Mr Mustard noticed this DPR about renting computers in order to manage the GLA election (just for Barnet & Camden presumably).
DPR 1572 - GLA Election Computer Rental
As always, the DPRs omit the vital information such as the specification of the machines. If these documents were better written, and included all of the salient information, there would be fewer Freedom of Information requests.
The DPR though does say that it is the GLA wants to rent the machines; this is not Barnet Council's choice. Mr Mustard wondered if renting was the most economically advantageous way of doing this. He obtained the specification.
HP Desktop DC7900 SFF PC, 2Ghz Dual Core Processor, 4Gb Ram, 80Gb Hard Disk Drive, DVD Rom Drive, 10/100 Network Card, 19" TFT Monitor, Mouse, Keyboard, Win XP, SP3
Mr Mustard isn't quite as old as the first ever computer but did buy an IBM PC/XT which came out in 1983. It probably had 128kb ( not Mb ) of memory and a 10mb hard disk. Wow.
|I used to be all floppy but I'm hard now.|
So having been around for so long Mr Mustard thought that the rental cost of £2,700 for 25 machines with a 10 year old operating system was perhaps a bit steep. They are £108 each + vat.
Mr Mustard buys some kit from Morgan Computers and they have supplied good value kit and been efficient and honest in their dealings. They email Mr Mustard now and then and today they emailed him the following offer.
OK so it is slightly slower at 1.86ghz and only has 1gb of RAM not 4gb, but the machines are to run XP with and that only needs 128mb of RAM. The hard disk is the same size, there is network capability and the screen is only 17" not 19" although Mr Mustard prefers the proportions of the 17" screen he currently uses to the 20" one he uses on the server which makes pictures of people shorter and fatter (not a good look).
Look at the price though. £99.96 + vat with a 3 month warranty.
Morgan also have a 4gb version for £141.63 + vat and a 2gb version at £116.63 + vat.
Basically there is very little price difference between renting and buying. What should the GLA do?
They should buy machines and give them to charities afterwards. The GLA are missing a trick here.
Can you have a word Robert do you think and suggest this. Mr Mustard doesn't even mind if you claim it as your own idea or just fail to mention that it is his; he would just prefer to see charities get the benefit.
There is one very interesting paragraph. Para 8.1 which admits, in effect, that the Barnet Craptops (a technical term) are worse than useless.