BASICS OF COMPUTING OR
COMPUTER HELP FOR PEOPLE OVER 50

Site dedicated to every single elderly person in the world who needs a little help using computers and Windows.

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(New, revised, and enlarged edition)
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computers for seniors, computer help for people over 50, basic computers, computer tutorials, computer basics, computing basics, online computer tutorials
These computer tutorials are for all seniors who need a little help using computers
computers for elderly, computers for beginners, free computer lessons, computers for over 50, basics of computing, online computer lessons
Have some fun while you learn
(Don't miss the animated joke videos on the Jokes Page.)

By Shoban Sen

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The title of this site could have been "computers for beginners", "computers for seniors", "computer basics", "computer tutorials", "basics of computing" - anything. Any of these titles would be appropriate for this site. But at work, I have found that people over 50 usually need help using their computers. That is why I have chosen the title "Computer Help For People Over 50". Whether you are over 50 or under 15, if you are new to computers and/or Windows, and if you need help with some of the basics of computing, you have just found the right source. Please bookmark* this page now before you lose it! This is truly a "computers for beginners" site. People of any age can benefit from these tutorials. And these tutorials are totally FREE!!

*Click here to learn what is bookmark and how to do it.

To the elderly people I say I know your predicament because I was myself in your position just a few years ago. I often felt too embarassed to ask basic computer questions to younger people for fear of being laughed at.

Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows XP. If you are still using XP your computer is no longer protected from thousands of dangers lurking in the cyberspace. Please upgrade to Windows 8.1 ASAP. Don't be afraid. Everything you need to know about Windows 8.1 is already available at WINDOWS 8.1 - Help, How To's, and Tips.

A few quick notes before we begin:

I am not a computer expert by any stretch of imagination. I am not a teacher either. I am a 61 year old man (at the time of writing this - in 2002) who first started using computers only about 5-6 years ago. By sheer perseverance I have taught myself a few basic things about computers. I kept on reading the manuals and online help until I found the answer to my question. And since I come from a family of teachers, I guess I have it in my blood ... I have discovered that I can explain things to learners better than an average person.

These tutorials are for Personal Computers (PC), not for Macintosh (Mac). The Operating System is Windows. I use Windows 98 at home. Therefore, the examples and screenshots will be from Windows 98. But please understand this - if you learn the fundamentals here, you can apply it to any Windows based system. If you are using Windows XP, your screen may look a little different than the screenshots you see here. But please be assured if you understand how things work in Windows environment, you can apply it to any version of Windows. You will be able to figure out things yourself if they work slightly differently in the Windows version you are using. I can and do use all available versions of Windows with ease. Because I know the principles how Windows work! It is like learning to drive a car. If you know how to drive a car, you can drive any make, any model, any year car. Different cars have controls located at different places. Sometimes the controls look slightly different. But you can always figure them out. Sometimes figuring out may take an extra minute. But you can always figure it out. Right?

With computers, usually the same task can be performed in various ways. Most often what can be accomplished with a click or clicks of the mouse, can also be done by striking a key or combination of keys on the key board. While it is good to have options, I find it doubly hard to remember how to do a particular thing with so many available options. I, therefore, try to remember only one way of doing a thing, either by using the mouse or by using the keyboard, whichever seems easier (to me) to remember or to do. In this site, I shall, therefore, try to teach only one way of doing a certain thing in most cases. I shall ignore the alternative ways. That approach will also keep the length of each topic relatively short. I hope my readers will appreciate that.

These days most people use computers both at work and in home. In large offices, each computer is usually a part of a Local Area Network (LAN) and some of the things there work, and are maintained slightly differently, than free standing home computers. Since this web site is meant for elderly people, many of whom are retired, I shall restrict the discussions to mainly home computers which are used by many grandpas and grandmas these days who may not have used computers in their working days. Many grandparents are using computers these days to surf the Net and to keep in touch with their children and grandchildren via e-mail. This web site is dedicated to all these grandparents who could use a little help.

This site is about basic Windows help. All Windows based programs work basically the same way. If you know the general principles about how to work in Windows environment, you can figure out many things about particular applications yourself. But don't expect answers in this site about how to do a particular thing with a particular application you are using, such as your word processor or your photo editing program. Such discussions are beyond the scope of this site.

And always remember Windows online help and the particular application's online help are your best bets for solutions to your specific problems. Well, probably a better bet is telephone support from the Technical Services Representative of the company concerned, provided you are eligible for Tech Support, and provided you can get through to them!

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Okay, let's get started. I shall touch on the following topics in the order they are listed. You can read everything from beginning to end, or you can jump to the topic of your interest by clicking on it.

MENU

Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows XP. If you are still using XP, your computer is no longer protected from thousands of dangers lurking in the cyberspace. Please upgrade to Windows 8.1 ASAP. Don't be afraid. Everything you need to know about Windows 8.1 is already available at WINDOWS 8.1 - Help, How To's, and Tips.

In case you missed the point ...

computers for seniors, computer help for people over 50, basic computers, computer tutorials, computer basics, computing basics, online computer tutorials

What is the difference between 'Save' and 'Save As'? What is a 'File' and what is a 'Folder'? What is 'Upload' and what is 'Download'? What is a computer 'Virus'? How to install and how to uninstall a program? Is there a difference between a program and an application? What is click, what is right-click, and what is double-click? How do I shut off Windows? How do I start Windows in a 'safe mode'? ... If you are looking for answers to these kinds of basic computer questions, you are in the right site. When these tutorials were originally written, most people were using Windows98. Since then newer versions of Windows have come to the market and most people have switched to a newer version. But the answers to the basic computer questions like the above, and the priciples in which Windows run and do things, have not changed. Since there is hardly any other Windows tutorial available online, which explains these basic principles so clearly and in so easy-to-understand way to the newbies, people willing to have a solid foundation in personal computing, still use these tutorials as guideline and then use the concept in whatever version of Windows they are using. If you master these concepts, you can use any version of Windows.


If you need help with Windows 8.1, please try:
Windows 8.1 Help computer help, bestnetguru
If you need help with Windows XP, please try:
Help with Windows XP
If you need help using the Internet, check out the companion site:
Internet Basics For Seniors
If you are an absolute beginner in computing, check out:
ABC's of Computing

(Now includes basic word processing tutorial.)
If you love Indian things, please try:
Shoban's India Page
Learn the art of home movie editing:
Home Movie Making Tutorials for Beginners

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This site has been recommended by the Sunday Times (London) for the elderly people.
Click here to view the recommendation.


computer help, over 50, computers for seniors, free computer tutorials, computers for elderly people, computer guru, shoban sen
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First published on August 12, 2002.
Second Edition published on June 12, 2005
Last modified on June 13, 2014
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Terms of Use

Please respect my ownership of the copyright to these tutorials. You are welcome to use them to learn the Basics of Computing. However, there are a few restrictions on their use.
1. DO NOT put these tutorials up on a site of your own or use them in a classroom, claiming them as your own.
2. DO NOT send these tutorials to a newsgroup or e-groups. Provide a link to the original tutorials instead.
3. Translations of these tutorials are welcomed but my previous written permission IS REQUIRED. Translations are to be clearly marked as translations of these tutorials with a link back to this site. Translators cannot claim credit for the original idea.


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