Walt Mossberg

Recent Columns by Walt Mossberg

Mossberg’s Mailbox

Typing With the Original iPad

Q:

I am looking for a simplified PC for my elderly relative, and was disappointed that you couldn’t recommend the Telekin PC for seniors. Are there any alternatives?

A:

I don’t know of any other entire, multi-function computers aimed at seniors. But there’s a new program that claims to turn a standard Windows PC into an easy-to-use machine for seniors. It’s called Seniorama Pointer 2011. It costs $97 for a five-year license and offers large-type, simplified interfaces for email, Web browsing, photos, games, and Skype video and audio calls.

I haven’t tested it, so I don’t know how well it works. But the website notes that the program has some limitations. For instance, its email program requires a new email address, and its photo program only handles pictures received via email.

Q:

I read your review of cases with built-in keyboards for the iPad 2. Are there similar products for the original iPad?

A:

Yes. I haven’t tested them, but if you search the Web or look in stores, you can find some.

For instance, the Zaggmate aluminum keyboard case for the original iPad, which is quite similar to the Logitech keyboard case for the iPad 2 that I tested, is still being sold at zagg.com and elsewhere for $100 or less.

An earlier iPad 1 model of the Kensington keyboard case I reviewed, called the KeyFolio (not the KeyFolio Pro,) can still be found at Kensington.com and elsewhere for $100 or less. And there are others.

Q:

We will soon be moving to a rural area where the only opportunities we have for decent Internet service will be cellular data or satellite.

Is there a device that can access the Internet via 3G cellular and wirelessly serve our two laptops simultaneously?

A:

Yes, there are a number of them. Perhaps the most common are small, dedicated mobile hot-spot gadgets sold by the major wireless carriers, such as the Novatel MiFi. These connect to the 3G or 4G cellular networks and then convert that Internet connection into a Wi-Fi signal that can be used by multiple laptops or other devices.

The devices are often inexpensive, but the monthly rates can be stiff, depending on how much data you use.

Another approach is to use a smartphone. Many of these, including the iPhone 4 and Android phones, can be turned into hot spots that act like the dedicated gadgets described above.

However, extra monthly fees apply for this functionality, and they can add up if you use a lot of data.

Write to Walt at mossberg@wsj.com.


Top Products in Two Decades of Tech Reviews

December 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm PT

Diabetes Data Beamed to Your Phone

December 10, 2013 at 6:16 pm PT

Two Houses, One Cable TV Bill

December 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm PT

Calling Overseas on Wi-Fi

December 03, 2013 at 6:18 pm PT

Dell Tablets at Bargain Prices

December 03, 2013 at 6:12 pm PT

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

Walt Mossberg’s Product Guides

Desktop PC’s and Laptops

The Laptops to Buy


Digital Cameras

Digital Cameras Improve Zooms, HD Function