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Setting up a computer for a computer-illiterate Granny


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#1 Kabo0m

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 08:19 AM

I didn't know where would be appropriate to post this as there are no errors or BSoD or anything like that. Just in need of advice.

 

My mom was coming over to my place to use the net on my spare netbook but because of her eye sight she needed a bigger monitor. We finally set her up at her apartment and now after years she has her own internet. However this results in her calling me over and over again about the simpliest things such as "It says I have to update Java! Is that safe? What should I do?" "Zone Alarm says I have 3 days left! Do I buy it? I thought I already had it (she has the free version). Will I have to go the store and buy another? Will I be attacked without it? What do I do?" The computer wants to update and says I must reboot! How do I do that?" (I have shown her endless times how to use the start menu but she seems to forget easily. She also insists on using IncrediMail which I am not familiar with and has been erroring even though she has the paid version of that.

 

So my question is, how do you set up a computer for someone like that to keep them safe yet not need thier interaction? I do not let her register on Facebook because I feel she would fall for scams, as well as I have installed WOT and have taught her what the colours of the "donuts" mean. Updates are done at 4am when I figure she won't be on the computer (she is on it a lot) but I have it not automatically reboot because she always has a lot of emails mid-post and not ready to send out and I don't know if Incredimail saves drafts or how as I don\t know that progam.

 

I am trying to figure out an easier way as she gets frustrated easily and then goes on rants that sound like this: "Maybe I should not have gotten the internet. Maybe your brother was right and the net is a waste of time and money! I can\t do this without you here. I am just bugging you.."

 

It does get tiring,. So .. any advice?


Edited by Queen-Evie, 27 October 2013 - 08:25 AM.
moved from Speak Easy

DESKTOP - Main Rig:   Passmark & Mobo  (Manual) &  my Speccy (Video card is Radeon 7770) & 4Gb DDR2 RAM
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Video Card: Intel® GMA 950 (256Mb)     OS:   Windows 7 Starter 32-bit SP1


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#2 Queen-Evie

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 08:35 AM

Some seniors have an easy time of learning about computers and the internet. Others do not.

 

I had the same experience with my mother, who had used computers when she worked as a bookkeeper and account. When she got a computer for internet use she was totally lost. She would call me and ask which button on the mouse to use. I finally put a piece of duct tape on the left click side and told her to click the duct tape.

 

Her desktop wallpaper was a screenshot I did. I made a screenshot of the wallpaper and edited it. The browser icon was circled and I had written under it Click here to get to the internet.  I did the same thing for Outlook Express so she could get to her email.

 

One thing you can do is check to see if anyone in her area offers FREE computer courses for seniors. She will be able to learn a lot by taking advantage of them.

 

After about 3 months, mom decided she did not want to use the computer anymore and the only time it got used was when she wanted to find out something when I was at her house. Then she would ask me to look it up. I inherited that computer in 2010.


Edited by Queen-Evie, 27 October 2013 - 08:38 AM.


#3 Kabo0m

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 09:26 AM

Yeah I work with disabled people and I made a desktop like that because they would click the IE icon several times before it loaded and then that resulted in a slow computer. Mu mom however has learned the icons as I set up her computer the same as I have my netbook set up which she learned on. However my netbook is XP and hers is Win7 so a few changes. I did that so that she could view the images larger due to her eye sight being very far sighted. She knows the icons but mainly gets freaked out by anything that pops up. She gets scared.  I looked and there are no computer classes during a time she can do it as she does not retire until 65 which is in 3 1/2 yrs.


DESKTOP - Main Rig:   Passmark & Mobo  (Manual) &  my Speccy (Video card is Radeon 7770) & 4Gb DDR2 RAM
NETBOOK:   PC: Acer Aspire ONE (D250 10.1")    //   CPU: Intel® Atom CPU N270 @ 1.60GHz   RAM: 2.0 GB  DDR2
Video Card: Intel® GMA 950 (256Mb)     OS:   Windows 7 Starter 32-bit SP1


#4 Romeo29

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 10:03 AM

http://www.gcflearnfree.org/computers

 

She can start with the videos section there.

 

To make it more fun, tell her computer jokes. Like an Irish man with a big rat walked into a bar. The bartender asked whats that? The man said, my daughter needs a mouse for her computer, so I had to chase one down this morning.


Edited by Romeo29, 27 October 2013 - 10:04 AM.


#5 rotor123

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 10:48 AM

It appears that Your problems might have been avoided or ameliorated by using a touch screen Windows 8 computer and putting the things She needs where they are on the screen at startup. Possibly an All-In-One 24" or larger?

 

Either way, Good Luck

Roger


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#6 Kabo0m

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 01:45 PM

http://www.gcflearnfree.org/computers

 

She can start with the videos section there.

 

To make it more fun, tell her computer jokes. Like an Irish man with a big rat walked into a bar. The bartender asked whats that? The man said, my daughter needs a mouse for her computer, so I had to chase one down this morning.

Haha I like that one! :) Knowing her she will share it when I tell her with all her email friends..

 

Thanks for the link! That will help if she actually clicks on it. She does like video.


It appears that Your problems might have been avoided or ameliorated by using a touch screen Windows 8 computer and putting the things She needs where they are on the screen at startup. Possibly an All-In-One 24" or larger?

 

Either way, Good Luck

Roger

We are unable to afford that at the moment. The computer she has is a rebuilt one from my friend.


DESKTOP - Main Rig:   Passmark & Mobo  (Manual) &  my Speccy (Video card is Radeon 7770) & 4Gb DDR2 RAM
NETBOOK:   PC: Acer Aspire ONE (D250 10.1")    //   CPU: Intel® Atom CPU N270 @ 1.60GHz   RAM: 2.0 GB  DDR2
Video Card: Intel® GMA 950 (256Mb)     OS:   Windows 7 Starter 32-bit SP1


#7 rotor123

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 01:51 PM

I had a feeling that was the case.

To be honest the first thing I did with Windows 8 was install Classic Shell so it runs like Windows 7. However for a Newbie I would have made sure to get a Touchscreen and not modify Windows 8.

 

I ended Up with my Mother refusing to go on the Internet and mainly playing FreeCell and Some of the Solitaire games.

 

Good Luck

Roger


Fortune Cookie says: Fortune not Found: Abort, Retry, Ignore?

Sent from my All-In-One Desktop. Perfect for Internet, Not for heavy usage or gaming however.

How Does a computer get Infected? http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/2520/how-did-i-get-infected/
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#8 Kabo0m

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 02:09 PM

I had a feeling that was the case.

To be honest the first thing I did with Windows 8 was install Classic Shell so it runs like Windows 7. However for a Newbie I would have made sure to get a Touchscreen and not modify Windows 8.

 

I ended Up with my Mother refusing to go on the Internet and mainly playing FreeCell and Some of the Solitaire games.

 

Good Luck

Roger

 

Ha yeah my mom loves Spider Solitaire herself.  I am heading over there in a few min so I will see what problems she has today. I know she doesn't know what zoneAlarm is saying and told me I have to come over because it expires today. I have to see this .. it is the free version so I am curious what she is going on about.


DESKTOP - Main Rig:   Passmark & Mobo  (Manual) &  my Speccy (Video card is Radeon 7770) & 4Gb DDR2 RAM
NETBOOK:   PC: Acer Aspire ONE (D250 10.1")    //   CPU: Intel® Atom CPU N270 @ 1.60GHz   RAM: 2.0 GB  DDR2
Video Card: Intel® GMA 950 (256Mb)     OS:   Windows 7 Starter 32-bit SP1


#9 jcta79

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 03:18 PM

Kaboom,

   After reading your and several others here are my 2 cents. I would maybe download and install windows security essentials because it updates automatically. Next I would probably install Team Viewer and set it up so when she has a problem you can log into her computer and she can show you or you can have tutorials with her. Also Youtube is a great source for tutorials if she wants to learn how to do things. Patience is something you can't buy because I totally understand, my brother calls me for similar things and I tell him Google and Youtube are great sources. I hope this helped. Any questions feel free to ask

 

Take Care



#10 amason51

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 04:14 PM

http://www.labnol.org/software/essential-guide-to-internet-and-computer-software/6260/ This is a few years old but maybe of help!


Edited by amason51, 22 November 2013 - 04:16 PM.


#11 Kabo0m

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 11:00 AM

Thanks that was helpful. I put the bandwidth meter on her computer as well as on my own. It successfully warned me that I was at 90% so now I am at my mom's but on my netbook hooked up to a router I also brought over using her net and put it on her computer.She has only used 25%  of her 80Gb bandwidth limit this month and the month is almost over.


DESKTOP - Main Rig:   Passmark & Mobo  (Manual) &  my Speccy (Video card is Radeon 7770) & 4Gb DDR2 RAM
NETBOOK:   PC: Acer Aspire ONE (D250 10.1")    //   CPU: Intel® Atom CPU N270 @ 1.60GHz   RAM: 2.0 GB  DDR2
Video Card: Intel® GMA 950 (256Mb)     OS:   Windows 7 Starter 32-bit SP1





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