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back to article Cabinet Office stuck with creaking PCs for five years

PC vendors looking to boost flagging sales by raiding the public purse can think again, after the Cabinet Office told MPs they would restrict their PCs to one per staffer and work their kit till they fell to bits Tom Watson, Civil Service Minister at the Cabinet Office, outlined his department's efforts to reduce CO2 emissions …

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IT Angle

Erm...

"the number of PCs and laptops will be reduced to as close to one per person as possible".

WTF how many computers can these people operate at once???

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Bronze badge

Security down the pan again...

"...Cabinet Office told MPs they would restrict their PCs to one per staffer..."

Guess that'll mean a laptop, then, for those 'staffers' on-the-go.

We know what happens to them.

God, it gets worse! Cretins!

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Linux

Umm

Gwan, point out that a decent linux install will

1) run on existing kit

2) not draw vast amounts of energy for eye-candy

3) not draw vast amounts of energy for drm crapware.

4) save them license costs

5) reduce co2 and heat emissions from MS bullshit

6) reduce the cost of their security (albeit not the section dealing with idiots leaving data on trains/buses/taxis)

Oh, hang on, you need at least one person who has a clue to get that set up. This is the government, so that's about as likely as Alastair Darling getting a budget right.

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Paris Hilton

efficiency savings

Last time I looked, most civil servants had two hands so a computer for each hand seems sensible especially when they are making all these efficiency savings.

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Black Helicopters

@steven

While not working in uk.gov, on my desk here I have a client desktop for access to their systems, my work laptop for access to my employers systems, and a netbook I use for personal stuff and network testing. Knowing how many systems and suppliers have been in and out of uk.gov, I'd be surprised if a significant number of staff didn't have 2 or 3 PC's. just to get into diverse systems!

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Jobs Horns

Stop using 'scrappage'!!

Must . . control . . Fist . . of . . Death!

Mad as a Balmer!

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Happy

Use it or Lose it

One laptop to use for "work", one to leave behind on a train or on display in their car ready to be stolen.

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Coat

@AC 14:11

But if you have a computer for you left hand and a computer for your right hand then you had better network them so they each know what the other is doing...

..oh wait.

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Flame

The same way you should eat food grown close to home...

you should compute on a computer close to you.

Their idea about thin clients and a green computer room is ass backwards. Those gigabit Ethernet switches are some power hungry beasts. Mine generate a LOT of heat too which has to be air conditioned away. Concentrating all the equipment in one area requires air conditioning all year round whereas a PC on the desk actually reduces the need for heating the office during winter.

Replacing equipment only to be green will always be a net failure. The environmental cost to manufacture that new green PC will offset the minimal savings it will achieve - running a 5 year old machine and just adding 2G of RAM is way more responsible. Go out and get a new, low power 80G hard drive and it will offset the extra power of the RAM you add. You really only need a 20G HD in your workstation but you can't even buy them anymore.

There are just so many things wrong with the plan I don't know where to start.

The very idea of cloud computing is flawed for this same reason.

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Go

Could be worse

In IBM land you have to buy your own laptop and pay fro your own broadband, however the upside is that you dont have to work from home and that the customer is the only one getting shafted. Imagine if the kitchen fitter showed and tried to screw in all the panels by hand or with one screwdriver cos B&Q told em that screwdrivers and hammers are pervasive and to supply their own kit.

So cheer up uk.gov you get payrises, bathplugs and free porn, we here in taxpayer land just take it up the wrong un with the wrong tools :)

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Oh Noes

I spilt my coffee and then dropped it on the way to the sink but dont worry i cleaned it up with detergent

Can i have my new laptop please

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IT Angle

Service contract

I worked for a well known bank that operated exactly the same dumb IT policy they were paying about £250 per desktop per year to support them out of warranty.

I think it was about 1997 that most companies start to realise that Desktops/laptops had become consumables especially when replacing the laser toner costs more than a corporate desktop.

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Anonymous Coward

Once upon a time

...there was a typewriter on your desk when you started the job. Even if you wanted a different one, you would never get it, such a request would be laughable:

"I want a new typewriter!"; "Does the one you have work?"; "Yes, but that is not the point"; "it is totally the point, go away.".

The same typewriter greeted your successors over the years. Then secretaries to senior people started getting electric typewriters, and upgraditis began.

Most of it is in the cause of vanity, not efficiency or productivity. The PC on a person's desk should never be replaced while it does the job.

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Flame

Global what?

Fossil fuel burning == very bad because it releases carbon dioxide.

This carbon dioxide was 'captured' in [probably] the carboniferous period when there was high temperatures and humidity.

So...It may be happening faster, but this is all going to/will do/has done...

Even if we stop all fossil fuel burning, one day, many many years from now, the coal will be at the surface and the CO2 will be released.... and the cycle will begin again..

AC cos I read it through, know what I meant to try and convey, but think I still sound like a tit.

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Go

The creaking old bureaucratic machine...

Seemed to work fine for Sir Humphrey Appleby, looks like he juet got a load more...

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Paris Hilton

Government deserves the best

FFS I'm a Civil Servant and I want a decent machine so I can do multimedia powerpoints, monitor HD video sources, enable government through massively multiplayer online ga..., er I mean environments, all that kind of stuff. Government will be hidebound if we're not using the very latest quad-core processors too, as it helps government run more efficiently through multitasking.

You lot should be grateful and yet you moan.

Paris, because she's a dirt quad-core ho.

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Silver badge

Old machines = Green ???

Can keeping these old machines really be classed as being green? Pentium 4s glowing away all hours of the day?

Surely if they really want to be green they sell the old machines off to one of the many PC recycling companies (complete with all the private data still on the hard drive of course - this is UK gov after all) and then replace them with something like an atom based eeeBox that sip less than 35watts and cost £200.

Sure eeeboxs don't run vista, but business doesn't need/want vista. Sure they suck at games, well maybe they'll get more work done. Sure they don't have a CD/DVD drive, well good, cos that'll stop people burning or trying to install things off that they shouldn't!

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Mat

re:two hands

-----------------------------

Last time I looked, most civil servants had two hands so a computer for each hand seems sensible especially when they are making all these efficiency savings.

-----------------------------

Most civil servants have also got two faces which further strengthens your case!

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W

Regarding the £2000 scrappage incentive for cars:

-> £1000 comes from the government, i.e. general taxation, i.e. "us".

-> £1000 is supposed to come from the manufacturer (price rise shenanigans, anyone?).

A) What incentives do I get for commuting by train every day?

B) Cars registered by 31July 1999 is the cut-off point for eligibility for the scheme. Is this an ongoing scheme whereby the cut-off point will be revised to 31 July 2000 at next years' budget?

D) Are there similar schemes in place for all other old energy consuming tech, from boilers to VCR players?

C) Or is this not about CO2 at all, and just about a handout to the car industry?

D) I thought the mantra was REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE - in that order?

E) If tech is fully functioning (Cars, PCs, et al), why should there be an incentive (funded by general taxation) to replace it (and thus subsidise the related industry)?

F) Isn't a scrappage incentive not just a "consumption subsidy" hiding under another name?

-> If you wanna buy something shinier, go ahead, feel free, and sell your old version at the market rates if you want to.

-> But don't expect me to subsidise others' purchases and call it a green initiative.

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Linux

I doubt the Cabinet Office IT equipment will last that long..

From what I gather Bonkers Brown likes to take out his temper on Nokia's and now Laser Printers. A few more bit's of bad news and 'der glorious leader' will have wrecked all of the IT equipment - that we paid for.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aNGVoeniv9HU&refer=home

http://www.order-order.com/2009/04/bonkers-brown-bruising-in-the-bunker/#comments

Most amusing is 'The good news sandwich'.

Goes like this.

Morning Prime mentalist.

Richard Madely was heard to say you have nice ties.

Oh and everybody thinks your a tw4t who has single handedly ruined a once great nation.

Sarah phoned, she's found the TV remote.

Not the first report that I've read about his insanity either.

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Alien

Replace the lot with Sun Ray appliances.

Then you will be able to control what information makes it onto a USB stick, to get *ahem* lost in a car park.

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Joke

@Eddie Johnson - You're doing it all wrong!

Clearly you haven't a clue what you're doing! The rest of us professionals put the gigabit gear in the fridge, on the shelf above all the beer!

TFI Friday, guys!

:() { :|:& };:

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Stop

@first comment

Government requires air-gapped networks (they don't trust firewalls in many cases). This meant that at one gov. agency job, I had a desktop connected to the production network, another connected to the development network, and a laptop to access the systems for the outsourcing company I needed to book my time.

And if I had a need to use my own companies laptop (I was a contractor working through my own company for outsourcing company at the agency site) I would get out my laptop as well. I ended up using 2 KVM's with two keyboard, screens and mice, with the computers stacked up. Madness, but necessary to keep to the security rules.

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Linux

Dept of Adminitrative Affairs

will get new shining computers if Sir Humphrey manages to outsmart Jim (again).

PS. when I was a government worker(!) the computers were called Commodors.

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