1. Turn on the computer
Firstly you need to turn on the 'brains box' or hardware of the computer - button to push should be obvious. (Note: if you have a laptop or tablet the video screen starts up automatically too).
If the video screen is separate to the the 'brains box' you also need to switch on the screen - usually at the bottom of the screen. There are 4 buttons on the Council computer screens and the switch is farthest to the right hand side (symbol is a circle with a line in it - looks like a switch?) If you press the 'on' button a small green light appears next to it. When the main screen appears on the video you will see several icons for software already saved to the desktop.
a. There are many strange terms in this new world of computing. You cannot remember them all but will gradually use them. Write them down in your notebook with a meaning to help you learn or remind you to ask some-one what they mean. Remember you can always find something by putting a word or phrase into a search engine such as Google. I have highlighted terms above which may be new to you.
b. You will often need to scroll down a page. With your mouse cursor (see below) you can scroll further down this page to read the remainder of the page. You do not have to use the mouse as you can always use the keyboard - look for the arrowhead keys and press down to move the cursor. You will see a scroll bar on the right hand side of the page - vertical grey bar with three horizontal dash marks on it. At the top and bottom of the scroll bar is an arrow head - you just place the mouse cursor on the scroll bar and hold down while you drag or place the cursor on the down arrow head and left click (depress left side of mouse).
2. Using a mouse
Put your hand over the mouse (does not matter if right or left handed) using your thumb and third or little finger to grip it. You will notice that there is a left and right side to the top of the mouse - these buttons when depressed are used for different functions - so you use your first two fingers to operate these. Let your trainer know if you are left handed. The mouse can be adapted for your personal need.
When you have gripped the mouse (relax!) and notice a small arrow, the pointer (or cursor), on the screen - this is what you control with your mouse. Move the mouse around and when in control move the pointer to the bottom left hand corner of the sceen to the Microsoft software icon and depress (one click) the Microsoft symbol. You will see an index of programs and at the bottom 'All programs'. Click on 'All Programs' and find 'Games' and click on your favourite game or start with 'Solitaire'. The cards are dealt automatically by the computer. Now you can practice with your mouse and see the different functions of the left and right buttons on the mouse. For Solitaire, place the cursor on a card at the bottom of pile and hold the left button down while you drag that card to the desired position or left click on the pack at the top left corner to deal a new card. Remember that if you don't know the rules there is always a Help button! Look at the top left hand corner of the screen and you will see two tabs- Games and Help. If the computer automatically deals 3 cards at a time and you have not played before then left click on Games tab and you will see a list - move cursor down to Options tab and left click. Select Draw one and left click with your mouse. Left click on OK to reset the card deal.
Note: In Solitaire to move a card or cards to the individual piles at the top starting with the Ace of each suit you place the cursor somewhere in the background (not on a card) and click the right button on the mouse. This will automatically move all eligible cards at the same time. You can left click on the card you want to drag to the top but you may miss seeing other eligible cards.
Continue playing until you Win or run out of options. Try a new game for homework.
3. Using a seach engine such as Google
On the Council computers you will see in the list of programs 'Internet explorer' - this is your Browser or doorway into the World Wide Web (www). On your home computer you may use other software to access your internet (ISP) provider and then browse the internet such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
Your computer may be set to open with a search engine. Google is most popular and hence the verb 'to google' has entered the dictionary! There are many different search engines written by different computer programmers. Maybe you have Bing? Check what you have on your home computer.
There are many free tutorials on the internet or World Wide Web (www). Every site on the Web for short i.e.Website or Blog or Facebook has a URL address. If you are reading this you are already there but look at the top of the screen to see the address line.
One Basic Computing Skills course I have found at this address.
Note: I have linked directly to this website here and at the top of this page above Task 1. So the short cut is just to click on the linked URL address with your mouse.
You can type this into the address line at the top of your Browser and press the Enter key on the keyboard (or copy the address if you know how.)
You will be taken to another website and be able to access information about any topic, single click on that topic's name. Read through this course to check that you can understand it all. At the bottom each page you will see a Forward arrow on the right hand bottomof the page - this will move you to the next page so single left click with your mouse. On the left hand bottom of page you will see the Back arrow and if you single click on that you will go back a page.
Now you don't have to wait until the next class you can learn as much as you want at your own pace!
When you have a problem make a note of it and send an email to your tutor or bring it to the next class.
Your tutors have prepared this Basic Computing Blog to record our classes and it will be linked to the U3A Campbelltown website for reference at anytime - see https://sites.google.com/site/campbelltownu3asa/
The URL address for U3AC Basic Computing Blog is
u3acampbelltownbasiccomputing.blogspot.combut if you forget (and you should Bookmark it on your home computer) then just put 'U3A Campbelltown Basic Computing' into your search engine such as Google and find it!
4. Word Processing using Microsoft Word (part of MS Office)
Turn on the computer and video screen and then click on All Programs and find Microsoft Office which has a suite of programs. Look for Microsoft Word.
Note: you may already have a short cut to Mircosoft Word saved on your desktop for you.
a, Click on Microsoft Word and a new document should open automatically so that you can start typing. At the top of the page is a 'Toolbar'. Highlight some text you have typed by holding down the left mouse button and dragging across the text. When you let go of the mouse button the test should be highlighted with a blue shadow. Try putting the mouse on different features such as Fonts - you will see which Font is currently in use in the top left next to 'Copy'with a down arrow next to it. Thuis is called a Drop Down menu - hold mouse over the arrow and scroll down to see all the many Fonts you can choose:
- Choose a font -Times New Roman, or Georgia, Verdana (there are many to choose from)
- Choose a Font size - see the number next to the Font name and clikc on the down arrow next to it to scrill through the sizes
- Choose Bold, Italics and Underline
5. Saving your document.
Look at the Page Tabs at the top of you new document. You should be on 'Home' page.
- To the Left of Home is File Tab. Hold your Mouse cursor over that and click and you will see options drop down.
- Choose Save as and options where to save your file come up. Scroll Down to Computer and find the Removable Disk if you have plugged your USB (memory) stick into the computer.
- You should insert a File Name but it will automatically take the first few words of your document as a title e.g. 'Dear Daniel'
- Note: at home you can save to your own file on your computer - the shortcut is up the top left hand corner of your document and is an icon of a floppy disk. It is a good idea to Save your document evry 10 minutes in case of interruptions to power or others accessing the computer.