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Suggestions for making the User's computer experience even easier.

** New! See our guide to configuring computers for seniors.

External Information

A quick guide that we wrote

  • Make the mouse pointer easier to see
    Windows: Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Mouse and select a scheme labelled "Extra Large"
    Mac: Go to System Preferences -> Universal Access -> Mouse and Trackpad and increase cursor size
  • Slow mouse pointer movement
    Windows: Follow directions above, then select "Pointer Movement"
    Mac: Go to System Preferences -> Keyboard and Mouse, then adjust speed
  • Set the Screen Resolution as appropriate for your User
    Windows: Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Display -> Settings; 1280x1024 is ideal, but 1024x768 is fine.
    Mac: Go to System Preferences -> Displays; same settings are good (not too big, not 800x600)
  • Set the browser home page to PawPawMail and launch browser on startup
    Windows: Create shortcut in user's "Startup" folder (under Start -> Programs)
  • Enable Automatic Login
    Windows XP: Under Control Panel -> User, simply select the user and click to "remove the password" from the User's account.
    Mac: Go to System Preferences -> Accounts; Select "Login Options" and switch the user for "Automatic Login".
Advanced Configuration (but cool and even nicer to the User):
  • Enable "Kiosk Mode" in Windows Internet Explorer-- the user will see ONLY pawpawMail; create a shortcut (preferably in the startup items folder) to

    "c:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -k ""

    Without instruction, the user can simply turn his or her computer on and then off when finished (we get our users to do this, but we've heard that it's inadvisable simply to turn a computer off; if you feel comfortable with this, though, go for it).
  • Enable auto-startup on Macintosh -- under System Preferences -> Accounts, select the account (you may need to be logged on to it) and select the "Login Items" tab
  • Make User's Mac account a "Managed" account for easy access: The simplest account type is "Managed with Parental Controls" (rather than Administrator or Standard). To make it simpler, you may want to use the same username and password as you set for the user when you signed up for PawPawMail. For a managed account, now enable Parental Controls for the account and click the button to Open Parental Controls. On the system tab of Parental Controls, check the box to "Use Simple Finder" -- this will give the user a much simpler user experience. You can restrict applications used by checking "Only allow selected applications" and then unchecking every application but your browser (e.g., Safari, Firefox, Opera, or whatever) You can further restrict by going to the content tab and clicking "Allow access to only these websites", then deleting all existing sites and adding just the PawPawMail User interface (
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