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Thread: How to help a user new to Ubuntu AND computers...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Florida
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    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Question How to help a user new to Ubuntu AND computers...

    Hello everyone. I have what might be a rather unusual issue. My parents are in their 70s and 80s and my husband and I just gave them an old laptop. My husband put Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron on it -- I guess we didn't have our original Windows license anymore? Anyway, he figured it was free and easy enough to use.

    The trouble is, my parents don't know how to use a computer at all. They have been using WebTV/MSNTV for years so they do know a little bit about surfing the web, e-mail, etc...but as far as using a mouse, finding things through menus...they need to learn the absolute basics. And it occurred to me recently that if they go to a computer class, it will almost certainly be taught using Windows as the OS. I know there are a lot of similarities but at the same time, I think they will get confused when they get home and try to navigate around Ubuntu.

    Right now, they are out of state and won't be home for a few weeks, so I have some time to figure this out Does anyone have any advice for me? Are there any resources on the web or in book form for people who need to learn to use a computer that is not Windows or Mac-based? Help!

    Thanks in advance!
    Jocelyn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Porirua, New Zealand
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    Ubuntu

    Re: How to help a user new to Ubuntu AND computers...

    There's always the "old favourites" like solitaire for practice with the mouse.
    Forum DOs and DON'Ts
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Melbourne, Australia.
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    Re: How to help a user new to Ubuntu AND computers...

    It depends what they are going to do. If they are just going to browse the web, write some letters and check their email I think it would be easier just to show them. Using Ubuntu is really just as simple as using Windows when doing that sort of stuff.

    For what it's worth these may help:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/
    http://www.ubuntu.com/training

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Chennai , INDIA
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    Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

    Re: How to help a user new to Ubuntu AND computers...

    what is beautiful is not always good, but what is good is always beautiful!
    When I'm right no one remembers..When I'm wrong no one forgets..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    23,183
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: How to help a user new to Ubuntu AND computers...

    Hi and welcome, there are some video's on youtube that help with instructions
    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...rch_type=&aq=f

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Williams Lake
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: How to help a user new to Ubuntu AND computers...

    Setup Lauchers (shortcuts in windows speak) to the main applications they will be using. For instance if the main things they use the computer for is to read and write email, put a good sized Icon that says email on the desktop, the same for the internet, if they have a digital camera the same, and definitely a folder full of games.

    If possible setup the address book with all the email addresses they use and of course bookamrks should be easy to get to. Maybe even seed the photo application with a few pictures. Be prepared to spent a few nights going through things with them and above all treat your parents with respect. I know once in a while I tend to get tired of some of the questions my dad (he's 74) asks me, even though he started my use of computers in 1984, and as far as I'm concerned he should know the answer to most of the questions himself (oops personal rant).

    Jim

  7. #7
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    Xubuntu Development Release

    Re: How to help a user new to Ubuntu AND computers...

    I know once in a while I tend to get tired of some of the questions my dad (he's 74) asks me, even though he started my use of computers in 1984, and as far as I'm concerned he should know the answer to most of the questions himself (oops personal rant).
    Are you my brother

    Luckily it seems that they are not going to be burdened with preconceptions about how it should work - so that will make it easier, but I would agree with cariboo's suggestions.

    Also, perhaps it would be worth editing the menus so that they don't even see the things they wont be needing. I would also turn off all of the updates except for security - assuming that someone is close enough by to check up now and again.

    I don't know what sort of mouse it has on the laptop - but it might be an idea to get a new one to plug in.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Ireland, out west
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    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: How to help a user new to Ubuntu AND computers...

    I am approaching retirement and have started using Ubuntu 8.04 for the first time. At this stage I have to get over the embarrassment of asking fairly basic questions!

    First thought, make sure that you size all the fonts etc correctly so that your parents can actually see and read the screen without straining their eyesight.

    Secondly, install all the basic programmes that they like to use and then have them as shortcut icons on the top of screen - sorry I don't know all the proper terminology yet.
    I like using Ubuntu, as it feels a lot safer than Windows did.

  9. #9
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    Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

    Re: How to help a user new to Ubuntu AND computers...

    ... ubuntu is not very newb friendly, u sure u want there first computer experience to be on it. Dont get me wrong microsoft is the devils corporation... but thier os is for newbs and it always will be.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Re: How to help a user new to Ubuntu AND computers...

    ... ubuntu is not very newb friendly
    If it is set up properly and they are just going to be using simple programs I fail to see how it will not be user friendly.

    Why let someone learn one os from the start (which is likely to be just as hard) only for them to have to unlearn and start again.

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