Glens Falls (NY) Online Book Discussion Group discussion

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Topics Other Than Bks-Pics-TV. > Are there sites where one can get help to use a computer more effectively?

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message 1: by Mary JL (new)

Mary JL (maryjl) | 527 comments The title says it all. I can just barely use a computer and I am SO TIRED of fighting with search engines!

Am I ever going to live long enough to see a computer that is usable? Microsoft is a joke; but they are are only game in town for ost of us!


message 2: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Good luck in your search Mary JL. I'm lucky I got this far with the help of our sons. Much of the time, I learned by trial and error and by asking specific questions about certain settings by calling our ISP for tech help. These days things seem to be getting more complicated all the time.


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6330 comments People are the best resource that I know of. My daughter has patiently worked my wife into using ours. She just throws up her hands when my son & I try to teach her. We don't think anything like her.

When you consider that it's taken IBM years before they felt up to taking the Jeopardy challenge, no, it likely won't be any time too soon, but it is coming. Watson answering natural language questions is a huge step forward. I can't wait to see it. I think it's on early in February.


message 5: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Jim, that's going to be the event of the season! Not too much longer now.


message 6: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6330 comments You're right, Jackie. English, especially the American version of it, is so weird. Of course, our language has a lot to do with how we think, so bringing natural speech to computers is so cool. Normally, they have no sense of humor or common sense. They do what you tell them, unless some idiot programmer has decided otherwise. Most of those idiots seem to work for Microsoft.
;-)


message 7: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Tell me about it, LOL

Watson is going to be so cool, I'm really excited about it. And I'll get to see my hero Ken Jennings again!


message 8: by Earl (last edited Dec 30, 2010 09:12AM) (new)

Earl (read_for_entertainment) | 375 comments Mary JL wrote: "The title says it all. I can just barely use a computer and I am SO TIRED of fighting with search engines!

Am I ever going to live long enough to see a computer that is usable? Microsoft is a ..."


I worked in computers half my life. Almost all on the big mainframes (Sperry Univac Unisys) that corporations use. I had to educate myself to use a PC though - we just used to trade parts in PCs. So my interest is in HOW they work. People who are only interested in how to do specific things on a PC usually, sooner or later, get themselves in a big mess they can't get out of, then take it in and pay thru the nose to get it straightened out.

In PC self-education I've always found newsgroups invaluable. You can browse daily for everybody's problems and the fixes. The proper way to access newsgroups without hassle in thru a newsreader like Agent. They CAN be reached via internet though, on Yahoo.
http://dir.yahoo.com/Computers_and_In...

http://msgroups.net/microsoft.public....

If all you are interested in is using email and browser search engines, you will find this stuff dull as dirt.
Also, a system log is invaluable to record stuff you learn. No need to make the same mistake a dozen times if you wrote down the answer 18 months ago.

Microsoft Windows IS junk, and it's mostly because they aim at the lowest common user. Thus a LOT of things you might want to do is frustrated. The answer, of course, is Linux. Secure and powerful. BUT it's such a chore to learn to use it that I gave up years ago. It still doesn't have a graphic interface (windows) to challenge Windows, you need to become very familiar with the 'command line' and the scatey-eight instructions you can feed it.


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