Grandma is over 70, and has no clue how to use a computer, much less buy one. I can teach her to use it, but I can't figure out what to buy her. I figure that since she will be using this to send and receive emails, and do a little online shopping, that it can be very low-end...
But where do I go to buy a low-end computer?
example: 1 GHz CPU 256 MB RAM 40 GB Hard Drive minimal graphics card but also with: large screen light weight
Is there an alternative to a standard computer that would fulfill the need to use the internet and have a large screen? I could give her a PDA if I knew she had good eyesight and could hit the little buttons, but she can't.
In my experience "older" people quickly become very adept at using a computer and a low end, low spec model is not going to suit her for very long. I know an old guy, over 80, who is EXTREMELY keen on gaming and has had a quite expensive top of the range machine built for him. I'm not saying your Granny is going to become a gaming addict but don't think she will sit there plodding away at a few shopping lists either.
How about a second hand one off e-bay? My in-laws are getting rid of their basic compaq machine with a small flat screen and general consensus on here was that it was worth about 50 pounds, hardly used. You could get something like that I would have thought ? Any more at this stage may be a waste as she may not get on with it or may lose interest?
Isn't a Mac also a Personal Computer? I certainly didn't think this was a PC only forum. In any case getting her a Mac simply reduces the number of people who can likely help her with it as unless she has a family of designers (although I accept Macs are more widespread now) then it is unlikely they will be familiar with Macs to help.