How Do I Learn to Master My Computer

Dear Computer Lady,

Hello- I am hoping you can suggest a step-by-step book/tutorial/etc to systematically teach me how to master the computer (is that even possible?!!).

I find myself at a crossroads where I see my lack of knowledge would put me in a very precarious position if I continue to put more and more of my daily life and affairs on-line without a much fuller understanding of terms, processes and systems that the computer faces me with.

I really appreciate all the questions you answer and I have learned very much from you but I feel I need to fill in lots of knowledge gaps. If you have something available I would be very interested. If not, I would greatly appreciate your recommendations.

I currently use a Dell Vostro with Vista home basic (am not against upgrading to 7)and use IE. I’m sure my computer could be a lot more useful to me than it is but I’d like to know what I’m doing rather than leap blindly into the unknown.

Many thanks!! Laurie


Dear Laurie,

In a way, what you are asking is not possible. There are so many things that can be done on a computer, that it will never be possible for one person to master them all.

Instead, what you need to do, is learn about the things that you want to use your computer for.

Amazon is a great place to look for books, so I found a few for you to consider.

PCs All-in-One For Dummies is a compilation of 8 smaller books that will give you a good overview of using your computer.

You mentioned that you put your daily life and affairs online, so I am guessing that you might be using Facebook. If that is the case, you might be interested in, “Facebook, The missing manual”. While I have not read this particular book, I am a big fan of the “Missing Manual” series and always learn a lot from their books.

Finally, if Internet Safety is a concern, Leo Notenboom has written a Kindle book titled, “Internet Safety”.

Leo also writes a newsletter called, Ask Leo. You can subscribe to his newsletter on his website at:

My last suggestion is actually the place where I started out learning about computers, a website named has two email lists that have ongoing conversations about computers. One is for software discussions, and the other is for hardware. The wonderful people on both of these lists were able to help me with my computer many times. I spent many years subscribed to both these lists, and was even a moderator for a while (until I was overwhelmed by the volume of email questions sent in by my readers). These lists are a great place to learn. Not only can you ask any questions that you have, but you will also learn from reading questions and answers from other list members.

I hope this gives you a few places to start learning about computers.


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