Virginia DeBolt (bio) writes the bi-weekly Elder Geek column for Time Goes By in which she takes the mystery out of techie things all bloggers and internet users need to know to simplify computer use. She has written several books on technology and keeps two blogs herself, Web Teacher and First 50 Words. You will find links to Virginia's previous Time Goes By Elder Geek columns here.
Remember when you first got that computer and were determined to learn to email so you could see photos of your grandkids? You'd heard about how great it was to get your boarding pass online and thought you might like to use the Internet? Remember that?
I do, too. One of the things I remember realizing when I was a newbie was that if I clicked a column title (see image) in my list of computer files, I could re-sort everything based on title or type or date modified or kind.
I learned this by clicking the column heads unknowingly and then wondering why in h-e-double-toothpicks things that had just been in alphabetical order were all jumbled up. Suddenly, I couldn't find what I wanted.
Of course, once I figured it out, it seemed wonderfully obvious (intuitive is the word they foist on us to make it sound easy). I could use that knowledge in many ways, and did. But until I knew it, finding things on my computer was often frustrating.
More recently I was thrilled to discover that if I type something in the location bar (not the search bar; the bar where you type the URL), the browser would search for it. So if I could remember that Joared's blog is called Along the Way, I could type that in the location bar and I would get search results, one of them being the http://joared-along.blogspot.com/ URL that I was looking for.
We're supposed to learn these things without anyone ever telling us about them. Osmosis or something. Failed experiments, perhaps. Accidental enlightment.
Do you remember some of the discoveries you made as a newbie? If you told us about them, I'll bet they would be wonderful tips for other new computer users. What's your best newbie tip?
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Johna Ferguson: Fog