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Computer Basics Tutorial

  Free Computer Basics Tutorial  http://www.gcflearnfree.org/computerbasics
Are you new to using the computer? Do you want to learn about desktops and laptops? Wish you knew more about how your computer does its job? Computer Basics will introduce you to all the basic concepts that you need to know.


11 responses

  1. ed

    How to remove viruses. without crashing computer?

    I’m giving a two part answer the first part is this; it’s easyer to prevent than to repair. To that end I’m posting some information below that I hope will be helpful. The 2nd part will be posted later.

    Keep Your Computer Safe

    Cleaning your computer and doing preventive maintenance, such as scanning for viruses, helps keep it running smoothly. Preventative maintenance saves you time, as well, since it saves you the hassle of dealing with systems failures and data loss.

    Viruses,Trojan Horses, and Worms

    Just like a biological virus can make you physically sick, a computer virus can make your computer sick. A virus is a small piece of software that finds it way onto your computer without your knowledge, and causes trouble on your computer system. You may not even know your computer has been infected with a virus until your computer slows down, a program stops working, your computer crashes, or error messages begin appearing.
    Many viruses are transferred by email. The virus will travel as an email attachment, and when the attached file is downloaded, the virus will begin to do its job. Often, email viruses will continue to spread by attacking your address book, emailing your contacts, and spreading the virus more.

    Trojan Horses
    Another destructive piece of software that is similar to a virus is called a Trojan horse. A Trojan horse is simply a program that claims to do one thing, but really does something else to your computer. For example, you may find a site on the Internet and download what you think is a solitaire game, only to run the program and have it delete files.

    A third item you need to safeguard your computer against are worms. Unlike viruses, worms do not attach to other files or programs, but spread themselves over computer networks by taking advantage of the network setup. Worms can delete files or send emails like viruses, but usually they affect the computer’s memory, which slows down your computer.
    Protect Your Computer
    You may be wondering where viruses come from. People are responsible for writing computer viruses. Some are meant to be funny, while others are meant to do damage to your computer. Since we can’t control what people do, the real question is, how can I keep my computer safe from viruses?

    Tips to Stay Safe
    Use Anti-virus Software
    The best thing you can do for your computer is use an anti-virus software. Anti-virus software is a program that protects your email, files, and downloads against viruses, worms, and Trojan horses; removes existing threats from your computer; and protects against new viruses if the anti-virus software is updated regularly.

    There are several free options, or you can purchase a commercial one such as Norton or McAfee, which are relatively inexpensive when you think about the damage that can be done to your computer. If you already have anti-virus software, verify your virus protection is current. New viruses are written all the time, so it is important that the virus protection that you use be current. This doesn’t mean that you have to continuously purchase new software. Most anti-virus software vendors provide updates to your software regularly, and some even provide automatic downloads and updates.
    Read Internet Safety tutorial to learn more about anti-virus software. (see bottom of this post)

    Avoid Downloading Programs from Unknown Sources
    The Internet is full of unknown sources. If you are going to use the Internet, become a savvy web surfer. Learn to look and explore a website to determine if it is a credible site and most likely safe to download from. For example, if you spend some time on the GCFLearnFree.org site you will see that the site is organized and well designed. There is information about who we are, as well contact information in the form of a physical address and email addresses. We are a credible site. Think about who is responsible for the web site and make your best judgment before downloading games, programs, or documents from unknown sources.

    Be Cautious of Email Attachments
    Never double-click on an email attachment that contains an executable file with an extension such as .exe or .vbs. In generally, be cautious of email attachments and don’t download or open files from people you do not know or were not expecting to receive an email from.

    Check the Internet Security Options in Your Browser
    Whether you use Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or another browser, always check the Internet security options that are provided by your browser. Each browser is different, so use the Help tool in your browser to learn more about how it helps defend your computer against threats.

    Internet Explorer Options Dialog Box

    Take a look at our Internet Safety lessons http://www.gcflearnfree.org/internetsafety to learn more about threats to your computer and what you can do to stay safe while using the Internet.
    Deleting Files
    To keep your computer running smoothly, it’s OK to delete, or erase, unused files. Deleting files helps free up valuable hard disk space. For example, you may want to delete a flyer you created two years ago. However, consider whether you will ever want to use the file again before you delete it. Some files may be too important to get rid of.
    To Delete a File or Folder:
    • Left-click the file or folder you want to delete.
    • Drag the file or folder and drop it in the Recycle Bin, the desktop icon that resembles a wastebasket.

    • Right-click the file or folder. A menu appears.
    • Choose Delete from the menu.

    Emptying the Recycle Bin
    When you delete a file from your computer, or move it to the Recycle Bin, it is not automatically deleted, but rather is temporarily stored in the Recycle Bin. This usually gives you the chance to restore the file if you decide you do not want to delete it. If you want to permanently remove files from the computer, thereby clearing the hard disk space the file is located, you need to permanently delete the files in the Recycle Bin. You can do this by emptying the entire Recycle Bin, or deleting individual files.
    • Double-click the Recycle Bin icon to open it.
    • Click Empty the Recycle Bin in the left pane to delete all the files.
    • Right-click a file or folder and choose Delete from the menu. This deletes the selected item.
    Disk Cleanup for Windows
    When you install software, operate programs, and surf the Internet, temporary files are created. These files can clutter your computer and slow it down. Windows comes with a Disk Cleanup utility that removes temporary files and empties the Recycle Bin. Clearing out these files helps free up valuable hard disk space.
    Windows XP
    To Use Windows Disk Cleanup:
    • Click Start.
    • Choose Programs Accessories System Tools Disk Cleanup.
    • The Select Drive dialog box asks you to “Select the drive you want to clean up.”
    Disk Cleanup in Windows XP
    • The C: drive is usually selected by default.
    • Click OK to accept DRIVE_C (C:).
    • The Disk Cleanup for DRIVE_C (C:) dialog box appears.
    • Select Temporary Internet Files, Temporary Files and/or Recycle Bin.
    • Click OK and the temp files you selected will be cleaned up.
    Many other utilities are available to clean up your hard disk including CleanIt! and CleanWin. Most are freeware or shareware.
    Windows Vista
    To Use Windows Disk Cleanup:
    • Click Start.
    • Choose Programs Accessories System Tools Disk Cleanup.
    • A Disk Cleanup information box appears as Windows calculates how much disk space you can free up on the C drive.
    • The Disk Cleanup dialog box for drive C appears. Note: If the Disk Cleanup: Drive Selection dialog box appears, select the hard disk drive that you want to clean up, and then click OK. If not, the C drive will be chosen by default.
    Disk Cleanup in Windows Vista
    • Select the check boxes for the files you want to delete on the Disk Cleanup tab.
    • Click OK when you finish selecting the files you want to delete.
    • Click Delete Files to confirm the operation. Disk Cleanup will remove all the requested files from your computer.
    Windows 7 – Delete files using Disk Cleanup
    If you want to reduce the number of unnecessary files on your hard disk to free up disk space and help your computer run faster, use Disk Cleanup. It removes temporary files, empties the Recycle Bin, and removes a variety of system files and other items that you no longer need.
    Watch the demo (1:00)
    1. Open Disk Cleanup by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking System Tools, and then clicking Disk Cleanup.
    2. In the Disk Cleanup Options dialog box, choose whether you want to clean up your own files only or all of the files on the computer. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    3. If the Disk Cleanup: Drive Selection dialog box appears, select the hard disk drive that you want to clean up, and then click OK.
    4. Click the Disk Cleanup tab, and then select the check boxes for the files you want to delete.
    5. When you finish selecting the files you want to delete, click OK, and then click Delete files to confirm the operation. Disk Cleanup proceeds to remove all unnecessary files from your computer.
    The More Options tab is available when you choose to clean files from all users on the computer. This tab includes two additional ways to free even more disk space:
    • Programs and Features. Opens Programs and Features in Control Panel, where you can uninstall programs that you no longer use. The Size column in Programs and Features shows how much disk space each program uses.
    • System Restore and Shadow Copies. Prompts you to delete all but the most recent restore point on the disk.
    System Restore uses restore points to return your system files to an earlier point in time. If your computer is running normally, you can save disk space by deleting the earlier restore points.
    In some editions of Windows Vista, restore points can include previous versions of files, known as shadow copies, and backup images created with Windows Complete PC Backup. This information will also be deleted. For more information about System Restore, search Windows Help and Support for “system restore.”

    Internet Safety
    Internet Safety
    Phishing, Trojans, Spyware, Trolls and Flame Wars! Oh my! If the idea of these threats lurking around online makes you nervous, then you can now be at ease. Our Internet Safety course will provide you with the strategies, skills and mindset needed to protect yourself, your computer and your privacy when you connect with the Internet.

    June 6, 2011 at 9:51 pm

  2. ed

    How to move files from my SIM card to my computer? i.e. my camera’s photo’s t0 my computer.

    June 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    • redwizardproductions

      Things You’ll Need
      Fully charged digital camera
      USB cable
      USB port on computer
      Memory card reader (optional)

      Connect your USB cable to the USB jack in your camera.

      Connect your USB cable to the USB port in your computer. This may be in the front or back of your CPU, and is generally labeled.

      Turn camera on.

      Go to “My Computer” on your PC, or wherever you can see all available drives on your computer.

      Locate the drive for your camera. It may list your camera or, as highlighted in this photo, the memory card for your camera.

      Double-click the camera drive. This should bring up the folders stored on your camera. You may have to click through one or two folders to get your actual images folder.

      Try option one. Click the images folder to highlight it. Then select the “Edit” feature, and “Move to folder.” Here you can select precisely which folder on your computer you want to store your pictures in. Moving the folder will remove the images from your camera. Choose the “Copy to Folder” option if you want the images to remain on your camera.

      Consider option two. Double-click the images folder.

      Click on a particular image and use the “File” button for options, or as shown in the photo, right-click the photo for those same options. Here you can preview images to see which ones are worth saving, cut and paste the images into different folders, or delete unwanted images.

      Once the photos are stored on your computer, you can use them however you want–as wallpaper for your desktop, to upload onto a website, or to email to family and friends.

      June 16, 2011 at 12:15 am

  3. doug gonsalves

    thanks for your help let me know for more class doug

    June 6, 2011 at 10:46 pm

  4. beverly coleman

    would like to learn how to put photos on my computer.

    June 6, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    • eli

      See: “ed How to move files from my SIM card to my computer? i.e. my camera’s photo’s t0 my computer” answer above.

      June 16, 2011 at 12:31 am

  5. Jody Shepard

    In order ro get to Netflix I have to enable my cookies. I followed the instructions on Netflix, and my norton keeps cleanin un cookies when I run it. I stil can’t get Netflix to work. Can you help?

    June 6, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    • redwizardproductions

      Conflicts Between Norton & Netflix

      Internet users who watch instant video on Netflix may encounter a variety of problems while using Norton security products. The most common errors encountered are “Media Error 1400″ and “Media Error N8101-102,” although other error messages are sometimes encountered. There are many causes for these errors — sometimes the reason for them has nothing to do with Norton’s products.

      Reasons for Conflicts
      Norton’s firewall products are designed to protect computers from harmful hacks on the Web or malevolent software. While this works great for the user, the Microsoft Silverlight software used by Netflix sometimes inadvertently triggers whatever Norton protection is being used. The specific reasons depend on the error being encountered, but are all fixable.

      How to Resolve
      The easiest way of fixing conflicts between Norton and Netflix is to call Netflix directly. The company offers users 24-hour tech support over the phone. Other commonly used methods of fixing conflicts include reinstalling Silverlight (which can be obtained from the Microsoft website) or turning off the Norton protection on the particular computer. However, the last method is not recommended due to safety issues.
      Let me know if this helps or not so we can all get to understand this better. Thanks.

      June 16, 2011 at 12:27 am

  6. marylou

    this is frustrating

    June 6, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    • redwizardproductions

      Yes, life is like that. Just take it one step at a time and keep coming back here and share what you’ve learned and continue to ask questions.

      June 16, 2011 at 12:19 am

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