Two Tiered Information Age Society

The Clare Champion, Friday, October 30th, 1998

SIR - At the start of the Ennis Information Age project, I asked whether or not all PCs delivered as part of the project would be identical. I was assured several times by different employees of the project that such would be the case as there was no wish to create a ‘two-tiered’ information age society. I asked the question because computer technology moves on so fast it was quite likely that the original specification would become obsolete towards the end of the scheme and I would have been quite willing to wait if it meant a better computer.

I also checked whether it was possible to have my computer delivered with an 17” monitor, paying the difference between that and the standard 15” monitor. I was told by the Information Age Office that I would have to take delivery of the standard computer and then contact Dell who would arrange to take back my original monitor and supply a new one. When I contacted Dell after delivery they were quite happy to sell me a 17” monitor but refused to take back my original 15” monitor as it was now considered second-hand.

My PC is a 266 MHz Pentium II but the PCs now being supplied are 350 MHz models, considerably faster and allowing more complex software to be run. They also have more modern motherboards making upgrades possible up to 450 MHz as against 300 MHz for the first PCs delivered. This may seem a small point but the latest software needs more and more power to run properly and for that reason the latest machines will be much more useful in the future. There is a very real disparity between the two types of PC delivered throughout the course of the project and as this goes against the stated aim of Telecom Eireann and the Information Age Project perhaps one or other would care to comment?

John Galvin, 2 The Green, Ennis, Co. Clare.

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