> 4. Sometimes it can be reasonable, and even cost effective, to buy
> cheap hardware and treat it as disposable.
That works if he/she's using fairly lightweight apps, and if he/she is
diligent about backup, because I'm pretty sure a $200 will break before
its scheduled replacement time.
About lightweight apps: Using Openbox with Suckless Tools' dmenu to run
applications, and something like xxxterm/xombrero, qupzilla, or surf
instead of Chromium or Firefox goes a long way to making a 2006 laptop
with 2GB RAM work well. I know, one of my laptops is a 2006 2GB box,
and it's pretty snappy.
To add to what Trent says, one advantage of really old hardware is it's
guaranteed not to have that evil UEFI/secureboot, and its hardware
quirks will have long ago been solved by Linux driver programmers.