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Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: birdmanjeff
Date: December 27, 2005 06:18PM
Well my mom and stepdad finally have decided that computers are not going to disappear. They told me at christmas they were getting a computer for themselves this year for a belated joint christmas preasent. Some friends were talking them into a Dell setup for around $600.00. I of course could not let that happen easily in good conscience. I told them I could get them a decent Mac to email and surf the web for much less and to give me a couple days. This morning I was thinking about a couple G4s on ebay when I realized I will have a G4 350 "yikes" sitting unused in a few short days and that with a couple upgrades they could take it. This is there first computer so I will be setting it up with everything they need including a copy of panther and a superdrive (dvr-106 out of my machine in there's, new dvr-110 in mine), about 512 of ram, and a keyboard and mouse.

Are there any programs you would add for a couple in there 50's who have never had a computer other than Firefox, thunderbird, and neo-office? I think everything else is there that they will need.

They are very happy and I feel they will be alot better off since the only computer ever in the house was my brothers and it was consumed by viruses. That was my selling point on the mac no virus problems.

As soon as I get the Panther disks and DVR-110 from OWC I can get there system setup and shipped to them. All they need is a monitor now.

Good day for me and my folks I think,
Birdmanjeff
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: rgG
Date: December 27, 2005 06:32PM
My mom and mom-in-law really like playing solitaire on their iMacs. Eric's solitaire sampler is now out for OS X.

[www.deltatao.com]

There are also some free downloads of solitaire out there also. Mike's cards lite is free and my mom-in-law likes it. The download is near the bottom of the page.

[www.mikesedore.com]

HTH





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: December 27, 2005 06:33PM
I like your style but I am still wondering why they NEED a DVR????? Especially with this being their FIRST computer.

Of course your G4 350 is not exactly "current" in speed. Is this one on the upgrades you planned???

I admire your courage in pushing the Mac, but question the values of your end result...

Merely trying to delve into your mind . . .

grinning smiley

drinking smiley cheers





Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: Linda2
Date: December 27, 2005 06:36PM
MahJong is also a favorite with that age group. Puzzle games are good and pinball is lots of fun, too. There are many good games at www.gamehouse.com if you're paying but there are lots of good freeware, too.
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: bangman
Date: December 27, 2005 06:45PM
I like the part about people in their 50s. The setup lead me to believe that they were in their 70s.

Are you considered "old" when you're in your 50s?



---------
3GHz - The clock is STILL ticking Steve.
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: $tevie
Date: December 27, 2005 06:52PM
Wow, you guys make it sound like people in their 50s are ancient. I'm so depressed now. :-(



Snood is much loved by everyone in my family from 18 to 83.
There is a free demo at [www.womgames.com]

My favorite solitaire collection is Solitaire Till Dawn:
[www.apple.com]

I'm a Yahtzee fan myself. This is a single player version but I think there's like a dozen different versions kicking around:
[versiontracker.com]
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: Racer X
Date: December 27, 2005 07:10PM
get more RAM if you are going to run X. That puppy should take up to a gig (or is it 1.5 on a Yikes, can't remember)

If you have 512, go for a full gig. 512 to 768 isn't that big of a jump, but 512 to 1 gig or more you will feel it.
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 27, 2005 07:29PM
I'd definitely consider more ram and a processor upgrade.

OR

suggest that they get a mini.
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: Silencio
Date: December 27, 2005 07:37PM
A processor upgrade for a Yikes is sooooo not worth it. ZIF upgrades are more expensive and run slower than the surface-mount daughterboards that the AGP machines can take.

They probably don't need a DVD writer, but the stock drive in that machine was probably just a DVD-ROM, so at least the spare DVR-106 will be put to some good use, writing CDs at the very least.

A G4/350 with 512MB of RAM should do just fine for the basic tasks they would do. Repurposing an old machine is certainly better to get someone started than to go blow $600 in the dark. If they like the Yikes but end up needing more speed, then the mini would be the next logical step.
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: jdc
Date: December 27, 2005 07:37PM
i might stay away from non-apple applicaitons

use apple mail, safari, address book, etc -- they all integrate so well with each other its worth the extra to have it as their primary apps rather than FF and thunderbird.

entering everything into the address book means they have that info at their finger tips when they are in mail, in iPhoto, in iChat, iCal, etc, etc

if they ever decide to get a .mac account then they would have it via the web anytime as well
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: chas_m
Date: December 27, 2005 10:23PM
birdmanjeff Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Are there any programs you would add for a couple
> in there 50's who have never had a computer other
> than Firefox, thunderbird, and neo-office?

Gad, you must be out of your mind. I would have NONE OF THESE on any computer I gave a computer-phobic middle-aged couple who come from the newbie/Windows world.

You haven't really given out enough info about these folks, but they sound like most 50-ish people I know ... secretly TERRIFIED of computers. They want to do EXACTLY three things with their machine:

1. Play card games
2. Surf the net to buy things
3. Send/receive terrible email jokes and semi-naughty WMV files.

NO MORE and NO LESS. You'll have to BEG them to try things like geneology, iChat video conferencing, iPhoto, iTunes etc. They've been conditioned from YEARS of hearing Windows horror stories that such things are BEYOND the reach of all but the uber-computer-gods, of which they are not and don't wish to become. They have ALREADY GIVEN UP on any hope of being able to do anything "cool" with their machine.

If you want them to have a really GOOD experience on the Mac, stop dicking around with the programs YOU THE GEEK like and give them the best/simplest in class:

1. Safari and Mail (or AOL if you think they'd be more comfortable with it)
2. Hoyle's Card software or something equally first-class and *cross platform* (they WILL be comparing notes with their Windows friends on this)
3. Make VLC the default movie player OR buy and install Flip4Mac to their Quicktime so they can play EVERY STUPID THING their friends send them in email. That inclues WMV files, AVI files and PPS powerpoint slideshows (see next point).
4. If they need Office, BUY THEM MICROSOFT OFFICE. These are not guinea pigs, they are your folks. Don't experiment on them. Unless they are former programmers, they DO NOT want to deal with the near-compatibilty, unfinished half-baked imitation that is NeoOffice. They will NOT admire it's open-source roots, noble philosophy and rough edges.

(no slight is intended to ANY of the excellent programs you mention, but by are large you're approaching this from a "comfortable with technology" perspective, NOT a consumer perspective).

Don't mean to rain on your parade -- you're a prince for doing this -- but unless you've left out a LOT of important information about your folks, they are NOT GEEKS and this means that their perspective is VERY different than someone who's comfortable with technology as we all are.

Naturally, you know them and I don't -- so if I'm off-base here feel free to ignore my advice. I'm just saying THINK CAREFULLY from THEIR POV rather than just assume that what works well for you and "our class/generation" will work equally well for them. That's not been my experience.



chas_m




[crawlingfromtheusa.blogspot.com] <-- Moving to Canada blog
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: $tevie
Date: December 27, 2005 10:38PM
Jeebus. "they sound like most 50-ish people I know ... secretly TERRIFIED of computers." Where do you live that has these herds of 50-year-old Luddites? Give me an effin' break.

Your advice about what apps to use is good -- too bad you buried it in a bunch of idiotic claptrap.
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: birdmanjeff
Date: December 27, 2005 11:04PM
Well I appreciate the help in most cases.
The DVR is just a leftover from a planned upgrade anyway and the stock drive was a CD Rom. The ram is only an issue to the extent that I am getting more strapped for cash to upgrade further. I see them a couple times a year and will take up more when I see them. until they have a gig.

As far as Thunderbird v. Mail I cannot use Mail with my service but I can use Thunderbird which I find to be excelent. I cannot justify Office either but Neooffice works well enough, but perhaps Appleworks is enough for them.

As far as their age I meant no offense just giving an idea. Yes they are Technophobs who have heard windows horrors and My stepdad needs a computer for email and light internet surfing (mostly maps) both for his job. Frankly they would have been OK with the old beige G3 as even it is beyond them for its total usefulness. I told them if they wanted to upgrade I would help them with it later (ie; another machine). I personally appreciate the solitare links but my mom will probably never play(I will include it however).

Thanks again,
Birdmanjeff
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: freescotland
Date: December 27, 2005 11:08PM
Why not sell your G4 350 and dvr and get them a mac mini.

It will be less of a headache for you in the long run and they might appreciate the small footprint.

I also join the chorus of those who ask: you think folks in their 50s are old?

Yikes indeed.
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: ArtP
Date: December 28, 2005 01:27AM
chas_m Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> Gad, you must be out of your mind. I would have
> NONE OF THESE on any computer I gave a
> computer-phobic middle-aged couple who come from
> the newbie/Windows world.
>


NOW this forum feels like HOME! I missed chas's "cut to the quick" but TRUE replies!

I haven't seen one in a while.

These same thoughts were running through my mind as I was reading the posts.

> You haven't really given out enough info about
> these folks, but they sound like most 50-ish
> people I know ... secretly TERRIFIED of computers.
> They want to do EXACTLY three things with their
> machine:
>
> 1. Play card games
> 2. Surf the net to buy things
> 3. Send/receive terrible email jokes and
> semi-naughty WMV files.

> If you want them to have a really GOOD experience
> on the Mac, stop dicking around with the programs
> YOU THE GEEK like and give them the best/simplest
> in class:
>
> 1. Safari and Mail (or AOL if you think they'd be
> more comfortable with it)
> 2. Hoyle's Card software or something equally
> first-class and *cross platform* (they WILL be
> comparing notes with their Windows friends on
> this)
> 3. Make VLC the default movie player OR buy and
> install Flip4Mac to their Quicktime so they can
> play EVERY STUPID THING their friends send them in
> email. That inclues WMV files, AVI files and PPS
> powerpoint slideshows (see next point).
> 4. If they need Office, BUY THEM MICROSOFT OFFICE.
> These are not guinea pigs, they are your folks.
> Don't experiment on them. Unless they are former
> programmers, they DO NOT want to deal with the
> near-compatibilty, unfinished half-baked imitation
> that is NeoOffice. They will NOT admire it's
> open-source roots, noble philosophy and rough
> edges.
>
>
> chas_m
>


Welcome to the new forum chas, feels like home now.


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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: Speedy
Date: December 28, 2005 01:49AM
Monopoly$oft Office for the files friends email them. It sucks but just grin and bear it. Use vs. X.

Cable internet service if they want speed. This is better than any processor upgrade for their uses.

A digital camera and a card reader to go with it.

iLife. And Tiger.
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: rexrzer
Date: December 28, 2005 01:53AM
chas_m is still living in the vacuum that's HIS world, and not ours, and it shows in his posts, as usual. Geez, most of my FRIENDS are in their 50's, and they're just as computer savvy as those folks that I know who are in their 30's and 40's, for chrissake!

Appleworks is a great idea for your folks instead of "neo office" or whatever it's called. At least you can call it a genuine Apple program and leave it at that. It will do most everything they would need in terms of an office application, short of an Excel Spreadsheet.

I think it's wonderful that you're switching them over to the Mac platform. The Mac you're planning to gift them is also a good thing. There's nothing as reliable as an older Mac tower, no matter what the others say about it. It'll keep plugging along as long as there's power to feed it. By all means give it as much RAM as you can afford.

The others have provided you with some useful links as far as games and activities go, for the Mac, so I won't touch those apples. You're doing a fantastic thing by switching them from the horrors of Windows, to the nice things about the Mac platform. Take it at your speed, and do the things that you consider appropriate in terms of timing.

They'll adjust very, very nicely to the Mac platform if you give them a little rope...don't worry so much about what they're going to do with the machine. Just provide them with the basic tools they'll need to start up with and all will be fine.

______________



What's the difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make some sense.
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: Kiva
Date: December 28, 2005 02:43AM
my experience with people who aren't tech-savy is that they equate speed of internet connection with how well their computer runs. If the internet is slow, my parents call me and want to know what is wrong with their computer. I then have to explain that how in location #1, the connection is slower than in location #2. I still don't think they get it. So, try and get them hooked up w/ the best connection possible.

I also vote for mac mail - can you get them a gmail account and then use your service for the smtp servers?

I also vote for M$ office: although we all hate it, their friends will likely be sending them stuff that they want to open easily...if the files don't open easily, they'll conclude that the mac itself is the problem.

I also think that selling that machine and getting a mini is a cool idea....less problematic and it should be snappier...

good for you helping them out...

kiva



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/28/2005 02:44AM by Kiva.
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: spacescape
Date: December 28, 2005 07:33AM
Are you sure that they wouldn't use that $600 that they where going to spend on the Dell for a MacMINI, Keyboard, Mouse & 17" LCD? Just wondering? Or are your intentions to get them hooked on the MacOS and then maybe in six months they will just WANT a faster mac?

350 G4 is going to feel slow if their Windows friends start showing them how fast their XP machine. Just a slight warning. The MacOS makes up for speed with everything else. A 350 G4 is pretty decent in speed either way... Yes, get it up to a gig of ram... larger hard drive (I vote for 40-80 gig WD w/ 8 meg cache), decent monitor (you might want to push them into buying a LCD for their viewing pleasure) and a very fast internet connection.

I would also recommend getting them MS Office or at least Appleworks. You could get the family pack of MS office and load it on their machine and your machine. Or better yet, just get the educational version.

Good luck.
Bill
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: birdmanjeff
Date: December 28, 2005 09:27AM
spacescape Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Are you sure that they wouldn't use that $600 that
> they where going to spend on the Dell for a
> MacMINI, Keyboard, Mouse & 17" LCD? Just
> wondering? Or are your intentions to get them
> hooked on the MacOS and then maybe in six months
> they will just WANT a faster mac?

We discussed that, but they were balking a little at price still and I thought this was a good way to get them started They could move up later if they want too and they will have the 350 to sell later as well, or give to another family member, truth is I still have a beige G3 333 that does OK with 10.2.8 on it that may find its way to my aunt's or cousin's house next year.

They will have a cable internet conection so that will help alot too. It does have a 40 gig hard drive and I may upgrade them this year when I go up as well if I see a good deal on a 80 to 120. I had also planned on throwing in a USB 2.0 card to help with any periferals they get as well (camera, scanner, printer, ect.) I just can't afford to help with those yet.

> I would also recommend getting them MS Office or
> at least Appleworks. You could get the family pack
> of MS office and load it on their machine and your
> machine. Or better yet, just get the educational
> version.

This is a good idea but again funds are too low to add one more thing. I will load Appleworks 6 and then later this year I can pick up the educational version of Office and add it to their machine as well.

Again thanks for the input some have a way of sounding harsh but it is just the personality and opinions of that person coming through. I appreciate the differences and do not take anything personally. I will tell you this does feel like the old fourum now and I prefer it.
I am still a newbie compared to most of you so the input is important, even if I do not always agree.

Thanks again,
Birdmanjeff

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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: rgG
Date: December 28, 2005 10:38AM
Let me make one important (well I think it;s important) suggestion. Be sure to set their preferences for all .doc items to open with Appleworks. Their friends will no doubt be sending them .doc attachments and if they just automatically open in Appleworks they will have no problem. If you don't set it, it might be a pain trying to talk them through setting it themselves.

I had to do this with my mom-in-laws iMac so that I didn't have to install Office on her machine just so she could open all those e-mail .docs . Just an afterthought. HTH





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: birdmanjeff
Date: December 28, 2005 11:00AM
rgG Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Let me make one important (well I think it;s
> important) suggestion. Be sure to set their
> preferences for all .doc items to open with
> Appleworks.


Good point, thanks. I had thought of this, but I do not mind the reminder either.

Thanks,
Birdmanjeff


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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: incognegro
Date: December 28, 2005 01:39PM
make sure they understand they shouldn't rename, move, or delete the folders in their hard drive.

i have run into organizational freaks who insist on creating folders called PROGRAMS and they move their apps into that, and don't like the clutter of the Library folder so they move it into another.

then there are those who decide to toss fonts they don't think they need...



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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: Racer X
Date: December 28, 2005 03:08PM
Kiva Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> my experience with people who aren't tech-savy is
> that they equate speed of internet connection with
> how well their computer runs. If the internet is
> slow, my parents call me and want to know what is
> wrong with their computer. I then have to explain
> that how in location #1, the connection is slower
> than in location #2. I still don't think they get
> it. So, try and get them hooked up w/ the best
> connection possible.


Tell them the internet is like a water distribution system. The slow-connected computer has a garden hose. The fast connection has a 6" pipe.

Those of us who are lucky don't have to share our 6" pipe with a neighbor.
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Re: Got me a switcher/new user today
Posted by: Stavs
Date: January 05, 2006 02:27PM
chas_m Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> 3. Make VLC the default movie player OR buy and
> install Flip4Mac to their Quicktime so they can
> play EVERY STUPID THING their friends send them in
> email. That inclues WMV files, AVI files and PPS
> powerpoint slideshows (see next point).

Thanks for the little tip on Flip4Mac. I had never heard about it and ended up buying it. Very convenient little app.

Thanks,

Stavs

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