Vudget Essay, Research Paper
Purpose of allocationOverview:To quote from our 1996 Budget application:>There are two oldcomputers (Macintosh IIsi+s) that no longer serve the paper in >any capacity except asinternet browsers and simple word processors. These two >machines are more than five yearsold. The newspaper needs to replace them with >an additional graphics workstation in orderfor more than one person to work at >a time. The paper can hardly be productive, andcertainly not collaborative with >only one useful computer. Our proposal asks for a new7200/90, which is not very >powerful, but inexpensive. We also are proposing for additionalRAM and storage >space, which is highly necessary for graphics programs such as QuarkXpress,>Photoshop, and Illustrator. (As an illustration of system requirements, >Photoshop needs 15Megs of RAM to run efficiently, Quark needs 5 Megs, and the >System Software runs at 8 Megsof RAM. One usually needs to run both programs at >the same time.)To end this problem, TheStudent Union is requesting a special allocation to purchase a new computer workstation. Weare looking at the Apple Power Macintosh 7500/100, instead of the 7200/90. The 7200 looksmuch cheaper, but actually is not (see cost structure comparison chart below).TechnicalAspectsThis allocation for a new 7500 should be considered a wise investment in the futureof The Student Union. It will go a long way, as what we plan to purchase is a smart choice. It is something that is easily upgradable by means of a replaceable CPU chip, has all thenecessary power and capacity for a publishing operation, and will undoubtedly be supportedwell into the next century. The 7200 is very likely to be a bad investment with littlefuture or expandability. Finally, the 7200 is considered slow and bug-ridden, with manyhidden +extras+ needed to make it run smoothly, such as additional Video RAM to support thebuilt-in 64-bit data path and to support larger 17+ monitors, and so on.RationaleAnorganization like The Student Union is quite dependent on computers to be productive. Without this allocation, members of the Union will be forced again to do bits and pieces inpublic clusters, which don+t even support the programs the Union uses on a daily basis. Inevitably, it will fall upon the one person on the single useful Mac in the office tolayout and produce the paper! This is of the current status of things, where I am taking aunduly large burden to produce the paper on the current computer. The Union prides itself onbeing a collective, and it cannot be one unless all members have a chance to look at allaspects of the paper, including layout and design. As I am a senior, it is vital that Itransfer skills I have learned over the years now, to those who will produce the paper inthe coming years.The one computer (slowly but surely becoming obsolescent) is just not doingthe job. The Union needs this allocation to complete a return to normalcy, and to be able toproduce at the rate it used to. The paper used to come out every two weeks, and was a sourceof excitement as it became available around campus. Even despite the great forward stridesthe paper has made this year, we are not close to completely restoring the paper to itsformer self. Some people on campus are hardly aware of the paper+s existence, because wecannot (financially and resource wise) produce a paper every two weeks. The Union needs moreresources so more people can be involved. Finally, as an added benefit, a nice computer alsomaintains and attracts new interest in the paper.Background Info and/or HistoryThe Union wasfounded 11 years ago by a group of CMU students interested in a slightly more aggressiveapproach to journalism and news. It was founded to be distinct from any other campus paper,
including the Tartan. Today, it is one of two alternative voices. (Any respectableuniversity should have at least 4 or more student publications, as an aside.) It has gaineda reputation for being slightly iconoclastic, alternative, and open to all. It was alsofounded on the basis that any one involved is part of the collective, an egalitarian systemwhere members have equal input and say. It has generally served the paper well.However, overthe last two years, the Union has faced a crisis in identity, and has had a failure toproduce. Reasons for this are: loss of contract with the Union+s printer, Typecraft Press,experimentation with direction of the paper (failure), general apathy and neglect, and lackof computing resources. I and others have taken responsibility to recoup our losses, and theUnion is functional again. Over the summer of 1995, a contract was secured with GazettePublications in Indiana, PA, the office was gutted and organized, and a new computer systemwas brought in. The ensuing semester saw three new issues, and new people on board. None ofthe students currently involved has been on last year+s Student Union. Everyone involved isnew. (I myself was involved 4 years ago, but only as a part-time writer. I came back thisyear per the request of a graduate student, Lenny Young.)This year I act as the Union+sBusiness Manager, and handle all University related business for the Union. I am also theTechnical Manager, helping people with the software programs, and am ultimately responsiblefor all the hardware operations. (I do the same for some Pittsburgh businesses, for anhourly consulting fee.) Brandy Humphrey gives a lot of her time as a editor, and also isproficient in the layout and design software programs. Elizabeth Zambelli is a recent memberwho is editing as well. We have lots of people in and out of the office these days, and Ibelieve the campus perception of the Union is on the way up. We plan to put our a few moreissues out and are we are looking ambivalently to our move to our cramped office in the newStudent Center.The Student Union has not had a major capital expenditure in six years. In1990, Senate granted an emergency allocation when The Union+s Mac IIcx and Mac SE wasstolen. We have been working with two Mac IIsi+s until summer of 1995, when left over budgetmoney was used to purchase a 7100/80. (At the time, a stunningly cheap $1,510.00.) Amount ofallocationThe Student Union is requesting a budget amendent in the amount of $4368.00 topurchase a new computer workstation, a Power Macintosh 7500. This will be expensed from lineitem 8916, Capital Equipment in the 1996-1997 fiscal year.Breakdown of ItemsPurchasedSummary:The following table shows what is needed for the Union+s new setup. Thereare two proposals, one for the 7500, one for the 7200. We did this comparison to illustratethat the 7200 is not a very good value. In the long-run, it would be more expensive tooperate, and will have a substantially lower resale value. Apple is currently standardizingon 604 PPC processors, making 601 obsolete. Cost Structurein dollars(1) Power Macintosh7500/100 (16 RAM, 1000 HD, 4x CD)1985(1) AppleVision 1710 Monitor898(1) AppleDesignKeyboard75(2) 16 Meg DIMM468(1) 256K Level 2 Cache180(1) 1 Gig Hard Drive300 wristrest, mousepad, security kit60TOTAL ALLOCATION4368Price Structure B: 7200/90indollars(1) Power Macintosh 7200/90 (8 RAM, 500 HD, 4x CD)1105Apple Rebate Period OVER0(1)AppleVision 1710 Monitor898(1) AppleDesign Keyboard75(2) 16 Meg DIMM870(1) 256K Level 2Cache180(1) 1 Meg VRAM DIMM270(1) 2 Gig Hard Drive550 wristrest, mousepad, securitykit60TOTAL ALLOCATION4008Price Differential between A and B $ 360.00 Thank you for yourtime and participation!