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School + Computers = *waste*!

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mm3

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Alright, let's see. The common laptop here at my school this is a Dell Latitude, models from early 2008.

3GB RAM, 667MHz
Core 2 Duo ~2.2GHz, 667MHz FSB, 4MB L2 cache
80GB SATA 7,200RPM Hard Drive
14" 1440x900 screen w/gloss
Windows XP Professional (SP1?!)

Some features of said laptop? An Ambient Light sensor, Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11n.

First of all, my school doesn't have WiFi. AND, most features on the computer are disabled and locked through the BIOS. So WTF? Why spend all the money for these features if they're just going to be locked away? 802.11n? Why? Why all the RAM? A freshman 'round here won't use a quarter of that. 80GB HDD? Why, when all you need is around 10GB for the Operating System -- because everything is on a single server in the building for student's personal storage.

14" High-Def widescreen? WHY?! Especially if they're going to set it to 1024x768 and lock it there!?

A 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo? What for? They aren't going to be playing Call of Duty on the thing, they're going to do webbrowsing and proxying into facebook FFS!


Now let's move onto Desktops. This year, guess what we got.

Dell Optiplexs:
4GB RAM, 1066MHz
3.2GHz AMD Phenom Processors, insane FSB, insane L2 cache.
DVD Writers
250GB 7,200RPM SATA Hard Drives
17" - 19" Dell flat panels

Now, WHY?! Student's will *never* use any of that potential, even with classes that use AutoCAD, etc!

Now the school wonders why we have such a big budget problem, because we're blowing off money on needless items. It's sickening. Our BOCES IT wannabes know less than my 5 year old sister does. You know, two-finger clacking for typing, and can't tell the difference between DVI and VGA. Yeah, they're *that* nooby. What makes it worse, is that they think that they know it all because "they're the tech guys!". They get all pissed off when they get corrected by me or one of my comrades who also know a decent amount of IT things, and the comeback they always give is "well, this is just how it is." PSSHT!!

You know the grand finaly? Every year, we get *new* machines, while the ones that were new the year before, are decommished and thrown in the trash. Yeah, you read that correctly. Expensive $2000+ computers just tossed aside to get melted down. (Oh, and for those who don't know, I'm still on probation for Grand Larceny for taking 4 of said "junked" computers -- me and a former friend of mine).

Now, instead of paying $2000 for each machine (we're talking 500+ computers here thoughout the whole school), we should pay $300 for a simple Dell Vostro -- 512MB RAM, decent Celeron M processor -- you know, keep it simple! There's no reason to have to spend so much on needless things and throw the school district into so much debt that we need to cut *varsity sports*, after school programs and clubs, and extra help sessions for something as foolish as this.

So what are me, friends of mine, and a few teachers putting together? A petition to fire the wannabe IT guys from our district, hire new ones, and get a recycling plan going for used computers and drastically lowering the budget. Right now, what we're doing is using an official of the superintendent who supports what we're trying to put together, is that in our Naval ROTC program that I'm in, me and my appointed team (I am the lead IT manager for the ROTC program) go down and get our hands dirty, finding what machines are working, salvagable, usable, etc, and taking them up into our ROTC storage room so that they aren't going to waste.

We'll see what happens with that. But who agrees with me? There needs to be change, especially with the economy being the way it is nowadays.
 

Pojo

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They get them just to make people like you confused beyond hell
 
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InnocenceAlone

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We used to have dino computers last year, then they changed them to Macs that are absolutly amazing. All we have are Macs and Macbooks. Well there are a few Dells but those are only for teachers.
 

Fire2box

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We used to have dino computers last year, then they changed them to Macs that are absolutly amazing. All we have are Macs and Macbooks. Well there are a few Dells but those are only for teachers.
Yeah since they are cheaper then dells that have the same specs. <_>

If you don't get it I am joking those macs and macbooks cost more then Dell's or anything else aside Ailenware computer or some crap like that. Why people want to pay more for exactly the same that can't nearly run as much different programs confuses the hell out of me.
 

miles

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At my Technical College we get to use laptops.
They have everything frozen, but nothing is blocked, you can change all the settings and go anywhere online, but as soon as you reboot the PC loads an image from the hard drive, so none of your cookies are saved or anything.
Sadly, the laptops there are better than my home PC.
 

dogboy

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Since I work IT for our school, I'm guessing your downtown ITs persons were made a deal by Dell that they couldn't refuse. All of this stuff goes out to bidding, and then they weigh best price against reliability. Probably Dell is building a million of these things with these exact specs, and so they are cheap to make. I understand all of the computers, all brands, are made in the same factory in China. They just grind them out for next to nothing. Anyway, that's my guess.
 

IncompleteDude

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At my college they recently upgraded the IT computer labs our program uses at our behest. I'm in a Game Programming program, so obviously we need some decent machines. Now for the most part they are fine, Core 2 quad, 3GB of RAM, 320GB HD. They didn't buy new monitors because the old ones are fine, and they didn't splurge on fancy cases or any useless junk. However, they made one major mistake.

Obviously, the main component of concern to a game programmer is the video card. However, the administration was somehow conned into thinking that game development requires professional video cards. So now we have a whole room of $500 Quadro 1700s when we could have gotten Radeon 4870X2s for almost the same price! I'm not saying the Quadros are terrible, they are DX10 and they are passable in performance. It's just not needed and we could have gotten far far more value for the same price with a consumer GPU.

Still, compared to the stories I hear this isn't too bad, but then I haven't told you their other gaffes. For example, they have a $150,000 mo-cap system sitting in a closet and us game guys are not allowed to use it because it's owned by a different department. This is despite the fact that the other department has given us permission, because they rarely use it themselves. It takes a lot of space to set up, and they only need it for one of their advanced animation courses. Oh yeah, did I mention the animation/digital arts students are in another department, and the game developers are not allowed to work with them! This is all because our department's administration is extremely egotistical and insists of maintaining absolute independence from any of the other departments on campus. This would be fine if they weren't idiots too, whose boss keeps our PS3 dev kit at his house, because us game programming students aren't allowed to use it before he's figured out how to program it. However, it's proven beyond his extremely limited abilities, so now it's his kid's new multi-$10,000 toy. By the time we get it, it'll either be broken or filled with porn. Fucking tool.
 

Ben

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Meh my school goes on a 3 year computer cycle where basically all computers are replaced every 3 years. They get pretty good computers though tbh you almost need them to be that good to last 3 years and not be considered ancient. On the other hand i doubt if they are ever really used to their full potential, but then again there are game development courses which at least could potentially need the power though in all reality the kids in that course probably use their laptops for everything. (I'm in university so we are talking somewhat higher levels of use than a HS would use).

If they're gonna keep the computers for 3-4 years then by all means go with the more expensive one because trying to buy a $500 computer and replace it every year has considerable costs to set up all the new computers etc that may make getting a more powerful computer initially and keeping if for a while better in the long run.
 

Kams

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Our whole school district runs on iMacs and eMacs. The iMacs are pretty decent, but I hate the eMacs ._. And last year, each school got brand new MacBooks (some of which) are better than the iMacs.
 

paddedhawk

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Consider yourself lucky. IT at my university "upgraded" all of the computers to vista. I really don't mind vista but these computers were not made for it. some of them take over two minutes just to log on, not start, but just log on. It's ridiculous, there was nothing wrong with XP except for the fact that M$ only sells the cheap licenses to the university for one year. oh well i only use them to print from, so it's not to bad for me.
 

IncompleteDude

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I just think that all these companies that throw away their computers every few years should seriously consider donating them to poorer countries.
 
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My school just got new computers last year after running on Windows 95 for as long as I can remember. All of the teaches computers have beige cases, running XP, they seem to be OK.

Now that that is over, it is time to ask MM3 a question. Where do the computers go when they are thrown out, I assume not in the dumpster outside the school, because of the Larsonage. Anyhow, if they are, I would very much like to borrow them myself.
 

mm3

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They get picked up by some unnamed truck. After asking school officials where the cargo goes, they said "off to get melted down" which is insanely sad.
 
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daria7483

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Some school systems put old computers in surplus and then auction them off, with the school system keeping the proceeds. I believe that's what's done here in Virginia.
 
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Hopefully MM3, that teacher was an idiot, but I'm afraid that might not be the case. I personally would follow that truck to wherever it went, if I had the time. So, if I come see you, if you still live in NY(C?), I'm going to bring you and we are following said truck.
 

dogboy

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Some school systems put old computers in surplus and then auction them off, with the school system keeping the proceeds. I believe that's what's done here in Virginia.
You're right Daria. I work IT for my school and that's what we do. The reason we can't give them away or donate is because they were bought and paid for with tax payer's money, and so the citizens actually own them. As a result, the school has the responsibility of retrieving as much of that investment as possible, and rolling it into the new purchases. Nothing is ever simple.
 

dinorider

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Replacing the computers at that rate seems dumb beyond reason, but they do have a point in buying Latitudes/Optiplexes over Vostros.

Having worked at Dell tech support I can say that the Latitudes are much better built. Meaning that they won't get fried parts that need replacement all the time, and that they generally take physical abuse better.

The Optiplexes are more easily accessible if they need maintanence, compared to the shitty design of the Vostros. They also don't take up as much space.

That said, there's still not really a good reason for using Dells at all imo. :)
 
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daria7483

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You're right Daria. I work IT for my school and that's what we do. The reason we can't give them away or donate is because they were bought and paid for with tax payer's money, and so the citizens actually own them. As a result, the school has the responsibility of retrieving as much of that investment as possible, and rolling it into the new purchases. Nothing is ever simple.
Well, I'm definitely not opposed to trying to recoup some costs from the used computers, but as taxpayers we also support things that could be considered basically publicly-funded charity, such as welfare and food stamps for low-income families. So would it not be a bad idea, and legit, to have social workers redistribute the used computers to low-income families who do not have one? With computers being heavily used in public schools and probably even more heavily on the college level, it seems like kids who don't have one at home are at a huge disadvantage. On the other hand, I could think of some advantages to not having a computer at home too.
 
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