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Gill
16-07-2003, 09:55 AM
Our school is looking into this "Laptop For teachers" scheme.
We have to choose between Compaq/Hp or Toshiba - both have similar specs.
Does any one have any experience with either brand that could give me feedback on what to choose?
Thanks

robo
16-07-2003, 09:59 AM
Toshiba have been consistently good quality products for a long time.
Compaq have had some excellent models and a few dogs.

I would be hard pressed to say one was clearly better than the other without comparing actual models.

I think you need to look at the models you are considering and compare them. Consider docking station options, available ports, maximum memory, and how standard the modules are for batteries/floppy/CDRom.

robo.

Jim B
16-07-2003, 10:27 AM
There are other options
Check here (http://www.apple.co.nz/education/stela/advantage.html)

robo
16-07-2003, 10:57 AM
Oh, Jim, don't get me started.

I've nothing against Macs, but surely students and teachers should use something that the kids are going to see when they come into the workforce? I know the Mac market share has increased but in the workplace it is still well below 10%.

(The first three or four computers I bought were Apples, so I have tried them)
robo.

Gill
16-07-2003, 11:35 AM
We would only consider a Windows PC, our school network and professional development is tailored to this.
We used to have Apples and Macs many years ago and we are pleased to have made the change. Not an option now

Billy T
16-07-2003, 11:39 AM
Schools are a PC environment and in the interests of reliability and standardisation my local College opted for Toshibas with just a few Macs for specific purposes. Teachers could only elect Mac on presentation and acceptance of a "case stated", i.e. "I want a Mac" was not good enough.

I agree with robo, regardless of the merits or demerits of either platform, teachers and students inhabit a PC world and that is what they need to use as their primary computing platform.

Mac sellers and users make much of the interoperability between Macs and PCs, but that only matters to Mac users. When did you last see a PC advertisement boasting interoperability with Macs?

I rest my case.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)
[b][pre]Now, where did I put my WFTWE flame suit?:|

Jim B
16-07-2003, 12:06 PM
You can see anything on a Mac that you can see on a PC Robo

There is a big difference between older Mac systems and Mac OS X as far as compatibility with PC systems.

Those who move from Mac to PC or vise versa these days have very little trouble adapting to the differences.

MS Office for OS X is regarded as better than the PC version and is fully compatible.

Virtual PC on a Mac can run any PC programme if there is no Mac equivalant.

ITunes and IPhoto IMovie are are better and easier to use than any similar PC product and just ideal for kids to use for projects.

When joining the work force most people see something they have never seen before anyway and that is a specialized data base or program that is only used by that company and which they need training on. Whether they have been using a Mac or PC prior to this becomes irrelevant.

They are also more likely to be using a non MS product than ever before. Examples of alternative web browsers, email programs, and even the use of Linux are becoming common.

Running and using these different programs is basically the same regardless of the operating system in use.

metla
16-07-2003, 12:06 PM
Windows should be killed dead in its tracks and schools should focus on linux,pave the way for whats to come,an entire generation of kids schooled in linux worldwide would force the change over.


Can't say im happy about my tax money being spent on Windows software,especially office,and i cant imagine any teacher needs anything but the lowest spec laptop currently on the market

spewin.

Was doing some free work for a struggling special school the other day,the head cheif came in to show me his new laptop,5 grands worth,which was to replace his 2 year old laptop that also cost 5 grand....nice.........

Some other chump can go do there work from now on,Im choking in disgust.

Odin
16-07-2003, 12:10 PM
Having used Both Compaq and Toshiba laptops I prefer the Toshiba one the most I like the look, functionality and upgradabilty of them Compaq are too ridgid and thier lack of support is quite noticable.

Oh and BTW Billy T I have my Fire Extinguisher ready to put out the flames as they ignite around you, that is if I remembered to get it filled :-)

Billy T
16-07-2003, 12:30 PM
> Virtual PC on a Mac can run any PC programme if there
> is no Mac equivalant.


*Cough*

So where is Virtual Mac for PCs?:|

Could it be there is no demand because PC users simply don't require such adaptations in a PC world?

When the day comes that you can build your own Mac as easily as you can build a PC then Macs might make some headway. Of course that will never happen while Apple monopolises the marketplace. The "official" Mac clone business didn't last long, and I am not surprised!

Cheers

Billy 8-{)
[b][pre]Quick Odin, find that extinguisher:D

~~~~~ s y ~~~~~
16-07-2003, 12:50 PM
Gill,

Our school have just recently started using this. The teachers have each been supplied with a Toshiba. From what I see as student, they're pretty happy with it. Although I have seen them experience trouble due to our wireless internet, etc. school networks. But that has meant little, like shifting 2 metres left or right, etc.

KiwiTT
16-07-2003, 12:53 PM
My preference is for IBM Thinkpads. Much more solidly built. They have better on web support and more OS's are supported.

see www.ibm.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce/CategoryDisplay?cntrfnbr=1&cgmenbr=1&cntry=554&lang=en_NZ&cgrfnbr=2056943]IBM (http://commerce-29.[url) Thinkpads[/url]

You can get a basic one for $1600

mejobloggs
16-07-2003, 01:11 PM
All the full time teachers at our school got free laptops from the government. They were quite good too. DVD burners and graphics cards and everything.

nomad
16-07-2003, 01:12 PM
IBM is not too bad. Known for their upgradabilities with the drive options.

Toshiba is good.

I have come to visit some shops. and they used to stock IBM and not any more, saying they too tight in mgmt styles. that any repairs needs to be sent back to Auckland in their Penrose branch even when people can do them in the outlet efficiently. Best laptop companies tend to stock Toshiba and IBM with a cheaper option of Acer. No comments on Acer tho.

Compaq - i have frens who have experienced with palm rest heats and another with buggy software or hardware. They bought cos, they really like the price and the screen was v good.

N.

Billy T
16-07-2003, 01:23 PM
The laptops for teachers programme does not include IBM.

It is Compaq/HP/Toshiba (or Apple) or nothing.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

-=JM=-
16-07-2003, 01:29 PM
> > Virtual PC on a Mac can run any PC programme if
> there
> > is no Mac equivalant.
>
>
> *Cough*
>
> So where is Virtual Mac for PCs?:|

I've used virtual Macs on my PC before. Then I managed to find a Windows port of a Linux Port of the game I wanted to play :D

If I had the chance I'd probably have a Mac instead of this PC. They're brilliant for word/excel and web browsing. If you don't play all that many games I'm sure most people could do all they need with a Mac.

Now if only they were easy to build up yourself and didn't cost so much.

*really wants to use MacOS X

Jim B
16-07-2003, 01:34 PM
> So where is Virtual Mac for PCs?

The reason for Virtual PC is that not all PC programs are are available for the Mac which is understandable as market forces dictate this.

What would be the point in a Virtual Mac for PC's unless there was something for Mac that was not available for a PC

There is actually a Virtual PC for windows here (http://www.connectix.com/products/vpc5w.html) but it does not run Mac



> When the day comes that you can build your own Mac as
> easily as you can build a PC then Macs might make
> some headway.

This is actually one of the strong points of the Mac as all components in a Mac are designed by Apple to work together to give maximum reliability and performance.

As many of the posts in this forum show problems arise when components made by different manufactures are used as replacements or upgrades and compatability issues then occur and all type of problems result.

Jim B
16-07-2003, 02:11 PM
> So where is Virtual Mac for PCs?

here (http://www.yaromat.de/macos8/)

-=JM=-
16-07-2003, 02:16 PM
> > So where is Virtual Mac for PCs?
>
> here (http://www.yaromat.de/macos8/)


arghhh you bet me to it :(

Billy T
16-07-2003, 02:30 PM
Sorry fellas

You missed the point.

All Macs come with virtual PC because they need it to survive in a PC-centric business world.

PCs don't come with virtual Mac because the business community does not require it. I did not doubt the existence of such software, I was pointing out its absence from any mainstream PC operating systems or commercial packages.

As a consolation prize, here is an interesting URL (http://www.rklco.com/classes/troubleshooting.html) ;\

Cheers

Billy 8-{) ]:)

Trev0
16-07-2003, 02:31 PM
how about this (http://www.noelleeming.co.nz/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&mpe_id=10009&intv_id=10501&partNumber=82789&evtype=CpgnClick&catalogId=10001) HP? seems cheap and has a writer network card etc

Gill
16-07-2003, 02:50 PM
Thanks everyone for the feedback on my query.
looks like Toshiba is getting the thumbs up so far.
Cheers Gill

ronmar
16-07-2003, 02:52 PM
Under what conditions have teachers have been supplied with laptops, ie gift, purchase, rent, lease to buy ???

Gill
16-07-2003, 02:53 PM
This is the website for the laptop that is part of the contract - lease for 3 years. Schools pay 1/3rd
http://www.tela.co.nz/a10.htm

(How do I make that address so you can click on it and go straight there?)

ronmar
16-07-2003, 03:10 PM
Thank you

Billy T
16-07-2003, 04:11 PM
Hi ronmar

The deal is a three year lease, with the lease payments are subsidised by the MOE and either the teacher or the school pays the rest. Some schools are charging the teachers, others are paying the full lease cost.

Full payment by the school usually involves some performance and usage obligations on the teacher, but since monetary penalties are not workable, the effect of poor usage is a downgrade on the teachers annual performance review.

There are several levels of specification available within the preferred brands, but the base level is adequate for all but the dedicated road warrior type. The deal is not open to customisation though schools can and will add their own software to the package.

All our school's laptops are imaged so that twinkling finger effects can be put right without excessive time delay or workload for the IT dept. No doubt other schools do likewise.

There is probably something on the MOE website about all this.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

-=JM=-
16-07-2003, 04:36 PM
Well last time I looked Billy they didn't come with it. It was something you choose to purchase at a cost of around $500 IIRC which includes the program and a copy of Windows XP Home.

I don't think it would be *needed* at all. Can't think of anything that someone on a Mac would need to open that they can't already open on the Mac. Generally the business would use computers which suit to their needs. A Mac or a Linux/BSD/whatever will do that fine for what most companies need I'm picking.

Word/excel/etc is all very compatible. Businesses wouldn't go sharing around their major databases I wouldn't imagine.

----------------------------------------

As for the laptops WHY do teachers need them? I forget the last time I saw a computer literate teacher that was teaching at a regular school. Even some of the teachers at the computing colleges and tertiary education providers don't seem to know all that much either.

godfather
16-07-2003, 06:08 PM
Presently trying a new HP ZE4315 ($1999 + GST) laptop

Probably about the best value retail at the moment

2.2GHz Mobile Celeron, DVD CDRW, FDD, 30 GB HDD, 256 MB DDR RAM, all legacy ports (including RS232!), IRda, TV-out, Firewire, USB, 14.1" screen, 56k ,modem, 10/100 Network, Cardbus/PCMCIA, Audio (Altec Lansing).

Seems quite OK heat wise and battery life. Using it on Wireless networking (Cardbus adapter) so can surf from anywhere in the house.

Interestingly it comes bundled with WordPerfect suite. A really good w/p, but not all that good for compatability now. Pity, it is in some ways better that Word.

A bit overdone with blue LED indicators, lights up like a christmas tree...

Susan B
16-07-2003, 06:49 PM
What are the teachers actually going to do with their laptops??

I know some teachers who have purchased them for themselves for keeping track of pupils' records but I would imagine that they would be motivated to learn enough about computers and "taking care" of them.

If all teachers are going to be using laptops and keeping pupil records on them are they going to be taught how to back up these records? Imagine the disaster it would be if they lost all that information without having a backup.

John H
16-07-2003, 06:51 PM
For what it is worth, I bought a Toshiba Satellite (either a 1400 or 2400 series - can't recall now and it is not with me at the mo) about a year ago. Included Win XP Pro, ethernet, modem, PCMCIA slots etc, DVD drive, 14" screen, 1.3Ghz AMD Duron, 504 Mb RAM).

I am still waiting for its first crash (system that is, not drop from a height). Does everything I need it for and it seems really good quality. Not one of your superthin superfast models but it is great. Networks really well with my desktop over a WLAN, probably because they are both running XP Pro.

Not sure what one person's experience says about a brand, but there it is - and when I was looking around, I got all sorts of good stories about Toshiba and varied opinions about Compaq.

My wife, the teacher, chose a Mac iBook under this deal and she is very happy with it. OSX is a huge an improvement on the earlier versions of MacOS that I had for umpteen years.

I agree with the comments that Macs can do very well with and without Virtual PC in terms of Microsoft office software. My experience of Office 98 was that it was vastly superior to the Windows version. Unfortunately, fonts are slightly different, and this can be sufficient to stuff up formatting when a document is prepared on a Mac and opened on a PC. That is why I had to change to Windows - customer requirements.

Judging by the quality of my wife's computer, and the excellent operating system, I will be going back to the Mac platform when I retire and don't have to be nice to customers any more. And I won't have to worry about virii any more either.

My two cents worth.

John

Billy T
16-07-2003, 09:19 PM
Hi Susan

In the case I am speaking of, all data is kept on the school's servers and well backed up.

Teachers use their laptops to research and prepare lessons, access and complete student reports to the server, drive datashow displays, and for email and other web based services. Laptops allow staff to work at home during the evenings and once a secure online facility is in place they will be able to access the server out of hours as well. There is much enthusiasm to intensify their use and lots of cooperative activity among teaching staff.

It is a steep learning curve for some who have not been involved very much with computers before, but progress is monitored and assistance given as required. Inevitably some laptops will be under-utilised but that is the nature of the beast.

Cheers

Billy 8-{) :D

PoWa
16-07-2003, 10:15 PM
We have one of these laptop for schools at our home. One of my parents got one as they work at the school. Its a toshiba 1.5Ghz Celeron. It came with 256ram, a dvdrom-cd-rw combo drive.

What can I say, mm they're alright. Dvd playing is maybe not the smoothest, and those celeron processors aint good for too much, only office aps etc. I suppose they are alright for teachers, but not for their kids wanting to play games etc on them ;)

JohnD
17-07-2003, 12:08 AM
>"but surely students and teachers should use something that the kids are going to see when they come into the workforce? "

I think that this is one of the biggest fallacies of computing in schools. A computer is a tool to do a job - if it does the job who really cares if it is Windows, OS X, Linux ,..... Sure, there are other factors that come into it too e.g. cost!

If you can use a MS Windows PC, you should be able to very easily adapt to OS X, Linux or whatever. In schools, the emphasis is on doing the task in hand, not learning a particular platform. If you learn the principals of computing, you will be able to use whatever platform you face in the workforce in x years time.

All this from a Linux convert!!

metla
17-07-2003, 12:35 AM
as far as fonts are concerened there's numerous free converters available.

metla
17-07-2003, 12:41 AM
> >"but surely students and teachers should use
> something that the kids are going to see when they
> come into the workforce? "
>
> I think that this is one of the biggest fallacies of
> computing in schools. A computer is a tool to do a
> job - if it does the job who really cares if it is
> Windows, OS X, Linux ,..... Sure, there are other
> factors that come into it too e.g. cost!
>
> If you can use a MS Windows PC, you should be able to
> very easily adapt to OS X, Linux or whatever. In
> schools, the emphasis is on doing the task in hand,
> not learning a particular platform. If you learn the
> principals of computing, you will be able to use
> whatever platform you face in the workforce in x
> years time.
>
> All this from a Linux convert!!



i disagree,The reason large orginisations(im refering to the govenment here)wont change to Linux is the cost of retraining,if the next generation came thru the ranks with linux experience then that would be taken care of,They could refuse to hire anyone without linux experience.And the cost of training would be taken care of by the schools.

Save the country millions...Imagine how many Moari tv stations we could afford then....

The ability to sit infront of a puter and run an office application is far to narrow a view to take imo,and just a tiny slice of the spectrem.


Just my 3 cents,

robo
17-07-2003, 09:22 AM
(pulls pin and lobs wet cat into the discussion)

In an internet world, why do they need laptops. They are easily stolen, can't be upgraded, and are almost never used without power.

Why not buy a desktop for their home and let them log into resources at school? Then they can still ride their bicycle to work and spend half the dosh - plus they get a proper keyboard and screen.

I own a 486 laptop and it never got used when it was new, let alone now. Am tempted to get one now and again but resist it easily by considering cost.

robo.

Jim B
17-07-2003, 10:37 AM
>"but surely students and teachers should use something that the kids are
going to see when they come into the workforce<

Using this rational only the English language should be taught in schools as this is what they will see in the work force. This would be a rather narrow attitude don't you think.


The Laptops are for the teachers use, not the students but as an extension of this schools in the US are far advanced with the use of Laptops for all students and some advantages and the use of wireless networks in the schools are in the following articles.


Laptop program seems secure, successful
March 2003

Interested in checking out an Apple iBook laptop computer? Your best bet may be to ask a middle-school student for a demo, thanks to former Governor Angus King's ambitious plan to give every seventh and eighth-grader in Maine a laptop computer 36,000 iBooks in all.

Nearly 17,000 of Maine's seventh-graders got new laptop computers in September 2002. Students and teachers at nine demonstration schools received nearly 700 laptops in the spring of 2002; more than 1,600 eighth-graders are due to get laptops in the fall of 2003.


GUILFORD, Maine - Take one 275-student middle school. Add 175 laptop computers for the students and one for every teacher. Stir in a wireless network with easy access to the Internet and what do you get? An invigorated student body and greatly expanded opportunities for learning if the Piscataquis Community Middle School here is any indication.


At the heart of the program, Priest says, is the wireless network that allows students and teachers access to the Internet from anywhere within the school.
Every teacher in the school was also equipped with a Macintosh PowerBook.


"If they had to plug the laptops into a wall someplace to get Internet access I don't think we would be seeing the impact we have," said Priest. "Untethering the technology has been key, so that it is as easy as using a pencil and piece a paper."

Billy T
17-07-2003, 12:47 PM
> (pulls pin and lobs wet cat into the discussion)
>
> In an internet world, why do they need laptops. They
> are easily stolen, can't be upgraded, and are almost
> never used without power.
>
> Why not buy a desktop for their home and let them log
> into resources at school?


>>>>>Billy grabs wet cat while fuse is still burning and lobs right back through robo's window (s?)

Portability is the reason robo, teachers no longer have dedicated classrooms and the ability to take their computer (work and records) to any classroom and log on to the network (if necessary) is a godsend to modern teachers who are up with the play.

The advent of NCEA has substantially increased their workload and there is a great deal more work required to assess students work and record those assessments. Manual methods won't cut it.

Financial and security considerations limit on-line access from home for many schools, it is easy to achieve with corporate budgets but with schools having to suplement their miserly government stipend by having overseas fee paying students (gala days or bring and buys are no longer enough to fund extras). Check the newpaper records of charitable trust donations and see how many schools have turned to begging to ensure their students have adequate resources in the classroom and in their extra-curricular activities.

Give NZ schools Maori TV's budget and watch us use it more productively (not hard to do). Even shared amongst all schools it would make a dent in the shortfall.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

metla
17-07-2003, 01:03 PM
or even redirect that 35 million pledged to the america's cup campaign into the school system.

Im sure our pollies are smokin the weed.

nomad
17-07-2003, 01:39 PM
GF,

Can u pls tell me where the two puters are located?
I am considering Wireless LAN to share internet and files and the odd game.

Our situation is, two bedrooms that is not adjacent to each other but two rooms away from each other with both rooms with closed doors.

What is the type of wirelsss u using? 11 or 54 speed and what frequency? Saves us knocking holes via the wall..

Cheers..

nomad
17-07-2003, 01:50 PM
desktop is a nice solution. they are cheaper, easier to maintain and upgrade and easier to use. being a laptop owner for 7yrs and have yet to own a desktop i find u have to get accessories for the laptop. the mouse and keyb. and times it may not be so user friendly to the student.

if the classrooms have adequate PCs .. wired LAN or wireless is a solution. teachers going back home most should have a PC at home with a modem anyway... one of those keyrings are a great way to carry data around.

with my laptops .. i have never travelled with it. not even taking it to the lounge. if i am downloading or making a CDR i visit the laptop momentarily within the advertisement break. battery does not last and when power savings kicks in the screen is def dimmer and regardless if u use that feature battey only last a 'amount' and u will need a AC adaptor to hog around. if i did travel to another location its generally take it on the plane then it sits on the desk at my new location for months and months until i take the plane back.

personally i prefer a desktop PC (perhaps one at each location). and a PDA if I travel which is not related to work.

nomad
17-07-2003, 01:55 PM
laptop is a nice solution thou. given its portability but remember u need enof laptops for each teacher in concern.

the most impt thing i guess is able to take to home and to work to use it while not messing around with 2 PCs doing the same work. being a teachers purpose one laptop can last a long time so get a reliable one without being needed to be upgraded.

John H
18-07-2003, 09:18 PM
>GF,

>Can u pls tell me where the two puters are located?
I am considering Wireless LAN to share internet and files and the odd game.

>Our situation is, two bedrooms that is not adjacent to each other but two rooms away from each other with both rooms with closed doors.

>What is the type of wirelsss u using? 11 or 54 speed and what frequency? Saves us knocking holes via the wall..

Not sure whether this was directed to GF or to me, because I think I mentioned the WLAN. Sorry for a late response, but I have just alighted from my eigth plane since Sunday, meaning I have hardly been home...

We had the PC and WAP in one room and the laptop in an adjoining room. That was fine. Then we moved the laptop to the far end of the house. That was also fine, but in a 1920's lath and plaster bungalow, this was pushing it and you had to make sure your body was not in a direct line of sight between the laptop and the room with the WAP!

Then I shifted my office (including the desktop PC and WAP) out of the house into a Skyline office on the back section, with the laptop in a room separated from the outside by french doors. It still worked but the signal was very low and sometimes not at all. I consulted an expert and he made the valid point that trying to get a signal in and out of a tin box is a bit of a challenge. He sold me a larger version of the antennae that sticks up from the back of the WAP, and some cable.

I have taken the cable through the wall of the office and mounted the antennae on the office's verandah post. I now transmit across the garden, through the french door wall, and across a reasonable size lounge to the laptop. Excellent signal.

The WLAN is 11 Mbps, which is fine for my purposes. I synchronise data between the two computers daily and the WAP is plenty fast for this purpose. Downloads and shared printing over the WLAN are fine as well.

If you live in ChCh you could come and have a look at the system.

John

godfather
18-07-2003, 11:31 PM
And my WAP is situated on the shelf in my office, in the house. House is 110 yrs old, timber frame and gib-boarded over close boarding. Must shift the WAP as its directly behind the switchboard wiring...

Coverage within the (large) house is fine, falls off once you get 10m outside though. Still thats fine as long as I don't want to picnic on the other side of the (6,000 sq. metre) grounds...

WAP is 11 Mb, which is overkill for my data transfer needs, Wireless PCMCIA adapter is 54 Mbit (it wasn't a lot dearer, so I used that one in case the laptop is used on another WLAN, which can happen).

Experience is that it depends a lot on the construction of the walls. Have connected in Sydney and couldn't get thru 1 wall of an apartment block.

Frequency is 2.4 GHz

Setup was a breeze, practically plug and play, as my router assigns IP addresses.