Gadgets And Learning Them

Diagram of a Manual gear layout (5-speed).

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In recent years I have been buying a lot of gadgets. We all buy gadgets all the time. When we make the purchase we think so much about “value for money”, listen close to the detailing of features and benefits, do so much of review and homework, but once it becomes ours, we don’t seem to utilize the gadget to its full potential. We postpone the learning part of it as it looks a mammoth task. Decision of buying the gadget is easier than learning it. 

How do we learn the gadgets to use it to full potential ?

Option #1: The techies will always advise to read the manual first, understand and set out to use the gadget so that the full potential can be explored. This may be natural for them. Though I accept that this is the most ideal way of exploring and using it, I never get myself to do it. Most of us do not read the manual and set out to use it.

Option #2: We see the immediate needs and learn to use the gadget to satisfy those needs and forget about all the other features forever.  Though occasionally when we find another friend or person using the same model of the gadget well or for a purpose that we didnt know we can use, we set out to explore to that extent and use them. This is what happens in reality. But we all know that we want to do better than this, having spent and bought the gadget.

Option #3: Have a tech enthusiast whom we can call up or who sits within the same office or available online to check things whenever we want to and find out things about our gadget. Learning through others as and when we feel the need. This used to be my learning style. I even used to hand it over to my kids to explore and learn from them. You cant beat them in learning new gadgets. But this style has its own limitations.

Option #4: This is the option I use now. I scan through the manual and read in-depth about only the features for which I bought it for. I make a highlight of the other features that I find attractive to come back and read later either when I find the need or leisure to explore. This way I make a good start with the gadget and at the same time don’t load myself up to the extent I get exhausted. I always have the option of exploring more when I find time.  The manual that comes with the gadget is my first choice to learn from, the reason being that it is their brand and they should be knowing better and the manufacturers must have thought about the customer in all of us. Sometimes when I don’t seem to understand the manual, then I go to the how-tos posted online. This really helps and makes you learn quickly.

How have you been learning? Is there still a better way? Do share them as your comments here.

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Originally posted on http://blog.varadh.com
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