Simple Gifts: Jitterbug, Presto
I can't lie: Today's column was not exactly the most difficult work I've had this year. My testing of the Jitterbug voice-only cell phone and Hewlett-Packard and Presto's Printing Mailbox service amounted to this:
* Pick up phone. Press buttons. Talk.
* Send e-mail. Wait for it to emerge from the HP printer. Read.
(OK, so I had to call tech support a couple of times. But since I didn't have to listen to any hold music or be interrogated repeatedly for my e-mail address/phone number/name/rank/serial number, that didn't seem like my usual work either.)
I'm not about to use either of these things myself, but I can think of plenty of people who would.
On the other hand, it can be risky assuming how somebody with a vastly different life experience will react to a new form of technology. The things that you'd think would be easy can be hard, but the seemingly difficult things can turn out to be no problem. I'm reminded of when my mom sat down with her first computer and seemed lost at the keyboard. She explained that she didn't take any typing classes in high school: "I never wanted to be a secretary." Over seven years later, I don't know that the typing is any easier, but she has been known to nag me to answer her e-mails.
So you tell me: Are either of these things the sort of product that you'd use, or that you'd get for a friend or family member who's shied away from cell phones or e-mail so far?
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