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Jan's Computer Basics

Intro

You don't have to know everything to be comfortable with computers. But there is a lot of information that will help you understand why things are the way they are... and how disaster can strike!

"Knowledge is power!" So it's to your advantage to gather all the knowledge that you can. Besides which, computers are lots of fun - when they aren't driving you insane!!!

What's in these lessons?

The lessons in this Computer Basics section of Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101 explain a lot of the techno-babble that you hear about computers. The goal is to learn enough that you can follow along as computer technology becomes more and more important in our world.

Consider this set of lessons "Beginning Driver's Ed" for the computer. What might be covered in a Driver's Education course in high school? How the engine works. Parts of the car. How to turn it on. How to shift gears. Rules of the road. Laws. Proper signaling. Lane changing. Basic maintenance. Changing a flat. Filling up with gas. Some clues on when "You'd better stop the car now!"

The topics covered here will introduce you to a similar set of topics about computers. When you finish, you'll be just as prepared to "drive" a computer, as you were to drive a car when you finished Driver's Ed. Scary thought, isn't it? That clearly means you will need lots of practice with a skilled "driver" in the passenger's seat before you can be considered "safe on the road!" But we can get you started! But, really, you'll understand the basic ideas behind computers, some of the ills that affect computers, and some of the basic safety measures to take to keep your computer healthy. You'll gain some knowledge of how we got to today's computers and what lies ahead. It'll be great!

Computer Basics does not require you to touch a computer, except to read the lessons. Other lesson units guide you in actually using a computer, starting with Working with Windows.

If you are using this site as part of a class, your instructor may have you do only certain sections or do them in a different order.

Are you ready? Click on the arrow at the right below to start your first lesson.

For more detailed lessons on software, try the tutorials on Windows,the web, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and databases.