How did you learn

  carolineann 11:30 04 Sep 2004

To use a computer?

I started with trial and error, began to make a bit of sense so I bought a book on

Microsoft office. Did my head in.

So I went on a six week course to learn, money well spent I thought.

I still find with any new programs it’s back to trail and error as I don’t have the patience to read the help files.
I wonder how other members learnt?

  Simon_P 11:57 04 Sep 2004

Trial and error to start with

Reading books and most impotently mag help pages like in the PCA mag

Forums especially this one are probably the best way to learn, apart from doing a course

If you have friends that work in IT ask lots of questions, (not all at once they will get annoyed)

Some work places run free courses on word excel etc mine does.

Picking the most important bits out of software manuals

Software versions tend to lead on from the last edition to the next i.e psp7-psp8 so there is not so much new stuff to learn

  mbp 12:47 04 Sep 2004

A lot depends upon your own circumstances. If you are very young, you will pick it up at school, if you are not that young, it depends upon whether you have lots of disposable cash as well as time, and your IQ, then probably the surest way is to sign up for a decent computer course at the local adult education center.

But if you are like me, on a very limited fixed income (pensioner), with dying brain cells (past 60 years of age), and stubborn and proud to boot, and do not want to hear,"Oh Dad, but I have already explained that to you over and over again!", there is only one choice, learn the hard way. Read, and read by selecting good Resource Books (not the cheapest), delve deeply into program manuals, or help references, (preferably making hard copies of complicated instructions), and hope that you do not crash your computer and get the Blue Screen of Death! Therefore go for the most stable OS, i.e.XP Home or Pro but do not accept the pre-installed version, pay a little more and get the commercial version as it will allow you to recover from any tragic occurences on your computer. Otherwise, recovering from a pre-installed OEM version is truly a nightmare, believe me! The extra layout can be considered as you added insurance primium, paid for only once.

Good Luck!

  wallbash 14:02 04 Sep 2004

Now I am going to annoy some people!!!

I hope more kids play computer games and use MSN and spend time txt on their Mobils (Shock /Horrer)

Had hoped my daughters would use their computers, as i do,for education and too achieve something, Don't Laugh.
But it wasn't until they could see a result (in their lives) that they learnt to type (msn) load and save (games)etc. Now their into web design and Google is the best thing since sliced bread,

Wish I could type as well as my youngest.

  jack 14:11 04 Sep 2004

By pickin and pokin mostly over the past 20 + years.

I have found that:-
Getting a manual is most times a waste of time because they tend to be written by experts, and only experts can comprehend.
If I ever find manual written by a user/learner -that will make my day.
Courses are fine upto a point .
The computer based follow the pages are Ok to get you started, but one soon can get lost.
The U3A[Univerity of the 3 Age] Group I run, in its early days sought the help of the local techincal college. They in turn directed us to
Learn Direct, who had just at that time opened a FlagShip Facility at the newly opened BlueWater shopping centre.
So orft we went- they welcomed my little group of SilverSurfers with open arms - They also invited us to special sessions, just when V.I.P's
or the News Cameras were about the place, So we were famous - for a while -but we didnt learn a lot.

  Spark6 15:36 04 Sep 2004

Not sure if I have! It seems to me that the more I use the computer the more I need to know.

The old 'one step forward, two steps back' syndrome if you get my drift.

Here's to further enlightenment.

  Andybear 15:52 04 Sep 2004

I started learning through work. Back in the early 90's we started using Windows 3.1 and the Lotus Ami Pro word processor (I'm a secretary). A few years later we switched to NT and Microsoft Office. I found I enjoyed working on them so much, I bought one of my own. Like a lot of people I've picked up a lot through reading the PCA mag and visiting these forums.

  VoG II 16:10 04 Sep 2004

1-week Fortran course around 1980.

2-day course on Windows 3.1 and Word around 1995.

Various other short courses on using works e-mail, finance etc packages.

Other than that, I'm pretty much self-taught. A lot of that from lurking in the Helproom :o)

  CurlyWhirly 16:17 04 Sep 2004

I just picked it up since first buying a PC around 2 and a half years ago.
I knew practically nothing about the PC then but now I know a bit more as I have used the Internet to try and find answers as I am an inquisitive person (some will say nosey!)

  pj123 16:57 04 Sep 2004

Well, back in the days of Atari's, Commodore 64s and Amiga's I went in to a shop to have a look. There were so many 5 and 6 year olds playing these things that I thought: If they can do it so can I. I bought an Atari at first, followed by a Commodore Plus4 then a Commodore 64 and finally a Commodore Amiga. I also went on a City and Guilds course at Croydon Technical College and passed with flying colours. My first IBM computer had no hard disk, only two 5.25 floppy disk drives, I then went on to an IBM computer with 640Kb memory and a MASSIVE 10MB, yes 10Mb hard drive, all working on DOS. Since then, of course, it went to Windows 3.1, Win95, Win98, Win98SE, Win XP etc.. just learning as you go along.

  Mister Splendid©®™! 17:58 04 Sep 2004

I got a job with a company servicing Dell laptops in '96. Knew absolutely nothing about computers. 12 months was, with the supervisor, running the department that screened possible faulty components. Mainly dealing with creating the test procedures for the testers to follow. Left 2 years later shortly before the company folded due to financial mismanagement. Since then bought my first pc late in '99 and learnt mainly through trial and error and just fiddling. Fiddle and ye shall learn!

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