I Haven't Lost My Mind, It's Backed Up On A Disk Somewhere
most recent tips listed last
1. Do you NEED a computer?
Or could you use a MORE UPDATED
one? You would be amazed how many folks out there buy a new computer
every year or so to keep on the cutting edge, and the old one goes into the
closet to collect dust. But it
might be much newer than the one you are now using.
Put a small ad in your local paper
or penny saver saying that a senior citizen needs a computer in order
to get online. You may be pleased at the response.
an organization that probably is
active in YOUR community. Rather than throw away useful things you no
longer need, they are offered online free to anyone who will pick them up. I
once got a decent computer this way.
Beware an online scam called phishing.
fishing). You may get an email that appears to come from a
business where you have an account. They tell you that you either
need to update your records right now, or something terrible will
happen, like your account will be cancelled. If you click on their
link they may ask you for your social security number, credit card
numbers, or other personal information.
Don't fall for it.
These emails look very
copy real company logos that
look very real. If you ever
get a request that resembles this,
get on the phone and call the
company to see if they are REALLY requesting this info.
the phone number from a source other than the email.
give out personal
information online or on the
phone unless YOU initiate
a transaction or activity---and even then be VERY cautious.
FTC Consumer Alert on
avoiding PHISHING scams.
important for you to read.
Also, ebay has presented
a "Spoof Email
Tutorial" website to help you identify fake and dangerous email.
Hewlett Packard Computer Tune Up Site
Give Your Old Computer to a Senior
Are you getting a new computer? Consider giving your old
computer and components to a senior who could use one. So how do you do
that. There is probably a senior center in your community. Go there, or call
there, and place a notice on the bulletin board, or speak with the director.
You will want to be sure to remove all of your information before doing
this. This article might be helpful in that regard.
Giving Your Computer Away
http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/ Test your
computer's download and upload speeds.
Problems This is a forum where other computer users respond
to your question or problem with anything involving a computer.
7. Look for high speed
connections at prices lower than some dialups. I use
Verizon DSL at
$17.99 per month plus those pesky taxes. And this is not just
an introductory rate. The first month is even free. I am sure this
will be duplicated by others soon if not already. It is fast, but
they offer even faster at higher rates. I have used their service
at both rates, and find NO difference in actual performance. The
$17.99 service is more than enough for most users. No matter how
fast your service, you only get information as fast as it
will go from and through other pipelines.
8. It is EASY and FREE
to build and have your own website hosted online.
FREE! I have
built several personal sites with this service, and have really
enjoyed it. (If you want to see one that I have built go to
http://houseforsalepa.tripod.com . I made this site when I was
selling my home. It is now sold, and the site aided me in that
process. I have left the site online so I can go in to look at a
home we enjoyed very much.) If you want to give it a try, go to
this Carnegie Mellon University Site at
Click on the little white "sign up" button after the word "LYCOS"
at the top of the open page. This will take you to another page,
where you want to go to the box marked "free". CLICK ON "SIGN UP"
AND GET GOING ON YOUR ADVENTURE.
Seniors more likely to be connected to the Internet
are increasingly more likely to be connected to the Internet, and
those that aren't connected would probably like to be. I've found
the following data to be very interesting, which has been
collected from various studies.
Senior Citizens Who Master
Computer Have Less Depression
Senior citizens who become adept at
using a computer appear to have fewer depressive symptoms than
those older adults who aren’t so technologically connected.
That’s the finding of a research
study, Depression and Social Support Among Older Adult Computer
Users, presented August 18 at the 113th Annual Convention of the
One must be careful, however, not to substitute the internet for
social interaction in the flesh with others. But it is a great way
to find entertainment (for fun),
travel the world, learn new things, and make new friends. A
physically challenged Senior will find a whole new world open to
them online. Careful use of chat rooms can bring real new friend
to the Senior.
Another scam says something like, "you have won", or
"we need a representative
in your country to
accept a large amount of cash, and we will pay you well."
What they will do is gradually get more and more information from
you, and then clean out
your bank account. Report them to your internet service
provider. I was getting a series of a couple of these a day.
Finally, I sent them a
massive number of disgusting LARGE
someone being very ill in a toilet, and a few others that I cannot
describe here. My emails from them stopped THAT day, and have not
resumed. They can't afford to have their scam congested with large
Another popular computer scam. You get an email that
tells you you have been referred because you are honest or
something like that. The person has a lot of money from an
inheritance, a business deal, life insurance, or some semi-illegal
source. It is usually millions of $$$. All you have to do in order
to get a nice percentage of this money is to give them your bank
account and they will send the whole sum to you. When they come to
the country they will expect you to give them the balance, less
your rich commission.
FAKE, RUSE, SCAM, THIEVES.
They are trying to clean
out your bank account ,not fill it. Report computer scams
to your internet provider so they can track them.
there is the scam about winning a contest. My mother
got a call from someone who was quite excited about her winning a
camera in some kind of drawing. Could come to you as an email. It
was described in glowing detail. All she had to do was send $49.95
to them for some kind of special handling and insurance or some
damned thing. They sent the camera! THE KIND YOU COULD BUY IN SOME
THIRD RATE DISCOUNT STORE FOR ABOUT $9.95 ---or less. My mother
sent them the money. She felt ashamed that she sent enough from
her $800 social security check to more than pay for her electric
bill. Shame on some sleaze for preying on the elderly and trusting
senior who thinks they are getting something great for her
grandchild. If it sounds too good to be true----it is too good to
be true. Call an agency in your local government, or in the
Federal government and ask about it before sending anyone a penny.
Against Seniors )
best deals I have found on computers and other electronic
products is at
. I think the two companies are related, but seem to feature
different products. I also check out
Circuit City for great package deals. But at Christmas 2006 I
just bought my new HP system and an Acer 19" flat monitor at
sears.com. They had exactly what I wanted at a good price, free
shipping. I have a lot of confidence in the Sears customer
service. But remember, I have a history with Sears. And even so, I
am a believer. Editor
can get a tremendous amount of FREE computer help online. I
have found a site called
to be very useful. There are articles to help with questions and
problems. The message boards are places for you to ask detailed
questions of other experienced computer users who want to help
you. I have solved several problems with the help of other members
of this site.
16. When I search
for a word, term, or phrase, I generally use Google. (
www.google.com ) But don't
limit yourself to just one "search engine" like Google. Try Yahoo
( www.yahoo.com ), or one of my
favorites, MSN (Microsoft) (
www.msn.com ). Don't ask me how, but one of them often finds
something the others COMPLETELY missed.
Have you ever searched for something online, but when you go
to the result it is near impossible to find the word(s) you
searched for? The page may be so long that it would take
minutes to locate the object of your search. If you search on
Google or Yahoo, look at your search result, and at the bottom of
the little blurb about what the search engine found,
you will see a word in
blue "cached". Click on that word. This will take you to a
copy of the page when that search engine "crawled" it for
insertion into its information. Look at the page now.
The word(s) you searched
for are now highlighted in a bright color.
WOW! It does
not appear that MSN or AOL do this, even though AOL says the
search is enhanced by Google. They need to enhance it a little
more. I use Explorer 7. If you are searching for a word you
searched, and the results come up in an Explorer 7 window,
left-click "edit" at the top, then click "find on this
page". Enter the word or words----and a miracle occurs. This
also works with explorer 6. Try this
on earlier versions, but I am not sure.
|18. Free online
computer basics for seniors.
"Internet Basics for
Seniors" And another helpful tutorial site:
Seniors and Computers
19. If you
get an email that appears to be hysterical (i.e., people
spraying you with perfume in parking lots but really making
you unconscious and then ripping you off), consult
This is THE source for the verification (or, more commonly,
debunking) of these email "urban myths". I can't tell
you how many emails I get (from people who SHOULD KNOW
BETTER) forwarded in sincere fear of their contents, and how
many are just baloney! If nothing else, reading the entries
at this site is entertaining. Remember: just 'cause you read
it in email (or the paper, or anywhere else) DOES NOT MAKE
IT TRUE. Keep in mind, too, that pictures are not always
worth a thousand words: there is a wonderful program called
Adobe PhotoShop that allows users to alter pictures so as to
fool you into believing... well, just about anything.
Remember, if it's
too good to be true, it probably is. Rivahcat -
20. If you have
CDs that you've
burned with treasured pictures on them, be sure to store
them in a safe.
But be sure that the safe can withstand fire temperatures
that can melt CD plastic! Many safes sold are fireproof for
PAPER. Paper burns at 451 degrees Fahrenheit. Plastic will
melt at much lower temperatures. Be sure that the safe you
get to preserve your digital/computer information will
protect the plastic of your data storage device! Rivahcat -
Beware of emails that
claim to be from the IRS, wanting to refund you some
piddly (under $100) amount by crediting your bank/credit card
account and requesting the account number.
The IRS DOES NOT refund
money this way!! They always send a check. These emails
are scams. Don't fall for them! In fact, if you get one, forward
email@example.com, so they can nail the scammers.
Remember.. if it sounds
too good to be true, it probably is! Rivahcat,
8 Helpful links for Seniors
Why should I
learn how to use the computer and the Internet?
| Are there
computer training programs designed for seniors?
| What deters
seniors from becoming computer literate?
| Can seniors with disabilities of
aging become computer literate? |
What are some computer training tips and tools?
| Having fun online
| References and resources
Related Helpguide articles
For free computer lessons
try your local library, they usually have beginners
computer classes. My local library has an excellent program for
novices. Another place where lessons are given are,
local computer clubs.
Check them out, they are a good place to meet other computer
students. Senior Citizens Clubs are another source for computer
lessons. Believe me, there are many places out there that will
help you with computer lessons.
Is the print on your
computer keyboard too small? Here are 3 possible solutions
SeniorArk found in a search. There are others out there as well.
Click picture to enlarge.
White Keys with
Keys-U-See Keyboard - Yellow Keys
with Black Print $39.95
My Board III Keyboard
$99, sale $69
25. In western society we have
gotten so used to all out electrical gadgets and do-dads that we
seldom stop to think about the cost of these devices. Yet,
a modern computer for
example can cost several
hundred dollars per year in electricity alone! And when you
are done using your computer for this session, you WILL turn it
off - right?!
26. My cyber-story: My helpmate
died in May of '98. Sometime that fall, my cousin in NC sent me a
newspaper article about WebTV. I guess I was halfway intrigued. In
Jan.99, I happened to spot a
USED WebTV receiver for
sale for $79 at Sears. I bought it and started the adventure. Since
then I've managed to just about fill up 4 of the 6 addresses or
stations(?) offered. The other 2 are used by my son & daughter.
I've not changed to a computer as this seems to fill most of our
needs and there are no virus worries.
Besides the usual uses
like ordering medicine, e-mailing, card-making, etc., I've
published two dozen web pages covering such things as my
grandfather's books, family history, poetry, my autobio & military
stories, etc. Lots of fun!
BUT, like you, I seem to find it very hard to convince certain
older folks (my brother included) about the advantages of joining
the WWW and the relative ease of doing so. Good luck to us! Bob, Mercer, PA
Tools MSNTV and WEBTV
users need to manipulate images, validate HTML, source-view
web pages and files, transload or upload files, grab image colors,
extract and crop images, find MIDI files, optimize and
transparentize images, clear recents, and check browser data, IP
numbers and connection rates.
"burn" information onto removable CD's or
CD-R's? (R= rewritable over and over) Be
very cautious if you are relying on them to
store irreplaceable photos, music, or other
data. They can
sometimes over a very short time period--even
months. Factory-pressed CDs are totally
different from recordable (burnable) CDs. In a
pressed CD, the data is literally "molded into"
(actually pressed into) the media and will not
disappear unless the CD is physically damaged.
Recordable CDs use a dye that changes color or
reflectivity when heated. There are different
dye types commonly used in recordable CDs, and
they do not all have the same life expectancy
Read a C-net forum discussion on the matter.
careful not to store them in hot areas,
scratch them. Store them independently.
Their life will also be affected by the quality
of your burner, and the manufacturer's quality
of the disk. TDK claims a life of 100 years,
obviously unproven by time. Others have reported
that their disks have become unreadable in
months (brand unknown).
should never be used to store material
except for an extremely short period. The
degrade very easily. The contributor at C-net at
the link above says he will not even buy a CD-R
because of this problem. One-time recording
disks are cheap enough to discard when no longer
Seniors Are On Their
Internet has become the favourite pastime for
pensioners, according to a survey.
Traditional hobbies such as gardening and DIY
have been relegated as 'silver surfers' spend an
average of six hours a week online. E-mailing
and chatting to friends and family are their
most popular online activities. They also enjoy
researching, booking holidays and shopping, the
survey by insurance company AXA found.
Spokesman Alison Green said: 'The report
highlights how pensioners are using the Internet
to support a less stressful approach to life.
'The potentially arduous task of struggling with
the shopping is becoming less of an issue as
retired people can simply log on to their
computers and select groceries at their leisure.
The survey found that 41 per cent of retired
people voted the Internet as one of their
favourite pastimes. DIY and gardening were named
by 39 per cent, hobbies by 36 per cent and
travel and walking by 28 per cent. Four in ten
said they were regular Internet shoppers.
30. A survey
conducted by Home Electronics Journal (HEJ)
in the U.S. has revealed that
affluent Americans research their upcoming
consumer electronics purchases on the Internet,
before making the trip to a nearby Best Buy or
Circuit City to actually buy the items. Despite
doing their research on the web, consumer
electronics purchasers still prefer to shop in
Corporation scientists say they have invented a
way to make copies whose
last only a day, so that the paper can be
used again and again. The company has filed for
patents on the technology, which it calls
“erasable paper.” SeniorARK hopes our creditors
use this paper for our debts!
interesting Canadian tech site. Lots of news on
new and interesting products and technology. A
lot of focus on the US.
<<<(a) This gives new meaning to the phrase
***click pictures to enlarge***
(b) When you know that your computer has become
34. Very useful
Senior computer fans:
Discussion on using the internet, advice on
getting online computer training, important
terms, and search tips.
CD, CD-R, CD-RW
Great article explaining the differences, with a
link to many other valuable computer subjects.
35A. What is the
difference between a
Avery Bowron, a computer-savvy 19-year-old,
readily acknowledges that he learned something
valuable about technology from senior citizens:
software can be obtained at no cost. Read
complete article on SeniorARK.
type size. If you are using
internet explorer and view a web page where the
type is too small, the solution is very easy.
Left-click "view" at the top of the page. Move
your arrow down to "text size". A little menu
should appear that enables you to change the
text size. Be aware that web pages may change
their appearances and not appear as
intended--but you may be able to read text
better. Don't forget to return the size to a
comfortable level when finished with the page.
38. Don Nitkin
teaches other seniors all about computers at a
senior center. He has put together a very useful
site to aid us in
understanding and learning computer use.
Valuable links are included.
Bytes? (ouch) MP3s? RAM?
Internet? Email? Windows? CPU?
Do any of the above terms seem confusing?
Does looking at them give you a dull pain
between your ears?
Does sending an email seem like a major
Guide to Computers (
http://www.seniorsguidetocomputers.com ) for
information on these terms and a lot more
information on using your computer. We like this
site so much that we have asked site creator,
Mayer to write computer articles from
time-to-time for SeniorARK.
11 Tips For Safe Surfing, Written for
SeniorARK by Jeffrey Mayer
41. Only a few
years ago I thought a cookie, when discussed
on line, was going to be a good old fashioned
cookie recipe. Well there are indeed some of
them out there, but
COOKIE has to do with snooping into what you
are viewing while on your computer. I
have learned through experience that when I
start my system (boot it up) each morning I do
a complete diagnostic analysis via at least 6
programs that I run.
In addition I go
to start, click on run and type in COOKIES in
the rectangular box.
For those that
have not done this in a while or may have
never done it don't be surprised to see a lot
of cookies. There are a lot of snoopy type
companies that are interested in seeing what
your buying habits are. My policy is too clean
them all off. Every day days/365 days a year.
Leave no tracks and you will not hear from
anyone. There is a lot more one can do but
hope this COOKIE recipe is of help to someone. Thanks
to Jim C, Westchester, PA
42. For those of
us that use
Mozilla Firefox as our primary browser
there is now A FREE download to block pop up
ads and banners that are now so pervasive on
our e-mail screens and just about anywhere you
go on the net. If using Mozilla Firefox go to
their web site and locate their substantial
number of free software packages. Thanks to
Jim C, Westchester, PA
43. SAY WHAT?
Nine years old? Only nine years? Seems
like it's been around forever! If you can't
believe Google hasn't been around forever, read:
You Say What?
Free Download Picasa
is software that makes it easy and fun to view,
organize, edit and share the digital photos on
your PC. This is totally free, and owned and
provided by Google. It has long been the
favorite of many digital photo enthusiasts. Read
pcmag.com review first.
Have you tried Disc Doctor or similar CD/DVD
repair kits, or do you have a frugal way to
repair a fairly scratched disc? — Denise,
I have tried repair kits and have had success
with them, if the scratches are minor. Avoid
using toothpaste, alcohol and ammonia because
they can cause worse damage. Instead of buying a
repair kit, call your local video store or game
store and see whether they do repairs. They
often offer a repair service that costs less
than $5. (Frugal
How to Get a Computer Cheap, Rather than Getting
a Cheap Computer.
A computer can
often be one of the largest purchases you make,
aside from home and auto, running well over
$1,500 if you get a top model. However, if your
budget doesn't allow for a purchase this large,
don't fret . There are ways to buy a
computer for a bargain and keep your budget
I receive lots of ‘scam’ emails, anywhere from 6
to 12 daily. The examples in your article fit
the patterns I see, but I have also noticed some
things that I rarely see mentioned in articles
on this subject.
I am usually not
the person the email is addressed to. It is
most often addressed to ‘undisclosed
recipients’. If I was truly the
beneficiary, etc., it would be addressed to me
personally. My solution was to add the ‘To’
column to my email inbox. This helps to isolate
the scams from my actual email.
Beware of one of these emails with an
attachment. Delete it. Some file extensions
can turn themselves into execution types of
files upon opening.
Never answer one of these emails that are not
sent to your specific email address. Scammers
do not know which of the undisclosed recipients
belong to live email addresses until you answer.
Turn off the receipt function so that you will
not inadvertently authorize a receipt when
requested by the sender, or your system will not
automatically send one.
Look at the contact address or phone number in
the ‘From’ address or in the body of the email.
The phone number may include a non-US country
code such as +234 or +229 (Nigeria, Benin). The
email address may end with .hk or .ru or .cz.
Check the spelling, sentence structure, and use
of singular vs. plural when the email looks
official. If it is coming from another area of
the world where English is not the primary
language, there most likely will be flaws.
These are some of the patterns I see, in the
order of their importance. I retired from a
company that controlled this type of email
traffic through its front end servers. I got
spoiled I guess, because now I have to watch out
for this stuff myself.
I apply an email rule which separates out any
incoming mail which is not addressed to me or
contains certain words such as ‘lottery’,
‘Nigeria’, ‘000,000’, ‘beneficiary’, etc., and
puts the above types into a separate scam folder
where I can give a final check before deleting.
48. If your
computer is running well today, there's no
reason it shouldn't stay that way for several
more years to come.
Like a car, a computer needs regular maintenance
and care to keep it operating smoothly. There
are easy steps anyone can take to help extend a
computer's useful life, saving money and the
environmental impacts of throwing a computer
Seniors are waiting for your tip here.
Or submit a
useful link for a links section.