Tag Archives: Computer Boot Camp

Escapade Camp Reboot (hands-on computer class)

Fullscreen capture 8302011 105948 AM

We had our hands-on computer class here at the Escapade on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  It was SOO nice to have the time to present this class properly.  Each time we’ve taught it in the previous year, we’ve had to cut it down to 6 or even 4 hours.  This time we had 12 hours!

Friday afternoon we started with Search, the single most important command in Windows Vista or Windows 7.  After learning how easy it is to find *anything* on their computers several students exclaimed that they had already gotten their money’s worth out of the class!  We asked if anyone already knew this command before coming to class – not one raised their hand.  Now, that really is value.  It makes us feel good to be making such a difference for people using their computers.

We went on to teach the difference between RAM memory and Hard Disk space and they learned how to find out the specifications for their particular computer.  They also learned how to put their laptops to sleep when they close the lid, and how that makes booting up so much faster.  Several people took advantage of learning about the touchpad settings to disable the hotspots that keep making their mouse jump around.

We want power?  We GOT power!

On Saturday we started with Word Processing, and many students were happy to learn that there is a simple word processor that comes with Windows – they don’t need to buy Microsoft Office or even download something like Open Office, if all they need is simple typewriting capabilities.  They learned the difference between Save and Save As, and how to file the document in a folder where it belongs.  They also learned how to explore all the files on their computers and to move them into appropriate folders or even delete files and folders where necessary.  For important files, they learned how to copy them to a USB ‘thumb’ drive for safekeeping – a backup.

Sunday was the time to learn about Wi-Fi and the other ways to connect to the Internet, a little about email and web browsing, and plenty of Q&A time.

Comments we received after the class included:

I learned more in these past couple days than in the past ten years of using a computer.

Everything you taught us seemed so simple and basic, yet I didn’t know any of it!  I was doing everything the hard way.

I feel so empowered now!  I can understand what my kids are saying when they talk about computers.

Making money is certainly necessary, but it’s the comments like those that make us feel so good about our work.

If you’re interested in taking this Computer Boot Camp class, we are offering it one more time this season.  That is at the Gypsy Journal Rally in Celina, Ohio on September 23 and 24.  Click here to register for the Gypsy Journal Computer Boot Camp.

If you’d like to bring us to your RV park or community to give this class to your group, please contact us.  If you’re in Florida, and you want the class this winter – we’ll be there.

2011-08-26 Camp Reboot

What you Would have Learned in School, IF you had Computers in School!

imageFor those who didn’t have computer class when we were in school! This hands on class will fill in those holes in your knowledge. Using your own PC laptop, we present 6 topics over 4 sessions, complete with hands-on exercises. Wi-Fi and Web browsing, Know your Laptop, Word Processing and Filing, Maintenance and Safe Computing, Email, Open Session Q&A. Your laptop must have Windows 7 or Vista – no XP, and no Macintosh.

Fill in the Gaps
If you want to be more proficient with your computers, attend our  hands-on boot camp.  The teaching is geared to beginners but not complete beginners – you need to already be comfortable with the mouse and minimizing/maximizing/closing windows. We find that people who have used their computers for years learn a lot as well.  This is for Windows-based computers – either Windows 7 or Windows Vista, no XP or Macintosh.

The materials for the class include a printed workbook, a DVD of tutorial videos, and a special one month membership to a Geeks on Tour Online Classroom just for your group.

The pre-Escapade workshop begins August 26, 2011 with the first session at 1 pm and continues thru Sunday Morning, with lots of fun time in-between!
Participants may arrive on the Cam-Plex grounds between 8 am and 12 am Friday,
August 26, and remain parked in their full hook up site for the duration of Camp
Re-Boot and Escapade. To register for this event, please call Kim in
Livingston at 1-888-757-2582. Don’t delay….as the workshop is limited to only 24 folks! ($139.00 for a single or couple with one laptop using Windows 7 or Vista)

We picked topics that we consider the most important foundation for any computer user.  Each topic consists of 3 parts 1)demonstration 2)hands-on assignment; 3)review.

Topics covered include:

  • Know your computer; make & model, operating system, hard drive size, memory size, support website, shutdown and sleep options, what to do when things go wrong
  • How to write a letter with software on every computer (WordPad), save it, and find it again.  How to print it on someone else’s printer if you don’t have one by copying it to a USB drive.
  • File Management, using Windows Explorer, folder structures, finding files, copying and moving files, identifying file types.
  • How to backup important files to CD, and keep your computer clean and safe
  • How to Use WiFi to get online and browse, search, set up favorites.
  • How to access your email using webmail.  Email ‘netiquette.’

This is for Windows-based computers – either Windows 7 or Windows Vista – sorry, we can’t include any Windows XP or Macintosh.

A ‘topic’ consists of 3 parts 1)demonstration 2)hands-on assignment; 3)review.
You bring your own (Windows-based) laptop computer. The price includes instruction from both Jim and Chris Guld (Geeks on Tour), an exercise workbook, a DVD of video tutorials. and a special one month membership to the Geeks on Tour Online classroom.  With an online forum, this class can continue online for a month.

2011-09-23 Gypsy Journal Computer Boot Camp

Gypsy Journal Computer Boot Camp by Geeks on Tour 9-23-11
Photos from past Computer Boot Camps

I learned more in these past couple days than in the past ten years of using a computer.

Everything you taught us seemed so simple and basic, yet I didn’t know any of it!  I was doing everything the hard way.

I feel so empowered now!  I can understand what my kids are saying when they talk about computers.

Bring your laptop computers to this class on the Fri/Sat before the Gypsy Journal RV rally that starts Monday.
For those who didn’t have computer class in high school!  This hands on class will fill in those holes in your knowledge.
The cost is $120 per computer. A couple can share one computer. Class includes a printed workbook, DVD with Show-Me-How tutorial videos, and a special one month membership to the Geeks on Tour Online classroom.
Using your own PC laptop, we present 6 sessions over 2 days complete with hands-on exercises. Word Processing and Filing, Maintenance and Safe Computing, Wi-Fi and Web browsing, Know your Laptop, Email, Open Session Q&A.
Your laptop must have Windows 7 or Vista – no XP, and no Macintosh.


The fee for the event is $120.  That covers one computer and one set of materials (book and DVD.)  A couple can share one computer if you’d like.  If you are a current Geeks on Tour Member, your discounted registration fee is $99.
Reserve your Space$25 Deposit

Regular Registration$120

Member Discount
**This price does not include camping fees.  Please contact the Mercer County Fairgrounds to arrange for your RV site.  Their fees are $30/night or $15 if you are Passport America.  Phone: 419-586-3239

Geeks on Tour Newsletter: Jan/Feb 2011

Geeks on Tour
Florida Sunset at John Prince ParkAs the only state in the country without snow in January, we were quite pleased to spend the month in Florida! For the last 2 weeks of January and the first week of February, we were booked with several appearances in North Florida.  There was simply no time for newsletter writing – thus this special Jan/Feb issue.
Our next ‘gig’ will be the Family Motor Coach Ass’n International Convention in Perry, GA March 14-17.  In addition to our normal seminars on Picasa, Blogger, Streets & Trips etc., we will also be offering our hands-on Boot Camp and a new seminar on Facebook.

Bring the Geeks to your Park!

We so enjoyed all three of our gigs at RV parks!  We hope that more RV parks ask us to come.  We can present demonstration seminars, free-form Q&A sessions, or even hands-on classes.  Although we do need to make money at these events, we are usually able to work out something creative that makes everybody happy.  Contact Us.

imageimage Follow us on Facebook!


Other Articles this past month
So you don’t miss out on anything, here’s a list of other articles we wrote this past month.

Do you know your Computer Basics?

icon-bak2sklSince our age group never had computers in school, we tend to be self-taught.  That means, when we want to accomplish something on the computer, we figure out how to get it done.  You can actually be quite successful with computers that way.  We know many people that just keep clicking until they see their desired result!  But, they haven’t a clue how they did it, or how to fix it if something goes wrong!

As Geeks on Tour, we focus primarily on teaching free and/or inexpensive software for planning, preserving, and sharing your travels.  Some people who learn from us are new to computers, and some are geekier than us!  We find that people who know their basics are much more successful at the topics we teach than those who aren’t.

What do we mean by The Basics?

We’ve actually given quite a bit of thought to this, and we’ve come up with a list of items we think are ‘Essential’ to being successful with (windows) computers.  We’ve created a checklist that you can review.  Download the checklist and print it out.  For each item on the checklist:

  • If you don’t know what it means, don’t check it
  • If you know what it means, but would need help doing it, don’t check it.
  • If you know what it means, and you’re confident you can do it, then check it.

How many items did you check?

  • 1-20: Although you may know how to accomplish the one or two things that you use the computer for, you probably can’t venture outside of those things without feeling lost.
  • 21-30: You need to brush up on some basics.  You are probably often frustrated with your computer and need to ask for help.  Learning more about using your computer, and getting help by using your computer will make life much more pleasant!
  • 31-45: You are usually comfortable with your computer, but you don’t easily learn new things for fear of being out of your comfort zone.  This is where the majority of computer users fall.
  • >45: You are probably the one that others go to for help!  But you know there is still a lot more to learn and you’re ready, willing, and able to jump in and give it a go!

How do you Learn?

The number one ingredient to learning computer basics is TIME.  There is simply no substitute for spending time on your computer to get comfortable with how it works.  In order to spend quality imagetime, you need to have something that interests you.  We find that, once people discover something on the computer that excites them, there’s no end to their ability to spend time on it!  That may be a game, it may be digital photos or writing a blog, it may be genealogy.  Think about something you have a passion for, and ask around to see how the computer can help.  If you don’t have something you want to accomplish on the computer, then learning about using a computer will just be a chore.  The key is to make it fun.

After finding something you want to do on the computer, make sure to allocate time for learning basics.  Go thru the checklist again and pick out some items where you need work.  We recommend buying our Laptop Boot Camp Book and DVD.  It’s only $25 (plus shipping.)  It includes a 44 page workbook plus a DVD of Tutorial videos.  Watch a free sample video on Windows 7 & Vista: Navigating with the Addess Bar ‘Breadcrumbs’

Putting your Laptop Computer to Sleep

Do you know how to put your computer to sleep?  No, it’s not by reading the congressional budget aloud to it!  Most laptop computers will go to sleep when you press the on/off button once lightly.  But, every computer is different and you should explore a bit and be sure you know the procedure for your computer.  This topic is one of the first covered in our Boot Camp class.  The screenshots and specific instructions below are for Windows 7.

What exactly *is* sleep mode?  Straight from Microsoft’s website:

Sleep is a power-saving state that allows a computer to quickly resume full-power operation (typically within several seconds) when you want to start working again. Putting your computer into the sleep state is like pausing a DVD player—the computer immediately stops what it’s doing and is ready to start again when you want to resume working.

Some people don’t use the sleep setting at all.  They always shut down their computers.  Those people need to wait quite a while for their computers to boot up once they turn them back on again!  If, instead of Shut Down, you used Sleep mode, then when you turn it back on it comes right back to where you left off, and it does it very quickly.

You can always use the menu to put your computer to sleep: Click the Start button Picture of the Start button , and then click the arrow next to the Shut down button.

Picture of the Shut down button with menu expanded

Your computer monitor will go blank.  It will appear to be off, but every computer has some kind of indicator that it is asleep.  When it’s asleep, you should see some light that blinks, or pulses like  the machine is breathing to indicate that it’s not off. What does yours do?

To wake it up, some computers use any key, some use an arrow key, some require you to press the On button once, lightly. How do you wake yours up?

Closing the Lid

Most people like their laptops to go to sleep when they close the lid, but there are other choices as well. Check yours:


Click the Start button, type power (just type … your cursor will be blinking in the search box) , then click on Power Options. On menu at left, click “Choose what closing the Lid Does’ – review all options.

Also notice that you can choose what the power button does. If yours is set to put the computer to sleep, try it. Pressing the power button once should put the computer to sleep, pressing it again will wake it up.

So now, when you’re ready to call it a night and go to bed, you don’t need to shut your computer down.  You don’t even need to click the Sleep command.  Just close the lid!  When you open it next morning it will spring to action!  And, you can set all your updates and scans to happen in the middle of the night.

Free Seminar Handouts on Picasa, Blogger, Google Earth, Streets & Trips and Internet Connections

At RV parks and rallies all over the country, we present educational seminars on how travelers can use computers to Plan, Preserve and Share their travels.  We pride ourselves on providing handouts that are worth keeping for reference and learning.  Each handout is at least 4 pages and is crammed full of information and step-by-step instructions.  We’ve just updated our handouts and want to give you, our newsletter subscribers, a heads-up.  You can download any or all of these handouts, no strings attached.  They are in .pdf format.

  1. Every RVer Needs a Blog
  2. Using Google Earth
  3. Managing Digital Photos with Picasa
  4. High Speed Internet on the Road
  5. Trip Planning and Navigation with Streets & Trips, Garmin Nuvi, Droid

Discuss this in our forum.

imageWe’ve added a topic to our Forums specifically for this newsletter.  If you’re a Geeks on Tour paid member, please visit and leave your comments.  Even non-members can view the forum to see what’s going on.


Geeks on Tour Members learn with tutorial videosBecome a Geeks on Tour Member!
And learn from our online library of Tutorial Videos
Picasa, Photo Story 3, Streets & Trips, Google Earth/Maps, Blogging, Boot Camp Class, Vista/Windows 7, Internet on the Road, Safe Computing
only $39/year = access to ALL videos plus the Forums.
Click here to Join

Gabbing with the Geeks #10: Kayak Diving, Upcoming Events

Coming to you from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in this Gabbing with the Geeks we show you a little of our favorite pastime – Scuba Diving from our Kayaks.  I hope we’re not rubbing it in too bad for our viewers who are buried in snow!

We will be at the Tampa RV SuperShow from January 11-16. See the rest of our schedule at: https://geeksontour.com/schedule.cfm

Here are the Macintosh Tips Videos by Ken Wiseman.