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raymoohawk

computer machines for the elderly?

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A chromebook or something that will basically let you have just a browser in kiosk mode.

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How can poor grandma organize the photos of her grandchildren on that?

Even older people may have needs that go beyond a simple browser.

 

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55 minutes ago, Graf Zahl said:

How can poor grandma organize the photos of her grandchildren on that?

Even older people may have needs that go beyond a simple browser.

 

Correct, they ought to be playing ZDoom when not looking at the grandchildren. 

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1 hour ago, Graf Zahl said:

How can poor grandma organize the photos of her grandchildren on that?

Even older people may have needs that go beyond a simple browser.

 

 

Precisely. They are also tiny, not necessarily ideal for older people whose eyesight is often not the best.

 

I have run a computer business for years and have a lot of older clientele. Five things need to be considered.

 

1. How and where she wants to use it.

2. Budget

3. Physical space

4. Physical capabilities

5. Space needs if upgrading from a prior machine

 

If she wants to use it on her lap while she watches TV in her nice warm lounge, then obviously a laptop is the choice. A limited budget and/or limited space may also mean this is the only viable choice. Don't go for anything smaller than a 15.6 inch screen. ASUS is usually the best for reliability. If she has issues with her hands or is inexperienced with them, a touchpad may prove troublesome so getting a wireless mouse is probably a good idea.

 

If she has poor eyesight and/or issues with her hands, and has the room for it, a desktop is the way to go due to the bigger screen and keyboard. It is one of the few times I would consider an all-in-one desktop a possibility over a tower, as they take up less space than a tower while still providing a big screen, at the potential compromise of future repairability. Only do this if space is at a premium, or budget constraints and the need for a bigger screen makes it more attractive. If eyesight is an issue, an easy way to fix the text potentially being too fine is to drop the Windows display resolution.

 

If she has an existing computer, make sure you check how much stuff she has before buying. With pretty much all computers now having SSDs, they consequently have less space as the cost per GB with SSDs is higher. Unlikely to be an issue with an older, inexperienced user but worth checking and not assuming.

 

Whatever you chose, a big part of it is how it is set up. If it's a big brand name machine, uninstall the manufacturer's pre-installed junk. Nice simple row of Icons on the desktop so everything is visible and plainly labeled. Rename Google Chrome to say Internet for example. Set up two accounts, one password protected admin, the other standard permissions. That way her inexperience is less likely to get her into trouble. Show her how to zoom the text in if it's a laptop.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Graf Zahl said:

How can poor grandma organize the photos of her grandchildren on that?

Even older people may have needs that go beyond a simple browser.

 

There are Chromebooks that can run Play Store apps, I'm sure there are photo gallery applications and the like.

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I recommend an Intel i7-12700 CPU with 64 GB of DDR4 RAM, a Kingston KC3000 NVMe M.2 SSD 2TB boot drive and several support drives, and as many MIDI ports and audio interface ports as you can jam into the sucker. :) :) :)

 

What? I'm 58. Doesn't that count as "elderly?"

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, leejacksonaudio said:

I recommend an Intel i7-12700 CPU with 64 GB of DDR4 RAM, a Kingston KC3000 NVMe M.2 SSD 2TB boot drive and several support drives, and as many MIDI ports and audio interface ports as you can jam into the sucker. :) :) :)

 

What? I'm 58. Doesn't that count as "elderly?"

I was going to make some joke about getting a $5000 Alienware  Aurora. But I guess you beat me to the punch.

 

I would take a look at Murdoch's suggestions though. It really depends on the individuals needs, and how competent they are with technology. 

 

There are plenty of older folks that are scared to death of computers, and doing something wrong. But there are also quite a few older folks that are comfortable with them, and we'll see that more and more as time passes.

 

I mean, people born in the fifties, sixties, seventies, even eighties can be grand parents at this point. And regardless, one of my Grandfathers was born in 1929, and he was very comfortable with computers. My Grandmother, his wife, was born in 1932, and she doesn't go near computers, or deal with technology in general. She's convinced that her phone can't send text messages; it can receive them just fine, she just can't send them.

 

Just like anyone else, the computer should be tailored to their needs. There's really no one size fits all. Maybe all they want to do is use the internet and email and look at pictures. Or maybe they want to run Doom: Eternal at 4K 144 FPS.

Edited by Jello

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28 minutes ago, Jello said:

I was going to make some joke about getting a $5000 Alienware  Aurora.

 

Oh, come on! My upgrade spend came in right around $2,800.00 for this spec (the MIDI/Audio was a bit extra, I'll grant). Parts is parts. :) :) :)

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, raymoohawk said:

what are your reccomendations? what computer get for grandma?

 

Get her a Machine and put Linux Mint on it.

It has everything she needs.

Put everything she needs on the Desktop (Browser, Office Stuff, Mail, Messenger).

 

Windows 10 messes to much around with every upgrade and you have to babysit the System.

 

Win 8.1 sadly is finding its End.

 

If not, Start Menue in Full Screen with the Main Programs.

The big Icons are just perfect.

 

I for example got a Office 365 Abonement only to backup the Pictures of my Parents.

I don't want to explain again how to connect the Smartphone and drag and drop the Stuff from one Folder to another.

Now Onedrive uploads the Stuff and every couple of Months i grab the Stuff to the local Drive.

 

Yes, Data and Personal Security... But sometimes you have to go the simplest Way.

 

Edit:

Hardwarewise, you can get her a small PC with 8 GB of ram, some halfway nice CPU and intel Graphics.

 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, dasho said:

There are Chromebooks that can run Play Store apps, I'm sure there are photo gallery applications and the like.

 

They are still likely too small for her to use comfortably. If her eyes and hands are good though and she basically just wants to access the Internet, the idea may have merit.

 

6 hours ago, leejacksonaudio said:

What? I'm 58. Doesn't that count as "elderly?"

 

Nah. You're elderly adjacent.

 

1 hour ago, Azuris said:

Get her a Machine and put Linux Mint on it.

It has everything she needs.

Put everything she needs on the Desktop (Browser, Office Stuff, Mail, Messenger).

 

This advice is misguided at best, potentially going to cause problems at worst. Do not tell an inexperienced user to just install Linux. I am assuming here somewhat, but the fact that the OP asked this question at all makes me think they are likely not greatly technically experienced. First rule of dealing with inexperienced users - do not change their operating environment unless you absolutely have to. If the Grandmother has past Windows experience, leave her in Windows. If the OP has no Linux experience, he absolutely should not be installing it on a computer that's not his. If he gets it wrong or the installation has issues he can't resolve, then he has possibly destroyed the computer's recovery partition in the process. Now I grant you that given he is on a Doom modding forum, odds are he has the technical skill to reinstall Windows from a flash drive and reinstall the drivers, but that's still an assumption that has the potential to be wrong. And while it is very very rare (I have only seen it once in recent times), reinstalling Windows with a flash drive rather than the recovery partition might cause driver problems.

 

Also, I have tried to put Mint on customer's computers twice in the last year or so. The first was a laptop that refused to boot properly unless it was plugged in. It took some research and a manual kernel update to fix this stupid problem. What hope would an inexperienced user have to figure this out? Never seen a Windows install do this in my 30 years of using DOS and Windows, and running a professional computer business for 13 years. The second was a desktop with an ASUS motherboard, Intel CPU, and an M.2 card. The installation through errors and locked up. Hours of trying BIOS settings, and even trying Ubuntu only to have the same problem. Only a last ditch frustrated switch from M.2 to standard SATA SSD saved the build but I still lost major time and money because Linux apparently cannot install on a motherboard from one of the biggest manufacturers in the world onto the latest storage standard. Sorry but if an OS cannot accomplish that basic task, it is 100% not ready for use by inexperienced users. Again, I have never seen Windows do anything like this save for maybe two times trying to install Windows 10 on really old 7 era machines.

 

1 hour ago, Azuris said:

Windows 10 messes to much around with every upgrade

 

It really doesn't. There are sometimes minor cosmetic changes, many of which can be turned off, and it certainly isn't every one.

 

1 hour ago, Azuris said:

you have to babysit the System.

 

You really don't. All of my Windows 10 machines "just work" with essentially no problems. You have either had limited experience and bad luck, or this is hyperbolic exaggeration.

 

I am not simping for Windows. It is leagues away from perfect. But the bottom line is when you look at the numbers, it works more than it doesn't. And that's what Joe Average User cares about.

 

1 hour ago, Azuris said:

small PC with 8 GB of ram, some halfway nice CPU and intel Graphics.

 

This I agree with. With an SSD even a modest Dual Core pentium will suffice for a modest user doing the basics.

 

I also add that if Grandma has past Windows experience, Windows 10 and 11 can be tweaked. If it's 10 and she's used 7 and earlier, install OpenShell. This will add a Windows 7 start menu back. If it's 11, install ExplorerPatcher first, then OpenShell. ExplorerPatcher gives a task bar more like Windows 7 and 10. In both 10 and 11 you can also turn off a lot of the other taskbar clutter like the search, chat, task view and the like. Options differ depending on the exact version. It's possible to get even Windows 11 pretty close to Windows 7 for a general user.

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Murdoch said:

 

They are still likely too small for her to use comfortably. If her eyes and hands are good though and she basically just wants to access the Internet, the idea may have merit.

 

I'm not sure why you keep bringing this up. If you're already setting up a computer for somebody and know they have poor eyesight, you can set up a larger external display.

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11 minutes ago, dasho said:

 

I'm not sure why you keep bringing this up. If you're already setting up a computer for somebody and know they have poor eyesight, you can set up a larger external display.

 

Or you could just get a computer with a bigger display...

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17 minutes ago, Murdoch said:

 

Or you could just get a computer with a bigger display...

 

No kidding. I'm not even saying the Chromebook setup is apropos in this case, but if I had an elderly person that needed the least amount of footguns possible, I sure as hell wouldn't be setting them up with a Windows or Linux machine. If budget wasn't a constraint, I'd probably just go for an Apple product. And again, if display size is an issue, I will exercise at least a little creativity and try to make something work.

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My granny, may she rest in peace, was very happy with a gameboy and tetris. 

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Get grandma a thinkpad with gentoo.

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On 6/27/2022 at 11:57 AM, Murdoch said:

Nah. You're elderly adjacent.

 

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