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Seniors get technology boost through computer donation

The Senior Center of Boulder City recently received a technology upgrade of five computers courtesy of the city.

“We’re just so grateful,” said Victoria Mason, director of the center.

The new computers will be used throughout the facility and provide increased speed and accessibility for patrons and employees.

“I think all the way around it will be amazing for the center,” Mason said.

The city was able to donate the five computers because it recently shifted to a type of cloud computing, requiring the use of different equipment, according to Brok Armantrout, the city’s special projects coordinator.

He said the computers were replaced with Thin Client, a type of computer “that’s basically gutless.”

“So there were at least five computers that still have a lot of life in them but can no longer be used by the city,” he said. “They have been taken offline and scrubbed of city information. All are 4 years old or less.”

Holly Webb, a part-time city employee, saw the computers were no longer needed and asked if they could be given to the senior center, where she also works.

“I noticed,” she said. “I asked Lou (City Clerk Lorene Krumm), and she made it happen. … The computers we have here were ancient. This is just awesome that we got these five.”

Webb estimated that if the center had to purchase similar computers it would take five years as it would only be able to buy one a year.

City Council approved adding the equipment to a surplus list at its Dec. 12 meeting so it could be given away.

According to Mason, the computers will replace some of the ones in their lab as well as several employee workstations, allowing those to be put in the lab. Currently, the older computers are slow and can make it difficult for patrons to participate in computer class on Wednesdays as well as other things.

“A lot of seniors are starting at point blank with starting an email (account) for insurance,” she said.

The older computers would have a lag time of six to seven minutes, which causes some seniors to get frustrated and give up.

“The timing is absolutely perfect,” she said. “We are just extremely grateful that the city gave us these. Sometimes I don’t know what we do without the city’s help. … They’ve always supported us.”

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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