Over last Christmas weekend, when the snow started to fall, I began to take pictures. These pictures were taken on my Windows ‘smart’ phone. From my phone, I could instantly text photos and a short video of my hand in the snow to my warm California family. These photos then uploaded to my computer as a part of OneDrive cloud service from Microsoft, but more on that another time. My Dad responded by sending me pics of all their matching pajamas and the thermometer at a warm 65F. Next thing I knew, he linked me to a private YouTube video that he had uploaded from his phone of my whole family singing a Christmas carol. It was amazing to spend Christmas with my family who were 1500 miles away at the time!

I know all that techno babble can sound really scary. Now my wonderful Gammo, whom I call that because I couldn’t say grandma as a kid, she is a writer and a published e-author and she finds herself wanting to throw her computer out the window on a near daily basis. She can lose her cool with the “doohickey” and if it doesn’t do what she wants instantly it makes her wonder why she ever bothered in the first place. Here is where I say, PATIENCE! The key to using any computer or device whether it is in your hand or on a desk is patience. Click once and let the computer fully respond. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to click around a little, the machine won’t explode from one misclicked button. Worst case, it could just get a little twisted up nothing too permanent, usually. Exploration is the key to discovery. In the computer world, exploration means clicking around. I can’t tell you how many times I broke my computer as a child. I’d change settings and tinker until nothing functioned then my dad would grudgingly work on it and fix it. Then one day he was done “fixin’ it” and I had to teach myself. I believe anyone can learn how to use a computer. In fact, using YouTube one can learn nearly anything!

My father is by no means a tech guru, in fact he is only a couple years short of the senior discount at Wendy’s, yet he has learned countless things from YouTube. He has learned how to graft different types of trees, change out a toilet ring, fix a barbeque, use Facebook better, heck you can even look up how to change a spark plug on an inline 4 cylinder truck. All this information was stored on YouTube and was accessed by searching for ‘tutorial’ videos. Type a simple question into the search bar like, ‘How to Bake a Turkey in a Bag’ and you will be shown a wealth of videos on the subject. The point is while there is a tiny learning curve to clickin’ around online, once you have the access; the ability to teach yourself whatever skills you wish is right there.

Not sure where to start? Go to www.google.com and type YouTube Help and click the YouTube/help link. The YouTube Help center gives you all the info you could want, but I’d start with Getting Started on YouTube which is the first link. 

Any questions feel free to email Handy Andy! handyandywilder@gmail.com.

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