Alameda County Computer Resource Center 1501 Eastshore Hwy., Berkeley, 510-528-4052 ACCRC.org
The squares go to Best Buy, CompUSA, or Wal-Mart to buy their computer equipment. That's fine if you just have to have the newest and fastest graphics card, or you prefer that your electronics are tested, warrantied, and guaranteed to function. But if you're a hardcore geek with no money but with the will to test five cards until you find one that works, then you need to go to the ACCRC. Its newly opened sales floor offers no guarantees, no returns, and no labels. But at $1 per stick of RAM, $5 per ethernet hub, and $1 for a pound of screws (its most popular item) you can afford totake a chance. It's all recycled, and priced so low that you could buy five just in case. It's the Pick-n-Pull of the computer world. While you're there, you can always donate your old broken equipment for a tax write-off. Anything useful will immediately be installed in a computer destined for a school, African nation, or nonprofit. The junk will be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner, or possibly brought up to the sales floor for others to gamble on.