How to get started with technology

If you have purchased a computer and are completely new to technology, you are in luck. Here is where you can find the top Internet applications to use. Each is very useful for the reasons given. You can read the information and either apply the suggested steps immediately or research them more fully so that you understand what you need about the application.

Compare Email to Letter MailCredit: self

Electronic mail, or email, is the prime motivating reason to buy a computer for many people. The concept is similar to regular letters that might be sent through the postal service. As shown in the diagram, there is a direct equivalent between the email letter mail components. Of course, the email message is a virtual item while a letter is a physical item. The concepts are the same, however.

A letter delivers a message from a sender to a recipient, just like an email message. The sender has something to send. He prepares it for shipping. He puts the address of the recipient on the item. He puts his return address on the item. He takes the item to the post office. He pays the required fee. The post office delivers the item. Except for the cost, email is very similar.

When you send an email message, there is no cost to you or the recipient. The technology used to deliver email is also used for many other purposes. Whether anyone sends email or not, the cost of the technology is the same. In the beginning of public Internet, there were attempts to apply a small fee to each email. This was largely unworkable due to the complexity and size of the Internet community. Instead, the email costs were eliminated. (Some people would like to see a very small fee to prevent the vast number of junk email that is send today. It's not likely to happen, however.)

Most email messages are rather small. In fact, a useful message can be only a few hundred letters, or less. Because it is quick, email is used for nearly instant communications between people. You can send a personal message to someone, as long as you know their email address. You can attach items to your email. This allows you to send a digital picture that you took today. It will be sent to your friend for free. If they want, they can print it but this is optional. You can also send any other document that you have on your computer as an attachment. There are problems with some items due to size and security which you may run into from time to time. Generally, sending a message and attaching a document or a picture are very easily done, even for beginners.


Facebook is an Internet application that is used by over 500 million people to stay in touch with their friends and family. Many people use Facebook everyday. Like email, you can send a quick message to a particular person. You can also use it to send a general message to everybody. This often happens when a new child is born. The parents will announce the new arrival by posting a status message on Facebook. Many times they will include a small picture of the baby. All of their friends and family members will instantly be able to see the announcement.

Facebook allows members to provide comments to announcements, (or posts). These can be in the form of text that you add or you can "like" the post. Each of these actions is recorded with the post. Everything posted will be visible to the original person who posted and to all of their friends. This means that you should never post anything on Facebook that you don't intend to be public information.

To get started with Facebook, you simply register yourself at There are some age restrictions as all members must be over 13 years of age. You have to give a name to your account. Most people use their own name rather than something fictitious. This allows friends and family to connect to you easier. Once you have activated your account, you need to establish connections, or friends. Facebook friends can be family, friends, businesses or acquaintances.

To find your friends, you use the search field at the top of the main page. There you enter the name of someone and press enter. Facebook will display a list of people it knows who match your search name. As you type, Facebook displays possible matches with their picture and location, if available. If the individual is named "John Smith", there will be many entries to review. If it is a rather unique name, you may only see the person that you know. When you find the right person, you click on their entry. A new page will display that shows a button that shows "Add as a friend". After you click the button, you will be able to click "Send Request". Your friend will receive a notice telling them that you wish to become their friend on Facebook. After they do, you will be able to communicate with the person. You may also start to receive friend requests. If you know the person, you can accept their request and begin communicating.

Search engines

When you want to learn about something on the Internet, you connect to a search engine, enter some information describing what you want and you get a list of probable matches. The search engines are called Google, Yahoo, Bing and a huge number of others. Google is currently the largest one.

There is a lot of logic used to fulfill your search. If you enter the search term "red", there will be 2.5 billion web page matches. The search engine makes educated guesses about which pages might be the best for you. Since there are so many matches, however, there is little chance that you will see something that you were actually looking for. If you give the search term more information, you'll get better suggestions. Here are some examples:

Red - 2.5 billion matching Internet pages
Red paint - 1.44 million matches
Red dress - 9.3 million matches
Red Dawn - 1.67 million matches
Red sky at night - 368,000 matches
Red handlebar mustache
Red sandstone lighthouse ornaments - 10,000 matches

As you can see, by adding more detail to the search, you get fewer pages. The ones that are displayed are more focused for your search term.

Bear in mind that often the first results returned for your search may be from paid advertisers. Look on the right side of their listing for the word "Ad" or "Featured". These listings may be appropriate for your purposes or they may not.