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Found a pair of Packard Bells

GottaLottaStuff

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Went to an estate sale today, came home with two Packard Bells, a Legend 386X and a Legend 650X. The 650X works, the 386X does not, so I took it apart and took some pictures of both. Packard Bell porn, anyone?. :)
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They also had an AST 486 but I was out of time and money, so I had to leave it behind. :(
 

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krebizfan

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Hmm, the BIOS infers that they are the same Packard Bell that made TV's and radios, but it's not.. :/ That's strange.

Not strange, that was their whole marketing campaign that Packard Bell is a long lasting trustworthy company that would produce durable computers. Not true of course but it took a few years for what Packard Bell was actually selling to kill the favorable memories of Grampa's old radio.
 

vwestlife

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Hmm, the BIOS infers that they are the same Packard Bell that made TV's and radios, but it's not.. :/ That's strange.

I remember seeing fine print in Packard Bell computer ads saying that they had no affiliation with any other companies using the same name. I took that to mean they had no affiliation with the Bell telephone companies (given the "listening to us" slogan), since I was young enough that I had never heard of or seen any Packard Bell radios or TVs.

As Wikipedia says, my confusion -- even having read that disclaimer -- was not uncommon: "Packard Bell sometimes benefited from misplaced name recognition, with consumers (especially first-time computer buyers) and even some salespeople erroneously associating the company with others of similar name, such as Hewlett-Packard, Pacific Bell, and Bell Laboratories. Packard Bell's old slogan, 'America grew up listening to us. It still does', may have facilitated the confusion."
 

Al Hartman

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In the beginning, Packard Bell sold re-branded Daewoo Computers. The same as Leading Edge. They were decent computers. Later, they started designing their own systems and cost-reducing the components. that's when they became unreliable, and got a bad reputation.

The early computers were quite nice.

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vwestlife

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"Not affiliated with any former Bell System entity."

And I've never seen a Packard Bell laptop, typewriter, or laser printer...

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Al Hartman said:
In the beginning, Packard Bell sold re-branded Daewoo Computers. The same as Leading Edge. They were decent computers. Later, they started designing their own systems and cost-reducing the components. that's when they became unreliable, and got a bad reputation.

In the '90s they got caught putting used parts in new machines:

"Packard Bell Settles Suit Alleging Use of Recycled Parts"
http://articles.latimes.com/1998/oct/08/business/fi-30462

Along with their reputation of poor reliability, the used parts scandal did them in, and Packard Bell pulled out of the U.S. market in 2000.
 

Caluser2000

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Turns out we have a Packard Bell iMedia 2.5 P4 system gathering dust.

Apple used rebadged laser printers as well.
 
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Trixter

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In the '90s they got caught putting used parts in new machines:

"Packard Bell Settles Suit Alleging Use of Recycled Parts"
http://articles.latimes.com/1998/oct/08/business/fi-30462

Along with their reputation of poor reliability, the used parts scandal did them in, and Packard Bell pulled out of the U.S. market in 2000.

While certainly misrepresenting the item as brand new, which is fraud, is there a technical reason this is bad? Used hard drives, sure, and maybe the power supply, but everything else doesn't contain moving parts and should operate the same as when it was new. I wonder what parts they were caught recycling.

A decade ago I used to buy "used" DVDs from blockbuster which were nearly pennies on the dollar (ie. $2.99 for a DVD that retailed for $19). I never understood why they thought used DVDs were "worn out" like used VHS tapes and priced them accordingly.
 

Al Hartman

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I worked for CompUSA. All the repair parts we got were refurbished parts. So, if you brought in a unit for service, you got "recycled" parts.

As long as it is backed up by a warranty, I don't really see a problem with it.

Just keep your important data backed up.
 
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