We gave our 89 year-old aunt an iPad recently, her first ever computer of any kind. It not only baffles her, what’s worse is none of her senior friends and neighbors can figure it out either. They all live in Palm Desert, where last week it was 114 in the shade – and there is no shade. The sun kind of bakes your brain.

Many seniors say they’ve used Windows for years, but are stumped when it comes to the iPad.  So it just goes to show you, the commonly heard remark that even a child can figure out an iPad may be right, but seniors are no longer children.

Our aunt has developed what we might call a work-around for her iPad: If she likes a picture that came in, she takes a picture of the picture, with her camera. She then makes a printout of the picture with her printer, and mails it to us. Why doesn’t she just email the picture on the screen in the first place? That’s too far, too fast.

We now wish we had gotten her a regular Windows 7 computer instead. Most of her neighbors have one of those – she knows everybody in her gated community — and they could help her. The new Windows 8 computers are coming out in October but will have two sets of user interfaces to figure out. Stuff like that falls under our well-worn rule of “Never buy anything with a low serial number.”

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