I made a trip to Ottawa today to see my grandmother and her computer. The computer had died unexpectedly and, after running a few tests, I figured the most likely explanation was that the hard drive had failed. That's too bad because we gave Grandma the hand-me-down iMac just six months ago and I had hoped it would last longer. Instead, she had it just long enough to become accustomed to email and blog-reading. Now she's empty handed… temporarily.
I've been saying for months that if I were to buy a computer for someone without much computing experience I'd buy them an iPad. And that's exactly what we're going to do!
We are going to set up Wi-Fi at Grandma's house and buy her a low-end iPad. The learning curve for the iPad should be much lower than the desktop computer, which was the first computer she had ever used on a daily basis. And the simpler iPad can do everything she wants: email, simple web-browsing, books, and a little sudoku, crosswords, and scrabble. She can access all of this while sitting in her chair, read recipes while cooking in the kitchen, or she could even read in bed.
If you're wanting to pitch in, give my mom a call. My 85-year old grandma is getting an iPad!