Like a car, dishwasher, or fridge, a computer is just a tool. You should be as confident handling your computing needs as you are in dealing with your vehicles and appliances. Using a computer should be (and often is) a fun and satisfying experience! Too often, a small amount of instruction can alleviate a frustrating experience.
Your computer should work for you.
Get the help you need! Friends and family may want to help, but most can’t provide the “client satisfaction” you need. Don’t settle for bargain basement instruction unless you’re also prepared to accept a commensurate computing experience. Professional support is tailored to the learner. Don’t assume your kids to be experts, or go running to them to solve your issues – anymore than your would if your fridge or car broke down. It’s much more satisfying for all concerned to relate how we had the problem fixed professionally than it is to blame our kids because their knowledge failed to match our expectations and needs.
Don’t expect everyone to look at computers the same way you do or to “do it” your way. All systems are different, and everyone uses a computer differently and for different reasons. Leave the instruction to a competent professional who is able to tailor the instruction to the learner’s unique individual needs.
Once the computer is set up the way you like it, you don’t have to change the way you use it. Routine boosts familiarity and comfort. But remember: nothing lasts forever. When something goes wrong, professionals can deal with the problem. Every hard drive fails sooner or later. All computers will suggest and require periodic updates.
What do you suggest I do?
- Keep all necessary system info, passwords, and software disks in a convenient, safe place.
- Set up an account with a chat program provider (Facebook, iChat, etc). Social networking is one of the greatest modern uses of the personal computer.
- Set up favorite bookmarks on an Internet browser’s bookmarks bar.
Do I need a new computer?
Think carefully about your computing needs before making a purchase. The question of whether you should upgrade or buy a new machine is totally dependant on your unique situation and requirements. Of course, a computer sales person will recommend a new and often expensive system. But is it what you need?
Only “doing email” and browsing the Internet? An inexpensive, secure system will most likely meet your needs perfectly. Security is the key; you must keep up-to-date anti-virus software, and you must be careful about opening email attachments. (Note: Macs are much less vulnerable – but NOT immune – to malware). Most modern computer systems are more than capable of enhancing and storing digital photos, maintaining a music collection, burning CDs and DVDs, watching movies, setting up a website, writing memoirs, etc.
Remember: Information Technique does not sell systems nor hardware; we offer unbiased advice and help – specifically tailored just for you.