January is a time for goals and resolutions, and it marks an excellent time for neophyte computer users is to learn how to become computer savvy. Becoming more confident and capable with a computer can help keep pace with today’s technological revolution. The following tips are for those who’ve experienced a recent digital epiphany and now wish to dive deeper into the world of technology. Let 2016 be the year you learn how to improve computer skills and master the basics of using a computer once and for all.
Consider the following specific goals in how to become computer savvy to help make you a more proficient computer user in 2016:
Properly Shutting Down a Computer
It may seem rudimentary, but properly shutting down a computer or laptop is essential to its long-term shelf life. It ensures your data is saved. It conserves energy, and it helps to secure your system. The best and most efficient way to shut down a computer is by using the Windows or Apple menu and selecting the “Shut Down” command.
Also, be sure to shut it down before attaching a new monitor, printer or other external devices.
Learn the Difference Between Sleep and Hibernation Mode
While shutting down your computer is the ideal option in some cases, sometimes all you need use are the sleep or hibernate modes. Understanding these two modes will help you know when to use each.
Hibernation Mode. When you select hibernate, it moves all open and active applications and windows to a special file on the computer’s hard drive; then the computer shuts down. This feature ensures that when the computer is turned back on, everything in the file is properly reactivated. Battery life is preserved, as well. However, it will require a full reboot cycle to restart the machine.
Sleep Mode. When “sleeping” most of the computer (including the hard drive) is shut down, but the active memory (RAM) is put into a low-power state. When you return to use the computer again, the system “wakes up.” No restart is needed. Technically, the computer is still on and drawing power while “sleeping.” Sleep mode is good for relatively short periods of time away from the computer such as a coffee break. However, during longer periods, the processor should be fully shut down.
Master a Computer Operating System
The operating system (OS) is an interface between the user and the hard drive. The two predominate operating systems used today are Windows for PCs and Mac OS X for Apple computers. If you’re committed to conquering either operating system, you will need to start with the basics. The best way to learn these skills is to simply boot the computer up and begin navigating. Your goal is to learn the OS inside and out by finding and launching an application, closing it, learning how files and folders work, and how to save files.
Becoming Familiar With a Word Processing Program
A word processing program can allow you to do many office-related tasks on the computer. Popular word processing programs include Microsoft Word, WordPad, TextEdit, and Notes. Microsoft Word has emerged as the standard in this arena. It is loaded with features (such as various fonts, and tools such as Spell Check) that the other programs mentioned lack.
Once again, explore the basics, including launching (opening) the program, creating a new document, using the formatting options like bold and italics, changing font style and size, saving your document, and sending it to the printer when a document is finished.
Getting On the Internet
If you’re reading this, chances are, you know some basic internet navigation techniques. As you have probably discovered, it offers an array of ways to stay connected with family and friends through email and social media. You can also keep track of the news, conduct research, and shop for products and services.
It all starts with mastery of the mouse and keyboard and the ability to launch a browser (a program that allows you to navigate or “surf” the internet.) The major web browsers include Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox. Once a browser is launched, the internet is literally at your fingertips. From there, you can:
- Open a website
- Explore links
- Create and send emails
- Dive into social media
- Search the internet
- Stream videos
Let Geeks on Site Help
Computers have revolutionized how we work and stay connected. While there is a learning curve for the newcomer, it is well worth the time to learn the basics.
Learning how to improve computer skills is a great way to begin the New Year. You’ll reap the rewards of added connectedness, and the ability to access just about any information online.
If you’d like assistance in navigating any or all of these aspects of a computer, is here to help. Just give us a call! Better yet: Don’t go it alone. Geeks on Site offers Training Plus, a new two-hour training session that provides insight and real hands-on, how-to experience for a host of technical topics. Talk to your Geeks on Site representative to learn more.