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Recommended Suppliers Thread, RM - Discuss in Purchasing and Trading; I'm interested to hear people's opinions about RM. But not the usual 'RM are.....(insert insult of choice here)'. About two ...
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    nawbus's Avatar
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    RM - Discuss

    I'm interested to hear people's opinions about RM. But not the usual 'RM are.....(insert insult of choice here)'.

    About two years ago, I took on as part of my job some IT technician duties (the rest of the time I was doing Science & D & T - small school!). At the time I was fairly proficient at doing things on stand alone PCs, but with no real knowledge of running a network of any kind.

    Our network is an RM CC3 on with a few 2.4 stations still around. When I started, my views on RM were not too favourable and were based on the fact that we had some horrible RM machines at my school and everyone else I knew was then using BBC Bs! This was 'cough' years ago!

    Two years on and I'm now a virtually full time IT technician and feel I can get our network to do most of the things I want and sort any problems that occur. Most of what I know is self taught with help from my colleague and reading up about stuff from RM. I find our network is generally stable and fault free (with the odd blip here and there) and easy to run.

    I find that the equipment they supply, albeit on the pricey side, is reliable and does the job that the School needs it to do (see the RM One mobile review).

    So, apart from pricing, what do people think? I know that despite my initial reservations, I am happy with what we've got (Connect 2.4 excepted).

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: RM - Discuss

    right i have mixed views on rm like most companies they have good points and bad points and also you have to learn to work the system a little bit...

    good points

    equipment quite reliable
    for someone like me where i am only one rm stuff reduces time on some jobs

    flexablity - the support line wil help you get non standard things toi work now it use to be they woudnt know they will as long as it understanding that this is not official rm way...

    cc3 - quite stable...

    willing to listen - now they are more open to take ideas on board about how to devlope there software etc..

    bad points

    c2.4 - just bad designt hat caused problems

    price - always an issue but this is where working the system comes into play and really pushing them hard

    replacing ms compnents - few years ago they had nack of replacing stndard ms parts with rm created software which caused lot of bugs luckly cc3 has not got as much as that.

    closedness - can be hard to found out how certain rm software works and you do have to know who to talk to

    russ

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    Re: RM - Discuss

    RM are good, but I also like open-source which RM don't seem to be too keen on. The [CC3] Management Console and remote access to files/resources requires Win/IE5.5+. But this isn't an issue with most people anyway.

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    Quackers's Avatar
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    Re: RM - Discuss

    I use to like the RM Products, RM NET LM 2.0 and RM Connect up until 2.4.

    In the 90's with Windows NT 3.51/4.0 it was very flat. You had to go else where for almost all the extra tools, and unless you ran NT on the client too the security (client side) was non existent.

    With RM Connect 2.x i think RM did a good job at making Windows 95/98 a bit more secure (even though with a little effort it could be disabled).

    The managment tools were good, for example User Mangment, which used folders, compared to NT's out of the box flat User Managment.

    Bits could be done your self in a vanilla setup for example with Poledit and Ghost, but i feel that for its time it was a good product.


    Then for some reason RM just "gave up". There was a lot of years between Windows 98 and Windows XP, RM just completly skipped Windows ME and Windows 2000 (client wise).

    By this time Microsoft had released Windows 2000 which is much better than NT 4, and out of the box allows you to do a lot more.

    Connect 3 was extreamly buggy in its early days i remember. I also do not see the point of it anymore. I do not like the products interface for managment, or the way it screws around with the Windows interface.

    Also RM have messed with other stuff, apparently Elclipse has problems working on RM Connect 3 client builds of Windows XP. Vanilla its fine. Also when you add the licensing costs on £100 a station JUST for RM Connect (at least it was last time i checked) it is overpriced and gives no functionality that a vanilla system cannot do with just a few hundred spent on 3rd party tools such as PCounter.

    Success Maker, their support is just disgusting. £5000 for a support contract, and they will not answer any questions unless you have one, even though you have paid stupid money for the product.

    Their PC's are overpriced and underspec'd. Also anything with an RM logo on it will proberlly get vandalised, purley because its RM.


    I think schools would save money and be better off not buying an RM Connect product and employing a technician/network manager with the knowledge on how to administer vanilla 2003/2000/XP Networks.

    With a vanilla system you can deploy new versions of Windows when you want, and not wait for RM to make their product support it.

    Its fully open to do what you want it to do.

    If you have a school with no technician and a head of IT with no computer knowledge then RM Connect maybe OK for them, but like i say for the cost of the extra money for RM Connect licences you could employ a technican and have a better network!

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: RM - Discuss

    also remeber rm licnse includes third party software as well such as vcd....

    but also with rm i will say it how it is if they do well then they get praised if they muck up and i will say it..

    russ

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    Re: RM - Discuss

    I use demon tools which is free instead of virtual cd.

    Also they like to stick there badge on things which they did not make like RM Tutor, which is really Netop school.

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    Re: RM - Discuss

    Rm would be great if "did exactly what it said on the can" unfortuatly unless you commit to by everything from them you can not be sure it work.. Their hardware is over priced and basically they hold schools with no ICT expertise to ransom.. Having said that if your vanillia server setup network manager decides to move on and does not have records as to how it is all setup RM can look pritty attractive...

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    nawbus's Avatar
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    Re: RM - Discuss

    I think RM do get a bad press just for being RM.
    As I said before, I'm quite happy with the set up I have here, but then I don't have any experence of any other way of doing things, nor am I likely to as our LEA only uses RM.

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    Re: RM - Discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by nawbus
    I think RM do get a bad press just for being RM.
    As I said before, I'm quite happy with the set up I have here, but then I don't have any experence of any other way of doing things, nor am I likely to as our LEA only uses RM.
    Our LEA recommends RM for network managment, servers and PC's, but you do not have to do what your LEA recommends or says.

    So far my experience of LEA IT Departments has been negative.


    Just noticed your under the same LEA as me!! Ejitu, and your in newcastle under lyme like me! how spooky.....

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    nawbus's Avatar
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    Re: RM - Discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers

    Our LEA recommends RM for network managment, servers and PC's, but you do not have to do what your LEA recommends or says.

    So far my experience of LEA IT Departments has been negative.


    Just noticed your under the same LEA as me!! Ejitu, and your in newcastle under lyme like me! how spooky.....
    Very true, except I suspect if you tried to go down the non RM route in Staffs, it wouldn't go down too well.

    Ejitu has gone downhill since it became Staffs IT.

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    Re: RM - Discuss

    Our LEA was completely RM until a new tech did a cost comparisson for the same set up for a few schools and pasted to their head teachers.. This lead to a re think and the establishment of a vanillia system to be slowly roled out to primary schools as part of an upgrade program... This bright young spark has just been poached by the local city academy.. leaving somebody to pick up his pieces.... The moral of the story "Offer Head teachers a way to save money and they will come".. Hence looking into the TCO keeping tech support high up the price list

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    Re: RM - Discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by nawbus
    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers

    Our LEA recommends RM for network managment, servers and PC's, but you do not have to do what your LEA recommends or says.

    So far my experience of LEA IT Departments has been negative.


    Just noticed your under the same LEA as me!! Ejitu, and your in newcastle under lyme like me! how spooky.....
    Very true, except I suspect if you tried to go down the non RM route in Staffs, it wouldn't go down too well.

    Ejitu has gone downhill since it became Staffs IT.
    You going to the Ejitu conference on 8th Feb? Which school is it you work at?

    Nick Bolton came in from Ejitu when were about to dump RM, he seemed quite positive about it and said i seemed to have everything well planned out and it should be a lot easyer than Connect 3 due to my group policys being simple, unlike RM's use of them, which is like a list of 50 group policy's just on one container lol.

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    Re: RM - Discuss

    jesus where do you start

    3rd world tech support for cc3 (india and glasgow)
    2 hours to rebuild a pc
    long bootup times
    long login times
    nothing ever works as it should
    rmmc sometimes hangs
    password mirror needs restarting
    overpriced and under specced pcs, my boss paid 290 for a celeron with 512, 1 year osm
    Too many restrictions on user accounts
    staff can't download resources and use them without changing user types
    Using rmmc you cant give staff complete control over desktops in their own room without giving them control over other teachers desktop pcs
    You can do this with GPOs easily, just use the restricted groups option.

    We had one of their so called network growth advisers, laugh I nearly bought a round...
    We have two bottlenecks in out network, probably caused by cc3 generating extra network traffic. So what does this "expert" suggest ?, a new server of course.

    What makes me laugh the most is if a builder or windows salesman over charges a old man/woman and rips them off they go to court, yet its perfectly exceptable to phone up a elderly head of ICT and sell him a load of over priced junk, then to hasle him for more money one year latter just to continue to use the same rubbish

  14. #14

    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Re: RM - Discuss

    Jose, do you want me to copy and paste the responses to those arguments from the RM Communities thread?

    To put quick responses to your points

    *3rd world tech support for cc3 (india and glasgow)
    Being part Scottish and having a good many friends from Glasgow not even going to dignify this with a response

    *2 hours to rebuild a pc
    2 hours seems very excessive so as mentioned on the other forum maybe your hardware needs a bit of a boost, there is a problem or your netowrk needs a tinkering. Plus this should be for OS and all software, so if you have a lot of software on your machines that could be why.

    *long bootup times
    Again maybe your hardware or network or something wrong as many others have relatively fast bootup times. THough it depends on what you are comparing to

    *long login times
    See point 2

    *nothing ever works as it should
    Have you tried diagnoising them? If there are that many problems maybe you should phone up RM and get this sorted.

    *rmmc sometimes hangs
    Again that sounds like a problem that needs looking at as we have never had this and we have not heard about it from others as a wide spread problem

    *password mirror needs restarting
    No idea about this

    *overpriced and under specced pcs, my boss paid 290 for a celeron with *512, 1 year osm
    Just done a quick price up on dell for a stripped down celeron with 512 and it came to £369 ex VAT (no monitor) so doesn't sound too bad

    *Too many restrictions on user accounts
    Take them off then, thats what network administration is about

    *staff can't download resources and use them without changing user types
    Again change them, or set the default for the staff folder to be a custom user type.

    *Using rmmc you cant give staff complete control over desktops in their *own room without giving them control over other teachers desktop pcs
    RMMC is meant to be an easy to use option so isn't a fully featured GPO editing tool. Possibly suggest this feature to them at your next meeting with your area sales guy. (though there is a debate about why teachers would have control of a single room)
    If you are that dissatisfied with them drop them.

    Sorry to everyong else if this sounds harsh but there is background as I said from the RM forum.

    AS for my opinions on RM, if you have the skills to do AD, GPO's and all that jazz, then RM solution as a whole isn't for you. It is a time and money (though open to interpretation I know ) saver to have a solution bolted in.

    Most of their stuff is ok, they produce some real stinkers, Kaleidos I'm looking at you. I also agree with what someone else said, that RM seem to attract a lot of flack for being RM, much like MS. As a whole I like the company, in my list of evilness that must be stamped out they aren't particularily high. I dearly wanted to go vanilla when we changed, the prospect of lots of courses, new skills really made me sit up, but after going through it and working out what needed doing and would need setting up, what was best for the school came first.

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    nawbus's Avatar
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    Re: RM - Discuss

    I'd have to agree with the points made by TechMonkey.

    The point about 3rd world support is just offensive - please stop it.

    Building a machine can take a while, not too sure about 2 hours, but who cares? Once the build disk is removed then it gets on with itself. No worries!

    There are a lot of restrictions on CC3, but this is a good thing. It stops everyone making a complete pigs ear of the PCs. Especially people like me, who before I was an IT tech, would have loved to 'play'.

    RM products work in some situations and not in others. See the Linux / Windows / Mac debate!

    BUT, as far as I'm concerned, with only having knowledge about RM networks, they work and are reliable (saying that one of my servers will now fall over within 5 minutes of posting this ).

    We just need to get out of the mindset that RM must = BAD.

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