Internet, emails, now what?

Most people I meet in my job have shall we say an utilitarian attitude towards their computers, iPads, etc. They were purchased either to meet a need or because their family, friends, neighbours, pets told them that they had to.

You get the thing home or open up the package newly dumped at your door and wonder what to do next. Assuming you can get access to Google, YouTube or a friendly computer professional you can get up and running with email and Internet access quite quickly. Maybe knock off a Christmas newsletter or invites to your renowned social events for those who are still in the dark ages and need something on paper.

Once you have figured out how to actually download pictures from your digital camera you begin to think you may be getting somewhere. And indeed you are. You are doing a lot better than many people I meet. But what to do after that?

Now I admit to being totally sold on the benefits of computers whilst being only too aware of their limitations (you can’t help that in this job!). But I use my computers for fun things as well as business. For instance I love music and not just listening but actually making it.

Most computers are able to produce sounds of such quality that Rick Wakeman in his heyday would have been jealous. Given a cheap or in some cases free program and a little bit of time you maybe can produce something as good as ‘the rubbish you hear on the radio’.

OK so you’re more of an dauber than a diva. Well what about digital art? If it’s good enough for David Hockney, then why not you? Yes it’s very difficult to paint well with a mouse on a computer screen, but you can get digital tablets which allow you to ‘paint’ with a stylus which feels just like a pen. iPads have styli as well and they open up a whole vista for little outlay.

Given a USB port to plug into you can even automate a telescope if you are into star-gazing.

Maybe none of this appeals to you. Fair enough. What I am attempting to do here is help you look at ways in which your expensive digital gadgets can add to the richness of life. The possibilities are endless once you start looking.