Introduction

Pretend you just bought a car. You have never driven one, and you have not taken any classes on driving. You want to go to the mall. You get into the brand new car, and try to start it up. You have no idea what the pedals do, or what the rules are that will keep you safe. There is little chance you will make it safely to the mall.

People would never think of doing such a thing. They know that learning to drive is a complicated thing, and that learning to do it right is important. Yet they think that they can get behind a computer and "drive" it the first time out of the box with no idea of what the parts are or what they do.

Using a computer is every bit as complex as driving a car (though thankfully it is less dangerous!). There is a whole set of new words and meanings, new tasks and ways to do things that make the whole thing make much more sense once you know what they are. Computers operate by rules, and those rules ARE learnable by most people.

It takes a lot of time to learn to use a computer well. You won't learn to use it quickly, but if you keep practicing, you will keep learning more. Eventually you will be able to learn all you want to learn about them if you keep trying and keep practicing.

The important thing is to have something to do. If you don't have anything you really want to do with your computer - read email, look up information online, write letters to friends, learn to use a digital camera, or even just play games, then you will never learn because you won't have a reason to learn. If you have something you want to do badly enough to try each day, then you will learn it.

Not knowing how to use a computer does not mean you are stupid. Sometimes it will make you feel that way though! Just remember, you are not going to learn it all at once. Focus on progress. If you know a little more this week than last week, then you are doing great.

And remember, if any of these lessons confuses you, you can let us know and we will try to make it more clear.

Firelight Web Studio
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