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Boomer Computer Tips

Updated on October 3, 2014
Source: Morguefile
Source: Morguefile

Tips for Boomer Computer Users

Boomers may want to use a home computer for a new business venture after they retire. They may want to pursue a hobby like writing or photography. Or maybe they just want to use online banking and investment opportunities online, file electronic tax returns, and track income and expenses. Maybe they want to do all three.

Boomers may already have computers, but may want to buy a new computer which meets their new intended use.

Whatever your current status, this Hubpage will share tips about how to make the type larger, what sites are tailored at your interests, and what computer you may want to buy, and why.

Consider a Mac

Through the years I have used both IBM compatibles and Macintoshes. Computer manufacturers talk about making them more compatible, but through the years it seems a divide still exists, albeit a smaller one. And so, one reaches a fork in the road if you will, a fork where you must decide.

As a boomer, you very well may be using an IBM compatible at work. You may be thinking of retiring and starting a home business. You may be looking to buy a computer to enable that. You may figure an IBM is more comfortable and familiar. I've been there and done that. In 1989, I bought an IBM compatible to launch my freelance writing career. I had been using an IBM compatible at work, and it seemed like the logical thing to do.

Well, that computer was supposed to last us indefinitely. It had a 286 processor. Do you remember those things? We upgraded to a 386 processor before too long and eventually neglected it entirely, in favor of our Macintoshes.

Yes, for a time I believed having an IBM compatible was important for compatibility sake. But I soon discovered that while an IBM certainly was up to the job of enabling my freelance writing career, a MacIntosh was far preferred for desktop publishing.

So now I heartily endorse MacIntosh computers for these reasons, especially if your work involves art creation, desktop design, music, or any related field. Concerned about compatibility? These days I find it negligible.

* Ease of Use. Macintoshes win hands down. Windows has narrrowed the divide, mind you. But I still prefer a Mac. As a boomer, you don't want aggravation. That golf course is awaiting you. I know I want my blood pressure to be in normal range. I want to have some free time for my gardening and photography… The truth is, when I use an IBM compatible, I seem to end up wasting a lot of time to do simple things. Why bother?

* You are buying a name brand, from a good company. Apple is a good, reliable company. You are not buying a knockoff. It's the genuine article and Apple stands by it. This isn't a perfect world, so yeah at times your computer may need to go into the shop. When that happens, I want a good brand name company to stand behind its work -- and save me the time and aggravation of how to get it fixed before my deadline.

* Apple provides online and offline support which is hard to beat. That includes software and hardware, an online troubleshooting forum, and a network of stores. If you have to send off for a new battery or something, the service is fast. That battery is delivered to your doorstep.

How to Enlarge the Text on a Mac

If you find the type on many websites a bit small, you are not alone. As boomers, we may need reading glasses. And we may prefer type a bit larger than before. Get help quick on your Macintosh by using Control +, one or more times, to enlarge the text. Warning: You may find the website is not quite as attractive with your oversized type, as not everything might enlarge proportionally. But a quick Control+ is in order to make things easier. You can always reverse your action by hitting Control-

If you are struggling to read your mail, there's help as close as your Preferences Box. Choose it, then click on Fonts and Colors to choose your font style AND size. It's cool. You may find a type style that is easier for you to read. But, even better than that, is the size control. Go ahead, bump it up to 12 pt. or 14 pts. They allow you to go up to 64 pt., which means letters larger than 1 inch tall.

Boomer Friendly Websites

These are websites which serve boomers, with pertinent information, larger text. and/or both.

Making the Most of your Computer

A computer may seem like a lot of trouble because of a steep learning curve. But there's so much you can do with a computer, and computer devices, that they're hard to ignore.

Take a look at these advantages:

* Talk for free with relatives across the globe -- and see them on your computer screen, iPad or iPhone.

* Find old -- and new friends -- through social media. Keep track of your family and friends through updates.

* Catch travel discounts through online travel websites.

* Research a new prescription, a disease you or a loved one has been diagnosed with, or a new hobby. Lots of free resources await.

* Run an online business from the comfort of your own home, selling 24 hours a day.

* Mechanize bill paying, correspondence, banking and stock trading.

* Watch movies and videos, plus old television shows, when you want.

* Buy hard to find items off the Internet from the comfort of your living room, and have them delivered to your doorstep. Buy just about anything and have it delivered. Sell stuff you no longer want and earn some extra cash.

* Edit and store your digital photos.

Computer 101 for Baby Boomers

Cheryl Rogers
Cheryl Rogers

About the Author

Hi, I'm Cheryl Rogers and I'm a boomer, born in 1955. I'm on my computer more hours a day than I can count, off and on. So I'm happy to share with you what works for me.

I'm a writer by trade. I learned to use a computer on the job, where I was taught just enough to do that job. I didn't realize how much I didn't know about computers. It was after I worked in the newspaper business for 12 years, when I quit to raise a family, that I realized how much I had to learn.

Since then, I've written for magazines and published several ebooks including Just Like Jonah Wail Tales, a book for children aged 10-14. This ebook features a collection of short stories with modern characters who make bad choices and learn -- just like Jonah in the Bible -- that you can land in a whale of trouble for disobedience. But God is faithful to help when you seek him.

Making Choices: Life is Like Acorns is aimed at the younger set, kids from 5 to 10. This Bible study, intended to be read to the child by a parent, grandparent, or other caregiver, teaches things are not always what they appear to be. This story is illustrated with photographs of squirrels that I took at a local park. The photos are edited to give them the appearance of watercolor. It includes study questions.

I sell Scripture art, Scripture song CDs, other Scripture-inscribed products, and nature art. Visit my website at

If you're a boomer, do you have a computer in your home?

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Are you interested in working at home using your computer?

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A home office can help you separate work and play. (Source: Morguefile)
A home office can help you separate work and play. (Source: Morguefile)

© 2011 Cheryl Rogers


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