Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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11/29/2006
02:22 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
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TechCrunch Has The Perfect Headline -- "Presto: Because Computers Scare Old People"

TechCrunch looks at the Presto, a printer with an Internet connection designed so that computer-phobic people can get access to e-mail and Internet photo-sharing. The target market, notes TechCrunch: Old people the elderly senior citizens (Note to editor: I'm stumped. I can't think of an inoffensive phrase here. Sorry.)

TechCrunch looks at the Presto, a printer with an Internet connection designed so that computer-phobic people can get access to e-mail and Internet photo-sharing. The target market, notes TechCrunch: Old people the elderly senior citizens (Note to editor: I'm stumped. I can't think of an inoffensive phrase here. Sorry.)

Hook it up to a phone line and you're good to go. The printer costs $150, the service costs $10/month. The service has built-in spam controls; you have to be an authorized sender.

Two thoughts (one serious, one not-so-much) and a half-baked observation:

Thought #1: If Presto thinks that all seniors are computer noobs, they may be in for an unpleasant surprise. The over-70 crowd is computer-proficient to a degree that would be startling to anyone who doesn't know people over 70. I've had a whole passel of relations and friends of relations who were over 70, and they were all up on e-mail and the Web, some on instant messaging, too. My Dad used the Internet to track investments, and was famous in the family for his long, , rambling late-night e-mails.

Thought #2: Looking at the (presumably vendor-supplied) photo on TechCrunch, I'm reminded of a scene in the movie Nothing In Common, starring Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason. Hanks plays a guy who makes TV commercials; at one point he's making a commercial about a sweet old, tea-drinking, knitting grandma (like the woman in that Presto photo tableau). Problem is that the actress playing sweet ol' grandma is a foul-mouthed, bad-tempered drunk. Hilarity ensues.

Half-baked observation: I can't help thinking the Presto -- if it proves practical at all -- will prove to have applications unforeseen by the manufacturers. How would you use a device that could print out e-mail and Internet photos without requiring an intervening PC?

Also: If you work with seniors, or are a senior yourself, I'm interested in your opinion -- what do you think of the Presto? (Of course, if you're reading this you're not the target market for the Presto, even if you are over 70 -- but presumably you have friends or family who are.)

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