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United Kingdom Upgrades Technology Idle

Workers Will Smash Their PCs To Get an Upgrade 533

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the bruce-banner-need-upgrade dept.
An anonymous reader writes "One in four office workers reckon that the best way to get a new work computer is to smash up the one they have — either that or to take it down to the junk shop themselves. Some 40 per cent of office workers complain that their aging workplace PC hurts their productivity and many are tempted to resort to extreme measures to get an upgrade, including taking a hammer to the aging beast on the desktop. Some ten per cent of UK workers said they'd even resort to buying new parts for their work devices themselves to perform their own upgrade; particularly those who work in smaller organizations."
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Workers Will Smash Their PCs To Get an Upgrade

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  • by grapeape (137008) <mpope7@NOSpam.kc.rr.com> on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:21AM (#35793128) Homepage

    I worked in a office where about once a year one of the employees would "spill" coffee on her laptop..usually a week or so after she noticed a deployment of new laptops in some other department. It worked until she moved to a floor with security camera's and was caught...after that her replacement was the one that recieved a shiny new one. The sad part was the machines she had were never out of date they simply became bogged down because of her browsing and installing habits, but rather than ask to have it cleaned up or god forbit learn to do it herself she would just have an "accident".

    • Is no one going to mention destruction of company property = firing?

      • I assumed that "after that her replacement was the one that recieved a shiny new one" implied that she was fired and somebody else was hired in her stead. Maybe I read too much into it.

        • by Golddess (1361003)
          No, I think you read it right.

          Before I read your comment, I was actually thinking she got someone else's old machine and that person got a brand new one, but your interpretation makes more sense.
      • Re:smash (Score:5, Funny)

        by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:33AM (#35793302)
        You apparently failed to notice the the phrase 'her replacement'.
      • by kenh (9056)

        The parent you responded to did.

        It worked until she moved to a floor with security camera's and was caught...after that her replacement was the one that recieved a shiny new one.

    • There might be something to be learned from the spiller. Rather than wasting anyone's time to "clean up" a "bogged down" desktop, it sounds like at least one of your users would have been perfectly happy with an annual drive wipe. There might be more like her.

      • by kenh (9056)

        Do you have children? You never, EVER reward bad behavior - any point she may have had was erased by her wanton destruction of company assets for her own ego gratification...

        Where I work we instruct users to never keep anything on their laptop/desktop hard drive - everything on the server, then, when they have a problem, we can re-image/replace the desktop inside of 20 minutes.

    • installing habits

      You give your users admin rights? No wonder things are screwed up. We used to do that with our investigator laptops (I work for a government agency which deals with enforcement).

      When we did our equipment replacement, we removed their admin rights. Amazingly we have had zero problems since that time. Correlation = causation in this case.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by peragrin (659227)

        that's the real trick, if Windows had and enforced proper user/system separation then companies could lock down the systems that would limit that crap.

        Windows and it's applications assume you have full admin rights all the time. UAC while bad was a good step MSFT should have just pressed harder program developers to code properly, and forced all XP programs into a hard lock down mode.

        breaking easy backward compatiblity in the name of security isn't a bad thing.

        • I'm still amazed AD can't match the features Netware had 20 years ago.
        • by Culture20 (968837) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:05PM (#35794802)

          that's the real trick, if Windows had and enforced proper user/system separation then companies could lock down the systems that would limit that crap. Windows and it's applications assume you have full admin rights all the time. UAC while bad was a good step MSFT should have just pressed harder program developers to code properly, and forced all XP programs into a hard lock down mode.

          Are you from 1999? Software developers stopped assuming users have admin access a few years after XP hit the scene. It's only rare medical of scientific control software that's written that stupidly anymore. And guess what? There is specialty scientific software for Linux out there that assumes you're root.
          And windows is easy to segregate admin access on desktops either manually or via GPO. You can even list admin users additively or destructively(replacing the current list, preventing admins from adding someone else as an admin).

          • by CAIMLAS (41445)

            Are you from 1999? Software developers stopped assuming users have admin access a few years after XP hit the scene.

            Bullshit - unless you mean "sometime after right now" when you say "a few years after XP". There are still a lot of new programs which do not work properly w/o Admin rights.

            Hell, even MS Dynamics 2008 required Administrator rights to run (can't recall if it was local or domain , at the moment, but I do recall that allowing everyone access to run the program didn't do the trick).

        • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy@gma i l . c om> on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:09PM (#35794862)

          that's the real trick, if Windows had and enforced proper user/system separation [...]

          It has had for nearly twenty years. Fifteen if you only want to start counting from NT4. The problem isn't the lack of OS capability.

          breaking easy backward compatiblity in the name of security isn't a bad thing.

          Apparently it is. Just look at the negative commentary in Slashdot about UAC, from people who should know better.

      • by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:42AM (#35793466)

        Try working in most actual business environments.

        The argument always goes back and forth like this:

        IT Side - we have the following reasons that normal users shouldn't be installing programs themselves.
        - Security risk of adware/malware/bundleware
        - Number of incidents where machines have been compromised.
        - Number of incidents where complaints of "my machine is slow" turn out to be the result of user filling drive up with crap

        User side -
        - "But it takes more than 5 minutes for them to come down and install (program X that's actually work related) for me." Nevermind that these installs happen maybe once per year and if they would bother SCHEDULING with us...
        - "But I want to try out (program y) to see if we can use it in the business..."
        - User happens to be the PHB's son or is fucking the PHB on the side.

        Brain-dead PHB side-
        - "My employees are complaining that you IT guys are getting in the way of their work! Fix it so they can install things!"
        - One month later: "Megan's machine got infected again. Why the hell aren't you IT guys stopping this from happening? Do whatever it takes to stop this from happening again!"
        - One more month later: "Megan's complaining you took away her install rights! I need her to be working as best as possible, give them back to her! She can't possibly cause problems with that!"

        Now add in that you might be working in an EDUCATION environment - where every tenured faculty member is also a brain-dead PHB.

        • User side - But it takes more than 2 months for them to come down and install program X that I need to finish this job that's due in 2 weeks.
        • Try working in most actual business environments.

          Apparently working for an organization with over $1 billion in sales (we work both sides of the equation) and 3K users isn't considered a real business environment.

          We've heard all the above excuses and the answer has been: Tough. You have to justify why you need something installed and if it is approved we will work with them to arrange a time for the installation.

          Users don't ask to have things installed because they already have everything th
        • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @11:06AM (#35793864) Journal

          I don't doubt that what you say is accurate, but I'm amazed it's still socially acceptable for people to be unable to use the basic technology we interact with every day. A person who needs to drive a company vehicle as part of their job would be out pretty quickly if they kept crashing into trees - sure, the occasional genuine accident happens, and will be overlooked, but negligence/stupidity/repeated incompetence will (rightly) get you fired. There's absolutely no reason that the same shouldn't apply to people using company computers.

        • by hellfire (86129) <deviladv&gmail,com> on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @11:46AM (#35794478) Homepage

          Here let's flip that around a bit, just as another example.

          IT Side - we made up the following reasons that normal users shouldn't be installing programs themselves.
          - Microsoft gave us a document that says we should configure it like this so we did just that.
          - We are too lazy or overworked or underpaid to think too hard about our user's needs
          - We never bothered to ask what user's requirements were, we just assumed it.
          - IT person happens to be PHB's son or fucking PHB on the side.

          User side -
          - I have to be able to do work that my boss has required me to do which is core to the business making money!
          - I need to be able to test certain situations in order to come up with a new means to be more productive and save the company money!
          - Arbitrary restrictions are stifling users for the sake of making IT look good.

          Brain-dead PHB of IT side-
          - "We have a policy and we stick too it and we can't change it."
          - One month later: "We have a policy and we stick to it and we can't change it."
          - One more month later: PHB is out of the office playing golf with someone while you fume over missing yet another deadline.

          Now add in that you might be working in a software development environment, where every IT rep treats you like an office temp and tries to give you access to MS office and internet explorer and nothing else and does absolutely nothing to understand how your own company's software works nor tries to understand what it takes to create, test, and support said software when your own customers have admin rights to their own machine and, funny, you don't, so you can't possibly figure out what their problem is!

          This is just a counter example to your stereotype. People in general are idiots, sometimes they are in IT, sometimes they are in the user base, and sometimes it's both. You can't paint one side with a broad brush and completely blame things like this on them.

    • I worked in a office where about once a year one of the employees would "spill" coffee on her laptop..usually a week or so after she noticed a deployment of new laptops in some other department. [...]

      This ruse doesn't work on ThinkPads. Co-worker spilled an entire litre of water directly onto the keyboard of a company owned running laptop. Hell to pay if laptop ruined. Unplug, pull out battery, pull disk drive, dry face-down on cookie rack for 24 hours. Reassemble, reboot. Laptop worked for another 18 months. IT department never knew.

    • by daid303 (843777)

      My dad "accidentally" dropped his phone into a cup of coffee, because it kept disconnecting calls and turning itself off without reason. IT looked at it a few times for him, but they couldn't replace it because "it was still working"

      After this he got a shiny new one, with worked perfectly.

  • blame the cheap PHB that run stuff into the ground this is the same attitude that led to the I-35 bridge collapse.

  • You mean monitors? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Toe, The (545098) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:23AM (#35793162)

    It's funny how many people point to their monitor and call it their computer. I can imagine a lot of people smash up their monitor expecting that it will result in their getting a new computer.

    What I'd really like to know is how many people do that; get a replacement monitor; and say, "Wow, this new computer is so much faster!"

    • It's funny how many people point to their monitor and call it their computer.

      I use an iMac at work and some people are confused when I do this :-(

  • Obligatory (Score:4, Funny)

    by cashman73 (855518) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:25AM (#35793192) Journal
  • by benjamindees (441808) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:26AM (#35793206) Homepage

    The reason most office workers are unproductive has nothing to do with their hardware.

    • by kenh (9056)

      Grandpa always said: "A good carpenter never blames his tools"

    • Go on...
    • by aralin (107264)

      Yes? I am a developer at Oracle. I worked for 5 years on my original computer. After that I went through a lot of hassle, it took me about 6 hours of my time in total over few days to get a new computer. I've got 3 years old refurbished one. They kept in place my old CRT monitor, because it was "working". Now another 5 years passed, I've still got that now 8 years old computer and that 10 years old CRT monitor. There was no way I would go through the Oracle Procurement again. I bought myself an iMac some 4

  • SSDs to the rescue? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chemicaldave (1776600) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:26AM (#35793208)
    Obviously the 5 year old computers in TFA could use an upgrade, but I've found that for my aging workstations, a simple storage upgrade to an SSD would probably be more than enough to increase my productivity. Storage is the new bottleneck, not processing power.
    • by 0123456 (636235)

      Obviously the 5 year old computers in TFA could use an upgrade, but I've found that for my aging workstations, a simple storage upgrade to an SSD would probably be more than enough to increase my productivity. Storage is the new bottleneck, not processing power.

      Only if you're continually accessing the disk. I put an SSD in my netbook because we often boot it up, do a bit of web browsing and shut down, and that dramatically reduced boot times but has no effect on anything that isn't disk intensive.

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @11:00AM (#35793778)

      I installed Nt 4 on a 75 mHz desktop, thinking I might go MSCE or something. If something was reading the hard disk, I could watch every control get painted. Erase, draw the outline, put the letters on, do a checkbox. Start task manager to see what is taking up the CPU, 20 minutes for that to load. Then I see CPU usage is only about 50%. Why? Windows 98 on the same machine did not have the same problem, so it wasn't the hardware.

      I wish I knew. I get the same thing on Vista with a dual-core 2.5 gHz processor. Outlook refuses to show me meeting info. It's not responding, then slowly responding, then paints the reminder window. Can't see the dial-in number, waiting for it to paint. Get 3 instant messages - are you joining? Yeah, paste me the number and i'll be right there.

      PC backup, antivirus, update scans, hard drive maintenance - any prolonged disk activity brings the computer to a halt. It's not just me - yesterday we had a chief architect say "Id bring that up but my backup just started" and everyone said "oh, yeah we know."

      Simple version: my notebook is slower than my previous XP one, and I just tolerate it until we get the OK to move to Windows 7, and hope it's slightly faster because the processor is faster. It won't be, because it will have a 4 million GB drive at 5400 RPM.

      With Windows NT, storage has always been the bottleneck. At least until you throw enough memory at it that it can hold all your apps plus an ample disk cache. Backup, antivirus, etc. tasks use a lot of non-cached data, and there goes your advantage.

  • Spending $500 on a cheap dual core with 4GB of ram should be high on the priority of any company with aging office workstations. Huge money saver when your employee doesn't have to wait on that old P4 to open a window anymore.

    • by Krneki (1192201)

      Spending $500 on a cheap dual core with 4GB of ram should be high on the priority of any company with aging office workstations. Huge money saver when your employee doesn't have to wait on that old P4 to open a window anymore.

      I see you that have never worked in a big IT company.

      If you did, you would know that supporting cheap randomized $500 PC is very time consuming and will end up with you having a huge stockpile of semi-working PC.

      No, in a big IT environment you need standardized PC, which means buying old over-priced PC just to have identical parts.

      but don't get me wrong I do understand the user frustration, if it was for me, at least the monitors (dual, triple ...), keyboard and mouse would be top quality. For the

    • by jon787 (512497)

      Ugh, I worked at a place that was still running P4s, that should have set off alarm bells in my head.

    • Yeah, that could free up more time for that employee to goof off on the Internets.
  • by countertrolling (1585477) * on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:28AM (#35793230) Journal

    Slow computers means taking lots of breaks and going out for a snack. I don't want to be more 'productive'. I want to relax, and a slow machine helps me do just that.

    "What the hell is taking you so long?"

    I just shrug and point to the screen...

    • by bunratty (545641) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:40AM (#35793424)
      Most unproductive workers are unproductive because they're lazy and dumb. They blame the computer because it's easier than admitting they're lazy and dumb. If programmers could write complex programs in the 50s and 60s using punched cards and waiting overnight for the output of their runs, a smart and diligent worker could figure out how to queue up work so they could be productive even with a "slow" computer. Their "slow" computer is thousands of times faster and is available to them nearly all day! Only a poor worker blames his tools. Now if the computer just plain didn't work, that would be a different story...
      • by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:54AM (#35793680) Homepage Journal

        Their "slow" computer is thousands of times faster and is available to them nearly all day! Only a poor worker blames his tools. Now if the computer just plain didn't work, that would be a different story...

        Says the person who has never used a serious CAD or GIS application on non-cutting edge workstation.

      • So what you are saying is that the old school programers worked for a few hours and waited for the rest of the day to see if they have an error.

        ^_^ I would say we are more productive than that even WITH those "lazy and dumb" practices of ours.

        Besides, most projects I cover tend to be linear in nature. In fact, the output of one script may negate the whole purpose of a second script or tool.

        I would also suggest to you that most unproductive workers are workers who lack good communication with the clients. Ma

      • by Moraelin (679338) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @11:34AM (#35794288) Journal

        I hope you also realize though, that the programs we do today are also much more complex than you could do on punched cards back then. Even small-ish programs can have a million lines of code or more. (Larger ones, more. Windows XP was some 35 million lines, Vista over 50 million, and that's not counting such stuff as C libraries and whatnot.)

        Even at 1 gram per card, and each card being a line of code, a 1 million line program would weigh literally a metric ton. Did you see many people carrying their program to the computer with a small truck?

        Even the kind of internal complexity that went into programs those days was actually a lot lower. E.g., you didn't need to optimize access to shared data for 1000 web sessions at the same time, when the program is run as a sequential batch. (Yes, concurrent stuff did come around too, but later, but not in the days of paper cards.)

        Most such batch programs I've seen actually are just doing some fairly simple calculation in a loop, that nowadays you wouldn't even write a program for. It's stuff that the PHB would do directly in Excel.

        In other words, yeah, I love reading such posts that tell me that someone is too fucking stupid to even understand the difference between programs these days and most programs that were done on punched cards. And probably the 50's-60's and punched cards were the last time they were competent. I really love that kinda PHB, who thinks that because he once did some piss-poor two-level loop on punch cards back then, it means he's qualified to judge modern programs and deadlines. No, really.

      • If programmers could write complex programs in the 50s and 60s using punched cards and waiting overnight for the output of their runs, a smart and diligent worker could figure out how to queue up work so they could be productive even with a "slow" computer.

        I recently came across the user manual from a computer of that era, the STANTEC ZEBRA[1]. It had two instruction sets, the full set and one called 'simple code' (which was actually pretty complex). One of the limitations of simple code was that programs could be at most 150 instructions. This, the manual notes, is not an important limitation, because no one could feasibly write a working program that complex.

        I also came across some exercise books from people who programmed these machines, showing the

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        No, the programmers of the 50's and 60's were horribly unproductive by today's standards. Their biggest bottleneck was ridiculously crappy equipment by today's standards. "Only a poor worker blames his tools." is one of those sound bites that sound's good, but on even the slightest examination shows how dumb it is. The counter sound bite is "Use the right tool for the job."
  • by v1 (525388) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:28AM (#35793232) Homepage Journal

    really? who'd have thought? TYCO

    I work at a computer retail store (and yes we have a biased opinion on the matter) but we try to show business owners that 10 year old computers really are a problem, even when they still work. It's amazing how hard it is to get some people to replace an old computer with a new one, when the old one still (sort of) works. It's so hard to explain productivity loss due to antiquated tools to the people holding the checkbook.

    Numerous times we've had people bring in ancient computers that have died and must now be replaced, and have to treat them to the bad news that their combination of very old hardware and very old software is going to be an extremely unpleasant and expensive experience now, as they have to buy all new computer, all new peripherals (seen a peripheral cost 10k once), all new software (can you say "pagemager", "creative suite" and "quark" for 10 computers?) and all your documents are going to have to go through a painful migration of format. Generally leaves the office in chaos for the next month too. I really feel sorry for those staff.

    • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:35AM (#35793336) Journal

      we try to show business owners that 10 year old computers really are a problem, even when they still work.

      If they still perform the task for which they were intended 10 years ago, why are they a problem?

      The real problem isn't old computers, it's new software. New software comes out which doesn't really do anything better than your old software. But people you do business with upgraded, so now you have to upgrade your software to interoperate with them. But the new software runs more slowly, and now you need new hardware to do the same task you were doing just fine 6 months ago.

      For a stand-alone application, there's nothing wrong with 10 year old computers. Or 20 year old computers, for that matter. DOS still works as well as it ever did.

    • by DarkOx (621550)

      Might be true some places but certainly not everywhere. Computers don't get slower with age. Something changes, the question is should something be chanting? If your employee workstations are just getting slower, then your IT department is doing a PISS POOR job managing those workstations, and something needs to be done about the IT department not the workstations.

      There are lots of cases where five plus year old PCs should be just fine. Its not as if keying orders and inventory movements into SAP is goi

  • Easy cure (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:28AM (#35793234)
    Any smashed PC is replaced by the oldest in stock. new replacements for those which reach the budgeted life intact.
    • Any smashed PC is replaced by the oldest in stock. new replacements for those which reach the budgeted life intact.

      More of a symptomatic treatment than a cure, though. Those old machines are gonna "wear out" faster than a new one. Either that, or your people start building Wally-style computer catapults. There's always an engineering solution.

  • by tsalmark (1265778) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:29AM (#35793248) Homepage
    New computers are great but work habits can increase the productivity of a tool also. I keep seeing people complain about the speed of email then go over and see 100 email windows open. Or someone will have movies running in the background and complain that Excel is slow. So do you throw more hardware at the problem, close unneeded programs or learn better work habits?
    • by omglolbah (731566)

      I have a 3 year old laptop on which I have to run a software suite which is woefully inefficient.

      Copying 3-4 sheets of function block logic from one controlle to another (control system stuff) generates anywhere from 3 to 10 gigabytes of disk traffic due to the insanity of no caching for ANY sort of query or check in the application.
      The vendor wont fix it as they consider the product "too old" to fix, but this product runs the control system on at least 20 oil/gas installations in Norway and over 400 indust

      • by tsalmark (1265778)
        I wasn't trying to say lost productivity always the end users fault. You sound like a prime candidate for needing more hardware. Sadly rules are often made for the average population, forgetting that an average population is made up of individuals, not all of them average.
  • by AnalogDiehard (199128) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:30AM (#35793262)
    Over 100 years ago, many railroads were tightwads and wouldn't issue new lanterns to conductors and brakemen to replace their aging ones. They finally would ditch their lanterns over a river bridge as they approached the yard limits, then report the lanterns as missing to the yardmaster who would issue them a new lantern.
  • I suspect often times a bit of extra memory, or a software cleanup would be the solution, and a bit of proactivity on the part of the employer would help. Still, could be worse, I recall my Dad, a journalist, telling me that when he started work in the 60s his typewriter was supplied by the newspaper up front, but he had to pay it off in weekly instalments from his salary. Of course, it was decades rather than months/years before it was obsolete.

  • Personally, there's nothing I hate more than a slow computer. But, basic upgrades that make the typical dust bunny filled corporate Dell shit-box are pretty easy. The darn thing probably needs more RAM and an SSD. Most of the time, you can swap those out without the IT weenies even noticing. Just clone the hard drive over and swap sticks for the memory. Yeah, you might lose the parts you bought in a year or two when the IT boys come to collect your machine without asking, but a few hundred bucks is wor

    • by FreonTrip (694097)
      An SSD is a nicety, but not really necessary for most of these problematic old systems. Slap a cheap stick or two of DDR2 into a system, perform a stealth CPU upgrade with something you'd already decommissioned from your private stash, and a low-end discrete graphics card ("Yes, of course it's so I can use dual-head..."), and if you've done any kind of reasonable software tweaking, it won't even feel like the same computer.
  • I've thought about smashing mine in a fit of blinding rage many times, but fortunately I know that the hardware in my laptop is actually pretty good. The reason the machine doesn't work so well is that it is bogged down with a host of security and asset management products that leave the laptop constantly IO-bound. I'm sure I will end up buying my own hard drive online and swapping it out so I can have my own operating system.

    Why would I want another laptop setup by the outsourced techno-goons that only c

  • At an old job I did a number of upgrades to office equipment. Some of the office equipment was so old I took parts I retired from my home system and put them into the work ones. I've added memory, replaced hard drives, added a NIC so I could do testing on an isolated segment that I controlled, even added an internal fan to help cool off a system that was always overheating. I rescued systems that were to be tossed because "they are too old to run the operating system" (they thought Linux was an application

  • I am an IT Manager. It is important to me that our users are productive and making sure that they are not fighting their means of prodcution is critical in this.

    If someone's PC truly is the problem, it is replaced. When I first started at this company, folks had one monitor, had outdated equipment and there were a lot of legitimate problems that we prioritized and took care of.

    Then you get the whiners. "I need a wireless mouse to be productive". "My coworker has 4GB of RAM and I only have 3GB" (Yeah... I se

  • by mr.nobody (113509) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:44AM (#35793502)

    All IT people have heard the joke, "Well, if I take a hammer to it..." But that doesn't mean they do it. From the article, the headline reads as though users are causing deliberate damage to their computers in order to receive an upgrade. Read the actual text however, and while users are saying that, there isn't anything presented to show there are widespread acts of vandalism happening. The only real takeaway from this article is that some UK offices are using significantly outdated equipment. The headline is just sensationalism. I hate to say it, but I think /. fell for this one.

  • In a previous life, we utilized a PC rotation standard. The policy was such that no one would have a PC more than 5 years old. The intent was at the time to keep the harware fresh and to utilize service and support from the vendor. The Servers were treated much the same way. This had great benefit from the end user to the network admins (me++). I would gather it might be harder to implement these days...
  • I have long been a proponent of bring your own computer plans. I've been using my own machines at work for years now. My employer's cool with it. I get the machine i want. I upgrade it when i want. I get to file a tax deduction because i need it for work. Financially it seems to make sense both for me and my employer. The way i see it, some jobs require a closet full of $2000 + suits, mine just requires that i buy a nice machine every 1.5 - 2 years.

    I am aware that some employers even give out a stipend f
  • ...do they need it?

    If your job is mostly using word processing, do you really need a Windows 7 Quad-core with 4GB of RAM? Or do you just want it because its shiny?

    A development company I worked with was moving its PCs to Windows 7, and souping them up with a ton of RAM and that sort of thing. But its because we needed that sort of power. But the way I see most offices working.. if your software still works and you can do your job, what's the complaining about?

  • an aging computer, should perform as it did when bought. Unless it's actually failing and not just aging. Computers generally either work or don't work, and rarely do they half work, or generally slow down.

    If software is changing and being run on machines which aren't beefy enough to support it, that's one thing, if workers are just clogging up their machines with bonzai buddy and the like that's a different thing.

    • by Arlet (29997)

      Software usually gets updated, and the newer versions are often bigger and slower.

  • The last three I worked for told me I had to provide my own desktop system. It was part of there cost savings plan, Everyone brings in there personal laptop or desktop to work on. Saved the companies millions of $ in hardware and upgrade costs.
  • The Bean counters look at the specs and software you're running, never mind the fact that the last 10 patches have tripled the memory footprint and quadrupled CPU usage.
  • More than 10 years ago I worked for a US office of a multinational, but foreign company. One of the testers in our department was complaining that the PCs he was given for testing were too underpowered and old to be of any use. Our manager agreed but since the PCs were still working, they couldn't be replaced. However, if they, oh I don't know, suddenly developed severe hardware problems that prevented them from booting, then they could be replaced (wink wink, nudge nudge). I still remember seeing the t
  • With the increasing computing and communication power of consumer devices that everyone carries with them every day, we may eventually see the end of enterprise computers for the end user. Especially for smaller organizations, rather than trying to maintain a couple dozen computers across the organization, it may be more productive to take the same money and divide it among the employees as a stipend to maintain their own personal devices -- laptop, smartphone, whatever they need to be productive. In tod

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