View Full Version : Hewlett Packard/Compaq PC's

26-09-2002, 04:11 PM
I have a friend........ who is responsible for a primary schools computer system. The school intends to purchase 15 new pc's, and want to buy Compaq......because they offer all sorts of support etc.......

My suspician is that they are better off buying factory built pc's based on the fact that compaq parts and technical services are extremely pricey........

What they appear to save in the short term is probably very expensive in the long term....

Am I right???/ OR are they indeed better off with the BRAND NAME???

Graham L
26-09-2002, 04:17 PM
The Compaq could well use better quality components: they buy in bigger quantities than any local assembler.

But anyone buying 15 is going to ask for a special price ... and that might be the determining factor. A local machine is not going to have "much" worse quality.

26-09-2002, 05:58 PM
Compatability of all components will be better with HP or Compaq than assembled to order units, and overall reliability will likely be good. If you are not going to upgrade them for gaming, then the brand names are probably not a bad choice.

26-09-2002, 06:37 PM
I have to disagree .... I never, ever recommend anyone to buy Compaq/HP PCs. I guess for a school it will finally come down to purchase price, but one should always try to purchase a 'non-name' brand.

Compaq/HP's support is pretty lousy if you ask me ... you can't ring them until after 10am NZT because the call-center is based in Australia, not too good for a school if they have a problem at 9am.

A wee story .....
One of my clients recently had both his Compaq PCs die (one a m/b, one a h/d) at the same time, both were under warranty (the full-service add-on type) and yet the quickest official response - from Australia - I could get was "sometime within the next 2 days, if we can land the components".

These PCs were crucial to running his business (of the big chain fast-food restaurant variety), so I commented: "Huhh, I could drive 5 minutes down the road and purchase so said components myself if it wasn't for the warranty, why can't the contracted technician do that?"

The reply I got was that the parts would not be "official Compaq components". After several phone calls to the local technician and his boss, I finally got a "24 hour" response time, which I still consider shoddy.

Jock, if I was your friend, I would purchase a bunch of locally-built PCs.

26-09-2002, 06:51 PM
Agreed Antz. My 15 years experience says for schools, buy generic. PC tend to get bashed a lot and need to be able to be fixed / upgraded etc for as cheap as poss. You definately won't get the cheapest option with HP/compaq due to their 'proprietry' hardware etc.

Why not, as part of the education, get the students to build a PC each according to necessary specs. Give 'em good experince as well as providing the guff ! Unless you're talking about a primary school. But then again..


27-09-2002, 10:35 AM
as far as im concerned ur better off with HP/Compaq..
because in a primary school kids tend to do sumthing stupid like erase files!! or uninstall programs that can damaged the PC's
if there is someone gonna look after it like maintain all the integerity of the computers then i suggest u buy those custom made PC's
they're a lot cheaper but hav to install everything.. manually! Where as those company based PC's HP etc.. they hav these recovery cd's that u can just pop in ans install everything for ya!

so i guess its up to you! Cheers

27-09-2002, 10:45 AM
if they make 15 pc's the same its easy enough to make a restore disk off the first one and use it to install on to the rest.

compaqs are usually pretty well sorted machines so there is less risk of dodgy hardware. however the drawback is you are stuck with compaq parts which will make it real fun to upgrade/repair at a later date.

the school IT department/person proberly deals with a computer firm on a regular basis. i would start looking there first. at least support is not far away.

27-09-2002, 01:35 PM
Why buy new PCs? I think as far as schools go they are much better off to purchase a cheap clone or refurbished PC and run terminal services. That way you can create individual identities for each student (or user) and there is less chance of them stuffing the PC up by trashing the whole thing because *they can*.

You can buy refurbished PCs for around $300 to $400 - likely to be a PII 300 w/ 64mb, NIC and a HDD under 8GB. Terminal services needs hardly any memory to run.. and the specs of the PC are irrelevant because it's a thin client..


27-09-2002, 04:43 PM
Hewlett Packard/Compaq spare parts prices will make you realise where they make their money
I recently had a mate that had a compaq with a dodgy floppy disk drive...now a generic one costs less than $20 but it wouldnt even fit the case! Had to purchase the Compaq FDD which was $179!!Needless to say the owner was not too pleased!!

27-09-2002, 04:54 PM
the good thing about brand name is that they have good safety standards.

locally built pcs are not that safe, if some kids open the case and cut their fingers. and in the worst case, the power simple blow up smashing some glasses.

Wayne H
27-09-2002, 05:01 PM
Don't waste your money on a name brand computer, a mate of mine had his BIOS trashed by a virus, the computer was a HP pavlova that was 9 months out of warranty. a replacement motherboard was $1100 but with taking the motherboard out and sending it back you got a $500 rebate.
Take note that any thing that a primary school child does to a computer is not covered by wty. i.e. stick things in holes because you can... easiest way to check is to ring HP and say that your computer got a virus and killed the motherboard, how much for a new one? after you choke you know what we are saying about it, don't forget to add 50% to the price now, so that when you try to get the part once out of warranty they would be harder to get

27-09-2002, 09:58 PM
When you say that you have a friend that is responsible for the PCs. How much does he know about PCs. Or is it a case like some primary schools where they just pick out the person that can navigate the Start Menu and give the postion to them.

Are the computers going to be used by the pupils?
Will the teachers use them?
If the pupils are using them are there going to be competent (with computers) teachers nearby keeping an eye on them?
What are the pupils like, school reputation?

I assume that you are after PCs running MS Windows, not after Apples or Linux boxes or other variants.

What I imagine you are after is 15 identical PCs. I've talked to my tutor about this before. He has gone down the local manufacturer route before and found that it was just not worth the hassle. As they wouldn't be exactly the same. With their begin slight variations in the motherboards or some other component which would prevent the ability to easily image from one computer on the others.

HP do make good quality computers that work well. The college I'm at runs solely on HP (admittedly there is some sponsorship, but I'm not biased) apart from one or two other computers. When problems have happened they've been there to replace the motherboard, HDD and what not. This college is for Yr13 students that are interested in computers so generally they do get treated well. But the night-classes and the like may not be quite the same.

The computers have not broken down for what would be HPs fault. But all components are likely to have the odd break down.

Also with computers being the same it makes it very easy if you do want to teach the pupils how to use linux at some stage. Or just for installing software. As if it works on one it should work on the others.

Another consideration maybe leasing the computers. This can be a very good alternative as the computers are maintained by other people and after 3yrs (or whenever) they will be replaced with a fresh bunch of computers. This way you don't end up with an aging heap of computers at a school (my high school was like this). When I first went there they had 386s running win3.11 with Novell.

the highlander
27-09-2002, 11:18 PM
Been there, read the book, seen the movie, yada yada yada.

I run the I.T. dept of a large primary school and have had experience with Compaqs and clones in the hands of children and teachers alike and from experience the compaqs will cost you more in time and replacement parts than than clones. A clone goes down and you can swap in parts in very short time. A compaq goes down and if it is anything more serious than a dud cd, it's basically not worth repairing due to price and non availability of parts. Take a power supply for example. One blew on a classroom presario. The p/s was a cute little handcrafted sucker, customed designed to fit into a crevice in the undersized case with the added bonus of non standard wiring on the connectors. Compaq refused to sell me one on the grounds it had to be fitted by a compaq certified techy then really put the icing on the cake by then informing me after 5 minutes of passionate discourse that non were available in the country anyway but one could be imported for the princely sum of $385 gst inc (including freight) and could be available in ten days. Needless to say this 2 year old presario went into the parts bucket. The longevity of the components is no different from clone components and in many cases worse, especially hard drives. They skimp on cooling options, have cases that make getting at even basic components a marathon effort and have the lovely restore cd (chocker full of useless compaq cpu cycle sucking utilities ) which is marvellous until the hard drive goes down. Then,unless you are lucky and the emergency floppy you created for the compaq bios to recognise another clone drive works ( yet to happen for me) then you are stuck with buying a compaq formated drive at twice the price of a clone to enable your ever so handy restore cd to work.
Could go on for hours on the subject of compaqs, hate them loathe despise them, don't even make good boat anchors.
Buy clones and whatever problems you have will fade into insignificance next to those of using compaqs.

28-09-2002, 01:44 PM
Well said highlander.

> ...don't even make good boat anchors.

They make good landfill tho. :)