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Valerie Singleton launches computers for the elderly

by Parm Mann on 11 November 2009, 10:32

Tags: discount age

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A new range of computers designed exclusively for the 60-plus age group has been launched today as a joint effort between discount-age and Wessex Computers.

Dubbed SimplicITy, the systems claim to be "computers made easy" and hope to equip the elderly population with basic PC functionality - including the ability to send/receive emails, create documents, browse the web and chat online.

Spearheaded by British television presenter Valerie Singleton, best known for her role as presenter of the BBC's Blue Peter series, SimplicITy computers ship with a Linux Mint-based operating system and an Eldy-based email client. At boot, the system utilises a "Square One" home screen designed to provide one-click access to the computer's six key features.

There are currently two computer models available; the simplicity Suite 100 and simplicity Suite 200, priced including delivery at a relatively-expensive £445.99 and £535.99, respectively.

Both systems feature onboard graphics and sound, an integrated network connection, a 19in TFT monitor, stereo speakers and a wireless keyboard and mouse. Helping differentiate the models, the simplicity Suite 100 features a 2.2GHz AMD Sempron LE-1250 processor, whilst the simplicity Suite 200 sports a dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Atom 330.

Each SimplicITy computer ships with a series of video tutorials starring Ms Singleton, the first of which can be viewed below. The SimplicITy website also reveals that everyone who buys a SimplicITy computer system will receive one year's free membership of discount-age.co.uk, a website setup by Ms Singleton to help find the best deals for 60-pluses.

What do you think, readers? Good idea or patronising toward our older citizens? Share your thoughts in the HEXUS.community forums.



HEXUS Forums :: 20 Comments

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They'll be Bashing in no time.
I think the idea is sound but using a bespoke version of linux like that is a little restrictive for the purposes of learning how to use a pc in a microsoft dominated world, and what about compatability with additional pieces of equipment people might want like printers and webcams? Might have been better to launch a computer with windows but with a frontend for learning?

Also 50+?? both of my parents are over 50 but I think they would find a system like that terribly patronising, my 90year old grandmother on the other hand wouldn't mind so much.
Zadock
I think the idea is sound but using a bespoke version of linux like that is a little restrictive for the purposes of learning how to use a pc in a microsoft dominated world, and what about compatability with additional pieces of equipment people might want like printers and webcams? Might have been better to launch a computer with windows but with a frontend for learning?

On the other hand, the person won't have the foggiest how to use Windows, and if they understand Linux by the end of their time with Val then I'm up for a copy, so what choice will they have for their next machine… hmm… oh yeah! Another one, just the same as the old one!

No doubt it'll all go pearshaped when they discover that no-one else in their family recognises it as a computer, so probably no big deal anyway :).
Zadock
I think the idea is sound but using a bespoke version of linux like that is a little restrictive for the purposes of learning how to use a pc in a microsoft dominated world, and what about compatability with additional pieces of equipment people might want like printers and webcams? Might have been better to launch a computer with windows but with a frontend for learning?

Also 50+?? both of my parents are over 50 but I think they would find a system like that terribly patronising, my 90year old grandmother on the other hand wouldn't mind so much.

Ah anyone remember Microsoft Bob?

I must add that the system is a complete rip-off. You could get an Aspire Revo for about £150 ish with a simple version of Linux which looks far sleeker than the offering from Simplicity.

This is just as bad as some dodgy door to door salesperson asking for your gran for expensive utilities.
Seems at last people are looking properly at the disenfranchised. By far and away the best product in the field was quietly launched last eek in the North East after extensive trialling.
Named alex it claims to be Microsoft compatible and looks streets ahead of Ms Singleton's offering its at its wellcometoalex website or its youtube channel.