SuffolkSilver's bioI am 81 years old and am passionate about computers, technology and the Internet and was the original founder of Silverhairs. I was Age UK's joint Internet Champion in 2012, and have spent the last 15 years, helping others to get up and running on computers. I was pleased, this year, to have been awarded an MBE for my voluntary work in this respect. I am profoundly deaf these days but get by with a cochlear implant. But computing puts me on a level playing field and keeping up with the technology is an excellent way to exercise the grey matter !
SuffolkSilver's latest commentsViewDate:
2nd Oct 2015SuffolkSilver commented on:
iPad ... My view!Regarding the enthusiasm for Apple's iPads I was interested to see the following article today (2nd Oct 2015)..... Desktop PCs are still the best computing platform, according to the latest edition of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Household Appliance and Electronics report. Tablets are rapidly losing their appeal, and laptops are slipping, too. The article went to to say that people (especially in business) found that small screen devices with non standard keyboards, whilst being very useful for email, social networking and watching films, were not up to the demands of doing 'real work'. Things like big spreadsheets, video editing, controlling equipment, making DVDs etc were still easier with a dual screen desktop. And even laptops were suffering lower demand, whilst sales of desktop PCs were on the way up. The main complaints were still about reliability and security.While Apple still scored highest in such matters, some manufacturers (and they quoted Dell) were not far behind.ViewDate:
19th Sep 2015SuffolkSilver commented on:
Tablet vs LaptopAs a long time computer user I feel that there is a place for both tablets and desktop/laptop computers. I find it preferable to work on a traditional keyboard if I am doing what I would call 'serious' computing, such as writing an article or updating my website (silverhairs.co.uk) or a spreadsheet of household accounts. But the mobility of computing on a tablet, upstairs, downstairs, in a pub or wherever, makes it preferable in many situations. The versatility of a tablet is a great boon, for taking (and displaying) snaps and video or playing music, Youtubes, news programs and so on. For people who have never got into the depths of Windows programs, just to be able to tap a screen and get results is a great help. As other commentators have mentioned, it is child's play! I am sure this has encouraged millions more 'older generation' folk to get into the world of computing, which I feel is very beneficial. There are still several million people in the UK who are not on line and chipping away at this number is difficult. But persuading someone to get something like Tesco's Hudl, (a very capable tablet) for under £100, is much easier than suggesting they pay several hundred for a laptop or desktop, which they think they might not be able to manage. Personally, I cannot say the same about the ubiquitous smartphone which, although it may be able to perform many of the same functions as a tablet, I find far too fiddly to type on. Perhaps I ought to use the voice recognition facility more but then I find I have to check everything I have dictated and correct the errors manually. NOT my cup of tea. I would be interested to see whether other people my age find it just as difficult.ViewDate:
17th Apr 2015SuffolkSilver commented on:
iPad ... My view!Hello Molls, I am so pleased to read that you are an enthusiastic iPad user. Since my early jottings I have become much more adept in using my mini iPad. I now have another, mainly because the first only had a 16gb drive and I rapidly ran out of space. I meant to sell the first one but discovered it had a crack in the screen. Now I find that it is useful to have two as the batteries tend to run out half way through the day. I find I am using them more than my PC these days and even write quite long pieces with the Pages app. But I often export them to the PC in Word format. I have several groups of contacts to whom I send notes. For this I use an app. called Mailshot, which imports addresses from my iPad contact list. That way I can mass mail a specific group such as Relatives or iPad users. There are still drawbacks with iPads. E.g not being able to connect a standard USB printer. And the iPad has the annoying habit of trying to anticipate what you are trying to write, making it essential to check every piece before posting! I hope this one has no typos !ViewDate:
7th Dec 2014SuffolkSilver commented on:
Ten tips from the Suffolk Silver SurferHello Whataboy from beautiful S.A. I go along with much of what you say. Unfortunately,the world of computing may not be that simple. Many people do not have the latest computer or software. Even if they do, even the most expensive anti malware program is not 100% safe. Secondly, the users vary In their abilities with computers. They just want to get on with using this tool and find such things as malware difficult to understand. I find that many machines have no security software at all. Indeed a huge proportion of PC users are still using Windows XP, which Microsoft no longer supports or updates. (I just discovered that XP is being used by House of Commons secretaries!) People mainly use Internet Explore to access the net, arguably the least secure browser. And they probably use an old version of that. So what chance is there for the average user, who may even be as old as me (!) but without any interest in such things. They may have no protection; their firewall is not turned on and neither are Windows updates. (XP users no longer get any despite them being issued monthly) As against this there is an army of hackers out there who are trying to access vulnerable computers, either to obtain their bank information or to enable them to use their PC to distribute malware or spam. There is a lot of money to be made out of such activities and their computers are accessible to rogues from every part of the globe.Even if people buy a new machine they are not safe for long. Yesterday I visited a friend who had a fairly new laptop with Windows 8.1. He thought it was protected but the 'bloatware' anti virus (Mcafee) program that came with it had expired and was not being updated because he hadn't, paid them what they were demanding. His second machine was still on XP and I installed Avast and Malwarebytes. I ran the latter but had to leave after 45 minutes, by which time it had found 16 potential security problems. I will go back and see if it is now clean. But one cannot expect grannies (or even youngsters) to do all this. One of the problems is that, unlike Apple, Windows is a complicated, ageing system and it is open for anyone to write programs for a multitude of different computers. Even downloading reputable PC software is fraught as there is always some other program that will try to creep in so your browsing is redirected to where THEY want you to go. In the end it is all about money, whether it is by fair means or foul. I am not trying to panic people but they must be aware of the dangers and keep their defences strong.ViewDate:
14th Nov 2014SuffolkSilver commented on:
Enter our Prize Draw to win a Halogen Table Light from Serious Readers!This should help me decipher some of those indecipherable captcha codesViewDate:
10th Aug 2013SuffolkSilver commented on:
Do you have any technical queries or computer kerfuffles??Hello Tears of. Sorry to be so long replying. Do I gather that you have solved the problem being able to reset your security questions ? I agree that it is very confusing, especially when it comes to your Apple ID, which, as you say, is usually your normal e-mail address. But then it will ask you for a password and this is NOT your email password. I certainly think it is a good idea to have an additional email address. I use a Gmail address, which is easy to create. Also you can get more information from Apple by browsing (on an Ipad or from another computer) to https://appleid.apple.com. I hope this helps. If not, please get back to me via this Forum or the link suggested by Admin above :-*ViewDate:
26th Jan 2013SuffolkSilver commented on:
Your views on Silver SidekicksI agree with almost every point made by Sally Ann on the subject of Silver Sidekicks. If she had been a member of the group which made the initial proposals she could have injected some sanity into the outcome. In its present form it could not get off the ground. Apart from the fact that the maths, re the savings, was flawed and based on conjecture, the costs of administration were not taken into account. As an ability net volunteer I had to undergo strict security checks. As paid workers they would need the same and a small army of civil servants to verify whether the training was effective and not just being used a a cash cow by some people. There are already online centres around the country. These should be expanded and supported. And the suggestions about the other places, such a Day centres and schools are all valid. But just throwing £30,000 a year at 1000 people for 5 years is a typical quango suggestion for a complex and intractable problem in the hope that Hm government will be able to save millions by delivering services to older people on line. Very attractive in principle but totally unrealistic in practice. :-(ViewDate:
21st Oct 2012SuffolkSilver commented on:
How are you finding your iPad?I have an Ipad 2, which I got from my 80th birthday. Unlike that amusing video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtXWWRyJLPw I do not use it as a chopping board ! But, after using PCs for so long I have found it quite difficult to master. In some ways it is more 'intuitive' than a PC and my wife has certainly taken to it, whereas she couldn't be bothered with a PC. Certainly, when it comes to displaying photos and 'swiping' across news pages, it is so natural that even a baby can do it, as can be seen on Youtube, where several proud fathers show their offspring stabbing at icons on the home page or daubing colourful pictures with their finger. But when it comes to delving a little deeper things are a little less obvious. As an Age UK Internet Champion I may spend my time developing my site at www.silverhairs.co.UK and training other oldies how to get started on a PC but sometimes I am unable to find my way through the less intuitive maze that has been designed by Apple. I found setting up iTunes difficult and synchronising seems to have a mind of its own, adding pictures to the iPad (or deleting them) at a whim. I have printed the full Apple iPad User Guide http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/ipad_user_guide.pdf and also have an idiots guide but still have to ask friends around the world how to do certain things. Imagine trying to tell a newby how to add a shortcut to the Home page. "Touch (don't press) Safari" (what's a Safari? ) ... "well, it is a way to search the internet. Now enter the site name in the top right corner. Try www.silverhairs.com and press Search. Now click on the link (underlined in blue) on the page which shows. When the site is displayed click that little reverse arrow at the top of the page - yes, that one. Now touch "Add to Home Screen". Now name it something and press Add. An icon will appear on one of the Home Pages. You want to delete that ? Press (not touch) the icon. ALL the icons begin to 'jiggle'. Why ? Never mind why just touch the x in the corner. Won't that delete all the ones with an x ? No, just that one. But they are still jiggling ! How do I stop them ? Well just press the Home button, that one. Intuitive? I don't think so. With my memory I have to write such things down. So far,I am up to three pages of iPad notes. Anyone want a copy ? :-)ViewDate:
21st Oct 2012SuffolkSilver commented on:
How are you finding your iPad?Is it just me ? Too long on PCs (30 years) that I find the iPad (iOS6) confusing? I have to delve down strange avenues just to find out how to delete something or add an icon to the Home Page as a shortcut to a website, in the end having to scour the world for some contact who can tell me what to do, even though I have printed the Apple instructions. After all I have been a programmer and run a website for 10 years. How do newbies get on? Maybe better than me with my preconceived ideas as to how to do simple computing tasks like adding a photograph or attach half a dozen to an email. I find it so annoying that the iPad seems to think it knows better than me what I should write and insists e.g. that when I write BBC I really mean NBC ! When I write 'the' it insists on missing the 'e' , so I have to return, laboriously to each th and add an e. Oh! for a mouse. It also voices words I write before I am half way through. I know, I know, I can turn it off. It is surprising it doesn't have a vocabulary of schoolmarm phrases like "At your age you should know how to spell better than this"One very good thing about it is the quality of sound which, as a deaf person, I find is clearer than my PC speakers (with sub woofer etc) or the TV or radio. Amazing in such a thin piece of equipment. And the fact that it starts instantly is another plus. Everyone's PC is so slow starting these days that I have had to create a page on my site at http://www.silverhairs.co.uk/help17.htm to tell people how to speed startup. Mostly I just switch on the PC and go and have a shave !ViewDate:
3rd Sep 2012SuffolkSilver commented on:
Should we start a petition to get TV manufacturers to simplify remote controls for our televisions?It is not just that the controllers are complicated but recently I was visiting a relative and she handed me THREE controllers and I had to learn about all three before I could see the program I wanted ! I am deaf and I never worked out how to turn on the subtitles, so most of the programs went - er - in one ear and out the other ! :-? :-?
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Do other people feel the same way as I do. Strawberries used to be small and sweet and flavoursome.
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