The University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD) asked 50 elderly people to test Magalhães. The objective was to evaluate the potential of using the computer, in accessing the email, by this population.
As the analysis found, this type of equipment may be an option for some elderly people, if equipped with software adequate and well configured with regard to the viewing options.
The tests also made it possible to perceive difficulties and criticisms, “already expected”, associated with the small size of Magalhães and the lack of “friendly software”, UTAD said to Francisco Teinho.
Thus, those responsible for the study now published consider it “sensible not to make generalizations in the sense of stating that the Magalhães computer is ideal for the elderly or the other way around”.
The satisfaction on the part of the elderly in being “more informed about the famous Magalhães” and the regret that there are no more initiatives like this, but with “more appropriate” IT means were the most consensual opinions among the participants, said the official.
The study took place during the month of June, at the university and in places frequented by the elderly, and counted on the participation of 50 observers – final students in the area of communication and information technologies – who reported the experiences.
In the tests, standard versions of the Magalhães computers were used, with the software Magic Desktop.
The assessment will be sent together with a set of recommendations to JP Sá Couto, manufacturer of the netbook, which requested the collaboration of UTAD and CERTIC – Rehabilitation and Accessibility Engineering Center – in the evaluation of the computer’s potential for people with special needs.