Here's part of the "Secret Guide to Computers & Tricky Living," copyright by Russ Walter, 31st edition. For newer info, read the 33rd edition at


Apple makes a tablet computer called the iPad, which let you access the Web easily while you travel.



Here’s how to start using the iPad.


The iPad comes in a white cardboard box. Open the box and put the contents on your desk (or table). The box contains packing material plus 5 items:

the iPad itself (9½ inches tall, 7½ inches wide, and ¼ inch thick)

a power adapter (white box, 1¾"x1¾"x1", to plug into an electric outlet)

a USB cable (to connect your iPad to the power adapter or to a computer)

Apple decals (so you can brag that you have an Apple product)


Remove those 5 items from their plastic bags and boxes.

Prepare your computer

Before using the iPad, you must already have a normal computer (desktop or laptop, Windows or Mac) that contains a recent version of the iTunes program (which is a free download from

Set up the iPad

Plug the USB cable’s big end into the iPad’s bottom edge. Plug the USB cable’s small end into your normal computer.

The computer will say “Installing device driver software” then “iPad Device driver software installed successfully”.

Run the computer’s iTunes program (by double-clicking the iTunes icon or doing this: click the Start button then “All Programs” then the iTunes folder then the iTunes program). If computer says iTunes Software License Agreement” (because you haven’t run the iTunes program before), click “Agree” then “No”.

You see the iTunes window. If it doesn’t consume the whole screen yet, maximize the window (by clicking the box next to the X).

The computer should say “Welcome to Your New iPad”. (If it doesn’t say that yet, unplug the USB cable then plug it back in.)

For the moment, abridge the installation process by clicking “Register Later” then “Not Now” (which is at the screen’s bottom).

The computer will say “iPad Software License Agreement”. Click “I have read and agree to the iPAd Software License Agreement” then “Continue” then “Done”.

The computer will say “iPad sync is complete.”

Disconnect the USB cable from the computer. Plug that cable into the power adapter instead. Plug the power adapter into your home’s electrical outlet (after prying the power adapter’s plug outward).

See the Home screen

Tap the iPad’s Home button. (That button shows a rectangle with rounded corners. It’s the only button indented on the iPad’s glass surface. It’s at the glass surface’s bottom, near the USB cable.)

The iPad will say “slide to unlock”. Put your finger on the right-arrow and slide (drag) it to the right.

If the iPad says “Edit Home Screen”, tap “Dismiss”.

You see the Home screen. The screen’s top shows the time and how fully charged the battery is (as a percentage). The rest of the screen shows these 13 choices:

Calendar               Contacts               Notes                       Maps


Videos                  YouTube                iTunes                   App Store






Safari                        Mail                       Photos                  iPod



For your first experiment, try using the iPad’s built-in word processor, which is called Notes. To do that, tap “Notes”.

You see a picture of a yellow blank sheet of paper. Tap the paper’s middle; then you see a keyboard at the screen’s bottom.

To type a note, type on the keyboard, using just one or two fingers.

The iPad normally makes the letters be small (uncapitalized), but it automatically capitalizes the first word in each sentence & paragraph. To change how a letter will be capitalized, tap a Shift key (which shows an up-arrow) before tapping the letter.

To erase a mistake, tap the Backspace key (which shows a white X).

At the end of a paragraph, tap the Return key.

To type a number or symbol, tap the Number key (which shows “.?123”), so you see numbers & symbols. Tap any numbers or symbols you want. (To see more symbols, then tap the Symbol key, which shows “#+=”.) To return to the usual keyboard, tap the Alpha key (which shows “ABC”).


You can use these shortcuts:

To type a period then a space, just double-tap the Space bar (by tapping the Space bar then quickly tapping it again).

To type a long word, type its beginning. If the iPad shows the whole word (by guessing the word’s ending correctly), tap the Space bar to confirm: that makes the iPad type the word’s ending and a blank space after it.


To select a word to edit, double-tap it.

That makes the word have a blue background. You also see a blue dot before the word and another blue dot after the word. To make the selection include more words, slide (drag) the blue dots until the blue background includes all the words you want to select.


Then tell the iPad what to do to the selected words.

If you want to delete the words, tap the Backspace key.

If you want to move the words, do this: tap Cut, then tap twice the blank space where you want the words to appear, then tap Paste.


To type the symbol “é”, rest your finger on the E key awhile. You’ll see 8 kinds of “e”, each having a different accent. Slide your finger to the “é” (or whatever other accented “e” you prefer).

Similarly, to type the symbol “ñ”, rest your finger on the N key awhile. You’ll see 3 kinds of “n”, each having a different accent. Slide your finger to the “ñ” (or whatever other accented “n” you prefer).

These letters offer accents:


Hide the keyboard

If you want to hide the keyboard, tap the Keyboard key (which is at the bottom-right corner). To make the keyboard reappear, tap the screen’s middle again.


If you type more lines than can fit on the screen, the screen will show just part of your note (document). To see the rest of the note, put your finger in the screen’s middle and slide up (to see the note’s beginning) or down (to see the note’s end). Sliding the note is called scrolling.

Extra notes

To create an extra note, tap the “+” (which is at the screen’s top-right corner). The iPad will say “New Note”, show a blank sheet of paper, and wait for you to type a new note.

If you’ve created more than one note, you can switch from note to note by tapping the right-arrow or left-arrow. (You’ll see those arrows at the screen’s bottom, after you hide the keyboard.)

The right arrow shows the previous note. The left arrow shows the next note. (Yeah, I know that seems backwards.)

Another way to switch from note to note is to tap the word “Notes” (which is at the screen’s top-left corner). Then you see a list of all your notes. Tap whichever note interests you.

Delete a note

To delete an entire note, get that note onto the screen, then tap the Trash Can (which you’ll see at the screen’s bottom, after you hide the keyboard) then “Delete Note”.

Return to Home

When you finish writing and reading your notes, press the Home button (at the screen’s bottom), so you see the Home screen again.



Using the iPad can be tricky.

Sleep & wake

The iPad will go to sleep (make the screen be all black and use very little electricity) if you don’t touch the iPad for 5 minutes (or if you tap the Sleep/Wake button, which is on the iPad’s top edge, at the right).

To wake the iPad back up, tap the Sleep/Wake button again (or the Home button) then slide the arrow to the right. That makes the iPad continue where you left off. For example, if you’d been writing a note when the iPad went to sleep, the iPad’s screen will show that note again upon awaking.

Turn off & on

To turn the iPad off completely (so it consumes no electricity at all), hold down the Sleep/Wake button (which is on the iPad’s top edge, at the right), until you see a white right-arrow (on a red background). Drag that arrow to the right.

Here’s how to turn the iPad back on:

Hold down the Sleep/Wake button until you see a white apple. Then release your finger.

14 seconds later, the iPad will beep. Then the screen’s bottom will say “slide to unlock”.

Immediately, put your finger on the right-arrow and slide it to the right. (If you delay more than 8 seconds, the screen will go black and you must press the Home button to try again.)

You’ll see the Home screen.

Portrait versus landscape

Normally, the iPad lies flat (horizontally) on your desk (or table).

Try this experiment: lift the iPad’s top edge off the desk, until the iPad is vertical instead of horizontal. Then rotate the iPad clockwise, 90 degrees, so the iPad looks wider and not as tall. When you do that, all the writing on the screen rotates 90 degrees counterclockwise to compensate, so you can still read what’s on the screen without turning your head.

When the iPad is wider than it is tall, you’re in landscape mode; the orientation is landscape (and good for viewing a painting of a landscape).

To return to normal (which is called portrait mode), lift the iPad’s top edge off the desk again then rotate the iPad counterclockwise, 90 degrees, so the Home button is at the iPad’s bottom again. Then the iPad is taller than it is wide, you’re in portrait mode; the orientation is portrait (and good for viewing a portrait of a person).



When you’re looking at the Home screen, you see the word “Calendar”. Above that word, you see the day of the week (such as “Monday”) and the date (such as “31”).

If you tap the word “Calendar”, you see a calendar for an entire month.

Make the calendar normal

To make sure the calendar consumes the whole screen, tap the word “Month” (which is near the screen’s top). To make sure the calendar includes today, tap the word “Today” (which is at the screen’s bottom-left corner).

Different months

After you’ve admired the current month, here’s how to see a different month instead: tap whichever month or year you want (using the list of months & years at the screen’s bottom).

Return to Home

When you finish using the calendar, press the Home button (at the screen’s bottom), so you see the Home screen again.


Here’s how to access the Web from the iPad.


When you’re looking at the Home screen, you see the word “Safari”. To use the Internet, tap the word “Safari”.

If the computer says “Select a Wi-Fi Network” and shows you a list of your neighborhood’s wireless routers, tap the name of the router you want to use.

At the screen’s top, you see two white boxes. Tap in the left box. A keyboard appears. Using the keyboard, type the Web address you want to visit. For example, if you want to visit, type:

At the end of your typing, tap the keyboard’s “Go” button.

After viewing several Web pages, you can go back to the previous Web page by tapping the Back button (the “ƒ” near the screen’s top-left corner).

If a Web page (such as or shows several columns of type, try double-tapping a column. That magnifies the column, so it fills more of the screen (and you don’t see the other columns as much.) To make that column return to its normal size, double-tap it again.

If a Web page (such as or is too long to fit on the screen, here’s how to see the page’s bottom. Put your finger in the screen’s middle, then slide up (or, to move faster, flick your finger up, as if you were flicking an insect off your screen). To return to the Web page’s top, slide down or flick your finger down or tap the Web page’s title (which is near the screen’s top, immediately under the time and above the www).

Bookmarks If you find a Web page that you like a lot, do this while you’re viewing it: tap the “+” (which is near the screen’s top, left of the www) then “Add Bookmark” then “Save”. In the future, whenever you’re using Safari and want to return to that Web page, tap the Bookmark icon (which is just left of the “+” and looks like an opened book); you see a list of bookmarked Web pages; tap the Web page you want.

If you change your mind, you can remove that Web page from the bookmarked list by doing this: tap the Bookmark icon (so you see the list of bookmarked Web pages), then tap “Edit” then the page’s minus sign then “Delete”.

In the list of bookmarked Web pages, you see the Web pages you bookmarked plus these 4 Web pages, which Apple has already bookmarked for you:




iPad User Guide

Ending When you finish using Safari, press the Home button (at the screen’s bottom), so you see the Home screen again.


When you’re looking at the Home screen, try this experiment: tap “YouTube”. That gets you a version of YouTube, customized for display on the iPad screen.

Choose a video At the screen’s bottom, you see these choices:

Featured   Top Rated   Most Viewed   Favorites   Subscriptions   My Videos   History

Tap “Featured” (to see 12 videos that YouTube wants to emphasize) or “Top Rated” (to see 12 videos that people voted the best) or “Most Viewed” (to see 12 videos that people looked at most often).

The screen is big enough to show 12 at a time. To see beyond the first 12, scroll down by doing this: touch the screen’s middle, then slide your finger up the screen.

When you’ve decided which video to view, tap it. The video will play. Enjoy the show!

Alter the play While the video plays, try these experiments:

Use the volume button. (It’s the tall black button on the iPad’s right-hand edge.) To increase the volume, press the volume button’s top. To decrease the volume, press the volume button’s bottom.

Switch to landscape mode (by lifting the iPad’s top and rotating 90 degrees clockwise). That makes the video look bigger.

Tap the video’s middle. That makes you see more controls.

Ending If you want to switch back to the previous screen (because the video has ended or you’re tired of watching it), tap the screen’s top-left corner. To return to the Home screen, press the Home button.

Peculiarities YouTube’s iPad version gives you a different list of favorites than YouTube’s normal version.

Unfortunately, YouTube’s iPad version never shows YouTube’s CC button. (On normal computers, YouTube’s CC button can give you closed captions and French-to-English translations.)


When you’re looking at the Home screen, try this experiment: tap “Map”. That gets you a version of Google Maps, customized for display on the iPad screen.

Zoom in You see a map of part of the world. If you want to zoom in (so you see more details), use one of these  methods….

Double-tap method: double-tap where you want to zoom in.

Stretch method: put two fingers where you want to zoom, then stretch (slide your fingers apart).

Address method: tap “Search” (at the screen’s top-left corner) then the address box (the wide white box near the screen’s top-right corner) then an X at the box’s right edge (if you see an X); type a location (such as “196 Tiffany Lane, Manchester NH” or “Los Angeles airport” or “White House”); at the end of your typing, tap the keyboard’s Search key.

Zoom out If you want to zoom out (so you see fewer details but see a bigger part of the world), shrink the map by doing this: pinch your fingers (by putting two fingers on the screen then sliding the fingers toward each other).

If you do that several times, you’ll see the whole world on your screen. (For best results, switch to landscape mode, to let your world map include the Pacific countries: New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and Korea.)

Map types If you tap the screen’s bottom-right corner, you see this list of map types:

Map type   Meaning

Classic         a drawing of the streets

Satellite        an aerial photo (taken by a satellite)

Hybrid         an aerial photo (taken by a satellite), with streets labeled

Terrain         a drawing of the streets & hills

Tap whichever map type you prefer.

Ending When you finish using Maps, press the Home button (at the screen’s bottom), to return to the Home screen again.