KDE for Grannies

Some time ago I bought a used ThinkPad for my grandparents - fully equipped with printer and high speed internet connection. I installed Kubuntu on it and most of it ran out of the box. So far so good. Then came the time of learning. Did you ever think about how much coordination is needed to mouse over an icon, hold the mouse in place and click with your finger on the right button? It’s incredibly difficult for old people. At least it was for my grandfather. He died before I could teach him all he wanted to know. But here comes Granny. She moves the mouse like nothing and already taught herself a lot about using a computer simply by trying everything. This is limited of course. So I wanted to print the KMail manual for her to help her learn. Well, I did print something actually. First issue: we both only had the english manual. I knew there was a German version but I simply couldn’t find it in the repositories (or anywhere else). I ended up with the version I found on docs.kde.org. Second issue: the documentation covers a lot of things that are of no interest to a new-to-all-things-computer Granny (think about encrypting or MIME-types). I finally copied&pasted those paragraphs that I thought were the most useful into a txt-file and printed that, put it inside an envelope and brought it to the post office. And no, a simple email wouldn’t have done the job in this case. Apparently. Now I’m looking forward to the first email from my Granny. Yes, I’m incredibly proud of her. And I’m happy about all the effort that was taken to make KDE applications easy to use and easy to understand. Even for Grannies.

Tags: kde, kubuntu, kmail, grandparents


299 Words

2008-09-01 22:25