Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New to computing? Here's a few tips.

HOW TO USE YOUR PC - (requires opposable thumbs
PC means "Personal Computer - there are other computers called Macs for snotty people)  

Getting Ready To Compute

You have:                          
A Computer - big metal box with an on/off switch on it somewhere
A Monitor - looks like a TV
A Keyboard - looks like an anemic typewriter
A Mouse - doesn't look like a mouse

Of the 4 things in the above list, notice that only one of them is a computer (the big box). The other stuff isn't. If you point to the monitor and say, "That's my computer," people will say, "Wow, what a dummy." You might also have a printer, scanner and other stuff. Put them away somewhere and ask somebody else how to use them later.
If everything isn't all plugged together, then plug it all together. Everything plugs into the computer (except the power cords which plug into the wall--before plugging the power cords into the wall, be sure to stick your finger in the socket to see if there is any electricity in there). Each plug is designed to easily fit only where it's supposed to go, so don't cram anything.
When you get everything plugged up, turn the computer on by poking the button in front (Some have switches you flip, but most of them you just poke). If it doesn't come on, poke it harder. It will start "Booting Up." That just means it will get ready to be used. You will know that it's finished booting up when it stops doing stuff and just sits there with nothing blinking.
Some computers, when turned on, automatically turn on the monitor...some don't, so if your monitor doesn't come on then you have to find the monitor's on/off button and poke it, too. If it still doesn't come on then you probably broke it. Try poking it with a screwdriver.
At this point (assuming everything worked) your computer is ready to use. Microsoft Windows is displayed on the monitor. "Windows" is an "Operating System" (OS). There are other Operating Systems, but they don't work. The name, "Windows," is derived from the name they gave it which was Windows. It allows common people to use pictures to operate a computer. When you learn what the pictures mean you can do practically anything on your computer. Now you should stop and rest a while. Have a banana or something.
After you finish your banana, look at the screen. You should see some little pictures on it. They are called "icons" (not like the church ones). Utilize the icons in the following manner: notice when you move your mouse around on the mouse pad (see my tutorial - "Setting up the  Mouse Pad"), a little arrow moves around on the screen. Place the little arrow on one of the icons and jab at the left mouse button twice with your finger. Whatever that icon is supposed to make happen will happen unless it's screwed up, or you do it wrong.  
Example: If you want to go on the internet, and are new to computers, you probably have AOL, and there will be an icon on your screen that looks like a little hand crushing a computer (or a little picture of Satan, depending on the version). If you don't see either one just click on the swastika and the AOL sign-in screen will open. In the AOL sign-in screen, enter your User ID, Password, Social Security Number, all your credit card numbers and family history, then put a check mark it the little box beside the statement: "Yes, I relinquish my soul to AOL." Usually, you don't have to do anything else cause AOL now owns your computer and will direct you to the ads they want you to see. If you would like to actually use the internet yourself, freely, without subscribing to AOL's quest for world domination, then simply subscribe to a different internet service provider (ISP). DSL (digital subscribers line), or Cable is strongly recommended.
An excellent tool in Windows (and all other programs) is a little known file called a "Help" file. I have never heard of anyone actually using a Help file, but trust me, when you have a problem, or don't know how to do something, after you have asked everyone you know about it, called tech support, bought books on the subject, posted the problem on numerous forums, emailed me with a dumb question, beat on your computer with a hammer, given up in disgust, then click "Help" - read the solution right there in plain site - then say, "Well, shit."
There are lots of other things you can do with your computer, but they are very complicated, and you won't understand them, plus there's a lot of things us advanced users just don't want you to know, so just stick with the internet. So there you are. Now you know how to use your new computer. You deserve another banana.