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The $500 Linux PC Aimed at Senior Citizens

By - Source: KiWi PC | B 50 comments

Kiwi PC, a company that specializes in computers for the older computer user, this week launched a low-end Linux PC for senior citizens.


Linux likely wouldn't be the first choice among those who consider themselves anything less than tech-savvy. However, KiWi PC is using a customized version of the open source OS on its latest offering, which it claims will fill a gap in the current market.

"Until now, there has not been an easy way for senior citizens to navigate the internet and stay connected to friends and family," said Oscar Ferreira, President of KiWi PC. "Linux based KiWi PC provides the elderly with an easy way to stay in touch, learn and game online."

Though one could argue that senior citizens could navigate the internet and stay connected to friends and family from any other machine, KiWi PC's desktop has a custom UI, called the 'Me Menu' that allows users to easily access to their most visited websites and programs straight from the desktop. It also boasts larger icons and text for increased visual acuity.

The $499 computer packs a 1.66GHz Intel Atom CPU with INTEL GMA 3150 GRAPHICS, 2GB of DDR3, a 19-inch monitor, Ubuntu 10.10, DVDRW drive, one-year of tech support, access to a download store, and lifetime upgrade support from KiWi PC.

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  • 3 Hide
    gprosperiea , March 18, 2011 11:12 PM
    A good user interface for them should never change. thousands of things could change in the lower layers for improvements but that should be transparent for them. they want to find the log in text box for their email in the same place and also, their personalized user interface should be able to follow them to any computer (chrome os looks could give them that)
  • 1 Hide
    christop , March 19, 2011 12:25 AM
    Specs are low for 499. You could build a dual core with 4 gigs ram win 7 with 500 gig hd for 520.00 But I guess older people would not care.
  • 0 Hide
    amdfangirl , March 19, 2011 12:28 AM
    Well considering the starting price for an x120e is $400 (AMD Fusion netbook) it dun make sense.
  • 3 Hide
    jasonpwns , March 19, 2011 12:31 AM
    It is too expensive, on top of that it uses Linux, which is a free OS for the most part and should cost less than a windows pc. Except it doesn't...
  • 1 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , March 19, 2011 12:32 AM
    christopSpecs are low for 499. You could build a dual core with 4 gigs ram win 7 with 500 gig hd for 520.00 But I guess older people would not care.

    It's not that they don't care, it's more of the fact that they don't know any better. Their minds aren't sharp enough to "dot their i's and cross their t's" anymore. Something like this has recently happened to my grandparents and we're trying to resolve the issue.
  • 0 Hide
    Khimera2000 , March 19, 2011 12:39 AM
    ... I dont know... I havent dug around win 7 to see what it can do for elders. there is the magnifier I know that... perhaps it would be a point to build an article around? how can we say something really works well or not when we barely use the features that are already embeaded into every PC/notebook out there?
  • 1 Hide
    WR2 , March 19, 2011 12:41 AM
    'a custom UI' and 'access to a download store'
    Trying to lock customers into their own cash cow?
    Hey, isn't Kiwi a fruit too?
  • 3 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , March 19, 2011 12:55 AM
    I am a senior citizen. My friends are senior citizens. We easily navigate the Internet and stay connected to familiy with the desktop pc's we already have.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , March 19, 2011 12:55 AM
    Needs a bigger monitor for old eyes.

    Now, yes, I agree with other commenters, the price seems incommensurate with the product. One can build a faster system for $500, or less. One might ask, "pre-built/configured, etc., and with a decent monitor included?"
    Maybe not too much faster, but, still possible, I'm sure.
    I just built a 2.8ghz duo core Xeon AMD64 WITH 4GB ram for about $400, but had to build it myself, and no monitor or fancy colored keyboard included. (It IS running gnu/linux, of course).
    I do agree that gnu/linux is a good choice for the not-so-tech-saavy, though. A lot less likely for them to break stuff, mess it up with malware, spyware, have crashes, etc. that will frustrate them.
    I installed Debian on my Mom's old computer after she got tired of the mess of XP she had. She hasn't had a problem since.
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , March 19, 2011 12:57 AM
    BTW - Forgot to mention it but the keyboard has all those colorful keys. It might appeal to my grandchildren.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 19, 2011 1:04 AM
    It's a reasonable product... Old people have zero need for any performance at all, unlike your typical int3rw3bz trolling douche who thinks they need to pay 20% more for an Intel chip to get 10% more performance than the AMD chip, as if they would somehow be able to tell the difference in real life.

    I can personally attest to getting women, children, and the elderly to use Ubuntu... For a week or 2 they complain that it's not what they're used to, then they immediately forget what Windows is and chug along, virus free... Which BTW has less to do with obscurity, and more to do with security... As evidenced by perpetually better results in pwn2own...
  • 2 Hide
    sabot00 , March 19, 2011 1:14 AM
    JohnnyLuckyI am a senior citizen. My friends are senior citizens. We easily navigate the Internet and stay connected to familiy with the desktop pc's we already have.

    Then you're not senior enough.
  • 0 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , March 19, 2011 1:49 AM
    Um... Ubuntu has a Me Menu. That's in fact what they call it, that's what its been since 10.4, right?. They also have a Software Center (basically a new skin for APT that also allows for paid software). In fact, looking at the Kiwi-PC site makes it seem like they're just using the default netbook UI for Ubuntu.

    Custom whah?
  • 0 Hide
    reprotected , March 19, 2011 2:37 AM
    Quote:
    "Linux based KiWi PC provides the elderly with an easy way to stay in touch, learn and game online."

    Quote:
    The $499 computer packs a 1.66GHz Intel Atom CPU with INTEL GMA 3150 GRAPHICS, 2GB of DDR3

    LOL What?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 19, 2011 2:45 AM
    I don't really think this is helpful for most seniors -- who already use the Internet quite well, and at least here in Canada are the fastest growing segment of Internet users.

    This may be helpful for that small minority of unfortunate individuals who suffer from various dementias. But that's about all.
  • 0 Hide
    spectrewind , March 19, 2011 3:03 AM
    khimera2000... I dont know... I havent dug around win 7 to see what it can do for elders. there is the magnifier I know that... perhaps it would be a point to build an article around? how can we say something really works well or not when we barely use the features that are already embeaded into every PC/notebook out there?


    Exactly. 'Preying' on people in this manner is not illegal, so it will continue.
    Many elderly folks are constant financial victims.

    "lifetime upgrade support from KiWi PC" ??
    WTF does this mean?
  • 1 Hide
    thillntn , March 19, 2011 4:34 AM
    if it won't load a windows hoyle solitaire disc they are going to have trouble.
  • 3 Hide
    baddad , March 19, 2011 9:23 AM
    JohnnyLuckyI am a senior citizen. My friends are senior citizens. We easily navigate the Internet and stay connected to familiy with the desktop pc's we already have.

    Yeah, I'm 66 and my fathers 98 and we both have no problems. Just because were older doesn't mean we lost our minds.
  • -1 Hide
    Spanky Deluxe , March 19, 2011 12:44 PM
    What a joke. My granddad learnt to use Windows just fine with emails, internet and online banking whilst he was in his late 70s and early 80s.

    However, these days, for someone who has no experience of computers whatsoever but would like to get 'connected' there is a far better way to spend $500. An iPad. Most senior citizens would be better served with one of those than with an overclocked gaming computer running Windows that their grandson built for them or a linux based computer that virtually no one in their neighbourhood knows how to use.
  • 0 Hide
    jsc , March 19, 2011 12:52 PM
    I'm 65.
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