Irish school's attempt to replace books with HP tablets results in 'unmitigated disaster'

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  • Reply 61 of 186
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,994member
    melgross wrote: »
    WebOS never had a chance. While the tech writers just loved it, they love everything. It's their job to love everything . But WebOS was poorly designed, and poorly advertised.

    Seriously, how many people walking into a phone store, and picking up a Pre, would know that in order to do some important, basic functions, you needed to swipe BELOW the screen, on the plastic case? Not many. There were a number of gotchas, in the system, like that one. In order to use WebOS, you needed to know how to use it before you used it. In other words, you needed the manual.

    I had an AT&T account at the time, and went into the AT&T store here, in my neighborhood fairly often. I hung out for a bit of time, here and there, surreptitiously watching people examine phones. What I found was interesting. Most people who bought iPhones went in and directly said that they wanted an iPhone, and bought one. Most others looked first at the iPhones, and maybe bought one, and then at the Palm Pre for just a few moments before moving on to the Android phones. People would pick it up, stare at it, poke once or twice at the screen, and then put it down. I've seen the same behaviors with Win Phone.

    Hp bought what they thought was a pretty much finished OS. They had no real way of knowing what was going on at Palm.

    It was like Google buying Motorola because they were told by them that their 17,000 patents were strong, and could be used against Apple and Microsoft. That was wrong too, and it cost Google $12.5 billion for a failing company that was valued at $6.5 billion the same day they made the purchase. At some point, even though they don't want to do it, most of that price will need to be written off.

    A major problem when hp bought Palm was that WebOS turned out to be far from finished. It was working, but there were major areas that were supposed to have been totally rewritten. There were lots of very basic problems with the OS, which is why apps didn't work too well with the hardware, because so much was abstracted because of the programming g model they used, that they were at a major disadvantage. That entire area was supposed to be thrown out and replaced.

    But when hp got it, it had barely started. And then major people had left. There was no one left who really understood the OS. Hp never had a chance! They did try though. The tablet wasn't bad at all, just too expensive and heavy.

    Here' some articles that show where the problems lie. Most people aren't aware of any of this, and so state things that aren't even close to the truth:

    http://www.informationweek.com/mobile/webos-failure-palm-insiders-blame-management/d/d-id/1102025?

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/5/3062611/palm-webos-hp-inside-story-pre-postmortem

    So the fanboys yell and shout about how Hp killed it, but that's what fanboys do when their love leaves them.
  • Reply 62 of 186
    As one commenter said, they should have gotten iPads. Case closed. HP just buys the parts and then throws their name on sh**! The pc has 5000 patents all owned by MS so the pc is literally a MS universe and MS can't make money on pcs unless them POS break up periodically.
    Planned obsolescence. I go to FIU here in Florida and everywhere there is a pc there is a f****** problem. Always. BS is always down for some effing reason. On the other hand everywhere there is an Apple there is a line out the door to use it.
  • Reply 63 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

     

    the 'conventional wisdom' is too always buy the biggest 'market' leader in a 'open' market.  They will have the resources to fix the problems, and then you can always move to the 2nd or 3rd place (Dell? Lenovo?) with a 'HP is in... but we want an alternative source,' to get a great deal and boot HP out.   It's a game we all loved to play back in the day.

     

    But... here the issue is Win8, which isn't crappy SW per se..., just a crappy experience on a tablet.  The crappy SW part is marriage of new bios, drivers, internal chips, to the OS low level code.   This takes a year or 2 (or 3... why do you think Corps are just now migrating to Win7 en masse?... because they had to test everything out).

     

    But, the issue here was a silly set of requirements ('an informed decision'  HA!  Someone in the school either had a excel spreadsheet with embedded ActiveX and VBA in it and it wouldn't port to Numbers.... or a testing SW program written in Word/VBA) Macros... therefore MS Word for Windows was a requirement), vs a long term goal to move to a 'e-learning platform' independent of the OS, and built in Apps.

     

    The Allie's appeasement of Nazi Germany was 'an informed decision' ;-).   We all saw how well that worked out...


    I hear you Geoff, perhaps my original post was a bit too flippant, but I know from firsthand experience, windows and HP, Dell, etc., is on the whole  an inferior experience made more problematic by trying to take the Windows beast mobile. :)

     

    I like your theory that it was b/c someone on the decision team had their stuff in  Excel. That seems plausible. :)

     

    Best

  • Reply 64 of 186
    Oops we goofed .....

    Any refunds - due or coming - probably not .... The tech people will attempt to find a solution, all the while, the tablets sit and collect dust .....

    I can see a class action lawsuit coming against MSFT and / or HP .....

    Shoulda - woulda - coulda had an iPad for about the same money .... Silly Rabbits!
  • Reply 65 of 186

    Good point.  MS is probably, no absolutely, the most comprehensive WP on earth.  But are all of it's features necessary for a school kid?  They really can get by on the many free WP available for download.  I like my MS Office Pro, but I can easily get by on one of these free WP's on a tablet or cell phone.  Word truly is a beauty on a desk top.

  • Reply 66 of 186
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    Here' some articles that show where the problems lie. Most people aren't aware of any of this, and so state things that aren't even close to the truth:



    http://www.informationweek.com/mobile/webos-failure-palm-insiders-blame-management/d/d-id/1102025?



    http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/5/3062611/palm-webos-hp-inside-story-pre-postmortem



    So the fanboys yell and shout about how Hp killed it, but that's what fanboys do when their love leaves them.

    Thanks Mel. I just clicked and saved the links to read later today. I enjoy articles like this. :)

  • Reply 67 of 186
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by knowitall View Post





    No., an iPad can do almost all a laptop can, only sometimes better.

    You can browse the web better than on a computer, you can create and edit text documents, spreadsheets and presentations (for example using the free apps Apple includes with each device), you can create and edit movies and sound projects (also using the free apps Apple includes) and can continue working on them on another computer or in the cloud.

    You also have a limitless choice of other productivity apps, for example creative apps and endless games, not to mention email and all kinds of connectivity apps, etc. etc. etc.

    If you ignore that, something is seriously wrong with you or you have an hidden agenda.

     

    No.

  • Reply 68 of 186
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    jameskatt2 wrote: »
    Obviously, the school wanted a full-featured PC for their students so they can do word processing while multitasking with other apps to do research simultaneously.

    This can't be done with an iPad. The actual competing Apple product is the MacBook Air. ...

    Eh?, no, not at all. Multitasking is very easy, just push the home button twice.
  • Reply 69 of 186
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    cnocbui wrote: »
    No.

    No what? He has no hidden agenda or hasn't a serious problem?
    Or is it that you can't use an iPad? There is no shame in that, sometimes people get left behind...
    I know of people who refused to understand that the transistor would replace the vacuum tube.
  • Reply 70 of 186
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    philboogie wrote: »
    For a minute there I thought this was my junior high school teacher describing me.

    Aaaahhh sweety, I'm sure you were loved by your teachers as much as we adore you here.
  • Reply 71 of 186
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    He called out the ElitePad's 64-gigabyte memory as especially impressive.

    take that, apple! 64 times the amount of memory in an ipad!
  • Reply 72 of 186
    ipenipen Posts: 410member

    Swapping paper books with tablet/ipad is not ready for prime time for another few years.  Yes, using tablet/ipad as an addition to paper books is already here. School can't afford to have an IT department to deal with all the tablet/ipad problems.  Maybe schools near Apple stores can just gather all the problem ipads and shuttle to the Apple stores for support.  

     

    And then, how do you deal with accidental damage by the students?  Books are cheap to replace.  And schools will buy new paper books every 3-4 years.  The cost of buying new tablet/ipads every 3-4 years is a huge cost to the school.  Even if the hardware can last that long with all the student abuses, how about the batteries?  Replacing new batteries is costly.  

     

    And there needs to be an tablet/ipad specifically designed for education use.  And school needs to have a tight control on all the devices.  Read-only mode for students (students shouldn't make marks on the school's paper books anyway)  and only school servers can update the content.  And the tablet/ipads for education should be cheap enough for replacement or repair.

     

    Anyway, for now, swapping paper books with tablet/ipads can only be an option for students and the students should buy their own devices and be responsible for their own devices.  

  • Reply 73 of 186
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    I haven't used the HP Tablet yet, shame that it didn't work out for them, schools don't have the money to make such bad decisions, I'm sure HP will rectify the problem, hopefully. Why did they go for such an expansive model, Dell or Asus would have been cheaper. I'm still dubious about using tablets in a classroom, a good old hard back worked for me and I see no reason why it shouldn't for my children. My daughters school is trying out Chromebooks and iPads in the classroom but since it's a private school the parents get the bill for the hardware. I like the Chromebooks for school as they can only access the schools wifi while they are their and only use websites that exist on the schools intranet. Creating custom apps is also a lot easier then compiling in C++. Though when we bought one for my daughter she tricked is to getting the LTE version, I should have read the letter from the school better. Kids can still install games and other software on their iPads, even though the school has given the responsibility to the parents to prevent unwanted software, we don't. I can password protect my child's iPad but like most kids nowadays, they know more about these devices then we do and will just bipass whatever security I implement. I'm so proud, I mean bad children, no no.
  • Reply 74 of 186
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by knowitall View Post





    No what? He has no hidden agenda or hasn't a serious problem?

    Or is it that you can't use an iPad? There is no shame in that, sometimes people get left behind...

    I know of people who refused to understand that the transistor would replace the vacuum tube.



    I clearly highlighted in bold the bit you got wrong.

  • Reply 75 of 186
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by darthW View Post



    That seems really expensive, $741? Isn't an iPad cheaper? Can't see how this school board went with such an expensive, unproven tablet. iPad is cheaper and proven in education. Doesn't say much for the school board. And how can they not blame anyone? It's obviously HP & MS fault.

    Enterprise would likely include support and maintenance, plus the currency translation and whatever VAT etc. taxes they might have had to pay: but my bet is on the maintenance and support, plus included software licenses as needed.

     

    We've got an instrument whose yearly maintenance contract is $37K, when a new one costs maybe $250K… (we bought it refurbed for $100k) so say a two to three year maintenance commitment and all of a sudden the base price of the unit takes a big jump….

  • Reply 76 of 186
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,159member

    As a person who works in two K-12 school districts as a technician, and runs the entire Apple Department in one of them, I'm confused by their choice of tablet. I do agree with some. Its like the districts IT department and/or administration staff wanted to keep it all Windows based and felt like the HP tablet was the best offer for the price paid and stay in a Windows environment. 

     

    In my experience, you really need to test things out way in advance of doing something of this scale, even if you have to push the rollout date back. When you're spending $1.4 Million (2000 students x $700), you better damn well make sure you have your ducks in a row before placing any formal order. This means not only testing hardware, but also software to manage these devices. So get different hardware vendors involved (Apple, HP, Microsoft, Samsung, etc), then get different MDM solutions involved and see what works best. Not, whats more convenient for IT, what works best in the environment its placed in. Too many times, IT people are lazy bastards and always do what is best for them, and creates less work for them. I say this as an IT person myself. 

     

    That being said, like Melgross said, education is different from everyday life in an IT world, even business life to some extent. You buy things based on what works for your curriculum for the price. Some people don't understand how things in Education work and they try to compare it to the business they supported, or home use, etc. They don't see how things have to work behind the scenes. Sometimes things are purchased based on grants that have specific directions of what to buy, how many, and what you can pay for it. Its not always what runs MS Office best or something like that. These days, virtually anything can do this using one program or another either on the device itself, or cloud based. Thats not what important. Whats most important is, does it consistently and appropriately serve the purpose of the curriculum it was meant for? This is not a one sized fits all thing either. What works for one district doesn't mean its always going to work for any other district. Different districts have different needs, different student body types, different budgets, and different curriculums. 

  • Reply 77 of 186
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Binkwilder View Post

     

    Good point.  MS is probably, no absolutely, the most comprehensive WP on earth.  But are all of it's features necessary for a school kid?  They really can get by on the many free WP available for download.  I like my MS Office Pro, but I can easily get by on one of these free WP's on a tablet or cell phone.  Word truly is a beauty on a desk top.


    But then so was WordPerfect and it ran in a 64 KB space……. granted the spellchecker was on a separate 51/4 floppy…..

  • Reply 78 of 186
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by knowitall View Post





    No., an iPad can do almost all a laptop can, only sometimes better.

    You can browse the web better than on a computer, you can create and edit text documents, spreadsheets and presentations (for example using the free apps Apple includes with each device), you can create and edit movies and sound projects (also using the free apps Apple includes) and can continue working on them on another computer or in the cloud.

    You also have a limitless choice of other productivity apps, for example creative apps and endless games, not to mention email and all kinds of connectivity apps, etc. etc. etc.

    If you ignore that, something is seriously wrong with you or you have an hidden agenda.



    Yes, there is one advantage of web browsing on an iPad than on a PC that every body should know:  if you encounter a word that you have not learned you can easily get its definition by touching it longer.  I am thrilled by this feature. 

  • Reply 79 of 186
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,994member
    Thanks Mel. I just clicked and saved the links to read later today. I enjoy articles like this. :)

    By the way, just as an aside, to show a major problem with WebOS, we can see in the short InformationWeek article that Mercer, an original architect of WebOS, comments that WebOS was to blame for the failure, as does the article itself. But you'll see that in the second, far more complete article, that it was Mercer's crap that forced them to go to WebKit in the first place. More than a bit of infighting there!
  • Reply 80 of 186
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,159member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by darthW View Post



    That seems really expensive, $741? Isn't an iPad cheaper? Can't see how this school board went with such an expensive, unproven tablet. iPad is cheaper and proven in education. Doesn't say much for the school board. And how can they not blame anyone? It's obviously HP & MS fault.

     

    Typically, at least in the US, school boards don't determine what gets purchased. Its not necessarily up to the school board to determine what device is best for the district. This should be something the Superintendent, Principals, and IT Director determine. This is the difference between a business and a school district. You don't have to go to the school board to get every thing approved before purchasing. At least, this is how things work in the region I work around. For example, if my school wanted to replace one of the Mac labs with new iMacs, we don't go to the school board and pitch an idea with the hopes they say yes. The Technology Director determines whether or not it gets replaced and has the money in their computer budget to do so. Then it goes from there to the building principal who gives it an okay, and from there it goes to the business manager to then gives it the final okay and approves the PO (Purchase Order) agreement. 

     

    Now a school board may or may not have some say in the project itself of whether or not to do it, but they typically don't get involved in what devices, software, etc, etc are purchased as part of the project. They leave that up to the professionals hired in the district to make those decisions.  

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