How do you learn about computers?

  [DELETED] 00:01 16 May 2006

This may seem like a daft question, but how do you learn about computers?
Computing was a new subject when i was in school and just seemed to comprize of writing programms in dinary and binary. I'm not intersted in writing programs.
I want to be able to trouble shoot effectively the equivalent of being able to change the oil, water, tyres and filters on my car (I can't do that either). Im petrified of un/installing programs that make the pc work - see NO Sound earlier this evening - although Im ok with add-ons.
Lots of advice is too technical for me so the archive is not much use - when people start talking about BIOS and actually opening up the pc case I run for the hills or want to cry.
I read pc advisor, that has given me the confidence to download some software eg AVG, but nothing that affect the computer eg partitioning the hard drive (why would you want to do that?)
I'd like to feel less like an idiot and at least understand the basics when i talk to people.

  johnnyrocker 00:08 16 May 2006

it depends wher you want to start and where you are located!!
if uk there are loads of ads in local papers re ms pc training, all of which would depend on your age etc etc, sorry i cant offer further info with such limited information regarding your circumstances.


  Strawballs 00:27 16 May 2006

I have learned most of what I know by getting an old computer that wasn,t the end of the world if I fouled up big time and see what happened when I tried to do things. and of course reading through threads on this site.

  Forum Editor 00:27 16 May 2006

is that you have to try quite hard to break a computer beyond the point of no return. It can be done of course, but you have to break one or more of the ground-rules to do it.

The ground rules are:

1. Never interfere with any of the files in the Windows folder.

2. Never go into the registry unless you have backed it up first.

3. Don't uninstall any hardware devices unless you're sure of what you're doing.

4. Only install software that comes from a known reputable source - if in doubt, don't do it.

5. Always run an anti-virus application, and keep it up to date.

6. Never, EVER, open an email attachment unless you are expecting it, or unless you trust the source implicitly.

7. Never download anything from the internet and allow it to run on your computer unless you are sure about what it is and what it does.

8. Never take any notice whatsoever of an email that says you must do something or your hard drive could be wiped. These mails will be forwarded to you by a friend, or by someone you know, and they'll say that Microsoft has issued thew warning, or it will be the Pentagon, or a prominent university professor. All such mails are hoaxes - Microsoft NEVER issues such warnings, and never will.

Stay safe and you'll enjoy your computing. If you decide to alter a configuration setting make sure you make a note of the existing setting first, and note what actions you take, so you can retrace your steps if things go wrong.

Read the magazine, and try out some of the things we write about. If things don't work out you can always come here and ask - you'll be surprised at the lengths some of our forum members will go to in order to help someone in need.

Gradually, almost without realising it, you'll improve your knowledge and computing skills - it will happen naturally.


  [DELETED] 01:01 16 May 2006

Try having a look here. There are many places you can study. click here

  [DELETED] 01:04 16 May 2006

As always, Google is your friend here.

For instance, do a Google search for Computer Basics

You will get a lot of links, and you can just hunt through them for ones which start at a level appropriate to you.

Just carry on from there, for instance

Re-installing windows XP

WinXP control panel basics

Installing and uninstalling software

You will also find the Windows HELP facility very readable - and you can print sections out for study.

Take it step by step and don't be too ambitious - play about as much as you can each time you learn something new, until you're familiar with it.

As a precaution, do a complete backup of your working system that you can return to at any time. An investment in a good program to do this, such as Acronis True Image will be worth it's weight in gold. Learn how to use it first before you need to rely on it.

  [DELETED] 01:07 16 May 2006

OOps sorry the link was meant to be for the Learn Direct website. click here

  [DELETED] 03:10 16 May 2006

Perhaps the first question to ask yourself is what do I like about comps, because it is a bit like furnature in a room, you start with the table and you see the table is on a carpet, and then you notice the chairs, etc., so don't try to study comps like textbooks, be subjective, if you like films, good you will learn about codexes, if you like music you will learn about mp3 and wav, email will teach you typing, forums but not just computer ones, will teach you about posting, games will teach you about graphic cards, do you like taking photos, anyway I have dealt with a lot of people who wished to learn about computers and I used to teach them in a classroom style but now I tend now to get them motivated first, so much easier when one is learning comps when there is a hobby involved.

  [DELETED] 03:51 16 May 2006

This is my first pc,ive had it for 5 months now.Ive found that reading forums helps you pick things up,such as,what software you need,like anti viruses,antispyware,and disk cleaners.Also read as many threads as you can,and you,ll find if something does go wrong you,ll know what to do.

  rawprawn 07:46 16 May 2006

Don't worry it will come, we all start in your position and we gradually learn by experience and sadly our mistakes. I have learned practically all I know about computers by using this forum to ask about things I didn't understand, and how to fix things when they go wrong.
Take notice of what the Forum Editor says, he has hit the nail on the head.

  [DELETED] 08:31 16 May 2006

buy a book called windows for dummies £20

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