Showing posts with label Personal computer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Personal computer. Show all posts

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Selecting a Computer for a Senior Citizen

If you have a parent, older relative or older friend who has expressed the desire to own a computer, you may have volunteered to help them out without thinking – and right now you may be wondering how, exactly, to select a computer for someone who will not need the machine for video gaming, business purposes or fancy programs.

It’s true: Senior citizens probably don’t need a computer for the same reasons you need one. But they too deserve satisfaction with the purchase. If you’ve volunteered to help pick one out, there are a few guidelines that will ensure the new computer owner ends up happy – and appropriately educated – with the selection.

Before Buying a Machine

Purchasing a computer can be a daunting task for someone who’s never done it. Arm yourself with a few ideas before hitting the store.

Laptop versus Desktop

The first question to ask is whether the senior wants a laptop or a desktop. There are certainly pros and cons to both choices, but consider the following reasons that a laptop may be the better bet for an older person:

Laptops are portable and lightweight, which means the senior can travel with it easily.
Laptops require less wiring and parts – the monitor, keyboard and mouse are all included in one machine, which may appeal to someone older and intimidated by technology.
Laptops are often less expensive. 

10 Windows Tablets for Under $500 -

Mac versus Windows

If you’re a warrior of the old Mac versus PC argument – and you’re devoted to one answer – you may be tempted to convert a senior citizen to your own preference. But don’t be. Instead, share the following benefits of each computer type and let them decide.

Mac Pros

  • It’s often easier to learn a Mac’s software; they are known to be more user-friendly. 
  • Macs are durable and long-lasting. 
  • Macs are less susceptible to viruses – which could be a plus if your senior is just learning to navigate the Web. 
PC Pros
  • PCs are less expensive. 
  • PCs are also less expensive when it comes to repair and purchasing software. 
  • The PC world offers more software options and a wider range of peripherals, from printers to speakers to joysticks. 

Helpful Features

Make sure the computer you’re buying has the proper features to help seniors navigate easily and in comfort. Here are some to consider. Most computers come with these features built in, but checking them out and learning how to use them is important.

  • Screen resolution and contrast: Depending on the computer owner’s preferences, most screens can be adjusted for size of text and contrast. Typically, you can use keyboard shortcuts or menu options to achieve the desired effect. 
  • Touch screen: Many computers now offer a touch screen option, which a senior citizen may find more comfortable – especially those who suffer from arthritis or who have trouble moving around easily. 
  • Sound: Obviously, you can turn up the volume on the machine to the new owner’s liking. But voiceover – when the computer “talks” to the owner – can also be a helpful tool. 
  • Software: How do you determine what software packages to install for the new machine? First of all, find out what the owner has in mind. Quiz him or her about interests. In most cases, the built-in software in the computer will be sufficient, but there also are programs that “simplify” software for seniors, including Internet access. 

After Buying a Machine

We can’t stress this enough: If the new owner is not tech-savvy, set up the new machine to make it easy for the user to carry out basic functions.

Accounts and Passwords

Don’t let the new owner get confused by the bevy of usernames and passwords he or she will need in order to sign into various accounts such as email, video chat and social media. Keep some of these tips in mind: Simple is best. Don’t make usernames and passwords too complex. On the other hand, don’t get lazy about passwords – the name of a pet, grandchild or another point of reference is better than something easy to hack such as sequential numbers. Urge the new computer owner to write down usernames and passwords and keep this information in a safe place.


Inexperienced Internet users may stumble upon websites that will compromise the computer. That said, setting up a simple virus protection program is a good idea. It’s also important to teach the new computer owner to protect private information such as physical address and Social Security identification – especially if he or she will be using the Internet for medical or other personal matters.

Web Access

Don’t depend on accessing the neighbor’s Internet – such a plan compromises security, and it’s far from dependable. Instead, suggest that your senior citizen friend invest in cable Internet and use a direct ethernet cable connection, which is simpler than going wireless.

Remember, helping a senior citizen purchase and set up his or her first computer is easier than y
ou might think. With a little patience and humor, they’ll be up and running in no time.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cut Business Costs Using Remote Access Software

Remote Access Software doesn’t immediately spring to mind when you think of money-saving technologies. But with the workplace becoming increasingly mobile-oriented, any program that facilitates the process of remote working is going to benefit businesses in the long term. But how can a technology that involves accessing one desktop from another help cut costs? Read on to find out.

A more productive workforce

There’s one, crucial thing that all business want from their employees: to be more productive. Whether its new software, incentives like bonuses, or implementing telecommuting strategies, companies try all sorts of ways to get more out of their workers. Remote access software is just another string to that bow. If you can have it so your employees can work efficiently while travelling or working from home, then you are saving company time. And time is money. Remote access to office desktops can now be done from mobile devices so all the crucial files and programs an employee needs are always available. Some programs, such as those from Ericom software, now work entirely through a web browser and across multiple platforms, making compatibility problems a thing of the past. It’s a failsafe for all sorts of data-related mishaps. 

Software Costs

If you’re running a startup business, then costs are at the front of your mind, even more so. Say you have remote workers in different locations but you need them all to use a certain program, Microsoft Word or Photoshop for example, that would require costly licenses for multiple computers. You can use remote access software to give these workers access to this software, installed on a remote desktop, so they have no need to install and configure anything. If you have a large workforce, Remote Desktop services can save time/cost when updating an arsenal of computers, for example if you want to upgrade a specific program across the board. If these computers are all accessing this program from a remote server, then instead of going from computer to computer performing updates you only have to do it once. This takes a massive strain off the IT department. 

Expanding Businesses

What if you’re a growing business? What if you’re about to hire several new employees? You’ve got find the funds to buy three new PCs and install all the software on them. That’s going to be costly and time-consuming. The same goes for upgrading PCs every few years. If you opt for a cheap, thin-client computer (like a Chromebook) that you use to remotely access programs on a server you can save yourself a fortune. Thin-client devices have a greater lifespan and low service costs. JP Gownder of Forrester Research has said that they “offer the prospect of radically reducing the amount of time IT staff spend ‘keeping the lights on’ for devices…and offer high uptime, low service costs, and scalable deployment of new web-based applications and content.

No matter the size of your business, Remote Access software is definitely worth thinking about.

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