On January 24, 1984, Apple introduced its first operating system (what would become MAC OS) and on November 20th, 1985, Microsoft Windows 1.0 made its debut. I’m telling you this to illustrate how long these operating systems have been out in the market. The number of transformations they’ve undergone since the mid 80’s are enormous, of course. The concepts, though, have been around a while.
I’d hate to break it to everyone…computers are here to stay.
Most of the computer concepts of today were introduced by 1992. It’s 2011 and if you don’t understand these basic concepts now, it’s hard to move forward, to push the envelope. How can you implement a social media program if you’re unsure how to drag important photos into folders or understand that to check your Twitter feed you need to scroll? Here are the vital concepts you should know by now:
Documents are NOT stored in Word or Excel.
This is one of my favorites:
“Where did you put that document?” I’ll ask.
“In Word.” you say.
It’s time to understand a little about what folders and files are. This is a great article by Microsoft outlining some things. You have got to learn HOW files are stored and the proper way to create folders. It’s VITAL. It’s impossible to dump your camera of its photos if you don’t know how to organize them. You can’t save files to your computer with any hopes of retrieving them if you don’t know how the file structure works.
Which do I do? Right or left click?
I often find it funny when people aren’t sure which mouse button does what. Here’s the easiest way to remember. Left click once means you select it and left clicking immediately after that (double clicking) means you want its DEFAULT ACTION. Right clicking means you’d like whatever options are available for that item. When you right click the DEFAULT ACTION will be in bold. No go out there and practice it.
Scrolling for Content.
This one always cracks me up. Them: “Bill I don’t see what you’re talking about.” Me: “Did you scroll down?” Them: “…..” Stop reading this post for just a minute and glance over to your right. You see a bar looking thing pressed up against the side of your computer? That’s the scrollbar… move the mouse to it…hold down the left mouse button and using your hand DRAG THE MOUSE UP AND DOWN. You’ll be amazed at the content you can find just off the page.
Dragging and Dropping
We all love the game of Solitaire. Anyone want to know why it was included with Windows as far back as Windows 3.1? It was designed to teach you how to use the mouse. Ever drag those cards around the screen? Playing it is good practice and I recommend it if you have difficulty using a mouse or if you just want to kill some time. Want to move that folder into another one? Drag and drop. Want to get those 12 pictures into that folder over there? Drag and drop. Here’s a little instruction on how to do it if you don’t know.
Copy and Paste.
Copy and paste is really just a way to avoid having to drag and drop. Functionally they accomplish the same thing. It’s especially useful when trying to move around a large amount of items. This is typically the method I employ to move stuff around quickly. If you have a whole pile of files in one folder and you’d like to get them to another you COPY and PASTE them somewhere. There are a multitude of ways to accomplish this task…here’s a wikiHow which helps you out. There are great Windows shortcuts too which can speed you up…Holding CTRL-C copies something selected and then CTRL-V pastes the selected item somewhere. Piece of cake.
Share the wealth.
Now maybe it isn’t YOU that suffers from this lack of knowledge but I’m sure there are some people out there you know that need some remedial training in these important computer concepts. Help me out and get them up to speed will ya? You can be my ambassador of the “Stop being computer deficient” club. I’d appreciate all the help I can get.