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Getting Help With Your Computer

Getting Help With Your Computer
 Technology with Integrity

By Tim Torian, Torian Group, Inc.


The good news is: computers are more powerful and easier to use than ever. You can get more done more quickly than ever. The bad news: When your computer won’t cooperate, it’s worse than ever. The more it does for you, the more of a problem it is when it won’t do what you want it to.  Many times it is a matter of learning how.  Other times, it is just not working as expected – either the software has problems, or the computer itself is broken. What can you do?

I think learning comes in phases. Initially, you need hands on help with the basics. There are a lot of skills to master just to get to the point where you can turn on the computer, use the mouse, and navigate through all those windows, icons, menus, and other foreign lands.  Online learning is out, and books are of limited help. You need a person who can show you how to use the computer. Once you know the basics, it’s time to explore. There is no substitute for playing around, which is why your kids are probably better at it than you are.  Specific applications that run on the computer also require training. Initial training is sometimes much more efficient coming from someone who knows the territory, and can give you a guided tour. Once you are comfortable enough to navigate on the internet, a whole new world of resources becomes available. At that point, online training, and specific topic related help can be the most efficient way to learn. 

Friends can be a great resource, but it can be tough to find someone with the combination of skills, patience and available time to help. 

The local computer club, the Tule Fog Personal Computer User’s Group, is there to help. They meet monthly on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, at the senior center, 310 N. Locust St.  For more information call 738-3381. Their web site is at www.tulefog.org. You will find people of all skill levels, willing and able to assist you.  They also sponsor special interest groups, including one just for new computer users, and one for Office and internet applications.

Visalia adult school offers a variety of computer classes.  They offer an “Introduction to computers” class, as well as typing, Word, Excel, accounting, and classes on Windows XP and the internet.  They can be reached at 730-7646.  Enrollment fees are very reasonable -$50 registration and $10 lab fee per quarter.

College of Sequoias also has a variety of computer classes, starting with the basic skills you need to operate the computer.  Computer Concepts, offered by the Business Dept. is probably a good place to start.  They have a wide variety of excellent programs, covering business skills, programming, computer hardware, and networking.  COS can provide help for computer users with disabilities as well.  They can be reached at 730-3700, or on the web at www.cos.edu.

There are a number of private colleges in Visalia, and all of them offer computer related classes. 

  • San Joaquin Valley College 651-2500
  • Golden State College (800) 400-100

The Small Business Development Center offers seminars and classes, including some free computer related seminars.

The employment connection office offers help for job seekers, including computer resources.

Visalia Adult school: http://www2.visalia.k12.ca.us/vas/
Tule Fog Personal Computer User’s group. http://www.tulefog.org/

Tim Torian has taught computer networking at the College of Sequoias and Cal Poly Extension. He has a BS in Computer Science, and has been consulting on computer networking for the past 30 Years. His industry certifications include: Cisco CCNA and CCNI, Microsoft MCSE. He was recognized as Entrepreneur of the year for 2008 by the Tulare County EDC. He is president of Torian Group, Inc. which provides a full range of Technology Consulting services to local business, including computer services, networking, web and custom software development. www.toriangroup.com


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