obtain a current rate for any computer, laptop or notebook rental you need. [Beagle, May 01 2006]
||In addition to explicit computer rental services, there are lots of vendors who will offer you a "free PC" if you sign up for a long-term ISP service contract. This is computer rental in disguise.
||Yes egnor, it is surely baked when computer rental for businesses is concerned. Not for home-uses as I described it. The ISP supplied PCs are not what I mention either. I stress the service aspect of it. Always have the latest, no maintance, upgrading and downgrading whenever needed. That kind of service.
||there's a bunch of good ideas here
||1. abstracting out your data from the particular machine you are using. if your hard disk was just a local cache for some virtual drive that lived on the net, then it would be very easy to switch machines in and out and you wouldn't have down time for service or upgrades
||2. with this arrangement there is also the potential for the leasor to sell unused disk, cpu, bandwidth to others, for instance to provide network back-ups. these arrangements are too complex to handle individually but in bulk could be sold
||3. with home networking these things are getting complex enough to require some sort of monthly service contract anyway
||4. possibly least practically and most revolutionary is the concept of having the resources appear when you need them and then disappear when you're away. keeping your data on the network and a legion of gnomes with keys to your homes might make this work