There was a time when I didn't think I'd ever be a "computer" person. I was in seventh grade, taking a class in MS-DOS and learning some program called Turtle. (I know why they called it Turtle. It was pretty darned slow.) I had to key in about 50 commands just to draw a half-inch line. I wasn't all that skilled at doing this. One little typo, and my line was going in total wrong direction. I got a C+ in class.
Today, I'm something of an unofficial computer geek. I can pretty much learn any graphics, word processing or utilities program on fly, and I even surprise myself with html tricks from time to time. Now for good news: so can you. "No, I can't!" you say. YES, you CAN.
Today's kids are little tech-heads. Ever seen a four-year-old grab mouse and start web-surfing like it was nothing? It happens all time. By age fifteen, kids are designing websites and manipulating photos like old pros. How can this be? Do they grow them smarter these days?
Well, I know some parents who'll tell you so, but truth is, today's computer programs are designed so that average untrained human being can learn them quickly and apply them in myriad ways. We call them Applications because they're meant to be applied for practical use to enhance our quality of living.
I mentioned MS-DOS in my intro. For most part, today's user doesn't need to know a thing about MS-DOS. The reason? Modern computers run on operating systems, such as Windows for PC and OS for Mac. The operating system covers up all that wacky-looking MS-DOS code with windows and buttons that practically beg us out loud, "CLICK ME!" And click them we do.
Just like operating system, most programs use what's called an interface: that shell or skin that hides code, and allows you to navigate and manipulate using simple clicks and commands. This interface is what enables us to just stroll on over and start making things happen on computer without knowing a darned thing about programming or codes or much of anything.
It's these windows that we can open and shut, buttons we can click, and menus we can pull down using our trusty mouse, that let us accomplish tasks of great magnitude in record time, using these powerful machines. We can do some pretty incredible things just by POINTING AND CLICKING. If you think about this long enough, it might blow your mind.
Point and click. That's basic concept of using mouse, and it's such a simple method that 3-year-olds take to it with ease. SEE IT, GRAB IT. This is how today's computers work, in a nutshell. With this concept in mind, computer programmers did a beautiful thing for all of us humble users: they were kind enough to develop a standard method of navigating through most programs.
Seek... and find. That's basically what your brain is doing as your hand points and clicks. Every time you use a program, you're searching for a word or a symbol or a button that will perform a desired action or take you to a desired destination. So, what's big challenge? To think of word that describes action that you need performed. Words like... SAVE. MOVE. DELETE. CHANGE. COPY. PASTE. You know those words! And you can learn even more words, easily.