mediakill wrote:Not implying that at all. You can get some second rate used pcs and still get more value for your money.
it's a false notion that one could speed "a little more" and get the windows experience. In 2004, I used to work as the campus tech for a Jr. High School (grades 7-9) that had in the 300-500 student range. Part of my duties was purchasing new equipment for the school and due to the increasing cost of new trackballs for the mice I tried to get the school to purchase some $5 mice from tiger direct. Instead the school board said "you have to buy it through dell" and we spent $15 on every mouse. It paid off in the long term, of course, but it was completely needless.
The point to the story is that the schools aren't going to buy second hand equipment. You can argue that they *could* do it all day long, but at the end of the day they *won't* do it. More importantly, let's say they did buy second hand equipment. This isn't going to be rummage bin stuff, any half way intelligent IT administrator is going to know that he's going to waste more time than he'd save if he bought this model here and that model there. There needs to be consistency. That doesn't mean you have to have 100% conformity, but it does mean you keep it limited. Ergo you're going to buy from a supplier who can consistently provide the model you need.
mediakill wrote:All the points i made i believe still stand. Also factor in 35 bucks plus all the extra hardware teaching costs,etc and your still left with wasting time and/or money better spent teaching them pcs (and yes i'm ready for the linux rage feedback even though not particularly in the mood for it). Factor in all the costs and practicality of teaching linux over pcs and it doesn't make sense long term.
Trust me cost wise you will not be saving much when you really consider all the costs.
Ah, classic argument. Of course it fails to consider that any device you purchase is going to need "extra hardware" that second hand PC tower is going to need just as much spent on it to get a full set up as the pi will. Let's, for the sake of argument, say that the pi comes out 30 USD more expensive than the tower because you need to buy something extra like an active hdmi->vga convertor. That makes the pi $65 instead of $35, and even a second hand decent pc as your describing would cost in excess of $200 just for the tower.
In fact, let's go one step further, let's say you're buying second hand laptops for exactly $200 a pop. That means everything beyond the base cost of the pi of $35 (we'll say $40 after shipping, there is no discount for bulk items, but you might save something on shipping more than one pi at a time) you need a keyboard, mouse, monitor, dvi cable, sd card, hdmi->dvi passive cable, we'll even through in an active hub. Let's say everything costs $20 (which is grossly overpriced) except the monitor which you got second hand for $75, which brings us up to 175+40 = $210.
Well well you say, $210 for the pi after accessories, the second hand crapTop came out ahead. Oops, while you were waving it around gloating you dropped it on the pi and broke both. Now you have to buy a replacement, that makes it another $40 for the pi bringing the total cost up to $250 and another $200 for your replacement crapTop making your total $400. Cost of replacement is an important factor when budgeting. Bring those numbers for the pi accessories down to realistic levels and the gap becomes more drastic.
It's hitting the tl;dr point (or did so two paragraphs back) but there's more to consider. With it costing $40 (I'm keeping shipping costs in there) to replace a board, you now have the option of students paying a deposit in the event of damage and actually taking the boards home with them to do homework with, something you'd never consider with laptops (indeed they remained securely locked up in a mobile access point unit)
not every kid wants to become a programmer so pushing it on them is a pointless exercise. Not everyone becomes programmers and its highly unlikely forcing it on them in school will make it any more appealing. Teaching them how to use windows and apps they will however use in their future jobs one way or another
I didn't want to be an english major yet I still had to take 16 hours of lit classes (despite the fact that english majors only had to take 3 hours of remedial math) in college. Besides I've yet to hear of this being forced on anyone. This is about giving students who want to learn programming the ability to learn it at an early age than is currently provided in schools. Plus there's already ICT in schools, they've got windows and its "apps" covered, there is a definitive lack of teaching of programming which this will fill. And let's face it, typically speaking, the masses use windows, the artistic types use Macs, and programmers use linux.