How Do I? Learn Online!

Ever needed a quick how-to at 3 AM in the morning? Something to give you a fast overview so that you could find out if you really wanted to take the time to learn how to do something right?

The Internet is ideal for tutorials. The Internet never goes too fast, doesn't mind repeating things as many times as it takes, and is always available (including nights, weekends, holidays, etc.!).

Even better, there are a number of good how-to sites with free tutorials. (The sites support themselves by charging for their ads.)

In addition to the free tutorials sites, there are sites like How Stuff Works. This type of site is a good complement to the how-to sites because while the other sites might be giving step-by-step instruction, an explanation site like How Stuff Works might include more graphics so that you can see it for yourself while you are learning about it.

A case in point came up recently. Someone asked me for a quick tutorial on how to drive a stick-shift (that is, manual transmission) car. E-How had a 15-step how-to with five tips & warnings at the end. But it was all text. I combined that with How Stuff Works' explanation of how a manual transmission worked which started with a photo of the gear shift rod and included a detailed graphic on where to move the selector rod for each gear (in other words, each gear's pattern). Together, they made a better tutorial than either one separately.

One site, DIY Network, even is both on the Internet AND also on cable TV with its own TV show. Another, Ace Projects & Solutions, has both tutorials and will help you locate your nearest Ace hardware store so that you can go get what you need without having to stop and look up hardware store locations! Other sites (like Acme HowTo.com) will walk you through troubleshooting appliances (for example) and then you can order any replacement parts needed online without having to leave your computer!

For more information see:

  • eHow.com
  • DIY Network.com (Do It Yourself Projects)
  • How Stuff Works
  • How to Do Things
  • Ace Projects & Solutions
  • Acme HowTo.com
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    Last Modified: 5/9/2007