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A Mac for a retiree used to Windows... opinions?


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Since I first getting my iHack running, I've found that I really like OSX and as I'm looking to get a laptop this year, I've decided it's going to be a MBP since I can run everything on it. x86 has converted yet another :hysterical:

 

However I'm quite computer saavy and recently I was asked to spec a computer as a birthday gift for a lady soon turning 65. Now my first instict was to find a prepackaged HP or some such package at the local Future Slop or Best Cry, but I started thinking that maybe a Mac Mini + screen or one of the smaller integrated iMacs might be better for her.

 

She's used to the PC but she's running a 8 year old comptuter which is gasping for air at every turn. She's not a patient person, and frankly I'm also thinking about all the support calls I might end up having to deal with... She does your typical stuff: browsing, email, sells on Ebay, does digital photography, phones around the world using Skype and a webcam, etc... She may eventually want to do some image processing a la Photshop elements, as she's into arts and crafts.

 

I'd like her computer to have some room to grow. The same money gets me a C2D 6300, 2gigs, flatscreen and Vista in the PC world, which is better hardware wise. And the question of software limitations is one I'm in no position to judge as I really haven't done much with my x86 installation other than test a few programs and get a feel for it.

 

So I'd realy appreciate any opinions and particularly from those of you who have gotten Macs for the more elderly members of their families. How is it working for them? Is it in fact easier to use for them, or just different? Does the iLife suite of programs satisfy their needs or do they end up looking for other software?

 

Thanks for any feedback!

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Since I first getting my iHack running, I've found that I really like OSX and as I'm looking to get a laptop this year, I've decided it's going to be a MBP since I can run everything on it. x86 has converted yet another :D

 

However I'm quite computer saavy and recently I was asked to spec a computer as a birthday gift for a lady soon turning 65. Now my first instict was to find a prepackaged HP or some such package at the local Future Slop or Best Cry, but I started thinking that maybe a Mac Mini + screen or one of the smaller integrated iMacs might be better for her.

 

She's used to the PC but she's running a 8 year old comptuter which is gasping for air at every turn. She's not a patient person, and frankly I'm also thinking about all the support calls I might end up having to deal with... She does your typical stuff: browsing, email, sells on Ebay, does digital photography, phones around the world using Skype and a webcam, etc... She may eventually want to do some image processing a la Photshop elements, as she's into arts and crafts.

 

I'd like her computer to have some room to grow. The same money gets me a C2D 6300, 2gigs, flatscreen and Vista in the PC world, which is better hardware wise. And the question of software limitations is one I'm in no position to judge as I really haven't done much with my x86 installation other than test a few programs and get a feel for it.

 

So I'd realy appreciate any opinions and particularly from those of you who have gotten Macs for the more elderly members of their families. How is it working for them? Is it in fact easier to use for them, or just different? Does the iLife suite of programs satisfy their needs or do they end up looking for other software?

 

Thanks for any feedback!

 

Get her a mini with a 0GB ministack+whatever IDE drive you can find (perhaps salvage her HD from her soon to be former computer). If her computer needs are average at best like you said, then that should be plenty for her.

 

Oh, and one more thing.......

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make sure she has a regular two button USB mouse. I haven't tried the mighty mouse but I do remember the other Apple one button mouse used to drive me nuts. :D

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I'd go with an iMac, I think it would make a better choice for something that is going to last. A 20" should be just fine, she probably doesn't need the 24". :P I would probably upgrade to 256 mb of RAM for $75, but you can upgrade the gig of ram later if she needs it. I wouldn't mess with the processor, the 2.16 C2D should be fine and the better one isn't worth the price premium. The 250 GB of disk space should be plenty (the minis don't come with big enough drives, I know I filled mine up real quick).

 

I haven't actually gotten one for an older relative, but I know that my grandma picked up on how to use mine real quick, while she still has trouble doing some of the same things on her own PC. iPhoto should be great for her, you can do a lot with your pictures without a lot of work on the user's part. It might be my favorite program for OSX.

 

The new mighty mouse has two buttons, I really like it as it makes expose and the dashboard extremely easy to bring up. I know some people don't like them though.

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The new mighty mouse has two buttons, I really like it as it makes expose and the dashboard extremely easy to bring up. I know some people don't like them though.

Yeah, I dont really like the Mighty Mouse as much as my Logitech G5, but for the mac its perfect!

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yea i know, this is a mac site but here we are talking about a some what elderly person who has used windows for almost a decade and changing OS's would be very very complicated now matter how simple the OS is, if i was you i would just recommend getting the windows box which is upgradeable and something she is already familiar with. Just my 2 cents.

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I agree very much with the last poster. As a long-time Windows user myself I know how hard it was to make the transition to OSX in some areas and frankly I still find certain aspects of OSX irritating. It's all well and good for us here to say that OSX is better but as I've commented repeatedly, it's a question of what you want to do.

 

My advice for you is that if the lady is 65 and competent enough with the applications she currently uses on Windows you'd be better sticking to that. Really. She will be delighted with the speed of a modern machine, she won't have to learn different keystrokes or even simple stuff like closing a window not actually closing the application, what the *#@$ does that funny key do and so on. To expect her to learn OSX could be rather a tall order.

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My advice for you is that if the lady is 65 and competent enough with the applications she currently uses on Windows you'd be better sticking to that. Really. She will be delighted with the speed of a modern machine, she won't have to learn different keystrokes or even simple stuff like closing a window not actually closing the application, what the *#@$ does that funny key do and so on. To expect her to learn OSX could be rather a tall order.

I wasnt thinking this myself, but now that I've read it, it does make sense. I doubt shes a power user or plans on using her computer all day, so the benefits of switching to OS X arent enough to counter all the time it will take for her to relearn "computers". (Windows is probably synonymous with computers to her)

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i think you should get her a one on one session with someone at the apple store to check if she like os x. if she likes it, get a mac mini or imac 17". if she prefers windows, get the windows vista one

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haha soundless, it sounds like we are trying to convert her with one on one, apple has now created a cult....

It always has been a cult ;)

An Apple evangelist, also known as Mac(intosh) evangelist, and Mac advocate is a promoter of the Apple Macintosh platform. Mac zealot and Mac bigot are more pejorative terms for Mac evangelists, indicating that the advocacy has become excessive, or simply expressing disapproval.

From Wikipedia

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