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-   -   Has anyone here heard of Wow! computers? (https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/general-10/has-anyone-here-heard-of-wow-computers-4175685443/)

hazel 11-18-2020 10:15 AM

Has anyone here heard of Wow! computers?
 
I saw an ad for them and did a quick DDG search. I was quite impressed. This is a computer designed for old people who are totally technophobic. It runs Tinycore Linux and has a touch-sensitive screen as well as a keyboard and mouse.

Mind you, it's not cheap. It costs over $1000. And it's not completely open-source, because the user interface is proprietary. I wouldn't want one myself but I can think of a lot of people that I know of my age and older for whom this would be a really practical way to get online.

Timothy Miller 11-18-2020 10:23 AM

Processor Intel Celeron Quad Core Processor
Memory 2 GB RAM
Hard Drive 32 GB SSD Flash Drive (Additional Cloud Storage Available)

For $1100? Nope, wouldn't ever be willing to consider that for anyone. That's like a 500% markup.

////// 11-18-2020 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timothy Miller (Post 6186586)
...For $1100? Nope, wouldn't ever be willing to consider that for anyone. That's like a 500% markup...

thats a huge ripoff by them. maybe they are fishing for newbies, computer illiterates.

enorbet 11-18-2020 12:32 PM

I don't think it's a ripoff. It's just aimed at a special niche and provides a lot more than just the hardware and the initial system. I didn't recommend it to my Mom, someone else did, but she's had it for over 6 years iirc and she loves it. It requires zero maintenance for her and extreme security. The proprietary part is tied up in it (at least hers anyway) doesn't allow the Owner/User to install much of anything. It's locked down with the company being the totalitarian Admin. Initially I worried about the possibility of them going out of business and my Mom having to get a complete system re-install and what would be good on it. Thankfully they appear to have rightly recognized an important niche market.

FWIW, my Mom is 96, and in 1990 she was the first person I knew who owned a PC connected to the Web. She came from a word processing background so she is not at all knowledgeable about hardware or operating systems. She just knows what she wants which like many her age and younger, consists mostly of web surfing, photos, and social media. I'm pleased knowing she is relatively safe since updates are system-wide and obligatory iirc. That works for her.

rtmistler 11-18-2020 01:01 PM

I can't say for technophobic people. I realize there are plenty of them. Most of them make due without, and in fact prefer to continue in that manner. Especially if you propose a high price tag item to them, because that's sort of one reason why they avoid it a lot. Same for me for sticking with flip phones for a longer time than my family wished.

captain_sensible 11-18-2020 01:33 PM

@rtmistler were you ever tempted to flip open the phone and state "beam me up Scotty"?

ondoho 11-18-2020 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ////// (Post 6186590)
maybe they are fishing for newbies, computer illiterates.

Obviously...

I'm more concerned about the OS & apps - I wonder how stable it all really is.
This sort of stuff is only good when it works 100% without fail.

ntubski 11-18-2020 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timothy Miller (Post 6186586)
For $1100? Nope, wouldn't ever be willing to consider that for anyone. That's like a 500% markup.

I think you're mainly paying for the tech support etc, obviously the hardware alone isn't worth nearly that much.

frankbell 11-18-2020 08:31 PM

It sounds as if they are competing for the same market as Telikin.

As for the price, I tend to agree with enorbet: it seems to me that that's cost/benefit consideration. I wouldn't want one, but I'm not in their target audience.

Timothy Miller 11-18-2020 08:35 PM

I'd tend to agree, the Telken Breeze 18" in the screenshot has the same interface as the Wow! that's shown on their site.

hazel 11-19-2020 05:23 AM

It's obviously not intended for people like us. It's for people who are terrified of computers. There are a lot of people my age who fall into that bracket. A growing problem for them is that everything is moving online: banking, shopping, interaction with the government...

This is called "digital exclusion" and it's recognised as a serious problem by all organisations that work with people in that age bracket. Forcing them to use a conventional computer (which will probably be running Windows!) isn't the answer. There are few things in this world more depressing and demoralising than being forced to use technology that you don't understand and don't trust. It makes you feel more excluded, not less so. Machines like this could be the solution.

As to the price, that depends on what the alternatives are. For people like us who can buy a second hand machine (or build our own) for a couple of hundred pounds and then put a standard Linux distro on it for nothing, it's ridiculously expensive. For a computer-illiterate person, it probably isn't.

fatmac 11-19-2020 05:39 AM

Most people have a TV - go get a Raspberry Pi400 & plug it in - they should be able to do that..... ;)

jamison20000e 11-19-2020 04:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timothy Miller (Post 6186586)
... That's like a 500% markup.

Like buying a cable at an electronics store. :eek: Suckers waste money* anyhow. (Tho who's not human? Doctor.)

A search for Wow! Computers pops up ad$ galore!

My parents used the Geek Squad, for ongoing support. I can only safely remember it's around 15 to 20 some dollars a month... and, you don't have to buy a computer from Best Buy or pay an arm and a leg for one. Mostly they have because mom got sick of me being angry at them for not administrating their computer. :p

The average computer user is not an administrator so should (have won a virus or) higher one... lol!

ondoho 11-20-2020 01:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hazel (Post 6186854)
It's obviously not intended for people like us. It's for people who are terrified of computers. There are a lot of people my age who fall into that bracket. A growing problem for them is that everything is moving online: banking, shopping, interaction with the government...

This is called "digital exclusion" and it's recognised as a serious problem by all organisations that work with people in that age bracket. Forcing them to use a conventional computer (which will probably be running Windows!) isn't the answer. There are few things in this world more depressing and demoralising than being forced to use technology that you don't understand and don't trust. It makes you feel more excluded, not less so. Machines like this could be the solution.

I don't have strong opininons in this matter either way, but this sounds a little too melodramatic (although I can imagine a news article phrasing it in this manner).
I know these 2 people aren't representative for anything, so for whatever it's worth:
  • a man in his 80s, he had to seriously start dealing with computers in the 90s, because of his business. Now at home, he's doing all his emails, Photoshop, Facebook, Skype on his desktop computer and additionally WhatsApp on his phone. No problems there - Quite the opposite: he's complaining why I don't use FB or WA.
  • A woman in her 70s did not have any professional incentives to use computers, but she owns a laptop and a mobile phone nonetheless, and always replies to my emails.
What I want to say: this isn't a problem that popped up recently, this has been developing for decades. The old people in question had a chance to embrace this new technology long ago, and chose not to.
I suspect that the biggest reasons for machines like this are
  • offspring that want to force their parents to be available over Skype, email etc.
  • accessibility (old age problems with hearing, vision and finger coordination) - and that requires some careful setup of a "normal" computer, nothing more
And I suspect I will be in a similar situation when I get older because of my current refusal to embrace social media and the googleplex.
I hope my offspring then won't try to push any sort of "social media devices for elderly social-media-phobes" on me, but have the patience to communicate via email & phone.
;)

captain_sensible 11-20-2020 04:25 AM

if someone went "wow" to me too loudly i might have a heart attack , now if somebody said mhc computer (mug of hot chocolate and slippers) -relax while i introduce linux i might be OK


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