Ventriloquism For Dummies 2.0

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on April 12, 2010

PG was recently asked to help a friend hone her computer skills. This is a note he sent out as a preliminary action. The pictures are from the Library of Congress, and show life during the Crimean War.

I have been thinking about what we were discussing the other night, and how to make the most of this. To begin with, what do you want to learn? Maybe make a list of the things you want to know how to do. I suspect if we were to get together without an agenda, we would get bogged down on one or two things and not accomplish much.

Another thing to consider is that I am no expert. I have never taken a class, and minimal training. I have gotten a bit of advice here and there, but a lot of what I have learned is self taught. I do have a few suggestions at the outset.

1- Do you have an earpiece for a phone? If you could work with both hands easily while talking on the phone, you could do a lot over the phone.

2- A lot of programs are available for free download. The photo shop like program i use is called gimp…gnu image manipulating program. It is a free download at . I have a brief tutorial on my blog, . You can do all sorts of image oriented things with this tool. While I don’t recommend throwing your paints away, you can do a lot of the same things with gimp.

3- learn to work the keyboard. The mouse ( or touchpad on a laptop) is a good tool, and is handy/essential for some things. However, there are many things you can do from the keyboard, and it is almost always faster and easier.
There are three command keys…ctrl (control), alt (alt) and shift. To perform a function, you hold down the command key and hit another key. For example, to copy some text…use you mouse to select the text, hit ctrl+c, then go to the place where you want to copy the text, and hit ctrl+v. Under the edit tab (alt+e) of many windows, you have a list of the basic functions, along with the keyboard shortcut. To get to a tab at the top of the window, hit alt +the first letter of the tab. Sometimes this target letter is underlined.

4- Find a mouse to use with the laptop. I am not fond of those touch pads, although some like them. A mouse is cheap, and you may have one in a box somewhere. Plug it in to the appropriate place, and you are in business.

5- Relax and have a good time. It is not the end of the world if you mess up, although it can be frustrating. Ctrl+z will undo a mistake, and it is your friend. If you change something, but want to keep the original intact, go to alt+f, alt+a, give it a new name, “and save as” ( on non ms programs this is frequently ctrl+shift+s).

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