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Hardware Thread, Customer asking for complicated setup - Tablets, Projecting, Printing and File Shares in Technical; ...
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    FreelanceX's Avatar
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    Customer asking for complicated setup - Tablets, Projecting, Printing and File Shares

    Hi all,

    First of all, apologies if this is in the wrong section, but it seems to be the most appropriate.

    I work for an IT services company, serving schools. I have had one of my schools ask for a solution, which I really cant offer. Looking for some advice on the matter and to see what other techies do.

    They want to start using tablets in lessons. But not just as tablets. They basically want them to replace their desktops. They want to be able to project from them, print from them, access their windows server shares... Everything they aren't intended for.

    I tried to explain how difficult this is, but alas, I must come up with a solution. Here is what I have currently come up with for options. Any and all input is welcome. Remember that this is for a Primary School, they have given me a budget of around £2000 (which is even more fun) and their suggested preference is iPad Minis or Nexus devices.

    Windows Pro Tablets such as a surface. Solves the printing and Server access right off the bat. Purchase some miracast devices for projecting. - Expensive.

    iPads, use an app such as AirServer or purchase Apple TVs for projecting. Buy/setup software/hardware to sort our printing and server access. - Complicated, possibly expensive.

    Android tablets, miracast for projecting, Buy/setup software/hardware to sort our printing and server access. - No idea on pros and cons.

    I have no idea at present how to print from ipads without an apple ready printer or software like papercut.

    I have no idea how to access windows shares from ipads, unless I setup webdav... Which is not what I wish to do.

    I have no idea how to print or access shares from android, guessing options are similar as above.

    Any of you have hints, suggestions, experience with this? I keep dropping massive hints for windows devices... but its not getting through.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Not sure if I'm being helpful, but if it was me I would point out why tablets aren't appropriate replacements for desktops to them. If they then want to go ahead with it, tell them what options they can afford with their budget for the hardware/software, let them make their minds up and leave them to discover how they can use them as replacement desktops.

    Unless you're more involved in the curriculum than our company is...in which case I can only be glad it isn't me.

    Jack
    Last edited by JackCPickup; 2nd July 2014 at 04:10 PM.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    You've got the answer, Windows tablets. If they are to replace everything else you'll need something powerful like the Surface Pro 2-3, if they are not nuts and are keeping some desktops then you can use the Atom powered ones which are far cheaper and intended for that king of thing, @VeryPC does them as do Dell with the Venue Pro 11 and ASUS with the t100 (limited though). Lenovo has the yoga which is a folding laptop, cheaper and more powerful that may fit the bill as it folds to a tablet.

    As to network projecting, miracast can work as can simply buying Epson networkable projectors which come with deployable software that lets you project to them over a network - works with video and sound too - even on the atom ones but these are a little choppy.

    You will be fighting a huge uphill battle trying to shoehorn Apple stuff in there and get it actually working, android may be able to work but with a huge amount of extra work.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 2nd July 2014 at 04:23 PM.

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    How many classes do you have to kit out for £2k? I think the biggest problem you'll have is managing expectations!

    Some printer manufacturers (Konica, Samsung and Epson I know for sure) make IOS/Android apps to talk to networked printers*, and there are apps which can do the whole network share thing on both devices as well, with vary degrees of ease of use for the end user. Essentially they're all workarounds though. Search the app store/google play.

    As a means of getting more diverse multimedia into classrooms tablets are great, but unless you go the whole hog with windows tabs I can't see how they can do away with desktops/laptops for admin etc.

    *Konica's is called Pagescope

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    It's £2000 per user, right?

    Joking aside, it's not really possible for their budget, is it?

    I think you just need to politely explain that it's not achievable for their available budget and then try and turn it into a way to make money in another way...

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Greif, didn't see their 'budget', bet you could do is maybe some learnpads and a bunch of 'not in your price range' notes.

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    If you want to make costed kit list.. take a look at Presto for printing from ipads etc. It integrates with PaperCut too (though unless its a huge primary PaperCut is probably overkill).

    Also don't forget to spec up a wireless network that includes some sort of Bonjour gateway for AirPlay.

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    Just wondering why its a no go to WebDAV? Its a very powerful bit of software and in my experience about as native as a iPad gets to talking to file shares.

    If you think its too complex (maybe) do take a look at the guide I posted not so long ago here - Series: WebDAV – Access Windows File Shares outside the firewall on any device « my world of IT

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    Sorry, they appear to be idiots. Their options are wake the hell up or Windows Surface, imo. Or possibly both if they think they're going to get much action with any tablet worth using, for £2k.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelanceX View Post
    They want to start using tablets in lessons. But not just as tablets. They basically want them to replace their desktops. They want to be able to project from them, print from them, access their windows server shares... Everything they aren't intended for.
    Assuming you already have decent network / wireless coverage, you could probably manage around half a dozen iPads for your budget. They'll need configuring, preferably with a mobile device management solution - handily, Meraki's is free. For AirPlay mirroring to existing, preferably hardwired, classroom PCs linked to projectors, AirServer (around £50 for a site license, I think) should be fine. For file access, assuming these iPads are to be exclusivly assigned to specific teachers, I'd suggest setting up an OwnCloud server linked to your Windows home shares and installing the client on the iPads. Providing apps to edit those files is a separate question, mind. For printing, you can install an AirPrint server to act as a gateway to your existing printers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    AirServer (around £50 for a site license, I think) should be fine.
    When I contacted App Dynamic about a site license for AirServer they said they don't offer them. How did you get yours for £50?

    Hello,

    No, we do not offer "site" licenses. The correct option for you would be the educational licenses.

    The education license is designed for use by teachers, students and schools. You will need to provide an educational email address in order to purchase an education license. Each education license has a base price of $11.99 USD and is valid for one computer activation.

    • If ordering 10 – 49 licenses, we will drop the price to $9.99 USD per license.
    • If ordering 50 – 99 licenses, we will drop the price to $8.99 USD per license.
    • If ordering over 100 licenses, the price would drop to $7.99 USD per license.

    Bulk discounts can be claimed when purchasing directly from our download page. Simply visit the download page, www.airserver.com/download

    Here, choose the type of license you’d like to purchase and click the “Buy Now” button. The next page will allow you to update the quantity. As you update the quantity, the discounts are automatically calculated. You will be able to pay for these licenses either with your credit card or a PayPal account.

    If your order is over $80.00 USD, and you wish to pay with a cheque, or if you wish to pay with a bank transfer (only an option if your purchase is over $100.00 USD), you can send a purchase order to us by email for manual processing. The discount would be reflected on your invoice. Information on sending a purchase order can be found here:

    http://support.airserver.com/custome...l-or-business-

    If you require a quote, you can download one through the download page of our website. Visit www.airserver.com/download, then click the Buy Now button under the license type that you are interested in purchasing. On the next page, adjust the quantities to reflect the number of licenses you wish to have on your quote. Once you update the quantities, click the “Save This Quote” button.

    Best Regards,
    AirServer Support

  12. Thanks to Arthur from:

    dhicks (3rd July 2014)

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    This is a crazy idea and they will regret it going forward. I'm putting money on the staff not being competent enough to use the 4 tablets, 1 printer and apps you'll be able to afford with £2k.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    When I contacted App Dynamic about a site license for AirServer they said they don't offer them. How did you get yours for £50?
    Hmm, you're right - just checked the website, it seems they've stopped doing multi-machine licenses. I think I originally bought licenses for a dozen or so machines for around £50, that was probably a couple of years ago and for a beta version, though. I've still got the receipt somewhere in my email, I'll check. It seems they still do discounts for bulk, and 6 licenses will still cost around £50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    it seems they've stopped doing multi-machine licenses.
    That's disappointing! I guess they weren't making enough money from schools since £50 isn't a lot of money compared to how much gets spent on iPads and peripherals.

    I suppose I can't complain too much since AirServer licenses are significantly cheaper than Apple TVs.

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    Shares are easy. Just need a file manager app that support UNC paths. Solid explorer on android, es file explorer, root explorer, etc. I also used one on iPad before that was free. Printing - android has native printing support in 4.4+ for cloud print and HP. Projectors - mirecast or Chromecast would do the trick (Chromecast will gain full mirroring shortly)

    What else? A bunch of Nexus 7's will work for this so far.

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