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Recommended Suppliers Thread, Stone - integrating into an RM network? in Purchasing and Trading; Hello I find myself in an interesting position. I am an ex-school network manager. Up until I left 7 years ...
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    Stone - integrating into an RM network?

    Hello

    I find myself in an interesting position.

    I am an ex-school network manager. Up until I left 7 years ago, I ran an RM Connect system.

    When I arrived at the school, they used exclusively RM kit, but during my time there we opted for different hardware suppliers for the clients, maintaining the RM back end.

    I am now governor at my kids' school (a primary). They use a Connect network too, although things have moved on quite a bit from v2.4 . . . . .

    Perhaps unsurprisingly I am the link governor for ICT, and have been asked to review a quote for 20 new PC's.

    It's what I suspect is still the usual story - as the school has only ever used RM kit, they went to RM for the quote and sought no alternatives.

    One of my colleagues on the governing body has links with a secondary school that buys Stone kit, and is in favour of sourcing the new PC's from Stone as they will likely be cheaper.

    The thing that concerns me is the management - while I would of course like to go with the cheapest supplier (which I believe is unlikely to be RM), the school has only 3 hours of technician time per week, so support is going to be an issue. I recall from my own network management days that there was quite some work to be done to integrate other vendors' kit with the RM system, and while I'd happily recommend doing so if the IT support was full time, I am concerned that with such sparse cover that support issues involved would cause issues for the teaching staff.

    I was wondering if anyone had any comments/recommendations on this they would be prepared to share.

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    meastaugh1's Avatar
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    Re: Stone - integrating into an RM network?

    Stone is fine, the most likely issue you'll come up against if any, is rebuilding workstations. If the drivers aren't already in RM's build area, you can add them in. Alternatively, just smart-client from the XP installation that ships with the PC.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Stone - integrating into an RM network?

    The majority of machines on our CC3 network are non-RM - they're from The IT Support Centre in Birmingham. I can only recommend you make sure the network card uses a common chipset such as Intel e100 or Realtek 8139 for example, otherwise you will just need the DOS drivers for them and add them to the build disk using the Build Disk Manager.

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    Re: Stone - integrating into an RM network?

    Stones customer support is 2nd to none, so instead of spending half an hour on the phone to dell for example (dont know about RM) he spends 5mins tops! Im yet to be placed in a que for stone.,

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Stone - integrating into an RM network?

    Indeed. I've run across stone equipment before. While I found that they were more expensive than others. You could see where the money went. If you want to go for stone PCs, great. I've never had a problem personally.

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    Joedetic's Avatar
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    Re: Stone - integrating into an RM network?

    All our desktop PCs were from stone. Absolutely awesome. Their phone and on site tech support is great too. The phone hold music sounds like a dodgey blue movie, but they're still great!

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    Re: Stone - integrating into an RM network?

    Thanks for all the posts regarding Stone Computers Customer Support, as we are in the middle of purchasing 110 Stone PCs.

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    Re: Stone - integrating into an RM network?

    We had a scheme whereas the not so fortunate kids could through Stone Computers lease 2 buy at a couple of quid a week over 2 or 3 years.

    There were quite a few takers and then once they had acquired them and got yhem in the house they then canceled the direct debits (they also probably sold the computers on car boot to make money for other things), when we tried to get in touch with Stone they weren't bothered at all and seemed unconcerned about the situation (presumably they have a very good insurance which covers them for this eventuality).

    Anyway i have heard from other NM's that they have not been impressed with the level of service (whether this has changed over the past few months i am not sure).

    As Webman has told you we have been purchasing our workstations from the IT support centre over the past 4 years and they have been first class with their support.

    I can only speak as i find and we cannot fault them.
    BTW we do not get any commission or favours for promoting them.

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    Re: Stone - integrating into an RM network?

    As stated above its just making sure the drivers for the hardware are available and most importantly the DOS network drivers to make the workstation build disk. If you have your rm hardware support packs upto date and have DOS lan drivers available you should be good to go. The most fun I have had was getting the build disk working with the nvidia nforce networking controller which was fun.

    We have had customers use;

    Realtek 8139 based controllers
    Realtek 8110 PCI Bus Lan
    Realtek 8111 PCI-E bus Lan
    nvidia nforce networking controller (not recommended 8O )
    VIA Rhine II
    VIA Velocity GB Lan
    Most Intel work fine

    any of those and you should be ok.

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    Re: Stone - integrating into an RM network?

    Just before I started in 2005, two of my schools bought lots of Stone equipment.

    The only major problem we have had, is that 50% of the machines have had to had their CPU fans replaced, but they have always come out the next day to sort it out, they also sent me a fan to fit myself when I asked, as to save them the hassle.

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    Re: Stone - integrating into an RM network?

    Used them since 2001 never had any problems if the hardware failed they were out next day. Support is perfect never could fault them. @Bossman: don't know who said that but none of the NMs I've had dealings with over the years have ever had a bad thing to say about them.

    Wes

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    Re: Stone - integrating into an RM network?

    Thanks for all your responses.

    We got loaned one of their current range, and it looks good. Standard Intel kit throughout, builds on a Connect network out of the box with no problems.

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