View Full Version : i'm getting my grandma an umpc!

April 26th, 2008, 05:19 AM
im looking at the HP one (http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF25a/321957-321957-64295-321838-306995-3687084.html)

or the eeepc or the eee900

I cant decide tho, all she will ever need is photo viewing, spider solitaire, web browsing and email.
I am liking the look of the eee because of the simple display.

what where your experiances with linux, umpc's and technology illiterate people. (not necessarily all of these in the same story.)

April 26th, 2008, 05:22 AM
you sure she'll be happy with something so small? i'm mainly talking about the screen. usually older folks want a larger monitor.

April 26th, 2008, 05:33 AM

I applaud your intentions, and think it's a great idea to get her a computer.. I work for a nonprofit that provides all kinds of assistance for older adults, so I have a bit of experience with this sort of thing.

The UMPC is a bad idea.

The keyboard will be uncomfortable to use, and the screen will be hard to read for an older adult. (even 50+) In fact, unless portability is a must you will get much better results with a decent desktop with a big monitor and ergonomic keyboard/mouse combo. (consider trackball.)

Some things I can share are:

1) Stick with either Gnome or better yet, XFCE.

2) Use Pessulus to lock the panels. (not to be a control freak, but to prevent things from accidentally disappearing.)

3) At our senior centers, Xubuntu is horribly popular. Abiword provides a nice, simple interface, and I customized the menus to make things much more readable and give things logical names such as "Word Processor" instead of "Abiword", etc.

4) Use one panel, vs two to maximize the amount of screen area, and disable multiple workspaces to avoid windows becoming 'lost' on another desktop

5) I wrote a script that I can run that backs up the users' /home and restores a default /home in case things get messed up. Some way of backing up docs is a good idea too.



April 26th, 2008, 05:54 AM
I am leaning towards the eee because of the simple environment.
just buttons.

I will proboly get an external monitor and keyboard.

this way, she doesn't have to learn a full new DE, she just has to know that when she wants to surf the net, she clicks internet.

April 26th, 2008, 06:21 AM
Better idea:

Build her a computer; specifications are your choice, but make sure you make it cheap and use a Linux-compatible motherboard (I used the Asus M2A-VM-HDMI).

Install Linpus (which has an easy mode like the EeePC)

Put a cheap 17 inch monitor on it.

It'll cost a bit more than an ordinary EeePC, but it will be better than having a tiny keyboard and tiny monitor.