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MIS Systems Thread, Sims Discover in Technical; Here's a response from one of the experts! "Its a tricky one to phrase as you almost always want to ...
  1. #46

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    Here's a response from one of the experts!

    "Its a tricky one to phrase as you almost always want to fit RAM in matched pairs which means that most 32-bit systems have 4Gb of RAM (2x2Gb or 4x1Gb) in them but do only have 3Gb accessible. Hence why RAM recommendations on software is usually 1Gb, 2Gb or 4Gb.

    You can confirm that 3Gb is sufficient for Discover to run well (it is!) and you do not need a 64-bit operating system. I'll look at the phrasing of the minimum requirement"

  2. Thanks to PhilNeal from:

    LosOjos (15th July 2011)

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Linda from Capita showed the Northants techies it yesterday and this also came up. It ran OK on her laptop (which I know full well is a 4GB Core2Duo based machine but it does NOT have a discrete graphics chip) - however I was keen to stress it was running locally - there's not just the graphical interface to consider but the network infrastructure too - it has to pull the data from somewhere. It also needs another SQL instance which is slightly extra load on your SIMS server but it doesn't do a huge amount; unless your SIMS server is just about due for replacement anyway then you shouldn't have a problem.

    Back to client-side though, you will EASILY find a machine that will run it at it's "best" for 300.
    I think the term "discrete graphics" needs to be defined more carefully in their specifications. A Core i3 or i5 has a GPU builtin which is more powerful, as I've mentioned, then any card you'll buy for 30 or 40 notes, and is more than powerful enough to run Discover. Our new suite of Stone PC's costs just over 300 each with monitors.
    Extra RAM is no big deal - you're WELL under a tenner a gig these days.

    I will warn you this though, for expectation reasons.
    Out of interest, I tested this on a quad core, 16GB ram system with a 1GB ATI 5770 graphics card. It ran slowly. I think we have certain expectations after playing Call of Duty flawlessly at 60FPS that things will be uber-smooth. It doesn't work like that, it's still early days and it's running in-browser.

    2GB ram is more than enough.
    "Core2 Duo" , as mentioned, is not limited to things with "Core2" badged on them. As time goes on, most the "Pentium D's" you see are in fact Core2 kit which has been rebadged and remarketed for the modern era.

    Think the first time you've seen something dreadful and silverlight based like Eclipse.net or Junior Librarian.net. There is your benchmark.


    *** Edit : I should also hasten to add, in Capita's defense (unusual for me!!) that people seem to be acting in recoiled horror at the specs. Discover is *NOT* a must-have. It is not a requirement for you, your school, your LEA or your children's parents. It is an extra that you may wish to use. I think people's opinions have been made clear and the same job could be done with less graphical giff-gaff. Would it be as easy to use? Would it be as intuitive? Would you be able to drag and drop anything onto anything else if you had the same thing in an Access database?
    Last edited by synaesthesia; 16th July 2011 at 12:55 PM.

  4. Thanks to synaesthesia from:

    GrumbleDook (16th July 2011)

  5. #48

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    @PhilNeal are you quoting Ben?

    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    I will warn you this though, for expectation reasons.
    Out of interest, I tested this on a quad core, 16GB ram system with a 1GB ATI 5770 graphics card. It ran slowly. I think we have certain expectations after playing Call of Duty flawlessly at 60FPS that things will be uber-smooth. It doesn't work like that, it's still early days and it's running in-browser.
    I think you'll find it because it doesn't want to be a business computer

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    Best bit about Discover is that it uses the existing SIMS data, so you're not limited by what you can export from CTF, or a larger cost because they use Capita SIMS Business Objects\API.

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    we have been using and demonstrating discover on a 2yr old cheap acer laptop for the last 2 months..

    I found the trick was to ensure sims is not open i.e use the discover login directly..takes a lot less resource..

    On a seperate note...does anyone know what the parameters of the attendance timeline are i.e cumulative or weekly calculated.

    On a final note..discover presented to 20 schools so far.. 95% take up rate..especially useful on identifying behavioural issues by category and location..i.e bullying.

  8. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yogi72 View Post
    I found the trick was to ensure sims is not open i.e use the discover login directly..takes a lot less resource..
    A good tip, but not ideal when you're trying to compare data!

    Quote Originally Posted by Yogi72 View Post
    On a seperate note...does anyone know what the parameters of the attendance timeline are i.e cumulative or weekly calculated.
    It's cumulative based on the current academic year (based on the date, not what is set in SIMS academic management). Also, all data applies to on roll students in the current academic year - which means that any exams analysis must be done within the two weeks before next term starts. Both major limiting factors in my opinion, but apparently there are already plans to make this more flexible

    Quote Originally Posted by Yogi72 View Post
    On a final note..discover presented to 20 schools so far.. 95% take up rate..especially useful on identifying behavioural issues by category and location..i.e bullying.
    I've personally found the dynamic groups to be Discover's most powerful feature so far for this purpose

  9. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobG View Post
    It's a joke because c2d covers a rather large range of cpu's, go back and try using one of the old low end 1.8ghz c2d or one of the laptop 1.2ghz ones, there's a massive difference between those and a c2d
    Your getting CoreDuo and Core2Duo mixed up. C2D run Discover ok, even the old ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    you think silvershite will be around in a few years? MS seem to be dropping it like a hot potato in favour of HTML5/javascript to keep up with Apple/Google. I'm sure Capita will happily pass on the redevelopment costs to schools for the next (low system requirement, platform independent, browser based) version.
    Very negative, it's like saying MySQL has been took over by Oracle so we must stop using MySQL because in a few years they might drop it. Also it's not silverlight, it's WPF - which ain't going anywhere, it's a major part of the DotNet Framework which is "replacing" Windows Forms. Don't think Capita redeveloped everything going from DotNet2 to 4 do you? No they changed a dropdown then left the rest to the build server to run the unit testing.

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    Desktop side
    Core 2 Duo E4300 = 1.8ghz
    Core 2 Duo E6300 = 1.87ghz

    Laptop side (the low voltage core2duo are far slower)
    Core 2 Duo SL7100 = 1.2ghz
    Core 2 Duo U7600 = 1.2ghz
    in fact it goes as low as 1.07ghz for the Core 2 Duo U7500

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