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Windows xp for dummies - Rahbone A.

Rahbone A. Windows xp for dummies - Hungry minds , 2001. - 430 p.
ISBN: 0-7645-0893-8
Download (direct link): microsoftwind2001.pdf
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Chapter 3: Windows XP Stuff Everybody Thinks You Already Know
A No Internet connection? If you send a begging letter to the company that made your mouse, the company may mail you a new, updated driver on a floppy disk. Occasionally, you can get these new drivers from the wild-haired teenager who sold you your computer. Find a computer guru to install the driver, however, or check out the section on installing drivers in Chapter 15.
A Windows XP comes with an aptly named program called Automatic Update. Described in Chapter 14, the program dials a special spot on the Internet, where a stethoscope examines your computer’s internal parts and inserts updated software where needed.
Files
A file is a collection of information in a form that the computer can play with. A program file contains instructions telling the computer to do something useful, like adding up the number of quarters the kids spent on SweeTARTS last month. A data file contains information you’ve created, like a picture of an obelisk you drew in the Windows XP Paint program.
A Files can’t be touched or handled; they’re invisible, unearthly things. Somebody figured out how to store files as little magnetic impulses on a round piece of specially coated plastic, or disk.
(Yep, these are the disks I cover in Chapter 2.)
A A file is referred to by its filename. Windows lets you call files by a descriptive phrase, as long as it doesn’t total more than 255 characters.
A Many filenames have optional extensions of up to three letters that usually refer to the program that created them. For example, the Windows XP Paint program automatically saves files with the extension BMP. Microsoft realized that most people don’t care about file extensions, so Windows XP normally hides them when it’s displaying filenames.
A Filenames have more rules and regulations than the Jacuzzi at the condo’s clubhouse. For more information than you’ll ever want to know about filenames, flip to Chapter 11.
Chapter 3: Windows XP Stuff Everybody Thinks You Already Know
Folders (Directories)
Nobody would ever confuse a computer with an office. Yet, Windows XP tries awfully hard to extend the common office metaphor to your computer. Your monitor’s screen, for instance, is called a desktop. And, just like an office, Windows XP stores your files in folders.
No matter how hard Windows tries, though, storing files is never as easy. You can’t just open a file drawer and slide in last year’s tax returns. Trying to maneuver files into folders in Windows is like trying to snag the stuffed bear using the crane machine at the fair.
Because files and folders are such painful experiences, they’re explained fully in Chapter 11. In the meantime, just think of folders as separate work areas to keep files organized. Different folders hold different projects; you move from folder to folder as you work on different things with your computer.
A A file cabinet’s Vegetables folder could have an Asparagus folder nested inside it for organizing material further. In fact, most folders contain several other folders in order to organize information even more. You need to be pretty fastidious around computers; that’s the easiest way of finding your work again.
A Technically, a folder in a folder is a nested subfolder that keeps related files from getting lost. For example, you can have folders for Steamed Asparagus and Raw Asparagus in the Asparagus folder, which lives in the Vegetables folder.
Graphical User Interfaces
The way people communicate with computers is called an interface. For example, the Enterprise's computer used a verbalinterface. Captain Kirk just told it what to do.
Windows XP uses a graphical user interface. People talk to the computer through graphical symbols, or pictures. A graphical user interface works kind of like travel kiosks at airports—you select some little but-
Chapter 3: Windows XP Stuff Everybody Thinks You Already Know
55
ton symbols right on the screen to find out which hotels offer free airport shuttles.
A A graphical user interface is called a GUI, pronounced “gooey,” as in “Huey, Dewey, Louie, and GUI.”
A Despite what you read in the Microsoft full-page ads, Windows XP isn’t the only GUI for a personal computer. The Apple Macintosh has used a graphical user interface for years.
A You’ll eventually hear people raving about an operating system called Linux (usually pronounced LINE-uhx, after Linus, the operating system’s creator). Programmers and computer tweakers love Linux, but this new operating system can’t run nearly as many programs as Windows. Don’t buy a new PC with Linux installed unless you’re an advanced computer user or married to a friendly one.
A The little graphical symbols or buttons in a graphical user interface are called icons. Chapter 20 displays most of Windows’ built-in icons and what they mean.
A When combined with other software, like Microsoft Word XP, Windows XP can talk to us using its built-in speech generator. (Check out the Control Panel’s Speech button for a preview.)
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