How to learn.

  thospot 11:40 03 Feb 2007

I would like to learn about things 'computer' now and then.... With PCA Is there any facility in any of the forum's for someone to teach me about the different items that crop up from time to time. In non technical language...

For instance, I am looking on the Novatech website for a hard drive and there is several different ones that are identical in price and size, but there are differences and I would like to know what they are.. ATA, PATA, 8.9ms, 11ms, whats a 'cache' and probably other things..

This sort of thing crops up quite regularly in my life but I just let it all go by..

If I had a problem and needed help then I would go to the 'HELP' forum but not just to learn things....

I know I could search for all my answers with Google and the like but I have tried that and failed.. They assume you understand the abbreviated language..


  Meshuga 12:00 03 Feb 2007

I don`t know where you live but if it is in UK I would suggest that you visit your locl library and see if they have courses running for computer teaching. A lot of them do and are usually free. As you are already aware, this forum is basically to help with PC problems.

  thospot 12:18 03 Feb 2007

Thanks for the reply Meshuga...
I did once try a course at a college but it was much too formal for what I wanted... I'm too old now for special courses for MS Word and other ones they do plus I'm not interested... I would just like to learn about how to move around a computer with competance and understand what is going on.

  Pamy 12:29 03 Feb 2007

Read a few computer magazines including PC Adviser of course. Most have glosseries that explain the meaning of things. Read other peoples problems on the help pages and internet like these forums, Talk to other friends. Ask sales people at stores about them and what features they have and what they will do. There are many more ways to gain knowlede as I am sure others will advise you. There are web sites as well as Google that give detailed instructions about how to do different tasks.

  Stuartli 12:31 03 Feb 2007


click here

which will help you.

  vinnyT 12:32 03 Feb 2007

An easy way to find out what a term means is to google (or search engine of your choice).

Also, this site is worth bookmarking,click here, find out what any acronym, abbreviation, or initialism stands for.

Try putting the terms you asked about into the search box on the above site, it lists non pc TLAs (three letter acronym) as well, but it's usually obvious which is pc related and which is not.

If you still cannot find what you need, or need it explaining in greater (or lesser) detail, then try asking in the absolute beginners forum on this site.

There are no stupid questions, if you don't know, then ask.

Hope this helps.

  Pamy 12:37 03 Feb 2007

Posted after your reply to Meshuga, I see that you say the cooledge courses are too formal for you and you are not interested in learning to use Word or the other ones they do. Try looking for "Taster" courses on a particular subjest you are interested in, these are usually free and only last a few weeks. I did one last year on digital Photos, Just the basics of how to get them onto a computer and how to save them onto a CD.

  thospot 12:39 03 Feb 2007

Thanks for your advise Pamy but I have been reading the PCA help columns for a few years now and I have managed to get to where I am now because of it..

The glosseries you mention are probably just as bad as the rest of the computer world for using technical abbreviations to explain things.. I have found that most of the 'explaining' bits in mags and other things tend not to be able to come down to a non-technical level..

Even my family will not let me talk about computers because they know that is all I want to talk about. They just get fed up with me....

  Pamy 12:43 03 Feb 2007

Do you have any younger (Grandchildren for instance) friends that have computers that you could perhaps get to gether with and talk computers together? Any computer clubs to got to near you?

  thospot 12:48 03 Feb 2007

Well, thanks for your suggestions but not much help I'm afraid....

To ask Google or acronym sites aren't good enough because usually there are too many of these things to find out about and by the time I have looked up one set of abbreiviations I have totally lost the thread of what I am trying to do..

Perhaps I am too thick now for this stuff...

I will certainly try to find a 'general' type of course to go to... Thanks

  spuds 12:52 03 Feb 2007

I notice that you have already mentioned Google, but in all fairness there is a whole world of experience and tutorials available.

When you do a Google search, try as many variation of a title that you can think possible. A simple change like HP Printer to Printers HP can bring a total different response. Only the other day, I had a printer problem, and an hour later doing various Google searches, and changing a few keywords, brought a vast wealth of very informative websites.

If you have a local library, then that can be a wealth of information on topics regarding computers. Training courses for the older person are getting more difficult due to government finance support cutbacks. My local community centre had various courses at various levels running every day for the past few years. They no longer provide this service, because there appears to be no funding available. Shame to see a service for the community being closed down and very good facilities and equipment being mothballed.One other source for help and advice is Age Concern. In my hometown, Age Concern have some very good computer facilities for people interested in expanding their knowledge of computers and IT issues.

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