Can you ecommend a small email device for my dinosaur siblings?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Janna S, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. Janna S

    Janna S Second Unit

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    I have a brother and sister (in their fifties) who are almost completely unfamiliar with computers, and are resistant to technology. They are both bright, hard working, and intelligent, but they missed the IT wave completely.

    I am on-line all day long at work, and at home, and I stay in touch via email with everyone but them. I am not IT literate either - I simply bought an off-the-shelf Gateway and I use what we have at the office.

    Can anyone recommend a small device that I could buy for my siblings that will give them basic email access, just for ordinary correspondence and how-are-you messages? It doesn't need to play games, it doesn't need to store much info, they don't need to download anything into a PC, they don't need documents or spreadsheets, etc. They don't even have DVD players!

    If they get into it, they can afford to buy computers or fancier PDA devices themselves - I just want to be able to stay in touch with them both at home and perhaps as they travel (both are retired). My sister had less than a week to live (liver failure) last summer (she got a transplant and is fine now) and we had no way to reach my brother because he and his wife were off in the RV somewhere, didn't call for about a week, and didn't bother to check messages on their home phone machine. He refuses to look for or set foot in cybercafes.

    So I want to buy him (and her) something and shame him into starting to use email at least at home. Maybe then he will be willing to try it when he's on the road in the summer. When they are at home, they are in suburbs of Minneapolis.

    Any suggestions? Imagine you were buying something for your grandmother - the fewer features, the better!
     
  2. Bill McCamy

    Bill McCamy Second Unit

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    Mailstation will provide a relatively simple, computer free access to e-mail. It is available at many retailers.
     
  3. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    That mailstation has a rebate right now making it only $30.00. Not bad. However, you have to pay $9.95 a month for email only access. Pretty bad, but I am sure all of these email appliances will have relatively expensive monthly prices.

    C. Ryan
     
  4. Steve Kramzer

    Steve Kramzer Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know how eager they are to learn, but I had a similar situation with my grandfather and this is how I did it. I bought an old p-120 laptop that came with windows 95. First I went in and stripped out all unneccessary programs. Basically, I left him with Interent Explorer and Outlook, and a few other stuff he might use later. This was about a year ago when there were still good free services on the web. I set him up with a hotmail account and a netzero account. Next I set outlook to retreive his hotmail account. Then I changed outlooks icon to a huge icon that said just "MAIL" to simplize things for him. It took me about 2 hours with him to get him comfortable enough to use it by himself. He loved it so much,he had us get him a regular dialup account.
     
  5. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Just get them each a Blackberry pager. Can't get much smaller e-mail devices than that. [​IMG]
     

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