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The challenge and joy of a laptop

February 3, 2014
by Kathleen Mears
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A few weeks ago my new laptop arrived. I have not had a laptop since I purchased my Tandy 100 in 1984. It did not do very much. But it held 10 pages of text which I thought was terrific.

Several times I’ve thought about getting a newer laptop, but I felt it was an unnecessary luxury. I got my first desktop in 1995. A couple of years later I got an adaptive keyboard, touchpad and voice-activated software which made my PC easier to use.

I never considered purchasing another laptop because I could not find an adaptive keyboard that would improve its functionality for me.

When my adaptive keyboard died a few months ago, I realized I could use a laptop just as I was using my desktop with voice-activated software, a touchpad and the on-screen keyboard.

I looked at laptops at several stores but I was befuddled. When my brother-in-law suggested a brand to me, I took the plunge and ordered it online.

A friend helped me set it up last week. It has the newest Windows operating system which can be challenging. At times the latest edition had me quite lost. I had not familiarized myself with it beforehand. But I felt I would catch on quickly.

Last week when I asked my aide to set up my laptop, he gave me a funny look. But when he got it out of its case, he said it was cool. I told him and another aide that my laptop setup might need some tweaking to make sure I could reach everything and that it was functional. They did make a few extra trips to adjust this or that. But the laptop worked for me.

Even my roommate assisted me by pushing a few keys to allow me to log in faster. After that I got better at it. She exclaimed she would love to learn how to use a computer.

Last night I went to a website, created my own concert and listened to several different types of music one right after the other.

I felt so freeing moving around the Internet to find music, books, articles and nifty websites. I also enjoyed streaming TV shows and movies. But I have settled on my favorite thing—reading for free online.

I am sure the laptop's "wonderfulness factor" will wear off quickly. I want to be mentally disciplined enough to write a book. During my years in nursing homes I have begun three but finished none.

Ideas are swirling in my head and now I have a laptop to record them when I am lying in bed with my feet up.



Kathleen Mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...