Monday, October 2, 2017

As Seniors Abandon Windows

When seniors move into this retirement community, they often find time now to put an old Windows laptop to work,  either one they bought many years ago for $1,000 or one given to them by their children who are upgrading.

They are shocked to find that Microsoft has deliberately obsoleted these devices by not supporting them safety from viruses.     This does not go down well.

Sometimes it takes a little convincing,  but many simply move to the iPad and the great support they get from Apple.
All  they want really is a device that will enable them to do the things they used to do with Microsoft Office offline and maybe surf the Internet, at least to get email.

Those who really want a laptop as opposed to an iPad tablet, are well advised to go to a Chromebook,  which will do everything they want to do, just mostly online. These can be had for $200 or less.

Sometimes their old laptop can be converted into a Chromebook simply by loading the OS from an  SD card.

For those who do not want to be dependent on online, and simply want to carry out the old activities they did on their old Windows laptop, there is the PineBook

The PineBook is a $99 a 14-inch laptop

For those a bit daring,  this might be another solution.    Online the device is just a bit slow,  but that does not affected offline      It has a full Office Suite comparable to Microsoft Office.

I was annoyed with mine initially, because I could not use it with headphone or speaker or microphone with the 3.5 mm plug, even with Bluetooth

I found recently, however,  that the laptop works generally with my USB devices.     The PineBook picks up the drivers automatically and T then selects them from the sound window.

New USB devices are fairly cheap, under $30.

Similarly, the PineBook recognizes many devices, such as many printers, but only selectively based on what the Ubuntu OS supports.      This happens automatically as they're plugged in.

Compatible printers and devices will be found by searching for CUPS printers.

At this point we have a somewhat slow but beautiful and well-made lightweight laptop which will do most of what seniors want to do.

A little knowledge of Linux can help, but it is best to stay away from the arcane commands from the command line, other than to install apps with  commands like sudo apt-get install (app name).

For those knowledgeable about Linux it is good to know that this is not an Intel processor and therefore will not do apps that require it.

Compatible printers will be found by searching for CUPS printers.

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