My mother is slowly becoming technically adept. Since she lives half a continent away from me, it isn’t possible for me to pop over and help her with her computer. (And the teenager I used to ask to do tech support is in college.)
Since you are reading this article, I am going to assume that you know a bit about how to use a computer. What I hope you will take from this article is a list of things to help people you know who are not so computer-savvy be more self-sufficient.
Here are four things I think everyone ought to be able to do on a computer (pcs only):
No one uses the same software forever. But if you don’t clean up unused programs, then a lot of space will be taken up on your computer. Liken this to cleaning out the junk drawer. And even the most computer-savvy of us forget sometimes (see Decluttering Firefox).
Learning to uninstall software using the control panel is crucial to getting rid of software. This is the first place people can go to start getting rid of junk.
Removing Junk From the Computer
Cleaning the Computer
This is more of a what-not-to-do. Cleaning the computer case and monitor is not like cleaning dishes or windows. (I caught someone spraying Windex on her computer keyboard to clean it up.) Learning how to care for LCD monitors and keyboards properly will make computer equipment last longer.
There are a lot of antivirus packages out there that are easy to use, but you have to be able to update them and run the scans. Luckily many programs will do this automatically, but the user should still check periodically to make sure it is running appropriately. My last check on my husband’s computer showed an error, where the virus definitions hadn’t updated in over a week.
These are the things I consider essential to someone keeping their PC healthy. What are the things you consider important for people to be able to do?
Photo by Robert S. Donovan