1. vEEP pEEP's Avatar
    Ok, is this the best place to ask? I hope so.

    Scenario: parents over 80. They can use a dumb cell phone

    Aging parents and computers! Help!
    Their Windows XP computer has to go!

    They can use email, browse the web, use Skype (if it is set up for them) but are not adventurous. Change one setting and game over.

    They require much more security that is automated (Malware).
    Remote access so I can help them from a different city
    Universal desktop - so when the visit they can log in and retrieve files
    Integration, because there are no browsers, hard drives, RAM or OSes...it is just a computer.
    Visual Impairment features

    Anyone have suggestions what makes a computer awesome for the elderly?

    Thanks,

    Mr. V
    10-21-2017 12:52 PM
  2. L0n3N1nja's Avatar
    Sounds like they could use Windows S, limit software installs from the windows store and is very secure and harder to mess up.

    I'm not sure if remote desktop is available, or what hardware exists right now, but it's what I would look into.
    Player Piano and vEEP pEEP like this.
    10-21-2017 08:37 PM
  3. TechFreak1's Avatar
    A digital type writer!

    just kidding (and yes they do exist, before the advent of the internet - our IT lessons consisted of typing on a keyboard with a 3 cm height and 15 cm long screen and no, I'm not a 100 but 29 ).

    Hmm, it's a tough call but I'd recommed windows 10s and you can lock everything down with group policy. The best balanced solutions for firewalls and anti virus would be enterprise grade... at that level of security - something like Symantec Endpoint Protection. It also ties into what you are looking for - a dumb terminal as you can have a managed solution. However that is heavily reliant on a stable and solid internet connection.

    But setting it up would be pretty complex or simple depending on the level of IT proficiency. The comparable to such a grade i've come across is F Secure but that is very, very process heavy so you will need something with decent amount of ram - at 6GB and a CPU with multiple cores - ideally 4 min and atom CPU will give up the ghost so that's a no go.

    F Secure also offer a VPN product, that may be worth looking into.
    10-23-2017 08:28 AM
  4. tgp's Avatar
    I'm not sure about Skype, but otherwise these requirements have Chromebook written all over them. Most Chromebooks now run Android apps, making Skype a non issue as well.
    10-23-2017 09:28 AM
  5. vEEP pEEP's Avatar
    VPN might be too much. Firewall - great but I can't let them touch it - they don't get it.
    I am going to keep them in the Windows camp because they want a desktop....
    It will be W10m Windows Hello work well with it?
    10-28-2017 09:46 PM
  6. Guytronic's Avatar
    Change one setting and game over.
    Lol...
    Sounds like the wife's dad.

    I'm elderly and use this here crappy Acer Aspire E15 that I had to have from Amazon.
    Me is not adventurous these dayz.

    I just surf, buy things, do a little bit of CAD and listen to music here and there.
    Just realized I could do what I do on Mr. smartphone.

    Golly the above was no help at all :(
    TechFreak1 likes this.
    10-28-2017 10:28 PM
  7. TechFreak1's Avatar
    VPN might be too much. Firewall - great but I can't let them touch it - they don't get it.
    I am going to keep them in the Windows camp because they want a desktop....
    It will be W10m Windows Hello work well with it?
    Fair enough, In that case I would recommend setting everything up with a admin user and standard user. Give them the Standard user login and use the admin user for yourself so you can manage settings, suchas the firewall.

    The alternative would be lock everything down using group policy editor.

    WM10 works out of the box as essentially a mass storage device - just drag and drop using file explorer after you plug in the device via usb (bluetooth works but it's shambolic right now on older devices that are not supported with proper updates - basically anything not on the feature 2 branch is not a viable alternative for the average joe). I can no longer stream music from my L930 to anything via bluetooth as it keeps dropping connections.

    Windows Hello will work depending on your peripherals - suchas a windows hello camera / web cam or fingerprint reader.

    Also if you do get a desktop and it is not on the fall creators update, I would suggest not updating for a few weeks to the fall creators update due to the insane number of bugs and issues caused by the update.

    In it's current state it's more a of "failed creators update". As several machines upgrading to needed to be re-imaged / reverted to the anniversary update.

    That's what happens when you let go of dedicated testers and rely on telemetry + insiders for feedback.
    vEEP pEEP likes this.
    10-29-2017 08:33 AM
  8. vEEP pEEP's Avatar
    Fair enough, In that case I would recommend setting everything up with a admin user and standard user. Give them the Standard user login and use the admin user for yourself so you can manage settings, suchas the firewall.

    The alternative would be lock everything down using group policy editor.

    WM10 works out of the box as essentially a mass storage device - just drag and drop using file explorer after you plug in the device via usb (bluetooth works but it's shambolic right now on older devices that are not supported with proper updates - basically anything not on the feature 2 branch is not a viable alternative for the average joe). I can no longer stream music from my L930 to anything via bluetooth as it keeps dropping connections.

    Windows Hello will work depending on your peripherals - suchas a windows hello camera / web cam or fingerprint reader.

    Also if you do get a desktop and it is not on the fall creators update, I would suggest not updating for a few weeks to the fall creators update due to the insane number of bugs and issues caused by the update.

    In it's current state it's more a of "failed creators update". As several machines upgrading to needed to be re-imaged / reverted to the anniversary update.

    That's what happens when you let go of dedicated testers and rely on telemetry + insiders for feedback.
    Any computer work I do would have to be done remotely. As long as no one else can do that - we are good!

    Thanks for the advice!
    TechFreak1 likes this.
    10-29-2017 04:44 PM
  9. etphoto's Avatar
    No really related to the OP's question, but, I was thinking about this thread today. I was over my 89 yr old dad's house today and there is was, like most days, sitting at a very old computer running XP doing what he always does. Playing solitaire. I asked him if he wanted me to put other card games on the computer and he said no, this is a good game.

    Twitter: @PhotographyET
    raycpl and joepan like this.
    10-29-2017 06:38 PM
  10. TechFreak1's Avatar
    Any computer work I do would have to be done remotely. As long as no one else can do that - we are good!

    Thanks for the advice!
    Your welcome :), you could look remote options such as TeamViewer over hamachi (which is free).
    10-29-2017 08:34 PM
  11. TechFreak1's Avatar
    No really related to the OP's question, but, I was thinking about this thread today. I was over my 89 yr old dad's house today and there is was, like most days, sitting at a very old computer running XP doing what he always does. Playing solitaire. I asked him if he wanted me to put other card games on the computer and he said no, this is a good game.

    Twitter: @PhotographyET
    Some just like the simple things in life lol.
    etphoto likes this.
    10-29-2017 08:34 PM
  12. raycpl's Avatar
    No really related to the OP's question, but, I was thinking about this thread today. I was over my 89 yr old dad's house today and there is was, like most days, sitting at a very old computer running XP doing what he always does. Playing solitaire. I asked him if he wanted me to put other card games on the computer and he said no, this is a good game.

    Twitter: @PhotographyET
    I still go back to my XP for a fix of minesweeper!!

    ... !
    10-30-2017 08:36 AM
  13. mmyers750's Avatar
    Probably not a popular opinion around here, but get them an iPad with a keyboard case. I'm a Windows guy, but it's overwhelming for a lot of older folks. I've used the iPad combo with older folks for whom I'm their tech support. Don't have to deal with many calls.
    11-01-2017 10:57 AM
  14. JimmyFal's Avatar
    A cheap HP All in One, with touch screen. Clean up that Start Screen first thing, and only leave the Browser, Mail, Calendar, People, Maps, Photos, Weather and WordPad.

    Enable the setting to "only allow apps from the store", that way, even thought they can bypass that screen, they will be much less tempted to.

    An @outlook.com Microsoft Account to sign in to the computer with, will make syncing info around that much easier.

    Now if MS can fix the fact that Apps can crash on launch, they at actually have an easy to use OS in place here.
    11-01-2017 12:38 PM
  15. Rann Xeroxx's Avatar
    1. Windows 10. Has the best ability to flex with unintended future usage than your list today. For example a future purchase of a new all-in-one printer to help scan old photos.

    2. Standard User. As someone else mentioned, have an admin account for you with a standard user for them.

    3. Make sure they are using OneDrive (or DropBox, etc) to auto sync everything.

    4. Install TeamViewer to auto start and connected to your TV account to allow you to connect to the PC for tech support

    5. Make sure restore points are on with plenty of space. Something goes wrong, send it back to a restore point.

    6. SSD. These are fast and do not suffer the failure rates of spindles. I only note this as if you are going cheap you might end up with a spindle or a hybrid.
    11-01-2017 04:01 PM
  16. Wevenhuis's Avatar
    Ok, is this the best place to ask? I hope so.

    Scenario: parents over 80. They can use a dumb cell phone

    Aging parents and computers! Help!
    Their Windows XP computer has to go!

    They can use email, browse the web, use Skype (if it is set up for them) but are not adventurous. Change one setting and game over.

    They require much more security that is automated (Malware).
    Remote access so I can help them from a different city
    Universal desktop - so when the visit they can log in and retrieve files
    Integration, because there are no browsers, hard drives, RAM or OSes...it is just a computer.
    Visual Impairment features

    Anyone have suggestions what makes a computer awesome for the elderly?

    Thanks,

    Mr. V
    Very good question.
    My experience is that the need of the elderly in terms of demands is not high. I though tablet device are great devices in general, because of touchscreen and apps. There is some truth to that, but I've also seen that, forgive the expression, teaching an old dog new tricks, is generally harder. I've seen too many times accidental swipes and presses happen on apple and windows tablet devices. Elders are of an older generation. They are accustomed to the mouse and keyboard. Unless apple and microsoft are willing to cater for a more simplistic, dummyproof OS (which windows 10 is not and to a degree iOS is not too!!! Both OS'es are quite refined OS'es, for younger people the countless gestures, app, settings and update management is doable, but it changes with age. Endless double authentications and double logins are also quite a challenge for the elderly, where input is slower and memory becomes an issue. And a fast and and smooth OS can also be quite a daunting experience for the elderly where something changed on the screen before they could catch or comprehend it, something that is ubiquitous to the younger in society).

    I've noticed with my parents that simplicity and familarilty works best. smooth and fast experience matters less to them, as long as the familiar experience is there, because the elderly work more from longterm memory, something learned from the past.

    Naturally security is an issue we are all concerned with. But this is something that outsiders should help with, because the matter is simply very complex.
    Luckily windows 10 caters for this out of the box with new security systems in place with Edge and Defender, amongst others.

    As I see it the best system is a laptop or pc with simply a mouse and a keyboard. Doesn't have to expensive. contrary to the advice by rich edmonds, I don't think a surface device is a good device for the elderly. The device is too small and flimsy, the standard resolution makes the elderly bend over towards the screen, squint and practically put there noses on the screen to read the small fonts. The touchscreen will guaranteerd causes acidental unwanted presses. And who knows what kind of wonderous crashes happen.

    The best would be to buy a nice second hand laptop or pc device, a good large screen. Scale down the resolution so fonts and icons are bigger. Generally the elderly can't see high resolution as well as the youth, so 1080 vs 2K or 4K won't matter. 720 p might also be just fine. If they've older windows versions before they usually know where to find programs (apps) and how to pin them to the desktop. Perhaps a little help to pin the 10 most use prorams to the desktop helps a lot to get them started.

    If they can be taught a new experience, I would advice trying to teach them to use windows 10 in tablet mode. reason for this is that. With full screen start the icons are bigger, easier to press. Knowing one icon on the same screen they can easily find the app list and the explorer icon and the shutdown button.

    A laptop with a 15 or 17 inch screen might be a good option when the elderly are on the go. All else the same settings changes might help a lot to use the device better as with the desktop.

    These are my 2 cents, for consideration.
    Last edited by Guytronic; 11-01-2017 at 07:00 PM.
    raycpl and vEEP pEEP like this.
    11-01-2017 05:24 PM
  17. IMissMyPsion's Avatar
    I help an increasing number of elderly people with computers.
    There is no one size fits all.
    One is happy to fiddle with settings, has a Windows laptop and an Android tablet and happily transfers music which she then plays using a Bluetooth speaker - ask if which she set up herself.
    Another can hardly cope with passwords on one computer and only this week reset Firefox to default, losing all her favourites, passwords and settings. Initially her laptop gave all sorts of trouble until I watched her turn it off - by pressing and holding the power button till it stopped!
    Your eyes get worse as you get older. I'd suggest a bigger screen than is available on hybrid laptops. . 17 inch or more to allow a standard 125% in browsers, possibly even overall. I got hold of a 17 inch for my 80 year old neighbour to replace her 15, and she is a lot happier. A chap I know has a 24 inch monitor that he uses as an external screen for his laptop.
    In general I don't think I'd recommend a laptop unless I knew they wanted to move it around. If you can hard wire instead of using WiFi, do so.
    TeamViewer is a life saver, especially when you enable automatic start and remote control. It has saved me many car journeys.
    I have no experience of Chromebooks, and my concern is their small screen size. Other than that they seem an eminently sensible solution for those who have not previously used a computer.
    The biggest support issue I have is change. When Windows or one of its programs or a web site changes, I know I am going to have phone calls for help. Elderly people get used to one way of doing it. They do not cope well with even moving buttons or changing colours or menus. Thankfully at over 60 I still thrive on it.
    11-01-2017 08:05 PM
  18. Zero Omar's Avatar
    BACKUPS BACKUPS BACKUPS BACKUPS....

    somehow they manage to wipe their hard drive and also their android phone (several times too).
    and save their passwords in separate location like password mangers cause they tend to forget them (alot).
    vEEP pEEP likes this.
    11-02-2017 02:54 AM
  19. AndyCalling's Avatar
    Ok, is this the best place to ask? I hope so.

    Scenario: parents over 80. They can use a dumb cell phone

    Aging parents and computers! Help!
    Their Windows XP computer has to go!

    They can use email, browse the web, use Skype (if it is set up for them) but are not adventurous. Change one setting and game over.

    They require much more security that is automated (Malware).
    Remote access so I can help them from a different city
    Universal desktop - so when the visit they can log in and retrieve files
    Integration, because there are no browsers, hard drives, RAM or OSes...it is just a computer.
    Visual Impairment features

    Anyone have suggestions what makes a computer awesome for the elderly?

    Thanks,

    Mr. V
    Problem is, when I think back to my first computer experiences I'm thinking about the Sinclair ZX81. Not necessarily a comparable experience. Wait though, does that mean... gasp... I'm now one of these older folks you talk of? Damn it... how did that happen.

    Make sure the PC concerned has a hard wired internet connection available, even if they use wireless most of the time. When wireless has issues and you can't get there, plugging a wire in to be able to do banking etc. will avoid a panic. Also, you can then get remote assistance going to solve any other issues for them. You can't solve internet connectivity issues by remote access though so a plan B is essential.

    Also, big external HDD for file history without any hassle and make them a system image whenever you go round. Leave them with a recovery solution.
    11-02-2017 07:16 AM
  20. Messor Animae's Avatar
    I am an "older" person who has tablets, laptops, desktops, phones, etc., running Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Linux, etc., and have a masters degree in computer science.

    Of all the potential choices available for the elderly, the best consumer user computer platform is an Apple device running either Mac OS or iOS because those devices are "no brainers", simple to use, very portable, updates are automatic and reliable, plenty of apps geared toward the elderly, high res screen for assisting the sight impaired, lightweight, can be "locked-down" and traced if stolen, etc., etc., etc.. An iPad, either the smaller or larger screen sized one is best which a keyboard can be added to that will stay with it if a keyboard accommodating case is used. The size is determined by weight holding ability and eyesight. A used iPad of recent generation with a 64 bit processor for continued update availability and Retina display will be cheaper than buying a new one but there's no warranty. The most important factor is what is best for THEIR needs and KISS is the way to go.
    Guytronic and vEEP pEEP like this.
    11-03-2017 12:06 PM
  21. vEEP pEEP's Avatar
    Hey Messor1

    Thanks for the feedback!!! You are quite right about KISS. My parents are quite capable of learning, they just don't want to much change.

    They do like keyboard and mice - but I am tempted to get them a tablet...but I don't want to invest a lot of money on an Ipad until I see how they like it.

    They have been 'raised' on Windows - so I want to keep the same experience...however your thoughts are helping me plan...



    I am an "older" person who has tablets, laptops, desktops, phones, etc., running Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Linux, etc., and have a masters degree in computer science.

    Of all the potential choices available for the elderly, the best consumer user computer platform is an Apple device running either Mac OS or iOS because those devices are "no brainers", simple to use, very portable, updates are automatic and reliable, plenty of apps geared toward the elderly, high res screen for assisting the sight impaired, lightweight, can be "locked-down" and traced if stolen, etc., etc., etc.. An iPad, either the smaller or larger screen sized one is best which a keyboard can be added to that will stay with it if a keyboard accommodating case is used. The size is determined by weight holding ability and eyesight. A used iPad of recent generation with a 64 bit processor for continued update availability and Retina display will be cheaper than buying a new one but there's no warranty. The most important factor is what is best for THEIR needs and KISS is the way to go.
    11-04-2017 07:11 PM
  22. vEEP pEEP's Avatar
    Ok, I think I am going to go tablet - W10.
    Suggestions anyone?
    11-13-2017 02:23 PM

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