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Computer Analogies

Hi Guys,

I start teaching some former prisoner's on the weekend (don't ask - volunteer work). I just spoke with an instructor and she said don't worry, it's basic, basic stuff. She said at the end of class if we have then searching on the internet we have done an amazing job.

She said the tricky part is that they really know nothing about computers so it's best to use analogies for everything. I am hoping you all can help, this may even be fun. I was thinking of using analogies to bodies and cars. We all have bodies and since it's LA and mostly men, a car might be helpful.

Any good analogies for software, hardware, file formats, the mouse. anything you can think of. Thanks!

by Anonymousreply 27August 8, 2010 7:17 PM

Exactly what are you trying to teach them?

by Anonymousreply 1July 8, 2010 7:12 PM

OP said [quote]She said at the end of class if we have then searching on the internet we have done an amazing job. %0D %0D %0D R1 said [quote] Exactly what are you trying to teach them?%0D %0D Is it just me, or...

by Anonymousreply 2July 8, 2010 7:22 PM

Analogies that ex-prisoners understand?

The computer user is like a pimp. The mouse is your ho. It only does what you want it to do.

The computer is like a house. Files are like jewelry. The recycle bin is like a getaway car. You take the jewelry out of the house and put it in the getaway car.

The software, Windows, is like a security guard hindering everything you do.

Google is like Bubba in cell C. You go to him for advice on anything and before you know it, he controls everything, your email, your searches, your browser. It's all under Bubba's watch now.

by Anonymousreply 3July 8, 2010 7:25 PM

"If we have them searching on the Interet we've done an amazing job" doesn't really say what you are trying to teach them. OP, are these people who know what a computer is, and need to know how to go on the Internet?

What are you trying to accomplish? It is hard to give a meaningful answer to such a vague question.

by Anonymousreply 4July 8, 2010 7:32 PM

p.s.: The plural doesn't take an apostrophe. It is "prisoners," not "prisoner's"

by Anonymousreply 5July 8, 2010 7:33 PM

They will learn the basics. Moving the mouse, opening files and folders, using the start menu, copying and pasting. The basics we all take for granted. Imagine you were teaching a 5 year old.

Thanks r5, I always get mess plurals up.

by Anonymousreply 6July 8, 2010 7:56 PM

The mouse is like a mouse. It's a little thing with a tail.

by Anonymousreply 7July 8, 2010 8:04 PM

Think of the computer as your gun. The delete key is like a trigger. %0D %0D When you mess up, just hit the delete key several times. It's like pulling the trigger of your gun while it's pointed at granny's head as you're shaking her down for her welfare check.

by Anonymousreply 8July 8, 2010 8:11 PM

bump and stop using criminal analogies. I can't use those.

by Anonymousreply 9July 9, 2010 12:40 AM

[quote] Bubba.

by Anonymousreply 10July 9, 2010 12:41 AM

Datalounge is like prison. You knew not to enter, you meet weird characters and you'll never leave.

by Anonymousreply 11July 9, 2010 12:54 AM

That's so sweet, OP! You're going to teach common criminals how to become white collar criminals!

by Anonymousreply 12July 9, 2010 1:03 AM

OP, if they can't figure out "Moving the mouse, opening files and folders, using the start menu, copying and pasting" using just those words, they probably belong in some sort of sheltered environment. Seriously. If they can use a remote, it's not that much of a leap.

by Anonymousreply 13July 9, 2010 1:04 AM

please do them a favor and bring in a guest speaker who didn't sleep through ninth grade English as you obviously did, so they can learn the difference between plural and possessive.

They are prisoners, not prisoner's.


by Anonymousreply 14July 9, 2010 2:17 AM

Too bad about YOUR early release, bitchhelenbedd. Read before posting, remember?

by Anonymousreply 15July 9, 2010 2:27 AM

[quote]I always get mess plurals up.

Oh dear.

by Anonymousreply 16July 9, 2010 2:14 PM

Use the file drawer analogy....the internet is like millions of file drawers all over the world that you can access. Then show them how to find the porn drawers...they'll learn pretty damn quick.

by Anonymousreply 17July 9, 2010 2:31 PM

As a recruiter who trained other recruiters for systems professionals, I always found the car analogies extremely useful.

Motor = Operating System

Highways = Network Connectivity

Stop Lights = Gateways

Exits = Routers

Mechanic = Systems Programmer

Driver = Lead Applications Programmer/Analyst

Navigator (Passenger Seat) = Business Manager/Systems Analyst

Children in the back seat = P/A's, Programmers

Back seat driver = End User

Intersatate Highways & Radios = Internet

Police Troopers = Webmasters

Web sites = Destinations

Steering Wheel = Mouse

Chasis, etc = Hardware

Gas, Oil, Water, Battery = Software

Road Signs = Search Engines

Lube Job = Cleaning Files

...well you get my drift

by Anonymousreply 18July 9, 2010 2:45 PM

Software is the song, Celine Dion sings.

Hardware is Celine Dion.

Mouse is the steering wheel.

Keyboard is the pen, screen is the paper.

Files are the chapters in a book. (save a chapter, delete a chapter)

Formatting is writing the table of contents for a book.

The internet is telephone line to the worlds biggest library.

by Anonymousreply 19July 9, 2010 6:09 PM

Start by telling them these are comparisons. They won't be perfect, but you're trying to give them some idea of the relationships between everything in the computer world by comparing things to what they've seen in the real world.

Hard drive = Filing cabinet

Directory = File drawer

Subdirectories = File folders

Files (documents, etc.) = Pieces of paper in a file folder, in a file drawer, in a filing cabinet

Windows = Key to the filing cabinet. Without it, you can't get inside. Don't use analogies within Windows. You'll just have to bite the bullet and explain the basics directly. Tell them the Windows "key" is more complicated than a physical key, and takes some getting used to.

Mouse = Fingers, used to open the filing cabinet, drawers, files, and to put things in and take things out.

Copying = Xerox machine

Pasting = Putting a Xerox copy in a different place than the original

Programs = Jobs. Imagine that the filing cabinet sits in a construction company office. In a drawer, there's a file folder. In the file folder, a bunch of papers. By themselves, those papers mean nothing. But if there's a house to build, you'll need those papers before you ever go to the worksite. A program is similar. It uses files of its own to work, and creates files specific to what that program is all about -- like, say, a special invoice for a lumber purchase as part of a house being built. The programs are the reason you bother with the filing cabinet, the key, the drawers, the files, and the papers. Otherwise, they're just a bunch of junk of no use to anyone.

Internet = Phone call to the library. Instead of people talking on the telephone, computers use the same phone lines to communicate with each other. Instead of talking, they exchange documents ("pieces of paper" from the files).

Web Address ("www ...") = Phone number. Don't sit there and explain what "http" means or what "www" means or what a "domain" is. Explain it as a phone number, and tell them that if they want to know more about how the phone numbers are created, you'll talk about it some other time.

Google = Telephone directory


How'd I do, OP?

by Anonymousreply 20July 9, 2010 7:52 PM

[quote]Windows = Key to the filing cabinet. Without it, you can't get inside. Don't use analogies within Windows. You'll just have to bite the bullet and explain the basics directly. Tell them the Windows "key" is more complicated than a physical key, and takes some getting used to.

Not so sure about this one, since some will undoubtedly be confused by the "Windows key" that exists on many keyboards.

by Anonymousreply 21July 9, 2010 8:03 PM

The internet is like an ocean. Vast. Full of life, things to interact with, look at, take.

The computer is like your own personal submarine. It can do lots of things, and one of the main things it's used for it to explore the ocean.

The browser is the periscope. You use the browser to see into the ocean.

The mouse is like an robotic arm attached to the sub, that moves around and interacts with things in the internet. What you tell it to do, it does. Point, click, drag, etc.

The address bar is where you type in the coordinates that tell the sub where to move to next. The enter key is the launch button for the thrusters.

I think this is a good metaphor because it uses the theme of exploring a vast, new world. I assume prisoners, especially men, would enjoy the idea of operating a piece of machinery like a submarine.

Hardware is anything on the sub that you can touch.

Software is anything on the sub that you can't touch.

(For those concepts, I would use a CD player as the analogy. The CD player is the hardware and the music is the software. Yes, the music is on the CD but you can't touch the music. You can only "hear the music" or "run the program" by operating the software in the hardware.)

Now, there are lots of other things that you can do on the sub. You don't have to spend your whole day looking into the periscope.

The sub has a gigantic work bench area, with many different types of tools. It's a place you can go to make things. Each thing that you or someone else makes to be used on the submarine is called a file.

Files are made of different materials. Some are wood. Some are steel. Some are brick. These are file formats.

Depending on which type of file you are working with, you will choose a different tool. The tools are the programs. If you are working with wood, then you use a saw. If you are working with steel, then you use a welder. If you are working with brick, etc. These tools are programs like word, excel, etc. They allow you to shape and modify different files.

by Anonymousreply 22July 9, 2010 9:12 PM

Thank you guys! Things went well today. I used a few of these and they seemed to get them. They are very eager to learn. I enjoyed it.

My subscription is over so I couldn't get back online...primetime, ya know.

by Anonymousreply 23July 11, 2010 12:32 AM

Stay with the classics; the internets iz like a bunch of tubes...

by Anonymousreply 24July 11, 2010 3:56 AM

LOL..%0D %0D HOw about telling them that using a mouse is like driving a remote-controlled car...around a toy race track (the screen).%0D %0D The (Mouse) pointer is like the headlights lighting the way to where you want to go.%0D %0D %0D You want to go to the town dump (or "junk" shop), well, there's the recycle bin.%0D %0D You want to go "HOme" drive your car to the C drive/start button/etc.%0D %0D %0D %0D I wanted my mother to know that it was okay to open multiple windows instead of sitting in one browser window and going back all the time.%0D I told her using multiple internet "browser" windows (to browse different sites) was like looking at the different display windows %0D at Macy (each had its own separate thing going on, but all were simultaneously enjoyable) she seemed to get it.%0D %0D %0D I told her going "back" in a broser all the time was like digging up a bunch of crap you'd rather forget (like uncovering crap in an archeological site).%0D %0D I don't know what i'm talking about, lol

by Anonymousreply 25August 8, 2010 9:07 AM

They're fucking prisoners, OP.

You show them the basics of how to access the porn sites that they're interested in and they will think you're a freakin' genius!

Plus you'll be doing them a favor by showing them the sales incentive that the computer manufacturers know in their hearts drove their business 15, 10, 5 years ago --> even today!

Bill Gates Michael Dell, and Steve Jobs would be billions poorer w/o porn and everybody knows it!

You show them how to get to the porn sites and by the time you come back next week, you will be amazed at how much of the "operating instructions" they will have learned on their own, and anything they have questions about, they will ask you in subsequent sessions.

by Anonymousreply 26August 8, 2010 12:27 PM

[quote]The browser is the periscope. You use the browser to see into the ocean.

I loved your analogy, but periscopes are used to look out of the water (so you can see out without surfacing), not into the water.

by Anonymousreply 27August 8, 2010 7:17 PM
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