Henrico school officials Apple to Dell switch: The logo will...


mkjellman

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2003
158
0
i find it interesting that they all complained about appleworks being a huge issue...microsoft office costs the same regardless of the platform so is dell going to take a hit just to have them buy their computers and bundle office for free? i'm very confused...think of all the money they are also going to have to spend in virus software etc....
 

winmacguy

macrumors 68020
Nov 8, 2003
2,237
0
New Zealand
mkjellman said:
i find it interesting that they all complained about appleworks being a huge issue...microsoft office costs the same regardless of the platform so is dell going to take a hit just to have them buy their computers and bundle office for free? i'm very confused...think of all the money they are also going to have to spend in virus software etc....
To me the thing that is most important regardless of platform is that the teachers and students are happy with the final platform choosen.

Regardless of the relevant benefits of either platform - OSX is virus free BUT you have to bring more people up to speed and familarise them with the different platform and the small things that make it a different plarform and learning experience which would mean a change that some people dont like making - OR leave them on a platform that they are all comfortable with, virus and security issues et al and have the teachers teaching the students and getting results. In short "better the devil you know than the devil you dont"

The big test will be to watch Henrico and Cobb County over the coming months in order to do a comparison test of the two platforms in an education environment.

I know that when I was studying graphic design at the begining of last year that the G4s running OS9 with 256MB RAM got a real workout out in an adult classroom situation. To say that Apples dont crash or need maintenance would be stretching the truth (OK it was OS9), but the machines will always get thrashed in any classroom environment.

Cheers
 

applekid

macrumors 68020
Jul 3, 2003
2,098
0
Maintenance, technical support, software and price are some of the factors behind the decision to move from Apple to Dell laptops at the high school level.
You can call BS for all of those.

I hope they have a plan on getting out of the contact early. Either these kids better be really good and honest kids or they better have some good "filters" for the junk coming in.

I hope they plan on using that $4 million they saved on "filters."
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
eh, its their choice oh well too bad for them. i cant see this as being the best move, its especially bad for apple, but hopefully they can still recover some of the education market back soon
 

Plastic Chicken

macrumors member
Jun 17, 2003
54
0
I don't blame them, if they had to use Appleworks. Even I admit that Office is a step up from Appleworks.

Appleworks stinks.
 

silly34

macrumors newbie
Apr 30, 2005
9
0
Been there done that...

Henrico has messed up. It is just a matter of time before they realize that have a piss poor solution. I work for Walker County Schools and we had a 3 year 1-1 initiative for every student and teacher at one of our middle school. We went with iBooks and let me tell you they rocked!! In situations where we had to send a machine off for repair it only took 3 days to get it back. I sent out iBooks on monday and got them back wednesday. We also had 4 years of warranty including screen damage. We had Apple engineers on site when we needed them and they always helped us during our reimaging tasks which was mostly just needing an extra pair of hands to shuffle things about. All of our teachers got MS Office the students used AppleWorks.

My friend wrote the RFP for Cobb county so I have been watching them closely, hopefully everything will go smooth and Apple will have learned some lessons from Henrico so this won't happen again.

Long Live Apple!!!!

B.
 

iJon

macrumors 604
Feb 7, 2002
6,557
36
Poor decision if you ask me. We have G4's in our computer lab at the uni and they are locked so tight I can't even screw with it. Granted I could bring a bootable CD or a Firewire drive, but those are the extreme's I would have to go through to even lay a finger on that computer. Hell if they have a firmware password set I would have to swap out the harddrive to do anything. The Windows machines are maintained well but there are too many smart kids who just love to screw them up.

jon
 

mkjellman

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2003
158
0
yes you can lock apple's tight. i don't think this was the issue

i think their two issues were:
-appleworks
-$$$



dell is going to be able to give them a cheeper price because dell laptops at the level they are looking for are priced cheeper.

Apple has more "bang for the buck" when you compare apples to apples (no pun intended)

apple education has been loosing the market lately because they do not market themselves enough. I go to a private school with over 300 school owned apple laptops and 6 computer labs one with 30 imac g5's. We are a school of only 600 students. PC's at the school are thin clients with dell servers in the rack. Students complain about mac's not doing this and that. It takes time to point out why a mac is better for them to do their task.


Apple shoots themselves in the foot when they build shoddy Logic Boards in iBooks, opt towards cheep displays, use lower quality trackpads (powerbooks...new apple designed one sucks compared to synaptics). Students who own their own iBooks go insane when their logic boards have failed 6 times in 1 1/2 years. If Apple wants to get their market back they need to continue to be the "BMW" of computer markets. While this makes it hard to have a $ = $ argument reliability in an education environment is very important. When Dell's fail all the time because of cheep parts from china, Taiwan, etc (we all know they do this) schools will start to desire the reliability they had with Apples.
 

broken_keyboard

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,144
0
Secret Moon base
winmacguy said:
Regardless of the relevant benefits of either platform - OSX is virus free BUT you have to bring more people up to speed and familarise them with the different platform and the small things that make it a different plarform and learning experience which would mean a change that some people dont like making - OR leave them on a platform that they are all comfortable with, virus and security issues et al and have the teachers teaching the students and getting results. In short "better the devil you know than the devil you dont"
But they have already been using Apple for the last 4 years...

I think from the article that Apple offered price X and Dell offered price Y, and Apple just wasn't competitive. It's not a judgment on OS X.
 

winmacguy

macrumors 68020
Nov 8, 2003
2,237
0
New Zealand
broken_keyboard said:
But they have already been using Apple for the last 4 years...

I think from the article that Apple offered price X and Dell offered price Y, and Apple just wasn't competitive. It's not a judgment on OS X.
The only thing the article doesn't specify is what version of Apple OS the school had been using. This can also be a factor judging by some of the comments in the article
"Lloyd Brown, director of technology for Henrico schools, explained the features of the new Dell Inspiron 600M laptop. The screen is 14 inches compared to the iBook’s 12-inch screen. It has two USB ports and a track pad for moving the mouse. The Dells will utilize a Windows XP operating system."

please excuse my ignorance on this issue but I am assuming that iBooks ahve always come with OSX 10.1? on them....? I am also assuming that the school is/was using G4 iBooks and not G3 iBooks.
My ignorance is partly due to
1 Not ever having owned an iBook
2 Not having been educated in the US
3 No reference pics of the aforementioned iBooks in the article.

<Edit> Just because Mr Lloyd Brown is the director of technology for Henrico school still doesnt mean that he actually knows anything about the Apple Platform especially if he is a PC oriented tech director.
 

swingerofbirch

macrumors 68040
I prefer the Apple operating system, and some if its hardware is rather nice, and I choose to use it, and even as an evangelist to others, this decision does not bother me in the least.

I mean there is not a lot of glamour in running a program like this, it may seem like a high tech dream, but the actual job of maintaining all those computers with little rascals has got to be maddening.

I have had some very good Apple hardware, and I have had some very bad Apple hardware (an iBook G3, which Apple eventually refused to continue fixing after four logic board failures). But I am not sure if these kids were using those models or newer ones?

Regardless, it's not a zero sum game. Apple is at its worst incredibly arrogant, smug, and only adheres to rules when it is in their favor. At their best, they come out with some neat stuff because of their arrogance, smugness, and inability to live by the rules all the time.

Apple's no angel, and Dell is no devil, all I'm saying. :)
 

winmacguy

macrumors 68020
Nov 8, 2003
2,237
0
New Zealand
swingerofbirch said:
Regardless, it's not a zero sum game. Apple is at its worst incredibly arrogant, smug, and only adheres to rules when it is in their favor. At their best, they come out with some neat stuff because of their arrogance, smugness, and inability to live by the rules all the time.

Apple's no angel, and Dell is no devil, all I'm saying. :)
Hence my original post

"To me the thing that is most important regardless of platform is that the teachers and students are happy with the final platform choosen.

Regardless of the relevant benefits of either platform - OSX is virus free BUT you have to bring more people up to speed and familarise them with the different platform and the small things that make it a different plarform and learning experience which would mean a change that some people dont like making - OR leave them on a platform that they are all comfortable with, virus and security issues et al and have the teachers teaching the students and getting results. In short "better the devil you know than the devil you dont"
"
 

JeffTL

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2003
733
0
In other news, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America announced today that in all union shops, the rubber mallets will be replaced with sledgehammers effective next year. An official commented that while the size will change, the tool is the same.

And further, word is just in that the Henrico County Limo Company plants to replace every Cadillac on their fleet with a Ford Focus. The official line is that while the logo will change, the tool is the same.
 

ASZ993

macrumors newbie
Feb 26, 2005
13
0
This has to be one of the poorest descions ever made.

You're talking about a high school and middle school environment where the LAPTOPS will get BEAT UP within the first three months of usage. Get a Latitude if you get a Dell notebook. They last longer.

What could concern everyone is more misuse of the laptops. How many kids do you think will you find playing Counter-Strike, Call of Duty or WoW on their laptops during school hours in class? A lot more.

I go to a school of ~1400 students in a medium-sized public school district in Bellevue, WA.

I also see that a lack of administration/attendance/gradebook software on OS X is a problem. Just to try to make attendance and grades more seamless, my school district switched to Dell for everyone, beginning in 2001.

Lastly, I see that Dell's design allows kids to easily gunk up the drives and keyboards. Being a freshman in high school, I dont like floppy drives stuffed w/ gum wrappers and the LCD monitors scribbled on.


f Apple wants to get their market back they need to continue to be the "BMW" of computer markets
I really do see Apple being this way, quality control issues aside. Some school districts, like mine, don't really see the advantage of Apple when Microsoft puts $$$ in the district's pockets.

Henrico schools might regret their Reverse Switch. :p
But whatever works for them.
 

spinner

macrumors regular
Jan 16, 2002
203
0
South Dakota
"At any given time, he said 10 to 15 percent of the students in each classroom do not have an iBook due to maintenance issues."

I wonder what this figure will be after the Dull program gets into full swing. They will probably need every one of those extra loaners Dull promised.
 

SiliconAddict

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2003
5,889
0
Chicago, IL
Wow that is impressively scary. That article read almost like the e-mail from my company when they outsourced IT. That was a few months ago. Heard the same BS excuses and such and guess what? Yep they are saving money all right by decreasing the quality of support and overall responsiveness.

The reasoning is almost verbatim in a few instances to the first e-mail announcing the outsourcing. Lets look at the article a little closer why don’t we?

Brown also addressed the question of security — how to prevent students from accessing inappropriate web sites. First of all, he said, “The type of laptop does not have anything to do with security — it’s your filters. Therefore, security will be a challenge with any product.”
He said the school division would continue to maintain the most up-to-date filters and security measures.
BZZZZT. I’m sorry Mr. Brown. It’s obvious by your buzz word you don’t know **** about security. There are a lot of assumptions that I have to make to fill in the blanks but lets assume that the filters are laptop based (Because if they are server based they would be useless when the student\teacher takes their laptop home to their broadband network.) Do you think you can lock down every site to avoid adware\spyware? I’m betting my annual salary you can’t. I’m betting that within 6 months 30-60% of the laptops out there will have ad\spyware. Second you don’t need “filters” (In this case the filters are a firewall.) on a Mac simply because of the number of ports that are open by default. It’s prudent to have it on but its not a mandate like on Windows. (If you aren’t running a FW on Windows or at the very least behind a router with DHCP you are pretty much screwed.) Again here’s hoping that you configured your firewall software correctly because I know for a fact that Windows Printer sharing function is locked out with MS’s firewall be default. Wonder how happy those students are going to be when they take their computer home to the parent’s networks and can’t connect to the printer. But the school is obviously going to provide tech support for them right? Or are you going to hand that off to Dell and their white noise speaking tech support folks out of India?


Making sure every high school student may utilize a laptop every day was one of the priorities for this new contract, Morton said. At any given time, he said 10 to 15 percent of the students in each classroom do not have an iBook due to maintenance issues.
Let me lay out some initial projections on downtime with the Inspirons. 15,800 systems right? Out of the box expect several hundred to be faulty. Be it bad trackpads, hard drives, motherboards, etc. Within 1 year expect at least 10-15% of these systems to have issues with the hard drives in some form or another. Either outright failures or corrupted sectors where the OS hits the hard drive a lot. Access to core OS files will be lost and BSOD’s on boot will occure. Within a year expect at least 1-2 dozen laptops to have some form of faulty mainboard. How do I know this? From dealing with Dell. I know what their business line of Latitude laptops are like. The fact that they are going with Inspirons makes me feel for the teachers and students. Dell makes OK business laptops but their consumer laptops BLOW. I’ve serviced numerous laptops that have been brought in by the people in my office because I’m the IT guy. I apparently service not only our company but people’s personal computers. :rolleyes: I see the quality in Dell’s consumer grade laptops and they are ****. This isn’t Apple biasness. This is the god honest truth.

Freeman High School Principal Dr. Ed Pruden, who was on the evaluation committee, said the switch from AppleWorks to Office will be the biggest concern for teachers. “We have a commitment from Dell to make that transition smooth,” Pruden said.
That last line is verbatim what the outsourcer promised. It won’t happen. It will be sloppy it will break documents. It will cause lost data and it frankly will piss of a lot of people. However that being said I understand why they want office. Its an industry standard. Sorry but even if Apple upgraded iWork it’s still no substitute for Office. Apple really should have offered MS Office in the deal. I can really see that one point as a deal breaker.

Beyond that do you know why students said they wanted a PC? Simple: Games. Gaming on a 12” iBook is hardly performance incarnate. It isn’t about compatibility. It isn’t about Office. Its about getting to install the games they own on the desktops at home. So all I can say is: SUCKER.

Finally I have to ask why you are asking teachers and students what they want. As someone who is the head of IT you should be asking what they need to do their job.
What your whole beautifully laid out speech basically proved to me was one thing: justification. Dell gave you a virtual blow job with price and promises just as my company was given by an outsourcer. Guess what Mr Brown. You missed the portion of the contract that said that you also get virtually screwed because Dell will NEVER be able to meet all those demands. Period.

Here is how its going to go down. The first day you roll out these systems people are going to be working on migrating their documents to the new system. That in and of itself is going to be hard depending on how you implemented it. Once that is done people are going to start playing with their new system. Some will install software that is unauthorized. Most will install IM chat clients. Many will start installing games. (Again depends on how locked down the system is.) A month or two will go by flawlessly until the first wave of students start complaining about problems with their system after the first couple rounds of auto updates. Expect about 8-12 patches within the first couple months. Several of which will cause at least a handful of problems with the browser and break it. After that you will start to get the first batch of hardware that will fail post implementation. This is typical since after the burn-in period occurs that is when you start seeing failures. Expect them to be as many as Apple voiding the notion that you are saving money. Within the next 6 months you will get new patches which will cause problems because students have installed software that causes conflicts. You have the rollback feature on XP but the problem is that when you rollback Windows you still need to get those patches back on there. So either you need to send a tech out to their system or they are pretty much on their own. Then you will run into a smathering of systems. My guess? 5% or so where Windows Updates XLS files get corrupt and Windows Update stops running. What happens then? The latest patches don’t occur and unless you are actively scanning students and teachers systems you won’t know this until the fhit hits the shan.
All the while Dell will throw gobs of resources at the problem. Promising the moon, sun, stars but delivering ****. How do I know this? Because I was here when Dell promised to replace the hard drives in one model of laptop we rolled out nation wide. The hard drive apparently had a major defect that caused it to spontaneously DIE. No warning. No event log errors. Just DIE and short of taking it into a data recovery center you weren’t getting the data off of it. Dell came in with promises that they would clone all the bad hard drives and replace them. It was quite possibly the clumsiest job we’ve ever seen. They contracted the job to whoever they could get their hands on in the region. It was a complete and total mess. Of the 1,000 or so systems that were to be swapped out in 1 month it took dell over a year to complete and even now there are still stragglers out in remote offices that still have one of these landmine hard drives in their system.
Sweet dreams Mr. Lloyd. I hope when the folks of the school district lynch you in 2 years time that its quick and less painful then the potential crap you are about to inflict on these students and teachers. As I said in my previous post I want to believe that they are going to have their infrastructure setup right but this article, even with the massive holes in how they are going to do it, screams like someone going over Niagara Falls and the end result isn’t going to be pretty.

Wow that was long winded and I’m not sure what I just typed. (Its late...or early depending on how you see it.) When the fingers get going I can go on forever and ever and ever and ever and ... :D
*passes out* ZZZZZZzzzzzzZZZZZZzzzzzzz
 

SiliconAddict

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2003
5,889
0
Chicago, IL
mkjellman said:
i find it interesting that they all complained about appleworks being a huge issue...microsoft office costs the same regardless of the platform so is dell going to take a hit just to have them buy their computers and bundle office for free? i'm very confused...think of all the money they are also going to have to spend in virus software etc....

I'm betting yes. Remember that Dell is practically having *coughs* unmentionable acts *coughs* with Microsoft. They probably get insane breaks on MS office student edition probably enough that its practically free so they are probably eating the cost of office for the school district so they can say OMG! OMG! what a deal.
 

SiliconAddict

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2003
5,889
0
Chicago, IL
applekid said:
"filters."
Don't you just love that word? Seriously. This is coming from and I quote "director of technology" Filter seems to be the buzz word for this guy. :rolleyes:

Again I hope those "filters" are on the laptop itself because if its simply implemented on the schools network when they take the thing to a StarBuck's or their home network they aren't going to have those magical filters to guard them against adware and they better have some really good AV software that faithfully updates and to be certain they really should be auditing these systems to make sure that the Security Patches take and that they have the most current AV virus definitions, along with firewall rules and. *head spins at the thought of how incomprehensibly stupid this is*
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
I read a comment elsewhere that the Director in charge of Henrico schools has changed in the last 4 years and is a complete Windows maven. That person (who knew some of the personalities involved) suspected that Apple could have discounted their price below Dell and it would have made no difference to the decision. A 4-year deal; how many of those Inspirons will still be working then...
 

winmacguy

macrumors 68020
Nov 8, 2003
2,237
0
New Zealand
Personally I wouldn't be too worried about the whole chain of events. I think there are a few Mac fans in both Cobb and Henrico counties who are going to be able to keep us updated with the reports and news articles coming from both regarding the iBook deal with Cobb county and the Dell deal with Henrico. We will probably hear about the bad side of the iBook deal in coming months and the good side of the Dell deal. But just wait for the next major virus outbreak to knock out the Dells. I look forward to being able to compare the two in coming weeks and months :) :D :cool: :rolleyes:
Cheers winmacguy
 

winmacguy

macrumors 68020
Nov 8, 2003
2,237
0
New Zealand
Judgeing by this comment
"Meola reports, "Meredyth Hoggatt, a history teacher and selection-committee member, said the move to Dell should be more of a transition than an attempt to reinvent the wheel... Adam Hall, a sophomore at Hermitage High School, said he is pleased with the planned switch to Dell, because it has a better operating system. 'They're better than what we have now,' he said."

They obviously have some intelligent well informed computer users there ;)
<EDIT> their server info is here
http://searchdns.netcraft.com/?host=http://www.henrico.k12.va. us&position=limited&lookup=Wait..
Last reboot 27 days ago