Introduction & About This Site
Welcome to a site that remembers true web beginners need to start at the beginning!
Why others have failed...
Other books and websites may claim to teach beginners how to use the Internet. Too many of them rely on the reader already knowing computing terminology and fail to be helpful to true beginners.
I have taught thousands of people how to use complex computer systems and applications. I thought I knew all the questions asked by beginners. That was until my Mom got her first computer and I tried to teach her how to use it and surf the Internet. We had to start at the very beginning; this is how you turn it on. Yes, you go to the Start menu to turn the darn thing off.
Everyone started as a beginner.
As an industry we are failing miserably when it comes to teaching the true basics to beginners. The How To's on this website are written for people who did not pull their computer out of the box and magically become conversant in all things computing.
As long as Mom keeps asking questions, I will continue to add more tutorials and How To's to this website. I have learned her questions are those of a true beginner and she isn't the only one who would benefit from the answers.
True Beginners Help
Every How To or discussion here was reviewed and tested by Mom (except those for new webmasters) and if she can follow the instructions, I feel confident you can too. None of the How To's on this site will use jargon and technical terms to explain other technical terms.
To help you get used to the various computing and Internet terms, they will be shown in rose. Whenever I first use a term in a How To that term will be fully explained in plain English. All of the How To's that introduce new terms will list the terms used and their definitions on the right side of the screen.
It may not seem like it now, but as you get more experience using your computer and the Internet, you will begin to frequently see these terms and hopefully through this website know and understand what they mean.
One Task, Many Options
Most things in computing have more than one way to accomplish them. No, this isn't to confuse beginners; it just seems that way. Typically, there are at least two ways to complete a task on computers and the Internet.
The first way makes use of your typing skills. The task can be completed by pressing the keys on the keyboard or part of the computer that looks like a typewriter. Individual keys will be displayed like this Enter, A, or 4.
The second way uses the mouse. (Since you are already looking at this website, I am hopeful that you already know the basics of what a mouse does.)
The folks who designed computers decided that people more familiar with typewriters and the earliest computing systems (before anyone had heard of Bill Gates and Windows) would most likely prefer typing to complete tasks. They also knew younger people and people more familiar with computers would probably prefer using a mouse. Neither method is more right or less good; the end result is the same.
Since there is no way of knowing which way will work best for you (I tend to use a combination of the two), all of the How To's on this website will explain both methods when the option of using a keyboard or mouse exists.
The options are presented as alternatives and you will only need to do one or the other.
Option 1 will always relate to using the keyboard and
Option 2 will relate to using the mouse.
When there is only one way to complete a task, the instructions will simply state what to do.
This might sound complicated right now, but once you go through a couple of How To's it will become quite clear.
Our First Lesson
Computers are dumb! Yep, they sure are. They only do what someone tells them to; they do not have an original thought amongst all those wires, keys and circuitry. They are nothing more than a calculator on steroids. Even if it doesn't feel like it right now, You are smarter, I promise!
Computers are tough! They will not break through normal use. You cannot break a computer just by using it; well, unless you begin using it as a shotput, a football, or to test the laws of gravity. They don't like to get wet and lightening can wreak havoc; just like with any other electrical device. But, trust me, they can and do take quite a bit of abuse without complaint.