I am the “goto” person for many friends, neighbors, and others when it comes to issues with technology, especially Windows computers. Most of these people are senior citizens. Their computer and smartphone usage is mostly limited to Facebook, games, photos, watching videos, e-mail, browsing the web, banking, paying bills and perhaps purchasing items. Windows computers are far too complex for most, especially when it comes to updating, upgrading, protecting themselves from viruses, malware, intrusions, and just using the system.
Microsoft and Apple have tried to make it as easy and painless as possible, but for most seniors, technology was learned late in life, if at all. Trying to learn about how and why a computer, tablet, or smartphone functions and work though the daily tech issues is the last thing most of my clients want to deal with between doctors’ appointments, figuring out what medication to take and when, concerns about a new ache or pain, and just getting up in the morning.
Lately, I have been working with some seniors and realized that perhaps a Windows or Mac computer is not what they should be using. While some are still using a flip phone, many have gone to a smartphone. However, their usage of the phones and even tablets is limited to just a few of the capabilities. Many do use their smartphones for things other than just phone call. Many text, as well as email. Most use the camera, but do not know what to do with the pictures that they take. In addition, they may use Facebook, play games, perhaps some searching.
After spending several sessions helping an 80+ year old get to his games and keeping his on-line access to them working, I set about to figure a solution. I recently saw some articles saying that Apple has lost its shine in schools and Google Chromebooks now have over half of the penetration in elementary & high schools across the country. Certainly, if students can work with Chromebooks, seniors should be able to as well. I did some research and realized that in order to understand how Chromebooks work and if it might be the answer for many of the technology challenged retirees.
I compared several Chromebooks and decided to purchase one to understand what is involved. I purchased an Acer R11 CB5-132T-C8ZW on Sunday and by Tuesday I have concluded that this is a perfect solution for those who don’t want or need a powerful computer and who can do everything that they want and even more, without the worry of viruses or malware, having to learn how to maintain their system, and having the system crash. By the way, the model that I purchased is a convertible//2-in-1. It has a keyboard and an 11.6-inch touch-screen, so it can be used as a tablet. It cost me $239.
I will be writing articles, making short videos, and sharing information about Chromebooks on my website, http://hewie.net, on Facebook, and on YouTube. Stay tuned!