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Computer technophobia

Make hay with the latest technology advances

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in Office Technology

Calling all Luddites! Do you dread getting stuck in the elevator with techies who compare the latest PDAs or the best customer data systems? Do you fear and loathe your PC? Do you hate calling the help desk to rescue you from yet another mishap?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time for an attitude adjustment. While you need not become a fan of gizmos, you must learn to speak the language of bytes, pixels and PDF files.

Here’s how to transform yourself from a technologically challenged manager to a happily wired whiz:

Find a tutor. Just as high-school students often need a math tutor, you can benefit from a colleague who will introduce you to new tools. Ask your head of info systems or an IT consultant to suggest candidates.

Join user groups. Regardless of what kind of computer or software you use, there’s probably a user group you can join to share experiences and develop shortcuts. Call the manufacturer or check out its Web site for contact information.

Attend computer shows. While it can’t hurt to browse computer magazines and enroll in training classes, they won’t give you one-on-one attention. Try spending a day at a technology trade show. Chat up salespeople, who will patiently explain whatever you want to know.

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