Leasing PCs Was -- Re: Systems Librarian Role

Shirl Kennedy sdk at mindspring.com
Wed Dec 10 21:49:55 EST 1997

I'm working at a place (corporation) now where all the PCs are leased --
desktops and laptops.  They are all Dells, and they are leased through a
vendor who configures them according to our specs, delivers them and sets
them up.  The leases are for three years; company wanted two-year leases but
someone told me this couldn't be done due because of (U.S.) tax laws.  BTW,
the units don't all turn over at the same time.  It's more like a
continuous-basis type of thing.

Since I'm not involved in the financial end of things at all, I don't have a
clue as to what this sort of arrangement costs...  I figure it must be
cost-effective, or the company wouldn't do it.  We're talking somewhere
between 2000 and 2500 PCs -- desktops, laptops and, as of recently, handheld
units (Toshiba) have been trickling in...

Guess I'm kind of curious as to whether any library systems have looked into
this alternative, primarily large library systems.  I'm wondering whether
the financial benefits would be the same, better or worse for a non-profit

Shirl Kennedy

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Thomas <sthomas at library.adelaide.edu.au>
To: Multiple recipients of list <web4lib at library.berkeley.edu>
Date: Wednesday, December 10, 1997 6:38 PM
Subject: Re: Systems Librarian Role

>At 12:02 AM 97/12/10 -0800, Isabel  Danforth wrote:
>>As a rule of thumb, you need  one full time employee for every 50 computer
>>in the library.  If you become a "network nazi" and insist that all
>>machines are identical, then 1 person  for every 100 machines may suffice.
>Well, I must be a network nazi! We have around 210 workstations in our
>Library (staff and public), and two people to support them. I'd say we just
>about scrape by, although we have undergone rapid expansion. Having
>identical setup on all machines is the only way we're able to cope.
>What also needs to be considered is replacement. A PC is good for maybe
>four years, which is a stretch these days -- another rule of thumb being
>obsolesence after three years -- but we manage by using older machines in
>less intensive areas. Three year replacement would send us broke. So
>anyway, with around 200 PCs, that means buying around 50 each year just to
>replace the one's you have.
>Now, unpacking, setting up, configuring, installing software, delivering to
>the user, transferring files and taking away the old machine and giving it
>to someone else, requires at least a day's work for someone. So, assuming
>that you support staff have other stuff to do too (like supporting the
>existing PCs and users), one day per week, or 20% of their time spent on
>upgrades is a lot.
>So 50 PCs per year, or lets say one a week, is an OK load for two people --
>but doesn't allow much leeway for further expansion or unexpected crises.
>So one person per 100 PCs seems about right to me.
> Stephen Thomas, Senior Systems Analyst
> Mail : Barr Smith Library, The University of Adelaide, South Australia
> Phone: (08) 8303 5190                                   Fax: (08) 8303
> Email: sthomas at library.adelaide.edu.au
> URL  : http://library.adelaide.edu.au/ual/staff/sthomas.html
> ** Unless otherwise stated, the content of this message reflects only my
> ** own opinion, and not the policy of the University of Adelaide
> "I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Man's" -- William Blake

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