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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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By far, the bulk of the Windows XP freebie programs are dumped under the generic menu label Accessories. Here are programs that make Windows XP easier to see and hear; they let your computer talk to other computers and the Internet, and they entertain you during slow days. Finally, they let you fiddle with Windows’ innards during even slower days.
This section tackles the programs found on the Accessories menu, accessed through the Start button’s All Programs button.
Accessibility Wizard creates a customized, easy-to-read version of Windows. It lets you choose your ideal size for fonts, menus, icons, and window borders, making them easier to click. The wizard enables sounds to accompany certain on-screen actions if you’re having difficulty seeing the screen.
Magnifier enlarges the mouse pointer’s current location, making small buttons and boxes easier to spot.
Narrator reads your on-screen menus, albeit not very audibly.
The On-Screen Keyboard draws a keyboard right onto the desktop. Point and click at the letters with the mouse, and you’ll never have to type. (Works well for people with broken keyboards.)
Chapter 10: Your Desktop, Start Button, and Taskbar (And Programs)
Utility Manager helps people with low vision quickly set up computers by using several of the Accessibility options at once.
Much of this stuff applies to the tech-heads, so don’t spend too much time here.
HyperTerminal is a throwback to the old days of telecomputing. Ignore this relic that lets two computers talk over the phone lines.
Network Connections provides techie information about how fast your networked computers send information back and forth. It also lets you connect to networks or other computers across the phone lines or by using a single cable. (It replaces the older Direct Cable Connection option.)
Network Setup Wizard shows how to link two or more computers to share information or even a single modem or printer. It’s covered in Chapter 9.
New Connection Wizard walks you through connecting your computer with your Internet service provider (ISP) so you can Web surf like the best of them. It’s covered in Chapter 12.
Remote Desktop Connection works like a mini-network, but it lets you run programs on another computer.
Windows XP provides the controls for a complete entertainment center, including your computer’s CD player, DVD player, and TV card. Pick up a modem and a bag of microwave popcorn, and a modern young couple’s plans are set for the evening. Here’s the rundown on the Windows XP stereo cabinet of entertainment goodies.
Sound Recorder merely records up to 60 seconds of sound. Yawn. Most of the time, it’s meant to record short messages for embedding into documents or attaching to e-mail. Chances are, you’ll never use it.
Volume Control brings up a mixing panel that controls all your sound sources. A CD Player shows up here, as well as general sound (WAV), music (MIDI), or peripherals, such as TV cards or video capture cards (Line-in). Unless you’re recording sounds, don’t bother with it. Instead, control the volume by clicking the little speaker in the corner of your
Chapter 10: Your Desktop, Start Button, and Taskbar (And Programs)
taskbar. (No little speaker? Then put it there with the Control Panel, as described in Chapter 14.) When the volume control pops up, just slide it up or down to change your volume.
Windows Media Player is hip, it’s happening, and it’s huge. It can fill your entire screen with ’60s-era pulsating lights while playing your favorite tunes from your CDs or MP3 files. Unfortunately, Media Player can’t make MP3 files from your CDs, instead opting for Microsoft’s competing WMA format. It grabs sound and video from the Internet, plays your CDs, and categorizes your sound and video, from CDs to movie trailers to radio station presets to favorite playlists. It’s all covered in Chapter 13.
Nothing new here if you’ve been using Windows Me. Here you find FreeCell, Hearts, Minesweeper, two solitaire games, and some classics like backgammon and checkers for playing over the Internet. Be sure to check out Pinball, though, if you can tear yourself away from the venerable FreeCell.
System Tools
Windows XP comes with several technical programs designed to make the nerd feel at home. Here’s a description of what they do so you know which ones to avoid.
Activate Windows does just what is described earlier in this section. You must activate your version of Windows within 30 days, or it stops working. And after it’s activated, that copy won’t work on any other computer.
Character Map lets you add weird foreign characters, such as a, £, or even B, into your document. Clicking here brings up a list of foreign characters and symbols, all in your current font. Double-click the character you’re after and then click the spot in your document where you’d like that character to appear. Choose Paste from the document’s Edit menu, and the new character appears.
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