Have used Picasa for a few years now, certainly from version 1; nothing flash. Clean, simple, fast and easy to organise and it automatically recognises devices connected to PC. It's strong point is the organisation of albums, duplication, and rudimentary editing (more detailed cloud editing options are available) which does have a good amount of user-control, so it is suitable for non-technical types. It's a treat for exporting original photos to varying sizes for web or social media. Everything goes through Picasa here, but for more precise editing control I use Nikon's ViewNX2. This will show the same file system as Picasa, just provides more detailed technical information and analysis of images, whether by scanner or from digi camera.
Adobe Elements is a step up again with filing, editing and exporting all in the one place too. It has a very good interface for resampling (resizing images) in whatever units you can dream up.
At a start, I would definitely give Picasa a go and see how mesh with it. :)
adobe cs2 is free
no need to mortgage the house.