Air Force logistics group thinks small

The Profile 4L PCs are single-component machines with the PC guts and monitor'a 15-inch, flat-panel LCD'integrated in a single box.

Gateway

The goal for the Air Logistics Center at Tinker Air Force Base is to install 1,400 small form-factor PCs by 2006 at 17 buildings on the Oklahoma City base.

So far, the logistics center has spent about $700,000 on 230 machines from Gateway Inc. The center last month received its latest shipment of 125 Profile 4L Deluxe PCs.

The project began in October 2000 with the center's first purchase of 13 of the Gateway Profile PCs. The center has made the small PC'both the Profile 4L and the Profile 4LS'its standard desktop system for mechanics and administrators.

Tinker spent roughly $225,000 on its most recent purchase of Gateway PCs. Base officials expect to spend an additional $1.8 million as buying steps up during the next three years.

'We're trying to get a one-to-one basis on all our work benches,' said Daniel J. Crowe, a computer specialist at the base. 'One computer, one mechanic.'

The Profile 4L PCs are single-component machines with the PC guts and monitor'a 15-inch, flat-panel LCD'integrated in a single box. The Profile models are easier to fix and fit in the mechanics' crowded workspaces, Crowe said.

'We're eliminating two components down to one,' he said. That's key because 'a mechanic's bench is only five feet across.'

In some cases, Crowe said the PCs are mounted above mechanics' benches on metal frames that swivel.

The center's mechanics use the Profile 4Ls to check the Air Force's parts inventory, route aircraft parts and look up stock numbers. The center plans to add an application that will let mechanics submit technical orders online.

Center administrators use the Profile 4LS Deluxe PCs with 17-inch, flat-panel LCDs to perform a range of functions, from managing human resources records to making accounting adjustments.

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