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Thread: The things a new computer user needs to know?

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb The things a new computer user needs to know?

    I am making a list of the problems my new customers need to address as new computer owners.
    Or things they need to know and do as new computers owners.
    Please help me make a good and complete list. Or the most common mistakes made by new computer users.
    I am trying to teach some of my customers these things. It is hard to remember, when you first started out and the mistakes you made. Many thanks Andy

    ------------------
    One day I will be a pro, Thanks Andy
    One day I will be a pro, Thanks Andy

  2. #2
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    never plug or unplug a mouse or keyboard in unless the computer is turned OFF.


    never DELETE programs- uninstall them.

    run scandisk and defragg weekly.

    update virus definitions weekly.

    run msconfig to get rid of unneeded start up items.

    be careful what they click on, and never assume you are anonymous, be responsible in your online behavior.

    don't mess with it if it works.

    lol





    ------------------
    sea1_69@hotmail.com

    homepage

  3. #3
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    Lightbulb

    Don't Spill Coffee

    Hehehehe.

    ------------------
    ....How long is a minute... depends on which side of the Bathroom door you're on. ......
    ..........
    It ain't over 'till the Fat Lady sings.....

  4. #4
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    hehe- ranchdoggie- gonna put that keyboard in the dishwasher!





    [This message has been edited by sea69 (edited 04-10-2002).]

  5. #5
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    Hmmm, here is my top ten list.


    1- proper shutdown technique
    2- proper program install technique
    3- proper uninstall technique (including checking details to remove remaining files and folders)
    4- file management
    5- file management
    6- clearing browser cache and history files
    7- how to run a ScanDisk and defrag (including shutting down ALL background progs and scheduled tasks)
    8- you don't need to buy and run every *********** utility program that comes out!! I don't care what Norton and McAfee tell you!
    9- Don't forward ANYTHING!!!!!!!!
    10- did I mention file management?
    11- BACKUP
    12- READ THE MANULE

    If you can get thru to them about the file management, then you can cut this down to ten.
    I can't tell you how many times I have had to dig until my fingers hurt to find something for someone because they can't remember what they named it
    or where they put it.

    ------------------
    A real Christian is one who can give his pet parrot to the town gossip.
    Frank's Place

    [This message has been edited by Paleo Pete (edited 04-22-2002).]
    If all we ever give is equal to that of which we get, how do we ever progress beyond that of which we are?
    Uncle Crustys

  6. #6
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    bassman...lol. Little irritation there on number 8, huh? This is gonna be a real stupid question, and I apologize, but I was looking for something on your number 2..proper installation..and I couldn't find anything for a person posting here. Is there a "how to properly install" tutorial out there? Often when one needs to download and install a new driver for some software, or an update, it just appears as an "exe" file and I certainly didn't know what to do with my first update.

    The only thing that you might consider adding is telling your customers to check the system requirements on new software. We have one friend who buys software..never checks the requirements..takes it home, installs the program, crashes his puter for the millionth time..and then calls us. Oh yeah, as long as I am fussing about this particular person, he also "deletes" programs whenever he gets frustrated..and then calls us. And we're just amateurs..don't know how you guys keep from smacking some of your customers. I am impressed...

  7. #7
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    Proper installation: turn off background programs, shut down any active programs, disconnect from the internet (unless you specifically know the installer needs a connection...like an online IE upgrade), most importantly turn off your AV program. Do all of the above before clicking on the .exe to start the installation.

    ------------------
    mjc
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    Celts are the men that heaven made mad, For all their battles are merry and their songs are all sad.
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    “When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.” - Thomas Paine
    Remember: Amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titantic."

  8. #8
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    Arrow

    but- before you do that- create a folder to put them all in so you will always know where they are!

    I always save all install exe.'s in a folder for future use- lots of them fit on a floppy for easy mobility use on other machines when a CD_ROM is not available.

    winzip, winME defrag, Beacon5, Easy Cleaner, SecLock....etc





    [This message has been edited by sea69 (edited 04-12-2002).]

  9. #9
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    Oh, silly me....I thought that was part of file management...
    , but yeah that too.

    ------------------
    mjc
    Links list:Computer Links

    Celts are the men that heaven made mad, For all their battles are merry and their songs are all sad.
    AV, Anti-Trojan List;Browser and Email client List;Popup Killer List;Portable Apps
    “When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.” - Thomas Paine
    Remember: Amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titantic."

  10. #10
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    Hi All,
    Top of the list in my book.
    The most informative and friendly site on the net. WWW.pcguide.com
    kfh.



    ------------------
    -------
    Sequitur Patrem Non Passibus Aequis
    -------
    Sequitur Patrem Non Passibus Aequis

  11. #11
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    Bassman Would you include compacting Outlook Express folders as part of file management? Reason - a customer had problems with transferring files to another machine. ALL the message folders for OE were over 25MEG! with only about a dozen or so messages! Had never compacted them in three years! Daft or what?

    David

    ------------------
    If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve the man, but disimprove the cat.

    Mark Twain
    be wary of strong drink - it may make you shoot at tax collectors, and miss!

  12. #12
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    1. Despite what bassman said, I would say file management; in Windows (and in DOS too)

    2. Another repeat is antivirus; properly set up and updated regularly. Soooo many people think you have an a/v and it will work for ever without doing anything to it

    3. Don't believe everything the salesman tells you; do some homework


    Take nice care of yourselves - Paul - ♪ -
    Help to start using BiNG. Some stuff about Boot CDs & Data Recovery Basics & Back-up using Knoppix.

  13. #13
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    Talking

    don't know how you guys keep from smacking some of your customers. I am impressed...
    Heh, try working in the corperate world where your clients are usually the most ignorant individuals!

    And just because you get paid to support the companies PC's, well then-you're supposed to be able to fix every little bonehead " users " mistake!

    Now you know why IT professional's demand such a high salary!!

    { in about 5 more years or less i'm gonna retire before i go ballistic!
    }

    ------------------
    iisbob

    The man who sets out to carry a cat by its tail learns something that will always be useful and which never will grow dim or doubtful. -- Mark Twain.
    iisbob

    Read in a message board of a local BBS: "I try to avoid using Microsoft. That's why I use MS-DOS."

  14. #14

    Post

    For David. Ref Outlook Express. Would recommend doing away with the thing altogether. Would also recommend The Bat (which I use heavily and have been doing so for about a year), or Pegasus. Solid and reliable and with a host of features.

    As to the list that started this thread off, my 'umble thoughts:

    1. Understand and practice restraint. You don't have to go out and get the absolutely latest gizmo and upgrade to impress your friends, only to find the mobo curls up and dies. A happy system is a frugal system.

    2. Do practice restraint when installing programs. For those typical programs which people use on a daily basis, it would be best if you install one, then run for a day or two and watch out for odd behaviour, then install program two, then run for a day or two etc. That way you'll be able to identify who the culprit is if your PC gets schizoid.

    3. Look for a reliable uninstaller and a registry cleaner-upper. I really don't know which are. I use Norton SystemWorks and tend to stick with that because I don't want to confuse my system. So it may not be the best solution. But really the old adage - an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of care - was never so true when applied to the hardware that sits upon your desk.

    4. Yes indeed file management. Write that down on the blackboard a hundred times. And when you're done, immediately start thinking about backup routines and systems - whether on CD, or on tape or to network drive or to external drive. And you should keep a crucial backup of data and original software somewhere offsite i.e. in a physical location that is different from where your system is. It's not being paranoid; it is being cautious.

    5. Respect electricity and don't overload power sockets. It might not be aesthetically pleasing, but it will help piece of mind if you can run an additional power line into the room for all the additional stuff that you inevitably collect which plugs into your PC, one way or another.


  15. #15
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    Makanaka : Really agree with number 2. Also, maybe run a SFC after installing anything new which fits into your "That way you'll be able to identify who the culprit is if your PC gets schizoid."

    I am a lot closer to my personal "I don't know anything about puters" newbie status than you guys are, but I remember not knowing how to do the simple stuff. mjc: You say "turn off background programs" and I would have said, "How do I do that?" So, possibly a lesson in the ConAltDel stuff would be good too. And maybe a small reminder that a BSOD is not actually the end of the world as we know it? I used to have total PANIC attacks when confronted with one..but surprisingly enough, I and my puter still live.

    PS That same guy called last night and said he wants to install ME on his puter. I said, "WHY???" and he answered, "Because it is newer than 98." Whereupon I relayed all the "Friends don't let friends install ME" reasons, and he stuck with his "but I want to install it". Okay, told him "I warned you. If it screws up, don't call me."

    [This message has been edited by kayofcircles (edited 04-13-2002).]

  16. #16
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    Gee, kay, you must have read my mind because I was thinking about adding something along the lines of the BSOD is not the end of the world....but just couldn't come up with a good way of putting it at the time.



    ------------------
    mjc
    Links list:Computer Links

    Celts are the men that heaven made mad, For all their battles are merry and their songs are all sad.
    AV, Anti-Trojan List;Browser and Email client List;Popup Killer List;Portable Apps
    “When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.” - Thomas Paine
    Remember: Amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titantic."

  17. #17
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    Dare I suggest another essential: pen and paper (if unavailable quill and vellum will do) so that New Customer can make a note of those error messages, number of beeps etc. which Master Geek will want to know.

    ------------------
    Our minds never work so fast as when they have to find an excuse J.L.H. Thomas

  18. #18
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    Hey, I don't care if they use a stylus and clay tablet, , but that is an excellent idea, as long as they have some means of getting them marked down!

    Good one, Pianorak!

    ------------------
    mjc
    Links list:Computer Links

    Celts are the men that heaven made mad, For all their battles are merry and their songs are all sad.
    AV, Anti-Trojan List;Browser and Email client List;Popup Killer List;Portable Apps
    “When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.” - Thomas Paine
    Remember: Amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titantic."

  19. #19
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    First, I would teach them where the ANYKEY is and that the CD drive is not a coaster. Then I would tell them to get a cordless phone so they can pee or make a sandwich while on hold for tech support.

    ------------------
    They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
    ---Edgar Allan Poe

  20. #20
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    Yep, I'll second, third, and fourth the how to close all programs before installing scenario!

    Same goes for the computer notebook for keeping track of all programs installed, or settings changes made. Also, helps to note the "path" to get to a particular function.

    And yeah, File Management procedures, such as, where to download files from the Internet; Some programs create a Temporary File to install from and then delete once the installation is complete...if this is not done automatically...what do you do when installing? Can you delete the install files without affecting the installation itself?

    I think it was mjc mentioned a program which catalogs all files in any program you want to try out. So, if you don't want to keep it you can get rid of everything...Such a program does exist...doesn't it?!


    ------------------
    May all your dealings in life be win/win!


    Whyzman

    ----------------------
    Reserved for Punishing Humor...A Pessimist's blood is always B-negative!
    Lighten up! --- A merry heart does good like a medicine. (Proverbs 17:22)

  21. #21
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    WhyzMan

    I don’t know about the cataloging program.
    But there is a program called Install Control .
    It allows you to Create a Log file for Ever Program you install.
    It will LOG all changes made by the installed program.
    Including Registry and system ini file changes and or additions
    Simply start install control and use it to start the install.



    I think it is up to version 5 now. Available from Pcmag (INCTRL5.ZIP)

  22. #22
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    I gotta go with backups as #1. As long as one has backed up, one can screw up a lot of stuff and not really have much to worry about. All it really costs is time.

    Some elaboration is needed, I feel, on file management. What are some examples of good and bad file management?

    ------------------
    Linux- Because you wouldn't buy a car with the hood welded shut, why should your O.S. be different?
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  23. #23
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    Thanks Rick!

    Just downloaded the program and am anxious to try it out!

    Also, Andy, you might want to check with mjc regarding which Freeware programs he recommends with his builds.

    ------------------
    May all your dealings in life be win/win!


    Whyzman

    ----------------------
    Reserved for Punishing Humor...A Pessimist's blood is always B-negative!
    Lighten up! --- A merry heart does good like a medicine. (Proverbs 17:22)

  24. #24
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    Along with file management, they need to know that deleting messages in Outlook, OE, or NS just moves them to the Deleted Items folder. Outlook can be configured to clean the Deleted Items folder whenever you exit. And don't forget the Sent Items, 99.99% of those should be trashed.

    Also, whenever I work on a PC I always write a batch file to empty the Windows Temp folder. When is M$ ever going to make that a normal default?

  25. #25
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    Gee, a temporary TEMP folder.....what a novel concept.

    ------------------
    mjc
    Links list:Computer Links

    Celts are the men that heaven made mad, For all their battles are merry and their songs are all sad.
    AV, Anti-Trojan List;Browser and Email client List;Popup Killer List;Portable Apps
    “When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.” - Thomas Paine
    Remember: Amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titantic."

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