Thursday, March 15, 2012

Learning Curve

When it comes to learning lines, songs, choreography or talking points for a presentation, I’m a fairly quick study. But when it comes to learning new software, I often get stuck and/or frustrated, especially when I know what task I want to complete but can’t find the answer.

While many help options are available, the information I need may not be there or is a challenge to locate. User guides aren’t always thorough, and online Wikis, forums or video tutorials can take time to wade through and still not yield the solution.

I’m sure many programs have features I’d love if only I knew what they were. Many of us never had formal computer training. I picked up Word on the job. And from the descriptions of some classes I’ve read it seems the topics covered are too basic. I don’t want to pay for, go to and sit through an hour of class for one or two useful nuggets.

There’s always the trial and error method. Sometimes that works, other times, I get frustrated trying to figure out a workaround.

Just when we think we know a program or a site like Facebook, it’ll probably change again. Sometimes the changes are improvements, other times commands we liked are harder to find or buttons are moved.  Not only that, many of us customize and with a new version have to set up our personalization all over again.

I’m working on changing audio editing software, from Audacity (which is free) to Sound Forge (which is $64.95).  A friend helped me figure out a few things, but performing the tasks I'm accustomed to means different shortcuts and terminology. 

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