Production-Now.com Media Production Mentoring

Online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.

6.15.2009

The Language of Computers

File->New
Edit->Copy
Shift Click

If you use computers on a daily basis--and I assume you do--then these all make perfect sense. Completely normal. Even the Escape Key is perfectly comfortable on your keyboard, though you've probably rarely found a use for it. But this normalcy is completely foreign to some.

This evening I went over to visit with a family from our church--their daughter is in our Sunday School class--to help the woman figure out how to put music and pictures onto her iPod Nano. Within the first few minutes of sitting down at her computer we had covered:

  • The difference between a Folder and her Desktop
  • Documents vs. Music
  • User accounts
  • Left click vs. right click
  • Devices, hard drives, and media
  • Folder sorting/organization
  • and the iTunes interface

After that we showed her how to "import" music from her CDs, drag and drop them onto her iPod, and how to rename music files that did not automatically update. And I realized again that computers are anything but "intuitive". Rather, we learn where to expect to find things and can typically figure it out. As we encounter new programs and interfaces, these layouts shift and we have to go hunting again.

Left or right click? Well, is this a function that you want to activate or possibly alter/further define? How do you decide?

Why is it called "File" that ultimately lets you Open, Save, Create New, while "Edit" is where you Copy and Paste? I'm not totally sure. I mean, I get it, I do, but it's not the first thing people think of... unless they've been in computers for a long time.

And honestly, as I poked around the latest version of iTunes on a Vista machine, I felt a little lost now and again. 'Where did they move that feature now?' I found myself wondering every now again. 'I know where it used to be...' And so I'm lost as well, but I just happen to know roughly what I'm looking for.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

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