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Old 10-13-2016, 08:17 PM
Location: too far from the sea
19,980 posts, read 18,982,110 times
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The age that seniors use technology is rising. Used to be that a lot of people in their '60s didn't have a computer. Now it's more like people in their '70s and older. Yet a lot of people in their 70s use computers all the time.

I think pretty soon it will be mostly people in their 80s who don't use computers. But if people were accustomed to them, they're going to continue as long as they are physically able.

If someone has to start and learn from the very beginning, it is difficult when you are in your '80s. But it won't be that long before there won't be many 80 years olds who didn't have to learn computers for their jobs or didn't have a computer at home when they were a decade or so younger. So people in their 80s using computers will be the norm--as long as they are physically able.
my posts as moderator will be in red. Moderator: Health&Wellness~Genealogy. The Rules--read here>>> TOS. If someone attacks you, do not reply. Hit REPORT.
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:45 AM
Location: Tennessee
23,814 posts, read 17,734,769 times
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Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
Years ago when 'personal computers' became mainstream, there was a great deal of emphasis on figuring out what made them work and how technical they were. Today, that has shifted to the point where computers (smart phones, tablets, etc) are rightly viewed as tools and devices (just like phones, televisions, cars, etc) for getting a job done. Today, not even pre-schoolers are not baffled by computers, much less seniors.
I'm of the age where I slightly remember the pre Windows 95 days. I was still a little kid then, but Windows 95 was the OS that really brought the computer into homes and offices on a large scale, with Windows XP really rounding it out. Even for the 70-75 year old crowd, they probably had some exposure to somewhat modern technology if they worked in a corporate office setting.

Still, even in the Windows XP days, you had to have a bit of technical inclination to really make optimal use of the system. Hardware was a lot less reliable - I had numerous hard drives, video cards, and a couple CPUs die on me. Even if you had a prebuilt machine, you had to have enough know-how about how to swap this stuff out if you wanted to keep the unit. Drivers for new parts had to be installed manually - I remember the days of having to have a motherboard disk in order to get your network card drivers off because you couldn't connect to the internet with no drivers! Sometimes you had to troubleshoot drivers, etc.

Several companies and a university around here used to periodically auction off surplus computer equipment. You rarely see that now because it's probably not worth the hassle - old stuff has little value with new as cheap as it is.

It's all plug and play and disposable now. Today's pre-built minitowers seem a lot harder to work than pre-builts from fifteen years ago. Computers are much cheaper in absolute dollars than in the past. I built my current personal PC from parts in the spring of 2013. It used to take me a half day or so to get a machine built and running - even physically getting the parts together was much smoother - I don't think I needed any tools at all. I got it together, hooked it up, and installed Windows 8. I went to the grocery store, came back, and it was ready for use.

The thing about technology is that twenty years ago you had to be somewhat technical and a bit of a hobbyist to make good use of it. Functionality has improved immensely since then. Today, iPhones, iPads, even Windows PCs are so user friendly and have foolproofed a lot. That makes it more accessible to the general public, but I do miss the days when it was more of a hobby.
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:11 AM
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I was lucky (I think) that I began working with mainframe computers long before there were such things as PCs. So I 'get' the high tech world - but I don't always approve of it/where it has gone and is going these days. I don't like the societal influences primarily. And frankly I don't care for its 'expansion' into the world of cellphones/tablets, etc. - a phone for me is for voice calling and that is all. So while I am very familiar with computers and most high tech gadgets and the high tech world, I won't use a lot of it if I can help it.

I gave my father (who died at 95 a few years ago) a computer when he hit 70 - and he used a lot of its capabilities till not long before he died. He never 'got' cellphones at all though, especially the so-called 'smart' ones - and frankly I don't get the need for them to do anything more than allow us talk mobility either (but stubborn-ness is my issue, not inability to learn).
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:53 AM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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My late mother-in-law passed 2 years ago at age 95. She never touched a computer or mobile device her entire life, though she was a secretary back when working. Her most advanced technology was an IBM Selectric typewriter and push-button landline phone. At 64 I grew with technology, being one of the first at my work to use the IBM PC, a MacIntosh "Fatmac," Apple Lisa and Compaq portable. Since then I have remained in work using computers and today use programs like Tableau for business intelligence, Sharepoint Designer, and some SQL. We do have a few older employees here about to retire (68-72) that have resisted and struggle with simple programs like Excel and Sharepoint. At home my wife and I each have I-Phones and I-Pads, plus two Windows Laptops. From my experience, the boomers are still pretty much "connected", it was the generation before then, now age 72 and above that have the least use of technology.
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Old 10-14-2016, 08:25 AM
Location: New Jersey
12,764 posts, read 7,855,343 times
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I take what I need
and I leave the rest

I have a laptop and cell phone (not a smart phone)

That's all I need. I'm 65 and learned how to use computers on the job...starting from when one had to type in DOS commands.

I feel that anything more would just clutter up my life.
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Old 10-14-2016, 08:52 AM
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
7,123 posts, read 3,491,652 times
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Fine with PC/laptops for email and for video Skype calls, can download and stream movies, TV. Including hiding IPs when overseas for the latter.

We were the couple who always had the latest technology when we worked. Smart phones just started getting popular when we were retired and living in Mexico for 5+ years where they were not (then) available.

We survive quite well in our active travel-focused lives (Europe and Mexico, at least 3 trips a year to each) with two cheap TracFones (the oldest cost $10 at a dollar store, 10 years ago); a cheap international phone (that we turn off/on as needed); and Skype (have a number with them). We mostly communicate via email.

I resent the cost of smart phones...the devices themselves are pricey (we'd need one each) and the monthly tab for service. Our monthly Tracfone usage costs around $10 bucks a month; the international phone is usually 8 bucks a month (avg over a year) and the Skype-in number plus service is also about 7 dollars a month...so a total of $25 a month.

I have 'borrowed' and played with friends' and family's smart phones and remain unimpressed....screens are too small, typing/keying on them is a joke (for me anyway).

My guess is within a few years, there will be no more printed airline e-tickets....you'll HAVE to download them to a smart phone. I guess that's when we'll bite the bullet and succumb to a smart phone. But not without a lot of kicking, screaming and kvetching!

Last edited by dothetwist; 10-14-2016 at 09:05 AM..
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Old 10-14-2016, 01:53 PM
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,228 posts, read 45,830,523 times
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I don't enjoy technology, because of the learning curve. I never want want to upgrade anything because I function just fine with the old stuff.
I think my phobia is because, while others learned computers at work where if they messed it up they just called the IT guy, we had our own small business, and if I screwed up the computer, it kept us from doing payroll or something else catastrophic, so I was afraid of it.
Like right now, I'm being forced to get a new phone, because mine won't hold a charge anymore. I'd be just fine with a flip phone, but our new car uses phone apps for GPS and other things. Of course it would be dumb not to utilize this feature, but I'm not looking forward to figuring it out at all.
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Old 10-14-2016, 03:37 PM
12,825 posts, read 20,204,541 times
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Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Last yr I lost a 96 yo friend who emailed daily and had JUST switched his media center / thousands of photo slides / linked data bases from MS based to Apple (I hate IOS / windows... give me CODE!)

just got a txt from a 93 YO gal who published an ebook last yr.!

I am not so swift...but...
I still have to balance my checkbook, and CU is forcing ONLINE (which is a good thing since I am never home...) I have to drive to town to get HS internet to do so.

so... I GROW with the times (and really appreciate the benefits of transferring funds between 10+ accts)

I also appreciate the Efile / computer IRS software, (258 pages worth today)

I 3D print often (tho started in that 20+ yrs ago)

Bionic EYES are on my Christmas list! I'm all for technology, and I have been VERY good this yr!
LOL @ Bionic EYES are on my Christmas list

.... plus a bionic lower spine, bionic ankle, hmmmm ... let's see what else? .....

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Old 10-14-2016, 03:41 PM
12,825 posts, read 20,204,541 times
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Originally Posted by MichiganGreg View Post
Personally, I have a hard time adapting to technology. A few years ago I thought I had it pegged, but now it is all changing.

Case in point: Common HDR video transmission. SerDes technology has changed so fast, and with the latest advances of sensor CSI2 and CSI3 layers in silicon, I have to struggle when trying to realize how broad the impact of changes in the new transmission topologies have become. Now that wide digital bus-widths can no longer handle the multi GHz requirements of the latest platforms, near GPU performance is required to process video data in real-time. Still, clever 'old-school' tuned FPGA architectures and smart designs still allows functional platforms to be built with legacy DSPs, but I have to admit, it is getting hard for some of us old folks to keep up.
LOL ... I read recently that some of the Cloud providers now have this wonderful "new" trick up their sleeves ... FPGAs!

I had to laugh .... 30 years ago I was a programmable device engineer and spec'd an FPGA or three ...

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Old 10-14-2016, 03:43 PM
12,825 posts, read 20,204,541 times
Reputation: 10914
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
I struggled to get past the graph right at the beginning of the article.
"Older" is single category of 65+. What!?

My parents are 94. My father goes online daily (using a FIOS link) to check his investments, but he does not use a cell phone. My mother has never used either.

I am 67.92 years old and have been writing code for over 51 years.
I still write code every day. But, I am an iMac user as I no longer want to deal with the innards (hard and soft) of my computer. And, as I use DSL it is technically not broadband. I use my cell phone mostly as a Yelp check-in device. LOL.

"46% of online seniors use social networking sites, but just 6% use Twitter" just proves that old farts are pretty smart.
LOL ... don't you dare limit my free form text field! (although Twitter have started to relent ... )
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