My brother-in-law has just bought his first computer as a retirement present to himself. He has also installed broadband. Now he just needs to understand what it can do for him and how to maintain it. Does anyone know of any on-line (free ?) educational material that could teach him the basics about PCs ?
There is a vast range of tutorials available on a free basis. I would suggest that a google search would be the first thing to try. If the subject doesn't quite meet the expectations, then change the search wording slightly. Microsoft provide a number of 'help' type pages, which can be extremely useful.
If he wants to venture further, there are a number of free downloads, that could expand his knowledge even further on certain products.Serif provide free software, which covers a reasonable range of every day items.
Spuds - thanks for the link to Serif. I think that might be useful after he has got the basics under his belt. To the other responses: my brother-in-law has NEVER used a computer in his life. His son set it up, but he doesn't live with him, and I am 150 miles away. If we were closer we could sit with him for a few hours - it might need a lot of hours. Reading this Forum would be like dropping him in Amsterdam and telling him he will pick up Dutch by listening to the people around him.. I did a quick search on Google; I guess I will have to look harder and longer.
As a suggestion, there are many public libraries, community centres, colleges and Age Concern that provide beginner courses on a free or heavily subsidised basis. Get him to contact these, or the local council,information bureau for guidance.Make sure that the tutor to pupil ratio is ideal, as some classes can get impossible if the tutor is trying to move things on at a rapid rate, and the classes are rather large.
Alternatively, if your brother-in-law prefers to work from home with his own PC, he could look at the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)click here via, for example, Learn Direct - which if he's "of an age", might be free. It could be a bit overkill but their CD Rom's do start with Basic Concepts and Using The Computer & Managing Files, before touching on Word Processing, email etc.
eBay click here have loads listed if you're comfortable sorting the wheat from the chaff on his behalf - some may be "semi-legal" copies, but they are cheap.
Minkey1 He has surprised himself and his family by buying one of these computers; now I think he would like to learn about them in the privacy of his own home, at his own pace. I'll follow up your suggestions. Thanks.