Here's part of "The Secret Guide to Computers," copyright by Russ Walter, 29th edition. For newer info, read the 32nd edition at www.SecretFun.com.

Windows

Microsoft has improved Windows.

In 1995, Microsoft invented Windows 95.

In 1998, Microsoft invented Windows 98.

In 2000, Microsoft invented Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me).

In 2001, Microsoft invented Windows eXPerience (Windows XP).

This chapter explains all those versions.

Windows XP comes in two versions:

The plain version, called Windows XP Home Edition, is good enough for most folks and lists for $199. A souped-up edition, called Windows XP Professional, costs $299 because it can perform extra tricks, which helps businesses run computer networks easily and securely.

If your computer has Windows 98 or Me, you can upgrade to Windows XP Home Edition for $99 (or upgrade to Windows XP Professional for $199).

This chapter explains Home Edition. Professional is similar.

Microsoft has invented other variants.

In 1999, Microsoft invented a slightly improved Windows 98, called Windows 98 Second Edition (Windows 98 SE). If you have that, follow my instructions for Windows 98, which is similar. I’ll explain the differences (which are few).

Microsoft used to sell a “network” version of Windows called Windows New Technology (Windows NT) and an improved version of that called Windows 2000, but they’ve become outdated: Microsoft switched from them to Windows XP. If you’re still using those outdated “network” versions, follow my instructions for Windows 98, which is similar.

If you plan to keep using an ancient version of Windows numbered below 95 (such as Windows 3.0, Windows 3.1, or Windows 3.11), turn to the this chapter’s last section, called “Classic Windows”. If you’re not using Windows at all — if you’re using just MS-DOS or a Mac — turn to the MS-DOS or Mac OS chapters.

Make sure your computer has enough RAM:

Windows version  RAM needed

Windows 3.1               1M to run at all,     4M to run okay,     8M to run well

Windows 95                4M to run at all,   16M to run okay,   32M to run well

Windows 98              16M to run at all,   32M to run okay,   64M to run well

Windows Me             32M to run at all,   64M to run okay, 128M to run well

Windows XP             64M to run at all, 128M to run okay, 256M to run well

 

Starting

When your computer contains modern Windows, here’s how to start using it.

If you have a printer, make sure a cable runs from it to the computer. Turn on the computer, without any disks in the floppy drives; then immediately turn on the printer. (For details, read “Prepare to operate” on page 85. For free help, phone me anytime at 603-666-6644.)

The computer says “Microsoft Windows 95” or “Microsoft Windows 98” or Microsoft Windows Me” or “Microsoft Windows XP”.

If the computer asks you for a “User name” or “Password”, just press the ENTER key (unless you’re sharing the computer with somebody who told you do otherwise).

In Windows 95 & 98 & Me, the computer might say “Add New Hardware Wizard” (for example, because it detected that you attached a new printer). If that happens, press the ENTER key several times (typically 5 times), until the computer stops saying “Add New Hardware Wizard”.

Eventually, the screen’s bottom left corner says “Start”. (Windows XP avoids capitalizing and says “start” instead.)

Check Num Lock

Your keyboard has a Num Lock light. On a typical keyboard, that light is near the keyboard’s top right corner and is labeled “Num Lock”. (Exceptions: on the Microsoft Natural Keyboard, that light is in the keyboard’s middle and labeled “1”; on a Compaq notebook computer, that light is below the SPACE bar and labeled “1”.)

Make sure that light is glowing. If it’s not glowing, make it glow by tapping the Num Lock key (which is near the keyboard’s top right corner).

Position the mouse

Look at the computer’s mouse. The mouse’s tail is a cable that runs from the mouse to the computer. The area where the tail meets the mouse is called the mouse’s ass.

The mouse’s underside — its belly — has a hole in it, and a ball in the hole.

Put the mouse on your desk and directly in front of your right arm. Make the mouse lie flat (so its ball rubs against the desk). Make the mouse face you so you don’t see its ass.

Move the arrow

Move the mouse across your desk. As you move the mouse, remember to keep it flat and facing you.

On the screen, you’ll see an arrow, which is called the mouse pointer. As you move the mouse, the arrow moves also.

If you move the mouse to the left, the arrow moves to the left.

If you move the mouse to the right, the arrow moves to the right.

If you move the mouse toward you, the arrow moves down.

If you move the mouse away from you, the arrow moves up.

Practice moving the arrow by moving the mouse. Remember to keep the mouse facing you at all times.

If you want to move the arrow far and your desk is small, move the mouse until it reaches the desk’s edge; then lift the mouse off the desk, lay the mouse gently on the middle of the desk, and rub the mouse across the desk in the same direction as before.

Click on Start

The most important part of the arrow is its tip, which is called the hot spot. Move the arrow so its hot spot (tip) is in the middle of the word “Start”. When you do that, you’re pointing at the word “Start”.

On the top of the mouse, you’ll see 2 or 3 rectangular buttons you can press. The main button is the one on the left. Tapping it is called clicking. So to click, tap the left button.

While you’re pointing at the word “Start”, click (by tapping the left button). That’s called clicking “Start”.

When you click “Start”, you see the Start menu, which is your starting list of choices. Which choices does the menu offer you? That depends on which version of Windows you have:


Windows 95    Windows 98           Windows Me                    Windows XP       x

                              Windows Update                                              Internet          My Documents

                              Programs                      Windows Update          E-mail           My Pictures

Programs               Favorites                      Programs                                             My Music

Documents            Documents                   Documents                                          My Computer

Settings                 Settings                        Settings                                               Control Panel

Find                       Find                              Search                                                 Help and Support

Help                       Help                              Help                                                     Search

Run                        Run                              Run                                                      Run

Shut Down             Shut Down                   Shut Down                   All Programs

                                                                                                       Log Off           Turn Off Computer

Besides those choices, your computer might offer some extras.

Shut Down

When you finish using the computer, do this:

Windows 95 Click “Shut Down” (which is the Start menu’s bottom choice). The computer asks, “Are you sure?” Press the ENTER key.

Windows 98 Click “Shut Down” (which is the Start menu’s bottom choice). The computer asks, “What do you want the computer to do?” Press the ENTER key.

Windows Me Click “Shut Down” (which is the Start menu’s bottom choice). The computer asks “What do you want the computer to do?” Under “What do you want the computer to do?” you see a box; make sure it says “Shut down”. (If the box says something else instead, such as “Hibernate”, do this: click the triangle at the box’s right edge; you’ll see a menu; from that menu, choose “Shut down” by clicking it; then the box will say “Shut down”.) Then press the ENTER key.

Windows XP Click “Turn Off Computer” (which is the Start menu’s last choice). Then click the red “Turn Off” button.

Then wait while the computer tidies the info on your hard disk.

Finally, if your computer is modern, it will turn its own power off. If your computer is older, the computer will say “It’s now safe to turn off your computer” and wait for you to turn it off.

Accessories menu

Make the Start menu appear on the screen.

In that menu, the word “Programs” has the symbol “4” next to it. That symbol means that if you choose “Programs” from the Start menu, you’ll see another menu.

Try it: point at the word “Programs”. Then you see this Programs menu:

Windows 95                 Windows 98        Windows Me                   Windows XP

                                                                                                                        Windows Catalog

                                           Accessories               Accessories                         Windows Update

Accessories                         Internet Explorer      Games                                 Accessories

StartUp                               Online Services         Online Services                   Games

Microsoft Exchange         StartUp                     StartUp                               StartUp

MS-DOS Prompt               MS-DOS Prompt     Internet Explorer               Internet Explorer

The Microsoft Network    Outlook Express    Outlook Express              MSN Explorer

Windows Explorer           Windows Explorer Windows Media Player    Outlook Express

                                                                                                                        Remote Assistance

                                                                                                                        Windows Media Player

                                                                                                                        Windows Messenger

If you bought extra programs, the menu mentions them too.

From the Programs menu, choose “Accessories”, by pointing at it. Then you see this Accessories menu:

Windows 95    Windows 98        Windows Me                   Windows XP

                                                               Accessibility                     Accessibility

Fax                        Communications    Communications              Communications

Games                   Entertainment       Entertainment                 Entertainment

Multimedia             Games                       System Tools                       Microsoft Interactive Training

System Tools         System Tools             Address Book                  System Tools

Calculator           Calculator              Calculator                        Address Book

HyperTerminal    Imaging                 Imaging                           Calculator

Notepad                Notepad                    MS-DOS Prompt               Command Prompt

Paint                      Paint                         Notepad                              Notepad

Phone Dialer          WordPad                   Paint                                   Paint

WordPad                                                 Windows Explorer           Program Compatibility Wizard

                                                               Windows Movie Maker     Synchronize

                                                               WordPad                             Tour Windows XP

                                                                                                           Windows Explorer

                                                                                                           Windows Movie Maker

                                                                                                           WordPad

Calculator

The accessories menu includes a “Calculator”. To use the calculator, get the accessories menu onto the screen (by clicking “Start” then “Programs” then “Accessories”) and then click “Calculator”. You’ll see the Calculator window, containing a picture of a pocket calculator.

How to calculate

To compute 42+5, click the calculator’s 4 button (by using the mouse to point at the 4 button and then clicking), then click 2, then +, then 5, then =. The calculator will show the answer, 47.

Instead of using the mouse, you can do that calculation a different way, by using the computer’s keyboard. Try this:

Make sure the Num Lock light is on (by doing the “Check Num Lock” procedure on page 86).

On the computer’s keyboard, tap the 4 key, then the 2 key, then (while holding down the SHIFT key) the + key, then 5. Then tap the = key (or the ENTER key). The calculator will show 47.

Try fancier calculations, by pressing these calculator buttons:

Button    Meaning

+                 plus

-                  minus

*                  times

/                  divided by

=                 total

.                  decimal point

C                 clear the total, so the total becomes zero

CE               clear just this entry, so you can retype it

Backspace backspace

(In Windows 95, the backspace button is labeled “Back” instead of “Backspace”.)


Standard versus scientific

You can choose two kinds of calculators. A standard calculator is small and cute: it does just arithmetic. A scientific calculator is big and imposing: it includes extra buttons, so you can do advanced math.

The first time you (or your colleagues) ask for the calculator, the computer shows a standard calculator (small and cute). If you want the calculator to be scientific instead, choose Scientific from the View menu. (To do that, click the word “View”, then click the word “Scientific”.) Then you’ll see extra buttons, such as these:

Button Meaning

x^2       squared

x^3       cubed

n!          factorial

pi           circle’s circumference divided by diameter

If you click the 7 button and then say “squared” (by pressing the x^2 button), the computer will multiply 7 by itself and say 49 (which is called “7 squared”). If you click the 7 button and then say “cubed” (by pressing the x^3 button), the computer will do “7 times 7 times 7” and say 343 (which is called “7 cubed”). If you click the 7 button and then say “factorial” (by pressing the n! button), the computer will multiply together all the numbers up to 7 (1 times 2 times 3 times 4 times 5 times 6 times 7) and say 5040 (which is called “7 factorial”).

If you click the pi button, Windows 95 makes the computer say 3.14159265359; Windows 98 & Me & XP
make the computer say 3.1415926535897932384626433832795.

After making the calculator be scientific, you can make it become standard again by choosing Standard from the View menu.

Close

In the Calculator window’s top right corner, a square button has an X on it. That’s called the X button (or the close button). In Windows 95 & 98 & Me, that button is gray with a black X; In Windows XP, that button is red with a white X.

When you finish using the Calculator window, click that button. It closes the Calculator window, so the Calculator window disappears.

WordPad

When you buy modern Windows, you get a word-processing program free! That word-processing program is called WordPad. It’s one of the Windows accessories. To use it, get the accessories menu onto the screen (by clicking “Start” then “Programs” then “Accessories”) and then click “WordPad”. You’ll see the WordPad window.

In the window’s top right corner, you see the X button. Next to the X button is the resize button. Clicking the resize button changes the window’s size.

Try clicking the resize button: see the window’s size change! Try clicking the resize button again: see the window’s size change again!

If the window is small, clicking the resize button makes the window become huge so it consumes the whole screen. If the window is huge and consumes the whole screen, clicking the resize button makes the window become small.

If the window consumes the whole screen, the window is said to be maximized. If the window is smaller, the window is said to be restored to a small size.

Click the resize button if necessary, so that the WordPad window consumes the whole screen (and is maximized).

Now that the WordPad window consumes the whole screen, you can easily do word processing: you can easily type words and sentences. Try it! Type whatever sentences you wish to make up. For example, try typing a memo to your friends, or a story, or a poem. Be creative! Whatever you type is called a document.

Use the keyboard

Read the section called “Examine the keyboard”, which is on page 85. Here are more hints to help you type.…

Capitals To capitalize a letter of the alphabet, type that letter while holding down the SHIFT key. (One SHIFT key is next to the Z key; the other SHIFT key is next to the ? key. Each SHIFT key has an up-arrow on it.)

To capitalize a whole passage, tap the CAPS LOCK key, then type the passage. The computer will automatically capitalize the passage as you type it. When you finish typing the passage, tap the CAPS LOCK key again: that tells the computer to stop capitalizing.

BACKSPACE key If you make a mistake, press the BACKSPACE key. That makes the computer erase the last character you typed. (The BACKSPACE key is in the top right corner of the keyboard’s main section. It’s to the right of the + key, and it has a left-arrow on it.)

To erase the last two characters you typed, press the BACKSPACE key twice.

Word wrap If you’re typing near the screen’s right edge, and you type a word that’s too long to fit on the screen, the computer will automatically move the word to the line below. Moving the word to the line below is called word wrap.

ENTER key When you finish a paragraph, press the ENTER key. That makes the computer move to the line underneath so you can start typing the next paragraph.

If you want to double-space between the paragraphs, press the ENTER key twice.

TAB key If you want to indent a line (such as the first line of a paragraph), begin the line by pressing the TAB key. The computer will indent the line a half inch.

Nudge a phrase To move a phrase toward the right, press the TAB key several times before typing the phrase. To move a phrase down, press the ENTER key several times before typing the phrase.


Alt symbols You can type these alternative symbols:

128 Ç          144 É       160 á       225 ß

129 ü       145 æ          161 í

130 é        146 Æ         162 ó       227 ¶

131 â        147 ô       163 ú

132 ä       148 ö       164 ñ       230 µ

133 à        149 ò       165 Ñ

134 å        150 û       166 ª            241 ±

135 ç        151 ù       167 º

136 ê        152 ÿ       168 ¿        246 ÷

137 ë        153 Ö

138 è        154 Ü          170 ¬       248 °

139 ï            155 ¢        171 ½          249 •

140 î            156 £       172 ¼          250 ·

141 ì            157 ¥       173 ¡

142 Ä          158 P       174 «

143 Å          159 ƒ        175 »       253 ²

For example, here’s how to type the symbol ñ, whose code number is 164. Hold down the Alt key; and while you keep holding down the Alt key, type 164 by using the numeric keypad (the number keys on the far right side of the keyboard). When you finish typing 164, lift your finger from the Alt key, and you’ll see ñ on your screen! Try it!

Windows copied that chart from DOS. But Windows goes beyond DOS by letting you also use this fancier chart:

                                        0192 À    0224 à

                    0161 ¡          0193 Á    0225 á

0130 ‚          0162 ¢         0194     0226 â

0131 ƒ         0163 £         0195 à   0227 ã

0132 „         0164 ¤         0196 Ä    0228 ä

0133 …       0165 ¥         0197 Å    0229 å

0134 †         0166 ¦          0198 Æ    0230 æ

0135 ‡         0167 §         0199 Ç     0231 ç

0136 ˆ         0168 ¨          0200 È        0232 è

0137 ‰      0169 ©    0201 É        0233 é

0138 Š         0170 ª          0202 Ê        0234 ê

0139 ‹          0171 «         0203 Ë        0235 ë

0140 Œ    0172 ¬         0204 Ì         0236 ì

                    0173 ­          0205 Í         0237 í

                    0174 ®    0206 Π         0238 î

                    0175 ¯         0207 Ï          0239 ï

                    0176 °         0208 Р    0240 ð

0145 Ÿ     0177 ±         0209 Ñ     0241 ñ

0146 ’          0178 ²          0210 Ò     0242 ò

0147 “         0179 ³          0211 Ó     0243 ó

0148 ”         0180 ´          0212 Ô     0244 ô

0149 •          0181 µ         0213 Õ     0245 õ

0150 –         0182 ¶         0214 Ö     0246 ö

0151 —       0183 ·          0215 ×         0247 ÷

0152 ˜         0184 ¸          0216 Ø     0248 ø

0153 ™       0185 ¹          0217 Ù     0249 ù

0154 š         0186 º          0218 Ú     0250 ú

0155 ›          0187 »         0219 Û     0251 û

0156 œ     0188 ¼    0220 Ü     0252 ü

                    0189 ½    0221 Ý     0253 ý

                    0190 ¾    0222 Þ         0254 þ

0159 Ÿ     0191 ¿         0223 ß         0255 ÿ

For example, here’s how to type the symbol ã, whose code number is 0227: while holding down the Alt key, type 0227 on the numeric keypad.

Scroll arrows

If your document contains too many lines to fit on the screen, the screen will show just part of the document, accompanied by two arrows at the screen’s right edge: a scroll-up arrow and a scroll-down arrow.

In Windows 95 & 98 & Me,   the scroll-up arrow is 5;  the scroll-down arrow is 6.

In Windows XP,                      the scroll-up arrow is Ù;   the scroll-down arrow is Ú.

To see a higher   part of your document, click the scroll-up       arrow (5 or Ù).

To see a lower part of your document, click the scroll-down    arrow (6 or Ú).

Insert characters

To insert extra characters anywhere in your document, click where you want the extra characters to appear (by moving the mouse’s pointer there and then pressing the mouse’s button). Then type the extra characters.

For example, suppose you typed the word “fat” and want to change it to “fault”. Click between the “a” and the “t”, then type “ul”.

(When you’re using Windows, notice that you click between letters, not on letters.)

As you type the extra characters, the screen’s other characters move out of the way to make room for the extra characters.

While you’re inserting the extra characters, you can erase nearby mistakes by pressing the BACKSPACE key or DELETE key. The BACKSPACE key erases the character that’s before the mouse’s pointer. The DELETE key erases the character that’s after the mouse’s pointer.

Split a paragraph

Here’s how to split a long paragraph in half, to form two short paragraphs.

Decide which word should begin the second short paragraph. Click the left edge of that word’s first letter.

Press the BACKSPACE key (to erase the space before that word), then press the ENTER key. Now you’ve split the long paragraph in two!

If you want to double-space between the two short paragraphs, press the ENTER key again. If you want to indent the second paragraph, press the TAB key.

Combine paragraphs

After typing two paragraphs, here’s how to combine them, to form a single paragraph that’s longer.

Click at the end of the first paragraph. Press the DELETE key several times, to delete unwanted ENTERs and TABs. Now you’ve combined the two paragraphs into one!

Then press the SPACE bar (to insert a space between the two sentences).

Movement keys

To move to different parts of your document, you can use your mouse. To move faster, press these keys instead:

Key you press       Where the pointer will move

right-arrow                right to the next character

left-arrow                 left to the previous character

down-arrow               down to the line below

up-arrow                    up to the line above

END                          right to the end of the line

HOME                     left to beginning of the line

PAGE DOWN            down to the next screenful

PAGE UP                 up to the previous screenful


Here’s what happens if you press the movement keys while holding down the Ctrl key:

Keys you press            Where the pointer will move

Ctrl with right-arrow        right (to the next word or punctuation symbol)

Ctrl with left-arrow          left (to the beginning of a word or punctuation)

Ctrl with down-arrow    down to the next paragraph

Ctrl with up-arrow            up to the beginning of a paragraph

Ctrl with PAGE DOWN   down to the end of the screen’s last word

Ctrl with PAGE UP          up to the beginning of the screen’s first word

Ctrl with END                  down to the end of the document

Ctrl with HOME           up to the beginning of the document

Buttons

Near the screen’s top, you see these buttons:

 

 

 

Here is each button’s name:

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you forget a button’s name, try this trick: point at the button (by using the mouse but without clicking), then wait a second. Underneath the button, you’ll see the button’s name; and at the screen’s bottom left corner, you’ll see a short explanation of what the button does.

To use a button, activate it by clicking it with the mouse. Here are the details.…

Underline Here’s how to underline a phrase (like this). Activate the Underline button (which says U on it) by clicking it. Activating the button changes the button’s appearance:

In Windows XP, the button gets a blue border.

In Windows 95 & 98 & Me, the button looks “pushed in”.

Then type the phrase you want underlined. Then deactivate the Underline button (by clicking it again).

Go ahead: try it now! Practice using the Underline button before you progress to more advanced buttons!

Bold Here’s how to make a phrase be bold (like this). Activate the Bold button (which says B on it) by clicking it. Then type the phrase you want emboldened. Then deactivate the Bold button (by clicking it again).

Here’s how to make a phrase be bold and underlined (like this). Activate the Bold and Underline buttons (by clicking them both). Then type the phrase. Then deactivate those buttons (by clicking them again).

Italic Here’s how to italicize a phrase (like this). Activate the Italic button (which says I on it) by clicking it. Then type the phrase you want italicized. Then deactivate the Italic button (by clicking it again).

Color Here’s how to change a phrase’s color.

Click the Color button. You’ll see a list of 15 colors (plus “White” and “Automatic”). Click the color you want. Then type the phrase you want colorized.

Afterwards, click the Color button again and click “Black”.


Alignment While typing a line, you can click one of these alignment buttons: Center, Align Left, or Align Right.

Clicking the Center button makes the line be centered,

like this line

Clicking the Align Right button makes the line be at the right margin,

like this line

Clicking the Align Left button makes the line be at the left margin,

like this line

Clicking one of those buttons affects not just the line you’re typing but also all other lines in the same paragraph. When you click one of those buttons, you’re activating it. That button deactivates when you click a different alignment button instead.

When you start typing a new document, the computer assumes you want the document to be aligned left, so the computer activates the Align Left button. If you want a different alignment, click a different alignment button instead.

Clicking an alignment button affects the entire paragraph you’re typing, but the paragraphs you typed earlier remain unaffected, unless you do this:

To change the alignment of a paragraph you typed earlier, click in that paragraph’s middle then click the alignment button you wish.

When you start typing a new paragraph, the computer gives the new paragraph the same alignment as the paragraph above, unless you say differently (by clicking one of the alignment buttons).

Here’s how to create a centered title. Press the ENTER key twice (to leave a big blank space above the title). Then click the Center button (so the title will be centered) and the Bold button (so the title will be bold), type the words you want to be in the title, and press the ENTER key afterwards. Congratulations: you’ve created a centered title! Next, make the paragraph underneath the title be normal: make that paragraph be uncentered (click the Align Left button) and make it be unbolded (deactivate the Bold button, by clicking it).

Bullets While you’re typing a paragraph, you can activate the Bullets button (by clicking it). That makes the computer indent the entire paragraph and also put a bullet (the symbol ·) to the left of the paragraph’s first line. That’s called a bulleted paragraph.

After you’ve typed a bulleted paragraph, any new paragraphs you type underneath will be bulleted also — until you request an unbulleted paragraph (by deactivating the Bullets button).

Font Size

Left of the Bold button, the screen also shows a box containing the number 10. That’s called the Font Size box. The 10 in it means the characters you’re typing are 10 points high.

If you change that number to 20, the characters will be twice as high (and also twice as wide). To change the number to 20, click in the Font Size box, then type 20 and press ENTER. Try it! Any new characters you type afterwards will be the size you chose. (Characters typed earlier don’t change size.)

You can make the font size be 10 or 20 or any other size you like. For best results, pick a number from 8 to 72. (If you pick a number smaller than 8 or bigger than 72, the result is ugly.) The number can end in .5; for example, you can pick 8 or 8.5 or 9 or 9.5 or 10.


Font

At the screen’s left edge, you see a box saying “Times New Roman”. (In Windows XP, that box says “Arial” instead.) That’s called the Font box.

Next to that box is the symbol 6. Click it.

You’ll see the Font menu, which is a list of fonts in alphabetical order. (To see the rest of the list, press the up-arrow or down-arrow keys.)

Click whichever font you want. To avoid hassles, choose a font that has “TT” or “O” in front of it. (The “TT” means it’s a TrueType font. The “O” means it’s an OpenType font, which is even better and available just in Windows XP.) For most purposes the best fonts are:

Times New Roman (which is the best for most paragraphs and looks like this)

Arial (which is the best for most headlines & footnotes and looks like this)

Courier New (which is the best for tables of numbers)

All delete

Here’s how to delete the entire document, so you can start over. While holding down the Ctrl key, press the A key (which means “all”). All of the document turns black. Then press the DELETE key. All of the document disappears, so you can start over!

Select

Here’s how to change a phrase you typed previously.

Point at the phrase’s beginning. Then hold down the mouse’s left button; and while you keep holding down that button, move to the phrase’s end.

(Moving the mouse while holding down the left button is called dragging. You’re dragging from the phrase’s beginning to the phrase’s end.)

The phrase that you dragged across turns black. Turning the phrase black is called selecting the phrase.

Then say what to do to the phrase. For example, choose one of these activities:

To underline the phrase, activate the Underline button.

To make the phrase be bold, activate the Bold button.

To italicize the phrase, activate in the Italic button.

To prevent the phrase from being underlined, bold, or italicized, deactivate those buttons

(by clicking them again).

To change how the phrase’s paragraphs are aligned, click one of the alignment buttons.

To change the phrase’s point size, click the Font Size box then type the size and press ENTER.

To change the phrase’s font, choose the font you want from the Font menu.

To delete the phrase, press the DELETE key.

To replace the phrase, just type whatever words you want the phrase to become.

To move a phrase to a new location, just “select the phrase, and then drag from the phrase’s middle to the new location.” Here are the details:

First, select the phrase you want to move, so the phrase turns black. Then take your finger off the mouse’s button. Move the mouse’s pointer to the phrase’s middle (so you see an arrow). Finally, hold down the mouse’s button; and while you keep holding down the mouse’s button, drag to wherever you want the phrase to move. (Drag anywhere you wish in the document, or drag to the end of the document. The computer won’t let you drag past the document’s end.) At the end of the drag, lift your finger from the mouse’s button; then the phrase moves where you wished!

In that procedure, you drag the phrase to a new location then drop it there. That procedure is called drag & drop.

Extra buttons

Near the screen’s top left corner, you see these extra buttons:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s how to use them.…


Save Here’s how to save the document (copy it onto the hard disk). Click the Save button. Then invent a name for the document. The name can be short (such as “Joe”) or long (such as “Stupidest Memo of 1999”). At the end of the name, press the ENTER key. Then the computer will copy the document onto the disk.

If you change your mind afterwards, edit the document some more: when you finish that editing, save it by clicking the Save button again. If you’re typing a long document, click the Save button about every 10 minutes, so that if an accident happens you’ll lose at most 10 minutes of work.

Print To print the document onto paper, click the Print button.

Print Preview If you’re wondering what a page will look like but don’t want to waste a sheet of paper to find out, click the Print Preview button. The computer will show you a mock-up of what the entire page will look like: you’ll see the entire page, shrunk to fit on the screen, so the characters on the page appear very tiny. Those characters are too tiny to read, but you’ll see the page’s overall appearance: how much of the page is filled up, which parts of the page are blank, and whether the info on the page is centered. When you finish admiring that mock-up, click the word “Close”.

Finishing When you finish working on a document, you can click the
New button or the Open button. If you click the New button and then press ENTER, the computer will let you start typing a new document. If instead you click the Open button, the computer will show you a list of the documents you saved earlier; click the document you want, then press ENTER, which makes the computer put the document onto the screen and let you edit it.

When you finish using WordPad, click the X button (at the screen’s top right corner). That closes the WordPad window, so the WordPad window disappears.

Before the computer obeys the New button, Open button, or X button, the computer checks whether you saved your document. If you didn’t save your document, the computer asks, “Save changes?” If you click “Yes”, the computer copies your document’s most recent version to the hard disk; if you click “No” instead, the computer ignores and forgets your most recent editing.


Time

The screen’s bottom right corner shows the time, like this:

10:45 PM

If you move the mouse’s arrow there, the date will flash on the screen briefly.

Double-click

To get more details about the time and date, double-click the time. To double-click the box, move the arrow to the box, then tap the mouse’s left button twice quickly, so the taps are less than .4 seconds apart.

While tapping the left button twice, make sure the mouse remains still. Don’t let the mouse jiggle, not even a smidgin! While double-clicking, your desk should be like Christmas Eve, where “not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse”.

Double-clicking is also called opening. Double-clicking the time box is called “opening the time box”.

Double-clicking the time box makes the computer show you a calendar for the entire month, with today’s date highlighted in blue. You’ll also see the face of a traditional clock, with an hour hand, minute hand, and second hand that all move. You’ll see the time zone, such as “Eastern Daylight Time”.

Reset

If the calendar, clock, or time zone are wrong, here’s how to reset them.

To change the year, click the 5 (or 6) symbol that’s next to the year. To change the month, click the 6 symbol that’s next to the month, then click the correct month. To change the date, click the correct date.

To change the time, click the part of the time that you want to change (the hours, minutes, seconds, or AM/PM), then click the 5 or 6 symbol nearby. To change the time zone, do this:

Windows Me (& 98’s second edition) Click in the “Time zone” box. Press the keyboard’s right-arrow key (or left-arrow key) several times, until your time zone is chosen.

Windows 95 & XP (& 98’s first edition) Click “Time Zone”. Press the keyboard’s right-arrow key (or left-arrow key) several times, until your time zone is chosen. Click “Date & Time”.

To see immediately the results of changing the time or the time zone, click “Apply”.

Finish

When you finish using that clock/calendar window, click “OK”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paint

To paint pictures, get the accessories menu onto the screen (by clicking “Start” then “Programs” then “Accessories”) and then click “Paint”. You’ll see the Paint window.

Make sure the Paint window consumes the whole screen. (If it doesn’t consume the whole screen yet, maximize the window by clicking the resize button, which is next to the X button.)

Move the mouse pointer to the screen’s middle. Then drag (move the mouse while holding down the mouse’s left button). As you drag, you’ll be drawing a squiggle.

For example, try drawing a smile:

To do that, put the mouse pointer where you want the smile to begin (at the smile’s top left corner), then depress the mouse’s left button while you draw the smile. When you finish drawing the smile, lift the mouse’s button. Then draw the rest of the face!

When you draw, you’re normally drawing in black. At the screen’s bottom, you see 28 colors: red, yellow, green, etc. To draw in one of those colors instead of in black, click the color you want.

Near the screen’s top left corner, you see these buttons:

 

                 Free-Form Select                      Select

 

                                   Eraser                      Fill With Color

 

                            Pick Color                      Magnifier

 

                                    Pencil                      Brush

 

                              Airbrush                      Text

 

                                       Line                      Curve

 

                             Rectangle                      Polygon

 

                                   Ellipse                      Rounded Rectangle

 

To use a button, activate it by clicking it.

When you start using Paint, the computer assumes you want to use the Pencil, so it activates the Pencil button. If you want to use a different tool, click a different button instead. Let’s start with the most popular choices.…

Brush

To draw a fatter squiggle, click the Brush button. Then put the mouse pointer in the screen’s middle, where you want the squiggle to begin, and drag! Try it now!

Eraser

To erase a mistake, click the Eraser button. Then drag across the part of your drawing you want to erase. The part you drag across will become white.

Airbrush

To vandalize your drawing by using a can of spray paint, click the Airbrush button. Then put the mouse pointer where you want to begin spraying, and drag!

Line

To draw a line that’s exactly straight, click the Line button. Then put the mouse pointer where you want the line to begin, and drag to where you want the line to end.

If you hold down the SHIFT key while doing that dragging, you’ll force the line to be perfectly simple (perfectly vertical, perfectly horizontal, or at a perfect 45-degree angle).

Ctrl key

While holding down the Ctrl key, you can tap the Z, S, P, N, or O key. Here are the details:

If you make a mistake, zap the mistake by press Ctrl with Z. That makes the computer zap (undo) your last action. To zap your last two actions, press Ctrl with Z twice. To zap your last three actions, press Ctrl with Z three times. “Three times” is the limit of what you can zap: you cannot zap the last four actions.

To save your painting (copy it onto the hard disk), press Ctrl with S. Then type whatever name you want the painting to have, and press ENTER. Afterwards, if you edit your painting further, save that editing by pressing Ctrl with S again.

To print your painting onto paper, press Ctrl with P. Then press ENTER. If your printer can’t print colors, it will substitute shades of gray.

To start working on a new painting, press Ctrl with N.

To open a painting (use a painting that you saved earlier), press Ctrl with the letter O. The computer will show you a list of the paintings you saved earlier; click the painting you want, then press ENTER, which makes the computer put the painting onto the screen and let you edit it.

X button

When you finish using Paint, click the X button (at the screen’s top right corner). That closes the Paint window, so the Paint window disappears.

Did you save?

Before the computer obeys Ctrl N, Ctrl O, or the X button, the computer checks whether you saved your painting. If you didn’t save your painting, the computer asks, “Save changes?”

If you click “Yes”,

the computer copies your painting’s most recent version to the hard disk.

If you click “No” instead,

the computer ignores and forgets your most recent drawing efforts.

Advanced buttons

You’ve learned how to use the easy buttons (pencil, brush, eraser, airbrush, and line). Here’s how to use the other buttons, which are more advanced.

Rectangle To draw a rectangle whose sides are exactly straight, click the Rectangle button. Then put the mouse pointer where you want the rectangle’s top left corner to be, and drag to where you want the rectangle’s opposite corner.

If you hold down the SHIFT key while doing that dragging, you’ll force the rectangle to be a perfect square.

Rectangle variants Instead of clicking the Rectangle button, try clicking these variants:

If you click Rounded Rectangle instead of Rectangle, you’ll force the rectangle’s corners to be rounded (instead of sharp 90-degree angles). If you hold down the SHIFT key while dragging out the rounded rectangle, you’ll create a rounded square.

If you click Ellipse instead of Rectangle, you’ll force the rectangle’s corners to be very rounded, so the rectangle looks like an ellipse (oval). If you hold down the SHIFT key while dragging out the ellipse, you’ll create a perfect circle.

If you click Text instead of Rectangle, the rectangle will temporarily have dashed lines instead of solid lines. After creating that dashed rectangle, type whatever words you want inside the rectangle. Then click outside the rectangle. The dashed lines will disappear, so you won’t see a rectangle, but you’ll still see the words you typed.

Polygon To draw a polygon (a shape that has many straight sides and corners), click the Polygon button. Then put the mouse pointer where you want the polygon’s first corner to be, and drag to where you want the second corner. Click where you want the third corner, click where you want the fourth corner, click where you want the fifth corner, etc.

At the last corner, double-click instead of click. The double-clicking makes the computer complete the polygon: it makes the computer draw the final side back to the first corner.

Curve To draw a curve, click the Curve button. Then put the mouse pointer where you want the curve to begin, and drag to where you want the curve to end. Then take your finger off the mouse’s button.

You temporarily see a straight line. To turn that line into a curve, bend the line’s middle, by pointing at the line’s middle and dragging that midpoint in the direction you want to bend it. (While doing that dragging, try wiggling the mouse in all four directions, until the line bends close to the way you want.) Then take your finger off the mouse’s button.

To bend the line more, and even create a second bend (arc) in the line, drag again. (You get just two chances to bend the line.)

Fill With Color After you’ve drawn a closed shape (a rectangle, square, rounded rectangle, rounded square, ellipse, circle, or polygon, or “a squiggle that forms a loop so it ends where it started”), here’s how to fill in the shape’s interior (middle), so the interior becomes colored instead of white:

Click the Fill With Color button, then click your favorite color (from the 28 choices at the screen’s bottom), then click in the shape’s interior.

If you click outside the shape instead of inside, you’ll be coloring the shape’s exterior.

Pick Color In the middle of your drawing, if you see a color that you’ve used and like, here’s how to use it again:

Click the Pick Color button. Click in the middle of your drawing, where your favorite color is. Then draw some more shapes; they’ll be in the color you picked.

Select Here’s how to alter part of your drawing.

First, say which part of your drawing to alter, by using one of these methods.…

Method 1: click the Select button. Draw a dashed rectangle around that part of your drawing: to do that, put the mouse pointer where you want the rectangle’s top left corner to be, and drag to where you want the rectangle’s opposite corner.

Method 2: click the Free-Form Select button. Draw a loop around that part of your drawing: to do that, put the mouse pointer where you want the loop to begin, and drag until you’ve drawn the loop. (The loop will temporarily turn into a rectangle, but don’t let that bother you.)

Then say what to do to that part of your drawing. You have these choices:

To delete that part of your drawing, press the DELETE key.

To move that part of your drawing, point at the rectangle’s middle and drag that part of your drawing to wherever you want.

To copy that part of your drawing (so that part appears twice), point at the rectangle’s middle and, while holding down the Ctrl key, drag that part of your drawing to wherever you want the second copy to be.

To rotate that part of your drawing, press Ctrl with R, then click “Flip vertical” (to flip that part upside-down) or “Flip horizontal” (to see a mirror image of that part) or “Rotate by angle” (to stand that part on its end). Click “OK”.

To invert the colors in that part of your drawing, press Ctrl with I. In Windows 98 & Me, that makes black becomes white, white becomes black, yellow becomes blue, blue becomes yellow, green becomes purple, purple becomes green, red becomes greenish blue, and greenish blue becomes red. (In Windows 95, the color changes make less sense.)

To widen that part of your drawing, press Ctrl with W. (If you’re using Windows 95, then double-click in the first % box.) Type 200 (to make that part of your drawing twice as wide) or 300 (to make that part three times as wide) or whatever other percentage you wish. Click “OK”.

Pinball

Windows Me &XP include a Pinball game. Here’s how to play it. (If you have Windows 95 or 98, skip ahead to the next topic, called “Taskbar”.)

How to access Pinball

To access Pinball, click “Start” then “Programs” then “Games” then “Pinball”.

The computer will say “3D Pinball”. After a few seconds, you see a fancy pinball machine with flashing lights and hear sounds of the machine reloading. It’s much fancier than the pinball machines you see in video arcades and bars!

At the machine’s bottom right corner, you see a ball (round bullet), and the computer says “Awaiting Deployment”, which means the computer is waiting for you to fire the ball.

How to play

Fire the ball, as follows:

Hold down the SPACE bar for 5 seconds (while the ball’s plunger retracts).

Then release the SPACE bar (which makes the plunger fire the ball).

Then the ball goes zooming through the machine. Each time the ball bangs into something, you hear wild noises and get points.

Your goal is to keep the ball in play as long as possible, without letting the ball fall to the screen’s bottom. To keep the ball in play, hit it up by using the flippers, which are near the screen’s bottom.

To raise the left flipper, press the Z key (near the keyboard’s bottom left corner).

To raise the right-hand flipper, press the slash key (which is near the keyboard’s bottom right corner).

You get 3 chances to do all that (fire the ball and keep it in play). If the computer sympathizes with you (because you’re amazingly good or pathetically bad), the computer gives you free replays, so you get more than 3 chances.

As you play, you see your score rise. When all your chances are used up, the computer says “GAME OVER”.

High scores

The computer keeps track of the 5 highest scores. If you have one of the 5 highest scores, you see the High Scores window: it’s a chart showing the top 5 scores so far and who got them. Your score is temporarily called credited to “Player 1”, because you haven’t told the computer your name yet. Type your name and press ENTER.

Play again

If you (or a friend) want to play again, press the F2 key.

Bigger machine

If you want to want the pinball machine to look bigger and fill the whole screen, press the F4 key. Unfortunately, that makes the menus disappear. Press the F4 key again to return to normal size and see the menus.


Pause

If you want to pause (so you can go to the bathroom, wipe the sweat off your brow, catch your breath, order a pizza, tell your Mom you’re doing your homework, or tell the boss you’re doing accounting), press the F3 key. That makes the ball immediately stop rolling. As in a sci-fi movie, you’ve put the ball into a state of suspended animation!

When you’re ready to resume, press the F3 key again, and the ball will come flying at you as fast as when you left off.

Close

When you finish using Pinball, make sure the pinball machine is normal size, then close its window (by clicking its X button).

 

Taskbar

At the screen’s bottom left corner, you see the “Start” button. At the screen’s bottom right corner, you see the time. Across the screen’s bottom, running from the “Start” button to the time, you see a box that’s very wide (as wide as the screen) and about half an inch tall. In Windows 95 & 98 & Me, that box is gray; in Windows XP, that box is blue. That box is called the taskbar. It includes the “Start” button (at the screen’s bottom left corner), the time box (at the screen’s bottom right corner), and everything between them.

When you’re running a task (program), the taskbar usually shows a button for that task. For example, while you’re running WordPad, you see a WordPad button on the taskbar. While you’re running Paint, you see a Paint button on the taskbar.

Experiment

Try this experiment!

Start running WordPad (by clicking Start then Programs then Accessories then WordPad). Now the taskbar includes a WordPad button. Since WordPad is a word-processing program, type a few words, so you’ve created a short document on your screen.

While WordPad is still on your screen, start running Paint (by clicking Start then Programs then Accessories then Paint). Now the taskbar includes a WordPad button and a Paint button, because WordPad and Paint are both running simultaneously: they’re both in the computer’s RAM memory chips. Paint is blocking your view of WordPad, but WordPad is still running also.

To see WordPad better, click WordPad’s button on the toolbar. Then you’ll see WordPad clearly, and WordPad will block your view of Paint.

Here’s the rule: clicking WordPad’s button lets you see WordPad better; clicking Paint’s button lets you see Paint better. Both programs are in RAM simultaneously, until you close them (by clicking their X buttons).

Many tasks

You can run several program simultaneously. For example, you can run WordPad, Paint, and Calculator all simultaneously, so you see all their buttons on the taskbar simultaneously. But if you try to run many programs simultaneously, the computer is likely to get confused and fail (especially if you bought too little RAM or you’re using an old version of Windows 95 or your computer’s been on for many hours in a row). To avoid headaches, run no more than two major programs at a time.

Clipboard

You can copy data from one document to another, even if the documents were created by different programs, and even if one “document” is a drawing and the other “document” contains mostly words. (For example, you can copy data that’s a drawing, from Paint to WordPad.) Here’s how:

Get onto the screen the data you want to copy. Select that data, by dragging across it. (If that data is in Paint, click Paint’s Select button before dragging.)

Say “copy” by pressing Ctrl with C. That secretly copies the data to the Clipboard (a file you can’t see).

Get onto the screen the document you want to copy the data to. In that document, click where you want the data to be inserted.

Say “Velcro” by pressing Ctrl with V. That sticks the Clipboard’s data into the document.

If you’re sticking the data into a WordPad document, the computer sticks it where you requested. If you’re sticking the data into a Paint document, the computer insists on sticking it at the painting’s top left corner; then drag the data where you want it.

 

Play a music CD

Before 1980, music came on records or tapes. Nowadays, music comes on compact discs instead.

If you’ve gone to a music store and bought a compact disc containing music, you can shove that disk into your computer’s CD-ROM drive (or DVD-ROM drive) while Windows is running. Here’s how.…

Find the drive

Find your computer’s CD-ROM drive (or DVD-ROM drive, which is a souped-up CD-ROM drive). It’s in a tower computer’s front or a notebook computer’s side.

If you’re lucky, it’s a 5-inch horizontal slit. If you’re unlucky (which is more likely), it’s a 5-inch-wide drawer you must open by pressing an eject button (which is on the drawer, or under the drawer’s right-hand end).

Insert the disk

Grab the CD. Hold that disk horizontally, so its label is on the top surface. Don’t touch its shiny underside.

Put that CD into the CD-ROM drive, as follows:

If the CD-ROM drive is a slit, put the CD into the slit.

If the CD-ROM drive is a drawer, open the drawer (by pressing the eject button) then drop the CD onto the drawer’s tray then close the drawer (by pressing the eject button again).

Enjoy the music

If Windows XP asks “What do you want Windows to do?”, click “Always do the selected action” then “OK”.

The computer will play the compact disc as background music, while you continue your work.


Adjust the volume

To adjust the music’s overall volume, turn the master volume knob, which is typically on the front of the right speaker.

(Some old systems put the master volume knob on the computer’s back wall instead, below where the speaker’s cable enters the computer. Some cheap systems have no master volume knob at all!)

If you have a subwoofer (an extra speaker, to produce a booming bass), its front has a bass knob, which you can turn to boost the bass volume as much as you wish.

If you have a 5-speaker system (2 stereo speakers plus 1 subwoofer plus 2 surround-sound speakers), you can boost the surround-sound speaker volume by turning the surround knob (which is next to the master-volume knob on the front right stereo speaker).

On most systems, the screen’s bottom right corner shows a Volume icon (which looks like a blaring loudspeaker and is next to the time).

If you’re using Windows XP but the Volume icon is missing, do this:

Right-click in the middle of the toolbar (the blue bar across the screen’s bottom). Click “Properties”. You see some check boxes; if the bottom box (“Hide inactive icons”) contains a check mark, remove the check mark (by clicking it). Then click “OK”.

That will probably make the Volume icon appear. If it doesn’t appear yet, do this:

Click “Start” then “Control Panel” then “Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices” then “Adjust the system volume”. Make sure the bottom check box (“Place volume icon in the taskbar”) contains a check mark; if the box is empty, click it to make the check mark appear. Click “OK”, then close all windows (by clicking their X buttons). That should make the Volume icon appear.

If you click the Volume icon, you’ll see a slider. Using the mouse, drag the slider up (to raise the master volume) or down (to lower it).

Controls in new Windows

For Windows 98’s second edition & Me & XP, here’s how to choose what music to play.…

While the music plays, you see the Windows Media Player window. Make sure that window’s top left corner says “Windows Media Player”. If you don’t see those words, make them appear by doing this.…

Windows XP: click the ÙÚ button (which is at the window’s top left corner)

Windows 98’s second edition & Me: click the window’s bottom-right button

Maximize that window by clicking its maximize button (which is next to the X button).

At the window’s bottom, you see several buttons.

Click the button to pause in the middle of a song. To resume, click that button again (which has changed to a big ).

Click n to stop back at the beginning of the current track (song). To begin playing there, click the big .

Click | to skip ahead to the next track (song), |ƒ to hop back to the beginning of the previous track. (If you don’t hear any music, click the big to remind the computer to play.) To skip to a far-away track, click those buttons repeatedly or double-click the track’s number or name (at the screen’s top right corner).

As a song plays, you see a tiny object slide from left to right. (In Windows Me, the object is a white square; in Windows XP, the object is a silver knob.) To fast-forward, use your mouse to drag that object farther to the right immediately. To reverse, drag that object back to the left.


As the music plays, you see the music’s visualization (an animated abstract cartoon that thumps to the music’s beat). The prettiest is called Ambience Water; to choose it, click View (at the screen’s top) then Visualizations then Ambience then Water. Choose it now! While it thumps to your music, the screen’s bottom left corner says “Ambience Water”. When you get tired of watching that cartoon thump, choose a different cartoon by using one of these methods:

Method 1: click View then Visualizations then whichever visualization you wish.

Method 2: near the screen’s bottom left corner, you see the current visualization’s name (such as “Ambience Water”). A tiny points at that name. Click the tiny repeatedly, until you find a visualization you like.

When you tire of listening to that CD, click the eject button (which is the rightmost button on your CD-ROM drive), then remove the CD. If you wish, insert a different CD instead. If you don’t want to listen to any CD now, close the Windows Media Player window (by clicking its X button).

Controls in old Windows

While the music plays, look at the screen’s bottom. If you see “Windows Media Player”, your version of Windows has been upgraded to resemble Windows Me, so follow the instructions for Windows Me controls. If you see “CD Player” instead, you’re still using an old-fashioned way to handle CD’s. Here’s how it works.…

On the CD Player button, you see which track (song) you’re playing and how many minutes & seconds of that track have elapsed.

To control the music, click the CD Player button. You’ll see the CD Player window. In that window, click the button to pause in the middle of a song, n to stop back at the beginning of track 1, to resume playing, „„ to skip ahead to the next track, ƒƒ to hop back to the beginning of the current track. Hold down the button awhile to go fast-forward, ƒƒ to reverse. Click  to eject the disk from the drive (so you can insert a different disk instead). When you tire of listening to your CD collection, click eject () and click the window’s X button.

Explore your computer

What’s in your computer? How much hardware and software do you have, and what type? Let’s find out!

System properties

Here’s how to find out what kind of computer system you have:

Windows XP Click “Start” then “My Computer” then “View system information”.

Windows 95 & 98 & Me Near the screen’s top left corner, you see an icon (little picture) entitled “My Computer”. Right-click that icon. (That means click it by using the mouse’s rightmost button instead of the left button.) You see a shortcut menu; click the menu’s bottom choice, which is “Properties”.

You’ll see a message about your computer’s properties. For example, on one of my old computers the message says —

System:

      Microsoft Windows 95

     4.00.950a

 

Registered to:

      Russ Walter

      The Secret Guide to Computers

      32295-OEM-0005556-34353

 

Computer:

      Quantex Microsystems, Inc.

      Pentium(r)

      16.0MB RAM

That means:

I’m using Windows 95, version 4.00.950a (which is newer and better than version 4.00.950 but not as new as version 4.00.950 b).

My copy of Windows is registered to me & my company and has serial number 32295-OEM-0005556-34353.

The computer was manufactured by Quantex Microsystems. The computer’s CPU chip is a Pentium (which is a registered trademark of Intel). The computer contains 16 megabytes of RAM chips.

On one of my newer computers, the message says —

System:

      Microsoft Windows Me

      4.90.3000

 

Registered to:

 

      52782-OEM-0003576-37073

 

Computer:

      AuthenticAMD

      AMD Athlon(tm) Processor

      256.0MB RAM


That means:

I’m using Windows Me.

I haven’t registered the computer yet.

The computer’s CPU chip is an Athlon (which is a trademark of AMD). The computer contains 256 megabytes of RAM chips.

On one of my other computers, the message says —

System:

      Microsoft Windows XP

      Home Edition

      Version 2002

Registered to:

      Russ Walter

 

      55277-OEM-0011903-00103

Manufactured and supported by:

      eMachines

      T1100

      Intel Celeron processor

      999 MHz

      128 MB of RAM

That means:

I’m using Windows XP’s Home Edition, version 2002.

My copy of Windows is registered to me.

The computer is built by the eMachines company, model T1100. The computer’s CPU chip is an Intel Celeron whose speed is 999 MHz. The computer contains 128 megabytes of RAM chips.

What message does your computer show? When you finish admiring the message, click “OK”. (If you’re using Windows XP, then close the My Computer window by clicking its X button.)

Custom style

If you’re using Windows 98, do this:

Click “Start” then “Settings” then “Folder Options”.

Click “Classic style” then “Apply”.

Click “Custom” then “Settings” then “Open each folder in the same window” then “For all folders with HTML content” then “OK” then “Close”.

That procedure gives your computer the style used by Windows Me & XP, so you can follow the instructions in this chapter and in Microsoft’s manuals and tutorials.

Your computer probably came with that procedure done already, but do it again to be sure. If you’re sharing the computer with friends, ask their permission before doing the procedure.


Disk drives

Each disk drive has a letter.

Drive A is the main floppy-disk drive.

Drive B is the auxiliary floppy-disk drive (if you have one).

Drive C is the main part of the main hard drive.

Drives D, E, F, etc. are any extra disk drives (or parts of disk drives).

Those are the rules for drive letters. In a simply computer setup, here’s how the drives are labeled:

Drive A is the 1.44M 3½-inch floppy drive.

Drive B is the 1.2M 5¼-inch floppy drive (if any).

Drive C is the hard drive.

Drive D is the CD-ROM drive (or DVD drive).

Drive C is the most important: it’s the main part of the main hard drive. Drive C is where Windows itself is stored and where your most important programs and documents are stored.

If your computer is set up simply, you have just one hard-disk drive (which is permanently in the computer), and that entire drive is called drive C. If your computer is set up more fancily, you have two hard drives (called drive C and drive D) or you have one hard drive that’s divided into two partitions (the first partition is called drive C, the second partition is called drive D). If your system is set up even more fancily, you have two hard drives, and each is divided into two partitions:

Drive C is the first partition of the first hard drive.

Drive D is the first partition of the second hard drive.

Drive E is the second partition of the first hard drive.

Drive F is the second partition of the second hard drive.

The CD-ROM drive’s letter comes after all the hard-drive letters. For example, if you have just one hard drive, whose entirety is called C, the CD-ROM drive’s letter is typically D. If you have two hard drives, called C and D, the CD-ROM drive’s letter is typically E. If you have two hard drives, each divided into two partitions so they consume C, D, E, and F, the CD-ROM drive’s letter is typically G.

If you have just one hard drive whose entirety is called C, the CD-ROM drive is typically called D — but might be called E or F instead, to let you add a hard-drive D later.

If you have a hard drive, a DVD drive, and a CD-RW drive, the hard drive is typically called C, the DVD drive is typically called D, and the CD-RW drive is typically called E.

Here’s how the drives are named:

Drive A    is called “A:”  (which is pronounced “A  colon”).

Drive B is called “B:”  (which is pronounced “B  colon”).

Drive C is called “C:”  (which is pronounced “C  colon”).

Drive D    is called “D:”  (which is pronounced “D  colon”).

To find out what drives are in your computer and how they’re lettered, do this….

Windows 95 & 98 & Me:   double-click the “My Computer” icon

Windows XP:                      click “Start” then “My Computer”

You’ll see the My Computer window. Make sure it consumes the whole screen. (If it doesn’t consume the whole screen yet, maximize the My Computer window by clicking the maximize icon, which is next to the X button.)

You’ll see an icon (little picture) labeled “A:” (for your main floppy-disk drive), an icon labeled “C:” (for the main part of your main hard drive), and icons for your other disk drives also.

In Windows 95 & 98, the icons are labeled like this:

3½ Floppy (A:)                             (C:)                              (D:)

In Windows Me, the icons are labeled like this:

3½ Floppy (A:)            Local Disk (C:)           Compact Disc (D:)


In Windows XP, the icons are labeled like this:

Hard Disk Drives

Local Disk (C:)

 

Devices with Removable Storage

3½ Floppy (A:)         CD-RW Drive (D:)

If you’re using Windows XP, do this….

At the screen’s left edge, you see these headings: “System Tasks”, “Other Places”, and “Details”. To the right of each heading, make sure you see the symbol ÙÙ. If you see a ÚÚ instead, click it to make it become ÙÙ.

Drive C’s files

To find out about your hard disk, click the “C:” icon, which is in the My Computer window. Here’s what happens.…

Windows 95 & XP: the screen’s bottom tells you the disk’s total capacity and how much of it is still unused (free)

Windows 98 & Me: the screen’s left is a pie chart showing the disk’s total capacity, how much of it is used up, and how much of it is still unused (free)

To find out more about your hard disk, right-click the “C:” icon (by using the right mouse button), so you see a shortcut menu, then choose “Properties” from that menu (by clicking “Properties”). You’ll see a fancy pie chart showing the disk’s total capacity, how much of it is used up, and how much of it is still unused (free). When you finish admiring that chart, click “OK”.

To find out even more about your hard disk, double-click the “C:” icon. You’ll see the C window, which lists files that are on the hard disk.

Make sure the C window consumes the whole screen. (If it doesn’t consume the whole screen yet, maximize the C window by clicking the maximize button, which is next to the X button.)

If the hard disk contains more files than can fit on the screen, view the remaining files by pressing the 6 and 5 buttons, which are at the screen’s right edge.

For each file, you see the file’s name and a tiny picture (icon) representing the file.

Your computer can handle 3 kinds of files:

If the file’s a document, its icon typically looks like a notepad (or else a page whose top right corner is bent).

If the file’s an application program, its icon typically looks like a window.

If the file’s a folder containing other files, its icon looks like a yellow manila folder.

In the C window, you see a folder called “Program Files”, a folder called “Windows” or “WINDOWS”, and a folder called “My Documents” or “Documents and Settings”.

Windows 95 & 98 call them “Program Files”, “Windows”, “My Documents”.

Windows Me calls them “Program Files”, “WINDOWS”, “My Documents”.

Windows XP calls them “Program Files”, “WINDOWS”, “Documents and Settings”.

Those folders are extremely important. You might also see some extra folders, documents, and application programs.

If you double-click a folder, a new window shows you what files are in the folder.

Exception: if the files in that folder are dangerous to change,

Windows 98 might say “Warning”;

Windows Me might say “Please be careful”;

Windows XP might say “These files are hidden”.

If you insist on seeing those files anyway,

click Windows 98’s “Show Files”

or click Windows Me’s “View the entire contents of this folder”

or click Windows XP’s “Show the contents of this folder”.

When you finish examining the new window, either close it (by clicking its X button) or go back to the previous window (by clicking the Back button, which exists just in Windows 98 & Me & XP and is near the screen’s top left corner).

If you click a file’s icon, here’s what happens.…

Windows 95: if the file’s a document or application program, the screen’s bottom shows you how many bytes are in the file

Windows 98 & Me: the screen’s left shows you the file’s name, the file’s type (such as “Document”, “Application”, or “File Folder”), the date & time when the file was last modified, and (if the file’s a document or application) the file’s size

Windows XP: the screen’s bottom left corner (under the “Details” heading) shows you the file’s name, the file’s type (such as “Document”, “Application”, or “File Folder”), the date & time when the file was last modified, and (if the file’s a document or application) the file’s size

Here’s what happens if you double-click a file’s icon:

If the file’s a folder, you see what’s in the folder.

If the file’s an application program, the computer will try to run the program. Don’t do that unless you’ve read instructions about how to run the program successfully!

If the file’s a document, the computer will try to use that document: the computer will try to run the program that created the document, but sometimes the computer can’t correctly deduce which program created the document. (For example, if you created a document by using WordPad in Windows 95 & 98 & Me and your hard disk also contains Microsoft Word, the computer will get confused and wrongly think you created the document by using Microsoft Word, so the computer will start running Microsoft Word.)

In Windows XP, the “Documents and Settings” folder contains a personal folder (having your name on it), which in turn contains a “My Documents” folder (containing the documents you wrote).

View menu While you’re viewing icons, you can change their appearance by clicking the word “View”, which gives a View menu.

The menu offer these choices:

If you click Large Icons (which Windows XP calls Tiles), the icons will get as large and lovely as when you bought the computer.

If you click Small Icons (which Windows XP calls just Icons), the icons will get small, so you fit more of them on the screen.

If you click List, the icons will get small and organized so you begin by reading down the left column.

If you click Details, the icons will get small and accompanied by a comment showing each file’s size and the date & time when the file was last modified.

If you click Thumbnails (which is available just in Windows Me & XP), you’ll get an effect similar to Large Icons, but you’ll see a photo instead of a large icon for any file representing a photo (or a graphic similar to a photo).

Usually you’ll be happiest if you choose “List”.

New folder To create a new folder, click “File” (which is at the screen’s top left corner), so you see the File menu. From that menu, choose “New”, then click “Folder”.

A new folder will appear. Type a name for it (and press ENTER).

Close the C window When you finish examining the files that are on hard disk C, close the C window by clicking its X button.


Drive A’s files

Drive A (the floppy drive) resembles drive C.

Insert the floppy disk Try this. Grab any standard floppy disk (which is a 3½-inch square). Hold it horizontally, so that disk’s label is on top of the disk.

Find your computer’s floppy-disk drive. It’s a 3½-inch horizontal slit in a tower computer’s front or a notebook computer’s side. On most computers, that slit is easy to see; on weird computers (such as ones built by eMachines), the slit is covered by a door you must unlatch.

Insert the disk into the slit, so the disk’s label stays on top of the disk, and so the disk’s silver metal edge goes into the slit before the other edges.

Analyze the floppy disk Double-click the
“3½ Floppy A:” icon, which is in the My Computer Window. You’ll see the A window, which tries to list all files that are on the floppy disk.

If the disk hasn’t been properly prepared yet (because it wasn’t formatted yet or was intended for a Macintosh computer), the computer says “The disk in drive A is not formatted.” Here’s what happens:

Windows XP Press ENTER, 3 times. The computer will format the disk (which takes a few minutes) then say “Format Complete”. Press ENTER, then click “Close”.

Windows 95 & 98 & Me Press ENTER. Click “Full”. Click the “Start” that’s above “Cancel”. The computer will format the disk (which takes a few minutes) then say “Format Results”. Press ENTER, then click “Close”.

If there are no files on the floppy disk yet, here’s what happens.…

Windows 95 & Me:  the screen’s bottom left corner says “0 object(s)”

Windows 98:            the screen’s bottom says “0 bytes”

Windows XP:            the screen consists mostly of a big, white, empty square

If the floppy disk contains more files than can fit on the screen, view the remaining files by pressing the 6 and 5 buttons, which are at the screen’s right edge.

For each file, you see the file’s name and an icon representing the file. When you finish examining them, close the A window by clicking its X button.

Eject the floppy disk When you finish using the floppy disk, eject it from the drive by pressing the eject button, which is under the slit’s right-hand end.

CD-ROM files

The CD-ROM drive resembles drive C.

Grab a CD-ROM disk that contains computer info, and put it in the CD-ROM drive. (To find out how, read “Find the drive” and “Insert the disk” on page 95.)

The computer will analyze that disk.

If it’s a CD that contains music, the computer will automatically start playing the music (as I explained on page 95).

If it’s a CD-ROM disk containing a program called autorun.inf, the computer will automatically start running that program, which typically makes the computer run another program, called setup.exe. If you don’t want to continue running such programs, exit from them by clicking their X buttons or by clicking whatever “Exit” choices they offer you. Then if you want to find out what’s on the disk, right-click the CD-ROM disk’s icon (which is in the My Computer window) and click “Open”.


If it’s a CD-ROM disk that lacks an autorun.inf program, here’s what will happen.…

Windows XP The computer will automatically show you a list of files that are on the disk, with their icons.

Windows 95 & 98 & Me The computer will do nothing except wait for you. If you want to find out what’s on the disk, double-click the CD-ROM disk’s icon, which is in the My Computer window.

When you finish examining any files that are on the CD-ROM disk, close the CD-ROM disk’s window by clicking its X button.

Close

When you finish using the My Computer window, close it by clicking its X button.

Find a file’s icon

To manipulate a file, the first step is to get the file’s icon onto the screen.

If the file’s a document you created using WordPad, here’s the easiest way to get the file’s icon onto the screen:

Make sure you saved the file.

Make sure you’re not in the middle of using the file.

Run WordPad.

Click the Open button, so you see a list of WordPad documents and their icons.

If the file’s a painting you created using Paint, here’s the easiest way to get the file’s icon onto the screen:

Make sure you saved the file.

Make sure you’re not in the middle of using the file.

Run Paint.

Press Ctrl with O, so you see a list of Paint’s paintings and their icons.

If the file’s on drive C, here’s another way to get the file’s icon onto the screen:

Click “Start”.

For Windows 95 & 98, click “Find” then “Files or Folders”.

For Windows Me, click “Search” then “For Files or Folders”.

For Windows XP, click “Search” then “All files and folders”.

Type the file’s name — or whatever part of the name you remember. For example, if you want to search for a file that might be called “Lovers” or “My love” or “To my lovely”, just type “love”.

At the end of that typing, press ENTER.

The computer will show you icons for all such files, in a window.

Maximize that window (by clicking its maximize button).

Another way to get a file’s icon onto the screen is to go to the My Computer window and click icons for drives & files until you find the file you want.

Many programs put documents into the My Documents folder. Here’s how to see what documents are in that folder.…

Windows 95:  double-click “My Computer” then “C:” then “My Documents”

Windows 98:  double-click “My Documents” (near screen’s top left corner)

Windows Me: double-click “My Documents” (at screen’s top left corner)

Windows XP:  click “Start” then “My Documents”

In Windows Me & XP, the Paint program puts paintings into the My Pictures folder. Here’s how to see what’s in that folder.…

Windows Me: double-click “My Documents” then “My Pictures”

Windows XP:     click “Start” then “My Pictures”

In Windows Me & XP, some programs put music into the My Music folder. Here’s how to see what’s in that folder.…

Windows Me: double-click “My Documents” then “My Music”

Windows XP:     click “Start” then “My Music”

Manipulate a file

Now I’ll explain how to manipulate a file.

If you want to practice this stuff, use a file you don’t mind wrecking. For example, create a WordPad document containing just once sentence (such as “I love you”) and save it as a file called “Love”.

To manipulate a file, find its icon (by using the tricks in the previous section) then do one of these activities.…

Send to floppy

To copy the file to a floppy disk (in the floppy drive), do this:

Right-click the file’s icon. Click “Send To”. Click “3½ Floppy”.

That works if your computer was set up properly by the manufacturer.

If the “3½ Floppy” choice is missing from the “Send To” menu or generates an error message, teach the computer how to handle “3½ Floppy”, by doing this —

Windows 95 & 98 & Me Double-click the “My Computer” icon then the “C:” icon then the Windows icon. If the computer says the phrase “Show files” or “View the entire contents of this folder”, click that phrase.

Windows XP Click “Start” then “My Computer”. Double-click the “C:” icon then “Documents and Settings” then your name. Make sure you see the SendTo icon. (If you don’t see it, make it appear by doing this: click “Tools” then “Folder Options” then “View” then “Show hidden files and folders” then “OK”.)

then doing this:

Double-click the SendTo icon. Click “File” (which is at the screen’s top left corner) then “New” then “Shortcut”. Put a floppy disk into drive A. On the keyboard, type “a:” (and then press the ENTER key twice). Close all windows (by clicking their X buttons).

Send to CD

Here’s how to copy the file to a CD-R or CD-RW disk.

Windows XP Put the CD into the drive. (If the computer asks “What do you want Windows to do?”, click “Take no action” then press ENTER.)

Right-click the file’s icon; click “Send To” then the CD’s icon. That copies the file to a list called “Files ready to be written to the CD”. Copy more files to that list, if you like.

Then copy that entire list to the CD, as follows:

Click “You have files waiting to be written to the CD” then “Write these files to CD”.

Invent a name for the CD. Type the name (and press ENTER).

The computer will write onto the CD.

Then the computer will eject the CD from the drive and say “You have successfully written your files to the CD”. Press ENTER.

Windows 95 & 98 & Me You must first install a CD burner program. The most popular CD burner programs are DirectCD and Easy CD Creator. They’re published by a company called Roxio, which was formerly part of Adaptec.

When you buy a CD-R or CD-RW drive, you typically get DirectCD and Easy CD Creator at no extra charge. When you buy a computer containing a CD-R or CD-RW drive, it typically includes DirectCD and Easy CD Creator, already installed.

Use either DirectCD or Easy CD Creator, whichever you find more convenient.

How to use DirectCD:

Put the CD into the drive. What file do you want to copy? Right-click that file’s icon. Click “Send To” then “DirectCD Drive”.

Unfortunately, that procedure works just if the CD has been formatted. If the CD hasn’t been formatted yet, format it by doing this:

Double-click the DirectCD Wizard icon (which is at the screen’s bottom right corner, near the time). The computer will say “DirectCD Wizard”.

Press ENTER, 3 times. Click in the first white box.

Invent a name for the disk. Type the name, then press ENTER twice.

If the disk is CD-R, the computer will format it in a few seconds. If the disk is CD-RW, the computer will format it in about 30 minutes.

Finally, the computer will say “The disc is ready”. Press ENTER.

Warning: if you use that technique on a CD-R disk, the disk will be readable just on your own computer (or on computers having the DirectCD software).

How to use Easy CD Creator:

Put the CD into the drive.

If the CD is blank, the computer will analyze the disk for several seconds and say “Easy CD Creator 4”. If the disk is not blank, make the computer say “Easy CD Creator 4” by double-clicking the “Easy CD Create 4” icon (which is on the Desktop).

Click “DATA” then “DATA CD”.

Which file do you want to copy to the CD? Near the screen’s top left corner, you see a list of drives and folders (use the scroll arrows to see the whole list); click there until you see the folder containing the file you want to copy. Near the screen’s top right corner, you see a list of files in that folder; click the file you want to copy. Click the “Add” button (which is near the top of the window).

If you want to copy another file also, click that file then “Add”.

Finally, click the “Create CD” button (which is near the top of the window and shows a red circle). Press ENTER.

(If your disk is CD-RW, the computer will then test your CD and say “Compatibility Warning”. To reply, press ENTER.)

The computer will write onto the CD and say “CD created successfully”.

Press ENTER. Close the Easy CD Creator window (by clicking its X button). (If the disk is CD-RW, then press ENTER.) Click “No”.

Send to My Documents

To copy the file to your hard disk’s “My Documents” folder (if the file isn’t there already), do this:

Right-click the file’s icon. Click “Send To” then “My Documents”. Then computer copies the file to the “My Documents” folder. If the file’s being copied from another place on that hard disk, the computer deletes the original file, since the computer figures you don’t need the file to be on the hard disk twice.

That works in Windows 98 & Me & XP but not Windows 95.

Send to Desktop

To copy the file to your Desktop (which is the main screen), do this:

Windows 98 & Me & XP Right-click the file’s icon. Click “Send To” then “Desktop”.

Windows 95 Right click the file’s icon. Click “Copy”. Close all windows. Right-click on a blank space in the middle of the screen. Click “Paste Shortcut”.

To save disk space, that technique copies just the file’s icon to the Desktop. The file itself stays just in its original location.

On the Desktop, the file’s icon’s bottom left corner has a bent arrow, which means the icon is just a shortcut (which points the computer to the original location).

In Windows 98’s first edition, that shortcut icon has the same name as the original file. In Windows 98’s second edition & 95 & Me & XP, that shortcut icon has the file’s original name but with “Shortcut to” added in front; for example, if the file’s original name was “Love”, the shortcut icon’s name is “Shortcut to Love”.

If you double-click that shortcut icon, the computer will try to find the original file and run it. If the original file was on a floppy disk or CD, that works just if the file’s floppy disk or CD is still in the drive.

Send to a different location

To copy the file to a different location (such as a folder on your hard drive), do this:

Right-click the file’s icon. Click “Copy”. Right-click in any blank space (in any drive or any folder) where you want the copy to appear. Click “Paste”.

Rename

To change the file’s name, do this:

Click the file’s icon then the file’s name. Type the new name (and press ENTER).

That works just if the file’s on a hard disk or floppy disk (not on a CD).

Delete

To delete the file, try this procedure:

Click the file’s icon. Press the DELETE key. Press ENTER.

That procedure works just if the file’s on a hard disk or floppy disk (not on a CD).

If the file’s on a floppy disk, that procedure deletes the file immediately. If the file’s on a hard disk, that procedure moves the file to the Recycle Bin, which holds hard-disk files you said to delete.

Peek in the Recycle Bin To discover what’s in the Recycle Bin, double-click the Recycle Bin icon (which is typically at the screen’s left edge but might have moved elsewhere, such as to the screen’s bottom right corner). You’ll see the Recycle Bin window, which shows a list of hard-disk files you said to delete. (If you don’t see a file list, the Recycle Bin is empty.)

To see lots of info about the files in the Recycle Bin, make sure the Recycle Bin window is maximized (so it consumes the whole screen), and make sure you’re seeing the Details view (by clicking “View” then “Details”).

To see even more details about a certain file, right-click the file’s icon and then click “Properties”. When you finish admiring the details, click “OK”.

If you change your mind and do not want to delete a certain file, right-click the file’s icon and then click “Restore”. That makes the computer pull the file out of the Recycle Bin and put the file back to its original location on the hard disk.

If, on the other hand, you really do want to delete a certain file, click the file’s icon and then press the DELETE key; then press ENTER. The file will disappear.

To delete all files from the Recycle Bin, do this.…

Windows XP: click “Empty the Recycle Bin”, which is at the screen’s left edge

Windows 98’s second edition & Me: click “Empty Recycle Bin”, which is at the screen’s left edge

Windows 98’s first edition & 95: click “File” then “Empty Recycle Bin”

Then press ENTER.

When you finish admiring the Recycle Bin window, click its X button.

SHIFT DELETE You’ve learned that to delete a file, the usual procedure is to click the file’s icon, then tap the DELETE key, then tap the ENTER key. If the file was on the hard disk, that procedure moves the file into the Recycle Bin. Notice that the procedure involves tapping the DELETE key. If instead you tap the DELETE key while holding down the SHIFT key, the computer deletes the file immediately instead of moving it to the Recycle Bin.


Multiple files

To “delete” or “send” several files at once, highlight the files you want to manipulate. Here’s how:

Method 1 Click the first file you want to manipulate. While holding down the Ctrl key, click each of the other files you want to manipulate. That highlights all those files. (If you make a mistake and accidentally highlight an extra file, click it again while holding down the Ctrl key, to remove its highlighting.)

Method 2 Click the first file you want to manipulate. While holding down the SHIFT key, click the last file you want to manipulate. That highlights the first file you want, the last file you want, and also all files in between.

Method 3 Click the first file you want to manipulate. While holding down the Ctrl key, tap the A key (which stands for “all”). That highlights all files in the folder. (That method works just while you’re not running a program such as WordPad or some other program.

Then proceed as follows:

If you want to “delete” the files, press the DELETE key then ENTER.

If you want to “send” the files, right-click the first file and follow the rest of my instructions about how to send where you wish.

You’ll discover that the other files magically “tag along” with the first file, because they’re highlighted also.

Copy entire floppy

If you have a 3½-inch 1.44M floppy disk that contains info, and you have a 3½-inch 1.44M floppy disk that’s blank, here’s how to copy all info from the first disk to the second so the second becomes an exact duplicate of the first:

Put the first disk (which contains info) into drive A. In the My Computer window, right-click the “3½ Floppy A:” icon. Click “Copy Disk” and press ENTER. (If you’re using Windows XP, press ENTER again.) When the computer tells you, put a blank disk into drive A (after removing the other disk) and press ENTER. The computer will say “Copy completed successfully”. Click “Close”.

Erase entire floppy

Here’s how to erase an entire floppy disk:

Windows 95 & 98 & Me Put the floppy disk into drive A. In the My Computer window, right-click the “3½ Floppy A:” icon. Click “Format” then “Start”. The computer will erase and reformat the floppy disk. Then the computer will say “Format Results”. Click “Close”. Click “Close” again.

Windows XP Put the floppy disk into drive A. In the My Computer window, right-click the “3½ Floppy A:” icon. Click “Format” then “Quick Format”. Press ENTER twice. The computer will erase and reformat the floppy disk. Then the computer will say “Format Complete”. Press ENTER. Click “Close”.

Erase entire CD-RW

Here’s how to erase an entire CD-RW disk:

Windows XP Put the CD-RW disk into the drive. In the My Computer window, right-click the CD-RW drive’s icon. Click “Erase this CD-RW”. Press ENTER. The computer will spend about a minute erasing all files from the CD-RW disk. Then the computer will say “You have successfully erased the files on this CD-RW disc.” Click “Finish”.

Windows 95 & 98 & Me, with DirectCD software Put the CD-RW disk into the drive. In the My Computer window, right-click the CD-RW drive’s icon. Click “Format”. Press ENTER. Click in the first white box. Invent a name for the disk; type the name, then press ENTER twice. The computer will spend about 30 minutes erasing all files from the CD-RW disk and reformatting the disk. Then the computer will say “The disc is ready”. Press ENTER.

 

Tricks

These tricks will make you a pro and amaze your friends.

Sample music

Windows comes with free samples of music.

Windows XP Here’s how to hear Beethoven or blues:

Click “Start” then “My Music”. Double-click “Sample Music”. Then double-click “Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Scherzo)” or “New Stories (Highway Blues)”.

Here’s how to hear David Byrne sing about what humans do:

Method 1 Click “Start” then “My Computer”. Double-click “Shared Documents” then “Shared Music” then “music David Byrne”.

Method 2 Click “Start” then “All Programs” then “Windows Media Player”. Make sure you see “David Byrne” (near the screen’s top left corner). Click the big “” (at the screen’s bottom left corner).

Method 3 Your computer might have a shortcut way to start Windows Media Player. For example, if you see a “Windows Media Player” icon to the right of the “Start” button, click that icon; or if you see a “Windows Media Player” icon at the screen’s left edge, double-click it; or if you click “Start” and then see a “Windows Media Player” icon, click it. Once you’ve finally started Windows Media Player, make sure you see “David Byrne” (near the top left corner). Click the big “” (at the screen’s bottom left corner).

Windows Me Here’s how to hear Beck Hanson sing about a “beautiful way to break my heart”:

Method 1 Double-click “My Documents” then “My Music” then a “beck” icon having the symbol “” on it.

Method 2 Click “Start” then “Programs” then “Windows Media Player”. Make sure you see “Beck” or “Beautiful Way” or “Midnight” (near the screen’s top right corner). Click the big “” (at the screen’s bottom left corner).

Method 3 Your computer might have a shortcut way to start Windows Media Player. For example, if you see a “Windows Media Player” icon to the right of the “Start” button, click that icon; or if you see a “Windows Media Player” icon near the screen’s left edge, double-click it. Once you’ve finally started Windows Media Player, make sure you see “Beck” or “Beautiful Way” or “Midnight” (near the screen’s top right corner). Click the big “” (at the screen’s bottom left corner).

Windows 98 Insert the CD that Windows came on. Click “Cool Video Clips”. You’ll see a window full of icons; double-click any icon you wish. (Each icon is a video clip, with sound. Unfortunately, each is an ad.)

Windows 95 Insert the CD that Windows came on. Click “Cool Video Clips”.

If your CD-ROM drive is reasonably fast (at least 2X), double-click “Highperf”. (Nearly every CD-ROM drive is at least that fast.)

Double-click “Goodtime” (for a music video of Edie Brickell singing about “Good Times, Bad Times”) or “Weezer” (for a classic video clip of “The Weezers” rock band performing on the “Happy Days” TV show).


Recently used

The computer keeps track of what you’ve recently used.

Windows XP When you click “Start”, you see a list of the 6 programs you’ve recently used heavily. (That list appears at the screen’s left edge, above “All Programs” but below “E-mail Outlook Express”. Unfortunately, that list is biased: it tends to include “America Online” and “MSN Explorer”, even if you haven’t used them recently.)

Windows 95 & 98 & Me If you click “Start” then “Documents”, the computer shows you the Documents menu, which is a list of the last 15 documents you used. If your computer is new and you haven’t used 15 documents yet, the list is shorter.

Windows 98’s second edition & 95 & Me show the list in alphabetical order. Windows 98’s first edition shows the list in chronological order instead, from oldest to newest.

To use one of those documents, click it. Then the computer runs the program that created the document, and the computer lets you use the document. When you finish using the document, close its window (by clicking its X button).

Suppose you delete one of those 15 documents. (To do that, double-click My Computer then “C:”, then click the document’s icon, then press the DELETE key; or double-click the My Documents folder, then click the document’s icon, then press the DELETE key). Even though you’ve deleted the document, it remains mentioned in the Documents menu. So although the Documents menu lists the last 15 documents you mentioned, those 15 documents don’t necessarily still exist!


Run

Here’s a faster way to tell the computer to run WordPad: click “Start” then “Run”, then type “wordpad” (and press ENTER).

To run Paint instead of WordPad, type “mspaint” instead of “wordpad”. To run the Calculator, type “calc” instead. To play Pinball (which is included in Windows Me & XP), type “pinball” instead.

When you buy a program, it typically comes on a disk (a floppy disk or a CD-ROM disk). The instructions for copying it onto your hard disk might say to run a program called “setup”. To obey such instructions, do this:

Put the floppy disk or CD-ROM disk into your disk drive. Click “Start” then “Run”.

If the program came on a floppy disk, type “a:setup”. If the program came on a CD-ROM disk and your CD-ROM drive is called “D:”, type “d:setup”. If the program came on a CD-ROM disk and your CD-ROM drive is called “E:”, type “e:setup”.

At the end of your typing, press ENTER.

For some programs, the instructions say to type “install” instead of “setup”.

Control Panel

To control your computer completely, go to the Control Panel. Here’s how:

Windows XP:                      click “Start” then “Control Panel”

Windows 95 & 98 & Me:   click “Start” then “Settings” then “Control Panel”

You can see these icons:

Windows 95           Windows 98           Windows Me                Windows XP

32bit ODBC

Accessibility Options    Accessibility Options    Accessibility Options       Accessibility Options

Add New Hardware      Add New Hardware      Add New Hardware        Add Hardware

Add/Remove Programs   Add/Remove Programs   Add/Remove Programs      Add or Remove Programs

                                                                         Automatic Updates            Administrative Tools

Date/Time                        Date/Time                        Date/Time                          Date and Time

                                     Desktop Themes              Desktop Themes

                                                                         Dial-Up Networking

Display                         Display                         Display                            Display

                                                                         Folder Options                   Folder Options

Fonts                            Fonts                            Fonts                              Fonts

Joystick                        Game Controllers         Gaming Options              Game Controllers

                                     Internet Options             Internet Options                Internet Options

Keyboard                     Keyboard                     Keyboard                        Keyboard

Modems                           Modems                           Modems

Mouse                          Mouse                          Mouse                             Mouse

Multimedia                    Multimedia

Network                           Network                           Network                             Network Connections

                                     ODBC Data Sources     ODBC Data Sources

Passwords                       Passwords                       Passwords                          Phone and Modem Options

                                     Power Management     Power Options                   Power Options

Printers                        Printers                        Printers                           Printers and Faxes

Regional Settings         Regional Settings         Regional Settings            Regional and Language Options

                                                                                                                 Scanners and Cameras

                                                                         Scheduled Tasks              Scheduled Tasks

Sounds                         Sounds                         Sounds and Multimedia       Sounds and Audio Devices

                                                                                                                 Speech

System                         System                         System                            System

                                                                         Taskbar and Start Menu  Taskbar and Start Menu

                                     Telephony                        Telephony

                                     Users                            Users                              User Accounts

If your computer is fancy, you can see extra icons also. (For example, in Windows Me, a “Scanner and Cameras” icon is added if you’ve attached a scanner or camera; in Windows 95, an “Internet” icon is added if you’ve added Internet software).

In Windows XP, you can see those icons (which form the classic view) or these categories instead (which form the category view):

Appearance and Themes                                        Printers and Other Hardware

Network and Internet Connections                     User Accounts

Add or Remove Programs                                    Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options

Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices                   Accessibility Options

Performance and Maintenance

To switch between those two views, click (in the screen’s top left corner) “Switch to Classic View” or “Switch to Category View”.


Pointer trails For your first experiment, double-click the Mouse icon. (To do that in Windows XP, switch to classic view and then double-click the Mouse icon; or switch to category view then click “Printers and Other Hardware” then click “Mouse”.)

You see the Mouse Properties window. To modify what happens when you move the mouse, click “Pointer Options” (for Windows Me & XP) or “Motion” (for Windows 95 & 98) or “Visibility” (if you’re using Microsoft’s IntelliPoint software). Then if you put a a in the “Display pointer trails” box (or “Show pointer trails” box) by clicking it, you’ll see a trail of mouse pointers whenever you move the mouse.

To make the trail be long and obvious, make sure the slider is dragged toward the right, to the “Long” position. (If you’re using Microsoft’s IntelliPoint software, click “Settings” to see that slider.)

The long trail helps you notice the mouse pointer more easily. It’s useful when you’re giving a presentation to a group of people and want to make sure they always notice where the mouse is moving. It’s also useful if you’re on a laptop computer whose screen is “passive matrix”, which is too slow to show mouse motions well.

If you change your mind, stop the trails by clicking the “Show pointer trails” box again, so the check mark disappears.

When you finish experimenting with pointer trails, close the Mouse Properties window by clicking “OK”.

Experimenting You can experiment by double-clicking any of the other icons in the Control Panel window, but be careful! If you tell the computer to use hardware you don’t own, Windows will stop working! Before changing a setting, make a note to yourself of what the setting was, so you can get back to it! Be especially cautious about playing with the Display icon, since if you make a wrong choice your screen will be unreadable!

When you finish playing with the Control Panel window, close it by clicking its X button.

For Windows 98, try this experiment:

From the Start menu, choose “Settings” then “Folder Options”. Click “Web style”, then press ENTER.

Then your computer will act quite differently. Each major icon’s name is underlined. To open a major icon, click it just once (instead of double-clicking). To select a major icon, just put the mouse’s pointer on it and wait a second, without clicking: the icon will darken and be selected.

When you finish experimenting with that feature, return the computer back to normal by following the procedure on page 96, in the section called “Custom style”.

Notepad

Notepad is a stripped-down version of WordPad. Notepad is easier but does less.

Like WordPad, Notepad comes free as part of modern Windows.

Since WordPad does more than Notepad, most people prefer WordPad rather than Notepad. But sometimes WordPad is too fancy and too complex, and Notepad’s primitive simplicity is appealing. Notepad is popular for writing “short notes”, “computer programs”, and “pages to put on the Internet”. Notepad will confuse you less often than WordPad, since Notepad does less. It’s retro; it’s cool! Try it! Here’s how.…

To start using Notepad, click “Start” then “Programs” then “Accessories” then “Notepad”. Make sure the Notepad window consumes the whole screen. (If it doesn’t consume the whole screen yet, maximize the window by clicking the maximize button, which is next to the X button.)

Start typing whatever you wish, as if you were using WordPad. Here are the differences.…

No formatting saved When you save the document (copy it to the hard disk), Notepad saves info about which characters you typed (which letters of the alphabet, digits, and symbols, and where you hit the SPACE bar, the ENTER key, and TAB key); but it saves no info about the document’s appearance. Notepad doesn’t save any info about fonts, boldfacing, italics, underlining, font size, color, centering, justification, margins, or bullets; all those features are missing.

The document that’s saved is called a pure text document, since it contains just text, no formatting.

A stripped-down word-processing program (such as Notepad) that produces just pure text documents (and saves no formatting) is called a pure text editor.

While you stare at your document (in the Notepad window), which font are you seeing? Here’s the answer:

Windows 95 The font is 12-point Fixedsys.

Windows 98 & Me The font is 12-point Fixedsys, unless you switch to a different font (by clicking “Edit” then “Set Font” then choosing a different font then clicking “OK”). The font you choose affects Notepad forever (it affects how Notepad displays all documents), unless you switch fonts again.

Windows XP The font is 10-point Lucida Console, unless you switch to a different font (by clicking “Format” then “Font” then choosing a different font then clicking “OK”). The font you choose affects Notepad forever (it affects how Notepad displays all documents), unless you switch fonts again.

But when you save your document, no font info is saved as part of the document.

Optional word wrap If you type near the screen’s right edge, and you type a word that’s too long to fit on the screen, WordPad automatically moves the word to the line below. Notepad does so just if you request word wrap.

Here’s how to request word wrap:

In Windows XP, click “Format”. In Windows 95 & 98 & Me, click “Edit”.

You see “Word Wrap”. If there’s no check mark before “Word Wrap”, put a check mark there by clicking “Word Wrap”.

No buttons Notepad has no buttons.

Instead of clicking a Save    button, click File then Save.

Instead of clicking a Print       button, click File then Print.

Instead of clicking an Open button, click File then Open.

Instead of clicking a New     button, click File then New.

No drag & drop To move a phrase, WordPad lets you use drag & drop, but Notepad doesn’t understand that; Notepad requires you to use cut & paste instead. So here’s how to move a phrase in Notepad: select the phrase (by dragging across it), then say “cut” (by pressing Ctrl with X), then click where you want the phrase to be, then say “paste Velcro” (by pressing Ctrl with V).

Fewer Alt symbols Page 89’s bottom left corner shows a chart of Alt symbols. That whole chart works in most fonts (such as Times New Roman, Arial, Courier New, and Lucida Console), but Notepad’s Fixedsys font can’t handle the left column (0130 through 0159): the Fixedsys font handles just 0161 through 0255.

Page 89’s top left corner shows another chart of Alt symbols. The Fixedsys font can’t handle that chart’s 159 and 249.


Keyboard

A traditional keyboard contains 101 keys. If your keyboard is designed especially for modern Windows, it contains 3 extra keys near the SPACE bar, so you get 104 keys altogether (or more).

Two of those extra keys are the Windows keys: each shows a flying window. If you press either of the Windows keys, the Start menu appears. So pressing either of those keys has the same effect as if your mouse clicked the Start button. You can press either of the Windows keys: those two keys serve the same purpose as each other, except that one is nearer your left hand, the other is nearer your right. Your keyboard has two SHIFT keys, two Ctrl keys, two Alt keys, and two Windows keys.

The other extra key, called the menu key, shows an arrow pointing at a menu. If you press the menu key, a shortcut menu appears. For example, if you click an icon and then press the menu key, that icon’s shortcut menu appears.

Property window Here are 4 ways to make an icon’s property window appear.…

Right-click method: right-click the icon (so the icon’s shortcut menu appears), then click “Properties”

Menu-key method: click the icon, press the menu key (so the icon’s shortcut menu appears), then either click “Properties” or press the R key (which is the code for “Properties”)

Alt-double method: while holding down the Alt key, double-click the icon

Alt-enter method: click the icon; then while holding down the Alt key, tap the ENTER key

Use whichever method you wish! My favorites are the right-click method (which feels the most natural) and the Alt-double method (which is usually the fastest).

Alt F4 Try this experiment: while holding down the Alt key, tap the F4 key.

If a window is open, that makes the computer click the window’s X button, so the window closes. (If two windows are open, here’s how to close both: while holding down the Alt key, tap the F4 key twice. If several windows are open, here’s how to close them all: while holding down the Alt and SHIFT keys, tap the F4 key.)

If no windows are open, Alt with F4 makes the computer choose Shut Down from the Start menu.

Problem: someday your mouse stops working (because the mouse is broken or the computer gets too confused to handle the mouse). To get out of that mess, press Alt F4 several times (to close your windows and shut down the computer). Then try again to turn the computer on.


Help

For further help in learning how to use Windows, do this:

Windows Me & XP Click “Start” then “Help”.

You see the Help and Support window. Maximize it (by clicking its maximize button).

What topic do you want help about? To express your desire, do this —

At the screen’s left edge, you see a list of the major topics. Click the topic you want. Then at the screen’s left edge, you see a list of subtopics; click the subtopic you want.

or do this —

Type any topic you can imagine. Your typing will appear in the Search box. Then press ENTER.

or do this:

Click “Index” (which is at the screen’s top). The computer tries to show an alphabetical index of all topics about Windows. You see just the index’s beginning; to see the index section about the topic you want, type the first few letters of the topic’s name. When you see your desired topic, double-click it.

When you finish using help, close the Help and Support window by clicking its X button.

Windows 95 & 98 Click “Start” then “Help”.

You see the Windows Help window. Maximize it (by clicking its maximize button).

What topic do you want help about? To express your desire, do this —

Click “Contents”. The computer shows a list of the major topics. Click the topic you want help about; if you then see a list of subtopics, click the subtopic you want help about. If you’re using Windows 95, you must double-click instead of click.

or do this:

Click “Index”. The computer tries to show an alphabetical index of all topics about Windows. You see just the index’s beginning; to see the index section about the topic you wish, type the first few letters of the topic’s name. When you see your desired topic, double-click it.

When you finish using help, close the Windows Help window by clicking its X button. (If you don’t see an X button, click “Exit” and then click “Exit Tour”.)

Dig deeper

To dig deeper into Windows, read the rest of this book!

Topic                                                                                                 Pages

While using Windows, you can give MS-DOS commands                111-132

Windows can handle the Internet                                                   161-179

To make Windows run better, clean your software                           226-231

Windows XP can easily manipulate digital-camera photos        306-307

Windows lets you create Web pages                                              327-328


Classic Windows

Though new computers come with Windows 98 or Me or XP, some folks have old computers using old versions of Windows, such as Windows 3.1 and Windows 3.11.

This section explains Windows 3.1. Most of this chapter’s explanation also applies to Windows 3.11, which is similar but slightly fancier. If you’re using Windows 3.0, do yourself a favor: switch to Windows 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, Me, or XP.

Prepare for Windows

Before putting Windows 3.1 or 3.11 into your computer, you must buy MS-DOS (version 3.1 or higher) and good hardware:

You need a hard drive.

You need a fast CPU: a 286, 386, 486, or Pentium. The advanced parts of Windows require a 386, 486, or Pentium.

You need at least 1M of RAM. To run Windows fast and without hassles, get at least 4M. Some Windows programs require 8M.

You need a graphics video card: Hercules, CGA, EGA, or VGA. To run Windows pleasantly, get a VGA card and VGA color monitor; otherwise, the screen’s display is crude and slow.

You need a high-density floppy drive. (Otherwise, mail the high-density floppy disks back to Microsoft and exchange them for low-density floppy disks.)

You’ll want a mouse. (Without a mouse, you must use awkward keystrokes that are hard to remember.)

I’ll assume you’ve bought enough software and hardware to run Windows well: MS-DOS 3.1 or higher, a hard drive, a 386 or 486 or Pentium, 4M of RAM, a VGA color monitor, a high-density floppy drive, and a mouse.

Cost Windows 3.1 and 3.11 are no longer marketed.

In its heyday, Windows 3.11 listed for $150; discount dealers sold it for $89; if you already had Windows 1, 2, or 3, you could upgrade to Windows 3.11 for just $49. It usually came on 3½-inch high-density floppies; if you didn’t have a 3½-inch drive, you had to buy a 5¼-inch version instead.

Installation procedure Here’s how to copy Windows 3.1 to the hard disk.

Turn on the computer without any floppy in drive A. Windows 3.1 comes on a set of floppy disks; you get six 3½-inch disks or seven 5¼-inch disks. When you see the C prompt, put Windows Disk 1 into drive A and type “a:”.

The computer will display an A prompt. Type “setup”. The computer will say “Windows Setup”, then pause, then say “Welcome to Setup”. Press ENTER twice.

The computer will say, “Please insert Disk 2.” Insert it into drive A and press ENTER. (If you’re using 5¼-inch disks, the computer will then say, “Please insert Disk 3.” Insert it and press ENTER.)

The computer will say, “Please type your full name.” Type your name. (At the end of your name, if your copy of Windows is owned by your company, press TAB and then type your company’s name.) At the end of all your typing, press ENTER twice.

When the computer tells you, insert additional disks and press ENTER.

After you’ve inserted Disk 6 and pressed ENTER, the computer will say “Select a printer”. You’ll see an alphabetized list of printers. Tap the down-arrow key several times, until your printer appears on the screen and is blue. Press ENTER twice. (If you’re using 5¼-inch disks, the computer will then say, “Please insert Disk 7.” Insert it and press ENTER.)

The computer will look for programs on your hard disk. If the computer pauses at a program and waits for your response, tap the down-arrow key several times until the program’s name is blue, then press ENTER.

On the screen, you’ll see buttons labeled “Run Tutorial” and “Skip Tutorial”. Choose “Skip Tutorial” by pressing the S key.

The computer will say, “Windows is now set up.” Press D.

You’ll see a C prompt, like this:

C:\WINDOWS>

Turn off the computer, so you can start fresh.

Start Windows

Here’s how to start using Windows 3.1 (or 3.11).

Turn on the computer, without any disks in the floppy drives. (For details, read “Prepare to operate” on page 85. For free help, phone me anytime at 603-666-6644.)

If the computer says —

C:\>

type “win” so the screen looks like this:

C:\>win

At the end of typing “win”, press the ENTER key.

Program Manager window

A box containing information is called a window. You see this window:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the window’s top line, you see the window’s title: “Program Manager”. That tells you the window is called the Program Manager window.

In the middle of that big window, you might see a small window, such as the Main window:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you see the Main window (or another small window), do this: while holding down the Ctrl key, tap the F4 key. That makes the small window disappear, so the only window on the screen is the Program Manager window.

Position the mouse, move the arrow

Read about these topics on page 86.

Choose from a menu

The most important part of the arrow is its tip, which is called the hot spot.

For an experiment, move the arrow so its hot spot (tip) is in the middle of the word “File”. When you do that, you’re pointing at the word “File”.

On the top of the mouse, you’ll see 2 or 3 rectangular buttons you can press. The main button is the one on the left. That’s the only button Windows uses. Tapping it is called clicking. So to click, tap the left button.

While you’re pointing at the word “File”, click (by tapping the left button). That’s called clicking “File”.


When you click “File”, you’ll see this File menu:

New...

Open

Move...

Copy...

Delete

Properties...

Run...

Exit Windows...

In that menu, the bottom choice is “Exit Windows”. If you choose “Exit Windows”, the computer will stop using Windows.

Try it! Click “Exit Windows” (by moving the arrow there and then tapping the left button). You’ll see this window:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to exit from Windows, click “OK” (by moving the arrow there and then clicking). If you do not want to exit from Windows, click “Cancel” instead.

That whole procedure for exiting from Windows can be summarized in one sentence:

Choose “Exit Windows” from the File menu, then click OK.

After you’ve exited from Windows, the screen will turn completely black. Then the computer will say:

C:\>

That symbol, which is called the “C prompt”, means you can safely turn off the computer. Then if you wish, turn off the computer!

Try that procedure! Notice it involves these three steps.…

Step 1: choose from a menu bar The first step is to choose “File” from this menu:

 

 

 

That menu’s in a horizontal box. The box is called a menu bar.

To choose a word (such as “File”) from a menu bar, you can use three methods:

Mouse method: by using the mouse, click the word you want.

Arrow-key method: move to the menu (by tapping the Alt key), move to the word you want (by pressing the right-arrow key several times, if necessary), then press ENTER.

Underlined-letter method: move to the menu (by tapping the Alt key), then type the word’s underlined letter (for example, type the F in “File”).

The mouse method is the simplest. Use the other methods if your mouse is broken or missing or makes your flesh crawl.

Step 2: choose from a pull-down menu After you choose “File”, this menu appears underneath “File”:

New...

Open

Move...

Copy...

Delete

Properties...

Run...

Exit Windows...

That menu is a vertical list that “falls down” from the word “File”. It’s called a pull-down menu.


To choose a command (such as “Exit Windows”) from a pull-down menu, you can use the same three methods:

Mouse method: by using the mouse, click the command you want.

Arrow-key method: move to the command you want (by pressing the down-arrow key several times), then press ENTER.

Underlined-letter method: type the underlined letter (for example, type the x in “Exit Windows”).

Step 3: choose from a dialog box After you choose “Exit Windows”, this window appears:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That window warns that you’re about to exit from Windows and asks you whether you’re sure. If you’re sure you want to exit from Windows, click “OK”; otherwise, click “Cancel”.

Since that window lets the computer chat with you about your intentions, it’s called a dialog box. (According to English teachers, it ought to be called a “dialogue box”, but computer nerds refuse to type the “ue”.)

In the dialog box, each major choice (such as “OK” and “Cancel”) is called a button. Each button looks like a rectangle. Usually the “OK” button is highlighted (its sides are made of doubled or thickened lines).

To communicate with the computer, press one of the buttons. To press a button, you can use two methods:

Mouse method: by using the mouse, click the button you want.

ENTER method: to press the highlighted button (which is usually “OK”), press ENTER; to press a different button instead, move to it (by pressing the TAB key several times) so the button is highlighted, then press ENTER.

Here’s a short cut: to press the “Cancel” button, just press the Esc key (which means “Escape and Cancel”).

Three dots Notice that the bottom of the File menu says “Exit Windows...”. The three dots (...) tell you that if you choose that command, you’ll encounter a dialog box.

Resize a window

You can make a window be three sizes: maximum, normal, or minimum.

A maximum    window consumes the whole screen.

A normal        window fills about half the screen.

A minimum     window is shrunk so it’s a tiny picture, called an icon.

The symbol for maximum is   5   (a triangle pointing up).

The symbol for minimum is    6 (a triangle pointing down).

The symbol for normal  is      v (a pair of balanced triangles).

If a window is normal, its top right corner contains the symbols 6 and 5. Using your mouse, click 6 to make the window become minimum; click 5 to make the window become maximum.

If a window is maximum, its top right corner contains the symbols for minimum and normal. Click one of those symbols to make the window change size.

If a window is minimum, it’s just a tiny picture — an icon. Try clicking that icon. Then you’ll see a menu. From the menu, choose Maximize (to make the window become maximum) or Restore (to make the window become whatever size it was previously).

Try it! Make the Program Manager’s window become maximum, minimum, and normal again.

Drag

To drag an object, point at it (by using the mouse), then hold down the mouse’s left button, and while you keep that button down, move the mouse.

For example, try this experiment. Make the Program Manager’s window be minimum, so it’s just an icon. Point at the icon (by using the mouse), then hold down the mouse’s left button, and while you keep that button down, move the mouse. As you move the mouse, the icon moves. You can drag the icon anywhere on the screen! Try it! Here’s the rule: if a window is minimum (so it’s just an icon), and you want to move it to a different part of the screen, drag it.

Here’s another experiment to try. Make the Program Manager’s window be normal, so it fills about half the screen. At the top of that window, you’ll see the words “Program Manager”. Those words are called the window’s title. Point at that title (“Program Manager”), then drag it to a different part of the screen (by holding down the mouse’s button as you move the mouse). As you drag the title, you’ll also be automatically dragging the entire window. Here’s the rule: to move a normal window, drag its title.

A normal window is a rectangle. To change its width, drag its right-hand edge. To change its height, drag its bottom edge. To change its width and height simultaneously, drag its bottom right corner.

Try it! Make the Program Manager be a normal window, then change its width and height by dragging its edges and bottom right corner.

Scroll arrows

Here’s another series of experiments to try.

Make the Program Manager be a maximum window, so it consumes the whole screen. Inside that big window, you’ll see five icons (little pictures), called Accessories, Games, StartUp, Applications, and Main. If somebody else was using the computer, you might see some extra icons.

Make the Program Manager be a normal window (so it fills about half the screen). You’ll probably still see those icons in the Program Manager window.

Make the Program Manager’s window be smaller, by dragging its edges or bottom right corner. Make the window too small to hold all the icons, so you see just some of the icons. Instead of seeing everything that belongs in the Window, you see just a partial view.

When you see a partial view, you see arrows near the window’s corners. By clicking the arrows, you can shift your view. To see icons farther to the right, click the right-arrow. (To see icons even farther to the right, click the right-arrow again. To see icons very far to the right, click the right-arrow repeatedly — or point at the right-arrow and then hold down the mouse’s left button awhile.) To see icons farther to the left, click the left-arrow; to see icons that are higher, click the up-arrow; to see icons that are lower, click the down-arrow.

Try it! Click those arrows! They’re called scroll arrows.

Accessories

Make the Program Manager window be rather large, so it consumes most of the screen but not the top quarter of the screen. In that window, look for the Accessories icon. (If you don’t see that icon, adjust the window by using the scroll arrows.)

Double-click the Accessories icon. To double-click the icon, move the arrow to the icon, then tap the mouse’s left button twice quickly, so the two taps are less than .4 seconds apart.

While tapping the left button twice, make sure the mouse remains still. Don’t let the mouse jiggle, not even a smidgin! While double-clicking, your desk should be like Christmas Eve, where “not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse”.

You’ll see the Accessories window. In that window, you’ll see 13 icons: Write, Paintbrush, Terminal, Notepad, Recorder, Cardfile, Calendar, Calculator, Clock, Object Packager, Character Map, Media Player, and Sound Recorder. Each of those icons is called an accessory, because it’s an extra “jewel” that comes with Windows at no extra charge.

The most useful accessories are Clock, Calculator, Write, and Paintbrush. Here’s how to use them.…

Clock

To use the Clock, double-click the Clock icon. You’ll see the Clock window, with a picture of a clock in it.

You can choose two kinds of clocks. An analog clock has an hour hand, minute hand, and second hand. A digital clock has no hands: it shows just digits.

The first time you (or your colleagues) ask for the clock, Windows 3.1 shows a digital clock. To switch from digital to analog, choose Analog from the Settings menu. (To do that, click the word “Settings”, then click the word “Analog”.) To switch back to a digital clock, choose Digital from the Settings menu.

The clock normally shows the correct time. (If the clock’s time is wrong, here’s how to reset it: exit from Windows, then give the “time” command from the DOS prompt.)

The clock also shows the date.

The clock keeps on ticking — silently. If you want to put yourself into a trance, watch the analog clock’s second hand move. (It’s better than counting sheep.)

If you want the clock to be larger, maximize its window by clicking 5. Then the clock will fill the whole screen. That’s how to turn your entire $2,000 computer into a $2 clock! But hey, it’s a high-tech clock! To freak out your friends, hide the keyboard and system unit under the desk, so your friends see just the screen displaying the analog clock.

If you want the clock to be tiny, minimize its window by clicking 6. Then the clock will be a tiny icon. Even though it’s tiny, it still runs! Though it’s too tiny to show the seconds, it still shows the correct hour and minutes.

Close When you finish using the clock, close it. Here’s how.

Make the Clock window be normal or maximum. In the Clock window’s top left corner, you’ll see a square containing a horizontal bar:

┌───┐

│ ─ │

└───┘

That square is called the control box. When you finish using the Clock window, double-click the control box. That makes the Clock window disappear.

Calculator

To use the Calculator, double-click the Calculator icon. You’ll see the Calculator window, containing a picture of a pocket calculator.

How to calculate Read about this topic on page 87.

Warning: if your version of Windows was created before 1995, the computer has trouble subtracting numbers that end in “.01”. For example, if you compute 2.01 minus 2, the correct answer is .01, but the computer mistakenly says 0 instead.

Standard versus scientific Read about this topic on page 88.

Close When you finish using the calculator, double-click its control box.


Write

When you buy Windows, you get a word-processing program free! That word-processing program is called Write. It’s one of the Windows accessories.

To use Write, double-click the Write icon. You’ll see the Write window. Maximize it by clicking 5.

Now you can do word processing: you can type words and sentences simply. Try it! Type whatever sentences you wish to make up. For example, try typing a memo to your friends, or a story, or a poem. Be creative! Whatever you type is called a document.

While you’re typing, you see the symbol ¤. That symbol appears at the end of what you’ve typed; that symbol marks the end of your document.

Use the keyboard Read about this topic on page 88.

Scroll through documents If your document contains too many lines to fit on the screen, the screen will show just part of the document. To see the rest of the document, click the scroll arrows.

Insert characters Read about this topic on page 89.

Split a paragraph Read about this topic on page 89.

Combine paragraphs Read about this topic on page 89.


Movement keys To move to different parts of your document, you can use your mouse. To move faster, press these keys instead:

Key you press              Where the pointer will move

right-arrow                       right to the next character

left-arrow                         left to the previous character

down-arrow                      down to the line below

up-arrow                          up to the line above

END                                right to the end of the line

HOME                             left to the beginning of the line

PAGE DOWN                  down to the next screenful

PAGE UP                         up to the previous screenful

Ctrl with right-arrow        right (to the next word or punctuation symbol)

Ctrl with left-arrow          left (to the beginning of a word or punctuation)

Ctrl with PAGE DOWN   down to the screen’s bottom line

Ctrl with PAGE UP          up to the screen’s top line

Ctrl with END                  down to the end of the document

Ctrl with HOME           up to the beginning of the document

Menu bar While you’re using Write, the top of the screen shows this menu bar:

 

 

 

Let’s use that menu bar.…

Underline Here’s how to underline a phrase (like this). Choose Underline from the Character menu. Type the phrase. Then choose Regular from the Character menu.

Bold Here’s how to make a phrase be bold (like this). Choose Bold from the Character menu. Type the phrase. Then choose Regular from the Character menu.

Here’s how to make a phrase be bold and underlined (like this). Choose Bold from the Character menu. Choose Underline from the Character menu. Type the phrase. Then choose Regular from the Character menu.

Italics Here’s how to italicize a phrase (like this). Choose Italics from the Character menu. Type the phrase. Then choose Regular from the Character menu. (That technique works only if your printer can italicize.)

Select text Here’s how to dramatically change a phrase you typed.

Point at the phrase’s beginning, then drag to the phrase’s end (while holding down the mouse’s left button). The whole phrase turns black. Turning the phrase black is called selecting the phrase.

Then say what to do to the phrase. For example, choose one of these activities:

To underline the phrase, choose Underline from the Character menu.

To make the phrase be bold, choose Bold from the Character menu.

To italicize the phrase, choose Italics from the Character menu.

To delete the phrase, press the DELETE key.

To replace the phrase, just type whatever words you want the phrase to become.

To copy the phrase (so it appears twice), do this:

while holding down the Alt key, click where you want the copy to appear.

To move the phrase (so it appears just in the new location), do this:

while holding down the Alt and SHIFT keys, click where you want the phrase to appear.

Other ways to select The usual way to select a phrase is to point at the phrase’s beginning, then drag to the phrase’s end. But sometimes other methods are faster! To select a phrase, choose one of these methods:

Method 1: point at the phrase’s beginning, then drag to the phrase’s end.

Method 2: click the phrase’s beginning; then while holding down the SHIFT key, click the phrase’s end.

Method 3: by using your keyboard’s movement keys (such as the up-arrow, down-arrow, left-arrow, and right-arrow keys), move to the phrase’s beginning; then while holding down the SHIFT key, use the movement keys to move to the phrase’s end.

Method 4: to select just one word, double-click in the middle of it.

Method 5: to select a sentence, click in the middle of the sentence while holding down the Ctrl key.

Method 6: to select a whole line, click the screen’s left edge, left of the line.

Method 7: to select a whole paragraph, double-click the screen’s left edge, left of the paragraph.

Method 8: to select the whole document, click the screen’s left edge while holding down the Ctrl key.


Center Here’s how to center a title. Choose Centered from the Paragraph menu. Type the title. At the end of the title, press ENTER. Then choose Normal from the Paragraph menu.

Here’s how to center a title you typed previously: click anywhere in the title, then choose Center from the Paragraph menu. Here’s how to uncenter a title you typed previously: click anywhere in the title, then choose Normal from the Paragraph menu.

Save To copy the document onto the disk, choose Save from the File menu.

Then invent a name for your document. The name must be short: no more than 8 letters. For example, the name can be “jennifer” or “al”. Type the name you wish and press ENTER.

That makes the computer copy the document onto the hard disk. For example, if you named the document “jennifer”, the computer will put in your hard disk’s WINDOWS subdirectory a file called “JENNIFER.WRI”, which means “JENNIFER created by the WRIte program”.

Afterwards, if you change your mind and want to do more editing, go ahead! Edit the document some more. When you finish that editing, save it by choosing Save from the File menu again.

Print To copy the document onto paper, choose Print from the File menu, then press ENTER.

Finish When you finish working on a document, choose New, Open, or Exit from the File menu.

If you choose New, the computer will let you start typing a new document. If you choose Open and then double-click the name of an old document, the computer will put that document onto the screen and let you edit it. If you choose Exit, the computer will stop using Write and let you use a different accessory instead.

Before the computer obeys New, Open, or Exit, it checks whether you saved your document. If you didn’t save your document, the computer asks, “Save current changes?” If you click “Yes”, the computer copies your document’s most recent version to the hard disk; if you click “No” instead, the computer ignores and forgets your most recent editing.

Paintbrush

When you buy Windows, you get a paint program free! That program, called Paintbrush, lets you paint pictures. It’s one of the Windows accessories.

To use Paintbrush, double-click the Paintbrush icon. You’ll see the Paintbrush window. Maximize it by clicking 5.

Move the mouse pointer to the screen’s middle. Then drag (move the mouse while holding down the mouse’s left button). As you drag, you’ll be drawing a squiggle.

For example, try drawing a smile. To do that, put the mouse pointer where you want the smile to begin (at the smile’s top left corner), then depress the mouse’s left button while you draw the smile. When you finish drawing the smile, lift the mouse’s button. Then draw the rest of the face!

Colors When you draw, you’re normally drawing in black.

At the screen’s bottom, you’ll see 28 colors: red, yellow, green, etc. To draw in one of those colors instead of in black, click the color you want.

Line Here’s how to draw a line that’s perfectly straight.

At the left side of the screen, you’ll see many icons. One of the icons is a diagonal line. Click it. Put the mouse pointer in the screen’s middle, where you want the line to begin, and drag to where you want the line to end.

When you finish drawing lines and want to draw squiggles instead, click the brush icon (which is above the line icon).

Rectangle Here’s how to draw a rectangle whose sides are perfectly straight.

At the left side of the screen, you’ll see two icons that are rectangles. Click the left rectangle.

Put the mouse pointer in the screen’s middle, where you want the rectangle’s top left corner to be. Drag to where you want the rectangle’s opposite corner.

Spray Here’s how to vandalize your own drawing, by using a can of spray paint!

At the left side of the screen, you’ll see an icon that’s a can of spray paint. Click it. Put the mouse in the screen’s middle, where you want to begin spraying, and drag!

Erase To erase a mistake, click the simple eraser icon, which is above the brush icon.

Then drag across the part of your drawing that you want to erase. The part you drag across will become white.

Thickness At the screen’s bottom left corner, you’ll see eight horizontal lines, ranging from “thin” to “thick”. Click the thickness you want.

For example, if you click the thickest line, everything you draw will be very thick. Your squiggles, lines, and rectangles will all be very thick — as if you were using a brush that’s very thick and wide. The eraser will be thick and wide too, and so will the nozzle on the can of spray paint.

Save To copy your drawing onto the disk, choose Save from the File menu.

Then invent a name for your document. The name must be short: no more than 8 letters. For example, the name can be “jennifer” or “al”. Type the name you wish and press ENTER.

That makes the computer copy the document onto the hard disk. For example, if you named the document “jennifer”, the computer will put in your hard disk’s WINDOWS subdirectory a file called “JENNIFER.BMP”, which means “JENNIFER the Bit MaP”. (A bit map is a picture made of many itty-bitty dots.)

Afterwards, if you change your mind and want to improve the drawing, go ahead! When you finish making improvements, save them by choosing Save from the File menu again.

Print To copy the drawing onto paper, choose Print from the File menu, then press ENTER.

Unfortunately, the typical printer can’t print colors. It prints black-and-white instead.

Instead of printing a dark color (such as blue), the printer will print black. Instead of printing a light color (such as yellow), the printer will print white.

Finish When you finish fiddling with a drawing, choose New, Open, or Exit from the File menu.

If you choose New, the computer will let you start a new drawing. If you choose Open and then double-click the name of an old drawing, the computer will put that drawing onto the screen. If you choose Exit, the computer will exit from Paintbrush so you can use a different accessory instead.

If you say New, Open, or Exit without saving your drawing, the computer asks, “Save current changes?” If you click “Yes”, the computer copies your drawing to the hard disk; if you click “No” instead, the computer ignores and forgets your recent drawing efforts.

Close Accessories

When you finish using the accessories, close the Accessories window by double-clicking its control box.


Main window

Make the Program Manager window be normal.

In that window, you’ll see the Main icon. Double-click it.

You’ll see the Main window, which contains 8 icons: File Manager, Control Panel, Print Manager, Clipboard Viewer, MS-DOS Prompt, Windows Setup, PIF Editor, and Read Me.

Here’s how to use the icons that are popular.

File Manager To manipulate the files on your hard disk, double-click the File Manager icon.

You’ll see the File Manager window and the Directory Tree window.

In the Directory Tree window, you’ll see the names of your hard disk’s subdirectories. The names are in alphabetical order.

By using your keyboard’s up-arrow and down-arrow keys, move the cursor to the subdirectory that interests you. (For example, try moving the cursor to the WINDOWS subdirectory.) Then press ENTER.

You’ll see the names of your files in the subdirectory. The names are in alphabetical order. Move the cursor to the file that interests you (by using the mouse).

For example, try moving the cursor to a file you invented, such as JENNIFER.WRI.

Then say what to do to the file. Choose one of these activities:

To delete the file, press the DELETE key. Then press ENTER twice.

To peek at the file, press ENTER. When you finish peeking at the file, double-click the file’s close box.

To rename the file, choose Rename from the File menu. Then type the new name you’re inventing (such as JENNY.WRI). Make sure you type the correct three-letter ending: for example, type “.WRI” at the end of a Write document’s name; type “.BMP” at the end of a Paintbrush drawing’s name. After typing the three-letter ending, press ENTER.

When you finish using the File Manager, choose Exit from the File menu.

Control Panel To change how Windows acts, double-click the Control Panel icon.

You’ll see the Control Panel window, which contains 12 icons: Color, Fonts, Ports, Mouse, Desktop, Keyboard, Printers, International, Date/Time, 386 Enhanced, Drivers, and Sound. (The 386 Enhanced icon appears just if you have a 386 or 486 or Pentium, and you have at least 2 megabytes of RAM.)

Here’s how to use icons that are popular.

To reset the date and time without leaving Windows, double-click the Date/Time icon.

The computer will say what it thinks the date and time are. If the computer is wrong, click the part of the date or time you want to change.

To the right of where you clicked, you’ll see an up-arrow and a down-arrow. To make the date or time later, click the up-arrow; to make the date or time earlier, click the down-arrow.

When the date and time look correct, click “OK”.


 To change the screen’s colors, double-click the Color icon. You’ll see the Color window. Near that window’s top-right corner, you’ll see an arrow pointing down at a hyphen. Click that arrow. You’ll see this list of color schemes:

Windows Default

Arizona

Black Leather Jacket

Bordeaux

Cinnamon

Designer

Emerald City

Fluorescent

Hotdog Stand

LCD Default Screen Settings

LCD Reversed - Dark

Mahogany

Monochrome

Ocean

Pastel

Patchwork

Plasma PS

Rugby

The Blue

Tweed

Valentine

Wingtips

Press your keyboard’s HOME key (to make sure you’re at the top of the list). Tap your keyboard’s down-arrow key several times, until you reach your favorite color scheme. Then press ENTER. All the screen’s colors will change and become your favorites!

If you bought a font cartridge for your laser printer, tell the computer which font cartridge you bought. To do that, double-click the Printers icon.

You’ll see the Printers window. Click the word “Setup”. At the screen’s bottom left corner, you’ll see a list of font cartridges. (To see the bottom of the list, click the scroll arrow next to it.) Click the cartridge you bought. Click “OK”. Click “Close”.

When you finish using the Control Panel window, close it by double-clicking its control box.

Close When you finish using the Main window, close it by double-clicking its control box.

Dig deeper

To make Windows 3.1 & 3.11 run better, clean your software. I explain how on pages 232-233; but to understand them, read the MS-DOS chapter first. Here it is.…