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Tony
25-04-2011, 12:19 PM
For about 15(?) years my mother in England has used an Amstrad combined phone and emailer. It is quite a cunning little device that looks like a phone but has a small screen and keyboard that allows you to send and receive text-only emails. We've just heard that the service is going to be discontinued in June. Doesn't surprise me, I've always been amazed it hung on this long. The number of users must be minuscule these days.

So the question is, what can we replace it with? I did some research a while back and the only thing I found was an American device that only worked in the USA. The main problem is that she steadfastly refuses to have a computer - which is understandable at her age.

Any ideas anyone? The only thing I can think of is a tablet of some sort, that doesn't look like a "computer". There are still issues with that about signng up with an ISP, getting Mum trained - and accepting the device in the first place.

mikebartnz
25-04-2011, 12:27 PM
I suppose a cell phone wouldn't be any better than a PC.

Tony
25-04-2011, 12:30 PM
I suppose a cell phone wouldn't be any better than a PC.I guess it is a possibility, but I think screen size might be an issue for old clumsy fingers.

kahawai chaser
25-04-2011, 01:45 PM
Maybe contact NZ/UK Telecom/Vodafone for similar products/services. Perhaps browse ebay to research alternative products.

Tony
25-04-2011, 01:55 PM
Maybe contact NZ/UK Telecom/Vodafone for similar products/services. Perhaps browse ebay to research alternative products.My sister in England will be looking at other service provider possibilities. As I said in the original post, the only actual device I have found only works in the US.

johnd
25-04-2011, 03:11 PM
Teletext?? I seem to remember that emailing might be a feature but don't seem to be able to find anything about it on the net?

bot
25-04-2011, 03:23 PM
Teletext?? I seem to remember that emailing might be a feature but don't seem to be able to find anything about it on the net?

No, teletext is read-only, afaik

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teletext


Because standard teletext is one-way -- there is no way for the TV viewer to communicate back to the broadcaster -- the user must wait for the page he or she selected to be broadcast

Cato
25-04-2011, 03:25 PM
Consider getting her a tablet?

Tony
25-04-2011, 03:28 PM
Consider getting her a tablet?That's one of the possibilities I mentioned in the original post.

feersumendjinn
25-04-2011, 03:29 PM
I think what you're after is a teletypewriter (TTY) device, usually sourced through hearing/deaf societies/associations
http://www.hearingnz.org.nz/phone_assist.htm
http://www.vanasch.school.nz/literacy-readingpieces.php?id=8

mikebartnz
25-04-2011, 03:43 PM
I think what you're after is a teletypewriter (TTY) device, usually sourced through hearing/deaf societies/associations
http://www.hearingnz.org.nz/phone_assist.htm
http://www.vanasch.school.nz/literacy-readingpieces.php?id=8
Nothing in those links is really what he wants except for a fax possibly.

Tony
25-04-2011, 04:24 PM
I think what you're after is a teletypewriter (TTY) device, usually sourced through hearing/deaf societies/associations
http://www.hearingnz.org.nz/phone_assist.htm
http://www.vanasch.school.nz/literacy-readingpieces.php?id=8
Thanks for the links. That certainly seems like a possibility, although I suspect my mother would resist using something designed for the hearing impaired. It is difficult enough to get her to wear her hearing aid! I'll pass the suggestion on to my sister.

Any other suggestions would still be welcome.

PinoyKiw
25-04-2011, 04:30 PM
Would something like a iPad work.

Know nothing about them.

But I understand your problem in convincing / introducing a elderly parent to take up email. Nothing that we have tried has convinced my elderly mother to embrace the computer age. Every excuse under the sun, too complicated, wouldn't use it often enough, don't need one, too expensive, they use power.....:sleep

Tony
25-04-2011, 04:52 PM
Would something like a iPad work.No disrespect, but does nobody read posts completely? I mentioned in my first post that a tablet was a possible option. :)

There is no problem with convincing my mother to use email - she just doesn't want a "computer".

pctek
25-04-2011, 04:59 PM
This?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peek_%28mobile_Internet_device%29

mikebartnz
25-04-2011, 05:04 PM
This?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peek_%28mobile_Internet_device%29
That looks like a good find pctech.:clap

bot
25-04-2011, 05:05 PM
This?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peek_%28mobile_Internet_device%29

Only available in US though

mikebartnz
25-04-2011, 05:13 PM
Only available in US though
Next time he visits his mother he can go via the USA or get someone he knows to pick one up.

Tony
25-04-2011, 05:29 PM
Next time he visits his mother he can go via the USA or get someone he knows to pick one up.I agree it looks like a good device. I wonder whether there might be a small buttons and screen/old hands and eyes problem, but it is worth a look.

Just checked the website, and they only have coverage in USA. :(

PinoyKiw
25-04-2011, 05:34 PM
At least your mother is using some form of communications where as, we cannot even get our mother to talk about one in any form.

I only suggested a iPad as it doesn't exactly look like a computer though it is far from exactly being a tablet either.

Lurking
25-04-2011, 05:58 PM
http://boards.getpeek.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=29&page=1

Doesn't appear to be International at the link stage.

Lurking.

Tony
25-04-2011, 06:09 PM
http://boards.getpeek.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=29&page=1

Doesn't appear to be International at the link stage.

Lurking.Yeah, confirms what I found in the FAQ on their website.

The Error Guy
25-04-2011, 07:16 PM
She doesn't want a "computer" but try as she might everything these days will be a computer. I was thinking you could try building one of these: http://www.stealth.com/littlepc_350_pcmcia_print.htm

Just tell her its not a computer... :p

You could mount it anywhere, all you would need is a screen and a keyboard/mouse (maybe not even a mouse). the screen doesn't have to be big, I seem to remember seeing 7" sized LCD screens somewhere.

If someone could find a dumbed down email client to use that would work, also with all that screen space you could make nice large easy to read text. set up remote desktop for any teething issues and It should be sweet.

Problem with a tablet is wireless (it will drop connection and then she will be stuck), forgetting where she put it and lets face it. They are easy for us but others just find them complicated.

Viable idea? or just too time wasting

gary67
25-04-2011, 07:45 PM
My nephew uses the typetalk service but then he is deaf. It works extremely well. But in reality he uses his cellphone to text far more than he ever uses the typetalk service, my sister only keeps it as an emergency method of contact for him.

I think a tablet of some kind would be the way to go as a smart phone would probably be just too small. Next time I go over I'm thinking of setting my parents computer up to just run emails and Skype since they never use it for anything else

plod
25-04-2011, 08:00 PM
The last thing you will want too do is maintain whatever you get for her. A tablet of some sort with a bluetooth keyboard. There are plenty of stands for them.

Tony
25-04-2011, 08:19 PM
The last thing you will want too do is maintain whatever you get for her.You're dead right there. Especially as she is in UK and I am here, and my sister who lives near my mother is pretty techno-challenged herself. Whatever we end up with has got to be pretty intuitive and require minimal setup/maintenance/intervention.

mikebartnz
25-04-2011, 09:24 PM
I agree it looks like a good device. I wonder whether there might be a small buttons and screen/old hands and eyes problem, but it is worth a look.

Just checked the website, and they only have coverage in USA. :(
I am sure there would be some way around that.

PPp
25-04-2011, 09:40 PM
Hey this looks what she needs! A gigantic cellphone http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6930862/ns/technology_and_science-wireless/ Load it with prepay, and all her emergency numbers. Plus its probably compatible with European\British systems being made in the Czech Republic.

mikebartnz
25-04-2011, 10:22 PM
It is amazing as to what is turning up.

Tony
25-04-2011, 10:49 PM
Hey this looks what she needs! A gigantic cellphone http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6930862/ns/technology_and_science-wireless/ Load it with prepay, and all her emergency numbers. Plus its probably compatible with European\British systems being made in the Czech Republic.Now that looks like a definite maybe. I couldn't find a mention of it on the Jablotron website, but I've passed it all on to my sister.

Thanks everyone for all the great ideas and suggestions -and keep them coming! :thumbs:

johnd
26-04-2011, 07:39 PM
Teletext?? I seem to remember that emailing might be a feature but don't seem to be able to find anything about it on the net?
Yes - I was a bit off on that one. What I was probably thinking of was some kind of email service I may have seen with Sky (we don't have Sky so can't check it out - not sure of how it might work).

dugimodo
27-04-2011, 11:33 AM
What about the old style smartphones like a Blackberry ? Unless that's still too complex and the buttons too small ?

Tony
27-04-2011, 11:43 AM
I heard from my sister this morning, and apparently my mum managed to send an email using my sister's small basic phone. So a big screen/big button mobile looks like the answer. They are off to the shops later this week to see what is available. A mobile has a few benefits:


It is not a "computer".
It fires up much more quickly than a PC.
It means she has communication that she can keep about her for emergencies etc.
Plus all the other mobile goodies.


The next issue is going to be finding her the most appropriate provider and plan.

Lurking
27-04-2011, 04:45 PM
A mobile has a few benefits:


It fires up much more quickly than a PC.


Most things fire-up quicker than a PC, especially one with m/software on it.

Very glad she has a device to use.

Lurking.

Tony
27-04-2011, 05:39 PM
Very glad she has a device to use.

Lurking.It will be interesting to see what she ends up with.

PPp
27-04-2011, 08:38 PM
If you Google.UK "Jablotron Elderly Phone" and select sites from UK only, you get 1200 hits! So I guess they are available.

Tony
27-04-2011, 10:52 PM
If you Google.UK "Jablotron Elderly Phone" and select sites from UK only, you get 1200 hits! So I guess they are available.Amazon UK list quite a few "elderly phones", so I'm sure she will find something, whether it is the Jablotron or something else.