I work for a private school, so we don't get the scads of funding that state schools do to buy computer equipment. However, we do have the kinds of parents who can afford to buy their children their own computer equipment. Obviously each child differs somewhat in the equipment they get, which is why our network is designed as it is - we want any kind of random device to be able to just connect to our network and use our resources, I'm aiming more for a bunch of web-accessible services that happen to be accessed locally for speed rather than what most schools consider a network.
Are there any companies around who can offer a nicely-presented package selling decent hardware that we can pass on to parents? We wouldn't care about making a profit or any fees out of it ourselves, we could just maybe do with a reliable company that sells decent hardware, preferably set up with sensible defaults so it works well on our system, and that will handle all support and repairs. I figure what I'd want to offer parents (and staff) is a selection of UMPCs (EeePC, HP 2133, Elonex One, Nokia N810), standard laptops, maybe a desktop, and a home server machine of some kind. That should take care of all of the queries from staff/parents that I've dealt with recently.
Any companies like that out there? Any budding enterpretures want to start one?
dont know of a company, but this is something i've been looking at recently as well. With the eeepc its easy, you can create an image and distrobute it at will, 3 year warranty and 3 year insurance can be purchased cheaply. the problem you will have with the others is the software licensing, with windows based systems the best thing you can do is point parents at one of the cheap ms dealers but then they own it and pressure will be on you to maintain it!. I'd find a package of a decent pc and and a decent software company and advise that everyone buy insurance and an extended warrranty.
With the eeepc its easy, you can create an image and distrobute it at will, 3 year warranty and 3 year insurance can be purchased cheaply. the problem you will have with the others is the software licensing, with windows based systems the best thing you can do is point parents at one of the cheap ms dealers but then they own it and pressure will be on you to maintain it!.
What we're looking for is a company that'll provide and handle the support for whatever software is used on the device - Windows, Linux, whatever. I've had a word with the local PC shop in town, but I don't know if they'll quite be able to manage.
I tried to do this about 9 months ago for are school, i contacted Dixons stores group about setting a package up on a laptop bundle or a computer bundle for around £300. Both bundle would have been discounted by £30 max if it was successful then i could try and get other schools in on it as well. I thought a big company like DSGI would have wanted the publicity but after lots of emails trying to get a responce i have given up.
I was considering contacting Dell to see if they would do something but have not the time.