I would have loved to been a fly on the wall while this deal was being worked out.
Politician: What can we do to ensure that this deal with get me reelected?
HP Salesman: Well, instead of buying crummy old *cough* cheap *cough* PCs you could buy these more expensive laptops. They’re the in-thing now so the soccer mom’s will thank you for for helping to make their sons and daughters more hip and cool.
Politician: Great! But you know, we’re in a budget crisis so lets talk some figures here. How much will this cost the state?
Salesman: Only about $39,000,000.
Salesman: Lets rework this figure a little…Tell your constituents it’s only $275 per child, they’d like that figure more.
Politician: Oh thats much better; the soccer moms will love you! It’s a deal then.
In other news
Meanwhile, funding for the laptop program is in flux. Lawmakers are considering cutting $22 million in state funding from the $39 million laptop program to help resolve the state’s $834 million budget deficit. The state Senate last week approved a supplemental appropriation bill that would cut all the state funds from the program, leaving it with only $17 million from the federal government.
Yeah, friggin idiots; the lot of them. I can get a barebones PC for about $100 shipped, add CD-ROM, Hard Drive, Floppy Drive and OS and you’ve got yourself a brand spankin new PC all for a little more than the laptop deal would cost. What’s worse is that is without any educational discounts; the schools could probably get all of that cheaper as well because of educational and bulk discounts. Monitors would add a bit more, but they don’t need to replace the monitors every time they replace the PCs.
The only additional cost would be the required software; but I doubt HP was going to bundle every piece of software the school needed anyway. Probably just Microsoft Office 2003 and Quicken New User Edition. Software which the school gets at a substantial discount already. The school would still have to provide all of their special-needs software; physics , math/graphing, and biology programs to name a few.
But what about the students? Easy, let parents buy these same PCs from the school; and if they would qualify for free or reduced lunch prices let them get a suitable discount. I know of lots of companies that would jump at the chance to provide 750 PCs just to my old highschool (one for each family, classroom, teacher, and a few for the computer labs).