Senior centers help elderly with computer issues – The Seattle Times

Q: I am 89 years old and I have minimal computer skills. Windows XP answered my needs.

Now I am plagued with offers ($$$) to “fix” and upgrade my system. I will want some records saved when I go to my next operating system. In my dreams, someone else takes away all the old stuff and leaves me ready to go with a new unit and nothing lost.

There must be a million of us out there. How do we find a safe vendor/adviser? I emphasize that I am working with minimal skills and minimum cash.

— Nancy Risdon

A: There are consulting services available — such as the Geek Squad — that will configure your computers and fix problems. But, yes, those services cost money.

If you don’t want to pay for a consultant, of if you want to learn how to do things for yourself, you can get assistance at senior centers. You’ll find several resources listed at

Q: I’ve recently upgraded to Windows 10, which seems to be working OK except when I try printing a multiple-page document. I have more than one printer installed, but when I use a particular printer, it prints the first page and then stops. The same document works OK on my other printers. Ideas?

— Jim C., Edmonds

A: It sounds to me like that printer needs a driver updated for Windows 10. If it’s not too old a computer, chances are that the printer manufacturer has an updated driver available for download. If so, you should find it available on the manufacturer’s website.

If the printer doesn’t have a Windows 10 driver and the old driver doesn’t work properly, you can either stick with Windows 7 or 8, or get rid of the printer. If the latter, I hope you’ll consider donating it to a recycling service, since there are a lot of people who can put it to good use.

Q: While walking through the Washington State Fair a few weeks ago, I came across a product called Red Rhino. It apparently will let you view every TV program that your cable provider will air, and more. What can you tell me about this type of equipment, and is it worth the $300 investment?

— Ray Murrell, Maple Valley

A: On the Red Rhino website the device costs $349.99 and its remote control costs another $49.99. That’s definitely on the pricey side.

Neither Red Rhino nor other streaming TV boxes allow you to run content from your cable provider. Instead, it allows you to run whatever content you can access on your computer on your TV — subscription services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, and a lot of free Internet content.

Unlike some streaming boxes, Red Rhino supports high-definition, 4K content, but there isn’t much of that available as yet.

Q: I have an HP ProDesk 600 G1 that is less than a year old. I tried to install Windows 10 and I got the message that HP Client Security Manager was not compatible. Do you know if HP is coming out with a fix for its security section of their computer so it will accept Windows 10?

— Jerry Sandman

A: Just because you have incompatible software on a computer doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade it to Windows 10. It just means that software won’t work properly.

During the initial upgrade process, Windows 10 reports on incompatible installed software. But if you don’t use the HP Client Security Manager, and your computer otherwise checks out as compatible, feel free to go for it.

I do expect HP to update that software, but I have not received confirmation of that from the company.


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