By Manfred Schmendel
Are you behind the curve? Are you afraid to try out the latest computer technology? I was in your shoes. Everywhere I went I saw a computer but I was afraid to touch it. I felt I was too old. At the rec. center there was a computer and even at the library. Even at Denny's there is a computer behind the counter. Now, even waitresses and telemarketers are required have knowledge of computers when they are at work. No longer is waitressing just about taking orders but one must be skilled at operating computers in order to do one's job.
Because computers are so much a part of out society, even you and I must know how to operate one as well. Don't wait too long because you feel you are too old. Get involved as soon as possible. I want to share my own personal knowledge gained by my experiences to help you get started. Here are some tips for buying and making the most of your computer equipment:
1) Check your local thrift store. Oftentimes you can get a great deal on a perfect computer that includes a screen, base (the largest part of the machine), keyboard, and mouse. Often these packages sit on the shelves unnoticed for weeks or even months!
(This is probably because those who don't know better are going to rip-off electronics stores and overspending, unlike smart shoppers like you and me who know a good deal when we see it.)
2) If you have trouble setting up the new computer or things don't make sense, don't be afraid to ask for help. Maybe the neighbor boy can figure it out. Young people have a good grasp of these things. If this is not possible, find a good maintenance man. A computer is complicated, even more than a car. It is sometimes good to have a trained computer expert look under the hood.
3) Go to computer classes at the senior center. This will allow you to connect with others who are interested in the latest technology. Make sure to exchange phone numbers. If one of you experiences a problem you can put your heads together and maybe come up with a solution and get together to discuss it over a cup of coffee.
4) Keep a list of confusing terms by your desk, which you can refer to until they stick in your memory. Terms like: world wide web, chat, and search engine can be intimidating at first, but just keep practicing. Also, throw out phrases like "surf the web" or "blogged" to share your experiences.
5) Lastly, have fun. Don't be afraid to experiment. My niece "emailed" me a photo of my lovely grandniece. Just for fun I clicked on the "print" button to see what would happen. I heard some noises from the printing machine. After just 15 minutes out pops a full page picture made completely of black dots. And it closely resembled my niece! Fifty years ago, I never dreamed such technology would be available.
You can find more advice on technology at my own Manfred Schmendel's Blog. See you there.
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