The GO Computer for seniors

<p>Does anyone have any experience with this product? My elderly parents are considering purchasing this because of its promise of remote maintenance and easy, online instructions. The one drawback I see is that the customer still needs to purchase the internet connection himself separately--a scary prospect for them which my parents thought would be done automatically with this computer.</p>

<p>BUMP! Anyone?</p>

<p>I’m not familiar with this service so I went to their website. For $879 for their “computer” and an additional $19.95 a month for access to their on-line support and server storage, you get the following:</p>

<p>• Intel Atom N270 Processor
• 1 GB Ram
• 160G Hard drive
• 4 USB Slots
• Built-in Wireless
• Speakers come built-in </p>

<p>With the exception of a flat panel monitor (size not mentioned), you’re getting nothing more than a $30-50 netbook! My advice is to run away. There is no DVD/CD reader-burner. The same can be said of netbooks (in fairness). There is no mention of the operating system (though I suspect the company is using a free version of Linux). And you still need a broadband connection. The computer comes with an AC adaptor that you plug into a wall outlet. No moving around the house.
If your parents have cable tv, they can have their provider add a wireless router/cable modem. Buy a netbook and save a boatload of money. Also, if your parents go away on vacation, you can’t suspend the monthly service fee. “The gift that keeps on giving…”
A more pricey solution (relative to a netbook) is to get them an IPad. Your parents will need wireless broadband anyway. A netbook or an IPad is a way better solution than a tethered $879 Go computer.</p>

<p>Thanks for the input!</p>

<p>That's quite the ripoff.</p>

<p>I met with relatives over the weekend and pulled out my iPad. They were all going oooh/aaah as if they'd never seen one. Maybe they haven't seen one before. At any rate, the iPad may be a good solution for those that need limited web services but you will still need to hook it up to a computer for certain operations.</p>

<p>You can get netbooks for $200 to $400 at mass merchandise stores today. Someone would have to setup their home for WiFi ($40 router needed) and Internet service or they could go to a public WiFi spot. My mother goes to the hospital (it's a quarter-mile walk from her home) to get free WiFi.</p>

<p>We got my folks hooked up about 14-15 years ago. They are preparing the buy their 3rd computer. They don't NEED a new monitor or keyboard, but they want one. We've price it out around $600 from Microcenter.</p>

<p>Getting internet access wasn't a big deal either. The folks live in Vegas. While we were there, we called up Cox Cable. Cox came out the next day. They had some issues trying to hook up the internet connection, only because my folks were the 1st in the senior complex to ask for it :)</p>

<p>We make sure they keep up the anti-virus software. The store and my kid make sure the configuration is what they need and the 85 yo mom and dad are surfing the 'net.</p>

<p>TheGFG, do you live nearby your parents, and/or is there another relative or friend who can help with sysadmin tasks?</p>

<p>My parents have been on the web for over a decade, using a variety of hand-me-down PC equipment. One of my siblings did the sysadmin work, but recently moved out of the area. I'm now helping with computer tasks, but it's tougher for me because my experience is primarily with Macs. I've been encouraging them to switch over to a Mac, because that would be much easier for me to support. For instance, I recently installed a wireless network for them to support a Roku device for Netflix streaming. I've done this before with no problem, but this particular time it was a bear of a job, partly due to a bad router and totally horrid customer support. If you can't be nearby to help with support, and/or if your parents are totally non-tech-savvy, the GO computer might be worth it. Also, people have different preferences about desktop vs. laptop. Sometimes there are physical considerations: my mother, for instance, must use a classic lowered-keyboard/heightened monitor set up. She can't use my laptop for very long. I'd want a senior citizen to try out any setup first to make sure it's comfortable if there are any mobility issues.</p>

<p>One final issue is considering your parents' threshhold for frustration. If they're somewhat computer literate, it's not an issue, but if they are brand-new computer users, having a single "push GO" button on the screen and constant phone help (help which is used to dealing with newbies) might be worth its weight in gold.</p>