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Apple developing new Mac for education

post #1 of 103
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Exclusive: Apple Computer is working feverishly on the design of a new Macintosh computer that the company hopes will strengthen its position in the education sector when it goes on sale later this year, AppleInsider has learned.

The new low-cost PC, which will act as a replacement for Apple's now defunct eMac line, appears to be on track to catch the latter half of the 2006 educational buying season.

Based on a series of proprietary checks, it's believed that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is aligning component suppliers for a manufacturing ramp of the computers that it plans to initiate around the September timeframe.

Technically, this means that Apple's much anticipated professional line of Intel-based Power Mac computers -- expected to make their debut this summer under the "Mac Pro" moniker -- won't be the last of the company's PC offerings to make the transition from PowerPC to Intel chips.

In keeping true to its roots of designing educational Macs as plug-and-play solutions, people familiar with Apple's product roadmap say the company is building the new Mac around an all-in-one enclosure. Though unlike the eMac, which employed cumbersome CRT-based displays, the new educational computer will follow a design pattern similar to the company's LCD-based iMac Core Duo desktops, these people say.

The departure away from CRT displays and towards pricier flat-screens means that Apple will have to carefully balance its component costs and shave as much as possible off the computer's bill-of-materials if it plans to hit a home run with educational institutions.

Although the Mac maker said its U.S. educational channel sales increased by approximately 16 percent during the first quarter of 2006 compared to the first quarter of 2005, the company has come under tremendous competitive pressure in the sector over the last several years.

"Uncertainty in this channel remains as several competitors of the company have either targeted or announced their intention to target the education market for personal computers, which could negatively affect the companys market share," Apple has repeatedly stated in regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. "Although the company believes it has taken certain steps to strengthen its position in the education market, there can be no assurance that the company will be able to increase or maintain its share of the education market or execute profitably on large strategic arrangements."

But just as Apple's is expected to incur increased costs associated with transitioning its educational Mac to more modern technologies, the computer's new industrial design is expected to eliminate some of the financial complexities of the eMac. One of the pitfalls Apple discovered while building the unwieldy CRT-based Mac was that its bulbous enclosure quickly became one of -- if not the most -- expensive part of the computer to manufacturer.

In using its new iMac design as a blueprint for the eMac replacement, Apple will also save on freight and packaging costs that will result from the computer's substantially smaller footprint and lighter weight . It's also believed that the Mac will borrow industry standard components already employed by Apple's Mac mini and MacBook line of consumer PCs, enabling further cost reductions.

In April of 2004, the last time Apple introduced a major revision to the eMac, it priced models at $799 and $999. While pricing for the new educational Mac has yet to be determined, it should fall well below the company's low-end consumer iMac offering, which fetches $1299.

It's still unclear whether the computer will be made readily available for purchase by the average consumer.

When Apple introduced the eMac as a low-cost alternative to the flat-screen "sunflower" iMac in April 2002, it initially restricted sales to educational buyers. However, demand for the computers amongst consumers proved to be so strong that a month later the company made the educational Mac available to the general public.

On October 12, 2005, shortly before the computer met its ultimate demise, Apple once again restricted sales to educational institutions and returned to its "E is for Education" marketing scheme that had been attached to the product from its inception.

After exhausting much of its remaining eMac inventory to educational buyers later that year, Apple began offering its higher-margin all-in-one iMac as a replacement for the eMac. The company plans to continue to offer the iMac to its educational customers until the new Intel-based eMac successor makes its debut in the fall.
post #2 of 103
sounds like

iMac Mini is coming up

15"/17" iMac Mini, no frills computer

17" ->19"
20" ->21"
and one more
24" iMac

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post #3 of 103
I'm glad they're going to do it. Intel is cutting prices of their Netburst chips. Maybe it's time for a pent d in a Mac. Pent d 820 now for $113. Link below for Intel summer sale.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060526-6923.html
post #4 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by shanmugam
sounds like

iMac Mini is coming up

15"/17" iMac Mini, no frills computer

That would interest me greatly, I would love a cheap(ish) Intel Mac desktop.
post #5 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by shanmugam
15"/17" iMac Mini, no frills computer

17" ->19"
20" ->21"
and one more
24" iMac

There isn't much to the iMac as it is, what do you think you would strip? It could go without the iSight, remote and Bluetooth, and a 15" screen but is that enough to get it down to the price of the old eMac?

Are there any 19" or 21" widescreen displays? Usually 19" and 21" screens are 4:3.
post #6 of 103
yes there are some 19 and 21 inch monitors that are widescreen.

and here is my prediction for whatever mac that is:

17 inch widescreen

1.66ghz core solo
40gb HD
integrated video (well this is pretty obvious)
512mb ram
no wireless tech
slot loading combo drive

for price of $799
post #7 of 103
I'm seeing:

looks like a cross between the orignal imac g5 and the current slimmer imac
17"
anywhere from 80-120 3.5" 7200rpm hd
intel gma 950 graphics
1.66 core duo
2gb ram max (512 2x 256 standard)
no isight
no bluetooth
no wireless?

799-899

edit: oh yeah and the base will be plastic instead of imac/cinema display aluminum, but still probably the same design and sturdy.
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post #8 of 103
It'll be Core Duo ... as the iMac and MacBook Pro should be Merom / Core 2 Duo by then!

Core Solo's save virtually nothing, and OS X multitasks so smoothly on multiple cores: the reason the MacBook is Core Duo exclusive too. It makes for a low cost great upgrade in user experience, always something Steve's picky about.
post #9 of 103
I don't see why people are anticipating the removal of wireless networking. It probably costs apple almost nothing to get wireless with all the other intel chips that they would be ordering, so they only reason I can see wireless being dropped is if it's something that schools would pay not to have / don't want in their computers, which isn't something I know about.
post #10 of 103
I wonder if Apple has any pressure to compete with the much vaunted "$200" MIT computer for the world's childrens educational market...

It sure would put a nice polish on the halo effect they have now... maybe make an iPod core for an ultra low cost computer. Basically an iPod nano that docks with a small functional keyboard and tablet styled screen. That would be one heck of a winner.

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post #11 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by rminkler
I don't see why people are anticipating the removal of wireless networking. It probably costs apple almost nothing to get wireless with all the other intel chips that they would be ordering

Almost nothing is not nothing. It could cost $2. To ship and fit the part could cost another $8. That equates to $40-$50 dollars by the time it reaches the end user.
post #12 of 103
Why does and education computer need a core duo chip? iSight? Why not a pent d 820 for $113, intel integrated graphics, a 17 in lcd screen,40 gb hd,and 512 mb of ram. Easily for $799, maybe $750.
post #13 of 103
May I be the first to sound skeptical about an educational-specific machine being released approximately 1 month after the normal educational buying season ends? I wouldn't be at all surprised at an eMacintel, but the timing seems strange, and unfortunate if true.

I'd see it as more likely that this machine would be released NEXT May with what would, at that point, be a super-cheap Core Duo while everything else went Core 2 Duo.
post #14 of 103
backtomac:

The Pentium 4 also chews up a lot more power and generates more heat. Apple also doesn't need a Core Duo, at least not in the base model.

A realistic possibility for the eMac replacement, if it were to be released today:

1.66 GHz Core Solo
  • 17" widescreen display with glass cover
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 80 GB 3.5" drive
  • Combo drive
  • GMA950 graphics
  • $699

1.66 GHz Core Duo
  • 17" widescreen display with glass cover
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 160 GB 3.5" drive
  • Superdrive
  • GMA950 graphics
  • $899

The glass cover's reason is obvious: younger kids love to poke at screens, and that would be an accident waiting to happen with an LCD.

As for the 3.5" hard drive, it would make the Mac mini look bad but is probably necessary for cost reasons.

Also, in either system I think the omission of Airport, Bluetooth, the Apple Remote and the iSight would be necessary (moreso the wireless chipsets than anything). Like it or not, Apple has to face especially cutthroat pricing in the education market. I think Apple would need to trim every last bit of non-essential hardware. The cost could still be higher than what I listed above.

The shape we can't really speculate on properly. It could be near-identitical to the iMac; it could involve a cheaper, bulkier stand; there could be no stand at all. It depends on how worried Apple is about cost or students tipping the systems.
post #15 of 103
Concur on dropping wireless, BT, iSight, and IR remote. None of those are things that teachers are going to want. Yeah, maybe the wireless and BT are cheap, but they're totally useless in a classroom. A teacher won't use a BT keyboard, and there are generally plenty of wires in the average school network. Front Row's not gonna be needed in a school, and what class assignments rely on webcams?

However, I see an all Core-Duo line. I think the Mini will be bumped to both models with a Duo late this summer, and I expect the Macbook and MBP to go Merom (if only for the battery life), so there's no reason not to see a Core Duo. But what about a low clocked Conroe? I mean, if the heat works out (and a lot of people think it will for the iMac), a Conroe would be a great choice, because they range from 1.86 GHz to 3.xx (EE stats not out), and the low end ones are cheapish, while still a strong desktop chip. And that's prolly what Apple's competing against.
post #16 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by Commodus
backtomac:
The shape we can't really speculate on properly. It could be near-identitical to the iMac; it could involve a cheaper, bulkier stand; there could be no stand at all. It depends on how worried Apple is about cost or students tipping the systems.

One really has to wonder about the form here. A nice thing about the eMacs was that they were rather theft resistant due to sheer bulk. I can't picture what these new Macs would look like.
post #17 of 103
Quote:
The Pentium 4 also chews up a lot more power and generates more heat. Apple also doesn't need a Core Duo, at least not in the base model.

He's not talking about the Pentium 4. He's talking about the Pentium D which is a part of the Intel Centrino platform. This is the processor the Core series of processors borrowed a lot of ideas from. The pentium D is far more powerful than the P4 with less power consumption and heat. It's a mobile processor.

I think that using the Pentium D wouldn't be a bad idea. The prices have been slashed and the processors are darn good. Education is not all about power, its the right mix of power and price with more emphasis on price.

You say it yourself here..
Quote:
Like it or not, Apple has to face especially cutthroat pricing in the education market. I think Apple would need to trim every last bit of non-essential hardware. The cost could still be higher than what I listed above.

The Core processors are much more expensive than the pentium D for a much lower performance increase when you consider the applications education users are going to be using.
post #18 of 103
The Pentium M is the mobile chip, the Pentium D is the first dual-core one. I don't forsee Apple using Pentiums if they can avoid it, because they've mocked them so much, and at least totally avoiding Netburst and Pentium altogether lessens some of that contradiction.
post #19 of 103
Get past it folks, Apple ain't gonna use anything older than a Yonah in any of it's computer products

And the Yonahs were nothing more than transitional CPUs, their usage designed to get Apple through a period of virtually zero PPC sales until the next-gen Intel architecture came along
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post #20 of 103
Oh, AI is digging deep on this one. Pretty obvious but no details, imho. Somehow I think they [they] are feeling kinda low after no stories for awhile...this is pure speculation.

but gonna happen. Apple is always about education...

6/6/06...steve will bring something out, he's a numerologist. check all his releases all the way back to the $666 Apple I.
:-D * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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post #21 of 103
I hope Apple releases the new eMac using a design similar to the iMac G4. I loved that computer, it had so much personality!

Component-wise I'm betting on the same technology as the Mac mini with a 15-inch LCD included.

eMac Core Solo with 1.5Ghz/512MB/Combo Drive/Airport/Bluetooth/Integrated Graphics at $899

eMac Core Duo with 1.66Ghz/1GB/Super Drive/Airport/Bluetooth/Integrated Graphics at $999
post #22 of 103
I'd say you'd get pretty much the current iMac 17" dropping the standard wireless, using integrated graphics, and it'd be using the low-clocked 2MB cache Core 2 Duo E4200 (which costs MUCH less than todays Core Duos) and the remote (although the IR sensor may still be there) for US$899. The camera could still be there - it doesn't cost anything.

1.66GHz Core 2 Duo E4200
17" LCD Display
80GB HDD
Combo Drive


Cost Savings:
No ATI Graphics processor
No Video Memory
No bundled remote
No bluetooth/airport
Combo instead of superdrive
80GB hard disk instead of 160GB
Core 2 Duo E4200 instead of today's T2400

The price of the LCDs have come down so much that the current 17" and 20" iMac will be replaced by 20" and 24" displays , and 4MB cache Core 2 Duo processors will be used in the iMac to further differentiate the two.
post #23 of 103
at $899, $999 price points 17" iMac Mini will compete with Mac Mini

unless mac mini goes back to $499,$599
or
Mac Mini is replaced with iMac Mini

$999, $1099 looks better price points with discounts for Edu market

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post #24 of 103
Why not strip it down even further? If this is going to be educational only, it doesn't really need an optical drive built-in. Without them, it would eliminate the temptation for kids to listen to CDs. Then again, who even uses CDs anymore in the age of mp3 files and iPods? Just offer a USB DVD-ROM drive for software installation, assuming they didn't do some kind of net install for OS X and software. One drive could serve an entire computer lab or even an entire school. To reduce the need for big hard drives, the kids could either store their data on a centralized server in the school (Eserve variation of Xserve?) or be issued USB flash drives, which are pretty darn cheap nowadays. Most kids don't need more than a gig or two of space anyway, especially if you want them to concentrate on schoolwork instead of carrying around lots of personal music and video files. Basically, just make the eMacs thin clients since they're all going to be networked anyway. This would also eliminate competition with the Mini.
post #25 of 103
I hope they make the price as low as possible. If Apple fears for the Mac mini, it could restrict sales of the new eMac to institutions and students, as was done with the original eMac.

I've always liked the fact that there has always been a Mac designed just for schools. It seems right somehow. If education is still a key segment for Apple (and if Apple products are an expression of its 'values'), then there should be a proper replacement for the eMac. Something super-simple, in the classic Mac tradition, and cheap.

Here's hoping that they resist the urge to use ultra low-quality displays this time. The eMac's crummy CRT thoroughly earned its reputation, unfortunately.
post #26 of 103
Ok based on some of the stuff I read and the fact that I'm not in a rush anymore I'm gonna revise my predictions and make them more realistic.

*Note I added back wireless because the current emac has it*

eMac

Looks like a 17" imac but with a plastic aluminum coloured stand(the stand might be in kind of a tripod shape for better stability but take up the same amount of space as the current stand)

799
- 17" widescreen with some sort of screen protection
- 1.66 core duo (the new cheaper version)
- Intel GMA950 Integrated Graphics
- 2x 256mb RAM
- 80GB 3.5" 7200rpm HD
- Combo Drive
- Wireless
- 3 USB Ports
- 2 Firewire Ports

999
- 17" widescreen with some sort of glass type protection
- 1.66 core duo (the new cheaper version)
- Intel GMA950 Integrated Graphics
- 2x 256mb RAM
- 160GB 3.5" 7200rpm HD
- DL Super Drive
- Wireless
- 3 USB Ports
- 2 Firewire Ports
- possibly isight?

I think they'll be restricted to the education market at least to start to not canabalize their other machines.

But by the time I think these will drop (Aug-Sept I think) Mac Mini and iMac will become:

Mac Mini

599
- 1.66 core duo (the new cheaper version)
- Intel GMA950 Integrated Graphics
- 2x 256mb RAM
- 60GB HD
- Combo Drive

799
- 1.83 core duo
- Intel GMA950 Integrated Graphics
- 2x 256mb RAM
- 80GB
- DL Super Drive

and

iMac

1299
- 17" Widescreen
- 2.00 core duo
- ATI 128mb Graphics
- 512mb RAM
- 160GB HD
- DL Super Drive

1699
- 20" Widescreen
- 2.16 core duo
- ATI 256mb Graphics(that's right, it's standard now)
- 512mb RAM(a gig if the 256mb vram isn't standard)
- 250GB
- DL Super Drive

I think that's what everything needs to stay competitive. I think eventually we'll see 20" iMac and 23" iMac HD but not until 2007. I see the speed bumps I listed happening in July-August when the Mac Pro debuts, so the rest of the product line doesn't look stale.
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post #27 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by Kolchak
To reduce the need for big hard drives, the kids could either store their data on a centralized server in the school (Eserve variation of Xserve?) or be issued USB flash drives, which are pretty darn cheap nowadays.

THe usb idea is really a no go, the usb flash drives are too easy for kids to lose, espcially if they make goal posts out of their jackets in the playground. Centralized storage is the way to go but you do need a small internal, say if you have just finished a 20 page lab report and go to save it and the central data server is down for some reason, where about is it going to go.

At a minimum you would need 20 gig to allow for distrubuted applications and the OS. But this really is bare bones minimum.
post #28 of 103
There's no chance there will be a Superdrive in an educational Mac.

Combo drive at best, but more likely CD drive or no optical drive at all (as with previous education Macs)

80GB hard drive minimum, Core Duo minimum (legacy school applications will be running in Rosetta)

Camera cost is negligible (less than wireless), so I would expect it would be included, but easily disabled in software.

I do think Airport Extreme will still be built-in, but I agree Bluetooth won't.
post #29 of 103
I know people are taking me to task on the choice of a pent d for an eMac. My only question to them is, where can else you get a reasonably powerful dual core chip for a little more than $100? Heat could be an issue, but they were able to stuff a g5 in the iMac so it can be done. When core duos come down in price a year from now then the eMac can be made with them.

IMO, Apple is unnecessarily restricting themselves with only core duos. Intel make many chips at many price points. Why not take advantage of this instead of trying to build several different Mac models for different users (with different needs) around ONE chip? Does that make sense?
post #30 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by backtomac
IMO, Apple is unnecessarily restricting themselves with only core duos. Intel make many chips at many price points. Why not take advantage of this instead of trying to build several different Mac models for different users (with different needs) around ONE chip? Does that make sense?

Common speculation is that Apple both wants to guarantee that all Intel Macs have specific chip features available so the compiler can assume certain scheduling and instruction availability, and that while Apple perfects their OS's anti-copying technology they don't want to release something that will run on the vast majority of Intel machines out there. I believe one of the differences between 10.4.2 and 10.4.3 for Intel (or maybe it was .3 to .4) was that the former would run on a Pentium 4 chipset and the latter would not.
post #31 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by backtomac
IMO, Apple is unnecessarily restricting themselves with only core duos. Intel make many chips at many price points. Why not take advantage of this instead of trying to build several different Mac models for different users (with different needs) around ONE chip? Does that make sense?

Didn't Apple have all their product line built around the G3 for a while?

A lot of things in a computer cost next to nothing, but you need to strip out what isn't needed. I doubt a dual core is necessary here either. Going with a Pentium D may require a more expensive power supply and more expensive cooling options as well as additional noise. If you go Core Solo, you drop a little cost without having to use different sockets, possibly different chipset, use less power, require less cooling.
post #32 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
Didn't Apple have all their product line built around the G3 for a while?

Is that smart?
post #33 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by Booga
Common speculation is that Apple both wants to guarantee that all Intel Macs have specific chip features available so the compiler can assume certain scheduling and instruction availability, and that while Apple perfects their OS's anti-copying technology they don't want to release something that will run on the vast majority of Intel machines out there. I believe one of the differences between 10.4.2 and 10.4.3 for Intel (or maybe it was .3 to .4) was that the former would run on a Pentium 4 chipset and the latter would not.

Perhaps you are on to something. I wasn't aware of features in 10.4.3 that prevented it from running on a P4. If so that's a shame, a lost opportunity to take advantage some cheap pent ds to introduce (or resurrect) a new line of Macs.
post #34 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by backtomac
Perhaps you are on to something. I wasn't aware of features in 10.4.3 that prevented it from running on a P4. If so that's a shame, a lost opportunity to take advantage some cheap pent ds to introduce (or resurrect) a new line of Macs.

Why? Pentium is yesteryears tech.
In six months all Macs will have Core processors. from Core Duo, Core2 Duo to Xeon.
Nothing to cry about. and especially not to be sentimental about a mist opportunity to fit an aging technology (Pentium) in a brand new Mac.

There is no advantage in cheap if Apple has to design and build another architecture for it.
It's cheaper to use what they already have: iMac with integrated graphics, small HD etc.

Quote:
Originally posted by backtomac
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
Didn't Apple have all their product line built around the G3 for a while?

Is that smart?

Yes,
it was smart:
Apple was the fastest of the class of 1998/1999.
It went wrong when they switched to the G4.
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post #35 of 103
Time for me to weigh in...

First, I am a Macintosh technician for a large high school. We are currently finishing up our buying plans for the 06-07 school year. Schools typically end their financial year around June 30, and and their new one starts July 1st. What we will by needs to be released by June 1st or it may as well come out 7-8 months later. The summer months are the only time that computer labs can be swapped out and upgraded.

Right now my school is strugling greatly with our buying decision. Emacs are still being offered to us at around $720 for 1GB Ram and combo drives. (Don't quote me on this cost and config as I don't have my notes here)

The alternative is of course imacs... but the cost of those hover around $1,100 each. Please don't tell me that mac mini's are the answer... as their size makes them ideal for theft... and the mess of cables involved makes them much less desirable. You also have to consider the cost of monitors.. at least $80-100 for CRT's. Frankly, since we are handing the current machines down to our elementary schools... we would have to buy mice and keyboards as well... another $35-45 each.

So for us, our options are... $720 for a G4 emac that is nearly a year old already. $1,100 for an imac, or $600 mac mini PLUS $80 monitor for an easily stealable mac mini. Not great options.

I need to replace 100 imac G3's, 28 400mhz G4 towers, and 28 433 Mhz G4 towers. So 160 computers total.

160 x $720 emac is $115,200
160 x $1,100 imac is $176,000
160 x $600 mac mini is $96,000 plus $80 monitor = $108,800

Quite a difference when you look at the bottom line.

Our educational environment really requires at least combo drives... and frankly DVD burners are not out of line. Our teachers and students really do a lot of imovies.. it is rapidly replacing Power Point. CD burners are used for saving documents for both backup and transfer to home computers. Rarely are they used for burning music cd's.

Since they do use imovie a lot, you ideally need largish hard drives... at LEAST 80gb if not 160GB. Yes our students use network storage... but you can't use network storage for working on movies.. not until a 1GB to desktop and 10GB backbone is the norm. (We're a 100MB switched school)

Is bluetooth needed? No. But I could see in the future the advantage of having things like bluetooth presentation remotes, or bluetooth science probes. Less wires means less problems.

Is wifi needed? No. If the cost of adding wifi to a computer cost the end buyer less than say $10 I would be willing to pay for the flexibility.. but otherwise i don't mind adding it later.

isight? No... but of the new 'Apple standard fun stuff' that are now included in every model.. I would choose this one. Our imovie using and digital photography students would make great use of these camera. They also make great across the school or across the globe web conferencing.

RAM? At least 1GB should be standard. That's what really is needed. And don't rip me off my including 2 512MB sticks... Give me 1 chip so I can add another one later.

Cost? Well our Windows PC's come in around $750.. maybe a little less with CRT 17" monitor. They will have the same core duo chip and 512MB of ram.

Sellling a $1,100 imac vs a $750 HP computer to our school board is very, very difficult. The school board approves all expenditures.

Yes, the macs CAN run Windows Xp... and they are more secure and frankly usually better built... but you can see why we would have a problem asking for computers that cost over $300 more than HP's.

Apple... please help us continue to buy macs and keep them in our schools! It is getting harder to do this every year.

Ok, I'll get off my soap box now.
post #36 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by npynenberg

Our educational environment really requires at least combo drives... and frankly DVD burners are not out of line. Our teachers and students really do a lot of imovies.. it is rapidly replacing Power Point. CD burners are used for saving documents for both backup and transfer to home computers. Rarely are they used for burning music cd's.

RAM? At least 1GB should be standard. That's what really is needed. And don't rip me off my including 2 512MB sticks... Give me 1 chip so I can add another one later.

It could be a portable DVD burner moved between computers as needed. I see no need to have every machine in a lab with a DVD burner and save a lot on optical drives. I don't even write DVDs much, for my computers, I am willing to move to a different computer if I need to write one.

For RAM, you need it to be in matched pairs for the Mac mini to operate in dual channel mode. A mismatch will slow the thing down.
post #37 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by npynenberg
Our educational environment really requires at least combo drives... and frankly DVD burners are not out of line. Our teachers and students really do a lot of imovies.. it is rapidly replacing Power Point. CD burners are used for saving documents for both backup and transfer to home computers.

As much as many people have criticized the rise of PowerPoint in schools as useless flash in the pan that teaches students how to think only superficially and in bullet points, making movies for every little project seems like one step closer still toward absurdity, teaching them that fast cuts and flashy transitions trump everything. $20 1GB pen drives can move documents to home computers just as easily and perhaps more economically, assuming you're not using multisession burns or CD-RW. Why waste a CD blank every time you need to take a 200kB Word or Excel file home? Students wouldn't be irresponsible with their pen drives if their parents had to cough up $20 every time they lost one.
post #38 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
It could be a portable DVD burner moved between computers as needed. I see no need to have every machine in a lab with a DVD burner and save a lot on optical drives. I don't even write DVDs much, for my computers, I am willing to move to a different computer if I need to write one.

For RAM, you need it to be in matched pairs for the Mac mini to operate in dual channel mode. A mismatch will slow the thing down.

I know a portable burner sounds good in theory, but when you are in a lab full of teenagers you quickly realize it doesn't work that way.

Teachers need to have the class all moving at the same time.. and holding up a new lesson plan to burn movies doesn't really work. I hear your argument as I would have made the same one... but it just doesn't work in the classrom environment.

As for RAM, I know about RAM pairing... but the speed differencial isn't all that substantial in my testing.
post #39 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by Kolchak
As much as many people have criticized the rise of PowerPoint in schools as useless flash in the pan that teaches students how to think only superficially and in bullet points, making movies for every little project seems like one step closer still toward absurdity, teaching them that fast cuts and flashy transitions trump everything. $20 1GB pen drives can move documents to home computers just as easily and perhaps more economically, assuming you're not using multisession burns or CD-RW. Why waste a CD blank every time you need to take a 200kB Word or Excel file home? Students wouldn't be irresponsible with their pen drives if their parents had to cough up $20 every time they lost one.

I also felt that way about PowerPoint, and imovies. But.. think of it in another way. When you have a small group.. or individuals working on a project they will always remember the material much better. They also tend to remember other student's presentations on a subject better than an instructors lecture.

I agree USB drives are far better... but many of our students don't have high powered machines at home. Some have computers that don't even have usb ports! It's easy to provide a cd blank to a student on a as needed basis... but I can't hand out USB drives.

We have to provide alternatives to these kids.

That said, I hear your arguments.
post #40 of 103
OK, here's a thought. Take the screen off the 15" Mac Book Pro, and make a 15" iMac like design (maybe a little thicker) with a tough plastic case and good screen protection. Throw in about 10-15 lbs deadweight for theft protection and ... hmm ... might have something there. Only problem I'm having is that I can't picture this not being really ugly.
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