more bang for your computing buck

The Register | 'C' word use shocks IT industry (" commoditization"). And what about those desk top costs -- two years ago, running at over $2,000 per user. With 20 years of PC literacy, increasingly stable cheap PCs, and everybody and their uncle running home computer set-ups with more muscle that at the office without any IT support, how is it all justified? Well it?s not.

I periodically ask our support staff why the hell we're stuck with crappy, overpriced name brand systems. I get the same argument most of the time - they come with X years of tech support. Which is usually the point where I ask how many more weeks it will take to get so much as an email response from Compaq with a price on a replacement part; or whether Dell ever did offer us a replacement on the lemon system which couldn't be fixed.

Frankly my team could purchase no-name systems with Athlon chips that would whip the arse off the PCs we have now; and more than likely have $1000 per system in change out of the money it cost to buy the name brand Pentium systems. If parts fail, we can go to a local computer shop and buy a replacement on the spot. Driver issues? Yeah ok, they'd be worse across the entire organisation. But you know what? Out of the box, my current system clashed with the standard Windows 2000 installation; which fucked up all sound and video and the damn thing still won't shut down without manual intervention.

But big organisations stick with big name brands, and they pay through the nose for low value-for-money systems and non-existant support. The org's support staff still have to run around looking for the drivers which work with build 58 of name brand model number 5.

Then again, I am often told that my view is skewed because I know a little about how to run a computer. As opposed to the average user, who apparently still knows SFA.


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