God help me. My parents - aged 80 and 78 - have decided that the modern world is leaving them behind, and they would like a laptop. It's the constant mentions of websites on the telly that have done it.
This won't be their first computer. Nine years ago, I splashed out on a then top of the range G4 iMac for them (angle poise style), which subsequently sat largely unused and unloved in an increasingly inaccessible upstairs room.
I've reclaimed the old Mac as part of the deal, and updated it as far as it will go, with extra RAM, Airport and OS 10.4. It appears to be in shock from having mains power applied to it, but is in otherwise pristine working order.
Now for the tricky bit.
Ideally, I'd get them another Mac, since it's hard to go too far wrong with one, and there's less to worry about in terms of online security. But Macs are cripplingly expensive, and given my parents' track record on this, I don't think this new computer is likely to become the focus of their lives.
I think what I'm looking for is a proper notebook with a screen from 14 inches upwards and a sensible amount of RAM so it feels respectably fast.
I've scoured PC World and their ilk, and the cheapest I can see is going to come in at around £300.
Then I remembered Morgan Computers. If you live in the UK, you must have seen the shops. There's one on New Oxford St, and one in Manchester on the hideous Piccadilly station approach, a building so vile that many first-time visitors from London start sweating, then turn round and get on the next train back. Morgan specialises in end of line gadgets at silly prices, and I think I may have found the one I'm looking for. It's an HP, second-hand, at £240 including VAT.
I'm in town later today, so will drop in and pick one up.
I have the feeling that this is the beginning of a long saga. Next up: find a broadband provider and teach my folks how to use a mouse, pointer, Firefox, e-mail, word processor and more.
I may decide it's easier to shoot myself. But here goes.
Who is this?
- Nigel Kendall
- Technology Editor of Times of London until July 2010. Now swimming in the freelance shark pool, with abiding interest in games, gadgets and what it all means. If you're looking for product reviews, head elsewhere. Unless it's a really nice product. This is more of an attempt to sift out what matters from what doesn't. With a bit of gossip thrown in for good measure. I'm also learning to use Blogger as I go along, so please bear with me.