Aug 22 2008

‘You traded the Bluesmobile for this?’ ‘No, for a microphone.’


Five years ago, I was getting ready to move from my parents house in West Lafayette, Ind., to Bloomington, Ind. to attend Indiana University. I had a carload and pickup truck-load of belongings, and in that haul was my beloved first major purchase: My computer.

I had a job at Osco Drug, and worked there all through senior year of high school and through the summer after high school graduation. I saved a lot of my money, and spent about $1,200 to buy a computer. $100 of that was for my printer/scanner/copier, which I still have. $400 of that was for a 17″ LCD monitor. The rest was for a custom-built computer, that for its time, was superly top of the line.

It served me well through college and in the time beyond.

These days, my printer still works. The monitor isin great shape, but has depreciated to about…oh, $50.

And the computer tower itself? Whoa. Not worth a whole heck of a lot at all. Still runs fine, but it’s so outdated that I don’t think anyone would pay me much of anything for it.

Shane is going to take the hard drive out of it and put it in a case so that I can use it as an external hard drive with my new laptop that I got a short time ago.

We’ll take the memory and upgrade my parent’s desktop.

The other parts are so worthless that there is no market for them, and I’ll just take it to a computer parts recycling place or Goodwill or something.

So we’ll give my old monitor and the memory to my parents when we see them next week. As a trade, we’re in negotiations for having my dad wax my car and vacuum the insides.


This trade reminds me of the line in the Blues Brothers, where Jake discovers his brother Elwood has traded in their Bluesmobile for a microphone.

Was spending $1,200 on a computer worth it? At the time, yes it was. Computers were really expensive, and I wanted something that would be really good and would last me all through college. Laptops were even more pricey at the time.

What’s even better–we’ll be able to get rid of a large desk (got it for $10 at a yard sale or thrift store in college) and we’ll have a lot more room.

If you told me five years ago that I’d be scrapping my computer for parts and trading it for a car waxing, I would have probably fallen over laughing. And then I’d start singing a song from the Blues Brothers.

Posted under Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “‘You traded the Bluesmobile for this?’ ‘No, for a microphone.’”

  1. I love that movie!!

    I bought my first computer for about $1500 which included a dot matrix printer and a monitor. What’s it worth now? Not a whole lot! I think my phone is more powerful than that computer.

    FFB’s last blog post..Some Rights Reserved

  2. Hello,

    I love your post about the $1200 computer! Can you believe how short their lifespan is (and how much they used to cost, compared to now)?

    I bought mine in April of 1998 at it was fairly top of the line at $1500. But, by trading stocks it paid for itself over and over. My latest computer purhcased a few years ago is MUCH nicer with a super 17 inch flat panel screen, bought for WAY, WAY less money.

    Take Care,


  3. I love the Blue Brothers reference!!!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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