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Azure Quickstart Center – Microsoft Garage

It started with data. Data showed customers were experiencing difficulties onboarding to Azure, not knowing how to get started, with murky understanding of all the tools and services available to them. Ayesha Ghaffar, a data scientist who analyzed these and many other customer onboarding experiences, saw an opportunity to improve the existing process. She put together a proposal of a new way to acclimate customers to Azure. Ayesha began meeting with a few product teams about her idea and everyone felt it was worthwhile to pursue – but what she found was resources were thin and other commitments took priority. “I just wanted to make this idea a reality, but I was a data scientist and I didn’t know how on my own. I needed help to make this happen.” The answer came in the 2017 company-wide Hackathon. “A week before the Hackathon started, I thought, ‘I’m just going to write an email and put it out there. This is the problem, this is how we can solve it, and this is the impact.’ I sent it to everyone.”

Soon, employees from around the world – designers, user researchers, developers, program managers – wanted to join her Hackathon project. They found a common passion for the customer experience. Peilin Nee shared her experience as part of the hack team. “Designing with empathy begins with yourself. This was my first time working with 15 others coming from different disciplines who have never met before. What amazed me is how we put aside our differences and work towards our shared dream – provide new Azure users a better getting-started experience and ultimately increase trial users’ adoption rate. And, we did just that in two and a half days.”

Azure Quickstart Center

For their hack project, called Azure Launchpad, they created an extension in the Azure Portal that served as a hub for key getting started resources and personal recommendations for customers to achieve their cloud goals. Their efforts were noticed by the head of the Azure Portal product, Leon Welicki who was able to secure a Portal developer, Asher Garland, to continue to work on the project. While Ayesha was still a data scientist, she worked with Asher on a private preview version of Quickstart Center for the Ignite 2017 conference.

After the positive feedback they received from the private preview released for the conference, they were invited to present their work to Scott Guthrie who later mentioned it in one of his employee meetings. Because Ayesha moonlit as a product manager for the hack project, the Portal team eventually hired her to work on it full time as the PM in November 2017.

At Build 2018, Azure Quickstart Center shipped in public preview and became available to all customers through the Azure Portal. In 2019, Azure Quickstart Center partnered with the FastTrack team and Azure Docs to introduce Azure setup guides in the Quickstart Center to help customers deal with more complex scenarios like governance and migration based on the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure.

“The Cloud Adoption Framework provides the One Microsoft voice for cloud adoption. Azure Quickstart Center has made that voice actionable by injecting pointed and relevant guidance into the customer experience. The user now has prescriptive instructions at the point of execution. Together, these assets create a seamless integration of strategy and tactical execution,” shared Brian Blanchard, Sr. Director, Cloud Adoption Framework.

The Hackathon helped the team get feedback and continues to be a way to showcase the value of their ideas and projects. For Ayesha, “Hackathon is one of my favorite things at Microsoft – it helped me land a job as a PM, get visibility on the solution, and I learned how to solve customer problems in depth.” For the 2019 Hackathon, Ayesha and team (along with FastTrack team) iterated on features they could add that customers have said they wanted. “The goal is to democratize knowledge and put it in these custom guides. Our superpower is enabling our customers and partners to find their own superpowers. Cloud can be complicated, we want to enable customers and partners to simplify it for their organizations by creating their own custom guides for their users.”

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For Sale – Retina Macbook Pro 13 inch Late 2013

Yes you can update it yourself easily, it doesnt need to be connected to iCloud. I have started downloading Mac OS High Sierra, and will install that.

Everything works perfectly. On closer inspection there are two dead pixels (one I had not noticed before now!). They are tiny, and only noticeable on a pure white background, and if you are really close to the screen. Under normal use, you will not notice them. I tried to take a few photos to show it as bad as possible.

If you look on the attached file, the first one is under the U and I in “restart required” and the second one is under the e in “software”.

No box, but it comes with a charger. I will also chuck in a case for it, its not an expensive one (£15 or so) but its ok, and it protects it well for transit too.

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For Sale – Retina Macbook Pro 13 inch Late 2013

Yes you can update it yourself easily, it doesnt need to be connected to iCloud. I have started downloading Mac OS High Sierra, and will install that.

Everything works perfectly. On closer inspection there are two dead pixels (one I had not noticed before now!). They are tiny, and only noticeable on a pure white background, and if you are really close to the screen. Under normal use, you will not notice them. I tried to take a few photos to show it as bad as possible.

If you look on the attached file, the first one is under the U and I in “restart required” and the second one is under the e in “software”.

No box, but it comes with a charger. I will also chuck in a case for it, its not an expensive one (£15 or so) but its ok, and it protects it well for transit too.

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Lessons learned from PowerShell Summit 2019

Most Windows administrators have at least dabbled with PowerShell to get started on their automation journey, but for more advanced practices, it helps to attend a conference, such as the PowerShell Summit.

For the second straight year, I attended the PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit in Bellevue, Wash., earlier this year. As an avid PowerShell user and evangelist, I greatly enjoy being around fellow community members to talk shop about how we use PowerShell in our jobs as well as catch the deep dive sessions.

This year was a bit different for me as I also presented a session, “Completely Automate Managing Windows Software … Forever,” to explain how I use Chocolatey with PowerShell to automate the deployment of third-party software in my full-time position.

There’s a lot of value in the sessions at PowerShell Summit. Administrators and developers who rely on PowerShell get a chance to learn something new and build their skill set. The videos from the sessions are on YouTube, but if you don’t attend in person you will miss out on the impromptu hallway discussions. These gatherings can be a great way to meet a lot of veteran IT professionals, community leads and even PowerShell team members. Jeffrey Snover, the inventor of PowerShell, was also in attendance.

In this article, I will cover my experiences at this year’s PowerShell Summit and some of the lessons learned during the week.

AWS Serverless Computing

Serverless computing is a very hot topic for many organizations that want to cut costs and reduce the work it takes to support a Windows deployment. With serverless computing, there is no need to manage a Windows Server machine and all its requisite setup and maintenance work. You can use an API to run PowerShell, and it will scale automatically.

I have not tried any sort of serverless computing, but it didn’t take much to see its potential and advantages during the demonstration.

Andrew Pearce, a senior systems development engineer at AWS, presented a session entitled “Unleash Your PowerShell With AWS Lambda and Serverless Computing.” Pearce’s talk covered how to use Amazon’s event-drive computing with PowerShell Core.

I have not tried any sort of serverless computing, but it didn’t take much to see its potential and advantages during the demonstration. Pearce explained that a PowerShell function can run from an event, such as when an image is placed in an AWS Simple Storage Service bucket, to convert the image to multiple resolutions depending on the organization’s need. Another possibility is to run a PowerShell function in response to an IoT event, such as someone ringing a doorbell.

Simple Hierarchy in PowerShell

Simple Hierarchy in PowerShell (SHiPS) is an area in PowerShell that looks interesting, but one that I have not had much experience with. The concepts of SHiPs is similar to traversing a file system in PowerShell; a SHiPs provider can create a provider that looks like a hierarchical file system.

Providers have been a part of PowerShell since version 1.0 and give access to data and components not easily reached from the command line, such as the Windows certificate store. One common example is the PowerCLI data store provider to let users to access a data store in vSphere.

You can see what providers you have on a system with the Get-PSProvider command.

PowerShell providers
The Get-PSProvider cmdlet lists the providers available on the system.

Another familiar use of a PowerShell provider is the Windows registry, which PowerShell can navigate like a traditional file system.

Glenn Sarti of Puppet gave a session entitled “How to Become a SHiPS Wright – Building With SHiPS.” Attempting to write your own provider from scratch is a complex undertaking that ordinarily requires advanced programming skill and familiarity with the PowerShell software development kit. SHiPs attempts to bypass this complexity and make provider development easier by writing provider code in PowerShell. Sarti explained that SHiPs reduces the amount of code to write a module from thousands of lines to less than 20 in some instances.

In his session, Sarti showed how to use SHiPs to create an example provider using the PowerShell Summit agenda and speakers as data. After watching this session, it sparked an idea to create a provider for a Chocolatey repository as if it were a file system.

PowerShell Remoting Internals

In this deep dive session, Paul Higinbotham, a member of the PowerShell team, covered how PowerShell remoting works. Higinbotham explained PowerShell’s five different transports to remoting, or protocols, it can use to run remote commands on another system.

In Windows, the most popular is WinRM since PowerShell is most often used on Windows. For PowerShell Core, OpenSSH is the best option for cross-platform use since both Windows and Linux. The advantage here is you can run PowerShell Core scripts from Windows to Linux and vice versa. Since I work in a mostly Linux environment, using Secure Shell (SSH) and PowerShell together makes a lot of sense.

This session taught me about the existence of interprocess communication remoting in PowerShell Core. This is accomplished with the command Enter-PSHostProcess and the main perk being the ability to debug scripts on a remote system from your local machine.

Toward the end of the presentation, Higinbotham shared a great diagram of the remoting architecture and goes over what each component does during a remoting session.

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Wanted – Cheap Intel Compute stick or similar

Discussion in ‘Desktop Computer Classifieds‘ started by ghrh, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. ghrh

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    with 4GB of memory and windows 10.

    Location: bristol

    ______________________________________________________
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    By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
    Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

    • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
    • Name and address including postcode
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    DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

  2. ghrh

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    Guess it could work

  3. 4gb with a 120gb ssd fitted £85 inc any good

  4. ghrh

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    Thanks for the offer but wasn’t planning to spend that much

  5. ghrh

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Wanted – Cheap laptop

Discussion in ‘Laptop, Notebook & Macbook Classifieds‘ started by Shalz, Aug 31, 2019 at 3:21 AM.

  1. Shalz

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    Hi,

    After a cheap laptop for my father in law if someone wants to sell. His got stolen last week and it’s a bit of a mess for him.

    needs it to print labels for a business he is trying to start and general word/office, internet and social media (advertising) use

    So don’t need it to be heavy spec as long as reasonably newish to last him some time as he tries to recover money.

    Budget is approx £100 +- so happy to take the best I can get.

    I can pick up in London or Watford surrounding areas if needed.

    Location: Watford

    ______________________________________________________
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    DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

  2. dwpman

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    Hi, I have an ASUS T200 TAC 2-in-1 laptop sitting in my cupboard doing nothing. Very good condition, hardly used.

    Specs can be seen here:

    ASUS Transformer Book T200TA | 2-in-1 PCs | ASUS USA

    I’d be looking to clear £100 after postage….Let me know if you are interested and I could post more details and some photos.

  3. Shalz

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    Hi dwpman, thanks for the quick response. Think he is looking for a bigger screen – 15″ or thereabouts but will run this by him.

  4. Krooner

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    I have an L420 Thinkpad for sale, nice condition overall, more than capable for what he needs it for,

    2.1GHz i3
    4GB Ram
    160GB HDD

    It needs a charger, but £80 Delivered.

    s-l1600.jpg s-l1600 (1).jpg s-l1600 (2).jpg

  5. Shalz

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    Hi krooner, thanks for your message. I think the price for him is a bit too high given the age, spec and need to buy charger. Could you do it for lower, appreciate if you can’t.

  6. Shalz

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    Krooner, would you be able to give more info on condition and specs on the HP TPN-C130 you posted elsewhere?

    Would you be willing to negotiate a little in that one for a quick sale? Say £125 posted if all checks out?

  7. Ryunufc999

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    I have a hp pavilion 15-af100ns 15.6 laptop AMD e350 500gb 4GB RAM
    Looking for 115 delivered
    In white

  8. Krooner

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    As stated on the other thread specs are;

    15″ Screen
    2.5GHz AMD A6-9220 CPU
    Radeon R4 Graphics
    4GB RAM
    256GB SSD
    Windwos 10 Home

    However price on it is firm, as I’m actually selling for a friend. He wanted me to put it up on eBay on the next £1 deal thing. It’s in excellent condition, he’s only had it for about a year. Got a ProBook given from work so he’s not using it.

    SAM_4248.JPG SAM_4249.JPG SAM_4250.JPG SAM_4251.JPG SAM_4252.JPG SAM_4253.JPG

    RE the L420: I think it’s cheap at the £80. still decently spec’d and chargers can be had on eBay for about £6.

  9. Shalz

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    Thanks Krooner. How old is the L420 and is it fairly smooth (ie not too laggy) as that would probably work?

  10. Krooner

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    It’s not really laggy at all I wouldn’t have said, I was using it with an SSD in until mid August and it was nice. Obviously it could do with a bit more RAM if you were going to be using it longer term,but for his needs it should do the job.

    I’m not 100% on it’s age but the latest Thinkpads are 80 series, so it’s got to be five or six.

  11. Shalz

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    Ok thanks. Just realised it’s 14″ so might be a bit too small. I’ll ask about the HP but think it may just be out of budget for him. Let me know if your friend can do anything at all on price and I can get the deal done asap.

  12. Shalz

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    Thanks. Will keep this in mind.

  13. Krooner

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    We would drop it to £140 to be rid, but it’s the £1 FVF this weekend and I’m confident we will get the £150 for it TBH.

  14. Shalz

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    I could potentially do that – did he buy it new and still in warranty (ie can provide receipt)?

  15. Krooner

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    I’ll ask him at lunchtime.

  16. Krooner

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    He reckons he bought it last Summer so I’d assume it’s out of the years warranty. He says he’ll check his Currys/PC World history. (EDIT – June 2018)

    He did buy it new yes, £300 with a 500gb HDD & 4GB ram, so he’s dropped the SSD and RAM in himself.

    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019 at 9:09 PM

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For Sale – 13″ Google Chromebook Pixel LS 2.4 GHz i7, 16GB RAM

Discussion in ‘Laptop, Notebook & Macbook Classifieds‘ started by midgelfc, Aug 29, 2019 at 9:56 AM.

    1. midgelfc

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      Per title Google Chomebook Pixel LS for sale. The LS stands for Ludicrous Speed spec’d as follows:

      Brand:

      Google
      Operating System: Chrome OS
      Display: 12.85″ High Resolution Touch Screen IPS (2560×1700)
      Dimensions (WxDxH): 11.7″ x 8.8″ x 0.6″
      Touch Screen: Yes
      Weight: 3.3 lbs
      Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7
      Memory: 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM
      Storage: 64 GB SSD
      Battery life: 12 hours
      WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11ac
      Colors: Silver
      Input Devices: Keyboard, Touchpad, Microphone, Video Camera
      Connectivity: USB, USB Type-C, SD Card reader

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      Price and currency: £325
      Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
      Payment method: BT, PPG, Monzo
      Location: BELFAST
      Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
      Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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      • Name and address including postcode
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      DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

      Last edited: Aug 29, 2019 at 10:05 AM
    2. nate247

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      Hi there, could well be interested in this. Could I just ask a few questions such as age of the device the condition (i.e any notable marks, scratches, keyboard wear etc)? Also, is there a way of checking the battery health at all?

      Many thanks and look forward to hearing.

    3. midgelfc

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      Hi Nate,
      Thanks for the queries
      The Chromebook is in remarkable condition with zero scratches on both the outer casing or inside, i will double check thoroughly tonight when i get home from work.

      I just seen a command that can be run to determine battery health and the number of cycles, so i will also run this tonight as well and update you.

      From my own usage i can confirm the battery life is pretty exceptional, i would personally get 3-4 days usage from a single battery charge. The standby time is currently amazing, as i charged it fully 10+ days ago and it is still in the 90%+ range

    4. nate247

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      Thanks for coming back to me. I actually had one up until a couple of years ago and sort of regretted ever selling it really. It’s a bit of a ‘nostalgia’ purchase but it sounds like you have really looked after it and so all being well, if there is still plenty of battery health and it comes boxed etc then I’d be interested.

      Look forward to hearing later. Take care…

    5. midgelfc

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      Hi nate,

      Below battery stats: amazingly the battery cycle count is only 26 so you can see how little use i have had of it and why it’s in such good condition!

      Battery Health is touching on 96%

      [​IMG]

      I should point out i don’t have the original box for chromebook. However it will be packaged and sent securely for anyone who purchases.

      Thanks

    6. killie77

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      Hi
      Would this be the 2015 Model.
      Does it charge by USB C ?
      Thanks
      Ian

    7. midgelfc

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      Hi, yes it is the 2015 model and charges via usb c which has 2 ports and be charged from either side

    8. nate247

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      Thanks for all of the updates

      @midgelfc

      So tempted by this, however not quite sure what my overall usage would be if at all. Very much an impulse purchase so will just have to give it some thought. Definitely a great little machine and in great condition. I expect speed wise it still keeps up with anything out there given how light Chrome OS is on the device. So to anybody else looking who (unlike me) doesn’t already have a laptop. I think it’s s great price for an underrated machine.

    9. midgelfc

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      Cheers Nate, thank you for the interest

    10. killie77

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      Thanks
      Nice machine. I’ve got an Asus Chromebook up on the classifieds. If it ever goes . Would be willing to take a Punt on yours if still available
      Ian

    11. midgelfc

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      Hi Killie,
      Of course, if it’s still available more than happy to sell

    12. Yorkshire Lad

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      Am I right in thinking Chromebooks receive updates for only a limited time?

    13. midgelfc

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      I just updated it the other day, so it’s still receiving updates

    14. Just to jump in here; last I knew the Pixel stopped receiving updates and the latest one (last week) came very much out of the blue as support was officially ceased.

      Very well kept machine

    15. killie77

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      Itching to get my hands on a decent Chromebook.
      Yours is everything i’m looking for spec wise. it’s the age of the machine.,plus i guess it wont be getting many more updates.
      I’ll offer £250 which i realise is way lowere than your looking for. If it was a newer model and more likeley to revceive Updates. Would have raised my offer accordingly.
      Regards
      ian

    16. midgelfc

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      Cheers for the offer, that is a bit too much below my asking price sorry.

      Just with regards to updates this Chromebook Pixel is to keep receiving updates until June 2020, as stated here direct from Google, so till some life left in it
      Auto Update policy – Google Chrome Enterprise Help

      [​IMG]

    17. killie77

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      Thanks Bud
      Didnt think you’d bite at that Price
      Worth a try. And thats good news regarding the Updates.
      ian

    18. midgelfc

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      Would be willing to meet you in the middle of your offer at £287.50

    19. killie77

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      Thanks
      Will have a think on it
      Ian

    20. killie77

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      Well had a think on it last night
      Probably best I can do is £265. That would be my best offer. As I’ve got a couple of other things to get rid of at the moment
      Thanks
      Ian

    21. blue max

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      I would like to offer £270inc. Got another in my sights, so please let me know soonest.

      Thank you.

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Wanted – Cheapy Macbook please

Discussion in ‘Laptop, Notebook & Macbook Classifieds‘ started by Hampy1972, Sep 2, 2019 at 6:57 PM.

  1. Would like to try a Macbook.
    A Cheapy one will do for a new start.
    Budget around £150.
    Thanks.

    Location: Redditch

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Wanted – Surface Pro

Discussion in ‘Laptop, Notebook & Macbook Classifieds‘ started by jaipal2004, Sep 2, 2019 at 11:32 AM.

  1. jaipal2004

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    Hi,

    looking for a Surface Pro with budget up to about £250/300

    Just missed out on one so please let me know what’s available!

    thanks

    Location: Wednesbury / Walsall / Birm / Coventry

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  2. jaipal2004

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For Sale – Mac Book Pro late 2010

Discussion in ‘Laptop, Notebook & Macbook Classifieds‘ started by killie77, Sep 2, 2019 at 5:47 PM.

  1. killie77

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    Noticed a few of the Older MBPs going up for Sale.
    Thought I might try and move mine on. I’ll check but I think it’s a late 2010 Uni Body.
    I’ll list the Good and Bad points
    Good:
    New Battery Fitted about 2 Months ago.
    Came with 4 gig of Ram upgraded to 8 gig
    Installed 240 Gig SSD for the main OS
    Currently running High Sierra.
    Replaced the DVD drive with Terrabyte HD.
    Has a Speck Cover Case
    Screen is fine. Though non Retina.
    Bad Points:
    Sound is quite low from the laptop speakers.
    Though fine through the Headphone Port or via Bluetooth.
    I think I might have dislodged a cable on the board when I was changing out the DVD drive.
    It’s never bothered me,but I guess if anyone wants to open it up shouldn’t be hard to fix.
    Couple if light scratches on the case.
    One of the rubber feet is missing from the base.
    With the Speck Bottom case it has feet of a sort,.
    Can’t think of anything else.
    Don’t have the Original Box. Do have the original charger.
    Would be well packed for shipped or can be collected from Glasgow.
    Thanks
    Ian

    Price and currency: 210
    Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
    Payment method: PayPal Gift
    Location: PayPal Gift. Bank Transfer.
    Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
    Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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  2. dafe01

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    Can you tell me the processor speed and the type of processor it has i.e. is it an i5?

  3. dafe01

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    Also size of the MacBook pro, is it 13.3 or 15. I cannot open up the photos at the moment so that’s why I’m asking.

    Thanks

  4. killie77

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    i5 2.4 ghz Intel core 2 Duo
    13.inch

  5. madgeman

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    I can offer £140 – my daughter needs a laptop for school

  6. killie77

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    Would love to take that offer. Unfortunately a bit to low. It’s only just gone up so I’ll give it a day or two to see if I can get a bit closer to asking Price
    Regards
    Ian

  7. madgeman

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    Can go to £150?

  8. killie77

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    Thanks
    Postage is going to be around £10 pounds
    So if you can do £175. That would be a deal
    Thanks
    Ian

  9. killie77

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    How about ,,£160
    That’s the Postage covered.

  10. madgeman

    madgeman

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    Go on then

  11. killie77

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    PM on the Way ki

  12. killie77

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    All sorted
    Payment Received. Posted this afternoon
    Ian

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