iMac for Senior Citizen

Discussion in 'iMac' started by AustinIllini, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess


    Oct 20, 2011
    Austin, TX
    So my grandfather needs a new computer, as he's currently running (unsupported) Windows Vista. My mother in law was interested in buying him a bottom of the line iMac. As the more tech-savvy of anyone in the family, I am likely going to be responsible for maintaining the thing, which is fine, but I was looking for feedback on how best to get him acclimated to OS X.

    I have thought of most of the obvious things. For example, I took note of his preferred browser and other applications he uses regularly. I know they do classes at the nearby Apple Store, but I don't know that he would want to go to something like that.

    Any feedback is appreciated.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The base model iMac will be fine, Consider the SSD over the fusion drive, just for the simple fact that the 5400 may be too slow and offer the perception the computer is not that fast.
  3. drummer5645 macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2014
  4. varian55zx macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2012
    San Francisco
    Just get him an SSD.

    Just because he's old doesn't mean he has to suffer
  5. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    I am also for the SSD option. If you can find a refurb with an SSD that is definitely a good choice.

    However, does he even need a desktop? He may be better off with an iPad. It's very easy to use and maintain. For most home use it'll do what he needs of it. Unless he needs the large screen, flash or is writing a lot. It could be a better alternative.

    As for getting him used to OS X. It'll probably be less of a learning curve then going from Vista to Windows 10. As he will obviously want to keep the computer for a long time, given he still has Vista, don't get Windows 7. The end of life is coming too soon.

    I'd say get him set up with Apple Mail running and syncing of iCal and Address Book. Setup Google Chrome as default browser with his bookmarks and Adblock Plus to help protect him. If he needs business apps get him setup with Microsoft Office or LibreOffice if he has limited needs. iWork is garbage, until you can save in .docx, .xlsx and .pptx as default it is useless for sharing. If you use Libreoffice set the save as defaults to the appropriate MS counterparts.

    If you have the time. Setup Lastpass and get him familiar with its use. So he can be secure online with strong random passwords while having one easy to remember but strong password to remember, like aswiftleopardinspringpounces. Also get Filevault, Find My Mac and a firmware password setup. So if the computer is stolen it is protected and can hopefully be recovered.

    If he is still using e-mail from his ISP try moving him to iCloud. I like gmail but Apples recent privacy procedures announcement makes me a fan. Let him know you can set his e-mail to forward automatically to iCloud. So he will still get e-mail as he transitions. That way he can escape being locked to one ISP.
  6. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I agree with the suggestion of the base iMac. That would do all he needs.

    Apple has a good web page here that walks you through the basics of the OS X interface. That might be a good place to start.

    Another suggestion is to setup an admin account on the iMac for yourself then setup a standard (non-admin) account for gramps. Then from your admin account configure OS X Parental Controls in the standard account. In those controls you can limit access to areas you don't want changed. For example, you can prevent things from being removed from the Dock. I had an issue with a family member continually accidentally dragging the Mail app out of the Dock then they thought all their mail messages had been deleted.

    Also make sure you get them a cheap USB3 external drive and attach that then turn on Time Machine backups for them.
  7. AustinIllini thread starter macrumors demi-goddess


    Oct 20, 2011
    Austin, TX
    We deliberated back and forth on this front. The consensus is, he prefers a computer over a tablet. His wife regularly uses a tablet but he never does.

    He's moderately tech savvy in the first place, so I'm not super worried. I just never know where to start.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 22, 2016 ---
    Thanks, that looks like a really good option.
  8. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    depends on what he plans to do with it-- I'm sure my dad would still be playing games-- or "killing monsters", as he put it, programming, and running scientific programs well into his eighties

    My Mom likes to use the web, and needs a way to interact with her camera, and watches a lot of prime video and DVDs. And when she visits, her laptop comes along for the ride.

    Every grandparent is different...

    Hobbies to support? Expectations of portability? (and, alas, disabilities...)
  9. Spudlicious macrumors 6502


    Nov 21, 2015
    Bedfordshire, England
    Speaking as a gramps, I am insulted.
  10. NZiMac macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2015
    Well I am a grandma who changed to an iMac last year - the 27" 5K Retina which I love, and the whole family is envious of! Yes it is quite a learning curve after using Windows for many years, (I do have the advantage of already having an iPad) but Google is your friend and it is usually easy to find an answer to your query. I opted for the 3gb fusion drive which works very well. I couldn't stretch to a large SSD and liked the simplicity of having the one internal drive, although I do have an external drive solely for Time Machine backups. Also if Grandfather is in to music he might like to get a dvd drive -a Superdrive or similar to transfer his music CD's to the iMac. I am surprised how good the sound is on it. All in all I am very glad I have gone with the iMac, and if your grandfather has had experience with computers he should adjust okay.

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