This basic computer skills course will provide you with an understanding of the most popular, current technologies used at home and in the workplace. You will become computer literate in this hands-on course while you learn to access, create, save and manage documents, spreadsheets and emails and use the Internet effectively. We demystify terminology and impart best practice skills for productive and secure use of hardware and software.
This course is designed for adults with no previous computer experience.
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Computer Skills Course: File Management, Part 1
Computer Skills Course: File Management, Part 3
Computer Skills Course: File Management, Part 2
Computer Skills Course: File Management, Part 4
Basic Computing Skills - Orientation
Beginner's Guide to Microsoft Word
Libre Office Writer Beginners Tutorial - Word Processing Tutorial
Over the last 20 years, the personal computing landscape has changed dramatically.
Where once computer-use was dependent on chunky desktop computers, today laptops dominate the way we work and play. The portability of laptops is the key to their success but as machines keep getting smaller, laptops are facing stiff competition from tablet computers like Apple’s iPad and Google’s Nexus.
The result is that many people – especially older consumers and retirees – are considering whether a tablet can act as their main computing device. But can using a small tablet really be as satisfying as a more traditional laptop or desktop machine?
The pros and cons of using a tablet
The ultimate advantage of using a tablet is its portability. Tablets are small and light: they can fit in your handbag with ease and won’t add much weight to its contents. At home, your tablet can move easily to suit any location, whether you’re surfing the web in bed or you’re looking up recipes in the kitchen. In contrast, laptops can be heavy and awkward to carry – especially if you’re using it for tasks that don’t necessarily require a keyboard.
A tablet, moreover, is a supremely multi-functional device. It doubles up as an e-reader, an over-sized iPod and a gaming device. Of course, you can also read books, listen to music and play games on a laptop – but on a tablet, the experience is more seamless and adaptable to your environment. You wouldn’t, for instance, listen to music on your laptop on the bus, but you could feasibly do so with an iPad or Android tablet.
However, there are some drawbacks. A tablet screen is generally smaller than that of a laptop, which may hamper your enjoyment of films and TV programmes. If you use your computing device to work, you may also encounter productivity concerns: an on-screen keyboard isn’t always as effective or quick to work as an external one, so typing may become frustrating. That said, some tablets come with a click-on external keyboard so this problem can be easily overcome.
Looking for help and tablet-laptop hybrids
Before making the decision to buy a tablet or a laptop, make sure that you consider exactly what you use it for. But if internet browsing and video-watching is the primary way you use a computing device, then a tablet may be the best solution for you.
For further advice for anyone who is undecided contact Silver Surfers by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the contact form on the home page, and we will shed some light on your problem.
I have been asked should I get a HDD or SSD Laptop?
SSD vs HDD: which is best for your needs?
Welcome to our SSD vs HDD guide, where we'll look at the pros and cons of traditional hard drives (HDD) and solid state drives (SSD) to help you choose which one is the best for your needs.
Here we'll compare the two storage mediums, look at which tasks they excel in, and which ones they’re not so good at.
Before we dive into comparing SSD vs HDD technology, let’s take a quick look at each type of drive.
A traditional hard drive uses a spinning disc
What is a traditional hard disk drive (HDD)?
If you have a desktop PC it will most likely have a traditional hard disk drive, on which the operating system, along with any applications you install, and your files and folders, are stored.
A traditional hard drive contains a circular disc – known as a platter – that stores your data. The disc spins, allowing the read-write arm to read data on the disc (or write data to it) as it passes.
The faster the platter spins, the faster the hard drive works, which can impact how quickly your operating system responds, and how long it takes applications installed on the drive to load and open.
Solid State Drives (SSDs) offer faster ways to store data
What is a solid state drive (SSD)?
A solid state drive (SSD) is newer storage technology, but it’s still been around for a while now, and if you have a modern laptop, it’s likely that it uses an SSD.
As the name suggests, an SSD – unlike a traditional hard drive – has no moving parts.
When you’re choosing between an SSD and HDD, the first big difference you’ll notice at first is the price. SSDs are typically more expensive per gigabyte than traditional hard drives.
If you want the most capacity for the least amount of money, HDDs are the way to go. Manufacturing processes for traditional HDDs mean they're now relatively cheap to produce, which makes them more affordable.
You can get some large HDDs for very low prices, but if you’re keeping important data on the drives, it’s best to check out user reviews and reports about their reliability.
Closely tied to the price when comparing SSDs and HDDs is the capacities of the drives. Generally, if you’re after a lot of storage space, HDD is the way to go.
HDD capacities range from 40GB up to 12TB for commercial hard drives, while there are even larger capacities for enterprise use. These days you can get a 2TB hard drive for an affordable price, which offers you plenty of space.
So, HDDs are good for storing lots of large files, which makes them good for holding photos, videos and games.
In the past SSDs generally weren’t capable of such large capacities, but thanks to advances in technology you can now get SSDs with terabytes of storage. However, this comes at a premium, and large SSDs often come with prohibitively high price tags.
If you can, it’s a good idea to go for a smaller SSD, maybe around 160GB–256GB, to hold programs such as your operating system, for which you want to take advantage of the SSD’s higher speed,
In the match-up between SSDs vs HDDs, speed is where we really begin to see a difference. Solid state drives have always been much faster than traditional hard drives, but with SSD technology advancing all the time
First, let’s look at HDD speeds. Because these drives using a spinning platter, the speed of the drive is largely dependent on the RPM (revolutions per minute) the drive is capable of – and the higher the RPM, the faster the drive can perform.
SSD and HDD speeds are measured in MB/s (megabytes per second) for both read (how fast the drive can read data) and write (how fast data can be written to the drive).
Because SSDs don’t have any moving parts their speeds aren’t dependent on RPMs, but on the technology – and the data connection – of the drive, you’re getting around four times the speed of traditional hard drives. However, if you use one of the better-optimized connections for SSDs, the speed difference really opens up.
SSD vs HDD: other considerations
There are other things you should consider when thinking about whether to buy an SSD or HDD. For example, because SSDs don’t have any moving parts they're more robust, which makes them a better choice for laptops and other mobile devices.
An SSD can also use less power than a HDD, which means laptops may benefit from longer battery lives when using an SSD – although this will depend on the kind of SSD you use, and what you use it for.
So is an SSD or a HDD best for you? While SSDs are faster, more robust and more power-efficient, HDDs are more affordable – especially when it comes to larger capacities.
Thank you to TechRadar for this information
Before buying your new Laptop choose a Hard drive size.
Laptop HDD/SSD Sizes
Laptop HDD Sizes
For home users, laptop hard drive size ranges from 250 to 500GBs is fine. And most laptop users are using 500 GB hard drive, which is more than enough for the standard laptop system. I have an old laptop with 500 GB hard drive pre-install. Now it is still working and the hard drive space is sufficient.
For users who want to store a lot of movies or other files on this disk, they even want to upgrade to1TB hard drive, which is possible and feasible with a piece of disk cloning software.
Laptop SSD Sizes
SSDs don't come in such large capacities as traditional hard drives. The smallest common SSD size is said to be 128GB, which is about 25 percent of the capacity of the 500GB hard drives you find on many inexpensive laptops. The most common SSD size is 256GB. Solid-state drives rarely have more than 256GB, and those aren't cheap.
Which one is best? Well, it depends on what you’re going to do with your laptop. So, if you don’t play games very often and just use the laptop to handle some official businesses and listen to music, 256GB of SSD storage should be sufficient.
If you're working with a flexible budget, 512GB of SSD storage could be your best choice. And no matter what size is a laptop hard drive, you’d better use a partition manager to manage your hard drive space reasonably and flexibly.
Would you like to - Speak to friends and family online, or learn how to use the internet for news, information, shopping etc? We are there to help you
If you want to learn how to use a computer we use Learn My Way. This has been set up to give a range of easy to use courses and useful resources. By creating an account you can track your progress. You can do these courses yourself either in the Class or at home.Our goal is to give you a solid foundation. Once you have understood these basics, you will have a clear understanding on which to build your future knowledge of and skill with computers.
Just some of the other things we can help you with
Setting up and running your computer
Using the internet for simple tasks
Setting up your own email address
Basic computer skills
Offer advice and help with any issues 1 to 1 tuition
More advanced help & training If you are new to computers or just want to update your computer skills,
Starting to use a computer can feel like a visit to a foreign country – things look familiar but you can’t speak the language. Getting to grips with computers is much easier than learning a new language. Our guides will set you on the right path. With our one to one tuition you will be able to write e-mails, documents, use the internet, save photos and lots lots more.
To become acquainted with your computer there are certain basic skills to be mastered.
While these skills might seem obvious at first, the fact is that many people never take the time to learn these very important basics.
By studying them now, you will both save time later and also improve your daily computer productivity.
Each section of this course contains a straightforward, self-paced introduction to these topics.
Use a mouse to point, click and double-click Keyboard and typing tips.
Opening and closing software files. Accessing a CD-ROM Locating a saved file. How to copy and paste files or text