I have a friend whose mother has just retired. As a gift upon her retirement, he is building her a computer. WOW!
Then I started to think about what it was like to address a computer for the first time...AND what it was like to be on-line for the first time, and wondered what it was going to be like for this lady, and her husband.
Good Friend has a plan. He's putting the hardware together, piece by piece and having them watch and repeat the names of the pieces, so they have a little of the terminology under their belts. I know what a mother board is, and I've taken the case off my computer and unhooked every plug, but I'd be hard pressed to tell you what each piece is. It would have been nice, the Labor Day Weekend when I had to dismantle the computer to determine what was wrong, if I'd had the language and knowledge to communicate with the computer representative who was talking me through it.
Good Friend tells me that they will have two months to work at the computer before they go on-line and have all that to deal with. Probably not enough, but you have to jump in somewhere. I'd been using a computer for at least four years before we went on-line. I was taking a class in how to use Microsoft Word, Excel and Access at the time, so I had a lot of instruction on how to use parts of those programs, and the computer in general. I'd highly recommend that as a way to get started if you can make the time because it radically changes your learning curve.
I can remember that I didn't know what "Focus" meant. A very kind person in a chat room explained that you could have more than one screen up at a time, but that the active scree was the focus. The terminology wasn't as important as was the fact that all the screens could be UP at one time. I tended to close one before going to the next, and didn't realize you could have many open at one time.
Dear Husband has not had any training in how to use a computer. He just jumped right in, and does very well at it. Still, there are things that would speed up his use. DH works at the computer when the quilting bee meets here. I went to the office to ask him something one bee night, and found him laboriously closing out of a program and then opening it again to see a previous screen. I pointed to the back arrow, and suggested he try it next time. There have to be a lot of other ways I could help him, if he would let me. I think I'm too pedantic for him.
GF is going to have to teach about "Save Early, Save Often." I can't tell you how many times I've lost something at Movable Type because I didn't save frequently, and then hit the wrong key on my keyboard. (I just took my own advice...and would have been TICKED if I had lost all of this!)
I think the most difficult lesson will be WHERE to save things. It took me a long time to come to understand what the prompt was asking, and how to direct things to the appropriate files. There are times when I still am not sure what I'm being asked to do, especially when I leave programs that I use every day.
So....what advice do you have for someone who is just learning to address a computer? I bet we could come up with a compendium of information that might help as my friends get ready to join us on-line. Post your suggestion, please!