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Vega for my Mum

6 posts in this topic

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I’m not sure if this story hits dead centre of the competition category, but I’d like to tell the story as I hope it might inspire one or two others who find themselves thinking as I did, but weren’t sure whether to take the plunge.

When I first got my hands on a work colleague’s i-pad, I must admit I was pretty much hooked on the experience. I thought it was a fantastic way to access the web and much more. I also had another thought which was “wouldn’t this be the perfect device for my mum!”

Now, my mum is well into her seventies, so she’s getting on a bit. Despite being as sharp as a tack and school teacher by profession, over the last decade or so, she has pretty flat-refused to use, own or have anything to do with PCs or the online world. In other words she has been completely PC illiterate. To be perfectly honest, with a Windows laptop being the only real option, up until now I’ve pretty much accepted this and only made half hearted attempts to suggest that she might consider otherwise. I certainly have considered it too risky a proposition to invest in one on her behalf.

However with the potential I saw in the tablet, I thought I should certainly reconsider.

So in the weeks leading up to Christmas I was contemplating getting my mum a tablet. This was in the context of unanimous opposition from every quarter of the family, sisters, wife, nephews etc. The overwhelming view was that on Christmas Day she would politely accept the gift, with much appreciation and then, just as politely, it would soon get placed in a draw and forgotten about. So, still, I was undecided as most options looked too expensive and therefore still too risky.

Then I came across the Vega for £250, lots of positive reviews and a real sell-out. Decision made! Regardless of what anyone else thought I was on a mission. I ordered my mum broadband, under the pretence of getting a better home phone deal. This wasn’t hard given that she’d been on the same BT tariff for years. I also set about getting my hands on a Vega. This, as you can imagine, was no small feat, regularly checking Currys’ site in the hope I would strike lucky. As luck would have it, one day I clicked on the Vega and rather than getting the usual “out of stock”, it was added to the basket. That was bit of “Willy Wonker” moment in itself! It soon turned up. Immediately I applied Paul’s ROM. It worked really well. In fact, having used the Vega for a week or so, I have to admit that finally wrapping it up on Christmas Eve, with the thought of handing it over the next day, wasn’t quite as easy as I thought it would be! :(

Anyway Christmas Day came... It was a hit, on the day and ever since, it’s been a key topic of discussion between me and my mum. Simply, the little device has opened up a whole new world for her... emails, apps, i-player, word games that she loves, and of course the web... just imagine!!

Now to say the little Vega is life changing is a stretch. However, there is inevitably going to be a time when my mum isn’t as mobile as she is now and I think this has opened up to her a massive resource that will become a real help for her in lots of different ways! :(

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Posted · Report post

Great story!

I had been thinking the main fault with the Vega is that it wasn't something you could give to a computer illerterate older person. And it seems I might be quite wrong. Exzcellent news!

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I love this. Great use for a tablet, to make the wired world more accessible to those people who have been avoiding it because of perceived complexity. Hopefully soon we will get a fully working version of Skype with video calling! Have you tried video calling with her on Fring? That would be an excellent way of communicating with an older relative I think!

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Posted · Report post

That was a good story. I guess a tablet would be less imposing than a big desktop or laptop machine and as the controls are for the most part simply clicking icons it does make it more accessible. Nice job :(

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Posted · Report post

I love this. Great use for a tablet, to make the wired world more accessible to those people who have been avoiding it because of perceived complexity. Hopefully soon we will get a fully working version of Skype with video calling! Have you tried video calling with her on Fring? That would be an excellent way of communicating with an older relative I think!

No we haven't tried Fring. We have tried Yahoo Messenger a couple of times, but the quality wasn't great. (I think this was mainly due to broadband connection at our end, I can only get 1Mb - so even utube and iplayer are challenge. My mum enjoys a much better service.) I'll check fring out - thanks.

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Posted · Report post

Great story!

I had been thinking the main fault with the Vega is that it wasn't something you could give to a computer illerterate older person. And it seems I might be quite wrong. Exzcellent news!

Thanks. It has for my mum - I did avoid going for one of the cheaper resistive screen types as I figured that if the screen wasn't responsive she would soon lose confidence. I was pleased when I got the vega that it was very responsive. (It does seem a little inaccurate around the keyboard, but she seems fine with that.) I tried to keep it simple and just take it step by step. To begin with e-mail, google search from the browser, iplayer, google maps, pictures and I put some videos of the kids on too - trying to keep it relevant to her and trying not to bombard. It waited a few weeks before I introduced her to the Market and now she's downloading word games. She is also using google talk with my 13 year old daughter. There's still plenty of telephone support, but that's to be expected. The only real glitch I had was when she'd accidentally hit the recover app in the apps page. It didn't seem to boot after that and I wasn't sure what to do, so I had to pick the tablet up and get it home to rebuild it. I applied the ROM without the recovery app, which for me was the easiest thing to do. Since then no problems - touch wood ;-)

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