Monday, December 29, 2008

Tips for helping those who are new to the Internet

Believe or not, there are still some people who are new to the Internet. For those folks who have been left behind the technology wave, Amit Agarwal of Digital Inspiration provides some tips and good examples in "The Essential Guide to Internet & Software for First-Time Computer Users".

Though I doubt beginning computer users could read the post and understand why they need to install and use the programs, the guide does provide some good examples to us who are still teaching new computer users .

Among the programs that Amit sees essential for new computer users, my favorites are:

PC Decrapifier - will detect and remove all the unwanted trial programs that came pre-installed with your machine.

Firefox - is a web browser. Some think it’s better than Internet Explorer.

delicious add-on - to save favorite websites.

Two different email accounts on - The primary email address is to be shared with friends and family. The second one is to be used  for everything else such as newsletters and shopping deal alerts. - to enter a temporary email account without having to use your main email account.

KeepPass - to save the different passwords from day one. I use Password Safe, instead, but either program should work.

Laptop Alarm - will emit a loud sound if someone tries to shut down your computer or remove the power cable. Laptop thefts are not so uncommon after all.

Google Docs - Instead of using the preinstalled trial version of word processor use Google Docs for word processing and spreadsheets. - to convert files into some simple format (like avi for video, jpg for images, doc for documents, mp3 for songs, etc.) that the computer can play/open.

Windows Live Photo Gallery - to download pictures from a digital camera onto the computer and upload photos to common family Flickr account. 

VLC player - to play DVDs on the computer.

Live Mesh - to share files and documents with each other privately and backup important files onto the web.

Google Talk - to chat online friends

Meebo - is online program to chat with friends if they are are using some other chat software like, Yahoo! Messenger or AOL.

Evernote - will turn "paper" documents into digital format after you take a digital picture of them making it easy to find and manage.

FaxZero - to upload the document and fax it for free anywhere in the US and Canada. 

Feed My Inbox - to get updates via on pages that offer feeds, such as and blogs. Type the address of the website with a feed and you’ll be notified automatically via email with a new page is added to the website.

Tumblr - to share interesting pages, photos, and videos with others, such as family members.


Anonymous said...

Great list! I created and am very happy to see that you have found it useful.

I'm also a huge fan of Firefox, VLC, Evernote, and of course gmail.

Unknown said...

Thanks Devon, I thought it was a good list. Once a quarter, I teach a workshop to a group of adults--most are senior citizens who live in rural areas. This list will come in handy.

Amit's list will be very helpful.