How To Use This Website.
Every one of you starting the course will be doing so at a slightly different level to everyone else. That's just the way it is.
Here At Home Computer, we don't want to leave anyone behind, regardless of what level you're at, no one needs to miss out just because they couldn't figure out the video player.
Which is really what this first page of the course is all about. Making sure everyone is on the same page.
So apologies for showing you things you already know, but maybe not everyone does.
How To Use The Pictures.
When we're trying to learn something new, we need to be able to see it. So in the course, I use a lot of pictures. It's just so much better if you can actually see what I'm trying to describe.
The issue is that sometimes the pictures as they are, don't show enough detail. They're sometimes a little too small to be able to read the text or see exactly what I'm pointing to.
To make the pictures larger, left-click once on them. Put your pointer directly onto the picture and left-click.
To return to normal view, left-click on the picture again.
Try it now with this picture.
Do it several times, just click it to make it larger, then click it again to return.
You'll quickly get used to it.
This works on a lot of websites that have pictures (images).
You can usually tell that the image (picture) can be made larger. As you move your pointer over the picture, it'll change from an arrowhead to a pointy finger.
When it changes to a pointy finger, it's indicating that the image can be clicked on.
That will normally either open the image in a larger window or sometimes it's used as a link to another webpage.
How To Use The Video Player.
A lot of the guides on the course will have a video.
I'm sure you already know from your own experiences that sometimes it's just a lot easier to show someone what or how to do something than it is to tell them.
At the bottom of the video, you'll see the player control panel.
When you move your mouse pointer off the video, the control panel will disappear after a few seconds.
To bring it back up, simply move your mouse over the video.
Looking closely at the control panel, you can see a thin red line. That is called the timeline.
The red line shows how much of the video you've watched, and the white/grey part shows how much is still to come.
You can rewind or fast forward a video by moving your mouse pointer onto the very end of the red line. The arrowhead will change to a pointy finger.
When it does, hold down the left-hand mouse button, then move the mouse left or right, depending on which way you want to go.
Release the mouse button when you're ready for the video to play again.
Handy if you've missed a bit, or just want to go over something again. Or if I'm waffling on too much and you're ready to move forward.
The final thing I want to show you is the Fullscreen Icon.
When you start a video playing, it'll normally play within the small window. Now that may be big enough on your screen, but it may not be.
Left click once on the Fullscreen Icon and the video will expand to fill your entire screen.
When you want to get out of Fullscreen, when you want to return to the normal webpage, click the Fullscreen icon again.
These video player controls are pretty much standard across most video streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. The symbols they use might vary a little, but if you can use this player, you'll quickly figure out the others.
How To Print From The Course.
If you've got a printer, then why not use it? Working from a printed page is often easier (especially for beginners) than trying to follow along on-screen.
There are various ways to print a web page (there's often more than one way to do most things on a PC), but perhaps the simplest is to press the CTRL (Control) key and the letter P on your keyboard.
After a moment or two, you should see what's called the printer dialogue window.
The actual window that pops up may vary slightly from the one shown here, it'll depend on your printer and web browser, but it will be close enough.
You should be able to see a print button somewhere.
What you'll print will be the whole webpage (again this works on most websites, not just here). The problem with that is it'll use up a lot of ink and paper.
You see, you'll be printing out all the pictures as well as the text.
Printer Friendly Pages.
And you don't always need the whole page to be printed. Sometimes you might want everything, but not all the time.
Which is where printer-friendly pages come in.
Where you see this box, or something similar, it indicates that there is a printer friendly page for that particular guide.
The idea behind printer-friendly pages is to cut out all (or at least most) of the pictures and reduce the text to the bare minimum.
In that way, we can save a lot of ink.
Printer ink is frighteningly expensive, so where you don't actually need the full webpage experience printed out, try the printer-friendly pages.
I'm currently trying to get printer-friendly pages written for most of the course, but I've only recently started so there aren't many at the moment.
The pages are in the PDF format (but don't worry about that now, we'll get to it later).
You can either print out the page or download it to your computer.
Printer-friendly pages open in what's called a "new tab" within your browser.
You'll see it appear across the top of the window.
To close a printer page and return to the course, simply left-click the X at the end of the tab.
When closing a tab, be sure to click the X and not the + sign. The + sign opens a new tab, which if you're not used to it, can get confusing.
Computer Guides Section.
The At Home Computer website is split into 2 halves. This side is the computer course. It's what you're doing right now. On the course, as you'd expect, each page builds on the previous page and then leads to the next page. That's what a course is.
The other half of the site is a computer guides section. The guides are stand-alone guides for getting just one task done. They aren't dependant on the previous guide and don't lead to the next. Although many of them are related to other guides.
At the bottom of each of the course pages, you'll see the link to the next page of the course. Which is fairly obvious.
But below that, you'll see on most of the course pages links to various Extra Computer Guides.
You don't have to do the Extra Computer Guides to complete the course.
For some of us, it's better that we just plough on and finish the course without being distracted or sidetracked. If this is you, then simply ignore the Extra Guides.
But for other people, it helps. Being able to put to use something that they've learned to do. It helps to set it into memory. And don't let's not forget that sense of achievement we all feel when we've done something good.
We Learn Better Together.
Get your friends and family involved. If you're doing this course then you probably know someone else who could/should have a go. It's just better together.
And with that in mind, I've recently started a Facebook page for At Home Computer. I'd like to build a community over there, friends helping each other out, asking questions, encouraging and sharing knowledge.
You'll see the Facebook links scattered around the site.
Adverts On The Site.
I need adverts to be shown on the website. They pay me a very small commission. A tiny amount.
That money helps keep this site up and running and free for you to use.
If you're using an ad-blocker, then please allow ads from
Using ad-blocking software isn't a bad idea in itself, but if we want the Internet to be free, then we have to be fair.
Ads on this site are all positioned down the right-hand side of the screen. They're out of the way and don't infringe on the content.
I'm not asking you to read the ads, just allow them to appear.
So that's it for the intro.
Next up, Keyboards and Mice.
We'll look at some settings you might like to change to make using your mouse easier and also some of the keys on your keyboard that you should find.