Annie Gaites at Hordern Pavilion speaking to Windows Staff

One of HNG’s clients was recently invited by Microsoft to Sydney to share her insights with 1,000 employees about how technology
can benefit older people.

Hello everyone …My name is Annie Gaites, that’s Gates with an ‘I’ (no relation to Bill) I’m 69 and I’m pleased to be here to share with you why I think technology is the most wonderful thing.

I wake with Windows every day and shut Windows down when I go to bed.

I started in 1982 with a small computer called Sinclair ZX Spectrum that my dad encouraged me to buy. I learned to write programmes for our business of Monumental Masonry then graduated to a Commodore 64 and 128, we ran the business with that programme until the Commodore became obsolete.

After that it was welcome to Windows 95 a whole new world which opened many exciting windows for me. Although I never wrote any more programmes we used to make service sheets and cards to hand out that were tailored to the individual using Microsoft Publisher.

“I love Facebook and Twitter.. I do play games and also share a lot to do with the Theatre and Entertainment. I have my own private “What’s On”. My friends rely on me to post so they know what to go and see.”

It was because of Facebook that I was able to be an Extra in the Angelina Jolie movie “Unbroken” you might spot me if you keep your eyes peeled. That’s also how I found out about the Windows10 launch and I used Twitter to win a ticket to the party.

Through the years I’ve had Windows 98, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 so I was very eager to find out about Windows 10 which we had been waiting for.

At the event I won a Surface and it has blown me away. It is beyond anything I ever envisioned when I first got the Sinclair Spectrum. I’m still learning it but I think I’ll barely need to use my desktop computer now.

I’ve got Skype up and running on it of course because I talk to my boyfriend Tim every day. He’s my boyfriend from 1964 in New Zealand and I have a wonderful relationship on Skype with him he is 71 now. I actually thought he died. Finding him again on Facebook has changed my life. Sometimes he Skypes me three times a day.

Ten months ago I had a fall I was in hospital apparently  they thought I would never walk again. My daughter Cherie set up my computer with WiFi – my bed looked like the cockpit of an Aeroplane, my friend was able to talk to the doctors via skype. My view is that if these products are used correctly they are very helpful to the world.

I lost my memory due to cancer 18 years ago and I got it back by doing crosswords on the computer. Another thing technology can do for you. You’ve just got to keep at it.

I would like to leave you with this Mantra

You are in charge of how you feel. Positivity is a choice. Positive things can and will happen. Find them create them. Appreciate them

Remember when one door closes Windows 10 opens

Microsoft sure has created a positive impact in my life – thanks for having me here today.