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Thread: A computer just for senior citizens.

  1. #1
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    Default A computer just for senior citizens.

    I get AARP magazine. It always includes an ad for a computer just for senior citizens.
    It includes a pic of a couple of folks my age in awe of a laptop screen.
    It's as if they'd never seen one before.

    Earth to AARP: "Seniors" are the generation that invented the frikken thing!
    IMMIGRANTS BUILT AMERICA - IMMIGRANTS BUILD AMERICA

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    ^ Just so. This senior citizen started out without keyboards or screens. Data was put in by punched tape or cards and the answers came out on green lined paper with track holes up the edges.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    ^ Just so. This senior citizen started out without keyboards or screens. Data was put in by punched tape or cards and the answers came out on green lined paper with track holes up the edges.
    Oh, dang. I remember that stripey dot matrix paper.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    The joy of moving from Hand Punched (non-interpreted) cards to 110bps teletype.
    Creationists aren't mad - they're possessed of demons.

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    I remember my young kids (now in their 40s) reacting in pure joy when I typed a BASIC program into our VIC20 and out came the sound of a police siren. I felt like Merlin.
    IMMIGRANTS BUILT AMERICA - IMMIGRANTS BUILD AMERICA

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    ^ Just so. This senior citizen started out without keyboards or screens. Data was put in by punched tape or cards and the answers came out on green lined paper with track holes up the edges.
    Same for me... in college (1969), writing programs in a simplified version of FORTRAN, using an IBM Model 26 punch to prepare the card deck, submitting it for batch processing in the AM, and returning in the PM to fetch my output.

    Later, after college (1975) writing 8 bit micro-controller assembly code on a Teletype (and punching onto paper tape), using a 110 baud acoustic coupler, to reach a timesharing service, to use their assembler.... and punching hex code onto paper tape, for output.

    1978: Getting a small PDP-11 at work, for my own use.... RL01 disk drives (5 Mb) using an 18" diameter disk pack with removable cover, RT-11 operating system

    1980: getting the very first IBM PC in my company.... 64K RAM, dual 5" floppy disks, green screen monitor, even a casette port for people who couldn't afford the floppy disks.

    ...and so on.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  7. #7
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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    I was re-reading an old book the other day when I came across this bookmark. It brought on a shudder.


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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    ^ How many of those in a terabyte?

    First hands on was writing basic on a Commadore PET in Junior High. Around 1990 I got my first 286, made by Magnavox, and running PC/GEOS.
    Nosce te ipsum

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    I was at a place that had some talks for kids & a 30ish presenter was demoing & talking about a site for some sort of connection between grandparents & grandchildren. He droned on about it & at the end, said "Of course you kids will have to explain all this to your grandparents, 'cause it's on a computer".

    Afterwards, I asked him if he was aware of navigation problems his site had (he was using the Tab key & it was jumping around the screen, so he went to the mouse). "Navigation problems?" "Yes, the tab order doesn't match the screen layout." "What's tab order?" "Guess you'll have to wait 'til you have grandkids so they can explain it to you ." He turned very red.

    Yeah, I got chewed out for giving him a hard time, but the condescension really rankled (and it was worth it ).
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    The joys of booting from paper tape.
    Allan of the Grove
    "never send a ferret to do a weasel's job.."

  11. #11
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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    Not to mention core memory
    Allan of the Grove
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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    No one will ever need more that 640k of memory. . .
    Nosce te ipsum

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    In the back of my desk drawer, I still have a 029 and 129 card saw, 80 column and 96 column card gauge, and a manual wire-wrap tool - when I worked on System/7, we had to do a read adjust on a Phillips cassette player to use it for loading system diagnostics - thanks for the visit down memory lane


    Rick

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    Yes, I'm mid 50' s and have had a 'puter since the parental units bought an Apple II ( My mom sold computers and software) circa late 1970's. But many friends of mine in their 60's, and even some in my age bracket, just shrug their shoulders at computers. They attribute a lack of proficiency to age, but it's really due to lack of use. Few seem to be missing out, whatever that means.

    What I am saying is that it is a big world. One would expect a certain level of handiness with a computer from a bunch of regulars on a social media site. The percentages are different in the wider world.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    My mother first learned to use a computer at the age of 91, having never so much as touched one before. (My father had a Mac desktop, but seems to have convinced her that it would be irrevocably crippled if she so much as looked at it) Within a month or so of his death she was emailing, ordering stuff online etc. She only really stopped using it well after her 100th birthday.

    RIP, dear Rosalind. She died (at the age of 102) this August.

    Edited to add: When she was in her late nineties, my father's Mac died and I took her to the achingly cool Apple store replace it. The look on the faces of the achingly cool young Apple persons in the store when they realised who was the actual customer was something to behold!
    Last edited by downthecreek; 01-14-2018 at 03:22 AM.
    "Mozart is the heart's touchstone" (Edwin Fischer)

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    Quote Originally Posted by downthecreek View Post
    My mother first learned to use a computer at the age of 91, having never so much as touched one before. (My father had a Mac desktop, but seems to have convinced her that it would be irrevocably crippled if she so much as looked at it) Within a month or so of his death she was emailing, ordering stuff online etc. She only really stopped using it well after her 100th birthday.

    RIP, dear Rosalind. She died (at the age of 102) this August.

    Edited to add: When she was in her late nineties, my father's Mac died and I took her to the achingly cool Apple store replace it. The look on the faces of the achingly cool young Apple persons in the store when they realised who was the actual customer was something to behold!
    Great to hear about people like your mom & it must've been really fun at the store.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye54 View Post
    In the back of my desk drawer, I still have a 029 and 129 card saw, 80 column and 96 column card gauge, and a manual wire-wrap tool.
    Wow, did THAT clear away some cobwebs in my memory!

    I cut my teeth building prototypes with wire-wrap.... stuff built with early TTL, and even DTL logic... and I remember all the shortcuts and tricks we used to use to minimize the number of packages required... things like 'wired-OR' connections (bet nobody remembers THAT stuff).

    Interestingly, to this day, I use the kind of 30 gauge Kynar wire, originally used for wire-wrapping, to make minor corrections and repairs on circuit boards. I have a package of the stuff that I guess I've had for maybe 40 years.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    TI99-4A was my first...and I never looked back.

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    Vic 20 was mine. I was the first kid in my school to have a computer. Went all the way up to an Amiga before switching over to IBM. My 70 Year old Mom has had an iPhone for a few years now, got her a iPad for Christmas, I am not sure she has put it down yet

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    Mine was a Heathkit H8.

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    Never learned all that stuff about punch cards in college in the mid-60s. just generated them with the bubble chamber scanning machine.

    Got the first 286, the only 286, in 1985 or so. Learned enough DOS commands to be get in trouble.

    Got the first Mac in 1994 and immediately made the poor 286 look like a piece of history.

    relatively competent computer user at age 75.
    A society predicated on the assumption that everyone in it should want to get rich is not well situated to become either ethical or imaginative.

    Photographer of sailing and sailboats
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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    My father turned 95 last Friday. He still has and uses his MITS Altair 8800 prototype, which he built in 1974. He applied for, and received one of a dozen raw kit prototypes (he got a rudimentary box, and a baggie full of components for each board, along with a hand-drawn schematic of each board). He had already assembled dozens of electronic calculators and various kits from Heath and others, so he was used to small soldering. I remember buying him his first precision electric powered soldering iron with changeable tips. Prior to that he used big old-fashioned irons, heated over a homemade bunsen burner burning LP. He even helped test Altair Basic and Altair DOS (before Gates and Allen bought it.).

    Now he has and uses dozens of different computers. He delights in keeping them running and in use.

    My mother only needs one keyboard...on her piano. She turned 94 last November, and although her mind is more and more addled, she can remember and play songs from the 30s and 40s, with no sheet music. You can stick a new piece of sheet music in front of her, and after reading in once through, she'll render it perfectly, often with her own little modifications. She can also play every hymn in both Baptist and Methodist hymnals, singing along with gusto.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    We didn't get a computer until they came out with the TRS-80. Though my buddy that worked for NASA teased us with his Osbourne. My sweetie's mom, an architect, bought the Trash80 with an eye toward designing fonts (as a sideline business). Herself liked it well enough to also get one for her writing. The font thing didn't really take off, though, for Mutti until the IBM-PC came out... and she set up a table with a dedicated digitizer. For maybe a decade, she made nice money designing fonts part time. I've always been the laggard in my family. My sweetie is the resident tech guru.
    David G
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    While there are a lot of people of my age group who are comfortable with computers, there are a lot of people who are not.

    Aside from my ability to write occasional spreadsheets and some minor video editing, I don't need much computer literacy anymore. General user level knowledge of email and internet access is sufficient.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    Same for me... in college (1969), writing programs in a simplified version of FORTRAN, using an IBM Model 26 punch to prepare the card deck, submitting it for batch processing in the AM, and returning in the PM to fetch my output.

    Later, after college (1975) writing 8 bit micro-controller assembly code on a Teletype (and punching onto paper tape), using a 110 baud acoustic coupler, to reach a timesharing service, to use their assembler.... and punching hex code onto paper tape, for output.

    1978: Getting a small PDP-11 at work, for my own use.... RL01 disk drives (5 Mb) using an 18" diameter disk pack with removable cover, RT-11 operating system

    1980: getting the very first IBM PC in my company.... 64K RAM, dual 5" floppy disks, green screen monitor, even a casette port for people who couldn't afford the floppy disks.

    ...and so on.
    And if you were lucky you got a 30 Mb Winchester drive. That's right folks 30 Megabytes storage on a drive the same size as the PC case
    It’s really hard to define ‘virtue signalling’, as I was saying the other day to some of my Muslim friends over a fair-trade coffee in our local feminist bookshop. (Lucy Porter 2018)

  26. #26
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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    Quote Originally Posted by isla View Post
    And if you were lucky you got a 30 Mb Winchester drive. That's right folks 30 Megabytes storage on a drive the same size as the PC case
    Nope, never had a Winchester.

    By the time reasonably priced hard drives were available for the PC, they were typically 20-30 Mb. By the time the 286's became available, you could get 100-150 Mb, albeit quite expensively.

    Compare and contrast to today: a 3Tb external hard drive for under $100!
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  27. #27
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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    Im on facebook!

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    In the print industry as an apprentice I swapped from Monotype lead cast to a photographic machine (Intertype?) in round 1959 or 60.
    Then to a CRT machine in maybe 63-5. A firm I worked for went broke by believing what the salesmen said the first Mac's could do, but in the end Mac became the industry standard. The early manuals were quite funny, often one or two lines on the page saying what it SHOULD do but not explaining how.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    ^ Jeff, a LOT of truth in that last sentence !!!

    Rick

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    Nope, never had a Winchester.

    By the time reasonably priced hard drives were available for the PC, they were typically 20-30 Mb. By the time the 286's became available, you could get 100-150 Mb, albeit quite expensively.

    Compare and contrast to today: a 3Tb external hard drive for under $100!
    3Tb sounds like a bad form of tuberculosis.

    Peace,
    TeraFloppy

  31. #31
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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    Cheap HDDs. Check.

    But we also get collectable(?), high end video graphics cards that retail for $1200+. But you'll want to run SLI graphics, so buy at least two!

    Nosce te ipsum

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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Great to hear about people like your mom & it must've been really fun at the store.
    Thank you, Garret.

    The Toddler in Chief had a narrow escape. Rosalind had a list of candidate ready for disposal and he was on it. At the time of the Scottish independence referendum she, a staunch Scot, opposed it heartily. She decided it was up to her to save Scotland and we spent some happy hours planning how she would accomplish the demise of Alex Salmond at her hands. (She was 99 at the time)

    As it turned out, that wasn't necessary, but she got the taste for it and turned her attention to other candidates. They included the POTUS and "that besom", which is how she would refer to Sarah Palin. (She read The Times every day until a couple of months before her death)

    Conversation with Rosalind could take some interesting twists and turns. In reality, she was the kindest and most generous person you could hope to meet.
    "Mozart is the heart's touchstone" (Edwin Fischer)

  33. #33
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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbys View Post
    Im on facebook!
    Hehe! nearly typed the same thing. I'm deffo a user and not a 'mechanic'

    Remember buying my first calculator. It cost £26/$50 back in 74, which was a weeks wages back then. It was a Bomar and it cost more because it had a % function [gasp!]

    My early experiences with computers [74ish] were to put me off for many years. Having to spend hours to write FORTRAN code to solve a relatively simple math problem just did my head in. I jacked in college shortly after and went to be a gardener.

    Friend of mine is still using a computer running Windows 3. Reckons it's all he needs for the work he's doing - mainly word docs and the like
    Yma o hyd

  34. #34
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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    A computer for me, when I'm a senior, will be less about being simple enough, and more about visibility. What I'm saying is that it won't be a cellphone!
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  35. #35
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    Default Re: A computer just for senior citizens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    I get AARP magazine. It always includes an ad for a computer just for senior citizens.
    It includes a pic of a couple of folks my age in awe of a laptop screen.
    It's as if they'd never seen one before.

    Earth to AARP: "Seniors" are the generation that invented the frikken thing!
    their generation may have invented it, but I assure you a lot of seniors spent their life avoiding them. My rents are 77 & 80. Windows 10 is giving them fits. Way too much change, way too fast. Things like automatic updates scare the crap out of them and frustrate them. So, yes, you guys invented the computer, but there are seniors out there that need something easier to learn.
    Last edited by CK 17; 01-15-2018 at 10:29 AM.
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