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Video: It’s all App-ening for James at 93

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At 93, James Warnock from Co Tyrone is both one of the oldest and newsest readers of the News Letter app.

The pensioner signed up for a 12-month subscription of the newspaper’s bright new online version last week and has given it a resounding thumbs up.

Mr Warnock who lives on his own in the Tullylagan area outside Cookstown and has a been a lifetime reader of the News Letter, said the app had more benefits than the traditional printed newspaper.

“It has been a great thing since I got it up and running, and to be honest it’s a bit better than the newspaper you get in the shop.” said James, as he adeptly scrolled through the pages on his Ipad.

“One of the best things about it, is that you can zoom right in to the pages, so I can read it much better.

“For people like me at my age, you sometimes need a little help reading and the the app is great for that.”

James who is renowned across Northern Ireland for playing the bagpipes and making reeds for his beloved instrument, said he now reads each and every page of the News Letter on the app.

“I read it all the way through, from back to front.

“It’s a wee bit cheaper than the ordinary paper and it’s there on the Ipad as soon as you get up in the morning, that’s what I really like about it.”

When James was born in 1919, radio and telephones were considered to be the latest in technology, and television had never even been heard of.

But almost a century later and James’ computer skills and his knowledge of latest digital technology would rival that of many teenagers.

And he only began learning about computers just over 10 years ago.

“It was something that I thought about doing and then I began getting a few lessons. But the fella that was teaching me died so I had to just keep going myself.

“One of the first things that I did was to start recording the family tree and then I printed it out and handed copies around to the family.”

He quickly moved on to the internet and soon realised that he could keep in touch with his family on a daily basis around the world and even teach his great-grandson on the bagpipes.

“I use the Skype to chat to my three sisters - one lives in Liverpool, another in Australia and there’s one in Ballymena and I would chat to them a few times a week.

“I also give bagpipe lessons to my great grandson - Jai - he only lives up the road - but he is a busy teenager and the Skype is handy for me to show him a few things on the pipes,” laughed James.

James lost his wife Elizabeth more than 10 years ago. He also suffered the heartbreak of losing his only son William in an accident more than 30 years ago.

He started out life as a dairy farmer until an upgrade of the Cookstown to Dungannon Road split his farm in two.

The land he once farmed is where Northern Ireland’s new police and emergency services training college will be built.

“There have been a few changes down the years, but something like the internet is great for older people like myself, who don’t get about as much as we used to,” he added.

The News Letter App has proven to be hugely popular since it was introduced by Johnston Press PLC just a few weeks before Christmas.

Another major success has been Ulster Saturday Night, a new app exclusive supplement featuring a round-up of all the weekend action for Northern Ireland’s sporting public.

The News Letter app – which is available from the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Appstore – features the latest digital content, as well as full versions of the newspaper and print supplements.

Download the App on the iPad

Download the App on the Android (Google)

Download the App on the Android (Amazon)

You can follow Michael McGlade on twitter

 

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