Three things that EVERY computer user should know.

Now I don’t expect every client I have to be computer experts. If they were they wouldn’t need me. However it does amaze me that some people do not know some very basic aspects of their digital lives.  I mean these are basics, these three are the equivalent of asking what kind of car do you drive? where is the gas cap?

1) Your email:

Me: “What is your email address?”
Client: “Its”

Me: “Okay I have the server settings, go ahead and put in your password”

Client: “Password?”

Me: “Your email password”

Client: “I don’t have one I just hit the button and my email shows up”

I usually have this conversation right after I do a reload for a client or sometimes after I clean their internet history part of computer clean up. Normally this happens because the client’s email was setup by a well meaning and more computer literate friend or relative, and the password was either never reveled, or just plain forgotten. It’s one of the reasons why I ask if they know their password before I do any work anymore.  Now finding the password might be difficult but resetting your password is not. Most providers have password reset features. Its also easier to reset your password when you’re already logged into your account.  If not, it means getting in contact with your email provider and convincing them you are you. Easy when it is an exchange server ran by your company, not so easy if its and AOL or a Yahoo account.

2) Your OS:

It’s like a FB profile for your pc. 

“What OS are you running? ”  This is usually one of the first questions I ask a client normally over the phone as I set up the appointment.  I have gotten answers from “Its the blue one” to “Its an HP” to “office 2007”.  This usually results in me talking them through how to pull up their computer properties. To describing the start key if there is one.  The easiest way? Right click My computer (xp) or Computer (Win Vista, or 7) and select properties. This will not only let us see the OS, it will also show the amount of ram, processor and architecture. All of these really handy when buying software, upgrading parts, or getting your computer repaired.

Cut, Copy, Move, and Paste.
I have gotten more then a few calls this past year with people asking me how to get files off their computer. They created a file or set of files and want to put them on a thumb drive.  At this point I try to walk them through copying the files but most of the time I need to show them. 

Now I could spend the next 8 blog posts explaining this, but I got others peoples computers to fix.  Also I want to see the Royal Rumble this weekend. But I did find a great video series for Windows 7 Here is the video for the file management basics.  This video series is by Ron Grove who decided to create these and other training videos. (Thanks Ron) 

You know at the time of this post, I am 34 years old. I distinctly remember taking computer literacy classes. Classes plural, 1 in elementary, 1 in middle, 1 in high school and 1 as an undergraduate long before I thought of making computers my career.  My point is if you are my age or younger you have no excuse for not knowing this stuff.

However if you happen to be my senior or you spent your time in class catching Z’s Lanterns Light LLC will be there to help you. 


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