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Chromebook question
Posted by: testcase
Date: July 02, 2019 07:11PM
A senior (mid-80's) friend that I set up with an iMac a year+ ago just hasn't been using it. I've pleaded with her to just check her email a couple of times a week but, she told me today that she doesn't and, is ready to give up. I've already set said iMac up so that all she needs to do is start it, open Safari and, click on the "email" link in the favorites bar; all log ins are automatic. I'm rarely on Long Island these days so, I'm no longer available to take her through it by the hand. I'm wondering if a Chromebook might be simpler for her? Although she has DSL internet, she does NOT have a wireless router and, I think setting one up for her would just introduce new issues. Does anyone here know of a Chromebook that has an ethernet port? I see that there are USB to ethernet dongles; I don't know if the ChromeOS would handle such a dongle. Does anyone here have experience in this area? TIA! old fogey smiley
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Re: Chromebook question
Posted by: testcase
Date: July 02, 2019 07:31PM
Update: some Goole searching turns up that a Chromebook can / does recognize and accept ethernet via an ethernet~USB dongle. I'll see this friend tomorrow and sound her out re a Chromebook.
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Re: Chromebook question
Posted by: freeradical
Date: July 02, 2019 07:36PM
Why would a Chromebook be easier to use than an iMac?
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Re: Chromebook question
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: July 02, 2019 08:11PM
It took my mom a couple of years to admit that her failing eyesight was why she stopped using the computer. Getting a bigger screen and moving it further away helped for a couple of months.



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Re: Chromebook question
Posted by: testcase
Date: July 02, 2019 08:35PM
Quote
freeradical
Why would a Chromebook be easier to use than an iMac?

I'm not sure that it would. The Chromebook I have is as simple to use as ANY computer I've ever used, ALL Macs included. The laptop form factor might be the just the ticket. My friend insists on turning the iMac completely off. With a laptop, I'm hoping that just closing the lid would satisfy her and, when she opens the lid, ChromeOS has a virtually instantaneous start. I'd set it up so that it would default to open the browser which would bring her to her email. She understands using Tabs so, if she wants to do more that look at her email, a new Tab would allow her easy access to search the web. I'll be taking my Chromebook with me when I see her later this week so she can see it for herself. If she's amenable, I'll set her up with a Chromebook and, recycle the iMac to another senior who's more knowledgeable about using computers. I may find that this friend is simply not willing to use a computer. If that's the case, I'm hoping she won't mind if it gets passed along. It IS frustrating that this senior, who still is of sound mind (as far as I know), won't do something as simple as checking her email. Perhaps I'm crediting her with more ability than she truly has. I do believe that using a computer helps to keep a senior's mind sharp but, I do realize that she must be willing to hold up her end.
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Re: Chromebook question
Posted by: testcase
Date: July 02, 2019 08:39PM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
It took my mom a couple of years to admit that her failing eyesight was why she stopped using the computer. Getting a bigger screen and moving it further away helped for a couple of months.

Thank you for that information! Her eyesight might be declining in which case a smaller screen would make things worse. I hadn't thought about changing the iMac's resolution to make it easier for her to see. I'll definitely see if something that simple helps.
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Re: Chromebook question
Posted by: space-time
Date: July 02, 2019 09:46PM
A senior (mid-80's) friend

I think some people are just not interested anymore, especially at mid 80s. I don't know anything about your friend, but I can see how older people have a hard time with tech, and are no longer interested to keep up. My Dad just turned 71 and he has sometimes trouble following directions I give him over the phone.
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Re: Chromebook question
Posted by: mattkime
Date: July 02, 2019 10:53PM
Its my guess that its lack of interest. If she was having trouble she would speak up.

You can lead a horse to water....but you can't make him check his email.



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Re: Chromebook question
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: July 02, 2019 11:07PM
Not sure why you're so concerned about WiFi. How often do you have to troubleshoot yours?

...Maybe try setting her up with a used iPad Air and a WiFi router next time you're in town.



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Re: Chromebook question
Posted by: jdc
Date: July 03, 2019 01:31AM
If this is something she really *needs to have* I was going to suggest an iPad as well. $229 new. Like a CB, you just open and its on. One of those simple flap over cases with a stand.

Thing is, she might just not need email? Its not something normal peeps use anymore?

Perhaps facetime or messages or even facebook might be more useful. And the fact, like a CB, its portable. She can take it anywhere in her place.

I dont get the wireless worry either -- I havent touched my wireless router in years. Setup, connect, forget about it.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/03/2019 01:32AM by jdc.
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Re: Chromebook question
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: July 03, 2019 08:08AM
......it is also a matter of 'habit'.....they grew up in times when they didn't check email constantly so it doesn't even come up in her mind......and perhaps she doesn't really get email from her friends (most probably don't use email either)......



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I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Chromebook question
Posted by: Robert M
Date: July 03, 2019 08:54AM
Test,

Your post reminds me of what I have to consider when I look at tech for my parents. There is no perfect solution. However, one thing I can say with certainty is simplicity is key. She needs something that is very basic, easy to use and, for the most part, just works. For that, an iPad immediately comes to mind. Configure it for her. Put a few useful and fun apps on it. Connect it to a wireless router. Done.

I think of the senior in your post like my father-in-law. He's 89 and cannot deal with technology at all. The most he can cope with is a TV and a basic cellular phone. I've no doubt he'd love to try other products but I don't think he could cope with the tasks necessary to use them. Even the most basic tech products can be surprisingly complex for someone who isn't accustomed to tech.

If I wanted him to have a computer of some kind, I'd give him an iPad and configure it in the manner I described above and hope for the best.

Robert
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Re: Chromebook question
Posted by: testcase
Date: July 03, 2019 10:09AM
Thanks for all the great replies.

I'll be seeing my friend later today (I'm taking her to lunch). The most "important" emails she'd get were from her church and her needlepoint hobby. I imagine that most of her friends just call her with information now. Two other octagenerians I'm friends with are both MUCH more tech savvy (one ran the computer department at Columbia University decades ago). The proliferation of ads make it much more difficult for those who ARE "tech challenged" certainly doesn't help. Again, thank you for your input!
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Re: Chromebook question
Posted by: tenders
Date: July 03, 2019 02:10PM
I have not found the iPad to be all that intuitive for older users.

What has worked - as testcase is discovering - is a LARGE (15”) Chromebook with a backlit keyboard. No touchscreen necessary.

Boots fast
Excellent visibility on screen and keyboard
Minimal learning curve even if the Chrome browser is new to them
No virus/antivirus software to contend with (this was a constant struggle with my MIL on Windows - the Avast antivirus software caused 90% of her confusion)
Self-updating
Very adequate for web browsing and web-based email
Inexpensive
Mouse-compatible
Simple troubleshooting by anybody, not the Mac/Windows expert in the family
Very compatible with a wide range of printers (to my surprise)

My MIL calls her Chromebook “my supercomputer.” OK, whatever!
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Re: Chromebook question
Posted by: jdc
Date: July 03, 2019 03:57PM
Quote
tenders
I have not found the iPad to be all that intuitive for older users.

My MIL calls her Chromebook “my supercomputer.” OK, whatever!

Opposite here. Point, tap, things happen. Has made life so simple for my father. He has arthritus, using the mouse was near impossible.

But its great your MIL likes the CB, I have recommended them too -- but usually to a younger set who seem a little more tech savvy. My MIL would be a good candidate -- but she is pretty much switched to iPad only.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Chromebook question
Posted by: what4
Date: July 03, 2019 07:46PM
In his 80's, a computer-phobic friend got an iPad and loves it. He found it intuitive.

I'd vote for an iPad for first choice.

If a chromebook, I find the touchscreen more convenient for zooming than using a keyboard. I use a chromebook most days for lightweight tasks. It's light, tough, and cheap compared to the MBP, so I can move it around without fear.

On a chromebook, be sure the screen is bright and the resolution at least FHD, if that is possible. (I went with an older Chromebook Plus, with the very high rez screen.) I found the 720p resolution to be too little for my own aging sight, especially combined with the epidemic of low-conrast themes and hard-to-read designs so common now.

Good luck to you both.
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Re: Chromebook question
Posted by: testcase
Date: July 07, 2019 07:41AM
UPDATE: my friend told me she simply did NOT want to bother with ANY more electronic devices (I did offer her a Chromebook or an iPad. She still uses a flip phone and, has trouble managing that). The 4K 27” iMac is now with another octogenarian who is LOVING it. Again, thanks to all who offered advice!
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