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How do you teach someone who knows little about PC's to use them?

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge' started by Captain Kermit, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. Captain Kermit

    Captain Kermit Member

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    I'm just wondering if there's some way of showing an older guy who's never needed a computer in his lifehow to use one without actually being in the room with him. A program or a web site with tutorials and such or something. My step dad's got a few weeks off work (bricklayer) because he needs a knee reconstruction, and he told me he wants to learn how to use the computer.
     
  2. maxy0987

    maxy0987 Member

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    Well if you were willing to spend money then i'd recommend those 'How to X in 24hour' books. That'll give him the basics of word processing and email and maybe how to surf the net.

    It's difficult to get online help for people because they wont know how to find or use it lol.
     
  3. genesis

    genesis Member

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    Get him to use it...

    Sounds silly but the best way to learn is to get in and use them. Tecah him how to use the mouse, where to click etc tell him about popups and daware etc i.e do mot download them use the X a lot or just turn them off.

    But in a nut shell let him free in the wild I am sure he will get the hang of it.

    make sure you Av and firewalls are up to date and working :Paranoid:

    Genesis
     
  4. stablez

    stablez Member

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    yeah Windows draws you in, it makes you explore. Tell him how use the mouse and typing on the keyboard ect. Update all hardware, virus software.
    Just 4explain its easy as typing in the google box what yur intersested in. read what you like. scroll thru some pages...:)
     
  5. thunda

    thunda Member

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    When I had to teach my dad I just showed him one thing at a time then gave him a few days to master it before showing him something else.
     
  6. RandomWally

    RandomWally Member

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    Damn that's a toughy. +1 or showing him the basics and letting him go free. You'll probably have to be around every now and then to pick up the pieces and show him where he went wrong. I can't even imagine not being able to use computers, got my first one when I was about 5 and grew up using them,
     
  7. Creek

    Creek Member

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    You could also some sort of remote assistance program and show them things without having to be physically there. If its their first time on a pc then they may feel a little more confident in trying things if someone is there to potentially help them out of trouble. Its surprising how many people these days are actually scared in using one.

    From memory a good one is called Hamachi where you can create a vpn over the net, go a feeling it may of changed its name but a google search on Hamachi will bring it up.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2007
  8. Alfonzo

    Alfonzo Member

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    First off, I'd take an image of the HDD before you cut him loose. Just in case something does bugger up and you need to blast the lot.

    With that out of the way, I'd start off by introducing the physical aspects of the computer - as in where to turn it on, the various mouse buttons, the Function buttons and so forth, where the CD drive is. Sounds condescending but make sure you get his terminology right, because it'll make troubleshooting easier in the future (avoiding calls like "My CPU doesn't turn on".)

    Once you've got that out of the way, I'd start with a basic introduction to the Windows OS, showing the function of the Start menu, how to find My Documents, even how to customise the desktop and add icons, and change the wallpaper. These types of things will get the user comfortable with the initial interface, and from here once these fundamentals are down you can introduce programs like Word, Internet Explorer and so forth.

    The mantra with this type of thing is "Do not assume".
     
  9. Simwah

    Simwah Member

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    Simplify everything

    1) use the mouse to left click on the smart menu (bottom left of the screen)
    2) move the mouse to my computer and left click with the mouse.

    Also avoid any computer jargon.
     
  10. Payload

    Payload Member

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    teach him how to turn safe mode off in google so he can find some sites of interest :lol: and he'll learn faster that way, just make sure it is a computer you dont mind reformatting.
     
  11. Sounder

    Sounder Member

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    I pretty much did what the others have suggested. I gave one of my old PC's to my mum (minus the porn) and went through how to start it up and shut it down. I found the best way for both mum and dad to learn to use a mouse was to play Solitaire.

    These days they both have their own laptops and are still addicted to Solitaire.
     
  12. kenny34

    kenny34 Member

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    Hoping I can learn something from this thread. My Dad rang me and said the mouse pointer wasn't working. Told him it sometimes happens, and to restart the computer.
    5 minutes later, I ask him if it's working again.
    He says the screens still black.
    Then he mentions that the computer's making a noise.
    I wait another minute.
    Then I ask him, "how did you restart it?"

    "The button on the screen. I just pushed it in once."
    All he'd done was turn the screen off. :shock:

    Another time, he rings me and says words I never want to hear from him again:
    "I'm surfing the Net, and I'm on Ebay, and I want you to buy something from it for me."
    He'd found a floor sanding machine, that sounded perfect, and was only $100 dollars or so.
    (edit - These things weigh about 400 pounds.)
    Eventually, I find the ad he's looking at.
    "Do you realize how much the postage will cost?" I ask.
    "I'll go and pick it up" he says.
    Then says me, "From Canada?"

    I've cancelled his dial-up account. :tongue:
     
  13. SLi_dog

    SLi_dog Member

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    uh, buy him a Macintosh?


    Other than that, Windows is reasonably straight forward.

    The start bar is basically all you need so as long as you can explain that concept, it should be reasonably simple. You could help by puting all of the apps he needs in the Start menu quicklaunch bar. Alternately, you could jsut put shortcuts on the desktop.


    Also, try using basic concepts to explain things;

    Internet Explorer to....explore the internet. (warn about porn and the high likelyhood of viruses being disguised within - no offense inteded by this comment but.....he's a guy, off work, with nothing but a computer so.....)

    Windows explorer as a filing cabinet. Each file on the computer is in a different file/folder depending on what it is.

    Windows desktop is similar to a normal desktop (this one's complicated and not always worth explaining)


    God forbid if he want's to print anything. That's a freakin nightmare for people who have little to no understanding of computers :Paranoid:
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2007
  14. hotmx83

    hotmx83 New Member

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    agree with SLi_dog

    relate things to real life things

    but also try and set his folder up nicely.

    In MY Documents have My Letters(things you make in MS word), My Pictures, My Videos etc


    then just say, whatever you stuff up can always be fixed

    try and show him things which would interest him, showing him something about computers might not interest him, show him things about building or whatever he may be interested in

    also just make him a restricted user, (assuming your in xp) so he cant stuff up things TOO much
     
  15. JonP

    JonP (Banned or Deleted)

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    Ha ha -u should try explaining to my stepfather how to use yahoo - the biggest problem is they dont understand the concept of maximising /minimising windows or moving a window out of the way thats covering another one - or seeing an open window in the bottom bar and expanding it - and ive shown them - and told them and everything - but its just not sinking in - and im saying - "just open ur yahoo window - im buzzing u now " and hes saying " its not there - i cant find it " and im saying " well its got to be open because I can hear myself buzzing u now ".
    I could hear the "ding dong" doorbell ringing through the phone - and im thinking "what the fuck is wrong with u " EXTREMLY FRUSTRATING -
     
  16. Payload

    Payload Member

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    ahahhahahahha :lol:

    Its fun isnt it, the plague for anyone who knows how to use a computer is having to teach their parents. Minimising windows seems to be a common problem, once you tell them X closes the window thats all they use. I think id be better off buying a monkey and teaching it how to use the computer for them, or possibly one of those drinking birds like in the simpsons.

    I finally have a seperate computer to them so now i dont worry so much.. if they break it they are the ones who have to wait for me to fix it. Just gotta have the windows CD on hand :thumbup:
     
  17. Rem0

    Rem0 Member

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    i think it's worth teaching them the basics of windows, letting them learn through simple usage is easier, but can come back to bite them later on
    My dad for example, at the age of 60, needed to learn how to use the comp for email and excel use, he really wasn't interested in getting to know the operating system, just how to use the programs he needed
    So now he knows how to comfortably surf the net, use MS excel and word well enough, but if he runs into any simple problems, anything unrelated to the programs he uses, he wont know what to do, simply because he's still lacking basic knowledge of windows
     
  18. goodlet

    goodlet Member

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    I think it's mostly because they're not used to more than one thing in a space. It's against their thinking. If they have a desk and you put paper and pen on it then grab a resource book like an encyclopaedia it needs to be off the small desk or something. Explain them multitasking and it lets you do more than one thing at a time. I've had people get pretty upset cos the pop up that came up never let them leave cos the address bar wasn't there.
     
  19. lang

    lang Member

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    If he plans on using the net one thing I always stress to people is:


    The compter does what you tell it to do,

    you NEVER do what the comptuer tells you to do.

    If the comptuer is doing something you didnt specifically ask it for, always click X or no.


    For example: "you have a virus, click here to remove"
    "your firewall is not enabled, do this to enable firewall"




    Its second nature to people who use the net all the time to ignore/close/avoid these sorts of things. But people who are not used to comptuers have trouble differentiating between malicious websites/programs and legitimate windows requests.
     
  20. Master PooBaa

    Master PooBaa Member

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    I like the 'deep end' method... its harsh, but stops alot of limpet behavior and endless questions of "how do i do this... how do i do that" 20million times a day.

    Get em a decent PC. setup all the security, AV, firewall to allow basic IE/programs through the net. then let them go.
    If they have problems, let them sort it out.

    My parents learnt alot that way :D
     

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