How-to "help" someone use a computer.

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Re: How-to "help" someone use a computer.

Postby enxio27 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:41 am

I think I'm going to print this out and re-read it every time my mother calls me with a computer problem.

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Re: How-to "help" someone use a computer.

Postby PatH57 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:25 pm

my 2 cents,

everybody knows something about computers nowadays and will try to fix it before asking (even my mother)
Be clear and ask again, avoid technical mambo jumbo or sending

Code: Select all

sudo whatever
before checking what the level of understanding is.
Everyone seems to know what memory is and then again and again I hear "I'm running out of memory" when it was disk space...
Linux, windows,unix,MacOS each use a different language. It is all English but so many dialects... and when you start getting fluent in one you tend to forget that others aren't.
People disagree with me. I just ignore them.
(Linus Torvalds, regarding the use of C++ for the Linux kernel.)

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Re: How-to "help" someone use a computer.

Postby gingertom5005 » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:01 am

I do quite a bit of one to one teaching with older people, often in their seventies and eighties and have been fairly successful with all my students. I have found that it helps to find either what games they like or what their favourite shows and TV series were. Get a seventy five year old onto Youtube and if they love (say) Dr Finlay's Casebook etc their motivation and ability to absorb information and navigate menus seems to increase exponentially. I like the general understanding of posts that the student needs to be doing rather than watching.

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Re: How-to "help" someone use a computer.

Postby Maggie777 » Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:08 am

I have taught two students to use computer.
It's a step by step procedure
first you need to know how much your students already knows about computer. After that you need to start
I usually start with computer hardware. I believe by taking computer classes you can learn more. A person can learn computer if he / she try using them on daily bases.

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Re: How-to "help" someone use a computer.

Postby ganamant » Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:01 pm

PatH57 wrote: "I'm running out of memory" when it was disk space...

So true. And the fact they call solid state storage cards "memory cards" certainly doesn't help on this issue. I've even heard some people speaking of RAM as a metaphor for storage space in thair minds to remember things.

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Re: How-to "help" someone use a computer.

Postby benem » Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:03 am

Just keep in mind you have to take a long time to help someone to do something on their computer, that will make you more patience :D
In my true story, I forgot some necessary files in my own computer at home, and call my older sister send those file for me. Just an easy task? Yeah but it take me about 1h :(
Last edited by karlchen on Wed Oct 28, 2015 3:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: removed link to unrelated external website

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Re: How-to "help" someone use a computer.

Postby Palladini » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:38 pm

I am one of those people who sit down on any computer, fix it and have it running better in few hours. I can also open any program and within 5 minutes be using it like a pro. My earliest days of computer started before the Vic 20 and BASIC computer language, in fact I did do punch cards at one time. I should be teaching home computer use.
[b]I love Linux[/b]
New user, not programming smart, last program language I learned was called Basic on a Commodore 64

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Re: How-to "help" someone use a computer.

Postby lmintnewb2 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:44 pm

I prefer old school proven methods, aka pain and violence. Every time they screw some tech task up, hit them on the soles of their feet with a 2x4 a couple times. :)
The most powerful free tech-support tool the world has ever known. > HERE <

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Re: How-to "help" someone use a computer.

Postby Veerstryngh Thynner » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:35 pm

I was in my mid-thirties, the first time ever I touched a computer. A clunky, massively heavy desktop with DOS on it. From then on, I moved through all MS Windows incarnations (except Vista), until Windows drove me virtually bonkers. At that point, a friend introduced me to Linux and kindly installed Ubuntu 3.10 on my then desktop. And the rest is history, as they say.

Still, I never had a teacher of the quality of the one who initiated this thread. So even though I have been on Linux for quite a while now, I still feel a beginner. When I grew up, computers were still a distant dream, you see. Something brought up in science fiction movies or novels. Not an everyday household item as today. Computers fabulously expensive, in those days - and thus only within reach of governments and wealthy corporations. Their size usually required a lot of space, too - and all they were capable of, ultimately, was churning out large packs of printed paper.

I missed out on the experience of 1990s' and early Noughties' kids growing up with a home computer within arm's reach. Practically from the cradle onwards. And in that context I ongoingly find the jargon often bandied about in forums like these extremely off-putting. It never really caught on. And it never really will, I'm afraid. Maybe because I'm part of a generation that never enjoyed the same privilege (if it is one).

Computer jargon seems purposely designed to separate the chaff (the ignorant) from the corn (the cognisant). Moreover, it doesn't leave any leeway for VISUALISATION. Like, indeed, the connection between a button pressed and what's happening on the screen. Do these people ever realise how difficult it is, for some, to move away from abstraction? So yes, I DO indeed feel stupid, after reading the same three lines at least ten times and still not grasping what these mean. Much the same as with cricket terminology, for instance. That has a similar effect on me. It's English alright, but of a sort I'll never be able to make heads or tails of.

I'm still a learner - and bound to remain one for a long time to come. But I doubt if I'll ever completely get to grips with Linux, before I die. My learning comes in small, incremental steps now. Not in big leaps any more. Yet my "ignorance", publicly displayed in forums like these, often meets with great impatience. Anger even. And this regularly discourages me from asking at all.

More usually, though, common sense takes me some way instead. But otherwise it's ploughing through ever more impenetrable gobbledegook, online, and, in the end, being left with no other choice, sometimes, but to try and live with whatever the fault on my system is.

Veerstryngh Thynner

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