Just like everyone else, pensioners need to be computer literate in order to embrace and exploit the modern digital world.

Fortunately, there is a wealth of expert help and advice, including free courses for beginners at local libraries, evening classes which don’t clash with The Archers and a limitless amount of information on the internet – which you won’t be able to access until you know how to use a computer.

Generally speaking, computers are of six different types.


Palmtop – smaller than a laptop and also with a built-in date growing facility.

Tanktop – much larger than a laptop and capable of firing 40mm armour-piercing shells up to 2 km.

Desktop – larger than a laptop, with a much bigger screen and an integral ink-well.

Stooltop – smaller than a desktop, with built-in en-suite toilet.

Tablet – iPads and similar devices designed by biblical prophets.

Whichever computer you choose, it will probably have Windows 8 already installed, which according to Microsoft, is the most advanced operating system ever developed.  According to everyone else, it’s the most irritating and frustrating operating system ever developed and will almost certainly give you endless hours of tortuous aggravation before you set fire to it.

If you wish to do something complex on your computer – such as writing a letter of complaint to Microsoft about Windows 8 – you’ll probably have to buy word processing and filing programmes, and to prevent your bank account being emptied as soon as you switch on your computer, you’ll also need to pay out for some form of internet security as well.

Within six weeks of getting your computer, it will be obsolete and you’ll have to start all over again.