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Windows Operating Systems Software

Configuring a Windows PC For a Senior Citizen? 823

Posted by kdawson
from the keeping-it-simple dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I would like to know if there are any resources on the Web or elsewhere describing how to configure a Windows PC for an older parent not living in the same household. Assume little computer familiarity or aptitude. Some stuff is obvious, like using only a few large icons for favorite Web sites, or an icon perhaps for composing email and another for checking email. Other considerations are eliminating nuisance messages from Windows update and antivirus/firewall. What works and what doesn't? Can anyone who has worked/volunteered at a senior center offer some insights?"
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Configuring a Windows PC For a Senior Citizen?

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  • by lobiusmoop (305328) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @05:56AM (#26221285) Homepage

    You're doomed. Just give them your telephone number and book out 3 hours per week of your time for the rest of your life.

  • by Bert64 (520050) <bert&slashdot,firenzee,com> on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @06:43AM (#26221519) Homepage

    A taxi.

  • by FudRucker (866063) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @07:01AM (#26221599)
    just give them a PC with no OS on it and an OpenBSD CDrom and Theo's phone number :D
  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @07:14AM (#26221683) Homepage Journal
    My platypii died of a virus, you insensitive clod!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @07:16AM (#26221693)

    fuck you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @07:16AM (#26221699)

    I know Fanboy Homos will get crazy and crucify me for what I will say but this is was my experience:
    Like a good fanboy linux advocate, I installed Ubuntu on all my elderly relatives computers, my grand-dad, dad and mom, they all live on different houses, and hours of plane travel from me.
    So, I even installed VNC so I could manage their GUI desktops if necessary. I showed them the pretty Gnome GUI and the pretty browsers and how to use e-mail, so they were pretty happy.
    But, then it started: they couldn't access their preferred websites, because flash didn't install properly. So, I had to teach a 80 year's old how to untar and copy a library over to the mozilla directory, which was a pretty gruesome experience.
    Well, Ubuntu was such a piece of crap for them that they started to call me screaming they need their good windows computers back because their friends were going to websites and they couldn't do the same.
    So, as result, my elderly relatives found a Windows tech guy, the guy installed XP on their machines, and they were happy again.
    I had to pay for their installations, but wasn't able to avoid being banished from family forever, thanks to the fanboyish failure machine: Ubuntu.
    This Xmas, the windows tech guy will be seating at their Xmas dinner table while I will be eating Macaroni and Cheese from my microwave, alone at my house.
    So, my advice to this guy asking about his elderly relative: Do not follow the fanboys here as they don't have real families and WoW NPCs really like when their kids or grandkids install Ubuntu on their PCs, but real people don't.
    Do like this: Find a store selling LEGIT Windows XP copies. Buy one, install it, activate automatic updates. Install a good AUTOMATIC anti-virus, firewall and anti-spyware. Install Firefox and all the plugins. MAKE SURE THAT FIREFOX WORKS!!!!! (stupid FOSS...) Then activate Remote Desktop so you can fix the machine remotely. And, voila, you got a happy relative with a happy computer.
    And you can have happy Xmases forever, without have to being cursed because of the homo-fanboy F*ckuntu...

  • by Kijori (897770) <ward.jakeNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @07:54AM (#26221891)

    And the plural of "pedant" is Slashdot. :D

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @07:59AM (#26221933)

    Your lack of knowledge about windows doesnt make windows bad [...]
    Oh and yes my parents use vista, so there is verry little change they will get mallware installed.

    Wow, you seem like a really knowledgeable person! You must be some guru, please teach us more! /sarcasm

  • by dotancohen (1015143) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @08:19AM (#26222029) Homepage

    Oh and yes my parents use vista, so there is verry little change they will get mallware installed.

    HELP MY MOUSE IS MOVING BY IT SELF

    For the noobs: http://www.bash.org/?117002 [bash.org]

  • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @08:19AM (#26222031) Journal

    Ten "ubuntu is easier than Windows" comments later, I can't believe I am twistedly talented enough to be the only guy to break unbuntu in 5 minutes flat.

    Recipe:

    Begin with a nice, roasted Dapper Drake.
    See flashy "Upgrade LTS to LTS - Dapper to Hardy".
    Visit Synaptic & (attempt) to set repositories to Hardy.
    Begin update attempt.
    "You must freshen files before getting the new release".
    Attempt to get new versions of existing.
    "Edgy Eft is available" (No mention of Hardy.)
    Clicked to get some Edgy Files.

    Lights out.

  • by rhyder128k (1051042) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @08:22AM (#26222053) Homepage

    This Xmas, the windows tech guy will be seating at their Xmas dinner table while I will be eating Macaroni and Cheese from my microwave, alone at my house.

    You were ex communicated from your entire ungrateful family. Surely that was worth the time investment of Ubuntu in itself?

    "Hey, I heard that you're having some computer difficulties again. Y'want me to pop over and try to fix it? Oh right, you don't trust me to do it anymore. Fair enough, you might be better asking someone a bit more qualified than me"." [fx: pats Ubuntu CDS and whispers "Thankyou, Shuttleworth!"]

    In my experience, getting people like that stay away is rarely that easy.

  • by davro (539320) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @08:52AM (#26222171) Homepage
    Sounds like your family will be up for a Darwin award very soon.
  • by Bovineck (200068) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @09:37AM (#26222443)

    Oh God I used to dread my "holidays" down at my parents place, fixing up all the problems with Windows (starting at 3.11 and ending at 2000). Then I installed RedHat with a "Redmond" theme and...no phone calls, no teeth gnashing, no drama, no tears...heaven! Since then, only a few minor niggles when the ISP changes. And an change a few years later to Ubuntu when RedHat went all Gates on me. Oh, and one major niggle when a local IT "guru" reformatted the drive for my mum and reinstalled windows because "you can only access the internet with windows".

    He has since been run over by a truck. How is that for karma?

    P.S. I do not have a truck licence.

  • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @09:49AM (#26222513)

    That would be a collective noun, not a plural.

    I'll get my coat....

  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @10:34AM (#26222875) Homepage Journal

    This Xmas, the windows tech guy will be seating at their Xmas dinner table while I will be eating Macaroni and Cheese from my microwave, alone at my house.

    Just go upstairs, already. Your mom will be happy to see you again.

  • by cbiltcliffe (186293) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @10:45AM (#26222983) Homepage Journal

    Mallware?

    Is that, like, retail point of sale software, or something?
    I guess it is pretty unlikely that your parents will install that... ;)

  • by alfredo (18243) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @11:49AM (#26223545)

    Wipe the drive clean and install Slackware. Let them do their own configuration. No need to coddle them. They'll learn quicker that way.

    Never liked granny that much anyway.

  • by d3ac0n (715594) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @11:51AM (#26223561)

    Heh. I was thinking the same thing when I saw his post.

    "Well I just did this... (insert 3 paragraphs of long and convoluted technical backflips needed to make Windows even semi-secure)"

    OR

    "Well I just installed Ubuntu."

    I know which one I would pick.

    Besides, I LOVE my Grandparents, they are neat people. Why would I torture them with "Windows Pain"?

  • by calmofthestorm (1344385) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @01:38PM (#26224321)

    This is the year of the Windows desktop!

A LISP programmer knows the value of everything, but the cost of nothing. -- Alan Perlis

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