Computer classes abound in Tustin

September is almost here and classes are starting again. I get a lot of questions about computer classes. In particular, "what should I take?"

We are fortunate in Tustin because we have many choices. But, where do we start? This depends upon computer experience. Maybe we can narrow these choices by looking at the computer. It has an operating system that lets everything work. It has applications programs that let us write letters and balance checkbooks. And it allows us to connect to the Internet to send email and browse the World Wide Web.

In the scheme of things, we first must familiarize ourselves with the operating system. For most of us, this is Microsoft Windows. It is the first thing that appears when we start the computer. It contains the icons that let us select what programs we are going to use, it makes the mouse work as well as giving us control over screen colors and other computer attributes.

For computer newcomers, therefore, the place to start is with a basic Windows course. Mac users may have a problem finding basic courses. These courses help you master the mouse and find your way around the Windows screens. Without this, it is hard to go to the next steps in computer operation.

The Tustin Area Senior Center has basic Windows courses that are starting the first week of September. The Adult School of the Tustin Unified School District also has basic courses.  Irvine Valley College also has basic classes.

If you are comfortable with the operating system, you may be interested in some of the applications programs. Microsoft Word, a word processing program, and Microsoft Excel, a spreadsheet program, are very popular. These programs allow you to write letters, create flyers or brochures and keep track of data. Beginning Word and Excel classes are available; many of them combined with basic Windows classes. An introduction to Word is offered at the Tustin Area Senior Center and a combined class is offered at the Tustin Adult School.

Finally, for those interested in exploring the Internet in more depth, the Tustin Area Senior Center offers a series of classes that begin September 10. The World Wide Web is discussed in a hands-on class that emphasizes Connection to the Internet, Surfing the Web, Searching the Web and Buying on the Web.

The Email class looks at basic email as well as how to create your own attachments like pictures or documents, or handle those you receive from others, including virus protection. Newsgroups also are explored.

There is a scanning class that looks at how to prepare pictures for emails or the World Wide Web. And there is an advanced Windows class for those interested in learning the Windows file structure and other advanced topics.

You can see that there is a wide variety of computer classes available to meet almost any skill or interest level. For more information or to register, call the Tustin Area Senior Center, 714.573.3340, the Tustin Adult School, 714.730.7394 or Irvine Valley College, 949.451.5100.

If you would like to hear more about computer classes, or other computer topics, visit "Coffee and Computers" at the Tustin Area Senior Center, 200 S. 'C' Street any Friday morning starting at 9 a.m. Bring your questions or just come in and visit.

In the mean time, keep the neurons happy, synapses snapping and enjoy computing. And register for the new computer classes.


Dr. Art Holub is a long time resident of Tustin and teaches computer and Internet courses at the Tustin Area Senior Center and the Tustin Adult School. Visit his web site at: This column is written to address the computer adventures and concerns of older adults. If you have comments, questions or suggestions for future columns, Email HIM at:

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