As a retired 74 year old woman I have seen a lot of change .

-- Can you remember when you started using computers? I, a 74 year old retired woman, bought my XP Turbo with a 20 mg HD for home use in 1987. I was fifty years old and just getting back into the job market as my kids were grown and I needed to "catch up" in order to be marketable. had Word Perfect and Quicken (which was a brand new program) loaded on.

-Would you say this was an easy process to get to grips with? It often took persistence but was fun because I was not a technical professional but learned through making mistakes (only wiped out one hard drive) but refusing to give up.

-- Since then, has your journey been straightforward, and if not, can you remember what some of your challenges were? It is been pretty straightforward as I have continued to upgrade regularly. While working I was always surrounded by co-workers with whom I could discuss issues, new software, etc with but now that I am retired and living in a retirement community there aren't a lot of knowledgeable sources - especially other women - around. Most use computers for e-mail but when I have a network go down suddenly or a new wireless printer not recognized, I am on my own. I can always pay but prefer to save the money.

-- Do you have any challenges even now? I think computers are built for the highly technical - plug and play is a great idea but rarely that simple. I am doing fine, but friends of my generation are still a good market but are reticent because of the complexities. I am often called upon because a printer won't work, or a shortcut has disappeared - all simple to solve but not user friendly for those who haven't worked previously in a computer environment or who don't just enjoy it like I do.

-- Did you/do you have any coping strategies? Google is my new best friend when I have a problem. Always available and amazingly able to understand my questions.

-- Looking back, do you think the challenges you faced are any easier to tackle now? Not sure. Some are but I feel the pressure to not let the technology get ahead of me. Because once I get behind it will be impossible to catch up.

-- On a typical day, how long will you be interacting with computer devices? Three or four hours. Some more, some less.

-- Do you appreciate the extended functionality/increasing pervasiveness of computing now? My husband and I love the availability of an iPhone and/or iPad for staying in touch wherever we go. A lot easier to take along than even a laptop. Texting is great for keeping in touch with family. And even Facebook lets us be connected.