Grandma & Grandpa's Farm

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Maybe Simpler Than It Looks

The Internet Might be Simpler Than it Looks

Okay, using the computer to write email might be simpler than you think. I am not just talking to teens and twenties, or adults or the middle aged. I mean for nearly anyone to be able to use a computer to do things like read and write email.

Granted some of this is just a wee bit dated since I don't have Windows Vista installed, but that should make things easier and not harder -- right Microsoft?

There actually is a point to that game "Solitaire" that all computers since the ones running Windows first came out have had installed on them. Sure that simple card game can be addictive to some and a time waster -- but if you can turn the computer on, turn on that game and play it, then turn the game off and turn the computer off -- you already know how to do most of the stuff you need to in order to do most anything on the Internet!

Nearly everything else you "need" can be known if you also know how to start up that utility called "Notepad" and write a note and save it so that you can later retrieve it.

I'm not really going to teach you all that here, but just a few things...

First you learn how to turn the thing on. There'll be a way that you are supposed to do it -- normally a button on the case-computer box if it is a desktop, but you can ask about it. (notebook-laptop computers have switches and buttons somewhere too) You might have to turn on the power bar-extension cord first and you might have to turn on the monitor-tv screen. Why not call it the computer's "tv screen"? I mean we know it isn't the TV, but that is what it looks like, right? Anyway you might have to use that mouse to choose your user name on the screen when it asks for it and then enter in a code. Probably it will be something easy for you to type but hard for someone to guess. (not your spouse's name or your name or birthday -- especially not your spouse's birthday!) It should be easy to type because the computer will not print the letters or numbers on the screen and you will be typing a bit blind. Then you sit back and let the computer turn itself on!

I think you can figure out when it has finished with that. The mouse pointer will look like a ponter rather than a rotating hour glass or whatever it looks like when the computer is busy thinking.

Now the hard part... finding out where they hid stuff. For now we look for Solitaire... This will be easier if you have someone who can point the way. Remember it is sort of like a maze on paper. Each time you click or double click on something you go to another page. When you get to solitaire have someone show you how to play. Have someone show you how to get there a couple times. Show them that you can do it too so that you might show someone else in future.

Everything you do in solitaire is something you do on the computer on the Internet.

  • You click on things
  • You double click on things
  • You open menus and click on items
  • You drag things and let go of them in the right place
  • You might even learn to right click on things
  • You learn about the menu bar and where the quit item is
  • You learn where the options are like how to change the card backs or style of game

If you can do these things you have learned much.

Next you learn how to go to NotePad and how to type in messages and save them....

Now my telling you how to do these things makes them sound very complicated. If I showed you how, you might be amazed how easy it is.

One thing you might be interested in knowing is that nearly regardless of what type or age of computer you are running on, it is the page you go to that determines how it works. So when I go to Gmail using my MacBook using my Firefox web browser program it works exactly the same as if I were to use my Windows XP desktop computer using Internet Explorer or if I used other browsers such as Safari or Opera. I actually use Firefox on both my Windows XP desktop computer and my MacBook so the experience is identical.

Then what you need to do is have someone create you an email account and get you the email addresses of those you want to write. It is only a few more bits and pieces to be shown in order to correspond with your loved ones and others. I have a few tricks on writing letters for later!

~ Darrell


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