Never too late to try going online

JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin

Think about all of the things you can do online today. You can do your shopping online and your goods get delivered to your door. There are seemingly endless forms you can fill in for pretty much anything you can imagine, from filing your tax return to booking a holiday. Perhaps your needs are more productive than that, well with the cloud and web apps you can write your documents, collaborate with colleagues and have video conferences all from within an internet browser.

That’s not all. You can play games, share pictures, speak to family and friends no matter the distance and at no cost, find news and read journals, listen to the radio, watch TV and film... the list goes on and on.

So what if you are one of the few people these days that has never touched a computer? Perhaps you left work before computers started taking over the workplace, or maybe your job has never had the need for one. Are you unsure how to switch one on and what you have to do when it started ‘booting up’?

The answer may well lie in a series of events called Spring Online. Originally conceived in 2002 as Silver Surfers Day, Spring Online has grown to a week long series of events. This year the events are all held between 31 March to the 4 April.

Spring Online provides free taster sessions for people that have never been online on a computer or tablet. Events are held in various places, such as local libraries, community centres, schools, or anywhere there is someone willing to help others who want to learn.

The best thing is, it is open to everyone. Visit if you want to get involved, either by hosting an event or by attending one.

Once you have had a taste for using a computer or tablet and want to learn more, what can you do? Well there are computer clubs all over the place, which cater to all ability levels. I gave a talk at the Pulborough Computer Club recently, which includes a variety of members who want to learn and/or help others. They were very friendly and supportive of each other, which I thought was brilliant. If you live near Pulborough and want to learn more about the mysteries of computers and the internet, just pop along to one of their meetings. You can view their full calendar at

If you can’t find a computer club near you and would like some advice, drop me a line or call 07977 243128.

Alan Stainer