When it comes to computers, I often feel like a cartoon character with a perpetual question mark over my head. I just learned how to add a link to a pdf formatted document in WordPress. I needed to add a list resources for Spanish genealogy in my previous posting. I had never don this before and it took some hunting in WordPress to find the instructions. I’ll say this for WordPress. At least I found them. And I understood the instructions when I got to them. Thank you anonymous WordPress writer. You are worth your weight in gold.
Have you ever noticed how the answers to simple questions tend to get over complicated by many of the techie writers who create computer help pages. I am really starting to understand the use of the words “dummies” and “idiots” in the titles of books about computers. If people think you are a dummy or an idiot, at least in a particular subject, they may take the time to explain basic concepts to you. They may even answer a simple question simply.
I get the feeling that most people who write computer user manuals or “help” pages think that their readers are as experienced as they are. News flash. If we are looking at a user manual or a help page, we aren’t.
Is it really too much to ask that a mouse comes with a slip of paper that says it’s plug and play. That virus detection software includes instructions that tell one how to temporarily disable it so we can add our genealogy software without complications. Instructions that we can find easily. That we can understand if we actually do locate them. Is it possible to have the faq page begin simply and work it’s way up to complicated. I’m sure you can add numerous examples of your own.
I am lucky. I am a librarian. I have research skills. I can check with colleagues to see if they have had any experience with my problem when I’m having trouble finding an answer myself. When you are dealing with computers you’re always learning something new, no matter who you are. The rate of change is mind boggling. Even as a librarian, I have discovered a huge gap between having a computer in the library, with great tech backup, and one at home with no safety net.
This blog is obviously not about technical computer help. What I do hope is that it helps cut through some of the tall grass so that you find ancestors more easily or discover a book or website that helps solve a genealogical problem. But when it comes to actually dealing with the technical side of computers, we’re all in this together. And if one of my readers is a computer techie, please remember — keep it simple for the rest of us. That would be more deeply appreciated than you know.
Library website: http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog: https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide: http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/genealogy