Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

My Number One Piece Of Tech Advice*

A Non-technical Reader Asks For Computer Advice

Q: Tech Paul, about a month ago I found your website by a accidental click of my mouse. Your article made me laugh, and I think I learned something too but I am a older person and computers are not very interesting to me.

I can do the basic things like answer my e-mail and hunt for good deals on the internet. I have Yahoo and my son installed a genealogy program for me which I really enjoy. Most of what you write about I find too complicated but I like your articles on scam email.

My question is what one piece of advice you would give for someone like me who is not very technical?

A: Dear Reader,
Thank you for sending me this challenging question. The question is a challenge to me not because I don’t have Tech advice to give.. but in trying to limit myself to just one answer! And, I’m not sure I can do it…


Don’t be afraid of, or intimidated by, your computer (or gizmo, or digital doodad). That’s it: my one piece of advice. All else flows from there.

Simply understand that:
* Your computer is NOT “smarter” than you. In fact it’s quite dumb — it can only think in terms of “off” or “on”, “false” or “true” (a zero or a one), and you can do better than that!
* You cannot, typically, damage it so badly as to make it irreparable. Often (like, 90% of the time) all you need to do is power it off and then on again to resolve the problem (called a “reboot”). When that doesn’t work, you may need to look up an answer (the owners manual is a good place.. or the manufacturer’s FAQ page, and you can always “Google it”), or ask for help.. and/or maybe buy a new part, but you might be surprised at what you can fix yourself. (See My favorite Life Saver flavor? System Restore)
* Computers are there to obey YOU, not the other way around. You’re the one with a creative mind. Did you know that almost everything on your computer is customizable? Make things the way YOU want them.

Yes, Dear Reader, I do have a second piece of advice, which I offer up here free of charge: keep coming back and reading my Tips & Tricks articles, and when you see one you like, give it a try.
And who knows? Maybe I’ll make you laugh again too, and in this day and age that’s worth something, right?

* Orig post: 6/6/09

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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March 3, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, tech | , | 2 Comments