Older people get their own simple computer

News 12 Nov, 2009

The SimplicITy line was designed to help older people get to grips with computing.

A discount website for older people is behind the development of a new simplified desktop computer, designed to make it easier for those put off by all the features on standard machines.

Run by former Blue Peter presenter Valerie Singleton, Digital Age teamed up with Wessex Computers to create the SimplicITy machines, which is a standard desktop with an operating that features just six main buttons and basic software.

"For some time now, we have been aware of the need among older people for a simpler type of computer,” said Singleton.

“A large number of 50 pluses only require email, internet, a writing package, perhaps a means of storing or viewing pictures and a facility to chat," she added. "We don’t need the bells and whistles that modern computers offer, we just need something that’s simple to use and reliable.”

The PCs run an Ubuntu spin-off called Linux Mint, which was designed to be simple to use. There are just six options: email, browse the web, documents, profile, chat and video tutorials - featuring Singleton.

For those users who do manage to get lost in the system, there's a "back to square one" button to return them to the start.

A basic version of the machine starts at £300 for a single-core, with peripherals and a monitor bringing the cost to £435. A dual-core system starts from £390.

The SimplicITy systems can be ordered online through PayPal or via the post with a cheque.

A recent report previously noted that getting everyone online will save the economy some £22 billion.