Why You Need To Know How To Use A Computer

Ok – apologies in advance, this will be a rant.
 
My pet peave as an IT consultant, computer support professional, and computer instructor is this:
 
I meet people every day who seem to think that it is ok to be computer ignorant or illiterate.  Here’s the deal – you will become skilled at using a computer and understanding some fundamentals about how they work, or you will be replaced in the marketplace by younger and more nimble workers who are.  I don’t care that you "don’t like computers."  You ought ot invest whatever time it takes to learn something about this tool which is becoming part of everything we do.
 
A year ago I was involved in a project where a freight forwarding company was installing touch screen computers in the forklifts in their freight terminals.  If you lift boxes and move packages for a living, then you now need to know how to work your forklift computer, don’t you?
 
I notice that we all manage to "figure out" how to use an automobile.  There is nothing about driving and maintaining an automobile that is any less difficult than using and maintaining a computer.  If you did the one thing, then you can do the other.
 
Yes, it will take some time.  You will need to get a computer for yourself, and spend some time just playing around with it.  Remember when you were just learning to drive a car, and the period just after you got your license?  Any excuse to run an errand or just take a road trip was met with enthusiasm.  You need to approach your life with computers the same way.
 
Explore.  Learn a new skill.  Buy software, get a book, or take a class and learn how to use it.  Get good at something.  Learn a little bit about the hardware side, take your computer apart and put it back together.  Learn how the operating system works, and aquaint yourself with the hundreds of little applications that are a standard part of the operating system.
 
Learn a little bit about computer networks, and how they work.  Learn how to find your IP address.  Learn how to share files on the network.
Understand that the internet is just a huge collections of computers and computer users that are communicating from one machine to another over a network that is not too different from the telephone network.  That web site you are looking at lives on a computer somewhere, and your computer has arranged for you to "talk" to it.  Its not that hard.  But it is important. 
 
Every school district in the country has some kind of Community Education program where, for a few bucks, and a couple of evening hours, you can get some face time with some pretty experienced computer instructors, and learn almost anything you would like to know how to do on a computer.  So go do it.  Get off the couch, you potato head, and get yourself some schoolin’.  Heck, you might even have some fun.
 
And to those of you who tell me the Internet is not interesting, or is too slow, or dumb, I say this:  Get a broadband connection fer cryin’ out loud!  Sure its forty bucks a month, but its worth it.  Since getting wired in, I never need directions (MapQuest), or to use a phone book (dexonline.com), or look for a movie time (moviefone.com), and if I need to become an instant expert in any subject, its Google.  I bank and manage my investment portfolio on-line, I shop on line, I play games, find humorous web sites, read news and the comics, keep up on important events in my industry – all on-line!
 
So – get with the 90’s before they are over!   Oops, too late, buckwheat.  Time to get over it and get yourself on-line.

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About the Author:

Cybersecurity guru to business owners in the St Paul, Minneapolis, and western Wisconsin area. Computer security and hacking have been a passion of mine since I entered the computer and networking business in 2000. In 2013 I completed a course of study and certification exam to become a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). In 2016 I was certified as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). As Senior Cybersecurity Engineer at Computer Integration Technologies, I help our clients experience high levels of computer security, network security, and web site security. In addition to consulting on security products and services, we also conduct security audits, vulnerability assessments and full penetration tests. We also provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training for clients and their employees. We also work with companies and organizations that need to certify compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS (credit card processing), HIPAA/HITECH (medical records), and GLBA. The views expressed on this Web site are mine alone and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer.

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