Dragging my parents into the 21st century

mere_immortalmere_immortal So tasty!Registered User regular
So my parents have never had a home PC, but my mum uses one on a daily basis at work and also goes to the library every day to use their shared machines. I want to get them a computer for Christmas this year so they have something to use in the house but not sure what I should go with.

So the choices are an iPad which is simple and easy to use, there's no real way they can break it through downloading crap and it has everything they need. A laptop would have more of a similarity to what they are used to but would be easier to get infested with crap until I come round and sort it out. An android tablet would be much cheaper but again I'd be worried about how user friendly it would be for them.

Realistically it would just be for web browsing and probably some email and skype stuff so I'm not sure I can justify the price of an iPad, although it will probably last without upgrade for a good few years so maybe it's worth it? What do you think H+A, suggestions for specific laptops or tablets would also be appreciated!

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    What's your budget? You should/could probably avoid the ipads. But by doing so, you open yourself up to be the IT guy for it.

    The ipad is worth the significant premium to set it and forget it. The similar android tablets all cost roughly the same as the ipad, unless you're willing to take the hit on your size.

    You can easily get laptops for $400 as well.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    V1mzepherin
  • ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    We had tried for years to go through the Laptop route with my mom, and it was never well received. There was just too much involved with the single click and the double click, and updating and what not for here to ever trust it enough to get used to using it. Now, this will be less of an issue for you as your parents are using computers elsewhere.

    However, that being said, we got my Mom an iPad for her birthday and it was the best gift ever. Well, sort of... on the plus side, she uses the thing all the time now. On the down side, she has discovered Facebook and funny cat pictures, and how to email / text said pictures to us....

    bowenZilla360LostNinjaJusticeforPluto
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    What's your budget? You should/could probably avoid the ipads. But by doing so, you open yourself up to be the IT guy for it.

    The ipad is worth the significant premium to set it and forget it. The similar android tablets all cost roughly the same as the ipad, unless you're willing to take the hit on your size.

    You can easily get laptops for $400 as well.
    Yeah, ipads are the entry level item. Get them an ipad and a case, in fact put it in the case for them. You could also go with an Asus Chromebook, or Nexus 7 if your trying to save money or hate apple for some reason, but there are trade offs.

    Ipads are pretty great, you could go with an ipad mini to get the cost down when they come out in November. They are going to be $300

    bowen
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    How much time are you willing to spend being unpaid IT support? I ask because if you pick the machine, there is an extremely high chance that your parents will utterly refuse to learn or remember even basic PC hygiene, and offload all responsibility to take care of it, make it work and teach them to use it onto you.

    Basically the up front cash cost of the machine is pretty much a side issue. It's the support cost that counts because you will almost certainly be providing that support 24/7, for free, for ever.

    bowen
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    its not like she doesn't know how to use a computer, she uses one at work and every day at the library.

    so its not like the technology is a barrier.

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    mts wrote: »
    its not like she doesn't know how to use a computer, she uses one at work and every day at the library.

    so its not like the technology is a barrier.
    People are weird like that though. The kind of activity at work is going to be highly restrictive in nature, where as at home where they have access to more than just office, email and the company intranet, there becomes an issue. Last thing you want happening is for dad to pick up a porn virus and the OP having to spend 4 hours on a Sunday cleaning off some randsomware. Nobody wants to think about dad watching porn, but chances are the old man will probably take a look, hell the mom may even pick up something looking at pictures of kittens.

    I demand tech kittens for this thread.

  • DivideByZeroDivideByZero Social Justice Blackguard Registered User regular
    Keep in mind that if you go the iPad route, you'll be stuck activating and updating it at your place since they have no computer of their own.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKERS
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Keep in mind that if you go the iPad route, you'll be stuck activating and updating it at your place since they have no computer of their own.
    The new IOS devices can activate and update from the device. It sucks typing that shit out on a touchscreen, but you can do it.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    zepherin wrote: »
    Keep in mind that if you go the iPad route, you'll be stuck activating and updating it at your place since they have no computer of their own.
    The new IOS devices can activate and update from the device. It sucks typing that shit out on a touchscreen, but you can do it.

    The new iOS actually auto updates apps too. Set it and forget it.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    zepherin
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    zepherin wrote: »
    mts wrote: »
    its not like she doesn't know how to use a computer, she uses one at work and every day at the library.

    so its not like the technology is a barrier.
    People are weird like that though. The kind of activity at work is going to be highly restrictive in nature, where as at home where they have access to more than just office, email and the company intranet, there becomes an issue. Last thing you want happening is for dad to pick up a porn virus and the OP having to spend 4 hours on a Sunday cleaning off some randsomware. Nobody wants to think about dad watching porn, but chances are the old man will probably take a look, hell the mom may even pick up something looking at pictures of kittens.

    I demand tech kittens for this thread.

    Yeah.

    The only upside is you get free food every time you go there. When I go, I fix my dad's laptop, and get dinner for free out of it.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • mere_immortalmere_immortal So tasty!Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    Ok so it looks like the iPad is the leader so far. The only options available on the Apple site are the iPad 2 and the Air.

    Is the Air technically the iPad 5 with the 3 being the retina version of the 2 and the 4 being an improved processor?

    mere_immortal on
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Yeah.

    The new generation of iPads use the 64 bit processor, so, I think it doubles the CPU over the 4. But the new iPad mini might be the best bang for the buck, but again, you lose some screen size for the price difference.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • mere_immortalmere_immortal So tasty!Registered User regular
    Yeah I'd rather go full sized if I'm going iPad, their sight is fine but I'd like to give them as much screen size as possible.

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  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    iPad may cost a premium, but for that premium you get an operating system polished to within an inch of its life to be easily accessible, and near impossibility to fuck the thing up by pressing the wrong button and letting the bad guys take control.

    Also high likelihood that other more immediate friends/family than yourself can help them if they do get stuck because everyone knows how they work.

    Plus if it's just for web and email you can go probably drop back a few generations from the latest and save a bit of cash.

    Jam Warrior on
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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Don't buy an Android tablet; they are harder to operate than iPad and will probably just collect dust while your parents continue to go to the library, if I know techno-illiterate parents.

    bowen
  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Don't buy an Android tablet; they are harder to operate than iPad

    Not really. Once you get past the surface level they can actually do a lot more to suit your needs and preferences.

    But it's true that iOS is pretty simplistic and minimal (partially because it hasn't changed significantly in years) and sort of designed for people who hate technology (or think they do). So for older people whose grasp on computer technology is marginal it is probably a better choice. Features beneath the surface level won't matter to people who will probably never get beneath that surface level.

    bowen wrote: »
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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Gaslight wrote: »
    Not really. Once you get past the surface level they can actually do a lot more to suit your needs and preferences.

    Of course. For computer literate people, you are right.

    However, for computer illiterate people like mere_immortal's parents, any slight barrier of learning is going to leave them choosing the easier, more comfortable route of going to the library like they always have, where the friendly librarian is always willing to help them with any problems they have. Leaving the expensive Android tablet a dusty paperweight, and his parents looking awkward whenever he asks them how they like their gift (and assuring him that they do indeed like it very much and appreciate the thought, but it's no trouble to just pop into the library before nipping into the supermarket.)

    It's a psychology problem, not a technology problem.

    Aldo
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    I'd say just go with a bargin laptop. Best yet get a refurbished one that has win 7 on it. She already knows how to use a computer, so I don't see how relearning an iPad is an improvement. You run the same paper-weight risk with an iPad as a Nexus because its not a computer like what she is already comfortable using.



    tinwhiskers on
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  • azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    You may also want to consider just leaving them in the 20th century. Your practically begging for calls about computer problems once you apply the web to curious people. (I speak from experience). No matter how many times we tell mom not to click on the "CLICK THIS" thing in emails, she inevitably ends up forwarding them to us anyway so obviously she did click.

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    azith28 wrote: »
    You may also want to consider just leaving them in the 20th century. Your practically begging for calls about computer problems once you apply the web to curious people. (I speak from experience). No matter how many times we tell mom not to click on the "CLICK THIS" thing in emails, she inevitably ends up forwarding them to us anyway so obviously she did click.

    That's why you get them a tablet. :P

    bowenV1mLostNinja
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Do the parents even have Internet access? If they have no computers at home ...

    Another consideration is do they like touchscreen interfaces? My parents do not so the iPad I bought them never gets used. They prefer to use either desktops or laptops. If the parents have smartphones then they are probably fine with the touchscreen interface (mine have candybar or flip phones).

  • mere_immortalmere_immortal So tasty!Registered User regular
    They do have internet as they get it free by having a telephone line from the company I work for.

    I don't think they have much experience with touchscreens, but from seeing people who are not tech savvy at all handle an ipad I don't think that should be much of a problem. You see a thing you want to access and touch it, anything else I can teach them when they open it on Christmas.

    Steam: mere_immortal - PSN: mere_immortal - XBL: lego pencil - Wii U: mimmortal - 3DS: 1521-7234-1642 - Bordgamegeek: mere_immortal
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Make sure you have enough money you won't be annoyed if they don't use it at all.

    alltheolive
  • Zombie NirvanaZombie Nirvana Registered User regular
    Do they want to go to the 21st century?

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    I'd recommend the Kindle Fire HDX, in large part because it has integrated one touch concierge support (the Mayday button).

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  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Make sure you have enough money you won't be annoyed if they don't use it at all.

    If they don't use it it can always just "disappear" one day, and then OP has a tablet.

    bowen
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    My techno illiterate father has happily used his 2-3 year old Android tablet, with the only issue being a hardware failure. If he can switch between a work PC, home Apple and an Android tablet, then I feel anybody can, regardless of technofear. This is a guy I have to talk through how to to turn on the Skype video camera everytime he uses it with me, for going on 6 years now.

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  • KharnastusKharnastus Registered User regular
    Buy the ipad, continue on with life. Buy the laptop, cry as they accidently add malware after spyware after terribleware. Apple did good for those pesky consumers. If cheap go for smaller ipad. Supporting technoilliterate people should always be a paid position even if they are your parents. ipads remove this problem. Well, not entirely, but they do a pretty good job. Just be glad you are not managing a hundred ipads.

  • PeenPeen tw1tch0rz occasionallyRegistered User regular
    A decent inbetween option would be a Chromebook; form factor of a computer, does what your parents want, pretty hard to screw up with downloading nonsense.

  • LaPuzzaLaPuzza Registered User regular
    My inlaws had a computer and both used them at work, but they didn’t get serious about even email until they got their Ipad. They went from “I don’t know if we’ll use it” to “we should get another one” in like 48 hours.

    That being said, if you got the PC route, I’m a huge fan of Norton Internet Security (or 360 or whatever they call it now). The level of control over allow, deny or prompt is fantastic. I particularly like the “3rd party cookies” prompt, because it teaches the user how often a visit to site X wants to give data to site Y. You can also combine Norton’s password and ID remembering software with heavily locked down browser settings to allow mom-level convenience without the risk of bad stuff.

    Also, remote access for will be a major necessity for fixing what’s fubar.

    If I didn't know LaPuzza wasn't a spambot I would think that was a spambot post.
  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    Peen wrote: »
    A decent inbetween option would be a Chromebook; form factor of a computer, does what your parents want, pretty hard to screw up with downloading nonsense.

    One thing with chromebooks though ( found out the hard way getting my niece one) is you cannot put Skype on it without some warranty breaching efforts.

    Steam! Battlenet:Wisemantobes#1508
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    LaPuzza wrote: »
    That being said, if you got the PC route, I’m a huge fan of Norton Internet Security (or 360 or whatever they call it now). The level of control over allow, deny or prompt is fantastic. I particularly like the “3rd party cookies” prompt, because it teaches the user how often a visit to site X wants to give data to site Y. You can also combine Norton’s password and ID remembering software with heavily locked down browser settings to allow mom-level convenience without the risk of bad stuff.

    My dad had Norton and turned it off because it slowed down his computer worse than the viruses.

    (Yes, you could just not give them the password but grownups generally like access to their own computer.)

    Also software that asks them about cookies every time they visit a harmless site will just teach them to ignore all warnings.

    GaslightEsseeAldo
  • LaPuzzaLaPuzza Registered User regular
    LaPuzza wrote: »
    That being said, if you got the PC route, I’m a huge fan of Norton Internet Security (or 360 or whatever they call it now). The level of control over allow, deny or prompt is fantastic. I particularly like the “3rd party cookies” prompt, because it teaches the user how often a visit to site X wants to give data to site Y. You can also combine Norton’s password and ID remembering software with heavily locked down browser settings to allow mom-level convenience without the risk of bad stuff.

    My dad had Norton and turned it off because it slowed down his computer worse than the viruses.

    (Yes, you could just not give them the password but grownups generally like access to their own computer.)

    Also software that asks them about cookies every time they visit a harmless site will just teach them to ignore all warnings.

    If they're identifying program use of resources and disabling programs, they're sophisticated enough that OP has been successful in upgrading them from their current user status. While Norton is too resource intensive for, let's say, a 5 year old netbook, it shouldn't kill a current system.

    Getting your parents (or kids) to understand the difference between 3rd party cookies from espn.com and from lobsterporn.org is a big deal. I found that there isn't any easier way to teach "have you tried reading what's written in English on the screen?" as a skill than this. But diff'ent strokes, I suppose.

    If I didn't know LaPuzza wasn't a spambot I would think that was a spambot post.
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Getting your parents to understand the difference between 3rd party cookies from espn.com and from lobsterporn.org might be harder than teaching your cat to speak Greek. I've "taught" my dad at least a dozen times how to scan a freaking document. I have them on OSX, but if I didn't I'd put Ghostery on their browsers, block everything, and then visit them occasionally to make sure any new trackers are blocked.

    CelestialBadger
  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    Remember too, Parents will do things we don't even consider thanks to our subconscious knowledge built up over years of use.

    Like my mom wanting to price out her porcelain doll collection, Google Image searched "Tiny Asian Dolls" ... it was REAL awkward

    Steam! Battlenet:Wisemantobes#1508
    AngelHedgie
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited October 2013
    Remember too, Parents will do things we don't even consider thanks to our subconscious knowledge built up over years of use.

    Like my mom wanting to price out her porcelain doll collection, Google Image searched "Tiny Asian Dolls" ... it was REAL awkward

    I called your bluff and "tiny asian dolls" brings up actual dolls.

    edit: on a completely unrelated note I am now a Bing user

    admanb on
  • PeenPeen tw1tch0rz occasionallyRegistered User regular
    Peen wrote: »
    A decent inbetween option would be a Chromebook; form factor of a computer, does what your parents want, pretty hard to screw up with downloading nonsense.

    One thing with chromebooks though ( found out the hard way getting my niece one) is you cannot put Skype on it without some warranty breaching efforts.

    Sure but at that point you might as well use Google Hangouts, does the same thing and it's already on there.

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