I. T. for Intelligent Grandmothers

(and others groping for I.T.)

If you know a grandparent who does not want to be left behind by the digital divide;
If you know an isolated person who would enjoy Internet access;
If your grandparent has trouble assimilating your explanations;
If your grandparent is irritated by Internet processes, 
This manual will help them.

About the manual

The author is an 91 yr old retired physics professor. Until recently computers were foreign to her. As long as she had students taking care of her computer needs, she was fine, but the day came when she had to go solo. She did not want to retire and be cut off from the world of opportunities offered by computers. She bought books about computers, but did not understand them. She asked for help from children who seemed to know it all instinctively and they went too fast for her. She asked computer experts who used words and acronyms that were meaningless to her.

As she put it, "When I want to go from A to B in a territory new to me, I cannot absorb instructions sprinkled with alternatives. At a crossroads, I am only interested in the road that I want to take; information about the other roads confuses me. On the other hand, an overview of the territory makes instructions meaningful."

"My only option was to take charge and write down instructions the way that I would have understood them. Hence, this manual. Older people need a dictionary to learn a language that children can absorb by immersion. This simple manual provides both a "grammar" (rules of usage) and a glossary (alphabetical list and contextual examples). Giving it a title and format was easy. Writing it required a knowledgeable person with didactic skills. So, my assistant, Chloe, joined the project."


This is a simple,basic,manual.  "Intelligent Grandmothers" can use it whether they have a PC or a Mac.

It need not be read sequentially; it can be consulted as needed.  The table of contents directs the user to self contained pages, often divided into introduction and instructions.   A glossary with 117 entries defines or explains words and acronyms.  When appropriate, it gives the page number where the word or acronym is being used because it is sometimes easier to understand a word in context than by definition.  In addition, the manual has an index.

The plan of the manual

The manual is divided into 7 chapters.

  1. Communicating (e-mail, attachments, links etc.)
  2. Using the Internet (connections, searches, websites etc.)
  3. Tools (key board, printers, travel with a laptop, travel without one etc.)
  4. Trouble Shooting (computer not responding properly etc.)
  5. Word Processing (formating, storing etc.)
  6. The Power of Computers (your own records)
  7. Glossary


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Proceeds & Benefits

All proceeds benefit Planned Living Assistance Network of Central Texas 

Special thanks to the Tocker Foundation for a grant that has covered the first printing of this manual.

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October 2015