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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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A Just about all floppy disks these days can hold 1.44MB. Today’s programs are huge, so they usually come on compact discs, which hold more than 600MB.
A All files are measured in bytes, regardless of whether they contain text. For example, the green hillside background that Windows XP often places on the desktop takes up 1,440,054 bytes. (For information on placing backgrounds on your desktop, see Chapter 10.)
A A page of double-spaced text in Notepad takes up about 1K, but that same page in Microsoft Word consumes much more space. That’s because Word sticks in lots more information: the font size, the author’s name, bookmarks, spell-check results, and just about anything else you can think of.
A The Windows XP My Computer and Explorer programs tell you how many bytes each of your files consumes. To find out more, check out the information in Chapter 11. (Hint for anxious users: Right-click on any file’s name and choose Properties from the menu that pops up; you will find more information about a file than you want to know.)
One kilobyte doesn’t really equal 1,000 bytes. That would be too easy. Instead, this byte stuff is based on the number two. (Computers love mathematical details, especially when a two is involved.) One kilobyte is really 1,024 bytes, which is two raised to the 10th power, or 210. That means the 1,440,054-byte green hillside background adds up to 1.37MB. For more byte-size information, see Table 3-1.
Chapter 3: Windows XP Stuff Everybody Thinks You Already Know
Table 3-1 Ultra-Precise Details from the Slide-Rule Crowd
Term Abbreviation Rough Size Ultra-Precise Size
Byte byte 1 byte 1 byte
Kilobyte K or KB 1,000 bytes 1,024 bytes
Megabyte M or MB 1,000 kilobytes 1,048,576 bytes
Gigabyte G or GB 1,000 megabytes 1,073,741,824 bytes
Loading, Running, Executing, and Launching
Files are yanked from a file cabinet and placed onto a desk for easy reference. On a computer, files are loaded from a disk and placed into the computer’s memory so that you can do important stuff with them. You can’t work with a file or program until it has been loaded into the computer’s memory.
When you run,execute, or launch a program, you’re merely starting it up so that you can use it. Load means pretty much the same thing, but some people fine-tune its meaning to describe when a program file brings in a data file.
Picture lovers can start programs by double-clicking pictures—icons— on the Windows XP desktop. Word-oriented people can start programs by double-clicking names in a list with My Computer (although those programs let you double-click icons, too, if you prefer).
Whoa! How did this complicated memory stuff creep in here? Luckily, it all boils down to one key sentence:
Chapter 3: Windows XP Stuff Everybody Thinks You Already Know
The more memory a computer has available, the more pleasantly Windows XP behaves.
A Memory is measured in bytes, just like a file. The computer at the garage sale probably came with 640 kilobytes, or 640K, of memory. Last year’s computer models usually came with at least 64MB of memory. Today’s computers often come with at least 128MB of memory installed.
A Windows XP requires computers to have at least 128 megabytes, or 128MB, of memory, or it won’t even bother to come out of the box.
Memory and hard disk space are both measured in bytes, but they’re two different things: Memory is what the computer uses for quick, on-the-fly calculations when programs are up and running on-screen. Hard disk space is what the computer uses to store unused files and programs.
Everybody’s computer contains much more hard disk space than memory because hard disks—also known as hard drives—are so much cheaper. Also, a hard disk remembers things even when the computer is turned off. A computer’s memory, on the other hand, is washed completely clean whenever someone turns it off or pokes its reset button.
Not sure about all that kilobyte and megabyte stuff? Skip a few pages back to the “Kilobytes, Megabytes, and So On” section.
The Mouse
A mouse is a smooth little plastic thing with a tail coming out of its head. Most mice rest on a little roller, or ball. The tail plugs into the back of the PC. When you push the mouse across your desk, the mouse sends its current location through its tail to the PC. By moving the mouse around on the desk, you move a corresponding arrow across the screen.
You can wiggle the mouse in circles and watch the arrow make spirals. Or, to be practical, you can position the on-screen arrow over an onscreen button and click the mouse button to boss Windows XP around. (Refer to the sections “Clicking,” “Double-Clicking,” and “Pointers/
Chapter 3: Windows XP Stuff Everybody Thinks You Already Know
Arrows,” and, if you haven’t run out of steam, turn to Chapter 2 for information on the parts of your computer.)
Multitasking and task switching
Windows XP can run two or more programs at the same time, but computer nerds take overly tedious steps to describe the process. So skip this section because you'll never need to know it.
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