It looks like we’re getting one of our computer classrooms upgraded soon. Good news; the machines are four years old, and we could really use the replacements.
I picked Dell Optiplex GX620 workstations, small form factor case, which cooperate with the 1706FP flat panel monitor nicely, for a very small footprint. This is critical since our classrooms aren’t big to start with. I’ll be very glad to get rid of the current setup, which is tower-style workstations and 17 inch CRTs on top of the desks. No more prairie dogging! Room to work! Integrated cable management!
Our budget allowed 3.2 GHz Core Duo chips with 1GB RAM. I dumped floppy disks, since most folks use either USB flash drives or network storage. The 1706FP has USB ports on the side of the monitor, so they’ll be easy to reach, and the headphone jack is on the front (left) of the chassis. Optical mouses will make maintenance a bit less labor-intensive, and we sprung for a five year warranty—that’s a very reasonable service life (three years in the classroom followed by two years in offices).
With this round, we didn’t get the infrastructure upgrades I requested—new tables, the addition of AV equipment, and network improvements—but there’s a good chance we’ll get that later this year.