A PC TO ENCOURAGE pensioners to use computers and explore the Internet has been unveiled by former Blue Peter presenter Valerie Singleton and it runs Linux.
The SimplicITy (see the IT, geddit?) is a simplified desktop with just six buttons for basic tasks such as email and chat. It's set up with a Linux Mint based operating system and an Eldy.org linked email client.
There's no login prompt when it is started up and the screen has no drop-down menus, so it's quite unlike any other computer that the elderly might come across. The buttons on the front page are for email, browsing the web, files - for storing word documents and pictures of the grandkids and so on - and a user profile.
Romance and friendship will also possibly be available as all SimplicITy users with an eldy.org email address will be able to chat with each other via a chat button.
It has been developed by Wessex computers and Singleton's own website aimed at older people called discount-age. It even comes with 17 video tutorials from Ms Singleton.
If people decide they no longer want to use the SimplicITy desktop, they can replace it with a standard Linux desktop.
According to government figures over six million people over the age of 65 have never used the Internet.
Yesterday Intel also seemingly made a bid for the grey crowd with an ebook reader tailored for the visually impaired or those who have trouble reading. The Intel Reader converts printed text to digital text, then reads it to the user.
The first SimplicITy video tutorial by Valerie Singleton can be viewed here. µ