By Ayse Stenabaugh
Every time I sit down with a new client for one of our one-on-one technology classes I hear a familiar set of words. They fall along the lines of “I’m computer illiterate” or “I’m a dummy when it comes to computers”. I have found that the biggest thing that holds my clients back is a lack of confidence that they can use the computer and they don’t have to worry as much as they do! Learning from family and friends can be frustrating which is exactly why our resident tutor offers patience and an experience that is completely tailored to our clients’ needs.
The best way for a beginner to learn is to start with some basic skills that are used throughout windows and can be applied in various ways. On Windows computers, there is almost always several ways to complete the same task which can seem confusing but we always try to teach our clients at least one way that will be consistent across all devices.
Learning how to click
First things first you need to know if you are left clicking or right clicking and whether to single click or double click. For almost everything you are going to left click and you are never going to double right click your mouse in Windows to perform any actions.
When you are looking at your desktop screen with no programs open you will see your desktop icons which you click on to open programs. These desktop icons will always require a double click to open. Anytime you are trying to open a folder or a document you are going to double click. If you are clicking on a link on a website, opening your start menu or clicking on an icon on your task bar (the bar at the bottom of your screen that has the clock inside it) you are always going to use a single left click.
The only time you are going to right click while using your computer is to open what I like to call your “edit menu”. Right clicking while basically let you edit or manipulate the object that you are right clicking on. You will see a menu appear and while options will vary depending on the target you will typically see options like rename, delete, cut, copy, paste and properties.
Learning about Web Browsers
A web browser is a program that allows you to view webpages. There are several different web browsers and if you own a Windows computer your device will come pre-installed with Internet Explorer and if you are running Windows 10 you will also have Edge pre-installed. If you are running a Mac machine you will have Safari as your default web browser.
Different web browsers will have similar features that may be slightly different to use but the same basic features will be found in each one. At the top of all web browsers you will see an address bar where web addresses are displayed. In this address bar you can give a website’s exact address, for example our website is www.jesterscomputers.com if you typed that into your address bar it would take you directly to our website
If you just typed Jester’s Computers however, you would be provided with a list of search results because you provided a search term and not an exact web address. Using a search engine to find websites is okay but you should always type in the web address if you know it because you may end up on a different website than what was intended when using a search engine.
In addition to searching the web and viewing webpages, you can use features inside your web browser to bookmark or save your favorite websites to re-visit them easily later. This allows you to provide easy access to websites that you intend to visit frequently, or to save something such as a recipe for when you are going to use it. Keep in mind that the web is constantly changing therefore a favorite website could be removed in the future if you absolutely need the information it’s still a good idea to print it out if possible.
What else can I use my computer for?
Everyone uses their computer differently which is why we offer individual classes tailored to the needs of the student. Some people take a lot of pictures and want to be able to store their pictures in an organized fashion on their device. You can even use printing services such as Shutterfly or Walmart Photo online to have prints made from the convenience of your home.
Those who love music enjoy being able to download their favorite songs from websites like Amazon or iTunes to be able to store them on an mp3 player or iPod for listening on the go. Other’s enjoy using popular streaming services and apps like iHeartRadio or Spotify to play their favorite music while online.
Some have a need for word-processing and use software such as Microsoft Office (Word, Excel etc) or Open office (a free alternative). Those who are in business or track their own financials may primarily user their computers to access software such as Quickbooks or Quicken.
Whatever you may use your computer for if you find yourself struggling with completing a task or just want to learn “a better way” to accomplish tasks more efficiently contact us at Jester’s Computers to schedule an affordable one-one-one class with our computer tutor! We are located at 5135 Fairfield Road in Fairfield PA. You can reach us at (717) 642-6611 or on the web at www.jesterscomputers.com as well as Facebook