Computer for Parents... make them Happy :)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by pinoyplaya, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. pinoyplaya macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    #1
    Hey guys. My parents are not very good with computers. They own like a 1996 or something Dell Computer and I have a custom built computer which is two years old. Their computer is filled with viruses and I would give them my computer but Im afraid it wont help because this may then be filled with more viruses since they dont know how to use it.

    So what Im trying to get to is....

    I would like to give/buy them a computer. Though, I would like to stick with Apple computer for them since its simple and elegant. And if they don't know how to use a PC in the first place, Im sure they can learn a lot easier with a Mac.

    So... should I buy them a Mac Mini just to start with or should I buy them an iMac?

    I would like to stay under $800 if possible. :) with the screen and keyboard and etc.
     
  2. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000

    NoSmokingBandit

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
    #2
    Why not just install OpenSuse on their computer? If they arent tech-savvy they probably arent going to do much more than use mail, firefox, and openoffice.
     
  3. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #3
    Unless they have a good monitor, I'd go with an iMac. However, the cheapest one at Apple clearance/refurb is $999. You could check ebay/Amazon/Craigslist.
     
  4. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000

    NoSmokingBandit

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
  5. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    I gave my mother a Mac mini; bought the base model and upgrade the RAM to 4GB and to a 320GB 7.2k HDD. Of course she already had a decent monitor; gave her an old Logitech MX1000 and "old" aluminium Apple keyboard.

    Upgrades cost about $120; mouse they don't sell anymore I think, but a decent mouse is like $20; keyboard I found one used on the MR marketplace, so it was cheaper than retail. Overall, the computer plus upgrades, and peripherals was like $760.

    Already had a Dell 20" S-IPS, so that we already had a good monitor; I mean you could get your parents a 19" for $100.

    Sure that would bring it over $800, but it'd make a pretty sweet deal; a iMac would be about $150 more, but the issue of course is if you want to upgrade the machine you would need to throw away a perfectly good display. Reason for the extra RAM and HDD upgrades is my mother isn't computer savvy either, so as long as she has plenty of RAM and HDD space (and speed), I don't have to worry about her coming back and asking me why certain things don't run, beachballs, etc. It involves spending more money, but it does call for less issues later.

    Of course this machine was originally for me (so yes I did buy AppleCare), so maybe that made it easier to justify buying the upgrades; I do stand by what I said though: the upgrades mean less worries my mother; right now she's only using iPhoto, iTunes, checking emails, and browsing the net, but I never know when she might starting using Photoshop or processing videos in Final Cut Pro. My parents are considering a HD camcorder.

    I wouldn't recommend it, but it might be cheaper to get the older Mac mini; I would actually advise against it since it's such an old machine. That said the Mac mini is a great choice for the parents.
     
  6. pinoyplaya thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    #6
    Thanks for the detailed reply. I will take a look into it and research my options.
     
  7. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #7
    Depending on how much risk you are willing to take, you should or should not consider AppleCare; don't forget to check with your credit card company to see if they offer purchase protection coverage, so you may be able to forgo AppleCare. AppleCare isn't cheap and it doesn't cover your upgraded RAM and HDD, nor your peripherals. AppleCare of course is usually hassle free, but there is the high initial cost to deal with. I think it's about $150 plus tax which makes it a whopping 25%(!) of the cost of the computer.

    Again the only I bought AppleCare was it was originally for me and I'm a student so it was cheap, but for a computer of this price, it may be cheaper to forgo AppleCare.
     
  8. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #8
    I was in the same position as the OP.

    My parents arent tech savvy, my Mom isn't bad on the computer but my dad was horrible, so was my sister. My dad actually was afraid to even touch it.

    Well, I was feeling nice one day and ordered them an iMac from the refurb store (it was a great deal I couldn't pass it up even though I knew I'd never use it) and when it arrived they were totally confused to what it was. They thought I got them a new monitor.

    Once they learned it was the WHOLE COMPUTER they were really impressed. I had them unplug all the old stuff and just plug this in. In literally 5 minutes since turning it on they were up and running on the internet. Since Apple makes it REALLY easy to remote assist I had them open up iChat and I started remote assistance to show them around the mac. They were thrilled with it. It was new, it was easy to use, everything they needed was right there infront of them, no need to dig through the menus. Everything in their house is wireless so they have one cord coming out the back of the computer. Bye bye clutter!

    My sister used it so much I had to get her a mac laptop so my parents could have their mac back (it was for them afterall) and my mom uses it all the time, so does my dad who before wouldn't touch the windows machine unless someone else was there to help him. Now he gets on it all the time. Anything my parents have (iPods, a printer, digital cameras) they can just plug in without fuss or installing different things. Everything just works out of the box.

    I think a mac would be a great move for your parents. Since I converted them to mac, they converted like 10 of their friends to mac.
     

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