Computing and the internet
" I think there is a world market for maybe five computers"
Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, in 1943
"To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer" anon
For the unskilled or nervous beginner there are a number of excellent online introductory courses on how to get the most out of your computer, run by the UK Goverment, the BBC and Age UK. It would be interesting to hear your views on which you find is the most helpful:-
UK Government: http://learn.go-on.co.uk/
Age UK also run 'physical' computer trainingcourses in different parts of UK:-
Digital Unite's Learning Zone http://learning.digitalunite.com
is one of the largest, independent online resources for helping people to learn more about digital technology. The guides are easy-to-use, offer guidance and information in a clear and step-by-step way and cater for people at varying levels, from the complete beginner to the more competent computer user. They have tutors who can come to your home and give you individual tuition. Also contact them if you would like to become a Tutor.
For more advanced stuff, see the Open University's computing and ICT courses:-
See also www.ft.com/gadgetguru, where you can e-mail your high tech queries to Paul Taylor of the FT
NEW On the subject of getting oldies to be more at home with computers and the internet, Maureen Childs writes:
"I am on the Committee of a newly formed group of Seniors, and I have created a simple website for their use. Whilst most of the members seem to be retired professionals I am often frustrated by their lack of understanding of how useful websites can be. They do not seem to grasp that websites can be a hub of information accessible anywhere in the world. When I travel and need specific details about an issue I can access it. I dont need to carry numerous amounts of paperwork. Information can be disbursed to everyone to cut costs of postage. There also seems to be a nervousness about privacy. Committee members do not seem to understand that certain information can be made accessible only to relevant people. I bless the government initiative to encourage seniors to use the internet but they don't seem to go far enough. Why not have a scheme where seniors can buy cheap computers like the student scheme ?. The closure of libraries will certainly be another contributer to halting these good intentions"
NEW We've also been contacted by Emma de Maio who does the PR for Alex computers, a subscription based laptop computer developed with the 'digitially excluded' in mind. The concept of developing a computer which is more 'user friendly' for oldies is to be welcomed and it would be interesting to hear the views of users of Alex..