Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Making the Most of Tech for Seniors

 So what does a senior need to make the most of technology in this day and age?

The best space and cost efficient Technology setup for a senior in these days of covid-19 confinement might be the following: 

1. We all need the best choice of hardware and it need not be expensive.

2. You then need easy access to a whole host of information and media.

For hardware I suggest the following:

a big display, such as a 24” TV like the Insignia Fire TV with 3 HDMI inputs 

a rugged cheap student type Chromebook laptop to use with it or separately on your lap or desk

two cell phones,  one small and one large,  such as a iPhone SE and a Moto 7,  one always in the charger and one always in your pocket

TracFone service available for as little as $50 a year for each phone, or Tello

a tablet, such as a Kindle Fire or iPad, even an iPad only with cell service

a cheap wireless Brother laser printer

sticks such as Roku and Chromecast, even Windows (see below)

For this Hardware you will have access in the most appropriate way wherever you are for about $500-$800 total

To house the hardware I suggest a secretary desk with room for the TV/monitor and drawers

For accessing all the information you need, I suggest the following:

first, use voice wherever possible to do your work, searching and launching, including Alexa

install video phone communication services such as Duo

activate the ability to have things read out aloud to you

have your news delivered daily via Gmail, including Axios, Microsoft News and Google News, and also reasonably priced subscriptions such as the Washington Post for $4 a month

install TV apps such as Pluto, Newson, CBSN Live, Reuters Live, and those networks which provide free online access  such as ABC.    I subscribe to WatchNewsPro, which provides MSNBC at $60 a year, which also includes National TV news stations from Canada and Australia

 keep your photos online, only then print them to the nearest drug store photo service

use music services such as Amazon music or YouTube music, or free services such as Spotify  and especially Pandora

for reading, avail yourself of the free services such as Gutenberg and Internet archive, but also Amazon with its enormous libraries available for as low as $0.99 or even less

for writing, use nothing but Google Docs (free) with ability to dictate and interface with any other software

avoid everything which interferes with your ability to get things done quickly,  such as Windows,  unless you have a special need for it and the time to do all the support to keep it working

 if you do choose Windows I suggest a Intel stick coupled with a USB hub,  along with care that you do not overuse the storage---although you can add huge micro SD storage cheap 

be aware that with Chromebooks you can now run Linux applications such as Calibre,  really the only application to access and organize documents and written media of all kinds

With all this technology available, make sure you USE it to get any information you need quickly to solve countless problems, by asking for a Google or YouTube solution. 

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