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Old 04-30-2014, 10:53 AM
 
11,951 posts, read 20,426,723 times
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In high school, I took Basic and Cobol programming languages. Our computers were SO old style, we sat at a terminal to type up the programming on papertape, that we then fed into the computer to make it do what we wanted. One of my classmates programmed "Bohemian Rhapsody" and we all thought that was the coolest thing ever.

I had a computer since 1988... and I think nothing of opening mine up and sticking more stuff in. Although I barely know what I am doing....
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:00 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,778 posts, read 7,063,873 times
Reputation: 14355
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAhippo View Post
I'm not going to ask this on the tech forum: I strongly suspect the posters there never lived without a computer.


So did one of your kids/grandkids show you? Did you take classes someplace? Did it come naturally
or does your mind go into system overload when someone talks to you about cookies, applets, upgrades, and such?
I learned to use the computer from having to do so for work-related functions. Back years ago ( this would have been in the 80's and 90's) my computer use was limited to data entry of medical laboratory reports, patient demographic information when required, and looking up information on the computer. The internet was just coming into being, but I had nothing to do with it.

When I took the last full time job I had ( after being downsized from the previous one) at age 50, I was forced to come up to speed with the use of the computer- this job entailed a lot more use than my previous job had. When I first started at this job, we had to write reports using a dos-based system, and at first (not for long), my computer use was limited to that. Shortly after I started that job, though, the programs we used switched to a Windows-based system, and I'd never used Windows before. It wasn't an option NOT to jump in and get acquainted with whatever they threw at us, our jobs depended on that. While I was scared I'd dump something essential from the program, or lose data/documents, I'm pretty intuitive and learn quickly so I was able to pick things up. One of the best things our employer ever did was to enroll everyone in our office in a couple of Windows 95 courses- beginning with basic information, I think I took that course and the next one up, and learned, mainly, 1) not to be afraid of the computer, 2) there really are several ways to accomplish the same thing on a file, and 3) it's not easy to screw something up, especially if you're careful and are paying attention. From there on I learned by doing, exploring, and updating as I needed to. We also had a superb IT guy who was helpful and responsive when we had problems or questions.

When I learned to use the internet ( also came around the time I started that last job), one of the first things I did was to email a continuing education provider I had been using for my own CEUs for years, and asked them if they needed any help looking for or writing courses for CEUs. They responded and that became my part-time in my pj's at night job with them as an educational consultant, and I still do that to this day. That's also all done via internet..

We had to be computer-saavy, about two years after I took that job I was teleworking, so when I wasn't on the road, the rest of the job was in my home office, where I communicated via teleconferences and email with co-workers all over the state. Over the years I learned about cookies, applets, virus and malware protection, and so on. And updates, new programs and the like seemed to me to be built on what I'd already learned or was familiar with, so I didn't find them scary.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:00 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,915 posts, read 18,921,677 times
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OMG, some people got on board really early.

Not me. I was afraid of the things and said I would NEVER use a computer. Everyone knew DOS and I refused to learn it. Around 1997 my Ex came home with a computer and I didn't have to learn DOS. We more or less taught ourselves. The first thing I did was to look up the Louvre and I fell in love. Then I started email and got into an online genealogy group. I was hooked. Still not a techie but still hooked because it's such a great resource.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:06 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,778 posts, read 7,063,873 times
Reputation: 14355
Quote:
Originally Posted by WellShoneMoon View Post
I got my first computer some time in the early? mid? 80's. It was a Zenith and I remember that the word processing program was WordStar.

I took a short course in Basic programming, and I probably have used some Dummies books now and then to help me learn to use other programs. When I went to law school in the early 90's I was taught Westlaw and Lexis, and every job I've had since then has necessitated using a computer. Now I cannot function without at least one working computer in the house. If I were a young person now instead of an oldie goldie, I'd probably major in something having to do with computers.

I think the only way to really learn how to use a computer is to just do it. Like learning how to ride a bicycle -- you can watch all the videos you want, but you have to get on the thing and practice.


I definitely agree. And I think the secret is not to be afraid of the thing, take your time and watch what you are doing. When I started with Windows, I was afraid I'd delete important files and data, but learned it won't let you do that till it asks you if you're sure about it!
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:25 AM
 
1,107 posts, read 1,881,569 times
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Self taught. Started with some kind of Radio Shack DOS computer at work in 1982. Then I bought a Commodore 64 with an external hard drive for home shortly thereafter. Remember we had to insert some kind of 8 track type looking thing for each game. Next I bought a Mac with 4 mg of RAM. Thought I was really living!

The beginning of my computer addiction. Forced to get really good at keyboarding in the 90's for work. Before that, I had only had typing in high school and typed 30 wpm, LOL! Never used a computer in college.

When I tried to go back and finish my masters in 1982, my grad program was 80 miles away from where I was living. No such thing as internet coursework, educational materials, or library access. I drove back and forth, getting some books from the U of M library here, and driving to Mankato
for the rest. That didn't work well at all.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Florida
19,847 posts, read 19,954,681 times
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How did you learn how to use a computer?

With great trepidation.
Once I dared to touch it and turn it on and it hadn't blown up, I started clicking on things and there was usually a Help thing to click on. I read whatever I found there.
My daughter had this big 4" thick manual ...I suppose it was a Windows manual...that she gave me that I could also read and use to find the answers to questions that came up.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Columbia SC
9,018 posts, read 7,782,871 times
Reputation: 12277
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAhippo View Post
I'm not going to ask this on the tech forum: I strongly suspect the posters there never lived without a computer.


So did one of your kids/grandkids show you? Did you take classes someplace? Did it come naturally
or does your mind go into system overload when someone talks to you about cookies, applets, upgrades, and such?
How we all learned varies but if the question is how does one learn then local educational classes would be best. I assume many start with the basics. If older then Senior Citizen Services would be a good starting point.

Remember every on here has some idea based on the fact they are here.......LOL
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:07 PM
 
6,349 posts, read 5,085,406 times
Reputation: 12907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longford View Post
I learned to type in high school. It was the most valuable course I've taken ... ever. I moved from typewriters to computers way so long ago. I continue to upgrade my computer skills because computers/data use is an essential part of my job.
I took typing in high school back in the dinosaur age of the 1970s. The smartest girl in our class laughed at us and told us she was going to have people doing those type of tasks for her, so she would never stoop so low as to learn how to type! She is a teacher now - not some 1%er. Wonder who is typing for her now?

But anyway, I took Fortran and COBOL in college - used punch cards. Boy that typing came in handy then. Used Z-100s in the Air Force - dual floppy drives. So I guess for over 35 years now.

I never stop learning. I took a Microsoft office class last year - it was fun. Even though we were Power Point rangers in the air force, still new things to learn.
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Glenbogle
730 posts, read 1,029,777 times
Reputation: 1047
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garthur View Post
I purchased a computer in the mid 80's. It was $4500 and my wife said what in the hell will we ever use it for.
Yes! Wasn't it absurd how much those early PCs cost?!?! I seem to recall that those PCJrs cost about $1300 each, and the PS/1 and PS/2 models were pushing $2000. The PS/2 which was the first one with a color display definitely was in the $1800+tax range.
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:36 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,173,623 times
Reputation: 10910
I grew up in Silicon (not Silicone) Valley. Round about 1978 one of my friends had me over at her house. Her dad had his own mini computer at home (yes, quite the nerd).

So that was the start.

Then a contracting job at a tech firm in 1980 where I programmed in Basic on another mini.

And then, and then ....

Last edited by BayAreaHillbilly; 04-30-2014 at 01:47 PM..
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