Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Software for Seniors

A few days ago there was a post on this forum about software for babies. In the same vein, I would love to find something for my father, who's 75.

THE BACKSTORY...

Until recently he used an internet appliance called Iopener, but because its functionality was limited (e.g. only dialup; no online banking; unable to view .png files; small screen size; etc.) he wanted a full-blown computer.

So I set him up with an Apple ibook.  Lord help me.  (To my father a "window" is something behind a curtain, a "menu" is what you get at a restaurant, and "safari" is what we did in 1971 in Kenya. The language alone is a hurdle.)

WHAT I NEED...

...is a program that presents a simple user interface for Mail and Safari (with big buttons, large font, etc.), with a choice of "stripped-down" level so that as a user gets more comfortable with a program he can change the level to enable more features.

Anything like this already exist?  Any thoughts?

George Illes
Tuesday, March 09, 2004

You may just have come up with a killer app idea.  Lots of people need something like this.  Probably everyone who reads this forum has been tapped to do informal tech support for people who want internet access but who are not savvy enough to mantain a computer themselves.

Bruce Perry
Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Microsoft Bob! :-)

Viper Rage
Tuesday, March 09, 2004

There is an application for Linux built around Mozilla that does this exact thing.  It gives the user access to the webbrowser, mail, calendar, etc BUT it takes up the entire interface and has no concept of windows.  You just switch between tasks using icons. 

Being based on Linux has additional advantages: no worm or virus problems and remote administration.  Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the application.

Almost unrelated: I have a hacked iOpener running Win98 on my network.  It's my bar computer and it has links to bartending websites to get drink recipes and the like.

Almost Anonymous
Tuesday, March 09, 2004

"Almost unrelated: I have a hacked iOpener running Win98 on my network.  It's my bar computer and it has links to bartending websites to get drink recipes and the like. "

Great application!

Prost!

George Illes
Tuesday, March 09, 2004

The University of Oregon was working on a simplified email program.

Not sure if they made any progress.

I've sent off an email to my U of O contact.

I agree that this is a killer app.  Unfortunately, it's tough to support a company on one app.

The real Entrepreneur
Tuesday, March 09, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home