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OT: Mac or PC <g>

 
 
Hecate
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      01-08-2004, 01:29 AM
The reason this is OT is that this question has absolutely nothing to
do with Photoshop. However, I thought I'd get some opinions from the
wealth of experienced people here. I hope you don't mind.

First, and please read carefully, this is the situation:

My parents aged 83 and 76 have decided that they want a computer.
Because of their age and health they now have a lot of difficulty
getting out and about and want a computer to do the following:

Get online so they can shop, including doing their grocery shopping,
etc.
Email - me mainly.
Write letters and print them.

And that's basically all.

So, we're talking low end computers.

Now, bearing in mind that I'm not looking for a what runs software
better, what runs Photoshop better debate, and that my parents will
have to learn from scratch, to the extent that they will have to be
shown how to turn the damned thing on and off...

Which is easiest for someone with no knowledge whatsoever - Mac or PC?

Added to that, Macs aren't targeted as much as PCs by virus writers
etc and I'm leaning towards a Mac. But most of my experience is with
PCs and older Macs, so I'll be less likely to be able to help them.
And, finally, to throw this into the equation, due to my health, and
the distance they live, I'm unlikely to be able to go and help them in
person.

Given all that, I'd love to hear what people think. In the end, I';m
going to have to make the decision for them, so I'd like as many
opinions as possible.

Thanks to everyone who replies (sensibly <g>).

PS Hardline command line Linux users need not reply ;-)

--

Hecate
(E-Mail Removed)
veni, vidi, reliqui
 
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David H
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      01-08-2004, 02:17 AM
Hecate wrote:

> The reason this is OT is that this question has absolutely nothing to
> do with Photoshop. However, I thought I'd get some opinions from the
> wealth of experienced people here. I hope you don't mind.
>
> First, and please read carefully, this is the situation:
>
> My parents aged 83 and 76 have decided that they want a computer.
> Because of their age and health they now have a lot of difficulty
> getting out and about and want a computer to do the following:
>
> Get online so they can shop, including doing their grocery shopping,
> etc.
> Email - me mainly.
> Write letters and print them.
>
> And that's basically all.


The answer is actually quite simple:

Which machine do you want to do over-the-phone tech support for?

I'm not kidding. Given what you said, that should be your primary
criteria.

Hope that helps. Good luck,

-David

-----------------------------
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Eric Gill
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      01-08-2004, 02:38 AM
Hecate <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:(E-Mail Removed):

> Which is easiest for someone with no knowledge whatsoever - Mac or PC?


Hecate, you know what hardware I use.

Get them a Mac.

This is why:

> Added to that, Macs aren't targeted as much as PCs by virus writers
> etc and I'm leaning towards a Mac.


In short, if you get them an XP-based machine, one day you will find
yourself forced to make the trip to help their disabled machine, and you
may spend as long as 36 hours(!) running scanners to clean them. I have.

In really long form:
Virii are only part of the problem these days. Adware/Spyware is becoming
much worse, as there are so damned many and the virus scanners don't seal
the vulnerabilites they exploit.

To make it even worse, the ad/spyware assholes target the services non-
computer geeks like to frequent, especially screen savers, chat clients
and enhancers, anything that looks innocous and pretty. Soon enough the
machine will be slow, cranky and the screen filled with popups, probably
no small number porn, and Explorer will have all these "Enhancement
Bars", some of which can be practically impossible to get rid of and do
them the favor of downloading more spyware automatically.

If they get AOL - and older people seem to like it (shudder) - they will
be slammed with spam.

If they don't get AOL, they will probably be encouraged to use Outlook
Express, and they will soon be slammed with spam, lots of it containing
malware.

If they sign up for an elist of whatever appeals (travel, quilting,
skateboarding, I dunno) sooner or later their email will wind up in some
other novice's Windows Address Book, and the malware on that machine will
start spoofing with their email address on top of sending them spam and
malware.

The neophyte Mac users I help still have trouble with their machines, but
they at least are not under active attack. Save yourself some headache.

YMMV.
 
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MArtin Chiselwitt
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      01-08-2004, 02:48 AM
Pro PC because:

pc is simply more economical.. i.e., upgradable, evolvable etc...
far more software supported...
far cheaper than a mac in every way...

Pro Mac because:

They look lovely...


btw, i was a staunch advocate of Macs for many years..
I just set my folks up with a PC.... they have taken to it very
quickly.. they have graphics, office stuff and are connected with
minimal fuss. i don't think the situation would have been the same if i
had gotten them a Mac frankly

hth

mart
 
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Stephan
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      01-08-2004, 04:40 AM

"Hecate" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> The reason this is OT is that this question has absolutely nothing to
> do with Photoshop. However, I thought I'd get some opinions from the
> wealth of experienced people here. I hope you don't mind.
>
> First, and please read carefully, this is the situation:
>
> My parents aged 83 and 76 have decided that they want a computer.
> Because of their age and health they now have a lot of difficulty
> getting out and about and want a computer to do the following:
>
> Get online so they can shop, including doing their grocery shopping,
> etc.
> Email - me mainly.
> Write letters and print them.
>
> And that's basically all.
>
> So, we're talking low end computers.
>
> Now, bearing in mind that I'm not looking for a what runs software
> better, what runs Photoshop better debate, and that my parents will
> have to learn from scratch, to the extent that they will have to be
> shown how to turn the damned thing on and off...
>
> Which is easiest for someone with no knowledge whatsoever - Mac or PC?
>
> Added to that, Macs aren't targeted as much as PCs by virus writers
> etc and I'm leaning towards a Mac. But most of my experience is with
> PCs and older Macs, so I'll be less likely to be able to help them.
> And, finally, to throw this into the equation, due to my health, and
> the distance they live, I'm unlikely to be able to go and help them in
> person.
>
> Given all that, I'd love to hear what people think. In the end, I';m
> going to have to make the decision for them, so I'd like as many
> opinions as possible.
>
> Thanks to everyone who replies (sensibly <g>).
>
> PS Hardline command line Linux users need not reply ;-)
>

You asking this?
What I am going to do with my parents when I go visit them in Europe this
summer is what I recommend to you.
Wipe out the hard drive and install a fresh version of the OS (to get rid of
the Dell or HP or whatever crap)
Install all the programs they need, all the drivers, install a firewall and
use all the programs to make sure the firewall is configured properly.
Oh, and yes AOL is just perfect for old people (and retarded teenagers)
Then I ll make an bootable image of the C:drive on CD and on a second drive
with Acronis True Image (you have to have this).
I'll have the OS also on D:
If (when) things get too bad I can guide my mom over the phone to restore
the image of C: when it was new and clean.
If things get worse I can make her boot from D: and go from there.
I think Windows is a better bet because they'll be more likely to find
friends around them able to teach them and help them.
Mac users are just a tiny and shrinking percentage of the computing world,
If disaster strikes I'll be able to guide my mom over the phone

Stephan



 
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Flycaster
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Posts: n/a

 
      01-08-2004, 06:26 AM
"Stephan" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:Fa5Lb.43005$(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "Hecate" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> > The reason this is OT is that this question has absolutely nothing to
> > do with Photoshop. However, I thought I'd get some opinions from the
> > wealth of experienced people here. I hope you don't mind.
> >
> > First, and please read carefully, this is the situation:
> >
> > My parents aged 83 and 76 have decided that they want a computer.
> > Because of their age and health they now have a lot of difficulty
> > getting out and about and want a computer to do the following:
> >
> > Get online so they can shop, including doing their grocery shopping,
> > etc.
> > Email - me mainly.
> > Write letters and print them.
> >
> > And that's basically all.
> >
> > So, we're talking low end computers.
> >
> > Now, bearing in mind that I'm not looking for a what runs software
> > better, what runs Photoshop better debate, and that my parents will
> > have to learn from scratch, to the extent that they will have to be
> > shown how to turn the damned thing on and off...
> >
> > Which is easiest for someone with no knowledge whatsoever - Mac or PC?
> >
> > Added to that, Macs aren't targeted as much as PCs by virus writers
> > etc and I'm leaning towards a Mac. But most of my experience is with
> > PCs and older Macs, so I'll be less likely to be able to help them.
> > And, finally, to throw this into the equation, due to my health, and
> > the distance they live, I'm unlikely to be able to go and help them in
> > person.
> >
> > Given all that, I'd love to hear what people think. In the end, I';m
> > going to have to make the decision for them, so I'd like as many
> > opinions as possible.
> >
> > Thanks to everyone who replies (sensibly <g>).
> >
> > PS Hardline command line Linux users need not reply ;-)
> >

> You asking this?
> What I am going to do with my parents when I go visit them in Europe this
> summer is what I recommend to you.
> Wipe out the hard drive and install a fresh version of the OS (to get rid

of
> the Dell or HP or whatever crap)
> Install all the programs they need, all the drivers, install a firewall

and
> use all the programs to make sure the firewall is configured properly.
> Oh, and yes AOL is just perfect for old people (and retarded teenagers)
> Then I ll make an bootable image of the C:drive on CD and on a second

drive
> with Acronis True Image (you have to have this).
> I'll have the OS also on D:
> If (when) things get too bad I can guide my mom over the phone to restore
> the image of C: when it was new and clean.
> If things get worse I can make her boot from D: and go from there.
> I think Windows is a better bet because they'll be more likely to find
> friends around them able to teach them and help them.
> Mac users are just a tiny and shrinking percentage of the computing world,
> If disaster strikes I'll be able to guide my mom over the phone


You certainly have all bases covered.




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mono
Guest
Posts: n/a

 
      01-08-2004, 11:38 AM
Hecate <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<(E-Mail Removed)>. ..
> The reason this is OT is that this question has absolutely nothing to
> do with Photoshop. However, I thought I'd get some opinions from the
> wealth of experienced people here. I hope you don't mind.
>
> First, and please read carefully, this is the situation:
>
> My parents aged 83 and 76 have decided that they want a computer.
> Because of their age and health they now have a lot of difficulty
> getting out and about and want a computer to do the following:
>
> Get online so they can shop, including doing their grocery shopping,
> etc.
> Email - me mainly.
> Write letters and print them.
>
> And that's basically all.
>
> So, we're talking low end computers.
>
> Now, bearing in mind that I'm not looking for a what runs software
> better, what runs Photoshop better debate, and that my parents will
> have to learn from scratch, to the extent that they will have to be
> shown how to turn the damned thing on and off...
>
> Which is easiest for someone with no knowledge whatsoever - Mac or PC?
>
> Added to that, Macs aren't targeted as much as PCs by virus writers
> etc and I'm leaning towards a Mac. But most of my experience is with
> PCs and older Macs, so I'll be less likely to be able to help them.
> And, finally, to throw this into the equation, due to my health, and
> the distance they live, I'm unlikely to be able to go and help them in
> person.
>
> Given all that, I'd love to hear what people think. In the end, I';m
> going to have to make the decision for them, so I'd like as many
> opinions as possible.
>
> Thanks to everyone who replies (sensibly <g>).
>
> PS Hardline command line Linux users need not reply ;-)
>
> --
>
> Hecate
> (E-Mail Removed)
> veni, vidi, reliqui



Believe it or not but I am replying sensibly here.

Given their limited requirements and I take it no computer experience
to date, would an Amstrad e-m@iler serve as an introduction for them
so you can see if there are going to be insurmountable problems with
something that is more involved. Less than £30 will introduce them to
"computers" gently, it comes looking like a phone so a friendly start
there. It might not do all you listed (not sure how much internet
access it provides e.g. for shopping online). There's also the Bush
box or maybe Sky's interactive whatever (know even less about them but
might be worth a look).

Just some passing thoughts, partly because I was considering the
Amstrad for my mother (83) but it's a non starter ... she aleady has a
technology war going with the breadmaker we got her. (And we got the
single button model)

Brian
(the other one)
 
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mono
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      01-08-2004, 11:55 AM
"Flycaster" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<3ffcf82c$(E-Mail Removed)>...
> "Stephan" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:Fa5Lb.43005$(E-Mail Removed)...
> > >

> > You asking this?
> > What I am going to do with my parents when I go visit them in Europe this
> > summer is what I recommend to you.
> > Wipe out the hard drive and install a fresh version of the OS (to get rid

> of
> > the Dell or HP or whatever crap)
> > Install all the programs they need, all the drivers, install a firewall

> and
> > use all the programs to make sure the firewall is configured properly.
> > Oh, and yes AOL is just perfect for old people (and retarded teenagers)
> > Then I ll make an bootable image of the C:drive on CD and on a second

> drive
> > with Acronis True Image (you have to have this).
> > I'll have the OS also on D:
> > If (when) things get too bad I can guide my mom over the phone to restore
> > the image of C: when it was new and clean.
> > If things get worse I can make her boot from D: and go from there.
> > I think Windows is a better bet because they'll be more likely to find
> > friends around them able to teach them and help them.
> > Mac users are just a tiny and shrinking percentage of the computing world,
> > If disaster strikes I'll be able to guide my mom over the phone

>



> You certainly have all bases covered.
>


No, he forgot the UPS for when the winter snows bring the power lines
down.
But you can forgive this of somebody who lives in Hawaii ... not
jealous, not at all :-)

Brian
(the other one)
 
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Stephan
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      01-08-2004, 04:30 PM

"mono" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) m...
> "Flycaster" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message

news:<3ffcf82c$(E-Mail Removed)>...
> > "Stephan" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> > news:Fa5Lb.43005$(E-Mail Removed)...
> > > >
> > > You asking this?
> > > What I am going to do with my parents when I go visit them in Europe

this
> > > summer is what I recommend to you.
> > > Wipe out the hard drive and install a fresh version of the OS (to get

rid
> > of
> > > the Dell or HP or whatever crap)
> > > Install all the programs they need, all the drivers, install a

firewall
> > and
> > > use all the programs to make sure the firewall is configured properly.
> > > Oh, and yes AOL is just perfect for old people (and retarded

teenagers)
> > > Then I ll make an bootable image of the C:drive on CD and on a second

> > drive
> > > with Acronis True Image (you have to have this).
> > > I'll have the OS also on D:
> > > If (when) things get too bad I can guide my mom over the phone to

restore
> > > the image of C: when it was new and clean.
> > > If things get worse I can make her boot from D: and go from there.
> > > I think Windows is a better bet because they'll be more likely to find
> > > friends around them able to teach them and help them.
> > > Mac users are just a tiny and shrinking percentage of the computing

world,
> > > If disaster strikes I'll be able to guide my mom over the phone

> >

>
>
> > You certainly have all bases covered.
> >

>
> No, he forgot the UPS for when the winter snows bring the power lines
> down.
> But you can forgive this of somebody who lives in Hawaii ... not
> jealous, not at all :-)
>

The power doesn't go down here, it goes up!
Surge paradise!

Stephan


 
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Hecate
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      01-09-2004, 01:05 AM
On Wed, 07 Jan 2004 18:17:51 -0800, David H <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>> And that's basically all.

>
>The answer is actually quite simple:
>
>Which machine do you want to do over-the-phone tech support for?
>
>I'm not kidding. Given what you said, that should be your primary
>criteria.
>
>Hope that helps. Good luck,
>

Thanks, it does. It illuminates the problem I'm having. I agree with
what you've said, but I also agree with what Eric says downthread. I'm
expecting to have to do support down the phone - OTOH, I also realise
they haven't a clue when it comes to viruses/adware/spyware/trojans
etc. And I'm having trouble deciding between easier to troubleshoot or
more likely to get attacked

--

Hecate
(E-Mail Removed)
veni, vidi, reliqui
 
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