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What type of computer to get an elderly person for Christmas

If you have someone on your Christmas list who is elderly, that is, over forty, and want to get them introduced to the world of the internet, email, and computers in general, you have a lot of choices. Luckily, most of these choices work well only for a young person such as yourself, and can be quickly eliminated.

I recommend a Chromebook.

In case you're wondering what not to give, and why, here they are:

• Don't get a smart phone or a tablet. Sure, if you grew up with this type of mini-technology, it makes perfect sense to you. But to someone just starting out, it's a tangle. And it starts with all of the tiny "icons" that you take for granted. Like any language, you learned it over time. But for someone just starting out, asking them to learn what looks like ancient hieroglyphics (what is that squiggly thing with the other squiggly thing next to it?) is just unreasonable. Don't do it. And, uh, by the way, people over forty are kind'a sensitive about this, but their close-up vision isn't very good. Squinting at tiny squiggles through bifocal glasses is not something they would choose to do.

• Don't get a Windows Computer, or a Mac. These are wonderful, powerful machines, but again, you have to ask yourself what the elderly person is going to be doing with it. The learning curve on these machines is very steep, and chances are unlikely that grandma will be doing a lot of Adobe Photoshop.

I hope this helps. If you've never used a Chromebook, take a look. If you grew up with computer technology (and you did if you're under forty), you will scoff at how simple it is. And that's the point. Nah, Google doesn't pay me to say this stuff. I wish they would!