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Parents--teaching them new technology is a pain in the a--!

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by Lord Vader, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. Dec 18, 2011 #41 of 100

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2009
    NY Hudson...
    From a senior point of view, I use dates as PWs.

    I would suggest for an old couple that still together, that the day your father proposed to your mother is a date that should not recorded anywhere, but should be easy to remember.

    E.g. 29May1988
  2. Dec 18, 2011 #42 of 100

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Mar 4, 2006
    Herrin, IL
    Yep, it is that lack of fear that the young have.

    A short story. Many years ago, Atari had a truck they would take to different places like schools, to show of the computers they were making. I had the opportunity to observe once. During the day, the kids came in, touched and tried everything and had a great time. That night the parents came in. They looked and watched the demos, but not one would touch the stuff! :)
  3. Dec 18, 2011 #43 of 100

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

    Jan 25, 2007
    Interesting! I saw the first Macintosh computer in a Florida store in 1984. The clerks would not let anybody touch the equipment. Apparently they had just about sweated blood to get the computer to display anything.

    I finally bought an iPod last year.
  4. Dec 20, 2011 #44 of 100

    4HiMarks Hall Of Fame

    Jan 21, 2004
    Laurel, MD
    My mother asked me to "clean up" her computer while I am on winter break. I told her it was probably best to upgrade it to Windows 7 (from Vista), and she responded that she uses it so seldom and wasn't going to upgrade her brain, so it probably wasn't worth it. Since she never bothered to learn even the most basic Windows "commands" (although that is making too much of them. Gestures would be better, but I'm talking about the absolute basics like resizing windows, switching between windows, and Ctrl-c, Ctrl-v, etc.) I don't see why changing from one OS she doesn't know how to use to another would make any difference.

    She has a flip phone that she never uses. Half the time she can't even find it. I'm really surprised it has any charge when she does want to make a call in an emergency. When she first got it, she didn't know how to check voice mail, and when she finally did (by accident, I think) she insisted that it told her she had 400 messages and there was no way she was going to delete them manually. When I said that was impossible as our family account only supported 20, she accused me of calling her a liar. My GF and I finally figured out that she really had four "unheard" messages, and they eventually expired and deleted themselves.

    But DVRs? Facebook? Downloads? She can reply to an email, and I think she is learning how to compose them now, or at least edit subject lines.

    MY GF is not very tech-savvy either. We both finally got smart phones this summer. I got an Android (Moto Atrix 4G) and she got an iphone 3GS (refurb for $20), but she has even imported her contacts from her old flip phone. She insists only half-jokingly that she doesn't know how to watch TV in our house, although she did figure it out when she was home sick. My Mom can't even remember how to play a DVD, though.
  5. Dec 20, 2011 #45 of 100

    Sharkie_Fan Hall Of Fame

    Sep 26, 2006
    We're not an old couple, but I couldn't tell you the day I proposed. Heck, I'm lucky if I can remember wedding anniversary and birthday. :)
  6. Dec 20, 2011 #46 of 100
    The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    I believe you can get an iPhone 3GS 8GB from AT&T for under $50 now. Since it seems like they won't have too much on it, that size should be fine.

    - Merg
  7. Dec 20, 2011 #47 of 100
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 20, 2004
    Galactic Empire
    Uh, we're on Sprint, not AT&T. Plus, as I said, iPhones do not have a keyboard.
  8. Dec 20, 2011 #48 of 100

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    I'm still trying to get my mother to upgrade from XP. Problem is, she doesn't like the 7 compatible versions of some of her apps and I'm not sure about XP mode.
  9. Dec 20, 2011 #49 of 100
  10. Dec 20, 2011 #50 of 100
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 20, 2004
    Galactic Empire
    So she should get an iPhone for $199 or so, then add a keyboard for another $50 to $100, when she can get the Samsung Epic for $99 and already have a keyboard and a much better--and bigger--screen?

    It's obvious what the better deal is.
  11. Dec 21, 2011 #51 of 100

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    This is a problem my wife struggles with and for good reason. Two programs she has used practically since their inception are Quicken and Family Tree Maker. Because she, like me, has been using desktop computers since 1980 beginning with the Tandy Model II, she's certainly tech savvy.

    But just ask her about the features that have been taken away from these programs and you'll get a litany of complaints about loss of report flexibility. And just ask about the features added, all handy online and generally automated features, and she'll list them with a recitation of just how useless and unreliable they really are and how they frequently screw things up.

    The problem is she's right. Many new features are gimmicks that attract the tech unsavvy and tie you to additional charges from the software vendors. The old features lost were elegant database reporting systems that only the tech savvy would appreciate.

    My favorite new feature was the advent in Quicken of downloading data from your bank account so you don't have to enter it. You can then easily balance your account, bank errors and all, without having to pay any attention. Banks don't make errors....:rolleyes:
  12. Dec 21, 2011 #52 of 100

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    May 17, 2010
    Newer doesn't always mean better. Remember Windows Millennium and Vista?
  13. Dec 21, 2011 #53 of 100

    TBlazer07 Large Member DBSTalk Club

    Feb 5, 2009
    +10. As much as I hate Apple you are so right. My wife (mid-60's) finally broke her 20something yr old Moto-Razr flipper with less than 5 minutes lifetime calls :lol:. I let her mess with my Galaxy S2 .... fuggetaboutit. I started looking on eBay for a "new" Razr. I "fooled" her (boy did she start out angry) and got her an iPhone 3Gs pretty cheap ...... she's in heaven now (figuratively that is .......) Jailbroke & unlocked it and put it on T-Mobile prepaid and for less than $7/month she's having a blast (no data - but there is plenty of wi-fi here and where she works).
  14. Dec 21, 2011 #54 of 100

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    Quite true.

    Remember iPhone 4? :D

    As for teaching an old dog new tricks...

    I have seen that this is not the obstacle that seems to be portrayed in the original post - at least not with the group of folks I know or work with that are official AARP members - in fact - they embrace new technology, and often want to learn. They also get insulted with oversimplified technology that dumbs down functionality.

    Then again...there are always a few folks who simply are happy with the status quo and prefer not to change at all. I've even seen this in 20-somethings.


    I noticed Vader has not yet used "the Force" to help...maybe that is the cure. :D
  15. Dec 21, 2011 #55 of 100

    djlong Hall Of Fame

    Jul 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    If the Epic's Android OS isn't something your mother can learn - but iOS *is* something she can get along with, even getting the Epic for FREE is no bargain. Android is far more customizable than iOS and you can "side load" apps and it's easier to jailbreak. All good arguments for Android if you're a techie. BUT - Apple is much better on app security. Android is a much less secure ecosystem and, when something DOES go wrong, you have ONE point of contact for iOS (Apple) instead of multiple where your carrier might tell you to call Samsung and they might tell you to call Google.

    However, if it's a keyboard you're wanting, try this:


    It's a Bluetooth slide-out kepboard that clips on to the iPhone - and it's $25 at the moment.
  16. Dec 21, 2011 #56 of 100
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 20, 2004
    Galactic Empire
    $199 for an iPhone (with a screen 28% smaller), $99 for Apple Care, an extra $25 for an iffy add-on keyboard (yeah, Mom's gonna LOVE that flimsy thing); or $99 for an Epic with a $50 rebate?

    I think it's easy to see which is the better all around deal.
  17. Dec 21, 2011 #57 of 100

    HDJulie Icon

    Aug 10, 2008
    It's been a little while since your mom got the new Epic. Is she starting to come around to it now that she has had some time with it?
  18. Dec 21, 2011 #58 of 100
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 20, 2004
    Galactic Empire
    From what my dad said, it sounds like it. For one thing, she spends hours each day playing Angry Birds and can't put it down. Little by little she plays around with other functions. I was thinking of rooting her phone--I rooted my dad's EVO and my sister's EVO along with my EVO a while ago, but the EVO is so simple to root when compared to the Epic. Besides, I don't think my mom needs hers to be rooted. For what she's using it, it's probably not necessary.

    My sister, my dad, and me, that's different. I partitioned our SD cards to increase memory capacity and usage, and with all the apps we have, rooting made sense.
  19. Jan 5, 2012 #59 of 100
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 20, 2004
    Galactic Empire
    THIS is why it's so difficult dealing with my mom, and THIS is why it's not my fault...

    Last weekend I'm over at their house when my mom tells me, "Take this phone back. I don't want it. Just get me one that lets me make and receive calls!"

    Of course, I tell her we're past the Sprint 14-day return period. I then told her I'd show her how to make calls to her most frequently dialed contacts. I said, "I'm going to show you how to speed dial these contacts with one key stroke. You just tap their contact icon on your screen, and the call is dialed."

    Throwing the phone at me--literally--she screams, "I don't want to learn. I'm not going to listen. Take it back! I just want to be able to make calls easily."

    "So, you'd rather dial a bunch of numbers, then hunt for the send button, instead of pressing only ONE thing on the screen?"

    "That's all I want! I don't want to learn anything!"

    "But that's the point. I'm going to show you how it's easier with this phone," I explained.

    "This is what I have to live with," my father chimes in. "She needs a f-----g psychiatrist. She has no patience and does nothing but bitch!"

    Hey! It's only been 48+ years of a Constanza-like marriage. What do they expect? :rolleyes:

    Seriously, how can I even deal with someone who is so STUPIDLY lazy and REFUSES to let me show her something so simple? Yes, this is my mother, but I'm not going to mince words when I say that this woman is being totally ridiculous here. It's worse than a typical older person who just doesn't want to learn. She's being temperamentally lazy, and for no good reason.

    Oh, BTW, she still wants to be able to play Angry Birds and other games. Ain't gonna be possible on an old style flip phone, Mom.
  20. Jan 5, 2012 #60 of 100

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    The interesting thing here is that over the holidays...there were 3 generations of family here...and ALL of them have embraced technology in many ways.

    The youngest (14) is anxiously awaiting a tablet...which he honestly is smart enough to use and mature enough not to abuse. The oldest is a tablet, PC, and smartphone user already.

    Pretty cool stuff.

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