Electoral commission opts for dual-core PCs

Electoral commission goes dual-core

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has stipulated the latest dual-core, 64-bit processors must be at the heart of its desktop PC refresh expected to commence early next year.

The AEC, which oversees Australian political elections, detailed the requirements as it today went to market for a complete refresh of its desktop and laptop fleet -- consisting of some 1,400 desktop PCs and monitors, and 240 laptops.

In tender documents, the AEC listed as "essential", the following "minimum" desktop hardware requirements: dual-core, 64-bit CPU, 1GB of RAM, 120GB 7200 RPM hard disk, DVD-ROM, gigabyte Ethernet, PCI express expansion slots, 19-inch LCD monitor.

The machines' architecture must be compatible with Microsoft's next-generation Windows Vista operating system, due to be released next month, the commission said.

Similar but slightly lower specifications were detailed for the AEC's laptop requirements -- for example the commission only required a 15-inch screen and 60GB hard disk.

A spokesperson for the commission could not immediately confirm who the AEC's previous desktop supplier was.

The AEC said it was seeking to replace its entire fleet as part of its three-year refresh cycle, with the machines to be widely distributed to approximately 130 sites nationwide.

The deployment will kick off after the AEC announces a successful supplier at the end of January 2007.

The AEC maintains a standard operating environment for its desktops, as well as using hard disk encryption to ensure data security.

Although Microsoft offers a professional version of its Windows XP software, the commission stipulated it only required the cheaper home edition aimed at consumers.

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