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Mac Thread, Whole school to go Mac? in Technical; So, what life-span could we expect from macs?...
  1. #16

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    So, what life-span could we expect from macs?

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    Probably about the same lifespan, though repairs and spares would be more costly, and there's less scope for upgrading older machines in order to extend their lifespan.

  3. Thanks to jamesb from:

    birchanger (31st March 2009)

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    AyatollahPies's Avatar
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    I'm glad I'm not in your shoes.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    Probably about the same lifespan, though repairs and spares would be more costly, and there's less scope for upgrading older machines in order to extend their lifespan.
    there's little scope or desire to upgrade old pc's for instance once they get to a certain age . Beyond the memory upgrades that can also be done with macs.

    also, don't forget the resale value. There's a good chance of recouping something from that initial outlay on hardware [can't give you a percentage] a few years down the line, unless ofcourse the price of new macs drop significantly over the next few years.

    I think there's definitely a case for a phased introduction of macs, say 20% of the current PC estate this year, and then x% in year 2. This also gives you the oppportunity to become familiar with the platform on a manageable scale to begin with....i don't know why you'd want to provide a convincing case against introducing macs in some capacity.

    replacing 250 pc's with macs in one swoop is a big outlay and a considerable undertaking, but i were the ts i'd make the case for a targeted, phased approach. Eventually replacing 250 pc's with macs sounds like a good idea....google have thousands of macs, in fact i think their staff use predominantly mac laptops, so if it's good for them and it's clearly not just a media platform or a niche platform...??

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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    there's little scope or desire to upgrade old pc's for instance once they get to a certain age . Beyond the memory upgrades that can also be done with macs.

    also, don't forget the resale value. There's a good chance of recouping something from that initial outlay on hardware [can't give you a percentage] a few years down the line, unless ofcourse the price of new macs drop significantly over the next few years.

    I think there's definitely a case for a phased introduction of macs, say 20% of the current PC estate this year, and then x% in year 2. This also gives you the oppportunity to become familiar with the platform on a manageable scale to begin with....i don't know why you'd want to provide a convincing case against introducing macs in some capacity.
    I don't want to provide a case against introducing Macs in some capacity, although I'm rather glad to hear that my argument was convincing.

    I just don't think a replacement strategy is the right way to go about it. Macs are more expensive than equivalent PCs, and they are harder and more expensive to upgrade.

    As to only having the option to upgrade memory on older PCs, I've upgraded hard drives, graphics cards, processors and so on as well as memory in order to keep systems running before, and to give them a boost.
    Last edited by jamesb; 31st March 2009 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Correcting Freudian slip

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by birchanger View Post
    Just been given an update: the justification is the perceived longevity of Macs. He believes that PCs need to be replaced every two years or so, but Macs go on much longer.

    Now there's me thinking the reason machines became obsolescent was due to technology improvements. Now it seems it's down to the software architecture.
    there is better investment protection with macs, so he's not totally off the mark....i'm not sure length of service there's much to choose between macs and pc's, although with macs now being intel based they certainly have the potential to be more useful than PC's for a longer period. Ofcourse repairs could be issue, and you might not have the resources to repair them yourselves once they hit five or six years old.

    As i said, absolutely nothing wrong with replacing 20% of your pc's with macs or only buying macs when considering new equipment or buying mac when old pc equipment reaches EoL, that arrangement might suit the both of you. potentially a better compromise than going all-in with macs.

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    Don't forget warranties - you have to pay extra for 3 year apple care otherwise you are stuck with one year and have to send them off to apple when they break - can be expensive.

  9. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    there is better investment protection with macs, so he's not totally off the mark....i'm not sure length of service there's much to choose between macs and pc's, although with macs now being intel based they certainly have the potential to be more useful than PC's for a longer period.
    I'm genuinely curious. Since they're based on the same hardware as PCs, how does this make them more useful for a longer period?

  10. #24

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    I feel so sorry for you. It is mad to replace any of your pc's without real reasons as to why. Your head had shown no major reasons at all to do it.
    When you start adding the TCO up windows is easier to manage once configured and cheaper per year. We get 5-6 years out of £400-£500 desktops here (no monitor) and can do what we want to upgrade them such as installing PCI cards etc for music etc. Try and get that value out of apple hardware.
    Mac's will cost more in support, management and initial buy cost based on what I have seen for very very little benefit especially since you will have to buy windows licenses anyway since a huge amount of educational software is windows only.
    Also you will be buying 'new' versions of osx all the time which is a constant cost especially if a piece of software requires it.
    Its seems to be a case of "we have money lets burn it on shiny shiny things" rather then any solid reason or need to do it. Beat him down, beat him down now with a shiny mac stick

  11. #25
    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    I'm genuinely curious. Since they're based on the same hardware as PCs, how does this make them more useful for a longer period?
    becuase of the form factor they are more versatile. if they need to be put into a space saving environment they can be. looking at a 20" imac today, i'd see little reaosn or incentive to upgrade the model becuase of screen size, hard disk size, graphics etc. Sure, you could say the same thing about an equivalent bit of pc hardware....but you don't just look at 'what am i going to need this pc to do 5 years from now, but what environment is this pc going to be in 5 years from now ? who's going to be using them ? who's going to want to use this after i retire it ? i know what i'd rather have and pay money for.

    overall i see little compelling argument for pc's apart from the initial cost outlay advantage. And that is negated in the resale value of the mac. I concede that costs associated with repairing of the mac could be a concern, but i find the current hardware models to be very reliable.

  12. #26

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    I think that replacing them would come and bite you on the a**e in about 3-4 years time when the hardware starts to get old and out of warraty and you start having to try and repair them yourself as stuff goes wrong.

    PC's, no problem replacing stuff plenty of off the shelf spares that will fit more makes and modesl. Macs - have you ever looked at the price of spares?

    Mike.

  13. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    becuase of the form factor they are more versatile.
    You can get form-factor PCs, I don't see how there's any real difference there. And a form-factor is not more versatile, it is simply designed for a different implementation than say a tower, a mini-form factor, an all-in-one, a desktop, a built in desk-computer, or whatever other configuration you feel like getting. Unless one of them can shape-shift, they're no more versatile.

    Actually I tell a lie. A pen through a TFT screen for a PC means a new screen. If you've got an all-in-one Mac on the other hand...

    if they need to be put into a space saving environment they can be. looking at a 20" imac today, i'd see little reaosn or incentive to upgrade the model becuase of screen size, hard disk size, graphics etc.
    Scratches on the screen, bled pixels, pens shoved through the glass, bits of paper through the heat vents?

    Equally, I'd see no reason to upgrade a similarly specced PC, but the point is that I'd have the choice to do so, cheaply.

    Sure, you could say the same thing about an equivalent bit of pc hardware....but you don't just look at 'what am i going to need this pc to do 5 years from now, but what environment is this pc going to be in 5 years from now ? who's going to be using them ? who's going to want to use this after i retire it ? i know what i'd rather have and pay money for.
    Again, I don't really see the difference. Sure, the resale value on the PC might be lower, but how often do schools sell off old hardware rather than repurposing it? I know which I'd prefer. Gimme £50 to throw a few upgrades at some PCs rather than going through the hassle of trying to sell them off. In fact with a good upgrade program I don't see any need to retire them at all.

    How does the environment its going to be in make any difference at all? Most likely it'll still be in a classroom, or in an office, but either way there's no specific advantage to Macs in these situations.

    overall i see little compelling argument for pc's apart from the initial cost outlay advantage. And that is negated in the resale value of the mac. I concede that costs associated with repairing of the mac could be a concern, but i find the current hardware models to be very reliable.
    Equally I find the current hardware models of PCs to be very reliable.

    I'm not anti-Mac by any means, I just don't see the reason for replacement in this case rather than using the funding to add a new suite with Macs, space permitting. In fact as there's already a Mac suite a new Linux suite might be interesting, really give the kids a chance to experience different flavours. But the point is, why rip out a perfectly good, functioning network of cheap, easily repairable, easily upgradable machines and replace them with pricey all-in-ones where the repairs require special tools simply to get the boxes open, on which large bits of your software probably won't run, or isn't supported (SIMS, as far as I'm aware, is not supported on Parallels, that's gonna sting if it goes wrong).

  14. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroHour View Post
    When you start adding the TCO up windows is easier to manage
    with the mac you are managing effectively a windows pc as most schools would like to use them as.


    configured and cheaper per year. We get 5-6 years out of £400-£500 desktops here (no monitor) and can do what we want to upgrade them such as installing PCI cards etc for music etc. Try and get that value out of apple hardware.
    the old imacs were between £600-£700 including screen , no tangle of cables to worry about or base unit to accomdate...just plug in and go. Also there are plenty of usb audio interfaces now available. From the small digidesign usb products to firewire MOTU interfaces...why do you think the macbook pro is so popular with audio pro's ?

    Mac's will cost more in support, management and initial buy cost based on what I have seen for very very little benefit especially since you will have to buy windows licenses anyway since a huge amount of educational software is windows only.
    there is potentially an argument about support and initial buy cost, and that could translate into an increased TCO. i'll give you that one.

    Also you will be buying 'new' versions of osx all the time which is a constant cost especially if a piece of software requires it.
    All the time as in every 18months - 2 years. Or the fact many insitutions are running 4-year old OSX 10.4.x very happily ?

    Its seems to be a case of "we have money lets burn it on shiny shiny things" rather then any solid reason or need to do it. Beat him down, beat him down now with a shiny mac stick
    [/quote]

    balls. where is the compelling argument to buy your £400-£500 pc's. Oh yeah, you can open up the case to put a pci card or two in. you haven't convinced me, although i am more convinced about the dirt cheap cost of big tft monitors these days. I'm not overly enamoured with the apple fanboy group think that keeps people coughing up whatever apple's pricing strategy, but i can certainly make the case for the mac overall beyond merely the 'ain't they shiny' case. some of the arguments against appear to be barking up entirely the wrong tree. being able to upgrade via pci being a typical example.

  15. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    with the mac you are managing effectively a windows pc as most schools would like to use them as.
    So, uh, why bother with Macs then?

    the old imacs were between £600-£700 including screen , no tangle of cables to worry about or base unit to accomdate...just plug in and go.
    So like an all-in-one PC. How much are the current iMacs on sale? £949 for the basic 20" model?

    Also there are plenty of usb audio interfaces now available. From the small digidesign usb products to firewire MOTU interfaces...why do you think the macbook pro is so popular with audio pro's ?
    The few audio pros I'm familiar with tend to use variants of Linux. That way they can get their own software for their sampler and DSP cards.

    balls. where is the compelling argument to buy your £400-£500 pc's.
    Half the price?

    Oh yeah, you can open up the case to put a pci card or two in. you haven't convinced me, although i am more convinced about the dirt cheap cost of big tft monitors these days.
    Or a new hard drive, memory, processor, power supply, motherboard, tv tuner card, any other pci card you choose to name, swap it into a new case, cannabalise for spares, strip down and slap in a few terabyte drives to turn it into a file server, throw in a few extra network cards, load Linux on-board and make it into a firewall, or a router, or a proxy server...

    I'm not overly enamoured with the apple fanboy group think that keeps people coughing up whatever apple's pricing strategy, but i can certainly make the case for the mac overall beyond merely the 'ain't they shiny' case. some of the arguments against appear to be barking up entirely the wrong tree. being able to upgrade via pci being a typical example.
    I'm not arguing against Macs in general, I'm still just arguing against going through a school, ripping out their network of PCs and replacing the whole thing with Macs. Macs have their place, but in a school network, I'll take PCs.

    Actually I'll rework that. I'll take computers which don't try to force me into proprietary manufacturer lock-in, rather than ones which do. Macs are PCs.

  16. #30
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    So your head wants to dump your Windows PCs running Windows apps to...run Windows apps on Windows on Mac OS? Madness!

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