April 27, 2006


Finding Solace in Westerly, RI. posted by Jess

A few months ago, I rented a small boutique in historic downtown Westerly, which is a lovely old-fashioned brick retail walking area.

It's in the heart of Westerly's Historic District, complete with Victorian walking park right across the street. I am very fortunate to have found this room, even though it's TINY, about 7x20. But, it is right across from the town library, and town hall, and has a nice big window and display block.

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Solace now has a new look and new offerings. It's now a computer learning facility. There are two types of learning: One-on-one personal, and small classes with no more than three students.

More information can be found at the new website, www.solacelearning.com. Please check it out and let me know what you think!

My target clientele is any user who wants to learn "street smarts" about computing. In trying to provide a unique method of learning, I am avoiding any cliches and sterile computer training preconceptions...

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Many people who want to learn about computers/Internet cannot find the training they need because they get frightened away by a few key things. Certificate programs, price, location, intimidating websites - these are *not* user friendly, and they are certainly not targeting the beginner computer user.

This is where people can gain a little Solace. My office is boutique-like. The walls are painted a soothing sage green. There's no picture of bland professionals in generic business suits on my website. And, most importantly, the classes I offer are practical in nature, and 100% hands-on. People can call for a one-on-one appointment, and bring in their own list of miscellaneous questions to go over for the 55-minute session.

The first two hands-on classes being offered are:

Protecting Your Privacy Online
1 hour
May 10th at 10:00AM

Preventing and Removing Adware/Spyware
2 hours
May 11th at 10:00AM

Email me here if you are interested in signing up for these classes.

Solace's mission, framed with a big "Why we're here" header:

Solace believes that everyone has a right to learn how to use the technology they have access to, and that education should be affordable, and easy to find. We also believe that everyone should learn how to use the Internet respectfully and safely, both for their own sake, and the sake of others who are using the same Internet on the same global network with them. Solace supports open-source software, which promotes global learning and improving technology.

Why did I add the disclaimer about the open-source software? It's actually in the hopes that many people will ask me about it. Many, many home users I come across on a daily basis don't realize they have a choice in what software they use. It's all about which they *prefer*, and not necessarily what came with their computer. Internet browsers, anti-virus, there are LOTS of choices. Let's build an awareness!

Anyway, that's my big news. And why you haven't heard from me in awhile. :-)


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