Tom Sloan Cartoon: Learning How to Use a Computer

Written by Tom Sloan

Tom Sloan on the trials of trying to teach someone how to use a computer.

computer lessons

Image credit: Tom Sloan

Every other day there is a new high tech gadget on the market that we all buy. It’s because we need it so badly.

Some of us understand how to actually use all these new smartphones — or Apple iPads, Kindles, TVs with on demand functions and remote controls. And we understand it better than other people do.

There are many among us who can grasp on to something new. We’re like nails to a magnet.

And, then, there are others who grasp it as well as you’d pick up up ice with a Teflon glove. Painful.

The same person you are laboriously trying to teach might just be a highly adept musical prodigy, a political pundit, a history savant or a Jeopardy champion. Don’t judge them.

Then again, they might also be as dense as lead in front of a keyboard.

Looking back, I see there have been many times I would sit in front of a computer with someone,repeatedly saying things like: “When you’re done with a line, hit ENTER.” Or just: “ENTER! ENTER! And when you’re done with a line, hit ENTER.”

Oh. how frustrating it was. In all fairness, I’ve been on both sides of the table. In olden days, I knew assembly language.

I knew how to make integrated circuits.

I used to be tech savvy.

In the early 1980s  — and I’m not bragging, because it isn’t bragging if it’s true — I designed, built and sold stepping motor controls for the Commodore 64.

But in the 30 years since, I’ve gotten older. And less wiser. And so I recruit the aid of my son to help me change the time on the clock in the car. The pain. The pain!

Tom Sloan has drawn cartoons and illustrations for numerous publications — including the original BYTE magazine. Not limited to print, Tom’s cartoons and collages are displayed in museums and galleries throughout the United States. He’s also an accomplished animator. He’s created animations for such as clients Sesame Street, HBO, Nickelodeon, Captain Kangaroo, Romper Room, Burger King and McDonalds.