Computer plain English

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14 years 6 months ago #2295 by DiDi
Computer plain English was created by DiDi
Grant & Kate - I have a suggestion. Is there any way that Grant could write a plain English computer column for us ignoramuses. I Google all sorts of stuff but it is usually so far over my head that I don't get it sorted because I don't understand what they are saying.

Cameras being No 1. I bought a camera which is compatable with Vista (apparently) but have had so many problems with drivers since downloading it that I still haven't used the program. Want to kick it to the curb (Fujifilm) but don't know what else to do. Vista has a program obviously but how good is that?

Every time I start my computer there is some random USB connected to the computer (dah - what?) and I have to go through shutting it down or it slows everthing up. I don't know what it is and don't know how to find out what it is!

I realise that this would be a big ask of you Grant but I doubt I am alone in my ignorance. Hell I have been using computers for over 10 years but find the geek speak overwhelming and new technology (e.g. a digital camera) confusing. Just a wish and a thought if possible?
And... if your first answer is to get rid of Vista... I will smack you from a distance. It has to work...

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14 years 6 months ago #70879 by betenoir
Replied by betenoir on topic Computer plain English
Get rid of vista[}:)]

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] BAAAAAAAAA

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14 years 6 months ago #70889 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Computer plain English
Darn... smack you betenoir! I have no intention of getting rid of Vista as there is plenty I like about it and would prefer to learn how to use it than stick with old technology. Is Microsoft going to be out of business in 2 years because XP will be fazed out (despite how good it is) just as previous programs have been i.e. no support. I just don't accept that we are looking at a Millenium program and want to be positive that it will work and I want to be up there knowing how to use it. Just a shame that I am such a dope in getting it.

Should explain that I have been working (at work) on a Dos based system for the past two years and have been left behind obviously but I prefer to be forward thinking than negative. You are right - I can't even go to the FreeB courses as they are still working in XP as well. Maybe you are right and Vista will turn out to be a lemon totally but I'm just not convinced at this stage - but know Grant is not a fan either.

However. it was not my intention to blame Vista - I blame myself for just wanting the most basic instruction and guidance on how to download photos, resize etc. It is just double dutch to me given that when I followed instructions, my photos went fuzzy. etc etc.

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14 years 6 months ago #70896 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Computer plain English
Hi Didi

Funny you should say that...... I did think at one point of putting all the training manuals I'd written (all using MS applications, how to use tables, graphics, tables of content, Excel databases etc) on the site. But I'm not really into all the other stuff (wireless connections, cameras, etc etc) so never did it...and I've never even looked at Vista (for a reason [}:)]) and people like Grant and wyseyes know so much but it's hard to put everything into simple language and different for different versions of software etc. Keeping up with the latest stuff (which I don't do anymore) is expensive and most people who do it need to make a return on their knowledge. Which is fair enough...

If using applications is what people want I can help though...

Cheers
Kate

Web Goddess

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14 years 6 months ago #70897 by wyseyes
Replied by wyseyes on topic Computer plain English
I don't yet know of anyone who is a fan of Vista, mainly because it is still in nappies (sh*tty and screaming). A good rule of thumb - wait until service pack 1. Only after SP1 of Vista will 30% of the main large bugs will be fixed, and it will settle down to being maybe a nice usable system. Grant and I (dunno about AME and other gurus) can't guide as well in Vista, simply due to lack of exposure to Vista. This is actually by choice, since we rely on productivity in our chosen OS to bring in the paycheck, and can't usually spare the time and money to buy an additional high spec computer running Vista, just so we can play and learn. All we have to call on is our WinX/MacOS/Linux knowledge to attempt to help.

Trouble is how to guide you on computers from afar, when your and everyone else's setup/computer/camera/knowledge/experience is vastly varied and different. I hate to admit it, but a lot of what we have learned has come from both trial and error, and by googling the topic looking for answers. Sometimes we are lucky and find someone else who has had the same problem, and posted the answer.

Anyway... I have a Fujifilm camera. I don't load any drivers. I plug it in, turn the camera on, and up comes a little window asking what I want to do - open pics or peruse the disk (camera memory card). I usually just copy all the photos to My Documents, and view them there.

Editing photos, I use the MS Office Picture Manager. It does a lot of the basic editing (crop, resize, compress for sending, rotate etc) with the minimum of fuss.

I see you shiver in anticip......................................................................................ation

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14 years 6 months ago #70901 by powerguy
Replied by powerguy on topic Computer plain English
Hi Didi, well I have Vista on a new notebook and am going through the pain of leaping from Win98 up to it. Not as bad as from DOS mind you....

I was warned off it too but found I could not get a notebook without it. I have not had anything untoward happen so I wonder if it sometimes is a function of cheaper hardware than the os itself?

I have had to re-learn how to get pics from my digital and it is really a lot more simple using the stuff I got with Office 2007 than it was with the camera programme supplied with the camera. Now I have done it a few times it is a breeze and I am quite happy with it all.

Don't know if it will be the same for you as it will depend what is loaded on your pc. I use the MS Picture Manager. Just download the pic from the camera and open with Picture Manager using a right click on the icon and open with....

Now I just need to get the printer drivers to work......

Renewable power systems - hydro, wind and solar.
Grid tie and off grid (stand alone)
www.poweron.kiwi.nz

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14 years 6 months ago #71051 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Computer plain English

quote:Originally posted by DiDi

Grant & Kate - I have a suggestion. Is there any way that Grant could write a plain English computer column for us ignoramuses. I Google all sorts of stuff but it is usually so far over my head that I don't get it sorted because I don't understand what they are saying.

What you are asking is a huge task DiDi, and there is no guarantee it would be of any help, because every different combination of PC and peripheral hardware such as Cameras, Scanners, Printers etc, has its own unique set of problems [xx(]

Maybe a book like this would be helpful:

http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Vista-Dummies-Andy-Rathbone/dp/0471754218

quote:Originally posted by wyseyes

...Grant and I (dunno about AME and other gurus) can't guide as well in Vista, simply due to lack of exposure to Vista. This is actually by choice, since we rely on productivity in our chosen OS to bring in the paycheck, and can't usually spare the time and money to buy an additional high spec computer running Vista, just so we can play and learn.

YES, my feelings exactly! I have a job to do and XP does it without any fuss, so why would I want to put myself on the "bleeding edge" of technology by adopting an O/S with so many problems at present [?]

quote:Originally posted by wyseyes

Anyway... I have a Fujifilm camera. I don't load any drivers. I plug it in, turn the camera on, and up comes a little window asking what I want to do - open pics or peruse the disk (camera memory card). I usually just copy all the photos to My Documents, and view them there.

I've had 2 different Fujifilm cameras and had a good run with both of them. In neither case did I load any driver software, the same as you Wyseyes. Fujifilm cameras are recognised as a Mass Storage Device so you can Copy/Move/Delete files from Windows Explorer without any driver sofware being needed.

As I was saying in another thread to Swaggie concerning routers, I detest all the junk software that is typically included on CDs supplied by hardware manufacturers. I have a policy of installing NOTHING wherever I can get away with it. If Windows will connect directly with the device, why bother installing all the other junk which is just a potential source of problems.

Usually, I just copy any PDF User Manual files which look useful, and put the CD away in a drawer, never to be used again [^]

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14 years 6 months ago #71089 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Computer plain English
Well... there you go Grant. I can do that! I did realise as soon as I hit the Submit button that it was a huge ask and probably too big an ask given the plethora of information on the Web jumping between Vista and XP. You and our other wonderful computer geeks are forgiven. Grin.

One question at a time... not that you can help us Vista idiots. Powerguy, I too have jumped from 98 on the home computer to Dos and XP at work and now Vista at home. No wonder my brain is scrambled!

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14 years 6 months ago #71258 by ame
Replied by ame on topic Computer plain English
Hi,

Most cameras these days appear to the computer as a plug-in disk (just like a USB drive), so you really shouldn't need any drivers. Often the software that comes with the camera is a little photo album or image editing package that you can do without.

If you cannot get the files from your camera to appear then I suggest getting hold of a USB adapter for the memory card in your camera. Pop the card out of the camera, put it in the adapter and then plug the adapter into the computer and grab your files.

For managing your photos, I thoroughly recommend Picasa, a free software package from Google. Just download and install it and it will look after you.

As for Vista, I admire your perseverance, but I feel it is all for naught. Why hurt yourself so?

A

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14 years 6 months ago #71263 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Computer plain English
I didn't have a choice with HP laptops either (actually who and why changed the name from laptops to notebooks, is there a difference?) and I am having to learn Vista.

Perhaps all my problems are not me afterall, but the vista system!!!:D[8D];)

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14 years 6 months ago #71271 by ame
Replied by ame on topic Computer plain English
You always have a choice! You can re-format the hard disk and install XP or Linux.

A

(Oh, and they are called notebooks these days as the term 'laptop' implies you can use them on your lap. These days they get so hot they can be, um, uncomfortable. Not to mention that the 'widescreen' notebooks are really rather large.)

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14 years 6 months ago #71274 by ame
Replied by ame on topic Computer plain English
One more thing, if you *are* looking for a small, light, laptop-type-thing then check out the Asus EEE. Dick Smith is selling them, and they have been receiving very positive reviews.

A

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