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SCHOOL-IT  April 2009

SCHOOL-IT April 2009

Subject:

Re: Laptop purchases

From:

Bill Clark <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 16 Apr 2009 13:45:29 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (99 lines)

Warning - OFF TOPIC (slightly)

Since we are discussing vendors, I wanted to warn folks about Vizio TV ..I
am copying our facility manager, who has endured much of this as well..

Bob is familiar with the "challenge" we have been facing with the closed
captioning on a recently purchased 42" LCD, as this was placed originally in
the BUHS classroom. The cable TV programming does not caption properly,
while the DVD captioning is flawless. Thank you again Bob for your help.

4 hours with Vizio auto-attendants and tech support, trying to make them
understand the plm. After several calls, even with a case # and history,
they always asked me the same questions, and told me to try the same wrong
solutions....the TV was clearly the problem...I explained we were a school
for the Deaf, and captioning was critical. 

They said Comcast was the problem...I kept calling back until I got a
sympathetic ear, who escalated to level 3 where they finally authorized a
service tech to come on site.

5 days later, tech arrives with replacement parts. 1 hour later, captioning
problem still there and now the sound is completely gone. No offer to
replace the TV - I was told to wait to hear back from Vizio. I am still
waiting, but maybe tomorrow I will carve out another 4 hours to see if they
will honor their warranty.

I will let the list know how this cliffhanger turns out !

Bill Clark
Austine School




-----Original Message-----
From: School Information Technology Discussion
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bob Wickberg
Sent: April 16, 2009 9:08 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Laptop purchases

Four years ago we bought 100 Dell laptops for the  teachers.  Bought three
year warrantees with on site service.  About 25% had motherboard issues in
the first two years, got to know the repair guy pretty well, but Dell was
good about repairing them.  You call  their tech support, and you say the
laptop is for business use, and you get a tech quite quickly.  People I know
who have Dells at home say they call and wait 1/2 hr.  Was really worried
when the warrantees expired the end of last year, but have had very few
failures this year.  Also, like others have said, the cords on the power
supplies don't hold up.  Dell replaced all those until the warrantees
expired, too.  I've bought quite a few since.  The price on those keeps
rising.  I bought a few several years ago, just to have spares, because
teachers come to me and say, "I left my power supply at home...".  They
charged me $25, I think.  Then they went to $30, and the last time, they
quoted me $45.

Our career center bought a lot of HP laptops a couple of years ago, most of
them with only one year warrantees.  (They don't get me as involved in
procurement as the high school does.)  Have had a smattering of hard drive
failures, and a couple of screen failures.  Their tech support is easy to
deal with, but they really ticked me off a couple of weeks ago.  Had a 60
gig hard drive fail, they shipped me a replacement that also can be called
60 gig, but it's capacity was just a few blocks shy of the one it was
replacing, and I couldn't put my standard ghost image on it.

Lenovo: we have a couple of carts with Lenovo 3000 laptops.  They have the
annoying habit of occasionally refusing to recharge the battery, if it gets
completely drained.  The fix is to remove the battery while the AC adapter
is plugged in, and then reseat it, then it'll start charging. 
Rather inconvenient for teachers, though, who sometimes go to use a cart
that's been plugged in all night, and 1/4 of the batteries are still dead.
 Haven't had the time to research if there's a patch to fix this behavior.
  We also have lots of thinkpads, had better luck with those, in fact
they've generally been the most reliable model we've had.  IBM threw so many
of their own utilities onto them that started up when you log in, that it
used to take 5 minutes from power on before they were really ready to use,
though, I ended up weeding off a lot of that.

Bob Wickberg
Technology Coordinator
Brattleboro Union High School District # 6
802-451-3418

School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>Greetings,
>
>RNESU is starting to think about next year's laptop purchases (and 
>late-year purchases for this year). We are interested in hearing from 
>other folks - what have you been buying - whether you've been happy 
>with the make/models, whether you've had any problems that might help 
>inform our decisions.. anyone going in a new direction next year?
>
>We appreciate any suggestions/feedback that you provide. 
>
>Thanks very much,
>Susan Briere
>Technical Support, RNESU
>

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