Dell contract gets
Initiative -- an effort to standardize the University's computer
hardware and software -- is up and running with the news that
U.Va. signed a contract with the Dell Computer Corp. on Oct. 1
and soon will begin accepting purchase and lease orders from departments
and individual students, faculty and staff members.
is providing standard and high-performance models in both desktop
and notebook computers. Negotiations are nearing completion with
Apple to provide a similar selection from its product line.
Specifications and prices are available at the DCI web site (http://www.itc.
virginia. edu/dci). The DCI seeks to take advantage of high-volume
pricing to reduce the computers' cost, said DCI manager George
Williams. In addition, some $1 million has been allocated through
the various vice presidents' offices to help offset some of the
and Communication division launched the DCI effort in the
spring of 1998 in an effort to tame the University's chaotic computing
environment by increasing the compatibility of computers across
departments, allowing for better support and setting up routine
replacement and upgrade schedules.
first phase of the DCI rollout took place this summer, when a
separate agreement with Dell allowed ITC to install more than
600 new desktop computers in public labs and electronic classrooms
"Student reaction to our new computers has been outstanding,²
said University Librarian Karin Wittenborg, whose office purchased
more than 300 for its public labs. "While we expected it
would improve service, we had no idea that we would receive such
immediate and continuous feedback from so many students."
DCI team members are developing a timetable for delivery and installation,
and are requesting that University departments notify them as
soon as possible about what they intend to order and when they
would like delivery, said Williams.
will fill most orders within 10 days, but installation of larger
orders may require more lead time. The DCI program is meant to
include a package of U.Va.-specific software and "images,"
or standard arrays of software imprinted on every hard drive.
However, those images are still in design and testing and will
not likely be available until early December, Williams said. He
said the delay is due to recent upgrades in Dell components.
placed before the U.Va. software is available can still be filled,
but will come with regular Dell software and Windows 2000. "The
DCI recommends that departments and individuals wait, if possible,
to order until the computers can be delivered with University
software and configurations already installed," said Williams.