The new tech toy

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Technology can be a great friend not just when you are young but also at a later stage in life. Pankajam Balasundaram, 72, wrote this short and sweet piece for us on her latest tech discovery — the iPad.

On my 72nd  birthday, I had a surprise gift from my nephew and his wife.When I opened the box, it was an iPad. I thanked them for the great gift without really knowing whether I would ever use it. We had two computers at home. Why did I need this.? Was I really going to use it?
My nephew set it up for me and asked me to explore the unlimited fun that I could enjoy with it.
When I showed it to my son on  Skype asking for help on  how  to use the iPad, he assigned the task to my 13 year old grand son Mihir. Now I have a tutor who is a great teacher indeed. My grandson gave me one lesson per week.
Here is what  I gained out of it:
Wall paper: How to bring my favourite photo of my family, resize it, enhance and paste it.
Down load free App Store applications.
Keep my contacts updated.
Keep a morning alarm and add reminders.
Open Face Time and talk to my family.
Not to lock the iPad so that my children abroad can contact us any time.
It’s been over a month now and this is how my iPad has become my best friend.
* Everyday I listen to spoken Kannada on  My host replies to me promptly and encourages me to get that confidence to end a sentence with proper respect.
* Updating contacts: No more papers and old diaries with wrong phone numbers. I had to call my contacts and get the correct addresses. In that process I had long chats for hours together.
* iBooks: What I can’t otherwise  with my poor eyesight. I can read now with clear legibility, at a comfortable position anywhere.
* iTunes U: I also feel great to be an audio student of some of the great universities of my dream. I am also improving my writing skill which I never had earlier through a course. I have finished one old classic and started the second one.
*iCarnatic: Teaches me the basics in Carnatic music, which I want to practice stealthily!
*iContacts: I am thrilled to see the  houses of my relatives abroad just by clicking on the address.
*iMessage: In the early hours of Hurricane Sandy, we could talk  to our son who had evacuated his house off New York. His family was staying with a friend but we could reach them.
* Skype: Our second son who stays on the 30th floor in Midtown Manhattan showed us how his apartment curtains were shaking in his  swaying building as Hurricane Sandy was reaching the vicinity of his location.
After learning about all these apps, now  iPad is a part of my life. I plan to learn more and become iPad savvy soon.
— Pankajam Balasundaram
Mrs. Pankajam Balasundaram is a 72 year old homemaker residing in Jayanagar, Bangalore. Losing 80 per cent of her vision and suffering from thoracic cancer has not dampened her lively spirit and she continues to imbibe anything and everything new. 
Ten senior friendly apps on the iPad that Silvertalkies found interesting:
1. Postcards
2. Skype
3. Scrabble/Chess
4. iTunesU
5. TED Talks
6. iBooks
7. WebMD
8. Evernote
9. Big Calculator
10. Magnifying glass with light

About Author

Pankajam Balasundaram