Working on a computer all day, and having been brought up with a ZX Spectrum in by bedroom, I consider myself fairly adept at using computers. It is for this reason that I can’t really understand when someone struggles to understand the how something works. Or when they insist on reading instructions before trying something. Or when they tell me off for doing something they think will damage the computer – when I know full well it won’t.
Of course it’s easy for me, and it is a bit snobbish that today I smirked when I overheard someone tell their friend they were dubious of using ‘the reply button’ when answering messages. The reality is though, for those who haven’t grown up with computers, and those who haven’t spent much time with them, they can be quite alien and intimidating – and there is no real jumping on point either.
To that end, here I will impart some basic advice to those who perhaps aren’t the most tech savvy in the world, to help you find your way around computers and devices in future.
Don’t Fear the PC
The first and most important piece of advice is very simple, which is: just don’t be afraid of computers. At the end of the day if something goes wrong it’s not going to break the machine. It’s only hardware problems that are unfixable so unless you are banging the computer against a wall it will be completely fine. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and the best way to learn is literally to just throw yourself in there at the deep end.
Likewise you shouldn’t get in a panic, and you shouldn’t try and rush anything. If you look around then normally it’s fairly easy to understand what’s going on – it’s when you get in a fluster that you tend to make more mistakes.
For instance when it comes to Windows you have a simple system which is that you double click with the left mouse to launch anything you like the looks of on the desktop or in a folder. Meanwhile if you select something from the start menu or task bar you can just click once. You minimize, maximize or close the programme in the top right and you can move your files by dragging and dropping them into different places. Your right click meanwhile brings up a menu.
When you run the programs you will normally have your options along the top. Most of these are self explanatory – a picture of a disk will usually be ‘save’ while a picture of a spanner will probably be options. And if you aren’t sure what something does, then just hovering the mouse over it will usually bring up a little hint making it more clear.
Trust the computer and trust what it says, because it isn’t going to mislead you. Don’t be dubious of ‘reply’…. It’s called reply and so that’s what it does. It’s very rare that something goes wrong – except for the screen freezing occasionally.
If You Should Run Into Trouble…
If you run into major trouble then the best solution is often simple – turn it off and back on again. This fixes around 90% of problems. Meanwhile though, if you don’t know how to do something then just search for the answer in Google. The brilliance of the computer is that it is a gateway to all the information you need to be able to use it. Don’t know how to turn off double spacing in Word? Simple – type into Google ‘how to turn off double spacing in Word’ and it will tell you.
It’s only by doing this that you can really learn and this hands on experience will help you to quickly become a pro.
James Delurno works with registry cleaner company as technical writer. He also loves to blog tips and tricks related to technology/gadgets.