Free Sample: Computer Fundamentals Basic paper example for writing essay

Computer Fundamentals Basic - Essay Example

The Windows desktop is where you keep folders containing electronic files. You open the Start menu as you open a desk drawer to access even more files and software programs. Before we start pointing and clicking anything, it helps if you actually understand what exactly Windows XP Is. Windows XP Is an operating system. Okay, so what’s an operating system? An operating system Is a software program that controls and runs just about everything on your computer. Here’s what an operating system does: ; Controls Your Computers Hardware Windows controls the different devices of your computer system.

It’s what makes your printer print, what makes graphics and text appear on your monitor, and what makes your mouse point and click… Actually, you make the mouse point and click-?but Windows Is what puts the mouse pointer ( ) on the screen and electronically connects it to your mouse. ; Runs Your Computer’s Programs Windows is what runs all your programs. Without Windows, your word processor, Web browser (Internet), and games wouldn’t work. Windows lets your programs talk to your hardware, so, for example, your word processor can print things to the printer. Organizes Files Windows stores Information In files and folders on your computer’s local disk, Just Like you store files and folders In a filing cabinet. Think of Windows XP as an orchestra conductor who makes sure all the parts of your computer-?your hardware and programs-?work together. Operating systems have been around for a long time-? what makes Windows special is its ability to make computer operations easy. In the computer stone age (about 15 years ago), people had to type hard-to-remember, cryptic commands into their computer to make them do what they wanted.

With Windows, all you have to do Is point and click to do Page 1 of 27 Windows Operating System something-?much, much easier. So what’s the deference between Windows XP and other versions of Windows, such as Windows 98 and Windows ME? Features of New Feature Improved Interface Description The most obvious and controversial feature of Windows XP is a completely redesigned interface and Start menu that supposedly lets you find what you need more quickly and is easier to use. The Jury is still out whether or not the people will embrace this drastically new interface or not.

If you can’t stand the new Windows XP interface you can always switch back to our trusty Windows xx interface. Personalized As you use your computer, Windows XP watches which Menus programs and files you use and don’t use. After a while, Windows XP starts to hide the items you don’t use as much from the Start menu. The items are still there, you Just have to click the downward-pointing arrow ( ) at the bottom of the menu to see them. More Windows XP is based on the same technology as Microsoft Reliable Windows NT and Windows 2000 business operating systems.

This makes Windows much more stable than Windows 95, 98, and ME and greatly reduces the number of crashes and restarts. Better File Windows XP makes it easier to view and work with your files and Folder and folders. Thumbnail view lets you preview photos and images Management and the new File and Folder tasks pane lets you easily copy, move, rename, or delete any file or folder. Better Help Windows XP makes it easier to get efficient help and support and Support with new features such as Remote Assistance which allows you to contact a computer expert and let them fix a problem on your computer… Even if they are hundreds of miles away!

It might seem ironic, but one of the first things to know about Windows XP is how to exit Windows and shut down the computer when you are finished using it. Your shut down options are available from the Start menu. Depending on how your computer is set up you may have the following options: ; Log Off – choose Log off if you want the computer to remain on but don’t want other users to have access to your personal user profile. ; Turn Off – choose Turn Off when you want to completely turn off power to your computer. Page 2 of 27 ; Stand by – an option available with computers that have Advanced Power Manager (AMP) or ASPI built in.

Stand by saves energy and lets you come right back to where you were working. Restart – choose Restart when it is necessary to exit Windows, but when you want to keep using the computer. For example, when you install new hardware or programs, you will often be prompted to restart the computer for certain settings to take effect. ; Switch User – choose this option if you want to change the user of the computer. Exiting Windows and shutting down the computer If the computer is not shut down properly, Windows XP will automatically run the Scandals program at the next startup to help prevent hard drive errors. . Save any documents you have been working in and then close any programs that re running. (If you are using Stand by, save your documents, but you can leave your programs running. ) 2. Click the Start button to open the Start menu. 3. Click Turn Off to turn off or restart the computer. Or, click Log Off if you want the user profile. (For more information about user profiles, see section two, “Introducing the Windows XP Desktop. “) The Turn Off Computer dialog box opens. 4. Choose Stand by, Turn Off, Restart and then click K. 5. If you chose Stand by, the computer will appear to shut off.

If you chose Turn Off, wait for Windows to show the message “It is now safe to turn off your computer,” then oh can turn off the computer. If you chose Restart, Windows will exit and then automatically start again. You may be prompted to log in again if that is part of your system’s configuration. Page 3 of 27 your computer might “hang,” that is, it will be running but you will not be able to use any commands, you might not even be able to use the mouse pointer. If this happens and you are unable to shut down Windows as explained above, try pressing CTR + ALT + DELETE.

This will open a dialog box that can help you shut down the program that is causing the error, or shut down the computer if necessary. Be careful, by shutting down the computer in this way, you can lose any unsaved information you were working on. This should only be done if you are unable to shut down Windows from the Start menu. Starting and Logging on to Windows When you get to work, after taking off your Jacket and grabbing a cup of coffee, you probably begin your day by turning on your computer and starting Windows. This lesson explains how to do the absolute most basic thing there is to do with your computer-?turn it on.

Windows should automatically start after you turn on your computer. If it doesn’t, or if a confusing looking screen greets you, this lesson also explains what you need to do to load Windows. 1. Turn on your computer’s monitor. The On/Off switch for most monitors is located just below the monitor’s screen. Most monitors won’t display anything until the computer is turned on. 2. Turn on your computer. Finding your computer’s On/Off switch for the first time can be a little tricky. Refer to your computer’s reference manual if you can’t find the On/Off switch for your computer.

Your computer should make a whirring sound and several clicks and/or beeps after you turn it on and as it powers up. NOTE: If nothing happens when you turn your computer on, first check the mutter’s power cord-?is it plugged into to the wall or power strip? Check the other end of the power cord-? is it securely plugged into the back of the computer? If your computer is plugged into a power strip or surge protector (it really should be) check and make sure that the power strip is turned on. Eventually you should see the Welcome to Windows dialog box.

If you’re connected to a Novel Network the dialog you see may be slightly different, but the message will usually be the same-?press CTR + ALT + DELETE to log on. Page 4 of 27 3. If necessary, press CTR + ALT + DELETE to start the log on procedure. The Windows Log On dialog box appears. 4. Enter your user name and password and press enter. Depending on how Started with Windows XP dialog box may appear. 5. If the Getting Started with Windows XP dialog box appears click the Exit button to close it. If you didn’t already know how to turn your computer on, congratulations!

You’ve Just taken your first step in learning how to operate a computer and Microsoft Windows XP. Understanding Windows XP You might find the Windows screen a bit confusing and overwhelming the first time you see it. Nothing on the screen appears familiar to you-?where do you even start? This lesson will help you become familiar with the main Windows screen, known as the desktop. This lesson is only meant to help you get aquatint with Windows-?you don’t have to memorize anything. As an educator, you might believe that sometimes the best way to learn something is to explore.

As you are getting to know the Windows XP operating system, feel free to do Just that. The following pages explain some of the things you will find in Windows XP. Icons Small graphical representation of a program. Start button Click to open the Start menu, your one-stop access to many of the features of Quick Launch toolbar Use this to quickly access an application. Page 5 of 27 System Tray Displays the current running system programs use by the computer. Task When a window is open but not active; an icon for the window appears here. It is executed programs are placed.

Major Parts of Windows XP Screen Item Desktop This is the large, background area of the Windows screen. You can customize the desktop by adding shortcuts to your favorite programs, documents, and printers. You can also change the look of the desktop to fit your mood and personality. My Documents My Documents is a special folder that provides a convenient lace to store files and documents you create on your computer. My Computer lets you see everything on your computer. Doublethink the My Computer icon on the desktop to browse through your files and folders.

If you’re on a network, the My Network Places icon will appear on your desktop. You can double-click the My Network Places icon to browse through the computers in your workup and the computers on the network. If you’re connected to the Internet, the My Network Places icon will on your desktop, since the Internet is actually a network too. The Recycle Bin stores all the files you delete from your computer. You can use the Recycle Bin to retrieve files you’ve accidentally deleted and to create more disk space by emptying the Recycle Bin.

The Task usually appears at the bottom of your screen, and contains the famous Start button, which you use to start your programs. Whenever you open a program, document, or window, an icon for that program appears on the task. This lets you see which programs are currently running and allows you to easily switch between them. The Start button lets you quickly open your programs and documents. You can also use the Start button to find files and change the settings for Windows. The Quick Launch Toolbar gives you quick access to your most frequently used applications.

Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, the Windows desktop, and several Web sites, called channels, are already included on the Quick Launch Toolbar by default. My Computer Places Recycle Bin Start Button Quick Launch Toolbar You’ve probably already noticed that Windows XP Start menu is drastically different than the Start menu in earlier versions. All the icons that were formerly stored on the desktop, such as My Computer and My Documents, are now on the Start menu, making it your single source for launching applications, finding Page 6 of 27 comments, and changing computer settings.

The new Windows XP Start menu takes a lot of getting use to-?especially if you’re familiar with the Start menu in previous versions of Windows. The current user who logged in the computer. You can also add image to represent the user by clicking on the Start and choosing Control Panel then clicking User Accounts The left area displays the programs you use most often. If a program doesn’t appear here you can find it under “All Programs”. Page 7 of 27 The right side of the Start menu gives you quick access to your documents, files, and system settings.

You can also find three found on the Desktop in previous versions of Windows: My Computer, My Documents, My Network Places. Using the Mouse In Windows XP, the mouse is the tool you will most often use to navigate through the operating system and perform tasks. There are five basic actions you perform with the mouse: pointing, clicking, double-clicking, rechecking, and dragging. To point the mouse, simply position the on-screen mouse pointer over an object. Sometimes when you point to an object and “hover” over it, a small box called a tool tip will appear that contains a description of the object.

When you point to some objects, the mouse pointer changes shape, alerting you to the fact that you can perform some kind of command. For example, when the pointer turns into a hand with a pointing finger, you are pointing to a climbable item such as a hyperlink. A hyperlink is text or a picture that you can click to Jump to another location. A two-headed arrow allows you to resize an object. Click means to press the left (primary) mouse button. When you click an object you make it active. Double-click means to press the left mouse button twice quickly. Right-click means to press the right (secondary) mouse button.

To drag an object with the mouse pointer, point to the object and press and hold down the left mouse button. When you have moved the object to where you want it, release the mouse button to “drop” the object. Things you can click and double-click Click when you want to: Select something. Open a menu. Press a button on a toolbar or in a dialog box. Move to the area or field you want in a program then drag Double-click when you want to: Open a file. Open a folder. Display the properties or settings for an object (in certain programs) Things you can drag and drop You can do this:

Move a window to a new location on the screen Move a file to a new page 8 of 27 By dragging this: Drag the window by its title bar and drop it in a new location on the screen. Drag the file and drop it in the desired folder. Change the size of a window Scroll a window to see something located officered Move Just about anything on your computer’s screen Drag the borders or corners of the window. Drag the scroll box (the little elevator) up or down the scroll bar and drop it in a new location. Point to the object, click, and hold down the mouse button, drag the object to a new place, and then lease the mouse button.

Using the Keyboard Now that you’ve mastered the mouse, it’s time to move on to the other device that you use to control your computer: the keyboard. The keyboard may seem more familiar and easy to use than the mouse at first, but don’t be fooled! Computer keyboards sneak in some extra keys that you need to know about. This lesson explains what these extra keys on the keyboard are and when to use them. 1 . Press and hold down the Alt key, press the IF key, and release both buttons. Pressing Alt + IF closes the currently running program. Since you’re using the Windows Desktop, the Shut Down Windows dialog box appears.

Follow the next step to back out of the Shut Down Windows dialog box without selecting anything. 2. Press the Sec key. Pressing Sec does the same thing as clicking the Cancel button. The Shut Down Windows dialog box disappears and you’re back at the Windows desktop. Page 9 of 27 Icon Name Shortcut key New Blank Document Creating a new document CTR + N Open Opening a existing document CTR + O Save Saving existing document CTR + S Print Print the existing document CTR + P cut Cut a portion of your document CTR + X Copy Copy a portion of your document CTR + C