Message to first time computer users The first time using a computer can be like the first time riding a bicycle, it is a completely new skill that can be very intimidating. If you feel this way you are not alone, almost everyone experiences this initially. The goal of this tutorial is to introduce you to computers in a simple and understandable way. Tips for first time computer users: Computers are designed to be easy to use. People who design computers try their best to make them as easy to use as they can. Don't be afraid to experiment. Making mistakes will not cause any permanent problems and there are only certain circumstances that will cause deleted files. Generally computers will double check with you before you can delete anything. Computers make mistakes too. Computers will sometimes start doing strange things, do not assume it is something you have done. Computers do so many things at the same time that sometimes errors occur. You can always turn the computer off and start again. If the computer is not working properly or something is happening that you are unsure of, you can always turn it off and start again. The best way to get comfortable with computers is to use them. Using the Internet and the World Wide Web can be an entertaining and informative way to become comfortable with computers.
Computer Basics Computer Basic Topics:
Introduction Sometimes the way people talk about computers can be very confusing, even after you have used them for many years. Fortunately, like a car you do not need to know all the "ins and outs" of computers to be able to use them. Knowing a few basic terms will take you a long way. The following tutorials will introduce you to the basic parts of a computer and will give you some basic terminology for future tutorials.
The Two Basic parts of a Computer System All computer systems need two types of parts that work together to make them run. These parts are: 1. Hardware -The hardware is the part of the computer you can touch and see.( ex. keyboard, mouse, monitor) 2. Software -The software is a part of the computer you cannot touch but is very important. The software is all the programming that makes the computer run; controlling everything that the computer does.
Common Computer Hardware The Monitor is the display screen, similar to a television screen. The Keyboard is what you type on, similar to a typewriter. The Mouse is the small hand held device that attaches to the computer. It may have two or three buttons. The mouse is used to move the cursor (pointer) on the computer screen. The Computer, tower, or case is the heart of the system. This is a box that contains all the parts that make the computer work. It can be identified by the fact that it does not seem to do anything. It also has slots to put computer disks in. The Printer is a device that puts what you have created on to paper. The Scanner is a device that captures pictures so that they can be seen and used on the computer, similar to a colour photocopier.
The Mouse The mouse is a hand held device that lets you interact with the computer by pointing to things on the screen. When you move the mouse on a flat surface a cursor (pointer) moves on the screen. By using the buttons on the mouse you can choose, highlight and move objects. The following list of terms describes the different ways a mouse can be used: Clicking - Pointing to an item and quickly pressing and releasing the mouse button. Left clicking - clicking the left button while the pointer is over something on the screen will select it. Right clicking - clicking the right button while the pointer is over something on the screen will bring up a menu of options. This menu list things that can be done with that object. (ex. copy and paste) Double-clicking - Double-clicking means clicking twice with your left mouse button very fast. This is used to begin programs. This will be explained further in future tutorials. Dragging - Holding down the mouse button while over an object will grab on to it. If you move the mouse while holding down the mouse button you will be able to move (drag) the object to a new place on the screen. Dropping - After dragging an item, releasing the mouse button will leave (drop) the object at the new place on the screen.
Software As described earlier, the software is a part of the computer you cannot touch but is very important. The software is all the programming or instructions that makes the computer run; controlling everything that the computer does. There are two kinds of software that help the computer run: Operating Systems Applications An Operating System is the base program on a computer. It tells the computer how to work or operate. The operating system also allow you to load other programs that do specialized tasks on to your computer. ex. Microsoft Windows Apple’s Mac OS Applications are programs put onto the computer to do specialized tasks. ex. Word and WordPerfect(used to type letters and more complicated documents) Explorer and Netscape(used to explore the Internet)
Other Common Terms A Floppy Disk (sometimes just called a “disk”) looks like a plastic card that can be put into a slot in the front of the computer. These disks hold information and can be used to exchange information between computers. This type of data storage is archaic and obsolete. A Hard Disk is a device that holds all the information that is stored on a computer. Unlike a floppy disk the hard disk cannot be removed from the computer but stores much more information. A CD-ROM is very similar to a stereo’s CD player. It not only plays music but can also retrieve information stored on CD's. A USB Flash Drive (sometimes just called a “flash drive”) looks like a plastic tube that can be put into a slot in the front of the modern computer. Older computers will require you to insert it in a slot in the back or you may not be able to use the drive at all depending on the age of the computer. These disks hold information and can be used to exchange information between computers.
Windows Introduction Microsoft Windows is the operating system found on most personal computers. As an operating system Windows manages all that the computer does. Through Window's main screen called the "Desktop " you can get to everything your computer can do. The following tutorials will introduce you to Windows and how to use it.
Icons On the desktop screen you will see several small pictures. These pictures are called "Icons." The "My Computer" picture below is an example of an icon. Double clicking the left mouse button on an Icons will start the programs it represents. Another way to start programs is by using the “Start” button.
The "Start" Button The "Start" button is probably the most used part of the Windows Desktop. The start button is where you access all the programs on the computer. When you click on the "Start" button you will be shown a menu of the major computer headings. These headings provide access to the major programs on your computer. Quick Tip: If the desktop does not show the gray bar with the "Start" button on it, simply move your mouse (cursor) to the bottom edge of the screen and the task bar will appear.
Menus When you click on the "Start" button a menu with options will appear. Moving the mouse over the items in the menu causes them to highlight. Clicking on a highlighted item will open that program. To close the "Start" menu click on the screen anywhere other then the menu.
Finding a Program Moving the mouse over a menu item marked with an arrow as shown below will open another list with more options To see all the programs available for you to use on your computer click on the Start button and in the menu that appears, highlight the item named “Programs.” A new list will appear that holds more selections. Explore these lists to see all the programs available to you. When you have found the program that you want to use click on its icon
The Taskbar Windows has the ability to run several programs at once and to easily switch back and forth between running programs. All programs currently running are shown on the windows "taskbar." The taskbar is a gray bar with pictures on in it that runs across the very bottom of the screen. The taskbar can be recognized by the "Start" button located on its left hand side and the clock on its right. To switch between programs that are running at the same time, click on the program buttons shown on the taskbar. This is demonstrated below.
Adjusting a Window's Size Most Windows programs share the same look and feel which makes switching between and learning new programs easier. Common to all Windows programs is the ability to adjust the shape and size of the window you are working in. Some of the ways you can change a window includes; moving, closing, maximizing, minimizing and restoring it. The following diagram and chart explains how to adjust a window.
How to Adjust a Window MoveClick and hold down the mouse button on the coloured bar at the top of any program window. While holding down the mouse button drag the window to where you would like it on the screen. This cannot be done when a window is open to full screen. Close Click on the button marked with an “x.” Clicking on this button stops the program you are using. Restore This button will restore a program's window to its original size. The original size of a window is a little bit smaller then full screen. Maximize This button opens a program's window so that it fills the screen as much as it can. Minimize This button puts a program on hold and places it on the taskbar at the bottom of your screen. To re-open a program that is on the taskbar click on the box which represents the program you want to open. For example the box shown below would represent this tutorial. Resizing When the mouse (cursor) is positioned over this part of the program window, a set of arrows appears. When these arrows appear click and hold the mouse button down. You will now be able to stretch the program window in any direction.
Using my Computer The "My Computer" program is a tool that lets you see everything that is stored on your computer. It is useful for finding, organizing and storing files on your computer. Files represent stored information that you have named. Think of "My Computer" as a filing cabinet for your computer. You can open the "My Computer" program by double clicking on the "My Computer" icon on the "desktop" as shown below. Once you have double clicked on the icon, the following window will appear. The icons in the" My Computer" window represent all the drives, folder and files on your computer. The following describes the icons that you will use the most as a new computer use
Drives Drives are like filing cabinets for computer files. To see what is stored on a drive double click on its icon and a list of files and folders will appear. These files and folders will be arranged alphabetically. To open any of these files double click on them.
The A: drive icon opens files saved on a floppy disk. You may only open this drive when you have put a floppy disk into the drive slot of the computer. The C: drive icon on most home computers represents the hard drive. This is the drive where all the programs that your computer runs are stored. You can also store files that you have created on this drive. If you do not think that the C: drive is your hard drive, look for a drive that has the same picture for an icon. The D: drive icon represents the CD-ROM drive. Double clicking on this icon will show you all the files stored on a CD-ROM
Folders help you organize your files by dividing up a drive into alphabetically organized sections. Double clicking on a folder will open it. Each folder can also hold other folders and files. File: Files are information stored by a program. For example a file created in "WordPerfect" will be saved with the ending ".wpd." Double clicking on a file will open it.
INTERNET Introduction The Internet has greatly changed the way people use computers and communicate today. Many Internet terms have become part of people's everyday language and e-mail has added a whole new means through which people can communicate. The following tutorials will introduce you to the Internet and the tools you need to explore it.
What is the Internet?The Internet is a world wide collection of networked computers which are able to exchange information with one another very quickly. The computers that make up the Internet exchange information using the same cables and general technology that your home phone uses. Most people use the Internet in two ways, e-mail and the World Wide Web. History Lesson:The Internet was originally developed by university researchers and was funded by the United States Defense Department. The Defense Department wanted its computer network to be able to communicate effectively even if some sections were knocked out. The Internet provides many possible pathways for information to travel between computers.
What is the difference between the World Wide Web and the Internet? The World Wide Web (The Web) is only a portion of what makes up the internet, but it is the fastest growing part of the internet. The Web lets people, organizations and companies publish information for other people to see. This makes the Web a very useful tool for finding information on just about any topic.The Web is a large number of computer documents or "Web pages“ that are stored on computers around the world and are connected to one another using hyperlinks. These Web pages can be seen by anyone through their computer's "Web Browser," which is the program you are using now.A group of Web pages that follow the same theme and are connected together with hyperlinks is called a "Web site." Web sites and Web pages are written in a coding language that makes it possible to add pictures, sound and interactivity to plain old text, making people's reading experience more exciting. What the Internet is used for most?
Sharing and exchanging information
E-commerce (selling things on a Web sites)
Web AddressesAs described earlier the Web is a collection of documents (Web pages) stored on computers around the world. Just like every house has a postal code, each Web page has an address describing where it can be found. On the Web these addresses are called URLs. Each URL has several parts which can be demonstrated using the address: http://www.google.com/services/index.htm http:// This part of the address indicates that it is a Web page. www. This indicates that the Web page you are looking at is part of the World Wide Web. Many Web sites do not use www but are still part of the Web. google.com This part of the address is the domain name and indicates the unique address of a Web site. The domain name also often indicates what the site is about, for examplewww.dog.com is a Web site about dogs. /services/ The "/" symbol indicates you have moved into a specific directory in the Web sites. Directories are like the folders on your computer and help to organize Web pages in a Web sites.index.htm A word with ".htm" or "html" following it indicates the name of the specific page in the Web site you are looking at.
Web Browsers Web browsers are programs used to explore the Internet. There are many Web browser programs available including Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer and Opera. Internet Explorer is the Internet browser made by Microsoft and comes with Windows operating system.These are the two most popular web browsers:
Connecting to the InternetTo connect to the Internet you must first open your Internet browser. To open your Internet browser : Read through or print this page out for reference. Left click on the "Start" button at the bottom left of your screen. In the menu that appears move the mouse over the word "Programs". A new menu will appear showing various programs on your computer. 4. Look for the following menu item and left click on it, Internet explorer will begin to run. (If Internet Explorer is not in that menu search some of the other menus, your computer may have been customized) 5. If you are not already connected to the Internet the following screen will appear asking you to connect.
6. Left click the connect button as indicated above. There will be a wait as your computer tries to connect with the company that provides your internet service (ISP). When a set of computers appears on the right hand side of the Taskbar you will have successfully connected to the Internet and can begin to use your Internet browser to explore the Internet.(If you did not successfully connect to the Internet, try again a couple of time. If you cannot connect, check with the individual who looks after that computer or call your internet service provider (ISP) for assistance.)
Introducing Internet ExplorerThere are four main parts to your web browser, a Menu Bar, a Navigation Bar, a Location Bar, and a Display Window.
The Menu Bar’s OptionsYou can see this bar at the top of your current screen if you are using Internet explorer. All browsers will have most of these options, but they may have a different name Options:File: Opens, saves, prints and exits files. This menu is similar to other office programs.Edit: Allows you to cut, copy and paste some Web documents.View: Gives you options for customizing your Web browser. Favorites: Allows you to store links or go to your favorite Web pages. Tools: Provides quick access to news and e-mail programs, as well as, option to personalize your browser.Help: Gives you access to information and tips that are related to Internet Explorer.
The Navigation BarYou can see this bar at the top of your current screen if you are using Internet explorer. All browsers will have most of these options, but they may have a different name. Options: Back: Shows you the last Web page you were on. Forward: Sends you ahead to the next Web page. You are only able to use this button when you have previously used the Back Button. Stop: Stops a Web site from loading. This is useful if you change your mind while waiting for a page to load. Refresh: Reloads a page that is not being displayed or is being displayed improperly. Sometimes pages will run into problems when they are loading. Using the refresh button can help if pages are taking too long to load. Home: This button returns you to your “home” Web page. Your “home” page is a Web page that is set to always show up when you first start your browser. Search: Opens a search program that helps you find key words on the Internet. Favorites: Opens a list of Web site addresses saved by the user. History: Lists the Web pages you have visited by date. Mail: Opens the computers e-mail program. Print: Prints the Web page you are currently looking at.
The Location Bar Address Line: Holds the address of the Web site you are currently at. You can also type the address of a Web site you would like to go to in this box. Drop Down Arrow: " Clicking" on this arrow will open a list of recently entered addresses.
FavoritesWeb site addresses can be very long and difficult to remember. If you find a site that you know you will want to return to you can "bookmark" it. A "bookmark" is a saved link to a Web site To create a bookmark: Make sure the Web site you want to save is open. Click on the favorites on the menu bar. Click on “Add to favorites...” Click the “OK” button OR create a new folder to hold your Web site address.
Opening a book marked website: To open your saved Web site address click on the favorites button on the navigation bar. A list of saved Web sites will appear. Select your saved Web site.
Search Engines Introduction to Search Engines A search engine is a Web site that lets you search the Internet for Web sites on specific topics. Search engines turn the web into a powerful tool for finding information on any topic. The following tutorials will introduce you to search engines and help you learn how to use them effectively.
How to Search the Web Go to one of the search engine Web sites listed on the following page. Somewhere on the Web page there will be a box for you to type in. Type in the key words you are looking for (example: sports hockey.) Somewhere on the Web page there will be an image that looks like a button and has the word "search" on it. Clicking on this image will start your search and bring up a new Web page with a list of Web sites related to your topic on it. Clicking on one of the titles in the list will take you to that Web site on your topic. Many search engine also have "Directories" or lists of topics that are organized into categories. Browsing these Directories is also a very efficient way to find information on a given topic. Hint: When using a search engine be as specific as possible and use the right spelling. Important: different search engines have different Web sites listed. Use many search engines to broaden your search.
Here are Some of the Most Popular Search Engines: Googlehttp://www.google.com AltaVistahttp://www.altavista.com Yahoohttp://www.yahoo.com Hotbothttp://www.hotbot.com Lycoshttp://www.lycos.com Excitehttp://www.excite.com webCrawlerhttp://www.webcrawler.com
Advanced Search StrategiesAll search engines provide the user with the option of doing advanced searches. Advanced searches are useful because they give you the option of including and excluding words from a search. To do an advanced search look for a link on the search engines Web page that says “advanced search.” Clicking on this link will take you to a page with advanced search options. The following chart also provides a number of methods for doing advanced searches on most search engines.
Email Introduction E-mail or electronic mail is one of the most popular uses of the Internet today. E-mail allows you to exchange messages with friends who are connected to the internet anywhere in the world. The advantages of e-mail over regular mail is that it is free, it is delivered almost instantly and you can attach all types of files to your messages. The following tutorials will introduce you to e-mail and help you set up your own e-mail account.
E-mail Addresses Similar to Web pages all e-mail accounts have unique addresses indicating which computer to send mail to. For email, an address usually has two parts, your user ID (usually your name) and the identity of your e-mail service. These two parts are separated by the symbol @. The following e-mail address demonstrates these parts: email@example.com billy_the_kid This is called your user ID and is used when you sign in to your e-mail service. Notice how "_" is used to separate words in the name. Because e-mail names cannot contain spaces, the symbol "_" is used to connect many words into one long word. @ This is an "at" sign. It separates the persons name from the name of the e-mail service they are using. hotmail.com This indicates which e-mail service you are using and its location on the web. This address if for Hotmail, Microsoft's free e-mail service. The above e-mail address would be said like: billy_the_kid at hotmail.com
Setting up an E-mail AccountThis page will guide you through the set up of a Hotmail account. Hotmail is a totally free e-mail service run by Microsoft that lets you send and receive e-mail from any computer that is connected to the Internet. The Hotmail service is run through the Hotmail Web page which can be found at the Web address listed in "Step 2" below Step 1. Print this Web page for use as a guide. Step 2. Go to http://www.hotmail.com (Hint: Bookmark this page for future reference. This is the page you will use to sign in every time you check your e-mail ) Step 3. Click on the words “Sign up” as shown below. Step 4. Fill in the registration form. Remember to write down the user name and password you pick. Submit the form. Note: Because of the amount of people that use hotmail, picking a user name can sometimes take a couple of tries to find one that is available. Step 5. There will be a Web Page that congratulates you on your new account. Somewhere on the Web Page there will be an image that looks like a button with the word "continue" on it. Click on this image to continue to the next screen.
Sending and Receiving E-mail Just like regular mail you can either send or receive e-mail. In hotmail sending a message is done through the "Compose" option and messages that have been sent to you are stored in your "Inbox."
Sending an E-mailClick on "Compose" in the Hotmail menu bars. This will bring up a screen with the following on it: To send an e-mail follow these steps: In the line marked "To:" type in the person's e-mail address that you want to send a message to. Be careful to spell the address right and use the right lower and upper case letters.(A good way to practice is to send yourself a message: firstname.lastname@example.org) The line marked "Cc:" is used when you want to send an exact copy of your message to other people. Simply enter the e-mail addresses of the other people you want to send a copy of your message to in this line. In the "Subject:" line type something that describes what your message is about. The subject will be shown in the recipients inbox, making it easier for them to sort through their e-mails. This is the area where you type your message. There is no limit to how much you can type in this space. When you are done writing your message press the send button and your message will instantly be delivered.
Receiving E-mailClick on "inbox" in the hotmail menu bars. This will bring up a screen with the following on it: To read your new messages "click" on the names that appear in the "From" column. In the example above the name is "Hotmail Staff." This will bring up a new screen with the content of the message. When you have finished reading the message you can "click" on the "Inbox" tab to see other new messages.
Replying, Forwarding and Deleting E-mailOnce you have read a message there are a number of options hotmail gives you to make communicating more efficient. Reply: This option automatically opens a new message that is addressed to the person who sent you the message. In the body of the new message there will also be a copy of the message you are replying to. Reply All: This works similarly to "Reply" but replies to all the addresses in an e-mail not just the main one. Forward: This option lets you send to other people an exact copy of a message that was sent to you. Delete: This option erases messages that you have marked with a check mark from your "Inbox."
E-mail AttachmentsE-mail gives you the ability to send or attach any kind of file to a message. For example you can attach a Word or WordPerfect file to your message. This is very useful for exchanging files between people over long or short distances. In the past you may have had to send a disk through the mail, which could have taken a couple of weeks. Now it's almost instant! Attaching a file to an e-mail 1.Press the "Add/Edit Attachments" button as shown above. 2.Type an e-mail message as described in the previous lessons. 3.A new Hotmail screen will appear. 4.Select your file using the "Browse..." button on the screen. A window will appear that will let you select a file from your computer. 5.Select the "Attach " button to the right of the "Browse..." button 6.Select Done. Your file is now attached to your message 7.Send your message
Opening E-mail Attachments When you receive an email with an attachment in Hotmail the message will have an attachment heading. Simply click on the attachments file name and you will be taken to a new screen, where you will be asked to download the file to your computer. Click on the "Download File" button to save the file to your own computer. Hotmail also scans the file for viruses.
Turning off your computer Turning off the computer should be easy right? Press the power button and you're done. You can do this, but it is not advised. Computers are complicated machines that do many things at the same time. The makers of computers and computer programs prefer that you turn off the computer using their programs. Using a computer's programs to turn it off lets the computer reset all its settings for the next time you use it. Read the following through completely or print this page off before you begin to turn off the computer. To turn off your computer: Click on the "Start" button at the bottom left of your screen. In the menu that appears move the mouse over the words "Shut down...," click the left mouse button. The screen will go grayish and the following window will appear. Select the "Shut down" option as shown above and press "OK." There will be a screen that appears which says "Window is shutting down." After a short wait two things may happen, your computer may turn off automatically or a new screen will appear telling you " It's now safe to turn off your computer." If your computer does not turn off automatically, turn it off by pressing the power button on the main box. Remember to also turn off the screen's power. Vista Vista To turn off your computer: Click on the "Start" button at the bottom left of your screen. Move you mouse over the the arrow and click on the "Shut Down" option in the menu as seen below: There will be a screen that appears which says "Window is shutting down." After a short wait your computer will turn off automatically Remember to also turn off the screen's power.