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My alternative thought was a $25 HDD instead of SSD.

That's what you were "thinking" but the way you phrased it it sounded like buying a new laptop. ;)

Once I decided to buy an older desktop Mac that was not going to be my primary but a backup. It ended up costing almost the same as an up-to-date one (horrible shipping costs) and was a lot older and slower, a really bad idea. But adding an SSD to an old one and then recycling the SSD as an external drive later (as someone else suggested) sounds like a winning idea if you are willing to put up with the older machine for a while. I like to keep my Macs as long as possible.

Denny Schlesinger

PS: a $2,400 Mac used for ten years is $20 a month. When I started at the IBM Service Bureau in 1960 we charged $120 an hour for the IBM 650 "mainframe." What else has gotten so cheap?
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