Computer basics for seniors

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Basic computer information, especially for seniors.

Basic computer information, especially for seniors.

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  • Hardware--ask parts. Ask them to name parts in laptop. 1. Hard drive--brains of computer. Not really brains--just a bunch of electronic circuits. Hard drive--a circular magnetic disk--looks like a record, only flimsier. central processing unit of the computer--all the rest are peripherals and have to be plugged into the hard drive. Has the on switch. Has to be plugged in of course. Drives: C drive--main drive. Other drives--you can insert things: drive A: floppy disks--show--little magnetic disk inside this--holds less than hard disk. CD-ROM drive, Zip drive ports--to plug in peripherals--little pictures--icons show what plugs into what. Don’t force anything--little pins--don’t want to bend. 2. Monitor--display--(output device) so we can see what’s in the hard drive.Has an on switch, but if hard drive not on, won’t display anything. 3. Keyboard--Input device--how we enter info into the hard drive, give commands--how we talk to computer. 4. Mouse--commands w/o needing to type. Moves the cursor (little arrow) around on the screen 5. Modem--necessary to connect to the Internet--connect to other computers. 6.Printer --output device--make a hard copy 7. Laptop--identify these--most built in.


  • 1. For Beginners Theresa Public Library
  • 2.
    • Console (CPU)
    • Computer screen (Monitor)
    • Mouse
    • Keyboard
    • Printer
  • 3.
    • Use the mouse to point at something on the computer screen.
    • Clicking the left button on the mouse gives the computer a command.
    • The bottom of the mouse has a ball or a small red light which records movement on the tabletop and moves the arrow around on the computer screen.
    • Using the mouse takes us from page to page on the Web.
  • 4.
    • Hold mouse with tail facing toward computer.
    • Rest heel of hand on mousepad.
    • Put thumb on one side of mouse and ring and pinky fingers on other side of mouse to hold it in place.
    • Put index finger on left button.
  • 5.
    • Hold the mouse firmly and keep it flat on the table.
    • Move the mouse around in small circles and watch the arrow move on the computer screen.
    • Small, steady movements are best.
    • Be patient and try to watch the screen instead of the mouse itself.
  • 6.
    • When you press the left button, you will hear a small click.
    • This is why we say “click” on this or that when referring to commands on the Internet.
    • Make your click quick, just like you would say “piz-za.”
    • Hold the mouse steady while you click or the computer will get confused.
  • 7.
    • Almost every computer mouse has 2 buttons –left and right—and each has special functions.
    • Some mice have a scroll wheel which is used to scroll through long pages.
    • Left clicks are used for commands. Right clicks are used to bring up specialized menus.
  • 8.
    • Point
      • Use thumb & ring and pinky fingers to slide mouse across mousepad until arrow is at right place on the computer screen.
      • The mouse is in the right place when the arrow changes to a hand or to an “I”.
    • Click
      • With index finger, lightly press the left button and release.
      • Hold the mouse still with thumb & pinky while clicking.
    • Double Click
      • With index finger, lightly press the left button and release 2 times quickly.
    • Drag
      • With index finger, lightly press the left button and hold it down.
      • Move the mouse across the pad, and the object on the screen should move too.
  • 9. Arrow cursor Navigate around the screen. Busy cursor Wait – computer is “working” Typing cursor Text seen or to be typed here Double arrow cursor Resize a window. Web link cursor Link to another page.
  • 10.
    • Mousercise
    • crippel/computerlab/tutorials/mouse/page1.html
    • Northville, Michigan Public Library Tutorial
    • SeniorNet’s Mouse Exercise
  • 11. Space bar adds a space Enter to <send> Bck Sp erase to the left DEL erase to the right Shift for capital letter or ? ” : + % & ! @ # $ ( ) Caps Lock for all capital letters More practice at Chris Rippel’s Computer Training Tutorials, Central Kansas Library System.
  • 12.
    • USB ports may be on the front or back of the computer
    • USB used for flash drives, printers, scanners, cameras, and more
    Flash Drive Digital Camera Printer
  • 13.
    • CD/DVD Drive used for playing or recording (burning) CDs/DVDs
    • CD – Compact disc
    • CD-R – Recordable
    • CD-RW – Rewritable
    • DVD – Digital video disc
    • DVD-R - Recordable
    • DVD +-RW – Rewritable
  • 14.
    • Operating Systems
      • Windows XP
      • Vista
    • Applications or Programs
      • Microsoft Office or similar programs
        • Word processing programs
        • Spreadsheets
        • Databases
      • Photo-editing software
      • Games
        • Solitaire and others
  • 15.
    • The desktop in the sample at right is the blue background on top of which graphic items are placed.
    • An Icon is a picture or graphic that represents a program, process, folder or file.
    • You can double click on an icon to open a program, start a process, or view contents of a folder
  • 16.
    • Start Button
    • Task Bar
    • Task Buttons
    • Quick Launch
    • Notification Area (System Tray)
  • 17. Bars 1 2 3 4 5 6 Buttons Minimize (Send to task bar) Resize (full window or not) Close 1 – Title Bar: name of page or document you’re using 2 – Menu Bar: includes alternate ways to print or go to favorites 3 – Tool Bar: Back button (return to page before), home page (house), favorites 4 – Address Bar: each web page has its own address (URL) 5 – Scroll Bar: Move with bottom for left/right; right for up/down 6 – Status Bar: Shows if page is loading or done.
  • 18.
    • Allows you to see what’s on your computer
  • 19.
    • Use My Computer/Windows Explorer to view files and folders
    • The Task pane easily allows you to work with files
    • Selecting files and folders
      • Use the Edit Menu and Select All to choose all items in a window
      • Use Shift + Click to select items from beginning to end
      • Use Ctrl + Click to select non-adjacent items
  • 20.
    • Copying Files and Folders
      • Cut – Moves the selected file/folder or text to the Clipboard and removes the original – Ctrl + X
      • Copy – Moves the selected file/folder or text to the Clipboard and leaves the original – Ctrl + C
      • Paste – Puts the cut or copied file/folder or text from the Clipboard wherever the cursor is located – Ctrl + V
    • Renaming and Deleting Files and Folders
      • Use the Task Pane, Edit Menu or Right Click Menu to rename or delete files – Can also use Del on keyboard to delete files
  • 21.
    • Starting an Application
    • Practicing keyboard and file management skills with WordPad
    • Using the Menu Bar and Toolbar
    WordPad WordPad can be found by going to the Start Button> All Programs>Accessories>WordPad
  • 22.
    • Using the Toolbar
      • Often used Menu items are also on the Toolbar for easy reference
    • Printing Documents
      • Use Print Preview to see how pages will look
      • Clicking Print icon on toolbar sends it to printer without opening Print dialog box. Use File menu or Right Click Menu to make print choices
  • 23.
    • Save vs. Save As Commands
      • Use the File menu, Toolbar, or Right Click Menu to save your work
      • Save As dialog box will appear the first time you save a file
      • Save As command saves a new copy of your document and leaves the original. You need to provide a new file name and a location where it should be saved.
      • Save command saves your document again if
      • you‘ve made changes
  • 24.
    • Keyboard image is from Chris Rippel’s Computer Training Tutorials, Central Kansas Library System.
    • Material developed from Rochester Regional Library Council
    • CLIC-on-Health for Seniors.
    • Training developed by a team of librarians led by:
    • Chris DeGolyer, Outreach Librarian
    • Additional material obtained from Fond du Lac Public Library
    • Our thanks to Mid-Wisconsin Library System and Steve Platteter for the use of the mobile lab.
    • Thanks to the Theresa Public Library for creating this slideshow!