Can anybody suggest a computer for my 90 year old grand father
Somebody suggested this computer: www.firststreetonline.com/Electronics+amp+Gadgets/...
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If he really insists on having a real computer, then I would look at getting a cheap $350 Toshiba laptop and putting Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook Edition on it if it will run. It had the best easy interface of any OS I have used. I still scratch my head as to why they abandoned it in favor of the tragedy we call Unity.
What you don't want is Windows. People from his era come from a time when people basically trusted others. There is no way you will instill in him this late in his life a fundamental distrust of everything he reads and sees on the internet... whihc means he will be very likely to believe Nigerian scam emails, pop ups telling him he needs to scan his computer for viruses, etc.... That equates to you reinstalling the OS every month after he clicks on something and ends up with a nasty virus. Mac OS X could spare you this pain, but not for much longer if the trend holds.
Lastly, if he believes that a real keyboard equates to a real computer, then set him up with a bluetooth keyboard on that iPad. I would suggest having him try the virtual one first, though. My Dad got an iPad to use during his hip surgery recovery and he actually now prefers the virtual keyboard to a real one because it is easier for him to type on. His computers, Windows and Mac, sit collecting dust for weeks at a time now that he has the iPad. I bought him the USB adapter so he could use a real keyboard but he isn't interested. Go figure.
Granted, you will have some kinks until iOS 5 comes out, at which point you will no longer need a computer to use it. I would guess, though, that a 90 year old isn't going to be spending a lot of money on apps anyway, though, so maybe it won't be a problem to switch it over at that time. Good luck!
On the other hand if he wants a computer for some other reason or application specific purpose I would suggest the low end iMac, but this would need a greater level of computer education than the iPad.
Hope some of this helps,
I just hope you realize that no matter what you decide to get for him, you are now going to be on call tech support.
Some old people don't care about spending a few hundred or thousand dollars, others think anything over $100 is outrageous, so that could be extremely important. If money is the issue, getting a $400 HP craptop is probably a great idea. It will work, look nice, have up to date features and as long as he doesn't use it everyday it will last a few years. For people like us, these kinds of crapware devices will make you pull your hair out, but the idea of spending $500 and not getting a real computer (iPad) or spending $1200 (iMac) could be equally gut wrenching for someone who's never "needed" to use a computer before. Think about if he still complains that gas is $4 and longs for the "good ol days" of twenty-five cent per gallon gas.
If he's just jealous that everyone in your family has a laptop and uses it while watching tv when he is stuck watching commercials, go slow and start with the cheap options like the HP craptop or iPad. Tell him to drive slow (pun not intended, but totally intended) and don't throw it if it becomes frustrating to use.
Older people don't see as well as young folks, so the bigger the monitor the better. I have a refurb HANNspree 27" monitor to watch movies on, and it is awesome, it cost me under $150. If you head in this direction, for a huge monitor, then get a super-small (SFF) computer for him. There are many to choose from on NewEgg/TigerDirect/mWave/etc. These are usually around 200-300 for anything decent, but you might find a bargain.
iPad is easy, and small, unimposing, but lacking processing power (so he'll have to wait often) and that can get frustrating. Also lack of a keyboard is annoying to many. I do not recommend an android tablet, as they're finicky, slow & difficult for many to get used to. If you do go in the direction of a tablet, Apple is the best choice. Add a keyboard and mouse so he can use it easiest. Constantly touching where you are looking is a drawback, as fingerprints obscure your view. I am forever cleaning the screen on my droid phone, so I don't have to look through smudges.
The geriatric market is coming on strong, and I believe that their no-nonsense approach will serve the industry well, overall. Better interfaces, better applications, and better support will be the end results. If it is one thing that this group knows, it's how to be patient. Still, you will want to coach him about being patient, as some things take time.
Tell your dad to IM me sometime. 8)
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