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Left Face Down 05-22-2006 02:00 AM

Getting ready for Mac to arrive for Granny
Well, if the title doesn't say enough today me and my mother ordered a 17 inch iMac for my grandmother who after 5 hours of wondering around Fry's Electronics yesterday and confusing her with just about everything technical about everything computers (Windows and Mac) she decided on the iMac.

Now, having never actually owned, but spent numerous hours on at stores, a Mac this is going to be a learning curve for me as well. I have the basics down, but I have yet to really be able to install things and so forth. Now I've read in previous threads that there are multiple ways to install things, and not all things are just "drag to the apps folder". So I guess in short how will I know which way to install something?

We're going to order her a geneology (sp?) program, which I've already found, which I'm going to guess is going to have to be installed one of the other two ways. Past that, I have to get her accustom to clicking on Safari instead of looking for the Internet Explorer "e". I need to look up an old thread I have in here which has links to free Solitaire games, which I'm guessing will be "drag to the apps folder" installs.

I guess moving on to the real questions, updating Macs. First, can I set it to auto update as in my grandmother doesn't even know it's going on? That would be great, simply because she doesn't know anything about windows in the first place and she runs Windows 98' on her computer now. Also, when Leopard comes out how much is it going to cost to update? My mother is happy with knowing that we can dual boot Windows if we need to, though she agrees my grandmother will just be as confused with XP as she would be with OS X (as she is confused with Windows 98' still), but I have explained to her that boot camp is a beta and will eventually "end" and the full version will then be in Leopard.

One last important question, alright so my grandmother is basicly 80 something and rather blind... can I make the main bar larger? She has to really squint to see it, but she can see it. I'm sure she'll get use to it after a while but it'd be great if I could do this for her. The rest I already know how to blow up the words, the icons, and so on and so forth but the menu I can't change. I figure that you probably can't as even in Windows you can't that I know of, only Linux from my experiences, but I figure I'd ask.

I don't really expect problems, but I do know that they can occure. I've learned a lot just messing around with them at stores but there are those things you just can't do. I just need the computer to take care of itself, which is why we decided on the Apple computer pretty much before taking my Grandmother to the store. I can set everything up for her but I'm not going to be around to update and take care of it for her and no matter how many times I explain it she wont understand it so I just need the computer to do that for itself as much as possible.


TBoblp 05-22-2006 04:15 AM

pretty much everything is drag to the apps folder. If the install is just the application itself its easy. usually if its a folder with readmes and other info i will drag the entire folder. some programs say double click to install others say drag. they both do the same thing, only one does it for you.

You can set it to automatically check for updates but she would have to click the install button...not much too it, however. im sure she wouldnt be confused if you just showed her once. on the apple store, Tiger is priced at not sure if there is an upgrade option but for the regular, os in a box its 129 so expect something around that.

for your last question...yes, yes and YES! You can change almost anything about the dock including making it larger. In fact many, many people (younger and with better eyesight im sure) find the dock to be too big and one of the first things they do is to make it smaller. just go to system preferences and click on dock to adjust it.

Back to auto update, ill let somebody else who is more sure answer that, but i am pretty sure you do have to click the install button yourself. Hope this helped you some!

Left Face Down 05-22-2006 07:33 AM


Originally Posted by TBoblp
for your last question...yes, yes and YES! You can change almost anything about the dock including making it larger. In fact many, many people (younger and with better eyesight im sure) find the dock to be too big and one of the first things they do is to make it smaller. just go to system preferences and click on dock to adjust it.

I wasn't talking about the Doc, I ment the actual menu bar at the top. Where the "all mighty" Apple lies. hehehe

It's just when she's in an application, say safari, and she wants to use the menu that it's a little hard for her. Also, when I was showing her how to shut it down she was squinting to see the apple and such.

Hopefully I can get her to understand the update, if I remember correctly Windows 98' didn't have an update function like XP which yells at you. I mean my grandmother never fully grasped the use of installing a program so hopefully learning that wont be too hard.

TBoblp 05-22-2006 07:43 AM

oh im sorry. I guess it was too early and I wasn't reading carefully! I'm assuming the only way to change the bar at the top would be to lower the resolution of the monitor itself, which also be done in systen preferences.

Brown Study 05-22-2006 11:23 PM

Universal Access in the System Preferences offers help. At the top of its list are buttons marked Seeing, Hearing, Keyboard and Mouse. All the controls can be turned on and off with the mouse or from the keyboard.

VoiceOver offers audio feedback for punctuation, repeated punctuation and when text attributes change, and it can speak every character or every word.

When Zoom is turned on, the mouse takes you to that part of the screen you want to see, including the almighty blue apple, along with the rest of the menu bar. I blew up the desktop to max zoom at 800 X 600 resolution, and the word Zoom on the Universal Access preference page filled a 19-inch screen from the left edge to the right. The apple filled every square inch before it spilled over the sides and the top and bottom in all its pixelated splendour.

The Display control also can change the display to black type on a white background and change it back again, and there's a check box to use greyscale in either mode.

Under that is a slider to change the contrast, and the keyboard can be used for that, as well. The mouse pointer can be enlarged until it's so huge it pixelates as badly as the 19-inch-wide apple.

I enlarged the dock to max, then enlarged the screen image to max and rested the mouse pointer on the dock images. The trash can stretched from top to bottom.

Sticky keys is there, too. Like most of this stuff, it's been around since at least System 7.

torchy 05-23-2006 05:17 PM

I'll second Universal access, it will do everything you want for your Gran.
The only other thing I would suggest is an easy to remember password as she will have to enter it for updates. How about just Gran or XXXX as a password. :-)

UncSki1218 05-23-2006 05:54 PM

installing...when dowloading off the internet, it usually mounts a "disk image." it looks like a white har drive on the desktop. just open it and copy the app into the apps folder on your hard drive. that is the normal way things download from the internet. sometimes off of disks or some major apps will have an installer. it will just be on the desktop or maybe still on a disk image. no need to copy it or anything. just run it off othe the disk image and it will install the necessary files. once you have done what you need with the disk image, you can eject it and delete the .dmg file it may have also left on the desktop. to eject it: right click it and choose eject or drag it onto the trash can.

geneology...theres a ton of programs (some free) out there so make sure you get some opinions. i really dont no whats good but im sure someone here does.

solitaire... i have solitaire XL (free). very good mac solitaire. you can have it with a tranparent backround so the cards "float" over everything, but a normal solid backround is probably better for gram. if the app is open click its name one the bar at the top of the screen and choose prefrences. this is where you configure almost all apps.

updating...under software update in system prefrences. she will still have to approve the installation and restart at times.

sizes...system prefrences has it all. you can change the dock size under the dock section. the top bar can only be changed with resolution. i also recommend univeresal access.


Left Face Down 05-24-2006 05:04 PM

Thanks for all the replies, I went over to a store yesterday and tried figureing out what you were all mentioning. I didn't remember, and couldn't find, the "Universal Access" however if I had remembered the name I probably would have been able to find it. hehehe

I just changed the resolution to the next lowest, so the second largest, and I'm pretty sure the bar is big enough. The iMac is actually slated to ship today or tomorrow and will be here on the 1st. So basicly I have a week to learn, and teach to my mother, how to take care of the computer as my mother said she'd be able to go over every week or two and do updates. We'll see if I can teach my grandmother but I'm not counting on it.

Once again, thanks for all the informative responses. You guys have been a big help. :black:

torchy 05-24-2006 08:17 PM

As a Gran who switched a couple of years ago I'm sure she will be fine. :D
My 70 year old neighbour didn't have a problem switching from 98 to XP and then to Mac OSX. Tiger either.

The Help files are actually helpful on a Mac

deus_ex_machina 05-25-2006 01:36 AM

Universal Access is in the System Preferences at the end of the System options, if you haven't located it yet.

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