Thursday, March 28, 2013

PC Sticks and their Future for Seniors

PC Sticks have some great potential for seniors in the future.

These very new and tiny devices make your TV double as a very inexpensive computer. They also provide access to the vast video resources of Internet, especially movies and TV shows. 

They represent a revolution in providing content and in convergence of technology. 

The PC stick itself is not much more then the size of a USB flash drive or your forefinger. Plug in a keyboard and a monitor for display and, voila, you'll have a PC. No tower is needed, nor laptop. 

PC sticks run from about 50 dollars to 100 dollars. I ordered one as soon as they started to become available. 

PC sticks are really just a development from the smartphone, as are tablets. Smartphone innards are just growing up to power a large screen, as they grew up to tablet size.

So far they work like tablets, and like tablets, offer most of the capabilities of larger computers. 

They are free from many of the hassles of Windows which especially bother seniors. 

By combining TV and computer in one screen at low cost, they offer other important benefits.

For example, if you have a so-called secretary desk, with a fold out desktop surface, and three drawers below, then dresser  TV, and computer station can be combined in a very small space.

A small space thus can provide for multiple functions. You can sit close to open drawers and dress, or to use the computer or watch TV. 

Also you can push the chair back to watch TV from a distance or even watch from a bed. Both TV and computer can be operated from a wireless and portable keypad and touch screen. 

Newly you can even operate the whole system from some tablets. I use the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7. 

At the same time you avoid a heavy and bulky tower PC and the hassles of a heavy device and many cables. 

Starting to be available are PC sticks with full large computer capabilities for creation of documents. One of these uses Linux, which is an alternative for Windows or Apple. A version of Linux, Zorin, looks and acts like Windows without any of the usual drawbacks. 

When so many calls for help simply deal with Windows problems, that is a potential boon indeed. More time can be spent learning to use the many resources of computers so useful to seniors.

Tap or click to watch a video about the latest Stick PC.

Note:  To use a PC Stick with a TV, the TV must have an HDMI jack, although adapters may be available.

Dictated using a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7 tablet. (These tablets are newly available with the latest software and camera at $180 now.)