If it was a business i would agree with what you're saying, but it's not a business, time doesn't mean money as we're not trying to make money, we're only trying to save it and make student and teacher lives easier by giving them a faster and more reliable support option. It is true that if we weren't building PCs we would only be doing something else, but the budget wouldn't stretch as far if we were going down that route which means we wouldn't be able to support the progression and growth of the school as well as we do currently.
Good to see some shouts for VeryPC on this thread - thanks guy's, I appreciate the endorsement and will continue to invent cool stuff!
@RTFM the new BLD's are like battle tanks aren't they! The steel it about 4 time thicker than normal Chinese chassis, designed for schools that need them to take a beating. Did you know the steel is from Rotherham, and the chassis is made in Hull? I don't like it when we make heavy stuff abroad, it's no cheaper it just drags the quality down and increases CO2 emissions.
In relation to cost, VeryPC do try to make it so the products make up any difference in cost pretty quick on energy use, the latest ultra small machines are running (up to a) i7 Quad Core Desktop processors, 8GB RAM and Hybrid (SDD/Magnetic) HDD for 16W idle, with a mean consumption in use of 20W or so. At this rate you should see any cost difference evaporate in the first 18 months - and you can run them for a good 5 years (that's the warranty).
My latest energy reporting software is almost ready to roll, which will have all the machines squarking to a simple web server their power use for putting together pretty looking reports. This will be available for machines already in the field (and other peoples machines) but will need calibrating.
I'll be blogging about this software soon and I will let anyone who want the beta get it for £0.
Though the BE cases are pretty too, the custom branding on the BLD's is another big thumbs up as it makes them theft proof due to it having logos and "XXXXXXX School" all over it (or whatever you want putting on etc).
The fact they are so highly efficient is just another bonus :)