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IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
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[Laptop] Need a laptop for grandma

I'm going to be possibly shopping for a laptop for grandma and I want a good brand but she wants an HP and thinks Dell computers are difficult to operate. She had an HP desktop that ran XP that she could operate until her other grandchildren (who stole from her) messed it up. Then we tried one of my old Macs which she couldn't figure out then we bought a Dell that ran Windows 7 that she couldn't figure out. Now she believes Dell computers are difficult to operate and HP are easy as Apple pie but I'm trying to convince her they all run the same operating system (which I think is Windows 8).

I would like a recommendation on a low end laptop (for e-mail and web browsing) and I would like someone to write on here in easy to understand (for someone who's 81 years old) that all PC hardware brands run the same software (user experience) with the only difference being the quality of the hardware.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

Aranarth

join:2011-11-04
Stanwood, MI
Chromebook, Ipad, Kindlefire HD, Surface?

Depends on what she is trying or wants to do.
It might be you need to buy her something and then spend 1/2 an hour on where to go find and do what she wants.

jsbaker

join:2002-07-13
Houston, TX

1 recommendation

reply to IowaCowboy
If she thought a Dell with Windows 7 was hard to use then you are going to have a nice time with her using anything that has Windows 8 on it. My mid 70's parents asked me about upgrading to Windows 8 from Windows 7 and I shut that train of thought down real quick.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
She's used to the XP interface and internet explorer.

We want something similar.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
reply to IowaCowboy
It's just that what I know about windows computers you could write on a matchbook.

I'm used to Apple products but she refuses to use Apple. She is very stubborn when I stick a gadget (cable box, cell phone, etc) in her face. She threw a fit when we switched from AT&T to Verizon and I had to give her a new phone.

When she came to my house she said she wanted her Time Warner Cable (I live in Comcast turf) and I have DirecTV, she threw a fit because I had to teach her how to run the Genie.

I'm trying to get a computer close to something she's used to.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.


darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4

1 recommendation

reply to IowaCowboy
HP is still selling Windows 7 laptops; install Classic Shell on that puppy and I'd think you'd be good to go. Follow up for advice in the Microsoft forum if you need to.

If you get Windows 8, it's not hard to make look/act like Windows 7.

For what it's worth, if she's a casual "web user" (mail, surfing, casual games, etc), she might really like a tablet solution -- my 70 year old mom loves her iPad 2 (which replaced her second dead Kindle).

P.S. The more I think about this, it's not a hardware issue but an OS one...
--
♬ Dragon of good fortune struggles with the trickster Fox ♬


MacGyver
Don't Waste Your Energy
Premium,ExMod 2003-05
join:2001-10-14
Canada
kudos:2
reply to IowaCowboy
iPad.

BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:3
reply to IowaCowboy
Then there's nothing for her anymore if she's not willing to learn anything new, period. Win 7 is the closest thing to xp anymore, and that is going to no longer be sold with package systems very soon. Win 7 is already four years old, and is slated for eol in 2020. It's not entirely the same having Win 8 with classic shell....

If you know nothing about linux, and you have problems you're both going to be in a bad position, however at least for free you could try something like Linux Mint with Cinnamon as the desktop. Again it's not just like xp, and it's linux, not windows. No internet explorer, and they will have to use another browser like chromium/chrome, or firefox. I suggest Chrome as it also has it's own version of flash.

She's in a position of she just can't have it the way she wants, xp support should have ended near three years ago already, and needs to move on. She can't continue using internet explorer on xp, it's just going to get very bad for her either way. Since you're a mac person it will be far easier to get them on what you know.
--
I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.


signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5
reply to IowaCowboy
I have an aunt in her 70's who is a little similar. She makes me help her with problems over the phone and it's hell dealing with her, she doesn't understand concepts like Operating systems and hardware drivers.

Tell grandma that first and foremost, that she shouldn't give you a hard time or make things difficult for you just because she might be unwilling to be teachable, unwilling to learn. Technology is moving foreward and whether or not she likes that, she can either fall behind or accept that she needs to be willing to learn something.

Windows XP is losing support from Microsoft and that means that malware will have an easier time infecting people's computers. You basically have to install a post XP OS. But I'd recommends as the other person did, put Classic Shell or something similar on her new system so that it will be more similar to XP.

Tell her I said this, or better yet, have HER read our responses, we want to help her, but helping people requires something of them, too. Being willing to learn.

Why does she need a laptop? You could spend a lot less and get a good used refurbished desktop off of Tiger Direct, or even a refurbished laptop there WITH windows 7.

Dells are no easier to use than HPs, and frankly, neither brand is necessarily better, maybe Dells are a little more dependable, but all these laptops come from just a handful of factories.

The brand has nothing to do with the Operating system, no matter what brand she gets, the interface (make sure she understands, it is an interface) is the same. Identical. Focus on things that do make a difference, like how much she likes a certain keyboard or touchpad's feel. If she has tremors from age (I have them) it will be best to get her a good mouse, as touchpads are difficult with shaking hands.

Take her to the store and let her touch and feel the different brands, it might help her realize that Windows 7 is Windows 7, no matter the brand and model.

I strongly suggest you take her to Staples or Office Depot and have her touch and feel the models there and let HER think she's chosen which one.
--
Join Teams Helix and Discovery. Rest in Peace, Leonard David Smith, my best friend, you are missed badly! Rest in peace, Pop, glad our last years were good. Please pray for Colin, he has ependymoma, a brain cancer, donate to a children's Hospital.


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
reply to IowaCowboy
That's easy.

The Panasonic Executive Partner would be perfect for her. Easy to operate, and it even has a printer built in.

»tinyurl.com/n5quspj


El Quintron
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Etobicoke, ON
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said by dennismurphy:

The Panasonic Executive Partner would be perfect for her. Easy to operate, and it even has a printer built in.

I've been looking for one of those for years.
--
Support Bacteria -- It's the Only Culture Some People Have


kingdome74
Let's Go Orange
Premium
join:2002-03-27
Syracuse, NY
kudos:5

1 recommendation

reply to IowaCowboy
Whatever you buy take the labels off and glue on HP stuff. Best of both worlds.


GlennAllen
Sunny with highs in the 80s
Premium
join:2002-11-17
Richmond, VA
Reviews:
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reply to IowaCowboy
Well, she sounds like my sister--doesn't really understand computers (regardless of OS), used WinXP for nearly a decade (and became somewhat comfortable with it). I got her a Chromebook about a year ago, and she loves it for those basic things you mentioned. The newer HP Chromebook 14, I think, is the best one yet (and, hey, it's an HP!). It's about as "carefree" of a laptop as you can get. And it's got a great keyboard and touchpad (very Apple-like I'm told, but I don't really know--never used anything from Apple).

asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
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reply to IowaCowboy
Do you have more specific information about what she found so confusing about windows 7? Perhaps this will give a better direction to try to minimize the difficulty of the change for her or get her an interface that will most closely mimic xp in the ways that are most important to her.

Perhaps the best option would be to find a used machine on ebay that includes recovery media so you can let her hold onto XP.
Such as :

»www.ebay.com/itm/Fast-Dell-Lapto···c6f3311e


Dissembled

join:2008-01-23
Indianapolis, IN
reply to kingdome74
said by kingdome74:

Whatever you buy take the labels off and glue on HP stuff. Best of both worlds.

Too funny. That was the route I was going to suggest.

»www.ebay.com/itm/HP-Hewlett-Pack···85422552

bkjohnson
Premium
join:2002-05-22
Birmingham, AL
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to IowaCowboy
I have noticed that without exception people that I know similar to your grandmother have become very happy with Ipads. I am mainly a longtime windows person and am sometimes frustrated by my daughter's Macbooks, but I also find the Ipad very easy to use - more so than other tablets I have tried, although I do prefer my Kindle HDX for books and audio books. Also, if there is an Apple store near her she can go to classes.


rfhar
The World Sport, Played In Every Country
Premium
join:2001-03-26
Buicktown,Mi
Reviews:
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reply to IowaCowboy
You will a hard time finding anyone more technophobic than my wife. I bought a laptop last summer and set it up with a standard user profile stripped of everything but what she would use and put a wallpaper on desktop that would be easy to recognize on the start page. She took to it right away. personally if it was just for me I would put start8 on it to duplicate my Win7 menu but she calls the laptop "her" computer.

There are several menu programs available, some which duplicate the XP menu. One of them should help her. I looked into adding a start menu myself, her are a few sites I looked at.

»www.classicshell.net/

»reviews.cnet.com/8301-33642_7-57···ndows-8/

»windows.about.com/od/customizing···ws-8.htm

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_St···indows_8
--
Whoever said that ignorance is bliss wasn't refering to a person with a computer at his fingertips!

Cure Disease with your computer


Jacks

@windstream.net
reply to IowaCowboy


jed
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Alberta, Can
kudos:1
Reviews:
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1 recommendation

reply to IowaCowboy
I had a similar situation 2mos ago - I installed W7, and then put Classic Shell on it so that the Start Menu mirrored the XP one. It can also change Windows Explorer to look more XP.

But the Start menu is the big thing. Throw all of her commonly used items as shortcuts on the desktop and you'll be golden.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8

1 recommendation

reply to IowaCowboy
Let me help you with that...

Grandma,

You need to listen to your grandson. He knows what he is talking about. Didn't he take care of your crapper for you? Let's get with the plan and get going here! You're wasting his time. He could be fixing up the landlords house instead.

John Galt


--
When money men rain from the skies and shadow coins fly across the planet, then shall the New City fall into disgrace. Fortune and power dissipated like scraps of green paper. Look out below.



i69zoobats

@teksavvy.com
Whatever you do don;t buy HP, every laptop o've bought from them has broken rght after the warrenty expires. They're cheap because the build quality sucks. For a grandma an i3 or anything better than an amd E4 should do it.

BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:3
reply to rfhar
said by rfhar:

You will a hard time finding anyone more technophobic than my wife

I know somebody who was too lazy to RTFM to even set the time on a vcr back in the day, can't remember how to operate a dvd player, and can't remember how to switch the input on the tv in relation to watching a dvd. Yet all they do is watch tv all day for the most part. Ask just about any pre-teen child, and they'll have no problem doing any of that. I can't stand it when they ask me stupid questions they should already know the answer to, and if they started asking me about computer questions I would refuse to answer their phone calls, possibly even change my number.
--
I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.


Juke Box
His Word Never Fails
Premium
join:2001-01-29
Proverbs 3
reply to IowaCowboy
If you get a laptop, get a 17" screen for her. Also, I would recommend a Dell Inspiron 17 or 17R.
--
Pride is the only disease known to man that makes everyone sick except the one who has it.

bt06437

join:2001-12-03
Carrollton, TX
reply to IowaCowboy
You might consider a refurbished/out of lease laptop, I did a Dell W7 Pro from TigerDirect, 1 yr parts & labor, for under $250. It is working just fine.


smw315
Premium
join:2002-07-18
Edison, NJ
kudos:3
reply to IowaCowboy
Here ya go ....... »[FS] HP EliteBook 8440p - Core i5-M520 2.4GHz 4GB 320GB DVD+/-RW FP BT CAM W7P

My 81 year old neighbor uses one of these and loves it.