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Mac Thread, We're going MAC! in Technical; Good luck with your install, it is sure to be an improvement to what you had before. I am very ...
  1. #16

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    Good luck with your install, it is sure to be an improvement to what you had before.

    I am very interested to know how others who have priced or got quotes on Apple systems feel about the costs?
    Do you get any kind of discounts for buying in bulk and does it work out reasonable?

    I know all schools get educational discount, but with Apple computers costing more to start with, the discount only brings the prices down slightly.

    Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

    Rob

  2. #17

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    You haven't said what software you will be using. For example, we have had classes of 30 kids using GarageBand straight on to network home directories and it works fine. Though if your music people will be using huge files you will be better saving, or working from the local HDD then copying or exporting final projects back.

    To clarify an earlier point - iPhoto will only work with Mac OS Extended (HFS+) file systems, so if your students home folders are on a SMB share iPhoto won't like it.

    (Re: price, we have found Apple kit reasonable when comparing against very similar hardware and factoring in the bundled software. Their remote control and server software is also very very cheap against the Windows counterparts).

    One final pedant - it's Mac. Short for Macintosh. MAC suggests an acronym

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by iSteve View Post
    You haven't said what software you will be using. For example, we have had classes of 30 kids using GarageBand straight on to network home directories and it works fine. Though if your music people will be using huge files you will be better saving, or working from the local HDD then copying or exporting final projects back.

    To clarify an earlier point - iPhoto will only work with Mac OS Extended (HFS+) file systems, so if your students home folders are on a SMB share iPhoto won't like it.

    (Re: price, we have found Apple kit reasonable when comparing against very similar hardware and factoring in the bundled software. Their remote control and server software is also very very cheap against the Windows counterparts).

    One final pedant - it's Mac. Short for Macintosh. MAC suggests an acronym

    Hi, thanks for your detailed reply. I am very surprised I managed to cobble together my post with very little mistakes as I was talking with someone whilst writing. Apologies about not mentioning the sw we would be using. We are a primary school and these systems would be primarily for KeyStage 1 so you are talking the younger kids up to around year 2.
    The main apps they use are 2Simple packages which I am sure you can obtain Mac copies of, lots of online resources etc.
    I am convinced the Apple hardware lasts alot longer than counterparts both in build and usability (if you buy a decent system it tends to still run very well years after a Windows based system).

    I have been very impressed with the remote control software for Macs. I have been using one called Remote Desktop - lovely application, runs very smooth even on my very slow out in the sticks country internet connection.

    Thanks again for your help

  4. #19

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    I have not come across 2Simple so I will make a very generalised stab in the dark that if it is pitched at year 2 students, we're not talking multi track / multi channel audio software with huge files and so on, so would probably work fine over network based home folders.

    Remove Desktop is great, very capable software.

  5. #20

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    I'll explain what we have done.

    We thought about the Mac throughout music but decided overall the cost was going to be too much. Instead we setup the following.

    15 x Stone Desktops - Intel Core I3, 4Gb Ram, 64GB SSD. On these machines they have - USB Sound Cards (I'll find you model numbers later). USB Keyboards. The USB Keyboards came with Cubase LE Free. They also have access to various other music software such as Sequel and Sibelius. They machines are all off the Domain but do have a little app which is launched on boot which asks for a Username and Password (these are AD usernames). They then make a drive to a dedicated host for hosting the Music Files which is connected directly into the switch which these machines are connected to (home Dir's created on the fly using Samba). Each user then has there own private area for saving music work. From any domain PC the app can be run to map against the Music server if a requirement is needed to access these files from anywhere other then the Music Tech suite (which is rare). Then in a seperate room we have 7 21.5" Imacs for A-level use with very similar setups to the machines mentioned above but slightly different software. We also have a couple of Mac Pro's in the radio room/Recording studio.

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    Quote Originally Posted by talksr View Post
    Hi, thanks for your detailed reply. I am very surprised I managed to cobble together my post with very little mistakes as I was talking with someone whilst writing. Apologies about not mentioning the sw we would be using. We are a primary school and these systems would be primarily for KeyStage 1 so you are talking the younger kids up to around year 2.
    The main apps they use are 2Simple packages which I am sure you can obtain Mac copies of, lots of online resources etc.
    I am convinced the Apple hardware lasts alot longer than counterparts both in build and usability (if you buy a decent system it tends to still run very well years after a Windows based system).

    I have been very impressed with the remote control software for Macs. I have been using one called Remote Desktop - lovely application, runs very smooth even on my very slow out in the sticks country internet connection.

    Thanks again for your help
    Apologies in advance but, this sounds like a colossal waste of tax payers' money, if all you're doing is using 2Simple software.

    I have all the 2Simple software installed on all the school's curriculum machines and not one title has given me any problems. All our workstations are 5 years old (Intel Dual-Core 2GHz, 1GB RAM, 80GB HDD, onboard graphics, onboard 1Gbit NIC etc). What's more, these workstations have taken a serious battering over the years and they continue doing so.

    The price you'll be paying for these flashy gizmos could probably kit out 2 primary schools if they were Windows based machines. RE remote control software, you could use LanView with Ultra VNC - which is free! Failing that, there is teamviewer, logmein et al.

    If this was for a high school then I can understand where you're coming from, but I think a complete refit of a primary school with Apple products is a major overkill.

    Just my two pence.

  7. Thanks to Chuckster from:

    glennda (9th February 2012)

  8. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckster View Post
    Apologies in advance but, this sounds like a colossal waste of tax payers' money, if all you're doing is using 2Simple software.

    I have all the 2Simple software installed on all the school's curriculum machines and not one title has given me any problems. All our workstations are 5 years old (Intel Dual-Core 2GHz, 1GB RAM, 80GB HDD, onboard graphics, onboard 1Gbit NIC etc). What's more, these workstations have taken a serious battering over the years and they continue doing so.

    The price you'll be paying for these flashy gizmos could probably kit out 2 primary schools if they were Windows based machines. RE remote control software, you could use LanView with Ultra VNC - which is free! Failing that, there is teamviewer, logmein et al.

    If this was for a high school then I can understand where you're coming from, but I think a complete refit of a primary school with Apple products is a major overkill.

    Just my two pence.

    Didn't realise it was primary - yes complete waste of money if you are looking at Macs. Yes they have there advantages but not for KS1!!

  9. #23

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    Forgot to add, we have 6 x MacBook Pro's and 4 iMacs. We use them primariy for Photoshop, Comic Life and iLife (iPhoto, Garageband, iMovie etc)

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    Not too sure why you are choosing the Mac route if you're only using primary applications...

    However, out of the software listed above I've only had issues with iPhoto (as others have stated) not playing when using a non-Mac formatted volume to store iPhoto library's. This, plus issues I've had with Logic has meant I've had to force local home directories, then redirect 'Pictures' and 'Music' to a thunderbolt RAID hanging off a Lion Mac Mini Server. User's authenticate with AD, but are managed through OD.

    The Apple network has cost the school ALOT of money to get to it's current state, and hasn't come without lot's of problems. Mainly due to integration with Windows.

    If I was in your situation I'd be very cautious about choosing Mac's unless there was a serious demand for them.

    Good luck either way though!

  11. #25

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    Given Apple's recent attitudes to enterprise computing, I would seriously question the wisdom of moving towards OSX at this stage of things, in fact we've got a 70-odd mac deployment as part of our network which we're planning to move away from when it comes time to renew that hardware.

    Sorry to be so negative, I've driven hard at getting macs adopted and usable in education in the past, and we've done great things here with art/media departments and adobe creative suite plus final cut pro on the mac, but I wouldn't recommend it now, especially if the jobs you're looking to do are reasonably do-able on other platforms.

  12. #26

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    I've got to agree with Roberto above. As far as I can tell from your needs there is no reason for you to use anything made by apple. You WILL struggle using network home folders with anything music/media related. There is little support for this type of software, especially on an apple platform.

    Plus if this is the first time you are integrating macs you'll struggle even more. If you DO intend on using macs i'd get yourself comfortable by deplyoing a few in an area that is not essential (e.g. an additional few macs in an open access area) or something. This way the pressure won't be on come the 1st September when nothing is working.

    However, if you do go down the apple route, good luck!

  13. #27

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    Thanks for all of the posts, they have been very useful. I ended up purchasing just two iMacs to install to the staff room to give a little mix to the systems we have in the school.
    Our main idea on obtaining Macs was because of their reliability and product life, although it seems Macs don't last as long as they used to.

    Thanks again for your posts, it has been extreemly useful to me.

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