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Hardware Concerns

Computers, Peripherals & Other Hardware, and Furniture

This information was compiled for the most part at the start of a project I did in 1997. This page has not had a serious comprehensive update since then. Please bear this in mind while using this page.

WhatIsNew: - This page describes several motherboards and chips, gives tips on configuring your system, and relays information from their suppliers about hardware restrictions, enhancements, and ship dates. (seen June 2003)

On this page, you can find information on:


Price your desired configuration
Vendors list

Peripherals and other hardware
Lab consoles
Various multimedia products
Data projection devices
Scanners and optical character readers
Computer lab furniture


Look here for an article on "Upgrading your Computer" (April 1995, TCP Online)

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Build-your-own and price your configuration online at:

Acer | Apple | Compaq | Dell | Gateway | Hewlett-Packard | IBM | Micron | NEC


Acer; Buy direct at

Apple at

Compaq; buy direct at

Dell is at; also, Dell Refurbished's Online Outlet sells completely tested, retested, and guaranteed systems shipped in new boxes at

Gateway; buy direct at

Hewlett Packard; buy direct at

IBM; bye direct at

Micron - Check Micron's "Buyer's Guide" for an explanation of components, such as Pentium II vs. MMX, pipeline vs. SRAM cache, etc. Find distributors in Dubai, etc.

NEC; buy direct at

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In addition to many of the suppliers mentioned above


Some one-stop shops

Buy Comp at
CDW at
CompUSA Direct at http://www. or maybe even
Damark at
Global Computer at
J&R Comp World at
Micro Warehouse at or
Misco USA at
Midwest Micro at
Multiple Zones at
PC Connections at
PCMall at
Tiger Direct at
TC Computers at

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Peripherals and Other Hardware

Lab Consoles

John Wagner has listed the following manufacturers of CALL lab consoles. I will attempt to locate web sites. Further information can be had from:

Rex Alexander, Pattaya, Thailand, <> in TESLCA-L (#1998-183) discusses a "software/networking solution called Net-school. Relatively inexpensive. Very user friendly. There is also a slightly more sophisticated and expensive version called Net-Support. It allows you to "broadcast" to all the networked computers whatever is on your screen in real time. The students see what you see. That is, you can show already prepared material, or you can use it as an electronic "white board" and type notes, instructions, or whatever on the fly, in real time. It also allows you to view each student's screen, and to demonstrate features interactively with students one-to-one."

On the same thread, Begum Mohamed Ibrahim asks "if any one had tried using Microsoft's Netmeeting for such demonstrations. For one thing, the price is right: it is free. For another, this may be a way round when computers are not networked. I believe the copy/pasting images on the whiteboard will facilitate one "to demonstrate protocols and techniques". I have been told that the Netmeeting whiteboard has been has been used quite successfully in sharing plans/maps/diagrams during real time teleconferencing in working environments.

For Macs, "there is a great Mac utility called Screen to Screen which does the trick. ...You can find out all about it at the following web site (and you can even download a fully workable demo--it gives you 15 days to try it out):" sez Greg Reed, Benicia Middle School.

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For an array of multimedia products

Info on: Audio Conferencing Systems, CD-ROM Production Tools, Cameras & Camcorders, Computer Tape Drives, Data Recorders, Digital Effects, Digital Television (DTV), Digital Transmission Products, Distance Learning, Duplication Systems, Editors, JumboTron, Learning Systems, Monitors, Printer Media/Paper, Printers, Pro Audio, Processing & Distribution Equipment, Projectors, Select Systems, Sony Integrated Solutions, Switchers, Tape Robotics, Video Servers, Videoconferencing Systems, Videotape and Disk Recorders can be found at Sony professional solutions

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Data Projectors

Some manufacturers of data projection devices:

Cyclops (interactive pointer)
n View
Tegrity Digital
WolfVision, Austria, for "high end visualizers",

Several projection devices are described at:

Fowler Productions, Inc.Video Projectors & Consultation Services

Projection accessories: switchers, adaptors, cables

Extron universal projector control switcher

A range of accessories is listed at

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Data projection screens:

Some vendors:

Promethean Interactive Whiteboards (ActivBoard)
Smart Technologies Smart Board Interactive Whiteboard


Data projection screens you can write on

Walltalkers 'presentation dry erase wall coverings' come with wallpaper or self-adhesive backing,

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Scanners and Optical Character Readers

General Information

Wayne Fulton explains scanning in piercing detail at

Harriertech at

PC Webopaedia explains scanning hypertextually at

The Scanner Authority has a set of Scanner Resources at

For OCR there are essentially two decent choices:

Optical Mark Readers

To analyze results, you can use a program such as LXR-Test at

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CD-ROM Writers

Michael Bush answers a query to CALICO-L, Feb 1999:

"I have a Yamaha CD-RW (16x4x4) internal in my machine at school and I see an ad here for it in Midwest Micro for $399. There is a slower Yamaha (16x2x2) next to it in the catalog for $299.

I have a Ricoh CD-RW here at home that I like quite a lot and I paid $400 for it last summer. I think it is a (16x2x2), but I cannot find the docs for it.

Computer Lab Furniture

The following vendors provide furniture appropriate to computer labs.

American Desk Manufacturing Co.,

Bretford Manufacturing via Office Techniques Information Services,

Fixtures Furniture via Office Techniques Information Services,

Global Computer Supplies, URL found via Altavista but does not connect; fax: +1-310-637-6191

Howe Furniture Corp.

H. Wilson Company, and

Krueger International (KI), fax: +1 414 468 0280

LL Business Furniture via Webresults,

Micro Computer Accessories

Novadesk, has furniture for recessed monitors,, email

Office Techniques Information Services,; lists web pages dedicated to over a dozen equipment manufacturers

Paragon,; clustered work stations

Renaissance for Learning, Education & Instructional Technology Services,

Smith System,; Partner Learning Centers, Cluster Work Centers, etc.

Spectrum Industries via AA Blueprint,



Virco school furniture,

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Last updated: June 25, 2003 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0