Thayer School Computing Services primarily supports computers that are under warranty. We've found that after the usual warranty period of 3 years, computers can become less reliable, and therefore more difficult to support. After the warranty period, Thayer owned computers are repurposed for non-critical uses, where complete failure of the device would not cause significant impact. Since keeping Thayer's computers working is one of our primary goals, we shy away from having out of warranty computers in production environments.
However, we do understand that these machines can still be useful, and that in some scenarios, a new machine isn't a possibility. For these instances, we offer the $250 specials.
You can find more detail below, but first the tl;dr version:
- You must provide a chart string with the initial request in order to purchase a $250 special.
- $250 specials are still Thayer property; they are not for personal use.
- The $250 cost is for the purchase of the computer from the Computing department.
- You will get a keyboard, mouse, monitor, and all required cables along with the computer.
Hopefully this answers most questions. For additional detail, please read the rest of the article.
What is included in a $250 special?
You'll get a computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and all the necessary cables to connect everything together and get on the network. You can choose to forego the monitor, which takes $50 off the price. Unfortunately, we can't sell the monitors separately.
The $250 covers the transfer of the computer from the Computing department to the purchaser's department. These machines are still Thayer School property.
What types of machines are available?
The specific models of available machines will vary, but for the most part, these are lab machines that have high performance configurations, and would still be considered great computers even several years after the original purchase date. They are typically HP desktops and monitors.
Who can purchase a $250 special?
$250 specials must be purchased by a member of the Thayer community with a Dartmouth account string, and are not available for personal purchase and use.
What type of support is offered?
We will make a best effort to repair any machine purchased as a $250 special, but as they are out of warranty, we won't be able to spend too much time fixing problems that may be hardware related. For software related issues, we may advise simply wiping the hard drive and reinstalling the OS, so it is very important to keep data in a safe place ( ThayerFS, Google Drive, etc.).
That said, if you buy a $250 special and it has a major failure within six months, we'll either fix it or replace it with another $250 special.
If you have any questions or are interested in purchasing a $250 special, please email email@example.com or stop by MacLean 126.