TOTAL non-techie needs tablet help

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by canesisters, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. canesisters

    canesisters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all,

    My gadget tech experience runs up to the point of plugging the phone line into the back of my computer and pushing 'on' so I'm starting from nothing (just as a warning for the questions that are sure to come).
    My Mom has been getting treatments for lung cancer and will (we hope) be coming home today. The problem is that she refuses to answer the phone because she doesn't want to 'cough in our ears'. Soooo, I was thinking that one of those little 'tablet' things would give us the ability to communicate with her by email during the day when we're all at work. Just simple things like "how ya feeling today" and "I'm leaving work, do you need anything?"
    What do I need to know before going shoping for one of these???
    Any help will be appreciated.
    Thanks
     
  2. un-named543

    un-named543 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know how to help but I want to say your family is very considerate toward one another!!!
    Best of luck with Mom's illness and recovery

     
  3. Qurus

    Qurus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are going to a text based medium to avoid using voices, may I ask, why not use text messages with a cell phone? You can get a pay as you go phone or lend your mom one with text capabilties far easier than teaching yourself (and your mom) how to use a tablet. My parents hate texting, but just as an example, I spent 10 minutes teaching them how to read and send text messages, while I have spent many hours over many weekends helping them figure out their higher tech devices (such as laptops and kindles).
    If she has trouble with tiny keyboards like I do, then a tablet may be better. If you go this route, I would suggest you simply go to your local electronics store and ask to try out their simplest models. Choose one that is very easy to understand without too many bells and whistles. Also, your local salesperson can tell you better which connections and services in your area are best.
     
  4. canesisters

    canesisters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you 'un-named'. She is my best friend and we've talked every day for most of the 5 years that she's been battling this. I KNOW that I miss talking with her and I can't help but think that it would help keep her spirits up too.

    Yes, Qurus, I'm thinking that text would be my only option since she won't answer the phone. We laughed about setting up some sort of code - tap the phone once for yes, twice for no - LOL. I also think that she would enjoy getting all the funny little 'circulating on the net' things. Many of her friends have email so they could encourage her throughout the day too.
    I had thought about a cell phone, but I wasn't sure about the tiny screen and keyboard (the meds have made her hands shake pretty bad) Also, she would need a cell phone provider for cell phone service..... would she also need one to access the internet with a tablet?? That is one of the things I needed to find out. If I have to sign up for service with Verizon or whoever to use the tablet, I might as well get one of those 'free when you sign up' touch screen phones.

    Please feel free to point out the obvious to me.. it's probably not obvious to me. (o:
     
  5. canesisters

    canesisters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OH - also - I'm trying to gather as much info as I can because I'll be getting it from Walmart. Nothing against Walmart itself but sometimes the only help I can get in any given department knows less about it whatever I'm asking about than I do.
    I've got a pile of gift cards that I've never gotten around to using so I'm hoping they will cover almost all of the expense.
     
  6. Qurus

    Qurus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most tablets are intended to use a phone connection, just like a cell phone, but primarily use data minutes rather than voice minutes. This cell line is not necessary as long as the tablet also runs on standard internet, which most modern tablets do. You can access the internet with a standard internet connection like the modem for your computer. If your modem broadcasts, and you buy a tablet that includes WiFi, you can carry it around and stay connected without the phone wire.
     
  7. canesisters

    canesisters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    AH! So if I get a tablet that has wifi (I saw several on the walmart site for under $200) AND I get a modem that 'broadcasts' - she will be able to 'dial up' from anywhere in the house. ?

    What - exactly - would I look for in the modem?
     
  8. Qurus

    Qurus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Um... dial-up? I thought dial-up internet went the way of the dodo years ago. I don't know if Wifi would even work with a dial-up connection. You may need a DSL, Cable, or better internet service for WiFi to work. Not sure on that, you'd have to ask your internet service provider.

    For internet, you will need some kind of internet connection. If there isn't one in the house, you would have to have one installed. Your cable TV provider may be able to add cable internet, and your home phone provider may be able to add DSL. There is a monthly fee for an internet service provider, so if you don't already have internet in the house, you would have to check local prices for these.

    If you already have internet, to use WiFi, you would need a modem that broadcasts. Modems broadcast at various strengths and frequencies. That is what determines how far from the modem your device can be and still get a good signal.

    I have DSL service from AT&T. When I installed the service, I ordered their "wireless" modem. I connect my phone line to the modem, and my computer to the modem. My family uses 3 cell phones and 1 laptop to connect to the internet at various times wirelessly. So in the end, I paid once for the modem, once each for the phones and laptop, and a monthly fee for the internet service from AT&T.

    If you do not have internet in the house, you should check to see if it would be cheaper to install DSL or cable internet, or just activate the tablet with a low-end cell phone contract. I know some cell phones sold at Wal-mart have pay-as-you-go contracts, you might also see if these are available for tablets and compare prices to internet or a standard cell contract.
     

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