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Thread: Malware found on free laptops for UK's vulnerable children

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    Re: Malware found on free laptops for UK's vulnerable children

    Quote Originally Posted by davesom555 View Post
    The name Computacenter says it all.
    Sigh.
    They are a huge UK listed supplier covering hardware, services etc. £5bn sales, market cap nudging £3bn.
    The £40m will cover a lot other than the hardware. Yes, they can arrive in a box in a single warehouse for £100 a piece, but by the time they have been batched up and likely configured, then delivered, the £200 each sounds about right. People doing stuff costs money.
    The spec though? Just stupid on first appearance as the bare minimum. Having said that, given who and how these will be used they are likely only assuming a year of life each, so will replace with whatever they get for that momey each year.
    Before people go boo boo tories. 99.9% of the people involved in this are nothing to do with the government - it will be civil servants and consultants, most of which i'd wager put an X next to Mr Corbyn last election.
    Congratualtions on shoe-horning the founder of Computacentre being a tory donor in there. Both of the founders gave most of the proceeds of selling the business to charity. Not enough space to mention that? They also likely made donations to Labour too, as most big companies do.

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    Re: Malware found on free laptops for UK's vulnerable children

    bit strange, around here a chap got his thinkpad with touchscreen and all bells and whistles easy 1k£ worth of laptop for free from school, how is there such a gap in specs

    also i dont get how you can USE a 11" laptop for anything other than writing microsoft word essays... its inadequate for doing anything else

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    Re: Malware found on free laptops for UK's vulnerable children

    Quote Originally Posted by aniilv View Post
    bit strange, around here a chap got his thinkpad with touchscreen and all bells and whistles easy 1k£ worth of laptop for free from school, how is there such a gap in specs

    also i dont get how you can USE a 11" laptop for anything other than writing microsoft word essays... its inadequate for doing anything else

    These use eMMC storage so not only are they are going to be slow,but also with only 4GB of DDR3 RAM,there is going to be a ton of paging which will cause the eMMC to wear out. Wearing out of eMMC is an issue. SOC is a Celery N3450.

    Edit!!

    Looking on the manufacturers website,there are comments from users on the specific model:
    http://www.edugeek.net/forums/hardwa...-horrible.html

    This is the alternate machine supplied by another supplier:

    I have just had my order of these changed to HP 255 G7 – AMD - A4 9125 / 15.6" - 2.3 GHz - 4 GB RAM - 128 GB SSD I would like to think they are listening to the problems but they probably just ran out.
    We've now had a mixture of Surface Go 2's, HP 255 G7's and now landed with 140 of these..... with a set of BIOS and Windows passwords that don't work!
    So bigger screen and a larger SSD on the HP:
    https://www.europc.co.uk/hp-255-g7-n...ty-138535.html

    Its really a bit crap,especially compared to some of the previous ones and are a mix of different revisions which have interesting quirks.

    Yup, these are total hot garbage - Got 20 oodd delivered recently. We've done the BIOS test thingy & yup, it kills the password. So it's a waste of time us protecting them as kids can just wipe the OS install and use it for their own devices. (Tho in theory if you register them in autopilot & they re-install windows it'll always be locked to you...)

    I wouldn't mind, but the "DFE Protected" ones are Dell 3190's, which are more than fit for purpose. I wish I'd jumped through hoops a bit and just dealt with the hassle of getting the admin/bios password on those, rather than have subpar hardware that will last all of 5 minutes.
    An annoying thing I've just found - the SD card slots don't line up with the cases properly, so it is possible and very easy to lose a SD card inside the case.
    Our advice from the council who supplied them now (regarding several DoA ones) is that we can send them back for repair but the cost will be sky high so we might as well just use the 'repair' money on a new system and throw the geobook away :-|!!!

    We can't raise them faults through the computacentre link as our LEA provided the devices, not the DFE!

    So far we've had 17 arrive completely dead, what a waste of public funds!
    They are a total waste of money. We’ve had 7 fail so far. Screen just goes feint and cant be seen.
    WTF,is the company not bothering to repair all the DoA ones??
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 26-01-2021 at 03:46 AM.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Malware found on free laptops for UK's vulnerable children

    Thanks @CAT-THE-FIFTH for answering a question that was bothering me. Are these PC's even fit for purpose, as in play videos, do video calls and homework? Or is this just e-waste? I'm not convinced it is, but I won't call myself an IT expert, just an enthusiast.
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    Re: Malware found on free laptops for UK's vulnerable children

    Quote Originally Posted by bae85 View Post
    This. It's about supply and demand.

    I know you've all got your technical heads on saying wow what a s**t cpu I could have got a better computer for quicker, (I was in this camp too), but could you have got 100,000 of them within a short time frame? The government were caught between a rock and a hard place, people criticise no matter what they do - they could have got 1 million decent specced laptops in a decent timeframe but people would still criticise.
    Do you not think it's even slightly suspicious that every time one of these sus contracts goes out, it's to a big Tory donor?

    This government isn't finding the best suppliers or trying its best by any measure. It is rewarding its friends, to put it kindly, or as I'd put it, theft of our money.

    This company was sitting on a huge stock of laptops they could never have sold, got the contract, pulled in some more bad stock and rode out like bandits. It happens over and over again, month in month out, and you'll say, "Boris is doing his best."

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    Re: Malware found on free laptops for UK's vulnerable children

    Quote Originally Posted by aniilv View Post
    also i dont get how you can USE a 11" laptop for anything other than writing microsoft word essays... its inadequate for doing anything else
    There's a lot of Macbook owners clinging to their 11" machines that will disagree. My best ever laptop was my Sony Vaio 11". That thing was amazing.

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    Re: Malware found on free laptops for UK's vulnerable children

    Quote Originally Posted by Scryder View Post
    Are these PC's even fit for purpose, as in play videos, do video calls and homework? Or is this just e-waste? I'm not convinced it is, but I won't call myself an IT expert, just an enthusiast.
    The spec looks like it will be fine for Google classroom and similar cloud based classroom solutions. They don't want to be giving out high spec laptops anyhow. i) A relatively high proportion will get broken well before they are end of life. ii) They will start turning up at Cash Convertors.

    The worry with the spec is the eMMC, 32GB or 64GB is not enough to run the big Windows updates. Hopefully the schools are set up to image them. I suspect the DFE laptop initiative will go the same way as Computers in Classrooms; over-funded capex, nothing for ongoing support and maintenance.

    I really don't envy my colleagues in educational IT at the moment. It's a hostile environment at the best of times.

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    Re: Malware found on free laptops for UK's vulnerable children

    Quote Originally Posted by bae85 View Post
    You do realise Labour do this too?
    Whatabouttery at it's finest. Everyone does it to some degree, but this government has done it to a staggering degree. Like saying 'oh the nazis weren't that bad, because other regimes have also killed millions of people'.

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    Re: Malware found on free laptops for UK's vulnerable children

    Quote Originally Posted by gagaga View Post
    Sigh.
    They are a huge UK listed supplier covering hardware, services etc. £5bn sales, market cap nudging £3bn.
    The £40m will cover a lot other than the hardware. Yes, they can arrive in a box in a single warehouse for £100 a piece, but by the time they have been batched up and likely configured, then delivered, the £200 each sounds about right. People doing stuff costs money.
    The spec though? Just stupid on first appearance as the bare minimum. Having said that, given who and how these will be used they are likely only assuming a year of life each, so will replace with whatever they get for that momey each year.
    Before people go boo boo tories. 99.9% of the people involved in this are nothing to do with the government - it will be civil servants and consultants, most of which i'd wager put an X next to Mr Corbyn last election.
    Congratualtions on shoe-horning the founder of Computacentre being a tory donor in there. Both of the founders gave most of the proceeds of selling the business to charity. Not enough space to mention that? They also likely made donations to Labour too, as most big companies do.
    Sigh yourself. With £5bn in sales they will be able to leverage their buying power to get these laptops likely even cheaper than £100, and their size and expected efficiency means that the incidental costs to get them out to the users will be far lower, so no, £200 only sounds right if the aim is to bilk the taxpayer. We literally just a few weeks ago saw another Tory supplier doing the same with food.

    You've launched into a defence of this tory government, which makes you fairly suspect, but you've specifically countered the fact that they're tory donors with your imagination that they're also labour donors, without any justification whatsoever.

    You've also completely glossed over the malware issue. Why is there russian-originating malware on these laptops? To paraphrase Robert De Niro from Casino, if they didn't have good enough security to keep this malware off, their processes are not up to par, and if they did know, they were in on it, either way, they should be fired.

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    Re: Malware found on free laptops for UK's vulnerable children

    Quote Originally Posted by wazzickle View Post
    You've launched into a defence of this tory government, which makes you fairly suspect
    Wow, just wow.

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    Re: Malware found on free laptops for UK's vulnerable children

    Quote Originally Posted by gagaga View Post
    Wow, just wow.
    Yeah, if you're looking to justify the behaviour of this tory government, maybe it's time to look in the mirror, maybe this can be your wake-up call.

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    Re: Malware found on free laptops for UK's vulnerable children

    Quote Originally Posted by wazzickle View Post
    Yeah, if you're looking to justify the behaviour of this tory government, maybe it's time to look in the mirror, maybe this can be your wake-up call.
    Wow, just wow.

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    Re: Malware found on free laptops for UK's vulnerable children

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Looking on the manufacturers website,there are comments from users on the specific model:
    http://www.edugeek.net/forums/hardwa...-horrible.html
    Reading that whole thread is quite shocking. I do not envy those in charge of the school IT and sorting these out prior to releasing to students, there has obviously been zero quality control from the supplier. Why is it that anything remotely involving IT and any government is a complete waste of taxpayer money? Are politicians all really this clueless?

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    Re: Malware found on free laptops for UK's vulnerable children

    Quote Originally Posted by Iota View Post
    Reading that whole thread is quite shocking. I do not envy those in charge of the school IT and sorting these out prior to releasing to students, there has obviously been zero quality control from the supplier. Why is it that anything remotely involving IT and any government is a complete waste of taxpayer money? Are politicians all really this clueless?
    Often, yes. I assume they left it to some Subject Matter Expert (SME), and assume that whatever they said is correct. Without double checking with anyone else.
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    Re: Malware found on free laptops for UK's vulnerable children

    Quote Originally Posted by Scryder View Post
    Often, yes. I assume they left it to some Subject Matter Expert (SME), and assume that whatever they said is correct. Without double checking with anyone else.
    Yes and from my experience usually that SME is a) either not up to date (They had relevant on hands experience 10+ years ago) b) Very good at selling themselves but otherwise clueless about the 'Subject Matter' in hand!
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    Re: Malware found on free laptops for UK's vulnerable children

    They are giving them out for free. If you give free anything it tends to get trashed as people don't look after what they didn't have to pay hard money for. It's not the first time the government has given disadvantaged kids free laptops - I had some friends and as the IT guy I'd get asked "my jonny's laptop screen has broken (a quick look shows something hit it hard), or it seems to have stopped working (keyboard looks like someone poured coke all over it) can you fix it". Hence I am all for giving out cheap disposable machines that aren't built to last as they aren't going to last anyway.

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