rmwebs
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Input please - Using the pi as a tiny little PC for OAP's

Sun May 18, 2014 2:51 pm

Right. I've got an elderly grandmother who's got a ropey old XP computer from about 2002. We bought her an iPad last year, which she knows how to use....well..she knows how to get on facebook, check emails, print stuff and browse the web.

She still uses the old XP machine if she's got to do a letter, or if she basically needs to do some typing. We recently bought her a wireless printer so she could print from the iPad, in the hope that she'd use the iPad as the main computer so the old one can be thrown away. But it gave me an idea.

I know the Pi has some issues with it's current desktop when it comes to speed. However I've not really played with the GUI enough to tweak it into a usable system. Do you think it'd be possible to rip out the non-essential parts of the gui, and strip it back to what would essentially be a browser along side libreoffice, and maybe a mail app, and have it be fast enough to be usable as a replacement for OAP's old computers.

I'm going to give it a try either way, but I was just curious to know if anyone had tried doing this. If I could get it to a usable point all I then need to do is attach it to the back of her existing monitor, and she'll be all set :)

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Re: Input please - Using the pi as a tiny little PC for OAP'

Sun May 18, 2014 2:56 pm

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klricks
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Re: Input please - Using the pi as a tiny little PC for OAP'

Sun May 18, 2014 3:25 pm

I would suggest to get a wireless keyboard for the IPAD.

- About all you can do for the RPi is to set memory split to 16 to give the most memory to the CPU.
- No point in hacking the GUI. Just don't plan on running Libreoffice and browser or anything else at the same time.
- Note that web sites with flash player (youtube) do not work directly on the RPi without workarounds.
- The old monitor if VGA will need an HDMI to VGA converter box. If not VGA then it won't work at all.
- I have not done it but have heard that it can be a challenge to get a printer working on the RPi.
Unless specified otherwise my response is based on the latest and fully updated RPiOS Buster w/ Desktop OS.

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rpdom
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Re: Input please - Using the pi as a tiny little PC for OAP'

Sun May 18, 2014 3:47 pm

klricks wrote:- The old monitor if VGA will need an HDMI to VGA converter box. If not VGA then it won't work at all.
From 2002 with a PCrunning XP it will most probably be VGA. It might possibly have a DVI-D interface in which case a simple cable will work. It's very unlikely to be anything other than these two. I'm not quite sure when hdmi came in, but I'm fairly certain it was more recent than that.

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Re: Input please - Using the pi as a tiny little PC for OAP'

Sun May 18, 2014 4:03 pm

rpdom wrote:
klricks wrote:- The old monitor if VGA will need an HDMI to VGA converter box. If not VGA then it won't work at all.
From 2002 with a PCrunning XP it will most probably be VGA. It might possibly have a DVI-D interface in which case a simple cable will work. It's very unlikely to be anything other than these two. I'm not quite sure when hdmi came in, but I'm fairly certain it was more recent than that.
I am a bit behind the times.... I am remembering my CGA/EGA monitor in the late 80's.
The first item I have ever owned with a HDMI port is a Raspberry Pi. I recently got a new HDMI monitor for my PC but am still using a 27" CRT TV........
Unless specified otherwise my response is based on the latest and fully updated RPiOS Buster w/ Desktop OS.

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Re: Input please - Using the pi as a tiny little PC for OAP'

Mon May 19, 2014 2:00 am

In terms of desktop experiance the Pi will almost certainly be a major downgrade over the PC she has now. In particular my experiance has been that web browsers really struggle on the Pi. I know the foundation are trying to improve this but it's something of an uphill struggle.

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Forrrge
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Re: Input please - Using the pi as a tiny little PC for OAP'

Mon May 19, 2014 6:42 am

If you are planning on getting rid of the old Windows XP PC why not try installing one of the Linux distributions aimed at older PCs and see if that gives it a new lease of life ?

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/windows-xp-alt ... os-1443887

and a few more

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2107641/ ... ew-pc.html

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Re: Input please - Using the pi as a tiny little PC for OAP'

Mon May 19, 2014 7:05 am

Rather than negativity think outside the box !
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Steve Drain
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Re: Input please - Using the pi as a tiny little PC for OAP'

Mon May 19, 2014 9:26 am

rmwebs wrote:Right. I've got an elderly grandmother who's got a ropey old XP computer from about 2002. [snip] She still uses the old XP machine if she's got to do a letter, or if she basically needs to do some typing. [snip] so the old one can be thrown away.
Why are you so keen to thow away the XP machine? How is it 'ropey'? Are you concerned about the withdrawal of support for XP? Is the machine still connected to the internet?

You grandmother has a familiar piece of kit that fulfils her needs and I expect she is happy with it. If she, herself, is asking for something new then go ahead and explore alternatives, otherwise do not presume to force something on her.

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