Hmmm... The civilian press
tries to connect itself to computer
technology and related topics not for meaningful content but just for advertising
. They push the idea of technology is this weird, new world with people in this "cyberspace
." Using a computer does not work that way.
As a piece of sage advice for real computer novices, one big important thing is to recognize who or what is the boss. Computers are built by thousands (or millions) of people (programmers, manufacturers, and so on). They're the ones that make the computer work and they intended the computer to run one way. Older computer newbies "think" they can use a computer some other way that can lead to the computer being broken, like putting checks in a floppy drive in The computer is NOT a check machine!. You can't do "your own thing" with a computer, just like you can't talk to a drill sergeant in any way except using the word "SIR!" at the end.
Children learn to use computers quicker because they're not used to past technology (the radio, older turntables, etc.) and they are not likely to be easily confused by older and newer things. They can learn that the computer is not a typewriter because they might not have known what is a typewriter.
In order for someone to learn how to use a computer, they should be drilled in computer common sense. It has nothing to do with the computing platform, but stuff like "make sure the computer is hooked up right before using." They should be broken down of their thinking that "they" are the master of logic. They should be taught to treat every step not with fear, but caution. They should not use a computer alone in their ignorant selves and have a computer buddy to go along with their work.