You’re Never Too Old!

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Footnotes & references

1: I’m waiting to hear from that hundred-year-old, I really am. 🙂

43 comments on “You’re Never Too Old!”

  1. I fully agree at 93 years, having sustained a Stroke of the after noon of 16th.May 2015 with poor spelling a Legacy.
    Very furtunate to have factulties and trying to digest a reprint for bed time reading of your recent “receipt of emails.”..Almost 8:00 P.M and too too tired to write further…( Note the repeated “too” and if if common to Stroke victims)….Poor circulation due to aneurism at rear off right leg sees me back to Bundarerg Friendlies Hosp. on Tues, one Son Bruce and Clare just back from USA taking my wife of 65 years and self..Bruce plays at Old Time Dances with a Guitar and stack of audio gear.

    I’m glad to have completed “pacificvictoryroll.com au” on Facebook in about April last on “Recollections of a RAAF Wireless Maint. Mech from Dobadura near Buna , New Guinea from ..Oct.3rd.1943 and island hopping under Gen. MacArthur to Bornoe about Aug. 1945

    • Nice to hear from someone who is still open to learning. I hear way too many people say they’re too old or whatever the excuse to learn and here you are keep on keeping on! Thanks.

  2. ‘I’m too old for that’ is often used to mask a lack of enthusiasm, not a lack of capability.

    It may not be computers for you. It may be music, or cars, or who knows what else. But it’s a mindset that exists in more than just technology matters.

    In fact, it’s entirely possible to be a super-avid computer user in old age… and to use the ‘I’m too old for that’ in other areas of your life. ‘I’m too old for that” usually translates into “I’ve no interest in giving that a fair shot”

  3. I am a 76 year old woman who makes her living as a technical writer. I like technology because it brings people together and exposes us all to so many new ideas. I am making a good salary and having lots of fun. Age is only a number. Just look at Grace Hopper, my heroine.

  4. After reading your article, I’m ready to go to a bar or a disco and hook up with a pretty girl. Heck, I’m 87 calendar years and not too old to fool around!

  5. Thanks so much for the encouraging words. I am 79 and one of my latest “projects” is helping a friend of mine, who is 82, learn to use her new iPad. It is alot of fun and we both are enjoying that she is learning to download free books from Amazon and read them. She is also learning to use her email. It hasn’t been easy for her, but she keeps working at it and loved being able to read from her iPad while recovering from cataract surgery–something she would not have been able to do with the print books, since she needed to enlarge the font.

    For me, it isn’t so much the being “old”, it is more the lack of interacting with others, since I am retired and my husband is no longer living. When I worked, there was always different people to ask and brainstorm with on new technological innovations, etc. After that, there was my husband to bounce things off of. When people are more isolated, it’s a bit harder to ferret out the information needed.

  6. I agree completely. My 93 year old mother-in-law uses her iPad regularly. Only her diminishing vision hampers her enjoyment and ability to use it. I do think some technologies could pay more attention to the needs of folks with some disabilities. For example, my MIL’s Jitterbug phone has the ability to do voice dialing, but in order to get to that feature, you have to dig into the menu (which she can’t read). She has never been able to figure out how to close apps on the iPad (which in my humble opinion, is way more complicated than it should be). I am perfectly comfortable with technology but there are some new things that just don’t appeal to me, e.g. Twitter. I don’t need to be constantly immersed in anyone’s 40-character posts.

  7. I cannot thank you enough for the many times you have helped me with your videos and articles. This effort to encourage those of us in our advanced years is equally commendable. I am 80 and have been fortunate to have been using computers for decades. I started with an Apple II Plus which I still have stored away somewhere. However, I have had enough experience in trying to help those even older than myself to conclude that not everyone can learn to use a computer. Of course, part of that is almost certainly due to lack of adequate teaching skills on my part. I tried to help two of my older friends who had no prior computer experience. They both wanted to take advantage of the compiling and editing capabilities of word processing in writing their short stories and their biographies. They could not grasp the concepts of saving and retrieving draft files and were constantly unable to find their previous work. One went from me to a paid and highly trained instructor. Both went back to pen and paper or typewriter. Thanks again for all of your help to me.

  8. “How old would you be, if you did’nt know how old you were”??
    It’s ALL attitude.
    Your attitude determines your altitude.
    God Bless.

  9. Hi Leo
    Regarding your comments on the “Technology / I’m too old ” issue ……..and I totally agree with everything you say ๐Ÿ™‚

    At 71 years of age …. I’ve now enjoyed around thirty years of usage of various computers , from early models of IBM systems and DOS only interfaces …. through Acorn Electrons …… Amigas …… and all the way to the current technology of today and the latest Windows 10 release ! ……. and I’ve loved every single challenge along the way !

    I spent many happy hours guiding my young grandson on some of the ” old technologies ” such as Amigas etc ; He continued with is interest throughout his teenage years….. and I was proud to see him graduate in his early twenties with a BSc Honours degree in software engineering …… and he now passes his knowlege onto me …What goes around …… comes around eh’ ?
    You can take some credit here as well Leo … we both followed your Ask Leo site from the early days …. and you’ve played your part here too …Thank you from both off us ……. Regards …… Ed

  10. I am. Not old. I have only reached 83 years, and still love compuyers. I started on win 10 when the preview started. Currenly running. Four comuters with win 1O AND 7 AND WIN XP

  11. You are right on with this article. In 2008 I attended a navy reunion, my first. The president of the group asked me if I would be interested in taking over the website. At first I said no, but within 24 hours I changed my mind. It was one of the best things I have done. I noticed my mind was not working well. Within a month of taking the job I could feel the changes for the better. I have learned a lot in the following years. Even taking on writing an Access database and several other functions for the group. I also took on a second reunion group website (my first ship). I will be 76 in November. So anyone who thinks they can’t do things because they are to old, they need to re think their life.

  12. Right On. Been fooling around with computers since the very first programmable calculators and still learn something new every day. The calendar says I am 78, my mind says I am just getting started.

  13. Kudos to you Leo. I’m 88 years young and a stroke survivor for the last eight years. Attitude is very important.
    Life is 10% what happens to you, but 90% how you react to what happens!!!
    Keep up your good work.
    Bob

  14. I couldn’t agree with you more. I am 70 years young and still love using my computer. I don’t use it for much of anything useful, but I do have a lot of fun with it. It keeps my mind sharp and makes life ‘interesting’ at times when I mess something up. I don’t understand people who buy a computer and then are too afraid of it to touch it. Every time I turn my computer on, it’s an opportunity to learn something as well as socialize or whatever.

  15. Thank you Leo for the informative article and video which hit the nail on the head for me. I am 70 and have worked my way up being self taught with computers since Win 3. I had broken my leg whilst out walking my Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Bored of daytime TV I decided to use my son’s old computer he had left behind when he moved from the UK to the US. I help others to use computers and laptops, but I recently hit a block and thought to myself I am old now and cannot do this anymore. I recently bought a tablet and for the life of me cannot get my head round it….. Go figure………thanks to your inspiring video you convinced me I am not too old to use it. Learning curve ahead and thanks for giving me the proverbial kick up the backside. Keep up the good work Leo and bless you.

  16. Leo – Exactly: never say “die”. With biotech now gaining new capabilities weekly to the point that new body parts should be routine ahead, we can go for a long long time! Technology lets us stay engaged and explore new things in ways unimagined 50 years ago. Age limitations are dwindling in many respects. So we all need to keep setting personal goals and then meet/exceed them, just like in your 40’s or 50’s. Cheers and thanks for being Leo, Walter

  17. Hi Leo,
    I will be 85 in 10 days and my body might be old but my mind is still working just fine. I am just finishing 3 years of teaching Getting Started with Windows 8.1 and next month will start teaching Windows 10 at the local library. I am an active member of a computer users’ group (TheSTUG.org), your comment
    “The laptop on your desk, the desktop computer, whatever, itโ€™s a window into a larger world that I really, really want you all to be able to partake in. ”
    is a sentence I use in every class. Today’s Internet brings the world into my home. I can do research, check the latest news, stay up to date with sports teams and I can also, thanks to YouTube, listen to music, watch uploaded concerts, and even chuckle at the “Who’s on First” skit. Some of today’s seniors need to shake of the fear of computers. The computer, like cars, is much more dependable and stable. My Windows 8 computer has not crashed since I bought it and even if it does, a good backup always sits on my shelf.

    Again, thanks for emphasizing that your are never too old to learn if you keep your mind open.

  18. ON THE question of age my 70yr old wife recently announced should wanted to learn how to use the computer. So l gave her my spare one to on play with. All I did was show her bot switch it on. . 6 weeks later the doorbell rang and there stood the mailman with a big parcel with2 dresses in it!!WHAT have I done??

    • Yep. You are in trouble! My two year old grandson bought two movies on Amazon.com before I figured out how to turn on child protection on my Kindle. That tactic probably won’t be a good idea for your wife. Smile

  19. I a 72 years young, I live with technology. My wife just bought me a Dell 3 in 1 with Windows 10 with a 24 inch screen. We have 3 laptops; 1 kindle; one Samsung Tablet and a new Prestige Prime 10 ES tablet. We are on our 4th generation cell phones. My with uses a Samsung Galaxy 6. Plus a stand-alone TomTom GPS.
    Work, play or travel. we hooked on technology.

  20. Hello Leo.
    I’m with you, I am 83 years old and still think like I was 23, only the body got older. Still enjoy sports, playing golf working on my car and using the computer and smart phone. It is sad that other people who are of my age that I know are reluctant to learn how to use a computer. Your weekly news letter is my tech bible, keep up the good work,

  21. So reassuring to see your comments. Earlier this year I attended a wellness seminar at the local geriatric hospital. Though I was one of the older ones in the group, I was no little distressed to discover I was the only one who drove himself to the sessions (though the disability parking was a fair hike away) and that less than half the group had computers. It does bear out your comments.

    We are 48 hours, as this is written, from our 60th wedding anniversary. I hope to pry my 83 year old wife out of her Dell long enough to celebrate. I’m 85 and spend much time corresponding with a long-time computer buddy on the other side of the continent – he’s 92. And almost all of my surviving high school classmates are on line.

    But I do run into many elders who I suspect have seen how quickly computers and other technology can take over the lives of their peers, and just don’t want to give up that much of whatever times they have left. Face it, computers are addictive. And they have a long and steep learning curve. I’ve coped with the Adam E?OS, CP/M, a bit of Amiga, Windows 3.1, 95, 98SE, XP and 7. I’m not sure I want to add 10, or programs like Twitter, Facebook, the other social media, long games, and all the rest.

    Maybe my more antiquated peers are being smarter than I give them credit for.

  22. Dear Leo & Mavens,
    Today is, “Say something nice to someone day” so I’d simply like to thank Leo for all his efforts. I am a degreed I.T. professional with 17 years experience in a number of large institutions, including universities, scientific research institutes, local and federal government, and hospitals. With all that, I sill find Leo’s posts informative, useful, and even comforting (especially the one on ‘aged” I.T. pros…) I have no idea if Leo is a multi-millionaire, hooked into the ‘Evil Empire” or just a regular Joe trying to help people, but Leo: you are helping many, many people, and the world is a better place as a result of your efforts. Thanks so much my good man!
    Christian Chase

  23. Boy, I must be the youngster in this list as I hit 68 day after tomorrow. My wife will be 70 next March and you have never seen anybody who can order orchids faster on line. Let’s not even talk about eBay. My mother keeps her iPad going at 94 with Skype to my sister in Italy and keeping herself sharp playing bridge. She has picked up a few new tricks and now she really is the Bridge Shark!!

  24. Hi Leo,
    You are 101% correct in saying “you are as young as you feel” or something to that effect.
    I”ve just turned 81 last September and really enjoyed the technology being offered by the
    internet.
    I do most of my communication and reaching out to all of my friends using my laptop. I may have
    retired from my job but still active with new technology being offered on the web.
    And oh! by the way, thanks for sharing your knowledge of computers. I have learned a lot
    from your site and will never stop reading your article every day.
    Keep up the good work.
    Thanks again,
    Ding from the Philippines

  25. In my experience, you can trust a man that loves dogs, and you clearly do! Keep your dogs. And keep up the good work, Leo. Your site and the “How to Geek” site are the most useful computer-related sites on the Internet. Please keep up your column for years to come. I trust your content.
    Permit me to say that I don’t enjoy computers for the sake of computers, but I certainly DO enjoy the benefits afforded by these marvels of technology. As recent examples, through a computer interface to the Internet I obtained a wiring diagram for a car I was repairing for a neighbor (and as the job expanded, a paid portal to a shop manual), the schematic and other tech data for a TV I was troubleshooting for another neighbor, and manuals for a chainsaw I was repairing for yet another neighbor. On top of that, my family and I can engage weekly with an online TX-based church service, as well as write and call our friends, relatives, and supporters. All of this from the Andes mountains of South America! In my 60s now, I couldn’t possibly be doing all of this a generation ago; the accessible information links simply did not exist. But the links PCs and the Internet provide make it possible. And I REALLY enjoy learning the new technology of the things that interest me: electrical, electronic, automotive, and other machinery. So, the first point is, your VERY valuable help is integral to my being able to continue to learn and to accomplish the help I give to others. The help YOU give is passed on. Thank you VERY much. And the second point, which this article/video elicits, is that neither of us will be too old to help others for decades to come!

  26. Thanks for such an encouraging video, Leo. I was hoping that at the end of your message you would unveil a technology course that you had developed for us older folks who didn’t grow up in the computer age but who want to learn to be proficient in mastering this technology, which is an incredibly wonderful resource. I’m 68 and trying to get over the fear and intimidation of really becoming computer savvy at a time where it seems everyone is already light years ahead of me on the learning curve. Do you have a “starting from scratch” type course available? If not, perhaps you or some of your subscribers could point me in the direction of one, preferably one that offers progressive instruction but does start at the basics. I’d love to delve into a systematic, step-by-step method of learning the in’s and out’s of computer technology so that eventually I’ll be able to keep up with the best of those computer whizzes. Any help, advice, or instruction will be much appreciated. Thanks, Mike T.

  27. Leo, WRT waiting for the 100 year old, my 100.5 year old uncle just started using a computer to do email and web browsing (well actually an iPad). Now he’s doing Facetime with his grandkids. He is the most technically averse person I know. If he can do it, anyone can. They just have to try.

  28. After retiring (56 years old) I went to a trade school to learn how to build a computer, which I did. I am now 76 and feel I have a computer (W7 Professional)that suits my needs. I also have another computer (Windows 10) which is an experiment to see how W10 works. I feel going any further to learn more isn’t necessary considering I have Adobe Cloud which, as far as I’m concerned, has everything I need if necessary. The only thing remaining that piques my curiosity is Virtual Reality. I’ll wait a little longer until I feel it is worth while to get into.

  29. I am with you guys. At 79 I am a member of the Heart Support group. Giving them a talk soon on Computer Security. We are all ancients and heart surgery survivors. Wish me luck. My iPad is red hot doing research on the subject. Good luck to all here. Wish me luck with my preparation.

  30. Leo, I’m not one of the oldies (only a young 84) but I’ve been playing with computers since the days when we drove 150 miles every Wednesday to run our research data on punch cards through an army computer, under tight security, then home to fix the errors and try again! My first personal computer was a TRS-80, until I built (well, assembled) an 8088 that opened up huge possibilities – after having morning coffee while waiting for it to boot and eventually download my email. After retiring 20+ years ago I kept busier than ever building and managing web sites for some fairly big organisations, and other volunteer computer projects. All that has made me reasonably competent to keep my computer updated and running smoothly, and mostly keep my young 71-yr-old wife’s computer working too(for her games and eBay), despite her tendency to impatience with problems! I have held off Win 10 till now, but thinking of installing it on my laptop to see how it goes.
    My greatest use of my system now, other than email, is photo editing, largely taking and processing photos of our and friends’ dogs (or other special events) , when not actually driving our Bearded Collies long distances to shows and trials or herding lessons etc. Incidentally we have some very smart Corgies, too, in our also computer literate herding group.
    So Leo, I agree that age doesn’t have to be an obstacle to continued activity and familiarity with these marvelous tools that have been developed during our lifetimes.

  31. Iam a 76 year old female who can and has built computers. There are many computer builders out there. I have no idea what the age range is.
    I have even added memory to an older lap top computer for a friend. I give most of the credit to google.com. I no longer have to take any computer to a shop to be fixed. I am at present tackleing tablets . Yesterday I accidentally discovered why I could not connect to WiFi. By selecting see password, I could see that the entrys were incorrect and by eracing and reentering the letters of numbers until corrected, I was then able to connect.
    I cannot praise google enough. It is handy for many types of questions.

  32. I am 73 years old and still work! What kind of work do I do? I’m glad you asked: I teach. And the subject I teach is Information Technology. My teaching goal is to qualify my students to take (and pass) the CompTIA A+ exams. And I’ve had several successes. The ironic part is that many of my students are just out of high school I am also in the process of building a web site to assist my students in learning their acronyms. It keeps me very busy (and young!). I appreciate your columns, Leo. They keep me apprised of what’s going on, new developments and how others are dealing with them. Keep up the good work!

  33. 66 years young! Bought my first computer in 80’s, Atari 800 plus disk drive. Cost me $800.00 wholesale! Since then, I’ve spent a lot and learned a lot on computers. In my spare time I repair computers for friends and relatives. Keep up the good work and informative articles.

  34. It’s wonderful that all those who love their computer sent in a comment
    There’s the OTHER group who don’t necessarily love their PC that didn’t send in a comment

    • Hear Hear! Jospeh. I agree with Douglas Adams:

      โ€œI’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
      1. Anything that is in the world when youโ€™re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
      2. Anything that’s invented between when youโ€™re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
      3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.โ€

      โ€• Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

      I spend hours on both my ipad and laptop and thoroughly enjoy myself but don’t feel the need to play with every new app and programming language that comes along.

  35. Great article and perspective, Leo. At just shy of 60, I think I am still young. I have just started taking up programming again, updating my knowledge to HTML, php, MySql and jQuery, from the last time I was involved in programming when I learned Fortran and COBOL in the early 1970’s. It all comes back, although I don’t think object-oriented programming had been invented at that time (think the spaghetti programming caused by the BASIC Goto command…). But I don’t find it any harder to learn new computer languages now than I did over 40 years ago, in fact I think it’s easier with the experience of age under my belt, since I can see the application of things that were completely theoretical to me back then.

  36. Take this guy for example:
    “A team of engineers led by 94-year-old John Goodenough, professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery, has developed the first all-solid-state battery cells that could lead to safer, faster-charging, longer-lasting rechargeable batteries for handheld mobile devices, electric cars and stationary energy storage. ”

    https://news.utexas.edu/2017/02/28/goodenough-introduces-new-battery-technology

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