Computers and Integration

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Use the web and get the most out of life
Make your web browser fill the screen
Minimise your web browser
Restore your web browser and continue web browsing
Set the size of website text so you can easily read it
Get video tutorials on a wide range of subjects
Get health information you can trust
Hum or sing a song and find out its name
Use the web to help you plan your trip
Get directions using Google Maps
View buildings and streets using Google Street View
Look up bus times
Look up train times
Understand bus and train times
Check the weather forecast for a place you want to go to
Report local problems to your Council
Send a letter or parcel
Use the web to find a postcode for a given address
Find your nearest post box
Use the web to find your local Post Office
Book an appointment with your doctor (or GP)
Book an appointment with an NHS dentist
Locate your nearest library
Create an Outlook.com e-mail address for yourself
Make a claim for Housing Benefit to pay your rent
Search and apply for jobs online
Browse a wide range of free ebooks to find one you like

Use the web and get the most out of life

You can do many things with your computer, but most of the really great things you can do with it involve using the web. For instance, in order to shop, bank, chat and catch-up on your favourite TV shows, you need to use the web.

Now, using the web isn’t anything to be afraid of. It’s just like browsing a magazine, but instead of turning physical pages, you click on links (or typically, words with a line underneath them).

Typically, in order to get started using the web, you need to launch a special piece of software on your computer called a web browser. A web browser is your window to the web. It’s the window around the web pages you visit.

Certainly, there are many web browsers available for you to use, each with a different range of features. The most popular web browsers are Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Make your web browser fill the screen

If your web browser doesn’t fill your screen when you launch it, then you should maximise its window so that it does. This is because it will make it easier for you to read text on the web.

To make your web browser fill your screen:

Step 1. Move your mouse to the top-right-hand corner of your screen.

Step 2. Click "Maximise" or the middle (square) button.

Minimise your web browser

If you’re using a web browser, and you want to run another application for some reason, you don’t have to close your web browser. You can just minimise it, and then restore it later.

To minimise your web browser:

Step 1. Move your mouse to the top-right-hand corner of your screen.

Step 2. Click "Minimise" or the minus symbol:

Restore your web browser and continue web browsing

If you’ve minimised your web browser in order to run another application, you can easily make it fill your screen again.

To restore your web browser and continue web browsing:

Step 1. From the Windows taskbar (located at the bottom of the computer screen), click the symbol that represents your web browser.

Set the size of website text so you can easily read it

Making text bigger or smaller is a doddle in any web browser.

To make text bigger: just hold down the Control key on your keyboard and press the plus ( + ) key repeatedly until you’re happy with the size of the text on the screen.

Likewise, to make text smaller: just hold down the Control key on your keyboard and press the minus ( - ) key repeatedly until you’re happy with the size of the text on the screen.

Get video tutorials on a wide range of subjects

Do you want to learn how to boil an egg? Do you want to learn how to write a cheque? Do you want to learn how to play the guitar? Well, you can learn any of these things. Thanks to Wonder How To (or rather www.wonderhowto.com ) you can get how-to videos showing you how to do these tasks and a whole lot more.

Get health information you can trust

Certainly, the web is an amazing resource – you can look up anything. You can even get advice on how to improve your health. But be warned, there are websites out there with dodgy information. And, there are criminals trying to peddle fake pills.

So, to keep you fit and healthy – and ultimately alive – we’ve compiled a list of health information websites you can trust.

Broadly speaking, you can trust the following websites:

Of course, if you’re feeling very unwell, you should always consult your doctor.

Hum or sing a song and find out its name

Have you ever heard a song and wondered what it was? Have you ever been frustrated at not knowing its name? Well, if you have, your days of being frustrated are over, as long as you’ve got a microphone to hand. Yes, thanks to midomi (or rather www.midomi.com ), you can hum, or sing, a song and instantly find out its name.

Use the web to help you plan your trip

If you’re going on a journey somewhere, or just thinking of going on a journey, you can use the web to help you plan your trip.

In particular, you can:

  • Get directions, by car or by foot, to places you want to visit
  • View maps, buildings and even whole streets without leaving the comfort of your home
  • Look up bus and train times
  • Check the weather forecast anywhere

Get directions using Google Maps

If you want to go somewhere that you haven’t been to before, you can get turn-by-turn directions with the aid of Google Maps.

To get started with Google Maps:

Step 1. From the top of the "Google" home page, click the 9 dots to the right of the page and then click “Maps”.

Step 2. From the "Google Maps" screen, click "Get directions".

Step 3. In the textbox marked "A", type in the starting point of your journey (most likely the address of your home).

Step 4. In the textbox marked "B", type in your intended destination.

Step 5. When you’ve entered a start and end point for your journey, click "Get Directions".

After you’ve clicked "Get Directions", you should see a map of your journey alongside turn-by-turn directions.

View buildings and streets using Google Street View

If you want to view a building, place or street that you haven’t seen or been to before, you can do so using Google Street View. And what’s more, you can view a building as if you were standing in the street just outside it.

To get started with Google Street View:

Step 1. From the top of the "Google Maps" screen, type in the address, or postcode, of the building you want to view.

Step 2. Hit "Enter" to view the location of your designated building on a standard street map.

Step 3. From the lower right-hand side of the visible street map, click on the "yellow man".

Step 4. Keep your left mouse button held down, and drag the "yellow man" over the map. Don’t let go of your left mouse button just yet.

Step 5. Drag the "green circle" that appears next to the yellow man to the spot you want to take a closer look at, and then release your left mouse button.

You should now be able to see what your designated building looks like from the street outside it. But if you can’t: hold down your "left" mouse button and "move" your mouse around to change your viewing angle.

Look up bus times

To look up bus times:

Step 1. Go to https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/public-transport/bus-information/.

Step 2. From the “Bus Information” page on the Council’s website, click "Bus timetables".

Step 3. Type in the name of where you live for bus times and hit Enter.

Look up train times

Step 1. Go to http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/.

Step 2. Type in where you want to travel from and to in the relevant boxes.

Step 3. Select your travel dates and time of day, then click GO.

Note that if you have a disability of some sort, and are likely to travel by train a lot, you can get lower train fares. For more information on this, go to https://www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk/.

Understand bus and train times

Bus and train timetables can be confusing to look at. And if you misinterpret them you can end up missing your last transport link home and being stranded somewhere you’d rather not be.

So, if you’re planning on going somewhere by bus or train, you should plan your trip carefully. In particular, you should make a note of:

  • 4 buses, or trains, you can catch
  • Your last bus, or train, home
  • How much money you’ll need with you to buy tickets
  • How much money you’ll need to keep on you in order to get home
  • What station you have to change at (if you have to change trains in order to reach your destination)

Check the weather forecast for a place you want to go to

If you want to go on a day trip somewhere, you can use the web to check the weather forecast before you set off.

For instance, to check the weather forecast for Inverness:

Step 1. Launch "Google" and search for "BBC Weather".

Step 2. From the "BBC Weather" website (www.bbc.co.uk/weather), under "Find a Forecast", type in "Inverness".

Step 3. Click “Search” to find out what the weather is like in Inverness.

Report local problems to your Council

Are you fed up tripping over cracks in the pavement? Are you fed up walking in the dark due to street lights that don’t work? Are you fed up seeing graffiti?

If you are, don’t put up with it. You can easily report these problems to your local Council.

Just launch "Google" and search for "Fix My Street" to easily – and anonymously – report problems with:

  • Graffiti
  • Fly tipping
  • Broken paving slabs
  • Street lighting

Send a letter or parcel

If you want to post a letter, or parcel, to someone, there are several things that you need to do.

For instance, you need to:

  • Put a delivery address on the front of the item you want to post.
  • Put a postcode underneath the delivery address.
  • Place a stamp in the top-right-hand corner of the envelope, or parcel, you want to post.
  • Put your own address on the back of the item you want to post.
  • Find your nearest post box or Post Office.
  • Get the item you want to post weighed at your local Post Office if it’s slightly bulky.

Use the web to find a postcode for a given address

If you don’t know the postcode for a given address, you can use the web to find out.

To find a postcode for a given address:

Step 1. Go to https://www.royalmail.com/find-a-postcode.

Step 2. From the "Postcode Finder – Find an Address" page, type in the address of the building you want to find a postcode for and hit Enter.

Find your nearest post box

If you don’t know the location of your nearest post box, you can easily find out where it is.

To find your nearest post box:

Step 1. Launch "Google" and search for "dracos postbox finder".

Step 2. From the "Dracos" website, in the search box in the top right, type in a street, area or postcode.

Step 3. Hit "Enter" to see all your nearby post boxes on a map.

Use the web to find your local Post Office

If you need to send something big, bulky and heavy through the post, you’ll need to take your item to your local Post Office.

To find your local Post Office:

Step 1. Go to https://www.postoffice.co.uk/.

Step 2. From the "Post Office" website, scroll down to "Letters and Parcels" and click "Branch Finder".

Step 3. From the "Branch Finder" page, in the "Where" box, type in your town or postcode into the empty box. For example, if you live in Inverurie, type in "Inverurie".

Step 4. Click "Search" to view the address of your nearest Post Office, together with opening hours.

Book an appointment with your doctor (or GP)

If you’re not feeling well, or if you need to see a doctor for some reason, you can book an appointment with your local doctor’s surgery.

To book an appointment with your local doctor’s surgery:

Step 1. Go to http://www.nhsgrampian.co.uk/.

Step 2. From the "NHS Grampian" website, look under "Services & Clinics", and then click "GP Surgeries".

Step 3. From the "General Practitioners" page, select the name of your local doctor’s surgery. For instance, if you live in Inverurie, select "Inverurie Medical Group".

Step 4. From the contact page for your local doctor’s surgery, write down the address and phone number given.

Step 5. Phone your doctor’s surgery and book an appointment.

When you phone your doctor’s surgery, make sure you have a piece of paper and a pen handy. This is so that you can make a note of:

  • The date and time of your appointment
  • The name of the doctor you’ve been assigned

Book an appointment with an NHS dentist

If your teeth are causing you pain, you can get emergency dental treatment on the NHS. Yes, even if you’re not registered with an NHS dentist, you can still get emergency treatment.

To book an emergency dental appointment, phone either:

  • The Grampian Dental Advice Line on 0845 45 65 990
  • Or NHS 24 on 111

When you book an appointment to get your teeth looked at, make sure that you have a piece of paper and a pen handy. This is so that you can make a note of:

  • The date and time of your appointment
  • The name of the dentist you’ve been assigned
  • The address of the dental surgery, or hospital, you’ve been advised to go to

Locate your nearest library

Libraries can be useful places to go. They do more than just loan books. You can get magazines and local newspapers, access to computers and free Wi-Fi access so you can connect your phone to the Internet.

To locate your nearest library:

Step 1. Go to https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/libraries/locations/.

Step 2. Click "Find your local library".

Step 3. Select the location of your local library. For example, if you live in Inverurie, click "Inverurie".

Create an Outlook.com e-mail address for yourself

In order to send and receive e-mail messages, you need to have an e-mail address. One of the best e-mail services around is known as Outlook.com.

To create an Outlook.com e-mail address:

Step 1. Go to www.outlook.com.

Step 2. From the Outlook.com website, click "Create account" (you'll find the link in the top-right-hand corner).

Step 3. In the "New email" box, type in a name you want as your e-mail address.

Step 4. In the "Create password" box, type in a password. Make sure it is hard to guess, but not too hard that you will forget it. It needs to be something that you will remember as you'll need it to log-in to your e-mail account.

Step 5. Click "Next" and continue to follow the on-screen steps.

Make a claim for Housing Benefit to pay your rent

If you are on benefits or a low income, you may be able to claim Housing Benefit to pay some or all of your rent.

To make a claim for Housing Benefit:

Step 1. Go to https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/benefits-and-grants/housing-benefit/.

Step 2. Click "Housing Benefit" and then "Apply for Housing Benefit".

Step 3. Click "Start a new calculation/claim".

Step 4. Answer all the questions as truthfully as you can.

Note that to make a claim for benefit you will likely need:

  • Your bank account number and sort code for getting money paid into your account
  • Details of your income, investments and savings

Search and apply for jobs online

If you are out of work and want to work, there are a number of websites that can help you find a job.

You will likely find the following websites useful:

Browse a wide range of free ebooks to find one you like

If you like reading, then you should check out hundredzeros.com as it provides a wide range of free Kindle ebooks.

With Kindle ebooks you can read them on just about any platform, from a desktop PC to a phone with Amazon's range of reading apps.

To get Amazon's Kindle reading app for your computer, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/kindle-dbs/fd/kcp.