Money for Old Rope

I am utterly sick and tired of being handed expensive ‘multimedia’ CDs that were produced 10 years ago and are still being hawked to schools at £100+ per seat. They are invariably so dated that pupils can smell their cheesy obsolescence from a mile away. This is not the future we were promised by the revolution of ICT in schools.

Everyone who contributed a positive review of this particular pile of excrement needs an angry bobcat delivering to their office. It is possibly the worst example of money for old rope I’ve seen in years, and they should be ashamed of themselves not only for the prices they charge, but for the almost Byzantine copy protection they inflict on the discs so I can’t back them up for when they get lost.

About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

7 responses to “Money for Old Rope”

  1. _techie_ says :

    We have software like that in our SEN department…makes me cringe every time I have to even look at the CD case LOL

  2. Claude says :

    100% agree with the comments here – there is an awful lot of software knocking around in the classrooms that ought to have been binned several years ago that we are expected to deploy. We still find copies of Encarta 2000 in use – should we really still teach children with material where the Twin Towers in New York are still standing, I’m sure the worlds moved on a bit since then! Not to mention the software that states Windows 3.11 as the supported OS. I guess the only positive thing about this is that at least schools aren’t rushing out to buy those expensive multimedia CDs!

  3. Andy says :

    Let’s face it .. ‘educational’ software is poorly produced, written and the people who create it are cretins.

    The rubbish that is banded around under the umbrella of ‘educational software’ these days is shocking.

  4. TheCrust says :

    I think too many developers of schools software believe that schools still run entire networks of Windows 98 PCs judging by fliers for some of the stuff that comes across my desk.

    An operating system upgrade can be a great excuse for rationalisation of the stuff you have on your network though. We weeded out most of the really poor rubbish when we moved to Vista – then repeated the exercise a few years later with the upgrade to Windows 7.

    Since then I’ve written a comprehensive software purchasing document that we send out to the developer / vendor of titles that staff want to buy in. If there’s even the slightest hint of an “Erm….” back from them, the product doesn’t get a second look.

    I’m not saying that’s the magic bullet to dealing with the plethora of well written, stable, secure and reliable educational software titles – but it helped dramatically.

  5. ScottishTech says :

    One of our High Schools science departments use at least 6 different CD packages which are older than the 6th Years. This was lost on them when I explained why we were having difficulty getting them to run on PCs with 1Gb RAM (ye olde Director issue where you need to hack the EXE using a hex editor).

    Should prove interesting trying to get those to run on 7.

  6. mavhc says :

    On the other hand 75% of our CDs run without installation, straight from a mapped drive, or a copy of that drive on the desktop. Made some bat files to start them so they’re relative.

    Today I got virtual reading ruler, that’s just 1 jar file, added an ico and deployed it via GPP

  7. Brian Horton says :

    I’d like to point out how half of my teachers insist on using “Inspiration” a software so old that it expressly requires at LEAST a Pentium II processor.