Why do a series of basic tutorials?
Well firstly I’ve found no equivalent on the net. Lots of words on a website won’t get read, and they seem to get sidetracked into mindless details of how mice or hard disks work which is utterly useless to folk like my parents who simply want to know where they saved something.
These tutorials are each less than 2 minutes long and cover a topic thoroughly and quickly. You can stop, rewind and play until the concept has stuck.
Who are these for?
My Mum and Dad mainly. But if they have trouble then I imagine other people do too. My parents aren’t stupid people. They managed to raise two fine boys, hold down succesful careers, and they even own and operate a digital TV set top box with wide-screen LCD TV despite being in their 70s.
They both use computers on a daily basis for things as mundane as email to as complicated as desktop publishing (Dad) and composing music (Mum). There are however some basic things on the computer they do not grasp. I often field questions like the following:
- I just saved it, but I can’t find it.
- I can’t see this attachment
- I can’t edit this attachment.
And deal with mysteries like:
- Finding 100 unrelated files in a folder called “NEW FOLDER (2)”
- Digital cameras holding all the photos they’ve taken since I last visited
- Printing pictures 100 pixels wide on a full sheet of paper
- Emailing pictures 4000 pixels wide
This has required a lot of patience on both our parts as I try to listen to their latest explanation of what’s going on, while on a cell phone in the middle of a work place.
“Open up My Documents”
“I don’t see My Documents”
“What are you looking at?”
“Um… your email”
“Close that. My Documents is on your desktop”
“Yes. Close the mail program.”
“OK. There it is. It doesn’t open.”
“It’s not doing anything”
“Double click it”
“Oh. Now what?”
Let’s assume for a moment my parents are not alone. There must be many people who could probably benefit from a hands-on view of how to do basic tasks such that they can replay them over and over without driving their relatives to drink or getting them fired from their job.
Even if my parents are unique (God bless them) this blog can simply serve them, and them alone, and save me explaining how to save an attachment several times a year.
You’ll find these tutorials in the category display on the right, under “Computer Basics“.