DealPops: How to save money on your iPods and MacBooks

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In the mechanical age (the one preceding today's computer age), buying factory-refurbished goods was a gamble. Sure, they may have replaced all the belts, but who knew what other wear points were about to break?

In the computer age, though, wear is not such a factor, and some bargains can be had by taking a very minimal gamble on factory-repaired goods. One such source for deals is Apple.

At Apple's outlet store, you can pick up a previous generation 2-gig iPod Nano for $79, about half of its original price. A 4-gig version is an even better deal at $99, and a 30-gig iPod sells for $179 vs. the usual $249.

The site also offers MacBooks, although the savings here are much slighter; a 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo selling normally for $1,999 can be had for $1,699.

Each comes with a full one-year warranty. My experience with such devices is that if they work for a week, they'll work until I drop them onto a cement floor, so I wouldn't be afraid to take a flyer on these deals, if the price is right.

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