OT: Mac or PC <g>

Discussion in 'Photoshop' started by Hecate, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. Hecate

    Hecate Guest

    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

    veni, vidi, reliqui
     
    Hecate, Jan 8, 2004
    #1
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  2. Hecate

    David H Guest

    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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    Check out the Photoshop Zone with in-depth reviews and information on
    hundreds of different Photoshop books at:
    http://www.photoshopzone.com
    Honest, useful, detailed reviews....check it out before you go shopping
    for those expensive Photoshop books!
    ------------------------------
     
    David H, Jan 8, 2004
    #2
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  3. Hecate

    Eric Gill Guest

    Hecate <> wrote in
    news::

    > 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.
     
    Eric Gill, Jan 8, 2004
    #3
  4. 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
     
    MArtin Chiselwitt, Jan 8, 2004
    #4
  5. Hecate

    Stephan Guest

    Re: Mac or PC <g>

    "Hecate" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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
     
    Stephan, Jan 8, 2004
    #5
  6. Hecate

    Flycaster Guest

    Re: Mac or PC <g>

    "Stephan" <> wrote in message
    news:Fa5Lb.43005$...
    >
    > "Hecate" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > 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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    Flycaster, Jan 8, 2004
    #6
  7. Hecate

    mono Guest

    Hecate <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > 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
    >
    > 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)
     
    mono, Jan 8, 2004
    #7
  8. Hecate

    mono Guest

    Re: Mac or PC <g>

    "Flycaster" <> wrote in message news:<3ffcf82c$>...
    > "Stephan" <> wrote in message
    > news:Fa5Lb.43005$...
    > > >

    > > 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)
     
    mono, Jan 8, 2004
    #8
  9. Hecate

    Stephan Guest

    Re: Mac or PC <g>

    "mono" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Flycaster" <> wrote in message

    news:<3ffcf82c$>...
    > > "Stephan" <> wrote in message
    > > news:Fa5Lb.43005$...
    > > > >
    > > > 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
     
    Stephan, Jan 8, 2004
    #9
  10. Hecate

    Hecate Guest

    On Wed, 07 Jan 2004 18:17:51 -0800, David H <> 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

    veni, vidi, reliqui
     
    Hecate, Jan 9, 2004
    #10
  11. Hecate

    Hecate Guest

    On Thu, 08 Jan 2004 02:48:56 +0000, MArtin Chiselwitt
    <> wrote:

    >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


    Thanks. Again, that makes sense to me. What really stands out for me
    are two things - the ease with which I can support them at a distance
    - and the likelihood that two complete novices will have their
    computer infected almost as soon as they turn it on :)

    --

    Hecate

    veni, vidi, reliqui
     
    Hecate, Jan 9, 2004
    #11
  12. Hecate

    Hecate Guest

    On Thu, 08 Jan 2004 02:38:21 GMT, Eric Gill <>
    wrote:

    >Hecate <> wrote in
    >news::
    >
    >> Which is easiest for someone with no knowledge whatsoever - Mac or PC?

    >
    >Hecate, you know what hardware I use.
    >
    >Get them a Mac.
    >

    <snip>

    What you say makes a helluva lot of sense. My only worry is that I
    don't know OSX at all and may have trouble supporting them (I suppose
    I could buy myself OSX for Dummies <g>).

    --

    Hecate

    veni, vidi, reliqui
     
    Hecate, Jan 9, 2004
    #12
  13. Hecate

    Hecate Guest

    On 8 Jan 2004 03:38:27 -0800, (mono) wrote:


    >
    >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)



    Thanks Brain, and I had thought of that. The problem is, because of
    their mobility situation, they really need to be able to order from
    places like Tescos etc to do their shopping. Consequently the Amstrad
    is unlikely to meet their needs. Good idea though and one I would
    recommend if only email was needed. Thanks for your input. :)

    --

    Hecate

    veni, vidi, reliqui
     
    Hecate, Jan 9, 2004
    #13
  14. Hecate

    Hecate Guest

    Re: Mac or PC <g>

    On Thu, 08 Jan 2004 04:40:05 GMT, "Stephan" <>
    wrote:

    >> 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
    >

    I would agree, if I was able to get to where they live to do all this,
    but I can't. So it's a case of having whatever they're given and
    working with it. I can only work with them over the phone. So, while
    I think that you're right, in this case it won't work.

    And yes, I think AOHell is perfect for them :)

    --

    Hecate

    veni, vidi, reliqui
     
    Hecate, Jan 9, 2004
    #14
  15. Hecate

    Eric Gill Guest

    Hecate <> wrote in
    news::

    > On Thu, 08 Jan 2004 02:38:21 GMT, Eric Gill <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>Hecate <> wrote in
    >>news::
    >>
    >>> Which is easiest for someone with no knowledge whatsoever - Mac or PC?

    >>
    >>Hecate, you know what hardware I use.
    >>
    >>Get them a Mac.
    >>

    > <snip>
    >
    > What you say makes a helluva lot of sense. My only worry is that I
    > don't know OSX at all and may have trouble supporting them (I suppose
    > I could buy myself OSX for Dummies <g>).


    Okay, I'm putting myself on the firing line for doing so, but here goes:

    OSX reminds me of a hybrid of OS 9 and later model Windows (complete with
    two System folders), all tarted up with little bouncy icons. The concepts
    will be familiar though the options are scattered all over. You should do
    fine, really.

    However, the book might be a good idea anyway. Best if you bought the
    machine, got a bit familiar with it setting it up for their use, then made
    the trip to drop it off and show them the basics.
     
    Eric Gill, Jan 9, 2004
    #15
  16. Hecate

    Stephan Guest

    Re: Mac or PC <g>

    "Hecate" <> wrote in message
    news:...


    >snip<
    > I would agree, if I was able to get to where they live to do all this,
    > but I can't.
    >snip<


    You do have FEDEX on your lost island don't you?
    Put the machine together and FEDEX it to them
    (or hire somebody and his mule, you have mules on your island don't you?)
    ;-)

    Stephan
     
    Stephan, Jan 9, 2004
    #16
  17. Hecate

    Steve Moody Guest

    In article <>, Hecate
    <> wrote:

    > What you say makes a helluva lot of sense. My only worry is that I
    > don't know OSX at all and may have trouble supporting them (I suppose
    > I could buy myself OSX for Dummies <g>).


    Seems your biggest worry here is getting them help when they have
    problems. Get them a Mac with the optional AppleCare for three years.
    Any problems they have, they call an 800 number and they talk them
    through it. Applecare is more than just a warrantee. It is also a
    help line when they need help with any of the software the system comes
    with.
     
    Steve Moody, Jan 9, 2004
    #17
  18. Hecate

    mono Guest

    Hecate <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > 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
    >
    > veni, vidi, reliqui


    This is a reply to your response to my first reply. Sounds like the
    Marx Brothers doesn't it. For some reason I can't tag on to your
    message so apologies for this being out of order.
    Still thinking laterally, I note your doubts about the Amstrad being
    suitable for Tesco shopping. This was another of the considerations
    when I was thinking of it for my mother. The way around that is that
    your parents could email you their shopping list which you then upload
    to Tesco and have it delivered to your parents address.
    Sounds convoluted I know but given your concerns of trying to "fix"
    their computer at a distance it could still be the easier option, a
    lot less to go wrong for them (and you)
    Hey you could always tell them the Amstrad cost a thousand quids and
    get that digital camera you wanted :). (Just a wicked joke, I'm not
    serious. But then you're not thin skinned so I probably don't need to
    add the caveat)

    Brian
    (the other one)
     
    mono, Jan 9, 2004
    #18
  19. Hecate

    Mike Russell Guest

    My parents each have a computer, one windows, and the other a Mac running
    9.x.

    The biggest headache for the Mac is enclosures under AOL - most, if not all,
    of the email for the Mac originates from PC's. Downloading and opening
    enclosures using AOL's download manager is non-trivial - I often arrive
    there to find the same file downloaded several times, scattered all over the
    desktop and elsewhere, in the aftermath of trying to download and open a
    file. AOL updates its software for the Mac at a more leisurely pace - so
    all the cool commercials about improvements to AOL are generally out of
    synch with the Mac version.

    Files received on the PC simply seem to open themselves without the
    necessity of learning concepts of what an enclosure is, file types, download
    manager, or file format conversion . This is not the fault of the Mac, but
    simply the fact that most emails originate on the PC.

    Appleworks is an inadequate substitute for Office - many files open, sort
    of, but then options such as printing in landscape mode, changing font
    sizes, etc, are either broken, or implemented in such a different way that
    finding the feature is near impossible, even when I'm there to deal with it
    in person.

    My wild guess is you'll be sending them photographs - while this should not
    be much of a problem, you may find a learning speed bump with opening and
    printing images, and again using a system similar to yours may save a lot of
    trouble. Outlook Express, for example, will show a jpeg embedded at the end
    of the email, rather than as an enclosure that must be separately downloaded
    and opened with another app.

    Miscellaneous: As far as virusses/viri go, install Norton and you can
    pretty much stop worrying on a PC. It does sound like PC anywhere, or
    Microsoft Messenger's remote desktop capability would hit the spot. There
    is a similar utility for the Mac, but Messanger is free. Also, if the
    budget permists, do consider DSL and having the machine on all the time.
    That way their email will just pop up on the screen instead of them having
    to log on in a separate operation, they can google search trivially, and you
    can connect to them and help with system issues.

    So, my take, as a Mac and Windows person, would be to go with a system as
    similar as the one you yourself use as possible. This would be, it sounds
    like, either a 9.x Macintosh or a Windows XP system, and of those two the XP
    system is probably the easiest to get in and use.
    --

    Mike Russell
    www.curvemeister.com
    www.geigy.2y.net
     
    Mike Russell, Jan 9, 2004
    #19
  20. Hecate

    Hecate Guest

    On Fri, 09 Jan 2004 00:22:17 -0500, Steve Moody
    <> wrote:

    >In article <>, Hecate
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >> What you say makes a helluva lot of sense. My only worry is that I
    >> don't know OSX at all and may have trouble supporting them (I suppose
    >> I could buy myself OSX for Dummies <g>).

    >
    > Seems your biggest worry here is getting them help when they have
    >problems. Get them a Mac with the optional AppleCare for three years.
    >Any problems they have, they call an 800 number and they talk them
    >through it. Applecare is more than just a warrantee. It is also a
    >help line when they need help with any of the software the system comes
    >with.


    Well I knew you'd turn up and support Macs ;-) Thanks, though. That's
    something I hadn't considered and makes a deal of difference. :)

    I'll check it out and see what it's like in the UK.

    --

    Hecate

    veni, vidi, reliqui
     
    Hecate, Jan 10, 2004
    #20
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