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Hardware Thread, New IT Room Desks - locked doors or no doors? in Technical; We're having an area of the school redeveloped into IT starting next month, and debating whether to request locked doors ...
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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    New IT Room Desks - locked doors or no doors?

    We're having an area of the school redeveloped into IT starting next month, and debating whether to request locked doors be put on the desks where the chassis goes. Of course, we know there are disadvantages, such as less heat can get out, difficult/impossible to use cd/usb and having to remember to bring a key!

    One IT room we had done in 2005 was a basic desk design with just a holder underneath the desk for the chassis (the chassis is not fixed, just loose), but we find so much rubbish (food etc) getting stuffed in there and left for months sometimes! Not only that, but the machines get kicked, causing (minor) damage and cables coming loose, so the usual expected disadvantages of having them open.

    Just wondering what others recommend, what others have or indeed, if others are in a similar position, what their plans are? Naturally, it will be cheaper to have them open, but with our current room, we are endlessly going in there to put cables back in and remove rubbish which noone else will! Is it worth pursuing getting them enclosed?

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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    We leave ours open here but it will be a lot more tidy and secure if they did have doors.

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    john's Avatar
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    I've had desks with underslung towers and I found unless they were strapped to the top of the desk rather than just floor hovering / sitting on the floor then they get bashed and kicekd by the kids and chairs so get easily damaged. So either fully encase them to stop chairs and kids kicking them or get them tight to the top of the desk so they get reduced knocks and bashes and then it will be better. I personally go for the complete encasement.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    I would get doors, we are pushing for some fitted here on our newly installed desks. Just use USB extension cables for pendrives. Our curriculum machines do not have optical drives so that will not be an issue for us.

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    KarlGoddard's Avatar
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    This is isn't directly relevant to the OP but it's more of an observation I've made concerning lockable desks

    We have two suites which have lockable desks - the rather excellent ABC Desks btw - the 1st suite we installed we id'd the potential usb access problem so we bought a load of usb fly leads, routed them through the back of the desk and locked up the front of the cage.

    With the 2nd suite we had a bit of an oversight and didn't order any or enough fly leads, cant remember the exact reason, so we decided to leave the pc cage open so the kids could use the usb sockets.

    The 1st suite has had a fair bit of vandalism to the desks - missing screws / hinges, chewing gum shoved in the locks - even the odd rivet removed! The 2nd suite, which is the one with unlocked cages had not a single bit of vandalism.

    It seems that if they see they're being 'restricted' from something they will fight against it and break stuff.

    Again, not particularly relevant to the OP but just my observation from what happened in my school.

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    Joanne's Avatar
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    why don't you get those pc's that have the monitor strapped to them? You can bolt them onto the desks and then no problems!!

    You can spend the money you would save by not getting doors on the slightly better pc's.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Our latest IT room has computers in cupboards and have no problems with heat - most of the back is empty anyway.

    Pictures here and here.
    Last edited by webman; 28th April 2008 at 08:48 AM.

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    We have a room with the machines on the floor, and they're all slowly dying with various faults. It's basically due to the kids kicking them (accidentally or maliciously, doesn't really matter) and the crap that's on the floor finding its way into the cases.

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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    Interesting comments, and certainly something for us to consider. It actually makes sense that kids would be more "angered" by imposing restrictions when there are other rooms/areas which lack such a restriction. I suppose there isn't really an even ground - each solution has its own problems, but it's nice to see what the majority use none the less.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joanne View Post
    why don't you get those pc's that have the monitor strapped to them? You can bolt them onto the desks and then no problems!!

    You can spend the money you would save by not getting doors on the slightly better pc's.
    We have got those in some classrooms (RM One), however for the machines moving in to these new rooms, half of them are just a standard chassis, and only 2 years old. Besides, we'd want to have the ability to use either kind of workstation chassis

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    StewartKnight's Avatar
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    If I had the choice, I'd keep the kids as far removed from the base as possible. I've tied AD down so that they can use CD drives anyway.

    Some monitors come with USB slots on them, that way the kids can use pen drives if necessary.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fafster View Post
    We have a room with the machines on the floor, and they're all slowly dying with various faults. It's basically due to the kids kicking them (accidentally or maliciously, doesn't really matter) and the crap that's on the floor finding its way into the cases.
    Have you not considered moving them off the floor then?

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    gibbo_ap's Avatar
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    apart from staff stations and one other room, all of our stations are RM ones, which we have no problem with at all (apart from abnormal high hw failure).
    the other room has the rm intelli desks which are useless apart from the fact the room has no ac the stations are loud and the desks are lacking in build quality.we are currently in the process of digging our selves out of this hold and finding a solution, dont put computers in enclosures it kills them in a few years

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    Joanne's Avatar
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    Ah I see. We just have everything on the desk usually. tower, monitor, tower, monitor... etc.. but then the kids aren;t *too* bad here...

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    Pete10141748's Avatar
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    Ideally I'd like to keep the towers away from prying fingers (that includes staff as well!)
    as SO many times I've walked into the ICT Suite to find cables unplugged, towers moved around the desks etc.

    No need for anyone to access the CD drive on the PCs in an ICT Suite (at least not here so far anyway), everything is network run or locally installed by us.

    A cable to the USB / USB in the monitor / USB in the keyboard seems a good way to go if USB access is needed.


    At the moment we have everything on the desk - monitor:tower:tower:monitor pattern to give enough room to seat 2 students per screen (sadly we've only 14 machines )

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    john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    Our latest IT room has computers in cupboards and have no problems with heat - most of the back is empty anyway.

    Pictures here and here.
    What kind of flooring do you have in that room Craig? Looks like fake wood lino, if it is how do you find it for floating dust into your PCs

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