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Tip #5: Have Fun!

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31 comments on “Tip #5: Have Fun!”

  1. *Fun* is definitely the key word. Being born in ’64, I predate the Internet and personal computers. My very first PC was a Commodore 64. :) Eventually I stumbled upon Usenet. Anyone remember that blast from the past? I also had an ole Colecovision game console. My first cellphone was a bag phone!

    These days I spend a lot of time playing around with PCs and Android devices. I develop in WordPress as a leisure activity but my real fun is working with VMs. At one time I had every version of Windows installed in VMs from 3.11 to 7 as well as a dozen various Linux distros. I spent many hours searching the web for drivers to get sound and networking to properly function in Windows 3.11 but again – the search and trial & error was itself great fun.

    • Atari 400 membrane keyboard. My son typed out game programs from the magazines. Woe unto you if you had a typo. Eastern Front loaded from the tape drive – 30 minutes of beeps, and then a crash. Shamus was one of the most fun games ever.

      • LOL! I did that too. Then after you found all your typos you had to debug to find the typos in the magazine. I was born in ’52 and my first computer was the TRS80. That darn thing was over $3k at that time. I am not going to figure it up for inflation but that would probably be enough to get the best PC money can buy now. A whole 4k of ram and yep 300 baud online modem … of course there was very little to connect to anyway. The cassette recorder storage was so much fun, you had to load four or five times and if you were very lucky it would finally run. You had to love the darn thing to keep from throwing it out the window! I spent many hours in front of it. My second was the (don’t remember exactly) something 100, was the first “notebook” computer it had an eight line display and was about the size of a notebook with five hundred sheets of notebook paper in it. It was a giant improvement because the OS was on a PROM, which was upgradable to include office software. Computers now are so easy to use and understand, relatively, it is silly. My theory: back up and do whatever you want. Worst case restore from image.

  2. It would be a better article for me if you made the other four tips easier to find. I found them, but they seemed a bit buried in the text. Many of us are busy with all the media input and just wanted to get to “what are the other four?” part of the article. Maybe put them in as bullets? Thanks for all you do. I very much appreciate it. -Loyal fan.

  3. Hello Leo. I am a retired senior. I rely on the computer for simple tasks like e-mail, shopping and such like. A retired corporate lawyer, I often receive requests to do various things many of which are pro bono if relating to animal saving programs.
    Do I backup? Absolutely. I use Seagate. I am fortunate enough to have a systems person available who will either guide me or do things I feel unsure about.
    For most people, especially people like me who are not geeks, tackling demanding projects is no fun at all and can be very frustrating. This being the case, my recommendation is to hire a reliable person who is competent enough to do what needs to be done. The cost may be less than the damage you may do by self-help.
    Another point – written assistance from experts such as yourself can often prove too challenging to people with little experience, especially those who could be mentally challenged.

    • I am also older and have no technical background. But I’ve been able to solve many problems by searching on line and especially appreciate Leo for writing in a way that I can usually understand. I do feel great satisfaction, if not exactly fun, when I succeed.

      Right now I’m trying to get up my courage to try EaseUS Todo. I’ve been using Macrium Reflect, but I always feel like I’m crawling blindfolded in a tunnel, and – most important – I’ve never been able to verify my backups. If I need a new external drive, I’ll look into Seagate. I am looking forward feeling secure about not losing everything.

      S.Jay Simms – Thank you for your pro bono work on behalf of animals.

      • I suggest using Western Digital 1 TB external hard drives. They can be purchased for around $60 from Tiger Direct and other budget sources. I have one each for two PCs — a Dell lap top about 4+years old and a 2015 Dell desktop, both with Win 7. I have used Acronis TI but it is difficult and beyond my capabilities, mainly for doing recoveries. I now use Macrium Reflect V6. Leo’s 2nd Edition book is most helpful.

      • If you’re not also backing up offsite/to the cloud, I’d recommend looking at ioSafe drives: they’re fireproof and waterproof.

  4. When people ask me about my jobs in the past, I say:
    “I have never been working. I have only been playing and having fun, writing computer programs. But I was lucky that there were always companies, that wanted to pay me for having fun”.

  5. You are without a doubt a very good and knowledgeable speaker and understand a great deal about computers. However, your concept talks and attitude about understanding computers just doesn’t go far enough. I would like to see you explain in video detail more aspects of the operating system. You explain things but I believe we could learn more if this was explained in video form showing each step we should take to back-up as an example. I think we all learn more by watching on video rather than explaining things in so many words. After all they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

    Thank you,

  6. Thumbs up for Tip #5, Leo,
    Since I programmed a mainframe back in the 1980’s (yeah, I’m ancient!), I learned to have fun with technology and accept that continued learning is sine qua non to having that fun. When you stop trying to keep up, it starts to get NOT fun to catch up a few years later.

    The machine I programmed back then was a 32bit machine. It “only” took about 15 years or so for the 32 bit machines to reach the general populace. If Motorola had been the winner of that race instead of Intel, it would have happened a lot sooner. But that is water under the ‘sore subject’ bridge.

    Back then, even the definition of a “half-word”, “word” and double-word was in dispute! A “word” for us was 30 bits with the added 2 bits for parity. IBM had other ideas and they won out. I bring all this up because I programed in assembler, not high level stuff. When you do a “double Shift left” (i.e. a type of divide in binary), in our assembler language (Sperry-Univac ULTRA -Universal Language Translator Assembler), 60 bits were shifted.

    Everybody agreed about what a bit was. We all were familiar with the “bit bucket” where all embarrassing programing efforts were sent. But IBM decided what a ‘byte” was and what a “word” was. Some guys had the TRS80 and programmed it so a bit of confusion ensued. The Boolean instructions that accessed a “word” or a “half-word” for buffer packing or math manipulations needed some type of standard.

    This is a quote from my Technology Dictionary published by Radio Shack in 1987:

    Word: a collection of bits which the computer recognizes as a fundamental information unit and uses in its operations. Usually defined by the number of bits contained in it, e.g., 8-,16-, or 32-bit word.

    Word Length: The number of bits in a computer word.

    Byte: A group of adjacent bits treated as a unit. Eight bits is a common byte size.

    END OF (ancient) QUOTE

    Back then there was all sorts of hype about the “coming advances” when computers would move from 8 bits to 16 bits. I was not impressed. If they could build a 32 bit data transfer (and 64 bit buffering!) missile tracker and modify it for air traffic control back in the 1980’s, I didn’t see why they couldn’t make 32bit personal computers. Motorola was working on it. IBM and Intel were taking their time.

    Well, we are up to 64 bit handling motherboards with 128 bit buffering video cards (I may be behind here because I am not a gamer). I am certain that much wider data path technology (that DO NOT heat up motherboards like gaming computers do now) is available.

    Leo, I have kept up and it has been fun to do so. But since I am, like you, a bit of a geek, I think it is much easier to do. Most people cannot get the “nuisance factor” out of their minds when dealing with technology. So I do appreciate your efforts to make all this stuff more “user friendly” to the user.

    Thank you..

  7. Thank you Leo for all the encouraging words of wisdom,
    I am in my senior years and spend a lot of time on my computer.
    Recently I upgraded to Windows 10 and really like it,I still have two older computers running with Vista Home Premium and looking forward to your next issue of a possible upgrade to Windows 10,if possible.

    North of Seattle,Oliver BC

  8. I have saved all your articles since #511. I search back from time to time to help me solve problems. Your suggestion to approach computers with the attitude to “have fun” is what I have tried to do. I never have had the benefit of formal training with either hardware or software. I’m pushing 80 and have yet to pay anyone for help. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of every problem I’ve had and resolved with my many pc’s plus the one I built a few years back. You often encourage senior citizens not to fear computers and change. I am an example of those unafraid and looking forward to the challenges. Windows 10 is next.

  9. I’ve just listened to your tip No 5 about making technology Fun! I wholeheartedly agree with you.
    After teaching Business Computing at a Technical College for some 25 years (in Australia) I retired and decided to use my knowledge to help our older citizens to embrace technology and have fun with it. To this end I joined a non-for-profit organisation (over 400 members), as a volunteer, and have spent the last eight years helping older people to become “technology” literate.
    As trainers, we always emphasize that the courses are fun and non-threatening and the students enjoy the human interaction, have fun and learn at the same time. I can honestly say that I have gained so much from this experience by not only keeping up with technology, (I’m preparing Train-the-Trainer Workshop for Windows 10) but have met some wonderful people and feel that I am still able to make a contribution. How good is that!!
    PS Keep up the great work you are doing Leo!!

  10. These were all great tips and I find them all to be true. I still am having trouble with the back up. I need to fine a program that will auto back up.
    As far as the having fun, it seems that every time that I find a program that I get to know how to use (such as a photo prog.) , its time to upgrade to a new windows os and poof the funs over. It get to be a bit costly to keep upgrading. Anyhow thumbs up to Leo. Thanks

  11. Thanks Leo, I appreciate your help and all the above comments. I am also an oldie across the pond in Ireland. I use W8.1 and have reg for W10 but it has not arrived yet.


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