Switching my Granddad.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by mad jew, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #1
    So then, my Granddad is running Windows 98 and has been pretty much since it came out. Before that, it was 95, which lets face it, really isn't all that different.

    Anyway, he's wanting to get a new laptop and I'm tossing up whether to throw an iBook at him or just get him an XP machine since he'll be a little more familiar with it. He sees me as his personal IT consultant so whatever I decide, he'll grab, but I don't want to let him down by getting him a Mac and having him quietly disappointed that he has no idea how to work it.

    So, I'd love some advice from people who've switched from Windows recently to Mac and have pretty much no idea about how a computer works, but have found the process reasonably intuitive. I realise this will be pretty difficult since most of the members here know way too much about computers, so maybe stories of people you've converted would help. In particular, old people who've rote learned one system, only to change to another completely different one.

    I've used XP quite a bit but I never had much experience with 9x Windows so I'm not sure what the difference will be between 9x, XP and OSX. If the leap to XP is roughly similar to the leap to X then I'll recommend he gets an iBook or something but otherwise I'll have to recommend an HP or something. :(

    I've given him a stab at my iBook (Panther) and he likes it but he's pretty lost. Will he be just as lost on XP?

    Hope this makes sense, I've had a shocker of a day at uni so my brain's a little out there. Thanks for any advice/stories. :)
     
  2. Fredstar macrumors 6502a

    Fredstar

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Location:
    Near London
    #2
    I was in a similar situation when deciding what to get Mum to replace our Dell, she is basically scared of computers and viruses and stuff but she could use XP because she became used to it. Now i had to make a choice, teach her on a Mac so that she won't have to worry about viruses and do ichats with the rest of the family etc or try not to confuse her and stick with a XP Laptop - this could possibly be better if she has to work with XP computers in the future.
    Anyways i decided in the end that a Mac Mini and OSX would be a brilliant for her, she didn't need portability so i thought for £500, why not. I could always sell it if she really didn't like it and get her an iBook at a later stage if she really wants portability.
    So far it has turned out great, she seems to be getting the hang with OSX after about 30 mins of guidance from me (every now and again i get called) and is happy using it. I wouldn't want her to worry about the three 'guards' we had running on XP that gave constant pop ups with the ol Firewall/Virus scanner and of course the spyware sweeper and all the other crap that is with XP - she also spends a lot more time on the Mini, i guess she is starting to 'enjoy' working a bit more than with the Dell.

    Haha on the other hand i am switching my grandad with a dual 2.7 pmac sometime this summer (or wait for dual-core's) because i want his last machine to be the best there is, i am also going to have to teach him but i am not bothered, ultimately an average user can do a lot more on OSX than they could ever do on XP.
     
  3. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #3
    I switched my Mum (mid 50s) from Win 98 to an iBook and she's been absolutely fine. She'd never used OS X before that but she's a technophobe when it comes to updating virus definitions/firewalls etc.

    I'm not surprised he's pretty lost on first glance. If you go for the iBook option, take an hour or to explain what the dock is, the basic principle of the top menu and the preferences location, explain how to minimise/close windows, show them where their Application folder, what Expose is (keys not hot corners) and explain that Safari is their web browser (and how to make tabs/bookmarks).

    Once I'd done that (for two of my recent switchers) they felt much more confident about playing around with anything else. It's also worth emphasising to them that it's pretty hard to 'break' a Mac so it gives them the reassurance not to worry if they try something.
     
  4. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    #4
    I managed to pursuade my Dad (approaching his 60s with pure windows experince behind him) to dump his MEd Windows to buy an eMac, Panther.

    Sure there was that transitional confusion, but the kind of things that one him over:
    • No continual updates/patches taking up his modem time
    • Total absence of virus software
    • Archiving any pages as PDF
    • Improved spam filters in Mail
    • Tabbed browsing on Safari
    • The speed and effectiveness of knocking up a DVD with menus etc of his grandchild's 5th birthday party
    I realise that not all of those are exlusively Apple, but bringing them all under one hood was pretty substantial for him.
     
  5. mad jew thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #5
    Thanks for all the encouraging stories people. I was secretly hoping you'd all say how easy it is to switch an oldie. I've just thought of another problem though. He really doesn't want to upgrade to XP on his desktop. He was recently conned by some salesman to expensively upgrade every part of his old machine except the hard drive so he's pretty much running a new PC with an old OS. He doesn't mind though. He loves 98 because he knows his way around it so he wont change that for quite some time. I wouldn't have any qualms with getting him a Mac to go with an XP desktop, they're reasonably good at transferring files etc. However, is the file-sharing between 98 and OSX as easy?

    If it were up to me, I'd ditch the current PC and grab a cheap mini or something but he doesn't really want to spend too much money on it.

    I think I'll take Applespider's advice and sit him down to take him through the basics one of these days. We'll see what he thinks after that.
     
  6. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #6
    My mom is 76 years old. I switched her from Windows 2000 to Panther on a eMac with 512Mb. She only does Safari, Mail, and iChat. I placed those on her dock. She has been very happy with her Mac and it's been almost a year now. She uses the basics and doesn't have the random problems of Windows.

    Teach your Granddad the basics like Safari and Mail and he will be fine. Clean the dock of anything too complex. Let him master the basics and then advance him when he is ready to iLife or something.
     
  7. beaster macrumors member

    beaster

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    #7
    I just convinced my dad and his wife to switch (he's in his late 60's and she's in her 50's) from WinME. Got them a Mini with 512 MB ram. So far, so good. I agree with earlier posters who have suggested taking a few hours to do a "tutorial" to show the basics and help with the comfort level. In my case, since my dad lives 2000 miles away, I had Apple send the Mini to me directly so that I could load it up and tweak it for them. I also had my dad email me a backup of his old machine so that I could transfer the files for him. Then I just dropped the Mini in the mail to him, ready to roll right out of the box (don't try this with a Dell tower!).

    I also setup VNC (using the free Apple Remote Desktop client software) so that I can see and control their computer when they run into problems/questions. That's been a real life saver, and a great way to do impromptu tutorials. (It runs via a reverse ssh tunnel so that it's encrypted and so that they didn't have to mess around with opening up ports on their router/firewall - they just double-click on a terminal file to establish the tunnel and we're off and running. They don't need to know anything about IP addresses or terminal commands, etc.)

    Last suggestion - find your switcher a "killer app". For my parents, there were two: iChatAV with an iSight so they can video conference with their grandchildren, and iPhoto so that can create killer slideshows in seconds. Once they saw those 2 apps, they were completely hooked.

    Regards,
    Sean

    P.S. Their only complaint so far - "where's the floppy drive?" :)
     
  8. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #8
    That sounds like a great idea. Having never set up an ssh tunnel of any sort, any links or pointers on how to do this? I can see it being useful on the occasions where Mum/sister/niece/aunt do get stuck.
     
  9. beaster macrumors member

    beaster

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    #9
    Sure - I started to type up a how-to in this thread, but it got pretty long so I posted it under a different thread to try to keep this thread on-topic. The how-to thread is:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=122785

    Hope that helps.

    -Sean
     
  10. mad jew thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #10
    That shared desktop thing looks like a really cool idea but I reckon it's a bit out of my skill range. It doesn't really matter because he lives pretty close by anyway. Thanks for the tips, keep them coming.
     

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