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Computers are changing, and so are their users

Tech-savvy Ann’s Choice residents share helpful hints

Created date

February 26th, 2014
Tech-savvy Ann’s Choice residents share helpful hints
Tech-savvy Ann’s Choice residents share helpful hi

When Choice residents have computer questions, they turn to their tech-savvy neighbors.

While the Erickson Living community in Bucks County, Pa., has three computer labs, many residents have personal computers. Plus, residents run a computer club for PC users called AC3, a PC special interest group, a digital photography group, and an Apple computer club. 

All about information

Each spring, the clubs mount a tech expo featuring hands-on demonstrations of the latest technology. 

Residents also developed and operate an extensive Ann’s Choice resident activity website. It posts news about all campus groups and activities plus general information about life on and off campus.

Last summer, AC3 sponsored a mini expo on how to choose a computer. Besides a PowerPoint presentation covering everything from Internet hookups to device-specific capabilities, PC and Apple club members demonstrated a vast array of tablets and computers, including the WOW computer.

Lou Maiorino, president of the computer club board, says most residents want to do email and make video calls to grandchildren. “You want a tablet,” he tells them. 

These days, desktop and laptop computers are losing sales to portable, versatile, and powerful tablets and smartphones. 

If residents have Wi-Fi in their homes, they can do email and make calls on a tablet 24/7; if they don’t, they can walk down the hall and do them via Wi-Fi available in the living rooms and lobbies of the three clubhouses at Ann’s Choice. 

Tablet owners use their devices for video calls and to give tours of their home to out-of-town family members. They also borrow e-books and magazines through a public library instead of buying them; a tablet loaded with e-books can take up less suitcase space than one paperback. 

Lou owns two tablets, a Nook, and an older Kindle. His wife has a Kindle, too. The former Butler, N. J., residents use them mainly as e-readers. Lou has about 45 e-books in his tablets. The Maiorinos also play Scrabble and work crossword puzzles. 

Face-to-face conversations

“I think it’s safe to say a good many residents have a tablet or e-reader of some kind, and I suspect the number is growing,” says Apple computer club member Trudi Hertfelder.

She says that, in addition to their Mac computers, about half of Apple club members have iPads. Some have iPhones, and one also owns an iPad mini.

To orient residents who received iPads for Christmas, Trudi taught the basics at this year’s first two club meetings. “There are many savvy computer users here who share their talents with their neighbors,” she says.

For instance, Bob Klimek. A long-time PC user, Bob launched the residents’ activity website. 

He and his wife Joan each inherited an iPad from their children. She plays games. He does messaging, listens to music, and watches old TV shows on Netflix. 

Bob was slow to adapt to an Apple product, but using its FaceTime app for video calls to far-flung family, especially the grandkids, won him over. 

The most meaningful FaceTime call the Klimeks accepted came on Christmas morning. When their son called, they watched the grandkids open their presents.