Trails End Computer Club

Lesson 2

Safety tips and Getting comfortable using your computer

Learn to use your mouse

It takes time to get comfortable with your computer. Play a game that requires mouse usage like Soltaire, Mahjong Titans or others that came with your computer. Go online and play on line games from trusted sources, Yahoo games http://games.yahoo.com/ , Disney games, http://games.disney.com/. Caution, do not get or play games from sites that may not be reputable.

A basic mouse has a right and left button plus a wheel. The wheel may double as a center button by pressing on it. A mouse can have several side buttons that you may program to do special functions.


Mouse settings

Your mouse can be difficult to use. It may require double clicking too fast. You may move it a small distance and it shoots across the screen. It may be difficult to move to the desired spot.

You can adjust those and other settings in the control panel. Go to Control Panel, Click on Mouse. Make adjustments under:

BUTTONS Double click speed

POINTERS Scheme, try Windows Black extra large

POINTER OPTIONS Select speed, Display pointer trail, Show location by pressing CTRL KEY

WHEEL settings to your liking


Programs, Delete or Uninstall

Never go to your program folder and delete a program file. To remove unwanted programs go to Control Panel, click programs and features, select the program and click on Uninstall or Change near the top of the page. Follow instructions to remove it.


From Programs and Settings you can turn on or off many Windows Features. Look for the link on the left and click on it. Administrator password may be required. Mouse over any item for a description. You can click the + in the left boxes to display additional features. Turn on a feature by selecting it. Turn off a feature by deselecting it.


Shutting down your computer

A normal shutdown is to click on the Start button in the lower left corner of the desktop followed by clicking on shutdown. In the rare occasion that it does not work, try holding down the ctrl key and the alt key at the same time and tapping the delete key. The offending program may be found and ended allowing the computer to continue shutting down. If this becomes a persistent problem there is a problem with the computer and should be corrected soon.


Gain some real estate on your screen

You can probably remove some add on bars from your internet browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari or many others. There must be 40 or more browsers out there. By removing unused bars, you gain that much more real estate on your screen and faster start up.


Don't be afraid of damaging your computer

Generally, you cannot damage your computer unless you do or allow a software program to do damage to your computer after you receive a warning stating basically you could harm your computer if you continue. It is quite easy to be misinformed, misled or be scammed by email, its attachment or other software into doing something that may do harm to your computer. It's best to ignore or delete emails that are questionable.


Don't leave private data behind when using someone elses computer.

Know how to use a public computer or someone elses computer and avoid leaving behind private information. Every browser may leave your history, cookies, user name and even password behind if your browser is not in private mode.

Internet Explorer: Click gear at upper right, safety, click In private browsing.

Google Chrome: Click 3 bars at upper right, click New incognito window.

Firefox: click Tools, Click Start private browsing.

Even then it is possible for a computer to have key logging program that will save every key you push on the keyboard and later send the entire information to someone else. That someone else now has the site you visited, your log in and your password.


Adjust the screen resolution as to being able to see and read your screen better. The native resolution of your screen may be 1600 X 1200 pixels. If you lower the resolution to 800 X 600 (that is half), Everything will appear larger and less will fit on the screen. Right click on a blank spot of your desktop, select screen resolution, you will find a box allowing you to raise or lower the resolution. I often use reading glasses over my regular glasses so I don't have to tilt my head way back to look through the bi-focal section of my lens.


Trails End Computer Club, Harold Buechly updated 12/12/13