Hardware Thread, A Completly Free IT Suite is our aim can you help ? in Technical; I have been working at this primary school for 3 years now but unfortunately we have no money at all ...
19th June 2009, 07:43 PM #1
A Completly Free IT Suite is our aim can you help ?
I have been working at this primary school for 3 years now but unfortunately we have no money at all in our IT budget. There are many reasons for this but the main one is that we bought 36 laptops 4 years ago brand new in trolleys that just are not up to the job. Batteries and wireless problems are the main problem. (Unfixable with no money).
So back to basics is the plan second user crt monitors from the local high school are abundant so we need some donated base units with xp pro license (oem attached) with original recovery media if available for compliance. 2 gb processors and 512 memory would be nice as a minimum spec but would not mind adding some second hand memory etc they dont need mint.
Has anyone ever done this before or attempted to do this before?
Can your school/business offer any donated base units?
We plan to use work experience people to help us install the units.
Openoffice and other freeware and our existing site licensed software like textbase textease etc
If you can help us please PM me or reply to this thread.
IDG Tech News
19th June 2009, 10:33 PM #2
Silly question, but why can't you hook the laptops up to a keyboard,mouse,monitor and network cable, remove the batteries and leave them plugged in? Or are they too old?
There are lots of grants out there and you could always sell your schools soul for money and have a wall sized advert for the company donating the money/equipment.
Could you speak to some of the local 2ndaries and see if theyre going to be upgrading their kit meaning you can take the old off their hands?
20th June 2009, 12:35 AM #3
...that is the idea of posting this post, to ask around. The two main reasons we cannot use the laptops are firstly the age of the laptops and secondly security (leaving laptops laying around in a busy primary school isn't the best of ideas). Once we have a fully functioning reliable IT suite we intend on using the laptops for "special lessons" as and when required. As for removing the batteries, it may be not a good idea as the PAT testers will/might fail them (at the testers discretion - possibly costing the school more money). We are currently applying for all the equiptment grants we can think of, if anybody has any suggestions for available grants/sponsorship in exchange for equiptment it would be greatly appreciated.
We are trying to be a "green school" and are not asking for money, we are trying to get a full IT suite for free within 2 weeks, not the 2 years or so that the grants we have read about take. Why borrow money to buy new equiptment when businesses, government departments, data centers etc etc replace there equiptment every 3 years. Why send it to landfill when we can make good use of it?
Thanks for your reply, you have picked up on some useful points.
20th June 2009, 07:59 AM #4
Got a couple of schools around here that are replacing their old suites with newer kit, but the systems are mostly 1.7ghz Celerons with 512mb memory (beige/blue front RM units). They seem very good at re-use around here somewhat surprisingly, there always appear to be a use for some of these machines, whether it's a secondary PC in a classroom or SEN machine, or propping open the particularly heavy hall doors
As for PAT testing - no, having batteries removed will not fail them. PAT testing on IT hardware is slightly more specialised than testing fans and toasters, they can only do a visual test on the main unit and they should know what they're looking at. The only part of any PC or laptop they can/should actually plug in and test is the mains cable/PSU.
Anyway will also keep an open eye, only trouble is if there is anything, it's the matter of getting it transported over to you.
20th June 2009, 08:08 AM #5
you could create a gmail account or a seperate email account and sign up for freecycle.org ( in the areas ) where you are willing to go and collect computer items ie monitors, base units etc and post a request every so often for computers.
The reason I say to create a new or seperate email account is because there are always people posting requesting for free stuff and also people posting what they are offering etc so a lot of emails which I am guessing you dont want mixed up with your normal emails.
20th June 2009, 09:27 AM #6
- Rep Power
Selu - sign up to the ICT register. I recently gave away 10 Promethean boards to a school in Burnley via this.
20th June 2009, 11:57 AM #7
we're getting rid of some base units this year p4 2.4 ghz 512ram 40gb hdd however they are now 7 years old.
20th June 2009, 03:10 PM #8
Sounds perfect could you PM me a
Landline number. Collection wise I have a volvo estate and a petrol account so collection from anywhere in the UK could be possable. Obviously Lancashire Cumbria Manchester Liverpool area would be best but to meet our goal I am prepared to travel that extra mile as you can see.
Last edited by selu; 20th June 2009 at 03:22 PM.
Reason: extra information
20th June 2009, 03:38 PM #9
that's what mail filters/rules are for
Originally Posted by mac_shinobi
I'm not sure you'd want a ict suite full of random base units. makes imaging type maintenance a lot harder.
@selu maybe you could borrow the local high school's mini bus (remove the seats) to collect bigger amounts of stuff, if the primary would pay the petrol costs. I think I have 1 or 2 crt monitors you could have. Not far for you to get ;-)
@f21970 what's the ICT register?
20th June 2009, 08:37 PM #10
Minibus full of identical computers in mint condition
Yes if we could have identical stuff perfect but we can use a standard image accross a whole range of hardware nowadays (sysprep multiple hdd drivers etc)
Minibus is an option but would put diesel in it myself even though its more expencive can tell you dont drive lol
Thanks for the offer on the monitors you as always have been most helpfull.
20th June 2009, 09:04 PM #11
Originally Posted by browolf
But freecycle is worth a go - in the past 2 years I have freecycled 23, 19 and 8 identical machines which were being replaced in 3 different schools
20th June 2009, 11:38 PM #12
Tried that but it never caught all of them as people offering stuff all have different email addresses and no way of knowing who is going to offer stuff as it could be yahoo mail, gmail, bt internet, orange email etc etc
Originally Posted by browolf
Just thought I would suggest to register it to one email account that way it does not matter.
21st June 2009, 12:19 AM #13
Wandering off topic
All of your suggestions are very useful. As you can see I need advice on procuring some free / recycled pc base stations for a primary school.
The whys and wherefores on email filtering have long since been dealt with on this forum. I can look after myself re the spammers
This is a genuine post / plea on behalf of a hard working school that has fallen on hard times. Despite this we are a “good school” We aim to improve the learning environment here beyond recognition with your help I am sure we can achieve that goal.
With your help/ donated equipment we will be podcasting our own radio station.
The first production will be dedicated to the people who have helped us.
Let’s keep on topic and focused. Thanks
21st June 2009, 10:15 AM #14
@Selu our current suite has 18 towers and 7 desktops (slightly different driver builds between tower and desktop) However I think we have a further 12 desktops not sure in what state they are as they've been in storage for parts since September. I don't suppose you have ghost? If you did I could write to DVD our base install image with Windows, Drivers etc..
21st June 2009, 10:34 AM #15
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