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How do you do....it? Thread, Staff brought in hardware installs in Technical; How do you handle when a teacher brings in some unknown strange ink jet printer they bought somewhere for a ...
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    Staff brought in hardware installs

    How do you handle when a teacher brings in some unknown strange ink jet printer they bought somewhere for a little or nothing and asks you to install it? Do you have a policy against purchasing hardware.

    I have a somewhat large problem with this. I am thinking that we are going to make a list of "Recommended/ Supported" peripherals....I love when teachers buy technology. I hate when they buy some random program or hardware and then look at us and say "Make it work". Like we are supposed to be the supreme being of know all and understanding.

    Haha, thanks for answers.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    We don't allow it, you get into all sorts of nonsence with who owns what and people buying silly stuff that eats up vast amounts of tech time to deal with. All computer hardware is purchased by the ICT budget holders and all purchases must be made through them or with their approval.Anything that falls outside this is assessed if people are in a good mood and ditched if it is going to be problimatic. The staff in question are also reminded of the chain of command and the processes in place otherwise it turns into a freeforall with everyone expecting everything and nobody actually getting anything because all the money has been spent on gear that simply wont work properly in a school environment without major overhead - example the useless eairly proscopes which they still refuse to make Windows signed drivers for

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    itschad (30th March 2009)

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Had this a couple of times with some fairly unimportant hardware - UPS's mostly to note.

    In one case, their rackmounted APC had fallen over after 4 years of solid servitude on 2 high demand servers, so one of those teachers that "knows IT" went out and sourced a replacement. A belkin. Which barely supported 1 of the machines long enough to perform a graceful shutdown.
    I have to swear whenever I see Belkin hardware being used outside of the home anyway, it's ruddy awful at the best of times, but in this situation I had to laugh really Main reason I know about it, is because obviously that failed within a few weeks of purchase. "Take it back, get a refund, buy a replacement APC"

    Few inkjet printers which teachers were surprised to learn were not networkable, short of sharing it over a locally connected PC, and even more surprised to see the ink cartridges emptied within a week of enthusiastic student printage.

    Only thing I can stress to these people are things like PAT, warranties (specifically many of the 30 quid inkjets you pick up from Asda aren't guaranteed for use in business environments), media and consumable costs :/

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    itschad (30th March 2009)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    All purchase orders for every department go via my boss, who, if she spots anything ICT related, forwards them to me. If they manage to slip past there, the finance officer's desk is across the room from me, so she usually passes anything that looks odd to me (along with the question 'can you get this cheaper?'.

    If an item is bought which I knew nothing about, I usually have words, see if it is actually any good. If it is ok, usable and won't cause trouble, I will not cause too much fuss, but if it is a cheap, home-style piece of kit then I will kick up a fuss.

    Whatever happens, I end up in my boss's office making a complaint about it - as I can't be expected to support stuff I have no knowledge of.

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    itschad (30th March 2009)

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    Thanks, these are good answers and go along exactly what I am doing. We are the all too controlling computer department though. I wanted to make sure that I wasnt out of line in my way of thinking.

    My favorite is that they always assume bigger districts are better with technology. I hear "Well in (Insert District Here) we were able to buy our own printers and scanners. They supported them."

    I appreciate this site so much. I hope I dont annoy everyone by asking a ton of questions right now. However I am figuring out changes for this next upcoming year.

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    teejay's Avatar
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    Had this for about the first 12 months when I started, it gets really annoying and frustrating. It does require some very carefull, positive persuasion to get the message across.

    After time though, staff do appreciate when the right stuff is bought and it 'just works'.

    Stick to your guns, you'll get there in the end.

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    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    We've just had this with some music software. The HoMusic purchased Cubase 4 Education. We didn't want to support it.

    The same department also ordered printers the other year. We have to support them.

    We try and push certain stuff and have given the teachers a list of how to do things and what we will support.

    GJE

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itschad View Post
    I hope I dont annoy everyone by asking a ton of questions right now.
    They are not fed up of me yet, you have along way to go to catch me up

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    BaccyNet's Avatar
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    We dont support hardware that has not been agreed/purchased by the NM. We are trying to standardise everything in the school to make things easier for both staff, students and us. That way if a member of staff can print to one networked printer with a certain document, it'll print on any of the others (simplistic example) We arnt totally there yet but hopefully will be soon.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Indeedy, nothing worse than people assuming that technicians can possibly know everything

    My favourite recent issue was a school that had some "Money to spare" and bought 20 cheap inkjet printers to go around the school. Never crossed their mind to ask for the input of either me as their visiting technician or the on site ICT co-ordinator!

    Wouldn't worry about asking questions - after all, without the questions there wouldn't be much of a forum here Is a good community, plenty of advice, opinions and help to go around

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    farmerste's Avatar
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    we don't allow it

    we always purchase printers for classrooms, i always get one first, and then try and buy a batch of them, i do plenty of repairs though for the teachers home printers, so i see what cr@p they buy.
    Printers only really became a problem when they went from parallel to usb in my opinion, we still have loads of hp 840's, and 895's working perfectly here.

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    AyatollahPies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerste View Post
    we always purchase printers for classrooms, i always get one first, and then try and buy a batch of them, i do plenty of repairs though for the teachers home printers, so i see what cr@p they buy.
    Printers only really became a problem when they went from parallel to usb in my opinion, we still have loads of hp 840's, and 895's working perfectly here.
    Couldn't agree with you more regarding the stupid move from Parallel to usb for printers. Have nothing but trouble with USB printers, especially ones that are shared. Parallel just did the job.

    The HP Laserjet 5MP printer was and still is, a great office printer. They just don't die. Sadly, a lot of modern desktop PCs no longer come with a parallel port, which meant a lot schools I support having to ditch such a printer. Sure you can get parallel to USB converters, but I'm not fully convinced by them.

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    farmerste (1st April 2009)

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    mattmoo's Avatar
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    We have had the same problem with a video camera that was purchased outside of IT and they lost the power supply. Who do they turn to? IT of course.

    We have a simple, if we don't buy it, we don't support it policy.

    Matt

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    button_ripple's Avatar
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    We don't have the problem of people bringing in hardware, it is mainly software here, which goes through several months of testing before being installed (only if they haven't asked us before buying!!)

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