New vs Used PCs for Schools

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by SchoolTech, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. SchoolTech

    SchoolTech Guest

    [Grrrr! why don't paradise fix their useless news server... grumble grumble]

    I have had a hardsell recently from people who specialise in buying up
    these ex lease Compaqs / IBMs etc, at minimal cost, and reselling them at
    low prices to schools.

    The argument in favour of using these computers goes something along
    these lines:

    1. For the price of a new PC (say $1000), you can get five secondhand
    units at $200 each. That is about a 3 1/2 year old unit with a 1Ghz CPU
    etc.

    2. If it breaks down after a few months, throw it away - you are still
    saving money. Just throw them away instead of fixing them (as the cost of
    major repairs is uneconomic at these prices)

    3. The school could buy all their PCs at once at such cheap prices and
    thus be able to standardise, making it easier to maintain them.

    I see the cons as follows:

    1. For general school use the effective working life of a PC is around 5
    years. Buying old units simply means they will have to be replaced about
    every year even if they don't break down.

    2. There is additional cost over new because the suppliers generally
    don't preload the machines with software as new machine suppliers do. The
    purchaser must still setup the machines from scratch and configure it to
    local conditions.

    3. The Compaq and other brands often use nonstandard components. For
    example low profile cases for the sake of compactness use proprietary
    power supplies, low profile CDROM drives or low profile PCI cards. These
    are often more difficult to obtain especially the custom components like
    the power supply, which in my experience tends to be the most common
    failure apart from the HDD.

    4. The machines are given with a short warranty and as such for the
    majority of failures, major service is uneconomic. Despite the low cost
    there is still a degree of inconvenience for the school from broken down
    equipment. They can get around this by buying some more machines and
    keeping them stockpiled ready to be put into use against major failures.

    My feeling is that overall there is no compelling argument either way on
    economic grounds, but equally there is no strong economic favour for the
    use of secondhand stuff over new. New PCs while more expensive depreciate
    at about the same rate over five years as second hand machines over a
    shorter period.
    SchoolTech, Mar 14, 2005
    #1
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  2. SchoolTech

    DoggNZ Guest

    On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 15:48:58 +1300, "SchoolTech"
    <> wrote:

    >[Grrrr! why don't paradise fix their useless news server... grumble grumble]
    >
    >I have had a hardsell recently from people who specialise in buying up
    >these ex lease Compaqs / IBMs etc, at minimal cost, and reselling them at
    >low prices to schools.
    >


    <snip>

    Yawn

    --
    BOINC SETI
    http://boinc.mundayweb.com/seti2/stats.php?userID=1469&trans=off
    DoggNZ, Mar 14, 2005
    #2
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  3. On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 15:48:58 +1300, SchoolTech wrote:

    > [Grrrr! why don't paradise fix their useless news server... grumble grumble]
    >


    Join Orcon then ;)

    > I have had a hardsell recently from people who specialise in buying up
    > these ex lease Compaqs / IBMs etc, at minimal cost, and reselling them at
    > low prices to schools.
    >


    From the uni point of view dept.

    > The argument in favour of using these computers goes something along
    > these lines:
    >
    > 1. For the price of a new PC (say $1000), you can get five secondhand
    > units at $200 each. That is about a 3 1/2 year old unit with a 1Ghz CPU
    > etc.
    >


    Sounds good. We get ours for next to nothing from other departments.
    Absolutely nothing wrong with 1 GHz processors as along as they have about
    256 megs or 512 is better. They run stuff perfectly fine (even XP - gasp),
    depsite what some people try and tell you.

    > 2. If it breaks down after a few months, throw it away - you are still
    > saving money. Just throw them away instead of fixing them (as the cost of
    > major repairs is uneconomic at these prices)
    >

    Just keep a couple for parts.

    > 3. The school could buy all their PCs at once at such cheap prices and
    > thus be able to standardise, making it easier to maintain them.
    >

    Sure, although I myself just use Sysprep and Ghost and so it doesn't matter
    baout the hardware. Although having to unlock the mysteries of each case
    nad its layout can be very annoying.

    > I see the cons as follows:
    >
    > 1. For general school use the effective working life of a PC is around 5
    > years. Buying old units simply means they will have to be replaced about
    > every year even if they don't break down.
    >
    > 2. There is additional cost over new because the suppliers generally
    > don't preload the machines with software as new machine suppliers do. The
    > purchaser must still setup the machines from scratch and configure it to
    > local conditions.
    >

    There is a ton of free software out here to do stuff. Again Ghost and use
    Sysprep to make sure the settings are consistent etc.

    > 3. The Compaq and other brands often use nonstandard components. For
    > example low profile cases for the sake of compactness use proprietary
    > power supplies, low profile CDROM drives or low profile PCI cards. These
    > are often more difficult to obtain especially the custom components like
    > the power supply, which in my experience tends to be the most common
    > failure apart from the HDD.
    >

    Some compaqs do but most is pretty standard. I agree about power supplies
    - they often give up in old machines and being able to replace them with a
    cheap $30 new one is helpful. I'd avoid the low profile ones then.
    Anyway, all the kids probably fiddle much more with desktop cases ;)

    > 4. The machines are given with a short warranty and as such for the
    > majority of failures, major service is uneconomic. Despite the low cost
    > there is still a degree of inconvenience for the school from broken down
    > equipment. They can get around this by buying some more machines and
    > keeping them stockpiled ready to be put into use against major failures.
    >


    Alas, I've had many new PCs have faults in them e.g. a brand of poor
    memory. Sometimes organising the RMAs etc is even more painful then just
    rading a spare machine. Just keep the spares ready - anyway the software
    could be to blame and this would affect new ones too (I'd just reimage
    them).

    > My feeling is that overall there is no compelling argument either way on
    > economic grounds, but equally there is no strong economic favour for the
    > use of secondhand stuff over new. New PCs while more expensive depreciate
    > at about the same rate over five years as second hand machines over a
    > shorter period.


    Can't comment too much on the economics. In my case the initial budget for
    all new PCs just isn't there, hence secondhand ones to boost the numbers
    (and to get rid of the *really* old ones).
    wogers nemesis, Mar 14, 2005
    #3
  4. SchoolTech

    My Guest

    My, Mar 14, 2005
    #4
  5. SchoolTech

    -=rjh=- Guest

    SchoolTech wrote:
    > [Grrrr! why don't paradise fix their useless news server... grumble grumble]
    >
    > I have had a hardsell recently from people who specialise in buying up
    > these ex lease Compaqs / IBMs etc, at minimal cost, and reselling them at
    > low prices to schools.


    Why not buy these direct?
    >
    > The argument in favour of using these computers goes something along
    > these lines:
    >
    > 1. For the price of a new PC (say $1000), you can get five secondhand
    > units at $200 each. That is about a 3 1/2 year old unit with a 1Ghz CPU
    > etc.
    >
    > 2. If it breaks down after a few months, throw it away - you are still
    > saving money. Just throw them away instead of fixing them (as the cost of
    > major repairs is uneconomic at these prices)
    >
    > 3. The school could buy all their PCs at once at such cheap prices and
    > thus be able to standardise, making it easier to maintain them.
    >
    > I see the cons as follows:
    >
    > 1. For general school use the effective working life of a PC is around 5
    > years. Buying old units simply means they will have to be replaced about
    > every year even if they don't break down.


    Doesn't this depend on what software the systems are running, and what
    they are used for? For most uses, I would have thought 1Ghz is heaps,
    provided there is adequate memory.
    >
    > 2. There is additional cost over new because the suppliers generally
    > don't preload the machines with software as new machine suppliers do. The
    > purchaser must still setup the machines from scratch and configure it to
    > local conditions.


    Surely that is just a case of using a drive image, since the systems are
    all the same? How does schools software licensing fit into this?

    >
    > 3. The Compaq and other brands often use nonstandard components. For
    > example low profile cases for the sake of compactness use proprietary
    > power supplies,


    In the case of the Compaqs, true

    low profile CDROM drives

    Nope, the 1 GHz Compaq systems have a standard 5.25" bay, standard IDE
    cable port. Some earlier models used to have slimline CDROM drives, best
    avoided.

    or low profile PCI cards.

    Nope, these Compaq systems have 3 full height PCI slots (sideways).

    For the reasons you've just stated I'd avoid systems with the features
    you list.

    These
    > are often more difficult to obtain especially the custom components like
    > the power supply, which in my experience tends to be the most common
    > failure apart from the HDD.


    Actually, my main concern would be the hard drive, rather than the PSU.
    I have bought several of these systems (still talking about Compaqs,
    here), and probably 25% of the hdds are faulty, with a further 25% too
    noisy to use as a desktop machine. PSUs are all fine. So far.

    On the other hand, these systems come with onboard everything, but only
    USB 1.1 (which could possibly be an issue), I don't know what schools
    use USB for.
    >
    > 4. The machines are given with a short warranty and as such for the
    > majority of failures, major service is uneconomic. Despite the low cost
    > there is still a degree of inconvenience for the school from broken down
    > equipment. They can get around this by buying some more machines and
    > keeping them stockpiled ready to be put into use against major failures.
    >

    Sounds like a good idea, and faulty systems will have other useful
    parts. An added bonus for the Compaqs is that they are screwless, they
    are really nice to work on.

    > My feeling is that overall there is no compelling argument either way on
    > economic grounds, but equally there is no strong economic favour for the
    > use of secondhand stuff over new. New PCs while more expensive depreciate
    > at about the same rate over five years as second hand machines over a
    > shorter period.


    What if the systems are used as clients, wouldn't that affect the
    argument somewhat? Especially if they were diskless.

    Look, these systems are going for as little as $90 including 17"
    monitor, I would have thought for schools were cashflow is an issue,
    there would have to be a place for these systems. Hell, they even make
    damn fine (they are *very* quiet) fileservers. They run Linux perfectly
    well.

    I'm using a 667MHz Compaq system as my main PC at the moment, it runs
    dual displays and is almost silent. Lovely machines. Best thing since
    sliced bread. I like them, can you tell?

    All of the above relates to DeskPro ENS systems, the Ipaq is a different
    kettle of fish. I'd avoid those, for sure.
    -=rjh=-, Mar 14, 2005
    #5
  6. SchoolTech

    MarkH Guest

    DoggNZ <> wrote in
    news::

    > On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 15:48:58 +1300, "SchoolTech"
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >>[Grrrr! why don't paradise fix their useless news server... grumble
    >>grumble]
    >>
    >>I have had a hardsell recently from people who specialise in buying up
    >>these ex lease Compaqs / IBMs etc, at minimal cost, and reselling them
    >>at low prices to schools.
    >>

    >
    ><snip>
    >
    > Yawn


    This gets my vote for most boring and pointless post ever! If you have
    nothing to contribute then why bother posting?


    --
    Mark Heyes (New Zealand)
    See my pics at www.gigatech.co.nz (last updated 20-Jan-05)
    "There are 10 types of people, those that
    understand binary and those that don't"
    MarkH, Mar 14, 2005
    #6
  7. SchoolTech

    David Preece Guest

    -=rjh=- wrote:
    >> I have had a hardsell recently from people who specialise in buying up
    >> these ex lease Compaqs / IBMs etc, at minimal cost, and reselling them at
    >> low prices to schools.

    >
    > Why not buy these direct?


    The hassle is phenomenal. You have to find all the auctions, get
    contacts in lease firms etc. etc. When you actually have the things you
    need to wipe the hard drives, test them, and last but not least clear up
    what the legal situation is with the software. In most cases this boils
    down to "it does not have a license".

    >> 1. For the price of a new PC (say $1000), you can get five secondhand
    >> units at $200 each. That is about a 3 1/2 year old unit with a 1Ghz CPU
    >> etc.


    See, if you have a central source that can provide these, clean them up,
    test them to make sure they're not going to go bang ... strikes me as
    a fine deal. The specs are surprisingly good - provided they're also
    able to wedge in a ton more RAM (PC133 is getting towards being rare).

    >> 3. The school could buy all their PCs at once at such cheap prices and
    >> thus be able to standardise, making it easier to maintain them.


    Ah, yes, in theory. In practice you'd probably be better of replacing
    all the PSU's and all the hard drives - but that would do for the
    overall economics of the thing.

    >> 1. For general school use the effective working life of a PC is around 5
    >> years. Buying old units simply means they will have to be replaced about
    >> every year even if they don't break down.


    Well, they don't *have* to be replaced but you will increasingly limit
    what can be done on the machines. Like, as soon as the students want to
    start doing video editing you'll be buggered, and they (quite rightly)
    will want to know what they're doing being given such lame-arse
    computers. Should've got them macs all along :)

    (there, I said it)

    Dave
    David Preece, Mar 14, 2005
    #7
  8. SchoolTech

    E. Scrooge Guest

    "SchoolTech" <> wrote in message
    news:d12u2q$m2j$...
    > [Grrrr! why don't paradise fix their useless news server... grumble
    > grumble]
    >
    > I have had a hardsell recently from people who specialise in buying up
    > these ex lease Compaqs / IBMs etc, at minimal cost, and reselling them at
    > low prices to schools.
    >
    > The argument in favour of using these computers goes something along
    > these lines:
    >
    > 1. For the price of a new PC (say $1000), you can get five secondhand
    > units at $200 each. That is about a 3 1/2 year old unit with a 1Ghz CPU
    > etc.
    >
    > 2. If it breaks down after a few months, throw it away - you are still
    > saving money. Just throw them away instead of fixing them (as the cost of
    > major repairs is uneconomic at these prices)
    >
    > 3. The school could buy all their PCs at once at such cheap prices and
    > thus be able to standardise, making it easier to maintain them.
    >
    > I see the cons as follows:
    >
    > 1. For general school use the effective working life of a PC is around 5
    > years. Buying old units simply means they will have to be replaced about
    > every year even if they don't break down.
    >
    > 2. There is additional cost over new because the suppliers generally
    > don't preload the machines with software as new machine suppliers do. The
    > purchaser must still setup the machines from scratch and configure it to
    > local conditions.
    >
    > 3. The Compaq and other brands often use nonstandard components. For
    > example low profile cases for the sake of compactness use proprietary
    > power supplies, low profile CDROM drives or low profile PCI cards. These
    > are often more difficult to obtain especially the custom components like
    > the power supply, which in my experience tends to be the most common
    > failure apart from the HDD.
    >
    > 4. The machines are given with a short warranty and as such for the
    > majority of failures, major service is uneconomic. Despite the low cost
    > there is still a degree of inconvenience for the school from broken down
    > equipment. They can get around this by buying some more machines and
    > keeping them stockpiled ready to be put into use against major failures.
    >
    > My feeling is that overall there is no compelling argument either way on
    > economic grounds, but equally there is no strong economic favour for the
    > use of secondhand stuff over new. New PCs while more expensive depreciate
    > at about the same rate over five years as second hand machines over a
    > shorter period.


    LOL
    The used ones could be well used. All very well to say just throw them
    away, but the rubbish cost a few hundred bucks to start with. By going new
    they're fresh any problems should show up straight away. They should last
    longer since they're not on their last legs. It doesn't pay to replace them
    every 2 years.
    And any school is most likely going to using the PCs pretty hard and
    expecting good reliability from them, and most likely doesn't want to lose
    the work that gets stored away on them. Even more reason to keep well away
    from well used rubbish.
    And the price of a new PC is cheaper than ever. If you want to save on
    costs, then get them without monitors if your old monitors still do the job.

    E. Scrooge
    E. Scrooge, Mar 14, 2005
    #8
  9. In article <d12u2q$m2j$>,
    "SchoolTech" <> wrote:

    >I see the cons as follows:
    >
    >1. For general school use the effective working life of a PC is around 5
    >years. Buying old units simply means they will have to be replaced about
    >every year even if they don't break down.


    In my experience, old PCs are only slightly more likely to break down
    than new ones. My oldest working machine is 12 years old. It's on its
    third hard drive, but the monitor it's attached to is 14 years old.

    In the absence of moving parts, hardware breakdown is a random event,
    largely independent of how old the hardware is.

    >3. The Compaq and other brands often use nonstandard components. For
    >example low profile cases for the sake of compactness use proprietary
    >power supplies, low profile CDROM drives or low profile PCI cards. These
    >are often more difficult to obtain especially the custom components like
    >the power supply, which in my experience tends to be the most common
    >failure apart from the HDD.


    Well, if you have a bunch of identical machines, you can just
    cannibalize the broken-down ones for parts to keep the others going.

    >2. There is additional cost over new because the suppliers generally
    >don't preload the machines with software as new machine suppliers do. The
    >purchaser must still setup the machines from scratch and configure it to
    >local conditions.
    >
    >4. The machines are given with a short warranty and as such for the
    >majority of failures, major service is uneconomic. Despite the low cost
    >there is still a degree of inconvenience for the school from broken down
    >equipment. They can get around this by buying some more machines and
    >keeping them stockpiled ready to be put into use against major failures.


    I think these two issues taken together point to the main stumbling
    block: higher support costs if you need help from others to keep the
    machines going. But if you have your own staff who know what they're
    doing, the costs should work out lower than buying new.

    Also you can take shortcuts as described above: instead of trying to
    keep all the machines working, use breakdowns as an opportunity to turn
    the broken-down machines into a source of parts to keep the rest going.
    And buy a few more machines to top up the numbers each time. Just make
    sure you have, say, at least 3-4 machines of each type.

    I suspect if you sat down and worked out a detailed numerical
    spreadsheet model of expected costs etc, you could make a good case that
    the whole second-hand thing is an entirely reasonable thing to do.
    Lawrence D¹Oliveiro, Mar 14, 2005
    #9
  10. In article <hV9Zd.1262498$>,
    MarkH <> wrote:

    >DoggNZ <> wrote in
    >news::
    >
    >> On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 15:48:58 +1300, "SchoolTech"
    >><> wrote:
    >>
    >>>[Grrrr! why don't paradise fix their useless news server... grumble
    >>>grumble]
    >>>
    >>>I have had a hardsell recently from people who specialise in buying up
    >>>these ex lease Compaqs / IBMs etc, at minimal cost, and reselling them
    >>>at low prices to schools.
    >>>

    >>
    >><snip>
    >>
    >> Yawn

    >
    >This gets my vote for most boring and pointless post ever!


    Well, it's about money, and working out the details of spending versus
    saving money bores a lot of people. Which is why those who are good at
    it can earn so much.

    Kind of like computing, really... :)
    Lawrence D¹Oliveiro, Mar 14, 2005
    #10
  11. SchoolTech

    Ian Orchard Guest

    In article <d12u2q$m2j$>,
    "SchoolTech" <> wrote:

    > I have had a hardsell recently from people who specialise in buying up
    > these ex lease Compaqs / IBMs etc, at minimal cost, and reselling them at
    > low prices to schools.
    >
    > The argument in favour of using these computers goes something along
    > these lines:
    >

    [beep]
    >
    > 2. There is additional cost over new because the suppliers generally
    > don't preload the machines with software as new machine suppliers do. The
    > purchaser must still setup the machines from scratch and configure it to
    > local conditions.


    I just set one Mac up perfectly, then clone its drive onto the rest. It
    then only requires setting the User, password, TCP/IP, email and links
    to individual classroom and teacher folders on the file server on each
    individual machine, something that can't be avoided. Keeps me in work
    for the first few weeks of the year. ;^)

    [beep]
    >
    > My feeling is that overall there is no compelling argument either way on
    > economic grounds, but equally there is no strong economic favour for the
    > use of secondhand stuff over new. New PCs while more expensive depreciate
    > at about the same rate over five years as second hand machines over a
    > shorter period.


    Teachers grind their teeth when computers stumble rather than collapse,
    when things that worked last week suddenly don't. I'd sooner put a
    new(ish) Mac into a classroom loaded with the latest OS and updaters,
    for the security of knowing that we're not going to have any problems
    for months. Apart from "I trashed the wrong files....HEEEEELLP!!"

    One observation I've heard over the years when businesses donate their
    crap to schools is that it would be better to give the kids the new,
    bleeding edge hardware so they can get stuck into creating movies and
    DVDs etc, then donate them to businesses when they're getting too old
    slow. They'll still be an overkill for typing emails and Excel
    spreadsheets.

    After all, we have to train the kids for the workplaces of 202

    --
    ....IRO
    Ian Orchard, Mar 14, 2005
    #11
  12. SchoolTech

    SchoolTech Guest

    In article <> in nz.comp on Mon,
    14 Mar 2005 22:53:05 +1300, Lawrence D¹Oliveiro <ldo@geek-
    central.gen.new_zealand> says...
    > In article <d12u2q$m2j$>,
    > "SchoolTech" <> wrote:
    >
    > >I see the cons as follows:
    > >
    > >1. For general school use the effective working life of a PC is around 5
    > >years. Buying old units simply means they will have to be replaced about
    > >every year even if they don't break down.

    >
    > In my experience, old PCs are only slightly more likely to break down
    > than new ones. My oldest working machine is 12 years old. It's on its
    > third hard drive, but the monitor it's attached to is 14 years old.
    >
    > In the absence of moving parts, hardware breakdown is a random event,
    > largely independent of how old the hardware is.


    Longevity is very much a factor of the component quality. Certain brands
    of hardware have a well deserved reputation for reliability, while others
    are exactly the opposite. Compare the reputations of Asus and PC Chips in
    motherboards for example.

    Local assemblers have been able to produce high quality long-lived
    machines assembled from separate parts. A degree of compromise has always
    been evident in the products from brandname suppliers (IBM, Compaq, HP,
    Packard Bell, Dell etc). Commonly they have always used proprietary or
    specialised hard to get components from obscure suppliers. Other tricks
    included, for example, shipping without secondary CPU cache in the
    Pentium era, or fitting slow hard drives (Bigfoot etc).

    It is a generalised but proven view of mine that low profile desktop
    machines tend to have shorter lives than machines produced in full sized
    cases.
    SchoolTech, Mar 14, 2005
    #12
  13. SchoolTech

    MarkH Guest

    Lawrence D¹Oliveiro <_zealand> wrote in news:ldo-
    :

    > In article <hV9Zd.1262498$>,
    > MarkH <> wrote:
    >
    >>DoggNZ <> wrote in
    >>news::
    >>
    >>><snip>
    >>>
    >>> Yawn

    >>
    >>This gets my vote for most boring and pointless post ever!

    >
    > Well, it's about money, and working out the details of spending versus
    > saving money bores a lot of people. Which is why those who are good at
    > it can earn so much.


    About money? DoggNZ quoted some of the post and then added "Yawn", this is
    a pretty pathetic way to behave on a newsgroup. Why would anyone post
    anything if they find the subject of the thread boring?

    Maybe you confused my comment about a post with commenting about the
    thread?


    --
    Mark Heyes (New Zealand)
    See my pics at www.gigatech.co.nz (last updated 20-Jan-05)
    "There are 10 types of people, those that
    understand binary and those that don't"
    MarkH, Mar 14, 2005
    #13
  14. SchoolTech

    DoggNZ Guest

    On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 11:23:21 GMT, MarkH <> wrote:

    >Lawrence D¹Oliveiro <_zealand> wrote in news:ldo-
    >:
    >
    >> In article <hV9Zd.1262498$>,
    >> MarkH <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>DoggNZ <> wrote in
    >>>news::
    >>>
    >>>><snip>
    >>>>
    >>>> Yawn
    >>>
    >>>This gets my vote for most boring and pointless post ever!

    >>
    >> Well, it's about money, and working out the details of spending versus
    >> saving money bores a lot of people. Which is why those who are good at
    >> it can earn so much.

    >
    >About money? DoggNZ quoted some of the post and then added "Yawn", this is
    >a pretty pathetic way to behave on a newsgroup. Why would anyone post
    >anything if they find the subject of the thread boring?
    >
    >Maybe you confused my comment about a post with commenting about the
    >thread?


    Yawn

    --
    BOINC SETI
    http://boinc.mundayweb.com/seti2/stats.php?userID=1469&trans=off
    DoggNZ, Mar 14, 2005
    #14
  15. SchoolTech

    AD. Guest

    On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 22:53:05 +1300, Lawrence D¹Oliveiro wrote:

    > In my experience, old PCs are only slightly more likely to break down than
    > new ones. My oldest working machine is 12 years old. It's on its third
    > hard drive, but the monitor it's attached to is 14 years old.


    That has been true in the past, but I now suspect that modern machines
    have a (on average) shorter life than the old ones did.

    We have had way more trouble with our 3 year old machines than our 6 year
    old ones. These days it almost seems like they are designed to last about
    the the length of the average corporate lease.

    --
    Cheers
    Anton
    AD., Mar 14, 2005
    #15
  16. In article <>,
    Ian Orchard <> wrote:

    >One observation I've heard over the years when businesses donate their
    >crap to schools is that it would be better to give the kids the new,
    >bleeding edge hardware so they can get stuck into creating movies and
    >DVDs etc, then donate them to businesses when they're getting too old
    >slow. They'll still be an overkill for typing emails and Excel
    >spreadsheets.


    Interesting idea, except that two- or three-year-old hardware is quite
    adequate for video and DVD authoring.

    >After all, we have to train the kids for the workplaces of 20[0]2


    I think the pace of innovation in computing has slowed somewhat over
    recent years. Faster hardware made new capabilities possible, but
    hardware isn't getting that much faster any more.
    Lawrence D¹Oliveiro, Mar 18, 2005
    #16
  17. In article <423535d3$>,
    David Preece <> wrote:

    >>> 1. For the price of a new PC (say $1000), you can get five secondhand
    >>> units at $200 each. That is about a 3 1/2 year old unit with a 1Ghz CPU
    >>> etc.

    >
    >See, if you have a central source that can provide these, clean them up,
    > test them to make sure they're not going to go bang ... strikes me as
    >a fine deal. The specs are surprisingly good - provided they're also
    >able to wedge in a ton more RAM (PC133 is getting towards being rare).


    Does it matter if you put in newer, faster RAM? The old machine can't
    take advantage of the speed, but it doesn't hurt.
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 18, 2005
    #17
  18. In article <1110786157.248563@ftpsrv1>,
    "E. Scrooge" <scrooge@*shot.co.nz (*sling)> wrote:

    >It doesn't pay to replace [second-hand machines] every 2 years.


    I don't see why you should replace them if they still work. Just keep
    usin them until they fall over, and then cannibalize them for parts to
    keep others going.

    >And any school is most likely going to using the PCs pretty hard and
    >expecting good reliability from them, and most likely doesn't want to lose
    >the work that gets stored away on them.


    Why should you lose the work that's stored away on them? Just back it up.
    Lawrence D¹Oliveiro, Mar 18, 2005
    #18
  19. SchoolTech

    AD. Guest

    On Sat, 19 Mar 2005 09:30:49 +1300, Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:

    >>See, if you have a central source that can provide these, clean them up,
    >> test them to make sure they're not going to go bang ... strikes me as
    >>a fine deal. The specs are surprisingly good - provided they're also able
    >>to wedge in a ton more RAM (PC133 is getting towards being rare).

    >
    > Does it matter if you put in newer, faster RAM? The old machine can't take
    > advantage of the speed, but it doesn't hurt.


    PC133 was the last widely available official 168pin single data rate ram
    type. I don't count stuff like Kingmax so-called 'PC150' as widely
    available or official - it was only useful for overclockers anyway.

    Newer RAM won't work or even physically fit in PC133 era computers. And
    even with PC133 things tend to get a little finicky with 256MB DIMMs eg
    most machines of that era won't accept single sided 256MB DIMMs, and even
    when you have double sided DIMMs it can be impossible to get the 3rd one
    to work (or even the 2nd one sometimes).

    --
    Cheers
    Anton
    AD., Mar 19, 2005
    #19
  20. SchoolTech

    E. Scrooge Guest

    "Lawrence D¹Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <1110786157.248563@ftpsrv1>,
    > "E. Scrooge" <scrooge@*shot.co.nz (*sling)> wrote:
    >
    >>It doesn't pay to replace [second-hand machines] every 2 years.

    >
    > I don't see why you should replace them if they still work. Just keep
    > usin them until they fall over, and then cannibalize them for parts to
    > keep others going.
    >
    >>And any school is most likely going to using the PCs pretty hard and
    >>expecting good reliability from them, and most likely doesn't want to lose
    >>the work that gets stored away on them.

    >
    > Why should you lose the work that's stored away on them? Just back it up.


    The last thing a school or any business needs is old secondhand rubbish.
    For the private person who doesn't do much computing at all then something
    around 200 bucks is going to most likely suit their very light needs just
    fine.

    When new computers can bought for under $2,000 it's only half of a teacher's
    yearly wage. Then there's the discounts unless they're not really a legit
    school that's part of the Education System.

    E. Scrooge
    E. Scrooge, Mar 19, 2005
    #20
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