The aging of the baby boomer generation has planted more than just a bit of
confusion into the statistics on the prevalence of computers in the hands of the
"elderly". Though it may seem that more and more elderly people are
starting to use computers, it's actually a case of more and more computer users
becoming "elderly" (though I'll elegantly try to avoid trying to define
that term). After all, it's clear that someone in his or her mid-sixties may already
be a long-standing card-carrying member of the AARP, yet also, long before retirement,
be well versed in the use of a personal computer.
In this particular case, the people I'm dealing with are both truly elderly, and computer ingenues. They are perhaps the most convincing proof of the claim that the Graphic User Interface truly held the promise of offering computing for "the rest of us". Numerous aspects of the relationship of icons to mice and the like are still confusing to many of these people, but there's no doubt that the GUI paved the way for elderly people to learn to use, and enjoy using, computers.