We provide a range of computers with our own pre-installed easy-to-use simplicity ENVELOPE® software.
(Click question to show/hide the answer):
- Can I use Skype on my simplicity computer?
Yes. You can access it from the Skype icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the HOME page screen of the simplicity ENVELOPE®.
- What does it cost to deliver a simplicity computer?
Delivery is £24.99 for all UK mainland customers.
Customers requiring a delivery outside of mainland UK should contact us for a quotation.
- Are simplicity computers secure?
simplicity computers use simplicity ENVELOPE® – our own specially designed software – which runs on the Linux Mint operating system. Linux Mint and simplicity ENVELOPE® are immune to the viruses, spyware, trojans and other security threats that can affect other systems.
- What is the simplicity ENVELOPE®?
simplicity ENVELOPE® is our own specially developed software – it is a new approach to using the computer.
Most people in the UK use their computer for three or four activities only. Emailing, browsing the web, writing documents and storing and managing their photographs. And that's what the ENVELOPE provides – easy access to the things most people are going to want to use most of the time.
The computer opens on the HOME page screen of the software and each segment of the ENVELOPE gives access to one or more of these four key activities. Clicking or touching each segment, just once, takes you to the area you wish to work in. After that you just follow the on-screen prompts to complete your activity.
To help you learn how to use the simplicity computer and the simplicity ENVELOPE® software, there are a number of video lessons presented by Valerie Singleton. To get to them all you do is click on the bottom segment of the HOME page screen (Tutorials) and choose the one you want from a list.
The simplicity ENVELOPE® is pre-installed on all simplicity computers and starts automatically when the computer is turned on.
BROADBAND, ROUTERS AND WI-FI
- Do I need a broadband connection to use my simplicity computer?
Although the simplicity computer can operate without an broadband connection, many of the features you will want to use (such as email, browsing the web and Skype) can only be accessed through the internet. To connect to the internet, you will need to have a broadband connection.
There are many companies that can provide you with a broadband service. The biggest are not necessarily the best. If you are unsure which to use, ask your relatives or friends and neighbours who they use and how satisfied they are with the service.
For your information, in a 2012/2013 review of broadband providers, the consumer magazine Which? found its members rated four providers very highly. These are Zen, BE, Eclipse and PlusNet. The well-known names did not do so well.
- Can the simplicity computer connect to a wireless network?
Yes. It is possible to use the simplicity computer with wireless (or Wi-Fi) networking. However, we recommend that, initially, for a reliable service and a quick start using your computer, you use a wired connection between your computer and router. (The router is a box which you will receive from your broadband provider. You use it to connect your computer to the internet. The broadband company usually provides instructions on how to set it up.)
Wireless works best when the computer is placed as close to the router as possible. Any walls between your computer and your router can reduce the wireless signal quality.
The simplicity Laptop and Touchscreen computers are fitted with Wireless (Wi-Fi) as standard. However, to enable a simplicity Desktop computer to work with wireless networking, you would need to attach a 'wireless dongle'.
We sell a dongle that we have tested and found to work well with the Linux operating system. These are available at £20 plus postage and packing. (See SHOP).
- Do I need to have an 'ADSL' broadband connection?
No, any broadband connection will do. If you have a Virgin cable modem rather than ADSL, that is absolutely fine.
- Can I use 3G mobile broadband (a "USB mobile broadband dongle") with my simplicity computer?
Yes, but we do not currently offer support for this connection method.
At this time, we have only tested broadband dongles from the T-Mobile and 3 networks, although we have had reports that Vodafone's broadband dongles are also well-supported by Vodafone themselves for use with Linux.
3G mobile broadband does indeed work, but with several caveats. You need 3G coverage in your area from your chosen provider and a strong to excellent mobile phone signal in the part of the building where your computer will be located. 3G is noticeably slower than a true, wired broadband connection, and except for very light use, it works out considerably more expensive. In summary, yes, it works, but we would only suggest it as a last resort if wired broadband is not available.
- Can I use a dial-up (analogue) internet connection instead of broadband?
Linux can use dial-up internet access over a standard phone line, but it is very slow and can result in very large phone bills. Apart from for very occasional use, it is often actually cheaper to go for a cheap broadband deal. Also note that Linux will not work with cheap "winmodems" and needs a proper Hayes-compatible dialup modem. (Internal, external or USB does not matter.)
If you live in an area where ADSL or cable internet is not available, you could try a 3G wireless dongle. Failing that, we recommend that you investigate the availability of ISDN. ISDN is a type of digital telephone line and is significantly quicker than dial-up, although slower and more expensive than true broadband. If you can get ISDN, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) should be able to provide you with an ISDN router that your computer can plug into with a network cable. This is the simplest and most reliable option if you can not get true or even wireless broadband.
FACTS & FIGURES
- How big are the computers?
Desktop 268 318 70 – Laptop 374 250 34,582 2.5 20" Touchscreen 497 57 373 – 24" Touchscreen 582 50 495 –
How many USB ports and HDMI ports does the simplicity computer have?
Computer USB 2.0
Desktop 2 front
and 4 rear
0 0 Laptop 3 0 1 20" Touchscreen 4 2 1 24" Touchscreen 3 2 2
- How much memory (RAM) do the simplicity computers have?
Computer RAM (gigabytes) Desktop 2 Laptop 4 20" Touchscreen 2 24" Touchscreen 4
- How much hard drive space do the simplicity computers have?
Computer RAM (gigabytes) Desktop 160 Laptop 500 20" Touchscreen 500 24" Touchscreen 1000
THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE
- Do I need to use an anti-virus program on my simplicity computer?
No. Linux will not run Microsoft Windows programs. All the most common computer viruses are solely targeted at Windows computers and, as such, do not infect computers running Linux.
The design of Linux is based on the highly-secure, 40-year-old Unix operating system, making it extremely difficult to write viruses that infect Linux. As such there are no Linux viruses and no spyware whatsover.
The only reason to run antivirus on Linux is to detect Windows viruses embedded in emails, to avoid passing them on to Windows users. There is no risk of catching them on a simplicity computer, so there is absolutely no need for – or benefit from – running anti-virus software on your computer.
- Can I add my own software to my simplicity computer?
Linux Mint is an enhanced version of the industry-leading Ubuntu Linux operating system, so all Linux software designed for Ubuntu will work fine on Mint – as will almost all other programs designed for Linux.
Linux Mint comes pre-installed with a wide variety of software, including well-known programs such as Skype and the Mozilla Firefox web browser. It also includes the Microsoft-Office-compatible OpenOffice suite, the Mozilla Thunderbird email program, photo-editing software, a selection of card- and board-games and much more.
If you wish to add additional programs, Linux Mint includes a selection of some 14,000 freely-downloadable programs.
Many leading Windows programs have free alternatives, purpose-built for Linux, so if you are looking for a particular program, it is worth using Google to see if an equivalent is already available. If it is, it is probably in the Linux Mint software catalogue.
The simplicity ENVELOPE® is restricted to the functions that it comes with, so you cannot add your own software. This does not mean you can't use your own software, but you need to 'minimise' the simplicity ENVELOPE® to access the Linux desktop behind it. This means that adding and using new programs is a job for the more confident, skilled users.
- Can I add my own hardware to a simplicity computer?
Yes, certainly – just check that the devices are compatible with Linux before you buy. Some types of device might need device drivers installing – ask their supplier first, or use Google to check. If the accessory requires a driver to be installed, we advise against it, as this can be very complicated, especially for inexperienced computer users.
Simple upgrades such as more memory or disk space generally need no configuration, but as each simplicity computer is custom- made to run Linux and the simplicity ENVELOPE®, you will generally not see any improvement in performance from them. Devices such as USB 'thumb drives' – also known as 'pen drives', Flash drives or USB keys – generally need no configuration. Printers, scanners and more sophisticated devices may need more setting-up and we cannot guarantee to help with devices which we did not supply.
- Does the simplicity computer run Windows?
No. The simplicity computer runs on an alternative operating system (or "OS") called Linux Mint. It does not run Windows or any Windows applications. This means that any additional hardware (accessories such as printers) must be compatible with Linux.
However, you can, if you wish, remove the special simplicity ENVELOPE® software from the computer. It would then be 100% compatible with Windows and you can install any ordinary retail copy of Windows on the computer and use it with all Windows software – this includes Windows Vista or Windows 7.
WARRANTY AND SUPPORT
- What can I expect in terms of warranty?
All simplicity computers are delivered with a 12-month hardware warranty. The nature of this warranty varies between computer model and region:
If you require more information, please call us on 0800 028 0417.
Computer Warranty Desktop Return to Base.
Customer pays to send in Desktop,
simplicity pays for the return.
Laptop Return to Base.
Customer pays to send in Laptop,
simplicity pays for the return.
Collect and Return.
3 to 4 day turnaround.
- The order form says you sell a printer with the simplicity computer. Which printer is this?
Currently, we offer a range of Hewlett-Packard (HP) all-in-one printer/scanners, complete with a USB printer lead. The computers all have the latest HP drivers installed, so any HP printer should work. Many other makes of printers also work, but we recommend that buyers avoid any device that requires drivers to be installed, as this can be forbiddingly complex for inexperienced users.
Please feel free to call us for advice on 0800 028 0417.