If you are passionate about learning new things, fascinated by computers, and enjoy problem-solving, you can become a computer genius. And don’t worry if you can’t pursue a computer science degree. You can build computer mastery by combining a solid understanding of computer fundamentals with hands-on experience, troubleshooting skills, and knowing how to find useful information.
1. Find (and read) a book for a beginner. Even if you are not brand new to using a computer, getting a book for beginners is a great way to fill the gaps in your knowledge. Ask your librarian to show you books for beginning computer users, search your favorite bookseller’s website for “computers for beginners,” or try one of these:
Any computer-related book in the “For Dummies” series, such as PCs for Dummies or Macs for Dummies.
2. Learn the names of the hardware in your computer. To become a computer genius, you will need to understand how the different parts of a computer work with one another.
Everything inside of your computer is connected to the motherboard, including the CPU, which acts as the computers “brain.”
RAM stores data that’s currently in use. Become familiar with how it works with and connects to the motherboard.
Peripheral cards add functions to the computer. Learn about sound, networking, and video cards.
Storage and disk drives are places to store data. Research hard drives, CD/DVD-ROM drives, and removable media like USB flash drives and SD cards.
3. Go to a computer store and try out the latest technology. Each computers hardware specs should be visible on a label or sign near the unit. Notice the different amounts of RAM, different CPU brands and speeds, and different screen resolutions.
Try opening the same program on different computers and notice differences in speed.
Ask a salesperson which computers they recommend for various tasks. For example, “Which of these units is good for gaming?” or “Which would you recommend to someone who just needs to write papers for college?” Then, observe the difference in specs between the different computers.
4. Watch YouTube videos of people opening their computers. Watch other computer geniuses install RAM or replace dead hard drives to get a sense of what these tasks entail. Listen carefully as the person describes what they are doing
5. Open your computer and locate each hardware component. If you’re feeling confident, look inside your own computer to see how the different hardware components connect to one another.
If you feel apprehensive, ask someone who knows more about computers to walk you through the process.
Never open a computer unless the machine is on a sturdy surface and you are properly grounded.