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Newbie Computer Tips-or Why Didn’t Someone Tell Me About This Months Ago?

So, you’re new to computers, and you feel like you’re back in kindergarten … well, in a way, you are! But, computers are new and very foreign to you right now if you’ve just recently sat down in front of one! Just remember, because it’s so new, you must approach it differently, just like you did in kindergarten! I don’t care if you’re 8 or 88; you need to recall the wonder, joy, and excitement you felt when you first started learning something new! Have fun with it! Explore … ask yourself, what does this do? Click on it … check it out! But, above all … don’t be afraid of it … it won’t bite, and it certainly doesn’t know more than you do … it just seems that way sometimes because it does things faster – that’s all.

Here’s a couple of tips for you to ‘give you a push.

Look at your mouse and notice that it has 2 buttons and usually a wheel in between … use the Right button … Right-click on everything! Clicking on the Right mouse button will do one thing only … to show a context menu or a list of options about the selected object. For example, point the mouse arrow to an icon on your desktop and instead of clicking with the left mouse button, click with the Right and see what happens! You’ll see a menu with a list of many commands for that particular icon, one of which is ‘delete’ … if you move your pointer to the menu and then move the mouse, you’ll see that you can select any one of the commands. Select ‘delete’ only if you wish to delete that one icon by click on the command with your left mouse button.


Hocus-pocus! It’s done!

Windows Explorer is aptly named as it allows you to Explore your computer! So don’t be afraid to look around on your hard disk. Look around in all your folders, and try all of the programs you see when you click on the Start Menu. How do you get to Windows Explorer? Easy! Left-click on the start button in the left corner of your screen. Next, find ‘All Programs’ with an arrow pointing to the right and hold your mouse pointer over it until the larger menu pops up. Next, move your pointer to the right and then (usually) up until it lands on the Folder “Accessories.” When it does, the menu expands to show what is in that folder (other folders and programs), move your pointer to the right, and down the list until it lands on Windows Explorer.

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Left-click on that program to open it. A window will open up that shows you the access you have to your computer, usually starting with “My Documents” (as it is in Windows XP). The Window that opens is divided into 2 sections; the left side shows a list of ‘places’ (folders) on your computer, and whichever one is highlighted will show the other folders and files on the right-hand side of the window. So, for example, the My Pictures folder is found within the My Documents folder.

So … open it up! Have fun! Explore!

Written by Debbi Baird, Co-Owner, PC For Seniors Author of many technical articles in ‘plain English’ for the “Older Generation” and Trainer / Tutor / Consultant in the Palm Beach, Florida area. Go to [] to find more information on computers and The Internet in the “How to Do I …” section of the website! Also, check out our Hot Sites! Listing for links to great places to go online for Seniors!

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