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Last post Author Topic: Pls recommend 32-bit software for old WinXP machine I'm giving an elderly woman  (Read 5547 times)

kyrathaba

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A coworker gave me a Dell Dimension 4600. She was gonna throw it away, and I was like, "NO!!"

Naturally, it was garbaged up. I installed a fresh copy of Win XP on it, downloaded and installed Service Pack 3, and it's doing okay. I've ordered RAM to upgrade it from 512Mb to 1.5Gb. The lady I'm giving it to is not very computer savy, but likes to watch DVDs, listen to music, and play games. She's particularly fond of 50s and 60s music, so I'm getting a bunch of that ready, and putting some rotating 50s/60s-era desktop images on the machine.

Any suggestions on software she might enjoy or benefit from?

I put the whole 5-CD Microsoft Encarta encyclopedia on it (she loves that sort of thing). It has Power DVD 4.0.

Note: the lady is indigent and cannot afford internet, so that isn't an issue. I'll get the machine as tuned up as possible and make a backup image in case I need to visit her in future and restore the PC.

What I'm after is suggestions on ways to modify the machine, software suggestions, etc., bearing in mind that this is an older person (in her mid-70s, of sound mind but has been ill for many years).

MilesAhead

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I don't know what programs to pick.  But this may be a good resource of free programs that were popular enough to go commercial:

http://www.321downlo.../alphabetically.html

Most are likely old enough to run on XP

TaoPhoenix

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Depending on her area maybe put a wifi card in it and get someone's permission to use their wifi?

Curt

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I #feel# the Encarta is a really good idea, WBM. Does the world have more of such things? Is she spiritually interested? eSword?

kyrathaba

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Thanks, Curt. Yes, I'd already put eSword and a few other apps of that sort. Good catch!

@Tao: yep, that's a possibility. Only problem is that she's so technically unsavy, that any problems at ALL and she'd not know how to reconnect wirelessly.

Curt

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-and she might leave the gate open, even "to prevent problems" (we know many people who never shuts down their computer, only to avoid any associated problem)


mouser

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a nice simple text editor -- maybe one of those that is designed to hide other stuff so you can just focus on writing?

kyrathaba

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^ Mmm, yes, good suggestion, mouser. Maybe MonkeyWrite or FocusWriter.

cranioscopical

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A decent reader app and some PD books? And/or some talking books?

There might even be a Sci-Fi item  ;)

kyrathaba

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I have some audiobooks loaded for her. Also, introducing her to mobi ebooks.

mouser

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web browser pre-configured with bookmark toolbar of useful pages?

app103

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She would probably enjoy the top 100 books from Project Gutenberg: https://www.gutenber...rg/browse/scores/top

She might like my clock, which can be configured to be high contrast and quite large, for easy reading: http://appsapps.info/dclock2.php

FSL Launcher might be good for her, if you set it up with the tabs and shortcuts to the apps, files, and folders she would be using: http://fsl.sytes.net/launcher.html

For some games that don't require quick reflexes and won't rush her with timers:

Jigsaws Galore Free edition: http://www.dgray.com/download.htm
I have a much older, full version of this one, and it's great for anyone that likes jigsaw puzzles.

One of the best freeware single-player Uno games I have ever found: http://www.lupopensuite.com/db/uno.htm
Full description, screenshots, and a review, here: http://uno-freeware....ftware.informer.com/
One note I don't think they mentioned, is that no matter how many players you select, it's still a single player game, you vs 1 or more AI players.

Game Top has a ton of free casual games.
They do open up a link to their site when you finish playing and close the game, but that would be simple enough for her to close.

About 100 different hidden object games. (these are always a big hit with seniors)

Chess
Checkers
Texas Hold'em Poker
Dominoes
Backgammon
Minigolf
Bowling
Lots of puzzle & match 3 games

web browser pre-configured with bookmark toolbar of useful pages?

It might be a good idea, even if she isn't going to have internet access, to perhaps save some pages for her to view locally, static pages that contain handy reference info.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 10:17:35 PM by app103 »

kyrathaba

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Thanks, mouser and app. Good suggestions!

TaoPhoenix

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web browser pre-configured with bookmark toolbar of useful pages?

It might be a good idea, even if she isn't going to have internet access, to perhaps save some pages for her to view locally, static pages that contain handy reference info.


Yeah, reference.

I think I remember seeing years ago that you could save local offline copies of Wikipedia. And yes, "only 75-80% of it is true" but to me that's a valuable modern part of the web, just getting a quick glance at something that comes up. Can anyone look into that in general and then see if it applies here too?


Stephen66515

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I know she is not technically savvy, but having a PDF reader would be handy in case she finds something online she wants to read and it turns out to be a .pdf file.

Also, always helpful to pre-install things like WinRAR and such - Perhaps not for her, but as an aid to anybody who may need to run repairs on the machine or fix something for her (The amount of time I needed to download a file on somebodies PC only to find out they don't have WinRAR, making me take that extra step...)

Also, some pre-configured anti-malware/anti-virus software would be very handy, as well as having Chrome/Firefox the default OS with AdBlockPro (Old people click ads and fill their computers with crap) + McAfee Secure Site Advisor (This will warn you if you are going to a site that has proven itself to be questionable) And any other helpful addons you can think of.

If it is somebody you know personally and don't mind fixing her PC...then maybe a background copy of Teamviewer that you setup for permanent remote access (installed as a service) - That way, if the PC is on, and connected to the internet, then you can login remotely to fix any little issues (Or update Flash cause it has told her to do it, and she doesn't quite know how) :)

MilesAhead

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If her vision isn't the best it may be cool to try to get some free audio books.  Also if she lives alone or is alone quite a bit the voice reading the book can be like company.  Many elderly with vision problems listen to talk radio but in some areas they mainly have sports talk.  Probably not interesting listening for an elderly female.


40hz

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If she has spiritual inclinations, there's a huge archive of sacred and spiritual texts available for free download over at
www.sacred-texts.com. All the major religions are well represented along with dozens of other more esoteric traditions. Everything for Angels to Zoroastrianism.

16500.jpg

Especially good is a story written in 1897 by John Uri Lloyd titled ETIDORHPA. It's a good adventure yarn about a fantastic spiritual journey (much like Dante's)  to "the end of earth" - and places stranger. Highly recommended.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 02:38:55 PM by 40hz »

TaoPhoenix

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Stephen, a big unclear item is she can't afford a mainline internet service. So a bunch of your ideas fall sideways.


MilesAhead

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Stephen, a big unclear item is she can't afford a mainline internet service. So a bunch of your ideas fall sideways.



I wonder if there is some kind of "Internet for All" initiative in her area?

kyrathaba

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Okay, it's not a bad machine. Pentium 4 running at 2.66 GHz. I've bumped RAM from 512M to 1.5G. Running WinXP Home SP3. Avast. Filling the drive with books (audio and text), movies, hidden obj/puzzle/sim games. Using FSL Launcher. Will make her some screencast tutorials.

app103

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Have you given any thought to how Avast will be updated, without an internet connection? And have you disabled it from attempting to automatically update? (I'd hate to see her annoyed with popups telling her the definitions are out of date and end up in the habit of just dismissing any and all messages from Avast.)

kyrathaba

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@app103:

Yes, we visit this lady once a month and cook her a meal and eat with her. On those visits I will go online by tethering my cellphone to her PC via a wireless dongle. I can then update antivirus definitions. Avast is configured for manual updates only.

app103

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@app103:

Yes, we visit this lady once a month and cook her a meal and eat with her. On those visits I will go online by tethering my cellphone to her PC via a wireless dongle. I can then update antivirus definitions. Avast is configured for manual updates only.


kyrathaba

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@app103:
 
Where does Dclock2 store user data, such as To Do Lists? Never mind, I see, now.

Arizona Hot

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I presume you are using VLC for movie playing. I have always used Libre Office( and Open Office before that) for general text tasks. Adobe Reader for all .pdf  reading(useful for reading Project Guttenberg books also).  Amazon has some free Kindle books you might be interested in. I have World of Goo and Crayon Physics Deluxe(but I don't know if she likes that kind of thing). Does she like Solitaire?