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FS613
Premium
join:2002-11-18
Brooklyn, NY

[OOL] PC with Linux OS

Does anyone have an opinion as to whether this would work on OOL?

»www.mywowcomputer.com/faqs.html

As per the topic, "Does the WOW! Computer run on Windows?"
the computer runs on Linux.

I would like to buy it for my technically-challenged elderly mother,
who has Cablevision service in her area.

Thank you.


root

join:2002-12-11

1 recommendation

said by FS613:

Does anyone have an opinion as to whether this would work on OOL?

»www.mywowcomputer.com/faqs.html

As per the topic, "Does the WOW! Computer run on Windows?"
the computer runs on Linux.

I would like to buy it for my technically-challenged elderly mother,
who has Cablevision service in her area.

Thank you.

Software wise...linux works fine with being able to connect to the internet. Hardware wise it has an ethernet port so you're good to go.


MxxCon

join:1999-11-19
Brooklyn, NY
reply to FS613

It will work fine with cablevision, however i would advise you against buying such a ridiculously expensive and underpowered computers.
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FS613
Premium
join:2002-11-18
Brooklyn, NY
reply to FS613

How about this?

»www.telikin.com/



SimbaTLK1
Rawrrr

join:2001-09-07
Pittsburgh, PA

1 recommendation

reply to FS613

$1000 for that?

Rip-off.

That costs almost as much as a "full featured" imac; the computer that you are allowed to "add your own software to." /rolls eyes


MxxCon

join:1999-11-19
Brooklyn, NY

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to FS613

said by FS613:

How about this?

»www.telikin.com/

it is exactly the same thing. exactly the same price, exactly the same hardware specs. why do you think it's any different?
Similarly to what SimbaTLK1 said above, as expensive as Apple products are, the cheapest Mac mini is $600 and it is a more powerful system. You could run OSX, create your mother's account and enable "Simple Finder" mode with parental controls to limit which apps are visible. Your mother will have a simple interface and won't be able to screw things up by deleting important icons or changing some settings.

I think touchscreen on that computer is a gimmick. You will get tired of using it as a primary interface option. That screen is almost vertical, that means you constantly have to hold your arm up to use that computer. It is very bad ergonomically.
This is a reason why none of Apple laptops, desktops and monitors have touchscreens.

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currly

join:2005-02-11
Brooklyn, NY
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to FS613

Yeah, way overpriced. It should be LESS expensive if they use Linux and don't pay for a Windows OEM license or at least equal and not double the price.

I have one except it's not that rebranded thing. It's an MSI All-In-One Windtop 1900 something or other bought for $540.00 new a few years ago. It has a dual core Atom processor, 2GB ram and plays hi-def (720p at least) very well. I wiped MSI's Vista crap off the HD and installed several versions of Linux. They all work brilliantly. The only snag was getting the touchscreen working properly but I finally got that setup.

This machine was bought for a family for the kids to play movies and it was sufficient yet I would have preferred that they wipe the hd in favor of Linux from the git go. It was at least half the cost of an iMac and had lower power consumption. The kids (and even more likely, grandma) don't need a super computer to browse, email, chat, skype, and type letters.

The dad finally decided he didn't want the kids to have a computer so I got it back for me to enjoy.

Mac-mini's are cool but you'll still need a monitor. iMacs start at $1200. In general the entire Apple line is designed to lock you into their system. You will need to keep your credit card handy.

If I wanted to go with this format again I would look into the Dell One, »www.dell.com/content/products/pr···lt=popup . Dell has great service agreements. The only problem with the Dell is that it comes with Windows. I would wipe that out and install Linux but that's probably getting a bit advanced so an iMac might be your best bet for new computer users and potential victims of the internet.


xirian
Premium
join:2003-01-26
Beacon, NY
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to FS613

What does she plan to actually do with it? Depending on that she might even be ok with an ipad. I wouldn't go the linux route, its more work to support for her and if you go with some unknown company with a special linux distribution for seniors you have the problem of depending on them to keep it working and not go out of business.

Otherwise, my aunt is pretty tech illiterate but has been an internet addict ever since I got her a mac. They also offer workshops at the apple store, so if she needs help figuring it out you don't get stuck. The only thing I have against them is the one time my power adapter died and when I called the hold music seemed to be a whole Avril Lavigne album...



Fred A

@comcastbusiness.net

1 edit
reply to currly

The Telikin computer was designed for the seniors. It runs Linux so no need to worry about viruses, spyware or tool bars. We initially had a touch and non touch version. Everyone wanted the touch version so we dropped the non touch. It is much easier than a windows computer. You can watch the videos and reviews on the website www.telikin.com. We also have great support. It is not a windows computer, so it may not be for everybody. We offer a 60 day satisfaction guarantee. If it does not work for you, just send it back. We have over 10,000 satisfied customers and growing every week.

Fred A. CEO Telikin.



RipOff111

@optonline.net

1 edit

You are ripping people off! The pricing is ridiculous. Outrageously out of touch with reality. The fact you are marketing your rip off to senior citizens is even more disgusting.

Do not buy this overpriced garbage.

said by Fred A :

The Telikin computer was designed for the seniors. It runs Linux so no need to worry about viruses, spyware or tool bars. We initially had a touch and non touch version. Everyone wanted the touch version so we dropped the non touch. It is much easier than a windows computer. You can watch the videos and reviews on the website www.telikin.com. We also have great support. It is not a windows computer, so it may not be for everybody. We offer a 60 day satisfaction guarantee. If it does not work for you, just send it back. We have over 10,000 satisfied customers and growing every week.

Fred A. CEO Telikin.



jaa
Premium
join:2000-06-13
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
·Vonage

1 recommendation

reply to xirian

said by xirian:

What does she plan to actually do with it? Depending on that she might even be ok with an ipad.

Agree!

I think the product had a niche prior to the ios and other tablets - a slim OS that has just the basics. No need for a full Windows or Unix implementation to surf the internet, Skype, or do email - as the tablets (and telikin) have proven. Works more like an appliance than a computer - just turn it on and it works, day in and day out.

Fred - good luck with it. Great idea, and a nice niche market. But I agree with xirian - I have seen a lot of seniors with iPads and they love them! With iPads (and other tablets) cheap, portable, mass marketed, and well supported (our senior center offers free classes, not to mention the Apple store) - I think you might have some troubled waters ahead. Not to mention if someone decides to port their tablet software to the same hardware platform you are using... You can always say you created a desktop iPad before Apple.

I do take exception to the "ripoff" comments though. For a senior (or anyone) that has been frustrated by a computer, and considering the total cost of ownership, it is a reasonably priced product and fills (filled ) a need.
--
NOTHING justifies terrorism. We don't negotiate with terrorists. Those that support terrorists are terrorists.


LLStarks
I've been here a while
Premium
join:2003-12-03
Roslyn, NY

1 recommendation

reply to FS613

Try these for easy grandma-proof Linux PCs.

»www.system76.com/
»zareason.com/
--
I know before you even speak that you're wrong.



MxxCon

join:1999-11-19
Brooklyn, NY

These laptops have pretty small screens for seniors to use. I'm also not sure if ubuntu12 can be locked down enough so that user won't endup where they shouldn't be.
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FS613
Premium
join:2002-11-18
Brooklyn, NY
reply to FS613

My Mom is in her 80's and sits in a recliner, most of the time.

The recliner faces a 32" TV.

She has arthritis in hands and legs.

She currently uses an old MSN TV dial-up set top box, hooked up to the TV; but the dial-up transmission is too slow, and the browser doesn't always display a web page properly.

She tried an iPad; she couldn't work it properly.

She tried an MSN TV 2 set top box, which uses broadband Internet, and which was also hooked up to the TV. She couldn't work that properly, either.

She needs something which is extremely simple, where she can use a wireless keyboard and touch pad (she has difficulty with a mouse), while sitting in her recliner, and which "something" can be hooked up to the TV, and where she can clearly see the text on the TV.

Maybe a Mac Mini? I've never used a Mac computer before.

Can it be configured with simple applications?

What does one do about anti-virus and firewall applications? She can't deal with updates.

Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Thank you.



jaa
Premium
join:2000-06-13
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
·Vonage

So why not try the computer you originally inquired about? It will work with OOL, and is designed specifically for the use you describe.
--
NOTHING justifies terrorism. We don't negotiate with terrorists. Those that support terrorists are terrorists.



Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11

1 recommendation

reply to FS613

This is quickly leaving the realm of this forum, but I'll bite.

If she can't work an iPad, I think it'll also be very difficult for her to use those Linux PCs or a Mac.

The Mac can be made to work in a very basic mode called Simple Finder (as pointed out earlier): »www.switchingtomac.com/tutorials···in-os-x/

The main interface becomes a single window with large icons that can be used to access approved apps (Mail, Safari, etc). The downside is that once you get into the app, it's the same full-feature app as on any other computer. The application menu's text will be relatively small (compared to WebTV's menus), navigating will require moving the small cursor around (you could install third party tools to make the cursor larger), etc.

If you reduce the resolution for the TV, everything will be easier to read, but then you'll have to scroll more often to see all the content on a page.

As for security, at least with the Mac solution, you can pretty reliability just turn on the firewall and call it a day. At this point, there are so few viruses/trojans for the Mac that it'd be statistically impossible for anything bad to happen, especially on a limited user account.

If you really wanted to go all out, you could purchase Deep Freeze. It reverts the entire computer to a "frozen" configuration after every boot. You can delete the entire system folder, reboot, and everything will work just fine. Downside with this approach is any saved documents/bookmarks are lost after a reboot.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!



Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11
reply to jaa

said by jaa:

So why not try the computer you originally inquired about? It will work with OOL, and is designed specifically for the use you describe.

While the specs state it has HDMI out, I'd be weary of that actually working properly to mirror the display to a TV. Also, getting a bluetooth keyboard/touchpad to work with it may be an issue.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!


MxxCon

join:1999-11-19
Brooklyn, NY
reply to Thinkdiff

said by Thinkdiff:

The downside is that once you get into the app, it's the same full-feature app as on any other computer. The application menu's text will be relatively small (compared to WebTV's menus), navigating will require moving the small cursor around (you could install third party tools to make the cursor larger), etc.

I'm pretty sure Firefox has themes with huge icons and unnecessary buttons can be removed from the toolbar. Menus and other fonts can be increased.
Windows has a magnifier tool. I think osx has one too.
said by Thinkdiff:

As for security, at least with the Mac solution, you can pretty reliability just turn on the firewall and call it a day. At this point, there are so few viruses/trojans for the Mac that it'd be statistically impossible for anything bad to happen, especially on a limited user account.

Configuring this thing to automatically install updates w/o prompting on the next reboot is also pretty critical.
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currly

join:2005-02-11
Brooklyn, NY
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to FS613

The Telikin or the Mywow aren't exactly total ripoffs so I pretty much agree with jaa. They might be a bit pricey for my personal taste but I'm a cheapasssumbuck. I have the skills to buy something like this at $447 and turn it into something I can use. But for the technically challenged one of the two might be the easiest way to go. I would lean toward the Telikin since the CEO seems to take a personal interest in customer satisfaction. Development of the UI is going to cost time and money and these engineers should be applauded and supported for using Linux as their platform. I definitely support development of non-proprietary hardware and software. Thinkdiff describes exactly the problems I see with Apple products wherein you have to buy$ every single useful addon and adapter and those only work with Macs. Apples are pretty but they definitely are designed for the privileged classes.

Linux is arguably even more secure than MacOS without having to buy$ some third party addon. It's also infinitely more configurable as shown by these two products. Almost all the popular desktop environments available in Linux have accessiblilty modes/themes and if you don't like those you can make your own like Telikin and Mywow.

One BIG potential issue I see is with the quality of the TV. If it's a standard definition (SD) TV reading type will always be very difficult. The 20" model and the custom UI might be a good choice without having to buy an HDTV and they have a 60 day satisfaction guarantee. Apple gives you 14 days... go figya.



MxxCon

join:1999-11-19
Brooklyn, NY

While it is good that Telikin's ceo posted here and he shows interest(if you consider "google alerts" that), I kinda dislike their TOS and their marketing approach. I feel they are not actually satisfying a market demand but rather exploiting a market segment.

Both "wow!computer" and telikin look identical, which makes me wonder how much of the actual custom software they've written. At least telikin published some of their gpl mods at »www.telikin.com/open_source.php, i couldn't find this at wow!computer. They are using TinyCoreLinux so I imagine they are using some standard GUI as well.

Btw, while poking around I found this interesting project »www.eldy.eu/
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xirian
Premium
join:2003-01-26
Beacon, NY
kudos:1
reply to FS613

Apples aren't that expensive for what you get, especially refurbished. Plus a mac mini is way cheaper than that thing he linked.

For updates, can she handle clicking a single button? On os x when theres an update available it pops up and you just click the install button. No control panel to go through, etc. Also you mention her needing a trackpad, and the magic touchpad is pretty much the best you can get. I have arthritis in my hands and can't handle using a mouse, but the magic trackpad is nice and big, so I'm able to use it without issue.

Depending on the resolution of the display you connect, reading can be hard. I have a 23 inch monitor but at its native resolution its hard for me to read without my glasses even close. Really the best thing for you though is to have her try it herself and decide. You can go into an apple store and try an imac with the magic trackpad and see if it works for her.

Heres the accessibility features in case any seem like they'd be useful to her: »www.apple.com/macosx/what-is/acc···ity.html

As for making it simple for her, I don't think you need simple finder. Just put the programs she actually would use in the dock so that when exited they stay there. Remove any she wont ever touch. Maybe resize it to be big so its easy to click. Also if she can manage it, I find two finger scrolling on the trackpad to be much more comfortable than clicking an arrow.

As with anything the only way you'll find out what works is to try it out. No matter which you go with, I'd consider remote software such as logmein so if she needs help you can do it remotely.



SimbaTLK1
Rawrrr

join:2001-09-07
Pittsburgh, PA
reply to MxxCon

said by MxxCon:

I feel they are not actually satisfying a market demand but rather exploiting a market segment.

I agree.


currly

join:2005-02-11
Brooklyn, NY
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to MxxCon

said by MxxCon:

While it is good that Telikin's ceo posted here and he shows interest(if you consider "google alerts" that), I kinda dislike their TOS and their marketing approach. I feel they are not actually satisfying a market demand but rather exploiting a market segment.

Good point. I suspected that but erred on the side of no research with a heavy dash of wishful thinking.

said by MxxCon:

... telikin published some of their gpl mods at »www.telikin.com/open_source.php, i couldn't find this at wow!computer. They are using TinyCoreLinux so I imagine they are using some standard GUI as well.

From Telikin:

The Telikin computer also contains other software libraries and programs covered under various other licenses. These licenses and copyrights are available on the Telikin in the license agreement presented to the user the first time the Telikin is turned on, as well as on the system information screen.

... which makes me think it's probably somewhat like Apple OSX which is part BSD and part Apple proprietary.

said by MxxCon:

Btw, while poking around I found this interesting project »www.eldy.eu/

That looks great! I think I'll try it out on my MSI Wind Top.

said by xirian:

Apples aren't that expensive for what you get, especially refurbished. Plus a mac mini is way cheaper than that thing he linked.

I won't fault you for liking Apple but even refurbished Macs are "overpriced". I mean, obviously they're not overpriced for what the market will bear but you definitely get less for more. A higher price tag also makes the consumer think they are getting something more valuable and feeds the snob appeal. I concede they are nice looking machines (design costs) and are generally decent to very good quality (I even use some older Macs but with Linux) but their engineered obsolescence and lack of support for other open source software (e.g. flac, ogg) and even older versions of their very own operating system is way over the top for my taste and, frankly, inexcusable, especially at their prices. I have a huge pile of dead/unfixable Mac laptop carcasses 4 years old or less yet I have a Thinkpad from 1998 still chugging along working as a print server and music player solid as a rock... almost.

Also, I haven't tried "logmein" but I have tried teamviewer and it is excellent and runs very well on Windows, OS X and Linux desktops.


Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11

2 edits

1 recommendation

Please stop spewing your anti-Apple bias all over this thread. Everybody has had a fairly well-rounded discussion on the pros/cons of the different approaches, but you keep bringing up nonsense about Apple.

I have Macs ranging from 1984 to 2011. All of them work as well as the day they came out of the box. There's no "engineered obsolescence", as you put it. At least not anymore than any other company.

Apple has provided support for or maintained tons of open source projects. Even the base of their OS is open source (Darwin) minus the GUI and some support services. You can run any open source software you want on a Mac via Fink or Macports or compiling yourself. It's hilarious that you say you support open source software and then recommend the two proprietary Linux PCs that have been posted so far.

As for Linux vs OS X security, I honestly don't see how you can back that up. Given just the base OS without additional applications, both are historically very secure. Linux, OS X, and Windows all suffer from exploits found in third-party libraries (Java, Flash, etc), but Windows also has quite a few exploits in built-in services making it more difficult to secure. If anything, the Mac mini would potentially be more secure than the Linux PC as both companies believe their Linux PCs are "virus-resistant" and likely don't easily allow an AV to be installed. You have the option to install free AVs on the Mac if necessary.

As for my post, I mentioned a single add-on that is completely optional (Deep Freeze). You have to pay for it on Windows as well. How is that Apple's fault exactly? Everything else I mentioned is built into the OS.

Yes. Macs cost more than bargain basement, asian-brand PCs. That doesn't make it the "snob" machine you make it out to be - that's just how you view people that spend their money on Macs.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!


xirian
Premium
join:2003-01-26
Beacon, NY
kudos:1
reply to currly

I'm only suggesting to try the mac first because if theres an apple store within a reasonable distance (or best buy I guess), its the least effort of the choices to try, since you can just mess with it in store whereas with the linux pc for example, they have to buy one and set it up at home just to figure out if it works out ok for her, and if not, go through the hassle of shipping it back. Theres also the benefit of the classes like I mentioned, so someone else who has more experience explaining things to the technically challenged will walk her through using it.

For a senior I think even chrome os would work well if it wasn't for the fact it only comes on laptops. If she is currently just using msn tv then the chrome browser with common pages/webmail on the screen when you open it / load a new tab would probably work fine.



Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11

said by xirian:

For a senior I think even chrome os would work well if it wasn't for the fact it only comes on laptops. If she is currently just using msn tv then the chrome browser with common pages/webmail on the screen when you open it / load a new tab would probably work fine.

That's actually not a bad idea and is platform agnostic. If the OP could create a local "startup" page with her most used websites on it using large buttons, then have the browser automatically open when the computer starts up, it'll be pretty close to the MSN TV.

The only challenge would be finding sites that look good and function well on a TV. Increasing the default font size should help.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!

xirian
Premium
join:2003-01-26
Beacon, NY
kudos:1

Actually I just looked in the chrome options and I see theres a "minimum font size" option.

That along with chrome's start page letting you pin sites as "apps" could work well, as long as she can figure out how to open chrome if it needs to be reopened (Giant desktop icon renamed to 'CLICK FOR INTERNET"?).


MxxCon

join:1999-11-19
Brooklyn, NY
reply to xirian

said by xirian:

For a senior I think even chrome os would work well if it wasn't for the fact it only comes on laptops. If she is currently just using msn tv then the chrome browser with common pages/webmail on the screen when you open it / load a new tab would probably work fine.

Official ChromeOS is only on a few devices, however there's always »chromeos.hexxeh.net/
With the new version you can have bookmarks show up as icons on your desktop.
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[Sig removed by Administrator: signature can not exceed 20GB]


currly

join:2005-02-11
Brooklyn, NY
kudos:1
reply to FS613

+1 for ChromeOS or even a Chromebook as a possible solution. The Acer Chromebook starts at $299 and has an hdmi out. If you have an hdmi-able TV you're all done.

I guess there will always be some feathers ruffled in religious discussions but, of course, I feel my assessment is pretty accurate and balanced.



Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT
reply to SimbaTLK1

I'd agree. My eyes bulged out when I seen the specs and the price.

Heck, you could find an old P4 (or C2D), slap Ubuntu Desktop on it, and call it a day. You can probably find one at your local Goodwill or Rescue Mission for less than $50.