I'm sure there is some confusion here over the difference between a single OEM pack of software and OPK media. Anyone who is building their own PC can legally use an OEM copy of Windows purchased with the hardware on it without any legal implications and without registering as a system builder.
https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/40047531OEM system builder software packs are intended for PC and server manufacturers or assemblers ONLY. They are not intended for distribution to end-users unless the end-users are acting as system builders by assembling their own PCs.
https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/40012170Who Is a System Builder?
A system builder is anyone who assembles, reassembles, or installs software on a new or used computer system.
I wouldn't worry too much about the OEM thing. Although the above advice is very correct, MS have accepted the loophole about it being sold to end users, sometimes with or without non peripheral hardware. I had a long discussion about this with Ebuyer (morons) and Microsoft and it's just left very lax.
As for building yourself - if you're not planning on leaving any time soon, and you have no quarms with diagnosing faults yourself (which you're probably already doing with warrantied kit) you will be enjoying more benefits - rather than 1/3 year warranty, you'll have lifetime guarantees on your memory, 10 years on most hard drives, 5-15 years on graphics card, lots of variable timescales which are typically a minimum of 5 years for the core components.
It will however be worth looking into vista business and speaking to suppliers about bulk discount, I'd be fairly certain you'll get it at the same price as home premium.
As a separate thought though, perhaps it might be an idea, your setup allowing, to put aside a couple of machines, throw in 8gb of ram each and a 64bit OS to really give you some video crunching juice? It's not something I've personally done as yet but thought it might give you an edge and whilst the ram is costing pennies (8gb = £70 to home users inc VAT, as a school you'll be claiming that back anyway) it might be worth consideration.
I thought long and hard about doing this again one summer for a batch of 45 but decided against it with my new managerial hat on.
The fact that I can buy a batch that have been custom built, tested, and come with a 5yr next day on-site business warranty for the same money or even less than what I could build them for was a no-brainer!
My advice..... don't do it!
how good are the pcs at the mo? are they expandable? If your going to custom build then why not look at using the components you already have?
I.E I'm betting the case/pcu/mobo will all be good, and you can still use that ram...
so that way all you need is a graphics card, bit more ram, better cpu but as i said depends on your current spec.
Thanks for all the input. The current machines really arent upgradable - they are p4 1.8ghz, and now have 768mb ram after we upgraded them a couple of years ago to make them last this long! They are all small form factor dell's, so can't take standard expansion cards etc.
I think I will have a look at a few other suppliers to see what they can do. Do ICT-Direct sell any higher spec kit? Most of the stuff on their website seems to be older cheaper stuff.
Anyone got any comments on Pinacle studio 12? I've had a play with the demo and it looks ok to me, just wondered if there was any alternatives that may be better or cheaper?
jamesmay (28th April 2009)
If your strapped for cash how about ubuntu studio? try and slap it on you existing P4s and rack the memory up to the max they'll take, maybe spend the saved cash on an external capture box's what have you got to lose!
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ljEb1PdEdM"]YouTube - Linux Video Editing with Open Movie Editor[/ame]
I'd like to hear from anyone who has experience using this not tried it my self yet
or a mac mini? you could scrape together some monitors movie authoring is something it does pretty well
Apple Mac Mini 2.0Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo 1GB/120GB/SD/NVIDIA Geforce 9400M Desktop PC MB463B/A - PC World Business Online Store UK - Buy The Best Deals Online.
If you buy your cases from Kelway they may be happy to stick the COAs to them for you, this would get round it I think.
They could give them to me so I can make a cluster server
Thinking out the box... I just got a quote for 10 Mac Minis - A few pence under £400 each (obviously this doesn't include monitors).
You would then need to add a sensible amount of RAM - add anothe £10-£20 per machine and possibly better hard disks for £30 per machine.
Logic Studio Site license is about £1600.
I'm not a Mac fanboi but they work well in certain situations and are often overlooked.
Of course, I'm sure that for under £300 per machine you will get a tier 1 box (Core2Duo) with a monitor from ICT Direct.
I've heard about good things about SCL Online - Homepage (and there active here), I just got my work machine from them quad core, 4gb ram, 500gb disk for £359 (ex vat) then you could pick up a decent graphics card for the rest of that budget..
They even fitted the graphics card + soak tested it for me...
Last edited by mossj; 29th April 2009 at 07:45 AM.
Thanks for all the suggestions, quite a few different things to look into. The mac option is intersting, but we have no mac expertise in the support team at all, and while it would be great to educate teachers / pupils in something other than windows, we really just dont have the time!
I will have a look into ubuntuStudio, although initial impressions are it may be a little complicated for some of our youger kids (its a primary school).
Hadn't thought what i was going to do with the old machines to be honest, we'd probably be open to offers if anyone is interested? It would be base units only, as we are keeping the monitors. They are p4 1.8ghz, most are 768mb ram, cd-roms, and most have agp graphics cards of some description, can get the exact spec tommorow if anyone is interested. There are 16 of them.
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