Tag Archives: Senior Technology

Say Hello to a Good Buy: The Replacement for Granny’s Computer has finally arrived!

Apple 9.7” iPad

As a technology advisor to seniors, the most frequently asked question I get is: “My Grandmother (or Grandfather) needs a new computer which one should I get?”

My response is: “They no longer need a computer they need a tablet computing device. If you surveyed seniors that use computers (desktop or laptop) and ask them what they actually use their computer for, the responses would undoubtedly include:

  1. Getting, reading, replying to eMail.
  2. Reading and responding to Facebook.
  3. Playing a game that might include Solitaire, Scrabble, or Wheel of Fortune.
  4. Reading a good ebook or magazine.
  5. Surfing the web for news, weather, and funny stuff.
  6. Seeing photos of my adult children and younger grandchildren.
  7. Maybe shopping online.

All of the seven above can be done on grandma’s lap while she is sitting on her couch or lying in bed using a lightweight tablet. Not so with desktop computers, and not easy with so-called laptops.

There are hundreds of different tablet computers that range in price from $49.99 (Barnes & Noble Nook 7″ Tablet) to over a $1,000 (Apple 12.5″ iPad Pro Tablet). In my humble (but well experienced) opinion, the BEST choice for doing the seven items above is the new $329 9.7″ Apple iPad Click here for more info

Here are ten reasons why this is the one to buy:

1. This is the most current version of the iPad that Apple has honed to perfection over the past six years.

2. The screen is bright, easy to read, and the exactly the right size to read ebooks and magazines with ease.

3. It comes with the A10 Fusion processor chip that is incredibly fast – great for videos, games, and going from one app to another.

4. The main camera on this iPad is 8MP takes stunning photos and can record in HD video. Plus use it for FaceTime calls with family and friends.

5. Use it to connect to almost any Bluetooth keyboard.

6. Get FREE ebooks, music, audiobooks, and movies from your local library using the Libby and Hoopla apps.

7. Weighs just a tad over 1 pound.

8. Thousands of cases, covers, keyboards, stands, screen protectors, styli, and headphones are available for this model iPad. Apple’s sensational electronic Pencil also works with this model.

9. Secure Touch ID, stereo speakers, 32GB of storage (more available), a cellular option is available, your choice of three different finishes.

10. Over 1,000,000 apps in Apple’s App Store.

Want to make your parents and/or grandparents happy? Get them an iPad, not a replacement desktop or laptop.

We don’t need no stink’n computer “ports”!


Desktop computer ports circa 206
Desktop computer ports circa 206
2015 Apple MacBook with only 1 port
2015 Apple MacBook with only 1 port


As an old “geezer” who has been messing with personal computers since 1978 (when the earth was still cooling according to our children and grand children), I’ve owned (personal) or managed (business) dozens of computers of almost every brand, operating system, and type (desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet and now wearable.)

For years personal computing depended on a variety of hardware including floppy disk drives, spinning hard drives, noisy whirring fans, and dozens of “ports.”

We depended on ports to hook up our computers to other outside devices like speakers, monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, external hard drives, CD/DVD drives, networking systems, headphones, telephones and on and on.  Basically you could not use a desktop or laptop without a half-dozen or more “ports.”

The first big change in ports came with newer laptops.  Keyboards, track-pads, built-in monitors and WiFi networking were pretty much standand on these devices.  The next big change was when smartphones and tablets became popular.  They had few or no ports.  Almost all had a power port (some used induction charging) and some had a headphone port.

Apple has recently introduced two new devices that are truly remarkable in that they use only 1 port (the 2015 MacBook laptop computer) or no ports (the 2015 Apple Watch).  The MacBook only has 1 port, a new design USB-C port that is cable of connecting to almost all outside devices along with charging the computer.  The Apple Watch has no ports.  It receives its power from a magnetic induction pad.

What happened?  Wireless happened!  

Newer technology like advanced WiFi, BlueTooth, AirPlay, DLNA, AirPrint and many other wireless systems has replaced cables and connectors.  We are people on-the-move!  We will not be harnessed, chained, or defined by port cables and connectors.

Pretty much everything can be connected “over the air” by wireless systems.  Monitors, TV’s, music systems, scanners, printers, Internet networks, thermostats, light switches, dead-bolt door locks, underground sprinkler systems, washers and dryers, keyboards, mice, refrigerators and even your cars door locks, start ups, navigation, audio systems and this is just at the beginning of 2015!

It’s a brave new world out there Preppies, and mobile technology will only get faster, more powerful, lighter, thinner and hopefully less expensive.

How about a new bumper sticker that says:  “I know more about technology than my grandkids!”