As you can tell from my other reviews, I am somewhat of a bargain hunter.. Everything I buy is as cheap as possible! So of course, I am a regular at computer fairs. I'm certain there are still some people out there who have never experienced one of these fairs, and maybe a few that don't even know they exist (due to living in a cave, or being my mother). Brief outline: Computer fairs have been around for as long as I can remember (admittedly I can only rememeber back to the 1980's!), and are a fantastic resource for buying almost anything PC related. The fair I go to regularly is held 6 times a year, and I'm pretty sure it is a travelling fair (meaning you can follow them to the next stop to return anything if the actual trader is based at the other end of the country!) Usually held in sports halls, such as the Kelvinhall in Glasgow (my usual haunt), computer fairs always tend to follow the same outline. Firstly, the organisers charge a small amount for entry to the fair (to discourage casual browsers I assume). No more than £1 each normally. Most of the fairs I have been to have also provided a refreshments area which is very handy if you are dragging kids around with you! Once you've paid to enter you are faced with a hall full of seperate stalls, each tending to specialise on a particular subject (be it software, hardware, consumables). Be sure to have a good look around, as prices (although usually cheap) can vary a lot between stalls. Most traders at modern computer fairs are genuine businesses such as small PC shops, internet traders, and even end-of-line goods traders (bargains galore with these). This is the main reason that computer fairs are growing ever more popular these days. Back in the early 1990's most fair were full to the brim with somewhat dodgy traders selling copied Amiga games and the like.... and with no comeback on your purchases, only those wit
h a sound knowledge of computers ever dared to attend! One thing to remember; the traders are almost always very knowledgeable, and are very willing to answer any questions you may have. Also, as another review mentions, the atmosphere is very much relaxed, unlike the hard-sell that tends to go on in high street stores. So you definitely feel at ease, and can take your time collecting information before buying anything. Buying at computer fairs: Once you've had a good browse, and taken note of what you want to buy, you can even dare to haggle (yes it is possible!) if you are a cocky fella like me. Always best to haggle close to the closing time though, as traders never like to have to lug stcck back home with them. Last purchase I made was a 17in flatscreen Dell monitor for a princely sum of £35 (haggled down from £50 no less). So you've bought what you wanted, what next? Well, a definite must is to get a receipt as well as contact details of the seller. Sometimes you have to force it out of them, as some will try to get away with avoiding returns etc. And steer clear of anything labelled 'sold as seen' unless you can see it demonstrated as working! I must mention, the size and variety of stalls can vary greatly between computer fairs (different organisers mainly). Fairs I have attended down in Manchester had at least 25 stalls whereas the one in Kelvinhall only had around 12 last time I went. Still a lot of bargains though, don't get me wrong! What can you buy at computer fairs? From experience I have seen the following... PC components (such as memory, cpu's, motherboards, hard drives, CD-ROM drives, monitors etc.) Software (Games, applications, operating systems such as Windows etc) Consumables (printer ink, paper, toner cartridges, recordable CDs etc) Peripherals (cables, keyboards, mice, speakers etc) Full PC Systems (usually second hand, or end
of li ne) Almost all good for sale are at marked down prices so bargains are a certainty. Summary: Computer fairs are an invaluable source of parts for the PC user, especially those like me, who like to tinker about with their PC's much like a car(..tune this, bin that!) Computer fairs are far more regulated than they used to be, and every trader has a returns policy in place (a rule laid down by the organisers). If there are any problems with your service, and you get no joy from the actual trader, the organisers of the fair are always more than willing to help. So whether you are wanting a nice cheap upgrade, or simply new box of recordable CD's, computer fairs are a great place to shop. So look out for your next one! Details are usually given in local newspapers, but can also be found on the internet (Google for computer fairs uk!) Go on, they're cheap as chips... Thanks for reading Marc
I have mixed feelings about computer fairs, having been to a number of them over the years. On the one hand, they are an excellent place to find cheap and reliable computer equipment, but on the other hand you may be ripped off and conned into buying something by unworthy tradesmen. Computer fairs are held every so often in my area, usually in a venue hall, and are quite big. I go to most of them to try and pick up things cheaper than in the shops. I am not an expert on computers, but I would recommend that you should at least know a fairs bit about computers, like your RAMs from your ROMs, if you want to make a successful visit to a computer fair. There are usually many different stalls at a computer fair, each one run by different tradesmen. If you like a bit of batering, then you could be in heaven here, (well, the closest thing to Turkey anyway), as you can tell the tradesman that you can buy product x at another stall for cheaper. But this is where you have to be careful. If you are buying RAM, you have to make sure that its say SDRAM youre buying, and not EDO or another type. What you buy may have been left out on the stand, so ask for a new one. Keep asking the trader questions, to show him that you know about computers, because some may try to rip you off. If you do want to buy something, make sure that you are 100% certain that it is the right thing, because you won't be able to take it back once you've bought it. There's no guarantee here, you just have to take a chance. If you have any doubts, then leave it. Overall, if you know your computers, then give it a go. You can find cheap products, but then you may not get the additional security you get when buying from shops. Make sure that you are not getting ripped off. If in doubt totally about computer fairs, I recommend that you buy of the internet. This is like a big cmputer fair, but with real shops, not just tradesmen, and i
t's cheaper than the high street.
After a visit to a computer fair last weekend I have successfully upgraded my PC from a painfully slow 64 MB RAM to 319 MB SDRAM for £27. I believe that the same amount of RAM would be around £50 in PC World so I am pleased with my purchase. Of course, I needed someone to install it but I am lucky because my dad did that in less than 10 minutes. You may have seen Computer Fairs advertised in the local press. I live in Kent so only have experience of the events taking place locally to me. In general, the shows take place on a Sunday from 10-3pm. Entrance is around £2 per adult, children under 16 free when accompanied by a fee-paying adult. If you live in Kent you will find details of forthcoming events at www.technofair.co.uk/calender.htm. I was amazed at the range of hardware/software and computer peripherals on sale. We also bought our blank CDs, CD covers and labels there. I found everything I looked at to be cheaper than high street prices. Do your homework on checking out prices, although if you are like me you will have a good idea of how much things are. If you are intending to upgrade your RAM, take some information along on your system's motherboard (you will find this in manual on your PC) and if you do not know much about PC's, take someone along with you who does. Be a little cautious if you are buying hardware. You will find that if you are a regular visitor to the computer fairs that the same stalls are there every week. Some stalls display their own business cards. Always get a dated receipt that shows the company's name and telephone number on it. Must go now, I'm off to a show in Chatham shortly...
Computer Fairs started in the days of the early 286 PC, Sega Megadrive and Amiga. Over the years, computer fairs and computer markets have become incredibly popular amongst home users, businesses and enthusiasts alike. Today you'll find a regular show in almost every large town in the UK, packed out with local computer companies and often attended by thousands of people. You are probably wondering why they have suddenly become so popular. I believe it is because there are less “cowboys”. The sellers are usually businesses with either shops, mail order or internet outlets, so they can be relied on to sell decent quality goods backed up with a reliable after sales service. Also, because of the huge success, the prices are being cut to the absolute minimum as there are very low overheads compared to the normal outlets, and there is an increased number of customers compared to day to day numbers. The atmosphere is relaxed, and the stallholders seem keen to share their technical expertise with you, rather than the PC World employee who could not tell you the difference between one product and the next. Get there early, and the best tactic is to have an extensive look around before parting with your money, as it is likely you will find more bargains as you look around the stalls, and do not be afraid to haggle. Although there will be many bargains, be careful of anything too cheap, especially items labeled "sold as seen" or "untested". The likelihood is that these won't work, but the trader doesn't like to say so. It helps if you know the current market price of what you're after, which is where a copy of a decent computer magazine will come in handy. Although the prices within the show will be good, it certainly doesn't hurt just to check! Firstly, prior to deciding to buy you should be in no doubt that the item you wish to purchase is exactly what you need and that it is c
ompatible with your current system and software. It is not the traders responsibility to say what will work on your system and what will not. If however, the trader does commit saying that something will work, you should ensure this is written on your receipt along with the traders name, contact number and address. The trader is responsible for describing the goods correctly; that the goods are fit for the purpose described, fit for the particular purpose made known to the trader, of satisfactory quality and of course not faulty or damaged. If there is something wrong with what you buy, contact the seller at once and let them know the nature of the problem. Often installation or software is the cause, and if you claim the goods are faulty or damaged it is your responsibility to establish that this is indeed the situation. Many people are unable to do this and in these cases it would be reasonable for the trader to request the goods be returned to him or the manufacturer for testing. Always obtain a receipt with product details, vendors name, telephone number and address. If you feel unhappy with your dealings with a trader you have four options: · Ask fair organisers for help. · Inform your credit card company. · Use the Small Claims Court - this is quick, cheap and easy. · Inform local Trading Standards. I have had no problems, and attend computer fairs once or twice a month and get some excellent bargains.
I have mixed feelings about computer fairs. I have visited a few and they do vary in quality and content. One charged us £5 per adult and £3.00 per child. This is expensive enough when you have 4 kids but they insisted our two oldest were adults (at 11 and 13?) and as we had travelled a fair distance we paid up. There wasn't even much inside. However it is not all bad news. We found an advert in a computer show leaflet for a local company selling cheap cdr discs which we were paying twice as much for. Needless to say we now shop at the advertised store. My son also found a game he had been looking for without previous success. A lot of the stuff for sale was too technical for me but I can see the attraction for the more technically minded. One thing which bothers me is what do you do if you buy faulty goods? A friend of mine bought a faulty printer and had to drive 50 miles to the next fair the man was at or wait 6 weeks until he was back in the area. I haven't heard too many bad stories though so I may just try the nearest one when they come back as my daughter wants a printer and whatever the risks the price is right.
If there were no computer fairs, my PC would just be a blank space on the desk. I've racked my brains to think of a component that definitely came from a shop and still can't come up with one. Computer fairs do vary enormously in quality from one part of the country to another. I can only really speak about the local ones run by Abacus, which are very good. (I've also found Boaler's Exhibition Centre in Manchester hosts excellent fairs, not as big, but with a wider variety of products than the Liverpool ones. Haydock was rubbish the one time I went there. So was the one fair I've been to in Lincoln.) Abacus hold Computer Fairs all over Merseyside and North Wales. The one I usually go to is at Mountford Hall, in Liverpool University, on the last Sunday of the month. (Everton Park Sports Centre, at the beginning of the month is not usually as good.) It costs £3 to get in. (You can get a family ticket that lets in 2 adults and up to 3 kids for £7. This suggests it might be entertaining for kids - it isn't. You'll probably lose them, or they'll run out in claustrophobic horror.) You can get a season ticket that lets you pay for a year in advance. You can pick the venues. On the negative side, there is probably no other area of your life in which you'd find yourself trapped in an enormous space that's packed to bursting with men in their fifties who have never heard of the washing procedure. The catering is truly laughable. For instance, a substance purporting to be Nescafe (that's what it says on the catering can)is served in plastic cups at inflated prices. You can buy a curling sandwich or a melting KitKat as well. (There's usually a hot-dog/burger van outside and it actually sells better coffee.) You might have to queue for hours just to get in the door. You have to fight through crowds to buy anything. You have to get your hand stamped to get back in. If you buy somethi
ng, you have to race home to install it before it's too late to go back and change it or you might have to wait a month. In other words, it's not an enjoyable shopping experience being there. However,you don't go there because you want an enjoyable shopping experience (Go to a mall, if you do. The Trafford Centre in Manchester is boss....) You go to get good tech at cheap prices. And it works. There are dozens of stands. Prices are good throughout, with a little variation in the cost of a product from one stand to another. Most of the stalls are regulars. The major stands tend to be relatively large. One of the best stretches along the top wall. These usually have excellent quality components and peripherals. If you stick to these stalls, you will have less chance of buying duff tech than in many high street retailers. You can often get tech that you could never find in a standard retailer's, certainly in Merseyside. Compared to the alternatives of getting a product by mail order or the Internet, you have more chance of finding what you want in a fair. You can talk to knowledgeable staff, unlike the experience in Dixons, say, of them having to get a specialist to tell you if a peripheral has a usb port. The people in the fair know much more about their products than you do. they are happy to advise and not patronising. TOP TIPS If you are looking for something in particular, do some prior research in PC mags and on dooyoo, so you know what product will meet your needs. Spend time browsing anyway. You'll probably find things that you never realised you could get hold of, like dual motherboards. Talk to anyone you know who has hardware/electronics skills/experience. Take them along if you can.They can tell you what's worth getting or spot things like poor board components - wrong metals used, weak welds, whatever. Talk to the staff. Use the support service p
rovided by the fair organisers. Other people's knowledge is a great resource. (You don't want to end up buying a cpu and motherboard that you can't use together.) Make sure you only buy from stalls who give you a shop address - preferably local (unless you like travelling)- and a telephone number, in case you have to return something when the fair is closed. Don't buy a full system (except a really cheap or second-hand system) until you are sure of the reliability of the seller. Talk to them, look at their shop-front. Get a receipt. Don't lose it. Go early, buy what you need then home & test it in time to take it back. Send off any guarantees you have. It might not be as easy to find the seller in 10 months time as it is to find a high-street store. Haggle if you must and you are any good at it. I know someone who never pays full price for anything at the fair. I just look stupid, get embarrassed and don't succeed in buying what I want at all. MY BEST BUYS OF LAST 12 MONTHS (all cheaper now I think) A TEAC burner. (Previously, I'd never used a burner that didn't make coasters if you coughed in the same part of the house. This never makes them. It was cheap at the time and a dream to install. £70) Cheap whiteback CDRs for everyday burning, 10 for £3, cheaper for more, again, no coasters. A Hansol 17" monitor (Dead cheap with good dot pitch for the price - £130) DIMMS, just getting cheaper & cheaper everywhere anyway, of course. ONLY BAD EXPERIENCE (with happy ending) 3/4 years ago, bought AMD chip, assured by seller it would work in own board, installed it, melted motherboard, slightly burned skin getting it out, took it back at next fair. Seller refused to acknowledge it at fault or change it. We stood there advising potential customers he wouldn't replace duff stock. He called show security guards to kick us out
for disrupting his trade. We explained situation to bouncers (who were well used to seeing us as customers and aware we didn't pull stunts on other occasions.) Stall holder lied, claimed he'd offered to replace it, after testing, and we'd refused to let him take it away to test (a stupid position for him to take because we'd have been happy with that.) Bouncers (winking at us) said, that's OK, we'll find someone to test it now. They got another stall holder to install it on a motherboard. It fried the board and burnt his hand. Stall holder, furious & disgraced, returned our money. Afterwards, the bouncers sought us out, apologised, said he shouldn't have been allowed to have a stall if he wouldn't replace crap and they'd make sure the mangement knew and refused him any more stalls. Coincidence or not, he's never been back there. The point of this anecdote is - on the one occasion when the customer service at the fair seemed to fall short of what you'd expect in a shop - the situation was resolved at once, thanks to the action of the fair promoters. You would be very lucky to get such good service from the average computer retailer. If you go to a fair that's got a good reputation (as Abacus Fairs) you can hardly do better.
Computer fairs are crap, to put it bluntly. The stuff they sell is good quality, and cheap, but is it 100% legitimate? As far as the consumer knows, the products could have come from anywhere! If the product goes faulty, who do you turn to? I once bought a sound card from a stall at a computer fair for £8, took it home, installed it using the correct instructions, and low and behold! It didn't work. I was given an invoice, that must have been 10 years old, and with all of these number changes, the phone number was duff. So I wrote a letter - did I get a reply? Nope! I went to the next fair, and surprise, surprise! The stall wasn't there! The good points are that they do sell some legitimate stuff, and the software and CD-Rs are a steal! Though hopefully not literally!
Computer fairs have been around for a while, and contrary to popular opinion, are not solely for geeks. There's a good cross section of goods available, from the technical to the amusing. Before going to a fair, it's well worth surfing away and finding out how much a particular item is over the net. Computer fairs are handy, but not always cheapest. For smaller purchases like blank CD's, you will probably find a better deal. For the higher end products, it's very much hit and miss. Don't forget these people are traders, and as such most will also "do a deal" for the odd part exchange or multiple purchase. My advice would be to go for a look round first. There's often two different operators in an area, so it's worth visiting both and getting an idea of the traders, and type of goods available. Personally, if they're allotting stands to people selling fancy goods, mobile phones, and lava lamps - that ain't no computer fair!
When I went to my first computer fair It was in Middlesborough and that is where my experience of fairs lies. Ive been to them a few times and each time I pick something or somethings up for good prices. There is some dodgy folk around trying to sell stuff but I rely on my judgement I stood at one stall looking at processor prices, then my g/friend said to me about needing a m/board. Then I was pulled to one side by the stallholder. He told me that the motherboard wasnt that important if you have a fast processor. I queried this with him and he replied with an offended expression "look I build computers for a living, here look I can put these two together for a special price." He looked a bit crooked to me as well as me having doubts over what he was selling. I said no, your alright and continued looking around. In comparison we went to other stalls and the stallholders were more laid back and offered helpful advice only when asked and pointed us in the right direction. The prices of things are really good. One thing I like is equipment pulls from old systems. I picked a dirty mitsubishi disk drive up for £3. I took it home and cleaned it up good style and now Ive got it as part of my second PC. Savings like this can be found all over at these fairs and if you are prepared to look a little harder, clean a bit it can be a great money saver. If you are looking for a couple of things for your PC, I would say a visit to a fair is well worth it. You must be aware of the dodgy dealers though.
I tend to treat computer fairs the same way as I would treat a second electrical goods shop. I don't know alot about technical matters so I steer clear of the more expensive purchases. Things like sofware, mice, keyboards, etc are fine. These are not very expensive and as long as you know what system you have there's little chance of you buying a 'dud'. A young man I know came home with a pc from a computer fair. He's paid £200 for a win98 system but nobody could determine the make or model of the processor or monitor. The serial numbers and any other marks had been removed. This would have set the warning bells off with me but he is only 16 a little naive. He was just pleased with his purchase. He told me he had seen the pc working. The thing just wouldn't boot. He had been given no disks or manuals with it. There was just a bear system. He eneded up spending £150 to get it running properly. So, it was an expensive purchase in the end. Weekly fairs that move around the country are the very worst. If you have a problem there is no come back. I bought a tower system and when I got it home there was no tracker ball inside. So, be warned, check everything carefully and make sure you have someone who knows what they are doing (and doesn't just THINK they know) with you. My advice would be not to buy expensive equipment at fairs as you have no guarantee or come back.
...but a lot of obsolete/non working/stolen stuff to be had too. Computer Fairs can be rather dangerous places for the naive shopper. I've been to a great many of these events now, and it is sometimes painfully obvious that certain traders are up to no good. I can recall more than one instance of stalls being raided for selling stolen/pirated software, and I suspect that a fair amount of the hardware on sale at some fairs also conveniently floated out of a window or fell off the back of a lorry. Having said all that, most traders at computer fairs are decent, respectable business people offering friendly, intelligent service and a range of components at prices that can be substantially lower than on your high street. The type of stalls at Computer Fairs tend to be many and varied. There are stalls selling components, some selling complete systems, some a combination of those two. There are also stores selling software, some specialising in monitors, some that just sell cables! oh, and there's also the obligatory guy selling 5 1/2" disk drives and 486 chips! Computer Fairs probably aren't the best place to buy full systems - because they're frequently overpriced and underspecified. However you can probably save about £150-200 on the components for a top spec system if you shop wisely. When buying components at Computer Fairs, it's important to remember that you're not in a retail shop, and therefore you should try and bargain and haggle with the traders to get the best price. You should also be aware that most traders will price-match, so don't buy the item off of the first stall you see it on. Take a look around the whole fair if you can (some are too large for this, but most aren't!) Take a note of the prices, and then return to one of the stalls offering the item at a higher price and inform them that you've seen it on another stall at a lower price. Chances are they'll beat
that price... Beware of anyone who appears not to know anything about computers. Chances are that anyone with no knowledge of what he/she is selling will have acquired it by unlawful means... especially if they are selling unboxed items. Be especially careful of unboxed monitors, printers etc. They will be second hand at best and nicked at worst... *ALWAYS* get a receipt for any items bought and if possible pay by credit card. Most traders will have facilities to take credit card payments. If they do not, then pay by cheque as you will always have the chance to cancel payment if the items turn out to be defective. Also, try only to buy from traders that frequent that fair. If you attend regularly, then you'll notice who is there each time. As far as buying obsolete, second user equipment goes - be aware that you are taking a gamble. It's often worth taking a speculative risk with second hand bits and bobs as they are so cheap. 50p for a P133 chip? not cutting edge, but it'll do for a little WP box or similar applications. You just have to be aware that these cheap bits come without guarantee more often than not, so you'd be best off scooping up a handful and expecting less than one in ten to work... Overall, Computer Fairs are a great place to shop or just get advice and there definitely are great bargains to be found. You just need to keep your wits about you, as not everyone is as honest as they could be...
This little opinion is more to inform those of you who have never heard of Defcon. What is Defcon? Defcon is a Computer Security convention that gets held in the dead heat of Las Vegas in the middle of July. It's where Hackers, Security Experts, Programmers and the like gather for a weekend of drinking and hacking. What is there to do there? When you get to Defcon, you can take part in the many events that go on over the weekend, ranging from CTF. Which is where you hook up to there specific network, and take part in trying to hack into and hold a server on the network. There is also other events like the Defcon Shoot, where you bring your favourite firearms to the middle of the desert *anything goes* and you gun the crap out of old computer systems, etc.. If however the events don't take your fancy, you can make your way back to the Alexis Park hotel and sit in on the many lectures that take place, which cover a massive range of topics. Partys & other fun? Yes you guessed it, get 4,000+ hackers into the middle of Las Vegas, you can sure as hell bet your bottom dollor that there is gunna be alot of fun. Partys are just in nearly every hotel in Vegas and range in size. *Check out the cDc suites, always good for free beer* So what happened last year? Well last year was a riot, flew over from ireland, got there into the 50 degree heat and thought i was about to melt onto the side walk. Made my way to the Plaza hotel, and got greeted by some clowns throwing water bombs from the 30th floor. *It really is amazing how long you can look at them for before they hit you*. Anyway aside from that, it was typical stereo type hacker sh*t. When i walked into the room, there was 10+ guys around a network of laptops. All you could see was the glow of the screens in the dark rooms. Was a lill trippy, but after a few drinks it all cleared itself up. =P. Grabbed a few hours sleep and then mad
e haste for the convention center. **Note to self, remember to get into a car with air conditioning next time** We drove there in what can only be described as a whaling ship, this car was massive. THe boot alone you could have fitted at least 5 people in there comfortably. Well anyway let me try and cut this a little shorter. We got to a few lectures about Advanced Buffer Overflows, Condemned.orgs speach. Missed cDc's but that wasn't to much of a let down. Then went at the CTF for awhile, there was in and around 10 people trying to root the servers. Although more beer seemed to get spilt around where we were *go figure* .. hehe. Got back to the rooms at the hotel, where in the downstairs suites they were trying to get a small network of laptops hooked up to the internet, so rather than use the phone jack was there, the guys thought it would be a bright idea to take the phone jack off the wall and hook up to one of the other phone lines for the rooms upstairs.. **point was so they wouldnt have to pay for the calls to the internet** But what happened?? Yes you guessed it, they tapped onto the phone line for the room directly above them , which was also one of the rooms we had rented out, so that caused a little chaos... rooms got trashed, beer got drunk, servers got rooted... All in all it was a brilliant time and wouldn't miss it for nadda. So what about this year? Yes i shall be there again this year July 13th-15th is the Convention dates, at the Alexis Park hotel ... www.defcon.org for more info... Well thats a brief description of what Defcon is all about and what goes on.
Computer fairs are an excellent place to pick up some really good bargains when it comes to everything computer related. They are becoming more widespread as well which is equally a good thing. Personally, if I need a new component for my computer then I never, ever use the high street shops, because quite frankly they rip you off. You can buy the same thing from a computer fair for a fraction of the price, but don't be fooled into thinking that these are substandard products because they are not. I built the computer I am using now directly from components found at a computer fair, saving around £300 on the cheapest equivalent shop price. There are of course a few things to consider though. Sometimes the products are second hand, butthe seller should make this pretty clear when he sells it to you. If the product is out of its box, etc then this is a good sign that perhaps its not as new as you might think it to be. You should also get a guarantee with the parts you buy, and if you don't then do not buy the item and make sure that the seller is a regular at the fair. i never use the more infrequent fairs, because you never know whether you are going to see the seller again even though youget a guarantee, because his base may be hundreds of miles away. My favourite computer fair is held just off of Tottenham Court road every Saturday, where for a small admission fee(they all charge one) you get entry to masses of computer products at a fraction of the price. I have only once had a problem with a component bought from here and that was only a floppy drive bought for £6 so I didn't even bother taking it back in the end. If you are considering going to a fair, then the best place to look to find if there is one in your area are trade magazines such as Micro Computer Mart, which can also be found online as well. These list all the computer fairs(major fairs) around the country in the back of the magazine, and you can also pick up a few barga
ins through their pages as well so its not bad for an investment of £1.10. These are easily the best places to buy new components, although for complete systems I would try elsewhere or build your own if you have the time or the knowledge.
Computer fairs are great for computer enthusiasts to go and buy bits for their machine. The range of stuff is great, from old junk (but working!) like motherboards for a fiver to the brand new stuff.. all at bargain prices. I go to the Dundee computer fair which is every month or more. Because of the low prices you could buy many old motherboards in case some don't work, and you wouldn't have lost much money (old stuff doesn't come with a warranty since it is untested) and also you'd have the basis of a new computer. Second hand machines are also available, like £20 for an old 3/486! If you're looking for a bit for your computer, or are interested in computers, or are just curious, come along to a computer fair and discover all the bargains! To find a fair near you, try http://www.computermarkets.co.uk.
If you have never attended a computer fair in your area and are bored one sunday afternoon, why not go ckeck it out? There are many good deals on hardware, software, even DVDs and mobile accessories. It costs about £2 to enter....however if you go to www.computerfairs.com you can print out a "£1 off the entry price" voucher. There is also a link for the show times calendar that will give you a list for the cuurent month of where the fairs are being held and on what day. They take place on saturdays and sundays...in a different area each day. I would certainly recommend that you go and experience what it is like...i wouldn't advise you to take young children with you as it can be very crowded at times. If you do decide to buy anything, remember to get a receipt upon paying....you usually have to ask them for it as most vendors don't write one out unless requested. And if you have any problems whatsoever the organisers, at the door, will help you out - they are very good! Happy shopping!