Technology at Geneseo Community School District 228
This week finished installing a new iMac lab in Room 27 at the High School. This room had previously 20 inch iMac Core 2 Duo’s that were 4 and half years old – these machines were all re-imaged, cleaned and transported to Geneseo Middle School where they will replace units in the classrooms (old eMacs). Talk about a quality product, in a lab of 30 machines in 4 and a half years only 1 machine died (electrical storm – last year at age 3 and a half) of the 29 remaining all were re-purposed and are still in use. When these older units where purchased I remember informing the Apple sales rep that their products higher price could only be justified if they could last and provide a better value long term. With no extended warranty purchased (and no virus protection purchased – usually necessary on PC equivalent) these machines have worked almost flawlessly and it is no wonder Apple continues to gain market share.
(20 inch iMac 2 GHZ First Gen iMac Model with Aluminum Body – Excellent Computer.)
Time it takes to re-image an iMac using Deploy studio 12-20 minutes. (Machines usually re-imaged twice a year) Units managed through Open Directory, ARD and Deploy Studio. I have watched how this former PC lab (yes it was a PC lab when I first started) went from virtually non-use to where it used daily almost every hour. If it is reliable and it works, teachers will have a better experience, which translates into actual student use. This has been the case as this same model iMac found its way into labs at all buildings and has performed just as well. Average active student logins went from 70-80 students district wide to now well over 240 students logged in at any given moment (not including 900 iPad which are also in use). I attribute this largely to a well built product being reliable leading to staff members having good experiences leading to labs being used more often.
Overall conclusion Apple makes good hardware and higher price appears fully justified.
Only close PC comparison I have seen in the Dell Optiplex 330 series – mid tower size only (slim line optiplex – seem to have ventilation and overheating issues). These unit also hold up well, are cheaper, easy to service (no screw cases), only issue is they take up more space, somewhat ugly, and more importantly usually come with home consumer level hard drives that fail around 2-3 years. Although easy to replace this part the extra work of installing and configuring machines with all new drives at less than 3 years takes a way significantly from their overall value.
Dell Optiplex 330 versus iMac 20 inch – iMac wins.