Desktop computers: A ‘silver surfer’ guide…

The world is definitely not what it used to be, and life seems different with each passing day – and we don’t just mean because there’s been a pandemic during the last year or so. Change is a natural part of the way things go – and, well, it’s nothing to be afraid of.

There are so many ways that our lives have changed and – dare we say it? – been completely enhanced by advances in technology over the last couple of decades. Okay, so that can seem daunting for someone who is (how shall we put it?) slightly more advanced in years. But in this guide we hope to reassure you that these things have been developed to help us – and in the case of computers they can be more than useful. They can be life-changing, in the best possible way, even.

Sorting yourself out with a computer isn’t a big deal, really- but it can bring big returns, even if you’re knocking on a bit.

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What are the immediate benefits of a desktop PC?

Okay, so it’s no longer the high-tech thing to tie two tin cans together with a piece of string and talk to your friends! It seems as if there are much more complicated methods of communication these days. But, again, that’s nothing to be afraid of – are they really that complicated? And alright, so you no longer get your news just from the wireless. Again, nothing to be afraid of.

These are just some of the many ways that having a computer can complement the things we already know rather than replace them. Imagine being able to not just speak to your friends – but also be able to see them while you’re chatting? Wouldn’t that make you feel even more connected? Imagine being able to send your family and friends some photographs, or tap out a few memories and email them? Imagine a world in which you don’t have to wait for the hourly news on the radio, but it’s right there ‘on tap’, at the click of a button. Need to do some banking? Shuffling some money about or paying bills? No need to go all the way into town to the bank, you can do it online.

All of these things and many more are within reach when you buy a computer. So, how do you go about that? What should you be looking out for, and what might be the best one to buy?

Where do I start? What’s the best one to get?

Finding the best computers for ‘seniors’ can be a little bit of a challenge, but it’s a challenge that reaps rewards when it’s risen to. Older adults have a wide range of needs that don’t necessarily match the needs of the young. For instance, an older person looking for a new computer isn’t necessarily going to need one which has been built for, and is totally geared up for, gaming. It’s most likely that an older person will need a device that is capable of doing a little bit of everything – a good ‘every day’ machine…

So let’s take a look at some of the things you might need that computer to do, and how those needs will be met by it. We’ll also look at the various peripheral ‘bits and pieces’ you’ll need to get your desktop PC life off to the best possible start!

Desktop computer and peripherals

We’ll start with a negative – simply to get it out of the way, and then also so that we can turn it round into a positive! Desktop computers are not quite as convenient as laptops, in that they take up space in your house because they are a bit larger and not really portable so need a ‘workstation’. Perhaps a table in the dining room or a small desk in the spare bedroom is appropriate for your desktop PC, as it will need to have other ‘bits’ with it to work properly.

For a start you will need to invest in a separate monitor (though you can get package deals which will provide you with the whole kit), and you will also need at least a mouse and a keyboard. There are other little bits and pieces you can get, too, but those four are the main things.

  • Desktop PC
  • Monitor
  • Mouse
  • Keyboard

The great thing about going for a desktop PC over a laptop is that when it comes to choosing a monitor you can go for something with a large screen size if you want to. Keyboards are also designed in an ergonomic way. Some have keys with the letters printed in a large font, which can be really useful for people who have eyesight issues.

Another plus, over laptops, is that a desktop PC plugs in to the power source in the wall, rather than relying on battery, (although laptops plug in too!) – so it can be left running and you do not need to worry about recharging. Desktop computers are also quite easily upgraded or repaired compared to laptops.

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So what can a desktop computer do for me?

Desktop computers can be used for tasks. Chief amongst them will be something like word processing. If you haven’t heard of that term before, it simply means any activity related to writing. So, typing out letters, essays, documents… Anything! Even your memoirs!

You’ll also find that you use a desktop PC for the internet. This might mean (as we mentioned earlier) something as simple as subscribing to a news website and visiting it whenever you feel the need to catch up on world events. Or it could mean joining social media and connecting up with old friends and relatives – sharing photographs, messages and memories.

Or it could mean visiting websites and joining forums connected to the things that you’re interested in. Perhaps you’re a fan of a particular kind of music – you’re sure to be able to find likeminded people out there on the internet to share that passion with. You can also use the internet to go shopping. There are many retail websites out there for doing everything from your domestic grocery shopping to finding that obscure book or piece of DIY kit you’ve been looking for.

Another great use for a desktop PC is audio / visual. You can use it to watch films or television shows (off a disc, if the PC has a DVD drive, or perhaps through a streaming service such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix or Amazon Prime). You can also join something like Apple Music or Amazon Music or Spotify, and stream music to listen to. There are literally millions of songs out there on the internet all waiting to heard again!

Other things you could use a desktop computer for include digital imaging. So, you can use a program like Adobe Photoshop (though there are plenty of others on the market) to tidy up old photographs. You might need to buy a scanner to digitise old physical photos, and a printer to print them out once you’ve worked on them. Or you could invest in an all-in-one – another great device (as well as being another reason why you’ll need a little bit of a ‘workstation’ for all your computer gear).

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What would be the best computer to buy?

There are several ‘entry level’ devices available at Ebuyer. Desktop computers that are ‘ready to go’ and are easily set up once delivered. Take a browse through our website and see what suits you.

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