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SimplicITy: Computers for Pensioners

Computers for pensioners can be quite a confusing venture; new technology, complex operating systems, viruses, multiple software and multiple uses. It may seem straight-forward to most but these are the elements of the digital revolution that leave most pensionersin the dark. Anyone who just wants to send an e-mail or get online without previous knowledge of computers might be baffled by confusing user interfaces designed for knowledgeable users, or the complexity of the system itself. Someone who isn't familiar with computers probably wouldn't be sure of the difference between Internet Explorer or Firefox, or even how these two browsers work. Tabs, book marks, RSS feeds, plugins and widgets are all new additions to software like internet browsers - and all unnecessary, if you only want to have a quick browse on the internet.

There is, however, one computer system invented by a 75-year-old former company executive: SimplicITy. Created in 2009 as a range of computers designed for pensioners who may struggle with sophisticated technology, SimplicITy is intended to contain only the most basic functions that would ever be used by people over 50, cutting out most complex technology introduced during the digital revolution.

There's no advanced operating system with control panels and unnecessary computer utilities and no multiple web browsers. The SimplicITy computer only has 6 essential options: e-mail, browse the web, about me, chat, video tutorial and documents.

SimplicITy computers for pensioners look like a normal desktop PC. Instead of taking users to a login stage, the computer is switched on and directly opens a "Step One" interface, detailing all six options. Included in the six options is a simple video tutorial to help users understand the basic steps of working SimplicITy.

From "Step One" users can create documents, chat with friends or family (without having to download from a choice of hundreds of instant messaging software), create e-mails or browse the web in an instant click. If users make a mistake and find themselves lost at any point, they can easily click "Back to Step One" and check out a video tutorial to help them along, or start again.

SimplicITy computers for pensioners currently use a Linux Mint operating system, which makes it less vulnerable to viruses and malware so users don't have to worry about downloading antivirus software. Anyone who feels they can't use a computer because of the huge technology barrier in the way can pick up a SimplicITy desktop computer for around £400 - £300 (full computer package, including keyboard and mouse) from online and high street retailers.

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