: Toronto school board to stop buying Macs
2010-02-19, 05:14 PM
Linux isn't an operating systemHere's an easy way to keep the name game from getting confusing:
Linux is a kernel. Period. It is constantly updated code waiting to be built.
GNU tools are used to build it, then GNU tools are wrapped around the kernel in a GNU shell to make the kernel usable by humans and/or application programs, giving you an Operating System known as GNU/Linux
Individuals and businesses build GNU/Linux according to their own specifications, resulting in Distributions, such as Red Hat, SUSE, Mandriva, Ubuntu, etc.
So, to correct your statement, the Linux kernel and the GNU/Linux OS are used in a wide family of Linux Distributions.
As for the best OS for a school, Its the one that gives the biggest bang for the buck. In that area, Apple and Microsoft cannot compete.
2010-02-19, 05:46 PM
when I look at the Apple website, the computers start at $1,200.
2010-02-19, 09:03 PM
Originally Posted by spensar:Well, all we have to work off of is the Apple retail prices, it is much more expensive. Like I said in post 37, when I look at the Apple website, the computers start at $1,200.
Actually, the cheapest Mac is $649 (Mac Mini) while a MacBook goes for $1099. Agreed, PCs can be purchased for a lot less but generally, you get a whole lot less hassle and more instructional time with good equipment. PCs that can stand up to the high demands of school use will cost the same or more.
2010-02-20, 01:28 AM
And Another Sigh...
I have to chime in, even though Toronto is far away from my neck of the woods. I will try not to let this turn into a rant.
I spent over 20 years in various parts of the micro computer industry and IT, roughly 1/2 that time in the Apple dealer channel selling to the Education and Government channels, then roughly 1/2 the time in consulting supporting large Microsoft environments. I've used Mac's since they came out in 1984 and still use them today. During my time supporting the Wintel universe I earned an MCSE, worked as a network server admin on multi thousand seat international networks, and scripted automated installs of Intel desktops and servers. I am not married to any particular gui and I don't consider myself an Apple ******. I am married to a Special Ed teacher who is currently teaching Language and Literacy in the middle grades.
When I hear this discussion come up time and time again I have to ask myself each time whether the school district has clearly identified their goals in this decision. If they are going to convert to some form of Linux on PC hardware, I question if they have truly considered all of the costs. You cannot establish the true cost of supporting a networked desktop environment by only looking at the cost of single box.
If the school district thinks they are going to "save" money, I have to question this. If by making this decision the school district has the funds to properly support the equipment they purchase for 3 to 5 years into the future, fine. By support I mean keep them running and up to date day in, day out, all school year long.
If the school board/district has sufficient funds to purchase parts for the gear, sufficient staff to fix the gear, sufficient staff to test patches on the gear and sufficient infrastructure to deploy software on the the gear it doesn't really matter what they install. Unfortunately, too many pricing decisions in large companies, and school districts, are made solely on the capital cost and do not consider the life cycle of the hardware, the software support costs over the hardware life span, or the human staff required to support the entire networked environment.
Computers in schools are there to support what the kids are trying to learn. Most kids do not want to "learn computers". Whatever computer system the school board can ensure works for those kids day in and day out is what should be installed in the school, whether that be a Mac running OS X, a name brand PC running Windows, or a white box running some form of Nix. When the kids graduate from high school is anyone going to ask them what mark they got in Microsoft Office?
If you were to ask my wife which computer she'd like in her classroom after she has come home from another 12 hour day where she's spent 6 hours trying to teach reading to Grade 7 kids who are still reading at a Grade 1 level, and 6 hours dealing with the endless amounts of school system bureaucracy - she'd probably tell you she'd rather have no computers and more education assistants, more speech pathologists, more educational psychologists and generally more focus on the kids rather than technology as a panacea. Especially this week where she still can't get Microsoft Silverlight working properly on her Windows PC's so that she can show her kids anything from the CTV Olympics sites.
Ooops... <rant off>
2010-02-22, 11:53 AM
Thanks for the info on the Mac Minis, even with the "sighs". So $649 for a basic Mac box without a monitor. I see a mini-DVI port and miniDisplyPort - Do you need to buy a Mac monitor, or can any LCD be hooked up to it?
What's the cheapest Mac monitor price?
Comparable at Dell.ca at $399, so for every 2 min-Macs you get 3 PCs +$100 assuming that monitor costs are the same.
This does close the gap. Interesting to see what institutional pricing would be.
envirogeek, agree totally with your wife. Computers can be a money pit for schools when there are so many funding demands.
I can even see schools going to a model where they have "school" laptops for students without their own computers. More kids are getting netbooks and laptops, and desktops are dissapearing from homes very quickly as Moms can ditch the cumbersome computer station and wireless frees homes from cables.
2010-04-06, 12:20 PM
^^ The "basic Mac box" can be hooked up to virtually any monitor with DVI port. Mrs. ScanMan's Mini drives an ancient 19" Acer.