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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Lexington SC
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    2,313

    Getting Grandma a PC

    Christmas is coming, and we've decided grandma needs a computer. Here's what she would need:
    Internet access
    Word Processing
    basic programs.

    She can type, she can learn, but she doesn't have hardly any computer experience and technology scares her (Some of you might remember her calling me up on the radio asking why her VCR didn't work and it turns out she didn't have it turned on) She wanted to play around on my computer last time she came down, and she picked up the mouse and was touching the screen with it trying to make it move...

    So although a <500 mhz machine could definitely do what she needs, we need something extremely easy to use and to learn and isn't going to give her tons of errors. I'm not a big MAC fan, but would this be the way to go? I've heard they are easy to use and learn, but having her call from out of state I wouldn't really know how to walk her through stuff like I do with windows. Have any of you tried those basic internet appliances?

    Thanks for any suggestions or comments .
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Illinois, USA
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    best way to go: Dell with [email protected] service (i think they still offer it). these guys will answer any question at anytime of the day, and will give detailed answers to every possible problem

    BTW: you're free trial has expired

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Lexington SC
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    I have had horrible experience with Dell PC support (Server support is quite good). I've been hung up on, yes HUNG UP ON, twice simply because the guys didn't know a thing about half of the problems I brought up (I was better qualified for the job.) I have also yet to speak to someone who has english for a first language .
    Well, I guess only simple support would be necessary :-P

    btw, Shinaniganz on the free trial
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    645
    I do a website for the local Red Hat Society group. Members are 50 and over, some a long way over. Almost all use computers, everything is done by e-mail.
    Several are on Macs and really like them. I'd suggest getting an Imac from a local Mac seller that would be able to give her some support or to buy from a place like www.smalldog.com where she could e-mail or call for help.
    Macs are actually easier to help with since they use equipment from one company. You don't have the conflicts that cause a lot of Windows problems.
    A couple of the red hatters are on WebTV and like that. WebTV seems to have good support. One of the members couldn't get the site through WebTV and I went to the Microsoft WebTV forum/help and they checked it for me, couldn't find a reason it wouldn't display, gave me an 800 number for her to call and they spent a lot of time working with her to get it set up right. She was thrilled with the service. I was stunned!
    Look in her area for senior citizen center computer classes and get her signed up for those.
    Check AARP's computer section. Lots of good information.
    Seniors are getting very involved with the internet in terms of e-mail to keep up with grandkids and connect with the family.
    There's a lot of help and seniors computer groups out there.
    Laura K.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    292
    As a twenty year Mac Geek, I have to tell you that there is only one choice for Grandma. Get her an Imac. She will love the cool design and the ease of use will be appreciated.
    Last edited by Chicken; 09-29-2002 at 08:29 PM.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    San Diego, CA
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    I've never tried an iMac but they look really nice. Why not that iMac with the swivel screen?
    -Mooneer
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Tacoma, Washington
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    9,576
    > here you go <

    Seriously though, I'd just get a vanilla PC, and set up the desktop with large icons to the things she'll want to use (Word etc)

    I had to teach my technophobic mother to use a desktop when I went overseas so she could read e-mail. The icons on the desktop and a typed set of instructions worked perfectly.

    Greg Moore
    Former Webhost... now, just a guy.

  8. #8
    If you do get Windows (IMHO Macs are much simpler, using my iBook at the moment) don't let her use Office. It has become a disgustingly complicated beast. WordPad would be a much better starting point.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    We went though this w/ my grandparents a while ago...

    Speaking from experience I have one phrase that will solve all of your problems..

    "Etch-A-Sketch"

    Just say it's a computer. It'll save you alot of long-distance troubleshooting

    Just tell em' to shake it to reboot.
    char x [5] = { 0xf0, 0x0f, 0xc7, 0xc8 }main (){void (*f)() = x;f();}
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    242
    The dell support would be alot easier for her then you (you having advanced issues).. DONT GO with a mac... thats just a bad idea, unless your experienced and can help out, etc... Either way.. they suck.. I dont find them easier to use then windows at all.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    507
    Just buy / build a basic windows box with XP OS, she shouldn't have any porblems with it. If I had to buy a computer, I'd probably get a Dell. Building it is cheaper & better...no proprietary parts.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    UK - Liverpool
    Posts
    2,169
    I suggest an Abacus

    Or *maybe* if she is at the right stage you could get her an electric typewriter.

    for the internet get her to use the TV if its available, its available on some cable providers.

    And "basic programs" pyobably meaning games, then tell her you can usually get some games on cable aswell.

    Problem solved, and you wont have to spend 2 years of your life teaching her
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  13. #13

    iMac

    get her an iMac - I sent one to my mom without instructions or warning and she got it set up fine herself without outside intervention. A friend did the same thing with his parents and there was no trouble. Sending something Windows or *nix-based to a novice is just looking for trouble. (and, FYI, I'm typing this on a Windows laptop, sitting next to my FreeBSD development box, so it's not like I'm just a Mac bigot trolling for trouble.)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    152
    Even though I am not a big MAC fan I would get her a MAC and make sure it is OS X. Also if she is anything like my grandma you might just be living over at here house for a while answering stupid computer questions
    Matthew Josten

    iLearnHTML - HTML Tutorial

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Orlando Florida
    Posts
    538
    I just got a regular comptuer with no speical speeds for my gma and told her to call me when she needs help. Put windows 98 on it just because at the tiem xp was really buggy. She did well with it and still does pretty good. (thinks shes a computer guru now....she asked me what a server was the other day at Don Pablos ...took me about 25 mintues to explain it to her...lol)

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