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No. of Recommendations: 45
The parents have had the iBook a week.
Just an update on how they are doing. I know there is a lot of talk about how intuitive apples are, and I figured this would be a good example. Mom and Dad went in with zero experience.
Somehow they have the icons on the desktop set to buttons. I didn't do it, but it keeps them from moving the icons around so that's ok. I do have a problem that when I tell them something is on the desktop they look at the keyboard. I was not kidding when I said that they have zero computing experience.
They can check their mail, but I haven't taught them yet on how to send new mail yet. Dad uses explorer to read the comics from the Washington post site. The only paper delivered to the house is the WSJ, and the only thing that dad misses about the local paper is the comics. So all this is good.
The one thing that amazes me is that they are connecting to the internet, using iTunes to download track information from the CD database, and then importing them into iTunes. They have set up play lists and are playing those through their stereo, via an AV cable. They are still a little fuzzy about the whole folder/windows thing and they are doing that.
I had complained to them that the Apple Pro mouse cord was too small. Mom's response was that I was “full of donkey dust” and that it was just the right length.

I just thought that it was a little bizarre that they were playing songs on their stereo before they had got the hang of opening a folder, or even knowing why they should.

James
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No. of Recommendations: 8
Mom's response was that I was “full of donkey dust” and that it was just the right length.


Your Mom rocks!

"Donkey Dust"???

Are you sure she hasn't been covertly lurking on TMF? That sounds like a TMF-compatible way of saying "A** Powder"

Your Mom rocks.

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No. of Recommendations: 6
Just a few comments:

re:Somehow they have the icons on the desktop set to buttons. I didn't do it, but it keeps them from moving the icons around so that's ok.

This is done by going to the "View" menu in the finder and choosing Buttons instead of Icon or List. The buttons only have to be pressed once (as opposed to icons and list, which have to be double-clicked). This will also solve their double-click problem.

re:Dad uses explorer to read the comics from the Washington post site.

You might suggest he goes to www.comics.com, which has losts more. Other comics have their own sites. I've never done a search (Lord knows I have found too many ways to waste my time without that!) but they should be easy to find.

re:
The one thing that amazes me is that they are connecting to the internet, using iTunes to download track information from the CD database, and then importing them into iTunes.
They have set up play lists and are playing those through their stereo, via an AV cable. They are still a little fuzzy about the whole folder/windows thing and they are doing that.


This is the beauty of the Mac. Productivity without conversion to nerdliness.

I'm pleased to hear this success story. Apple is doing things right, now they just have to get that message across to the world. I wish their advertising had more emphasis on seniors and others besides young males.

Cheers.

MZ
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I was not kidding when I said that they have zero computing experience.
When we got my Mom the first iMac, her husband, who had ZERO keyboarding experience, got confused when I told him to make a Large Case (capital) M. He didn't know how the shift key worked!

Sounds like your folks are jammin' (polka'n'?) with the digital hub!
md
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>I was not kidding when I said that they have zero computing experience.

>When we got my Mom the first iMac, her husband, who had ZERO >keyboarding experience, got confused when I told him to make a Large >Case (capital) M. He didn't know how the shift key worked!

Okay, how about this. The first time my mother ever typed on a computer (not an Apple unfortunately), my mother kept looking for the carriage return. (Remember? On the manual typewriters?)

To keep this on topic (at least mariginally), my mother did not know what a desktop was either. I told her it was the screen and she said 'Then why don't you just say 'the screen'?'

Seriously, my mother has no problems with the iMac aside from not saving where she wanted to save something and my mother is one of the 'seriously technically declined'

Topaz12
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"To keep this on topic (at least mariginally), my mother did not know what a desktop was either. I told her it was the screen and she said 'Then why don't you just say 'the screen'?' "

This highlights one of the most pervasive problems with computer usage. Programmers ought to be forced to pass a college level test in English (or being politically correct, the appropriate language) before they are allowed to write a single line of code. All communication is based on the perfect understanding of all parties to the ideas being addressed. But cutesy terms like 'desktop' when the monitor screen is meant, only serve to widen the gap between the technically annointed and the bewildered new user. As an example, car makers try to make their machines ergonomically friendly and often succeed. Software of all kinds, especially Microsoft, is rife with descriptive labels for functions that are nearly incomprehensible. Terms like "hard drive" and "floppy" are rather ridiculous when you think about it. I would suggest that for our friends in Los Angeles "hard drive" best describes the daily commute, and "floppy" is the latest fashion in sports wear on the basketball court.
I'll bet some of our more enlightened Fools can post even more sorry misuses of language in computerdom. How about it?
Let the sun shine in!

Joe
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So old it is trite: "Where is the ANY key?" ...Lee
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"To keep this on topic (at least mariginally), my mother did not know what a desktop was either. I told her it was the screen and she said 'Then why don't you just say 'the screen'?' "

In reality it's a Catch 22.
You have to assign some term to it besides 'Screen'. What happens when the application that is running covers the entire screen and you tell Mom to 'Just move the folder from the Screen to the Trash Can'? She can't see the folder or the Trash Can. There has to be a seperation between the the physical device that sit's on the top their desk (or lap), in this case the monitor, and the their desktop.
I do however agree that the terms are extreemly confusing until you get use to them. I battle this problem continually in the Computer Graphics classes I teach.

-Mr. Peenut
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You have to assign some term to it besides 'Screen'

I agree. Mom and Dad usually keep everything open, and I am out here near Philly, so I need a term that means the desktop and not whatever they are looking at for when they call with questions.

David, thanks, Mom does rock

Also, Mom and Dad never typed so they didn't know shift gave you capitals. (Nurse and Fisherman)

When I was first showing them the iBook, I was explaining iTunes. Mom asked how you stopped the music. I said you can hit space bar or just push here and pointed to the pause button on the screen. She reached out and pushed the screen where the pause button was. “Ah, no mom, with the mouse”. She laughed. Adrienne and I waited till we were outside to laugh. The ATM down the street has a touch-activated screen, so it's not as silly as it sounds. Still, it was funny.

But hey they are getting much better. I got some email from Mom last night. Soon enough they will be pros. Luckily it is easy enough that they are getting a sense of accomplishment as they learn, and therefore want to learn more. They are not getting frustrated and completely baffled, which is good, because then it would have become a very expensive paperweight.

James


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I'll bet some of our more enlightened Fools can post even more sorry misuses of language in computerdom. How about it?

Un-install
Functionality
Start
word processor
database
technology
Wizard
Microsoft Office Assistant
web-enabled
browser
multimedia
interactive
cyberspace
community
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Okay, how about this. The first time my mother ever typed on a computer (not an Apple unfortunately), my mother kept looking for the carriage return. (Remember? On the manual typewriters?)
To keep this on topic (at least mariginally), my mother did not know what a desktop was either. I told her it was the screen and she said 'Then why don't you just say 'the screen'?'
Seriously, my mother has no problems with the iMac aside from not saving where she wanted to save something and my mother is one of the 'seriously technically declined'


When my Dad got his first Mac, he was able to set it up: Monitor on top of case, connect keyboard and mouse, all following the printed instructions. Then he turned it on... the mouse behaved very very badly for him... I couldn't figure it out over the phone for the longest time... then I asked him which way the cord went. He then said, the 'tail' goes out under his wrist.... was using the mouse upside down!!

Now he prefers a trackball anyway. Bought it all by himself, connected, installed driver and was up and running in 2 minutes.

You have no idea how technically incompetent my Dad is, and he unquestionably gets a lot of value out of using his Mac for reading newspapers and email with me and others.

Paul
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Six years after my dad got a Mac, he had me tearing my hair out because he didn't know the difference between an ICON, a FOLDER, an APPLICATION or a DOCUMENT!!!!!


Try walking someone through basic troubleshooting when they don't know what ANYTHING is.

I wish we still had that wonderful tutorial that would walk you through the basics of using the computer/learning the terms, complete with little red circles around check boxes, arrows, and scripted opening of control panels and apps. That really helped my mom learn the basic functions of her computer.

Dad? Hopeless. But still manages to check his email and surf the net. Vive la Mac!
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Six years after my dad got a Mac, he had me tearing my hair out because he didn't know the difference between an ICON, a FOLDER, an APPLICATION or a DOCUMENT!!!!!

Try walking someone through basic troubleshooting when they don't know what ANYTHING is.


Ashby are we related?...

Got a call from my Dad last nite... he's still trying to figure email out... he has some good days and some bad... yesterday was a bad day... seems somehow he downloaded an entire mailing list from an email he received and now has HUNDREDS of Simpletext icons on his desktop... he can't find his trashcan and every time we trash one of them from the File Menu another one takes its place... I uploaded Timbucktu to him "hopin" I could talk him thru the install and take over his computer but he couldn't find the download even with Sherlock... !!!... I am now recruiting one of my Wintel sisters to go over and be my eyes while I talk her thru setting the connection up...

I also went hunting a couple of months back hoping there was a program like the old tutorial you and I remember... but no luck... I did find a little bit of help at www.macinstruct.com ... there are some good written tutorials there which can be printed by our Mac-challenged students... that is provided they know how to work their printers!

Debi <hanging in there>
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Helping you parents with a computer is right in there with teaching your childern how to drive. Why destroy what relationship you have?

"What is a folder", asked Mom on the other end of the line.

"The thing on the desktop (excuse me, screen) that looks like a folder. In it are things that look like documents. These are called documents."

"All my letters are gone", she says. After 30 minutes of searching (over the phone), I tell her I'll come over.

"Remember, Mom, this thing I set up for you called a Pad of Stationary? When you want to write a letter you double click on that to get a new blank piece of stationary, right?"

"Well, I did at first, Son, but they always came up Untitled. It was a lot easier to just open my last letter and use it."

So she had written 25 or more letters and 3 chapters in her book. What remained was a copy of the most recent letter.

"Get them back for me, son, you're so clever".

"Take a class, Mom. Bye"
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Try walking someone through basic troubleshooting when they don't know what ANYTHING is.
I wish we still had that wonderful tutorial that would walk you through the basics of using the computer/learning the terms, complete with little red circles around check boxes, arrows, and scripted opening of control panels and apps. That really helped my mom learn the basic functions of her computer.


The Little Mac Book by Robin Williams (no, not that Robin Williams) is excellent for this.

Paul
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