DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am looking for a class on how to operate a Kindle Fire in the Lewiston-Auburn. I also need the same for an iPod Touch. Both items were gifts, and I’m feeling very inadequate on how to operate them. Thank you for the wonderful service and assistance you provide. — No Name via email

ANSWER: Amazon.com sells an instruction manual for $2.99 (http://tinyurl.com/bvtk2hh) for the Kindle Fire. There are also plenty of instructions on using both devices online, including YouTube videos, but Sun Spots suspects you were looking for something more personal.

Lewiston Adult Education (www.lewistonadulted.org) offers some beginner courses in computers, which might be helpful.

You can also pay a private instructor. Sun Spots recalls getting a letter from a young man who offered these services — she thinks it was for $30 an hour. Perhaps he will write in again. 

Sun Spots thinks helping seniors with these devices would be a really good project for a middle or high school class, or perhaps a group like the Boy Scouts. The teens would be providing a much-needed service and gaining valuable experience at the same time.

If anyone has a better idea, please write in.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: You are such a wonderful community resource, just love your column full of valuable information.

I’m wondering why in the world Gmail got revamped. Many others (some younger and more savvy than me) are also complaining about it.

I used to enjoy emailing friends, and now it is so frustrating. What advantage is there to creating a mess like that?

I’m wondering how your readers with Gmail are dealing with this problem. I’m considering changing to a different email, but that entails changing all addresses.

I appreciate any feedback. Thanks again, we appreciate you! — No Name Lewiston

ANSWER: You are not alone in your dismay. Plenty of people complain about the constant changes in these applications. Facebook has even seen something of a backlash from disgruntled users who resent having to adjust how they interact with the software.

Changing your email program won’t help. All of the email programs change their user interfaces as time goes on. Yahoo also recently changed its. She is afraid that the battle against change is lost.

The good news is that as you spend more time on a computer, learning new programs and adapting to changes in old ones becomes easier. Sun Spots has learned dozens of different software programs since her first computer experience in 1979. The first few were by far the hardest.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I read your column every day and find it very interesting. I wonder if you could help me with this question?

I would like to know if any place in Lewiston or Auburn has the Maine Wire? It’s a project of the Maine Heritage Policy Center. I believe it’s free, but I cannot find it any place.

They have very interesting political articles in the paper. Any help would be appreciated. — Lewiston reader via email

ANSWER: The Maine Wire is currently only available online (www.themainewire.com).

Sun Spots emailed J. Scott Moody, CEO and chief economist, Maine Heritage Policy Center, who wrote:

“We did publish one paper edition about a year ago on a trial basis. We hope to revisit the idea of a paper edition in the near future.”

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected]


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