Suggestions for a someone that has never used a computer

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SmackaMac, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. SmackaMac macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2007

    I just wanted to see if any of you had suggestions for my situation:

    My father uses WebTV...he has never touched an actual computer in his life (he is 70+ yrs old). Needless to say, his WebTV browser makes browsing the web very painful (as more and more sites aren't compatible with the browser). As a result, he is interested in getting a computer.

    So a couple of questions for you....

    -have any of you found success in helping an older person learn how to use a computer?

    -since he has never used a mouse before (and he shakes a bit) I can forsee problems....any suggestions? Are there any keyboards out there (similar to WebTV) that you can use for navigation.

    Any suggestions are welcomed!

  2. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    Well, it's hard to say, not knowing your father.

    But a Mac Mini with a decent-sized LCD would be as good a computer as any to start with. OS X is pretty flexible in terms of configuring the OS to work with people with hearing/eyesight/coordination problems. The mouse is pretty configurable so you can chose a comfortable tracking/click speed.
  3. panoz7 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    I recently bought a clamshell iBook and taught my 80 year old grandma to use it. The clamshell book is great since the screen is low-res and it seems to be almost indestructible.

    Learning to use a mouse is definitely a big hurdle to overcome. My grandma initially didn't understand the concept of a mouse and had trouble knowing what exactly to do with it. I slowed the tracking down a lot and changed the click speed to suit her. It took a little while but she eventually learned to properly hold the mouse (very , especially with semi shakey hands) and how to click without moving the mouse.

    I didn't show my grandma any of the keyboard shortcuts. I didn't want overwhelm her... as long as he knows one way to do something that's good enough, even if there may be a quick or more efficient way to do it. It sounds as if your father might be more comfortable using a keyboard though (my grandma didn't know how to type... another fun thing to teach) so it might be different in your case.

    It can be difficult to teach an older person to use a computer but it's certainly doable as long as you and your father have some patience.
  4. mick4394 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2006
    Flyover country
    You may want to try a trackball over a mouse. Shakiness won't be as much of an issue.
  5. SmackaMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2007
    Thank you for all your suggestions! I think with a little customization and some time...he should catch on just fine.
  6. iSaint macrumors 603


    May 26, 2004
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    I applaud his willingness to learn. I wonder if there are mice/mouses/meece whose software allows for shakiness? :confused:

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