Advice-Mac Book or Windows 8 Laptop for a senior citizen?

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MagicToenail
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20 Oct 2012, 5:22 pm

This might be the wrong place to post this.
My mother is semi-handicapped and I'm thinking of getting her a laptop. She has limited experience with computers. Last one she used had XP installed, and she refuses to get a tablet or smartphone.
I'm afraid the learning curve in Windows 8 might be too steep for her, particularly after seeing this [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0fsyb-ttcw[/youtube]
Have no idea the learning curve for a Mac Book. Any suggestions on what will be easier for a senior to adapt to?



MyFutureSelfnMe
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20 Oct 2012, 6:19 pm

MacBook. Windows 8 is for tablets, it's a mess on PCs. I realize a few people disagree with me, but.



MagicToenail
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20 Oct 2012, 7:10 pm

Thank you for confirming my suspicions MyFutureSelfnMe.



redrobin62
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20 Oct 2012, 9:13 pm

MS went out of their way to make sure you won't need additional software, if you're a casual user, when using Windows 8. To that end I endorse it for simple things like surfing the internet because virus protection is built in, etc.



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20 Oct 2012, 9:46 pm

Heck, put Ubuntu or something on one - so long as she never wants to install new software, the way you configure it is the way it'll stay! :D

If your budget is unlimited, I'd go mac for grandma - if she has to learn anything new, the simpler Apple OS might be easier on her in the long run.



LookTwice
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20 Oct 2012, 10:08 pm

Learning curve for what, exactly?

If she's just going to send e-mail and surf the web, then it simply doesn't matter at all which OS you give her. You just explain the applications, how to turn it on and shut it down, and she probably won't touch anything else.
Why a laptop and not a tablet (possibly with a keyboard)?


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MagicToenail
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20 Oct 2012, 10:19 pm

Thank you redrobin62 and BlueMax. I'm a bit short on funds (that's why I can't buy a Windows 7 computer before the changeover), but I'll start saving for that Mac Book. In the meantime,, I'll try to find a way for her to "test drive" Windows 8 to see if the learning curve is that hopeless. The local library or community colleges might have a "senior's primer" night devoted to Windows 8.



BlueMax
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20 Oct 2012, 10:27 pm

If you're short on money, FORGET THE MAC!! You'd be better off with a cheap machine that has a good battery and screen then put Ubuntu Linux on it (if she's not going to install her own software) or XP if she is.

Dell Latitude off-lease lappys are built like a tank, have a fantastic keyboard and cheap as borscht!



MagicToenail
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20 Oct 2012, 10:29 pm

Good advice LookTwice, but my mother is dead set against a tablet or anything touch screen. She has moderately severe arthritis and says she finds mice and touchpads easier than using her fingers.
She's also very old fashioned and doesn't trust music or movie downloads and needs a DVD player for media.
She also does a lot of writing, and tablets are rather clumsy at that.



Last edited by MagicToenail on 20 Oct 2012, 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MagicToenail
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20 Oct 2012, 10:32 pm

I'll look into the Dell, BlueMax, Thanks!



BlueMax
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21 Oct 2012, 4:54 am

MagicToenail wrote:
I'll look into the Dell, BlueMax, Thanks!


Just make sure it's a LATITUDE, the home-level Inspirons are junk.

Something like the D630 as seen here: http://dfsdirect.ca/product.cfm?productid=8966
I loved mine... solid build and fantastic keyboard for any serious typing work!



MyFutureSelfnMe
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22 Oct 2012, 9:19 pm

I don't think it's in the least bit realistic to expect a newbie user (especially an elderly one) to use Linux. I understand the argument that Unity is "simple", etc. The problem is, when it's not, it's REALLY not. Projects like Ubuntu do not have the man hours or expertise to produce a truly seamless UI.



MagicToenail
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22 Oct 2012, 10:38 pm

I was thinking of getting a copy of Win 7 and doing a clean erase of the hard drive, not using Linux because I'm a coward. Thanks for the advice again, MyFutureSelfnMe.
I'm probably underestimating my mother's flexibility. She did come out top of her class when they sent her for XP training, although she didn't believe me when I told her that the Start button was gone in Win 8.
If I go that route, I'll either spend the $4.99 and get a third party Start button or get a Toshiba which is going to pre install a third party Start button.



BlueMax
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22 Oct 2012, 11:19 pm

An older (but high-quality) unit will likely come with XP or have XP drivers available... I know my Latitude D630 did...



MyFutureSelfnMe
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23 Oct 2012, 3:43 am

MagicToenail wrote:
I was thinking of getting a copy of Win 7 and doing a clean erase of the hard drive, not using Linux because I'm a coward. Thanks for the advice again, MyFutureSelfnMe.
I'm probably underestimating my mother's flexibility. She did come out top of her class when they sent her for XP training, although she didn't believe me when I told her that the Start button was gone in Win 8.
If I go that route, I'll either spend the $4.99 and get a third party Start button or get a Toshiba which is going to pre install a third party Start button.


A start button like Start8 isn't enough, a lot of the preinstalled programs are Metro programs which means they are forced to full screen and you have no option of using them in a window. This is a serious problem even on a laptop with limited screen real estate. You can "fix" it by installing third party programs and uninstalling all of the included Metro programs, but the situation is stupid. Even then, you can get dumped back to the "start screen" or other places you don't want to be pretty easily. Windows 8 is not intended for screens larger than about 9 inches.

Honestly, you know what I really think? You should give her a nice Asus laptop or something, and if it has Windows 8, downgrade it to 7. You could also have a go at "Windows 7-izing" Windows 8.

I am very unhappy with Apple lately. OSX really does have a lot of bugs, and their developer tools go beyond "having a lot of bugs" and enter the realm of "should have been considered unreleasable by any sane person".

Someone on here described the current state of the OS world as a "nuclear winter", which is sort of true although Windows 7 is still relatively solid if aging.



miesha
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31 Oct 2012, 9:47 am

You should take a look at a Chromebook before you make any decisions.


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