No seriously, a large print Arduino would be great...
May 9, 2012 8:52 AM Subscribe
Back in the days of yore, my (almost) 77 year old father was quite the geek and maker, but never a programmer. Fast- forward to today and he can no longer work on big building projects and spends much of his time with his iPad and TV. We've been discussing what kinds of "doing" projects he'd like to work on, but the obvious contender of an Arduino is maybe a little difficult as I'm not in Australia to help him out with the programming side of things. What great projects have you known senior geeks to get into?
posted by pipstar to sports, hobbies, & recreation (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
My Dad's great - at times he's been a pilot, a house builder and world traveller and develops string and particle theory alternatives for fun. Since he's become older and has a deteriorating lung condition, he's become more housebound and not as active as he'd like to. He's finished supervising all the renovation projects he had planned, but while his and the extended family's houses look great he's at a bit of a loss for what to do next!
Dad loves watching TED talks, thinks 3D printing is a fabulous idea and loves his iPad. However, while he's confident at using office programs on his computers, he's freqently asking for assistance with his iPad. Dad's also dyslexic which makes it much harder for text heavy activities.
As mentioned at the top, I've thought about introducing him to Arduino, as he worked with simple electronics (crystal radios etc) when he was younger. However, the smallprint and delicacy of the Arduino itself + the need to work relatively accurately with text on the programming side makes me a bit nervous about sending him a starter kit.
If I was living nearby I'd love to help him get stuff setup, however I'm in Europe while Dad's in Australia, and can't be around / online that much to troubleshoot. I've suggested he visit his local Hackerspace meetings, but more than anything, access to the space prevents him from easily visiting.
I'm interested in all ideas for the elderly geek, but specifically, what initially simple geeky projects and products for the housebound, dyslexic, elderly geek (with long-distance daughterly tech support) can you suggest?