Here's part of "The Secret Guide to Computers," copyright by Russ Walter, 30th edition. For newer info, read the 33rd edition at www.SecretFun.com.

Windows

Most computers run Windows, invented by Microsoft.

Microsoft has improved Windows.

In 1998, Microsoft invented Windows 98.

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

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

In November 2006, Microsoft invented Windows Vista (but delayed most shipments until January 30, 2007).

This chapter explains all those modern versions.

Windows 98 requires 16M of RAM to run at all, 32M to run okay, 64M to run well.

In 1999, Microsoft invented a slightly improved Windows 98, called Windows 98 Second Edition (Windows 98 SE). My explanation of Windows 98 applies to both the original Windows 98 and Windows 98 SE.

Windows Me requires 32M of RAM to run at all, 64M to run okay, 128M to run well.

Windows XP requires 64M of RAM to run at all, 128M of RAM to run okay, 256M of RAM to run well. Windows XP comes in 3 editions:

The plain edition, XP Home Edition, is good enough for most folks.

A souped-up edition, XP Professional, can perform extra tricks that help businesses run computer networks easily and securely.

A different souped-up edition, XP Media Center Edition, helps you use the computer as a media center (to play CD music, watch DVD movies, and attach the computer to your home’s TV screen).

My explanation of Windows XP emphasizes XP Home Edition and XP Media Center edition; XP Professional is similar. Microsoft has corrected Windows XP’s errors.

In 2002, Microsoft invented a slightly corrected Windows XP, called Windows XP with Service Pack 1 (Windows XP SP1). In 2004, Microsoft invented a further improvement, called Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (Windows XP SP2). If you have Windows XP or Windows XP SP1, you can upgrade, free, to Windows XP SP2, which comes in all 3 editions (Home Edition, Professional, and Media Center Edition). My explanation of Windows XP applies to the original Windows XP and also to SP1 and SP2.

Windows Vista comes in 6 editions:

The normal edition, Vista Home Premium ($239), is for use in homes and small businesses.

A stripped-down edition, Vista Home Basic ($199), includes just the fundamental parts of Vista Home Premium and looks ugly (like Windows XP).

A variant edition, Vista Business ($299), is for big businesses that insist on more security than Vista Home Premium and don’t need the fun parts of Vista Home Premium.

A souped-up edition, Vista Ultimate ($399), is for computer experts who want everything that’s in all the other versions (the fun stuff and the serious stuff), plus even more security!

Microsoft also sells Vista Starter (just in low-income countries that can’t afford even Vista Home Basic) and Vista Enterprise (just to huge international corporations).

If you have Windows XP, you can upgrade to Vista Home Basic for just $99, Vista Home Premium for $159, Vista Business for $199, and Vista Ultimate for $259. Before buying Windows Vista, make sure you have enough RAM:


Vista Starter requires just ¼ gigabyte of total RAM.

Vista Home Basic requires 32 megabytes of video RAM and ½ gigabyte of total RAM.

The other versions (Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise) require 128 megabytes of video RAM and 1 gigabyte of total RAM but run better if you get 2 gigabytes of total RAM instead of 1 gigabyte.

My explanation of Windows Vista emphasizes Vista Home Premium; other Vista editions are similar.

Instead of using Windows 98, Me, XP, or Vista, some people use versions of Windows that are ancient.

If you plan to keep using an ancient version of Windows numbered below 98 (such as Windows 3.0, Windows 3.1, Windows 3.11, or Windows 95), get an older edition of this book (the 29th edition).

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 become outdated, so Microsoft switched from them to Windows XP (and later to Windows Vista). If you’re still using those outdated “network” versions, follow my instructions for Windows 98, which is similar.

 

Starting

Here’s how to start using Windows. (If you have difficulty, phone me anytime for free help at 603-666-6644.)

Unpack the computer

When you buy a computer system, it typically comes in three cardboard boxes. Open them, and put the contents on your desk.

One box contains the monitor.

One box contains the printer.

One box contains the computer’s main part (system unit), keyboard, mouse, speakers, and disks.

Each box also contains power cords, cables, and instruction manuals.

Here are exceptions:

If you bought a laptop computer, there is no monitor.

If you didn’t buy a printer, the printer box is missing.

Into the back of the system unit, plug the cables that come from the monitor, printer, keyboard, mouse and speakers. Into your wall’s electrical socket (or power strip), plug the power cords that come from the monitor, printer, speakers, and system unit. (On some computers, the cabling is different.)

Empty any floppy drives

At the front of the system unit, you might see one or two slots into which you can put floppy disks. Those slots are called the floppy drives. (If your computer’s a laptop, the floppy drives might be in the computer’s right side instead of in the front — or might be missing.)

Remove any disks from the floppy drives, so that the floppy drives are empty and you can start fresh.

Turn on the computer

Flick the computer’s power switch to the ON position.

Can’t find the power switch? Here are some hints:

The power switch is on or near the system unit’s right side. If you don’t find the switch on the right side, check the right part of the front side or the right part of the back side. On traditional computers, the power switch is red. It might say “1” instead of “ON” and “0” instead of “OFF”. On some computers (such as Quantex’s), the power “switch” is actually a pushbutton on the front, near the right. Some computers (such as NuTrend’s) have a 1-0 power switch (on the back) plus a power button (on the front): adjust both.

Turn on the screen

Turn on the computer’s screen (monitor).

After a few seconds, the screen will display some messages. (If you don’t see the messages clearly, make sure the cable from the screen to the system unit is plugged in tightly, and adjust the screen’s contrast and brightness knobs.)

The screen will eventually say “Microsoft Windows 98” or Microsoft Windows Me” or “Microsoft Windows xp” or “Windows Vista”.

Attach any printer

If you have a printer, make sure a cable runs from it to the computer, and turn the printer on.

Examine the keyboard

Test your powers of observation by staring at the keyboard. Try to find the following keys (but don’t press them yet).…

Find the Enter key. That’s the big key on the right side of the keyboard’s main section. It has a bent arrow on it. It’s also called the Return key. Pressing it makes the computer read what you typed and proceed.

Find the Backspace key. It’s above the Enter key and to the right of the + key. It has a left-arrow on it. You press it when you want to erase a mistake.

Find the key that has the letter A on it. When you press the A key, you’ll be typing a small “a”.

Near the keyboard’s bottom left corner, find the Shift key. It has an up-arrow on it. Under the Enter key, you’ll see another Shift key. Press either Shift key when you want to capitalize a letter. For example, to type a capital A, hold down a Shift key; and while you keep holding down the Shift key, tap the A key.

Find the key that looks like this:

┌───┐

│!  │

│1  │

└───┘

It’s near the keyboard’s top left corner. That’s the 1 key. You press it when you want to type the number 1. Press the keys to its right when you want to type the numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 0. If you press the 1 key while holding down a Shift key, you’ll be typing an exclamation point (!). Here’s the rule: if a key shows two symbols (such as ! and 1), and you want to type the top symbol (!), you must typically hold down a Shift key.

Find the key that has the letter U on it. To the right of that key, you’ll see the letters I and O. Don’t confuse the letter I with the number 1; don’t confuse the letter O with the number 0.

In the keyboard’s bottom row, find the wide key that has nothing written on it. That’s the Space bar. Press it whenever you want to leave a blank space.

Check Num Lock

If you have a desktop computer (instead of a notebook computer), be careful about this:

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.”) 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).


Try moving the mouse

The typical computer has a mouse. (If your computer does not have a mouse, buy a mouse: a mouse is much easier to use than a touchpad!)

Look at the computer’s mouse. The traditional mouse has a tail (a cable that runs from the mouse to the computer); if your mouse is ultra-modern, it communicates with the computer wirelessly instead. The area where a tail meets the mouse is called the mouse’s ass.

The mouse’s underside — its belly — has a hole in it, and a ball (or ray of light) 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 or its light ray shines on the desk). Make the mouse face you so you don’t see its ass.

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.

Finish installing Windows

If the computer says “Select your country” or “Welcome to Windows,” you must finish installing Windows onto your computer. To do that, practice using the mouse, keyboard, and Windows on a different computer; then finish installing Windows onto your computer by getting help from the company that sold you the computer or from me at 603-666-6644.

If the computer says “Add New Hardware Wizard” (for example, because it detected that you attached a new printer), press the Enter key several times (typically 5 times) until the computer stops saying “Add New Hardware Wizard.”

Click Start

Eventually, the screen’s bottom left corner shows the
Start button:

In Windows 98, the Start button says “Start”.

In Windows XP, the Start button says “start”.

In Windows Vista, the Start button is colored Windows in a blue globe.

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

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 Start button, 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 98                                     Windows Me

Windows Update                                    Windows Update

Programs                                               Programs

Favorites                                                 Documents

Documents                                              Settings

Settings                                                  Search

Find                                                         Help

Help                                                         Run

Run                                                          Shut Down

Shut Down

 

       Windows XP                                      Windows Vista       x

Internet          My Documents                Internet           Documents

E-mail           My Pictures                     E-mail               Pictures

                       My Music                                                   Music

                       My Computer                                           Games

                       Control Panel                                           Search

                       Set Program Access and Defaults                          Recent Items

                       Connect To                                              Computer

                       Help and Support                                 Network

                       Search                                                     Connect To

                       Run                                                          Control Panel

All Programs                                                                     Default Programs

Log Off           Turn Off Computer         All Programs     Help and Support

Your computer might offer some extra choices also! If your Windows XP is outdated (before SP2) or weird or not completely set up, it might omit “Set Program Access and Defaults” and “Connect To.”

Shut Down

When you finish using the computer, do this:

Windows 98 Click “Shut Down” (which is the Start menu’s bottom choice). The computer asks, “What do you want the computer to do?” You see a black dot in a white circle; make sure that dot is next to “Shut down”. (If the dot is next to something else instead, click “Shut down”.) Then 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.

Windows Vista Click the right-arrow (4) that’s at the Start menu’s bottom-right corner. Then click “Shut Down”.

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.

Programs 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 98                                  Windows Me

Accessories                                         Accessories

Internet Explorer                                 Games

Online Services                                    Online Services 

StartUp                                                StartUp

MS-DOS Prompt                               Internet Explorer

Outlook Express                               Outlook Express

Windows Explorer                            Windows Media Player


Windows XP                                  Windows Vista

Set Program Access and Defaults    Default Programs

Windows Catalog                                Windows Calendar

Windows Update                                 Windows Contacts

Accessories                                         Windows Defender

Games                                                 Windows DVD Maker

Startup                                                Windows Live Messenger Download

Internet Explorer                                Windows Mail

MSN                                                     Windows Media Center

Outlook Express                               Windows Media Player

Remote Assistance                              Windows Meeting Space

Windows Media Player                     Windows Movie Maker

Windows Messenger                        Windows Photo Gallery

Windows Movie Maker                     Windows Update

                                                            Accessories

                                                            Extras and Upgrades

                                                            Games

                                                            Maintenance

                                                            Startup

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

If Windows Vista shows just part of the Programs menu, see the rest by using one of these methods.…

arrow-click method: click the Programs menu’s down-arrow (6) or up-arrow (5), several times

arrow-hold method: point at the Programs menu’s down-arrow (6) or up-arrow (5), then hold down the mouse’s left button awhile

wheel method (if your mouse has a wheel): point in the Programs menu’s middle (without pressing the mouse’s buttons) then rotate the mouse’s wheel toward you (or away from you).

If your Windows XP is outdated (before SP2), it might say “StartUp” instead of “Startup,” say “MSN Explorer” instead of “MSN,” omit “Set Program Access and Defaults,” and omit “Windows Movie Maker”.

Accessories menu

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

Windows 98                                  Windows Me

Communications                               Accessibility

Entertainment                                  Communications

Games                                                  Entertainment

System Tools                                        System Tools

Calculator                                          Address Book

Imaging                                             Calculator

Notepad                                               Imaging

Paint                                                     MS-DOS Prompt

WordPad                                             Notepad

                                                            Paint

                                                            Windows Explorer

                                                            Windows Movie Maker

                                                            WordPad

 

Windows XP                                  Windows Vista

Accessibility                                      Calculator

Communications                               Command Prompt

Entertainment                                  Connect to a Network Projector

System Tools                                       Notepad

Address Book                                   Paint

Calculator                                         Remote Desktop Connection

Command Prompt                             Run

Notepad                                              Snipping Tool

Paint                                                    Sound Recorder

Program Compatibility Wizard          Sync Center

Synchronize                                     Welcome Center

Tour Windows XP                             Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer                            Windows Sidebar

WordPad                                             WordPad

                                                            Ease of Access

                                                            System Tools

                                                            Tablet PC

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:

If you have a desktop computer (instead of a notebook computer), make sure the Num Lock light is on (by doing the “Check Num Lock” procedure on page 79).

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

=                 show the final answer, called the “total”

.                   decimal point

C                  clear the total, so the total becomes zero

CE                clear just this entry, so you can retype it

Backspace   erase the last digit you typed

+/-                create (or erase) the total’s minus sign

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, the computer will say 3.1415926535897932384626433832795.

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


Order of operations The calculator’s answer to “2+3*4=” depends on whether you chose standard or scientific:

If you said you wanted the calculator to be standard, the computer does 2+3 (which totals 5), then multiplies by 4, giving a final total of 20.

If you said you wanted the calculator to be scientific instead, the computer does “2+3*4=” by doing the multiplication first, like scientists do: 3*4 is 12, and 2+12 gives a final total of 14 (not 20).

Tricky keys

On the standard calculator, these 3 keys are tricky:

Button Meaning

sqrt              square root of the previous number

                 example: “49 sqrt” is 7 (because 49 is 7*7)

1/x           divide 1 by the previous number

                 example: “4 1/x” is .25 (because 1/4 is .25)

%             multiply the 2 previous numbers, then
                 divide by 100; example: “2 * 3 %” is
                 .06 (because it’s 2*3/100)

Memory buttons

When a number (such as a total) appears on your screen, you can copy that number from your screen to the computer’s memory. The calculator includes 4 memory buttons to help remember the number:

Button    Meaning

MS               memory store

                    copy from the screen to memory

MR               memory retrieve

                    copy from memory to the screen

M+               memory add

                    put memory+screen into memory

MC               memory clear

                    erase what’s in memory

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 98 & Me, that button is gray with a black X; in Windows XP & Vista, 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 79. 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 question-mark 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.

If you’re using Windows XP, make word wrap work properly by doing this (unless you or your colleagues did so already):

Click “View” then “Options” then “Rich Text” then “Wrap to ruler” then “OK.”

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.

Ctrl symbols On your keyboard, below the two Shift keys, are two Control keys, which say “Ctrl” on them. You can use them to type special symbols:

Symbol   How to type it

      €       While pressing the Ctrl and Alt keys, type the letter “e”.

      ç        While pressing the Ctrl key, tap the “,” key.          Then type the letter “c”.

      ñ        While pressing Ctrl (and Shift), tap the “~” key.   Then type the letter “n”.

      ô       While pressing Ctrl (and Shift), tap the “^” key.   Then type the letter “o”.

      ü        While pressing Ctrl (and Shift), tap the “:” key. Then type the letter “u”.

      è        While pressing the Ctrl key, type the symbol `.     Then type the letter “e”.

      é        While pressing the Ctrl key, type the symbol '.     Then type the letter “e”.


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          169

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 ¢, whose code number is 155. Hold down the Alt key; and while you keep holding down the Alt key, type 155 by using the numeric keypad (the number keys on the far right side of the keyboard). When you finish typing 155, lift your finger from the Alt key, and you’ll see ¢ on your screen! Try it!

That chart skips numbers whose results are unreliable (producing different results on different printers and on different versions of Windows).

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

0128 €                             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

0142 Ž        0174 ®    0206 Π         0238 î

                    0175 ¯         0207 Ï          0239 ï

                    0176 °         0208 Р    0240 ð

0145 ‘         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

0158 ž         0190 ¾    0222 Þ         0254 þ

0159 Ÿ     0191 ¿         0223 ß         0255 ÿ

For example, here’s how to type the symbol ©, whose code number is 0169: while holding down the Alt key, type 0169 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 98 & Me & Vista,   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

On notebook computers (which have narrow keys), the Page Down key is labeled “Pg Dn” and the Page Up key is labeled “Pg Up”.


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:

      Bold     Italic  Underline  Color  AlignLeft  Center  AlignRight  Bullets

 

 

 


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 98 & Me,  the button lightens and looks “pushed in”.

In Windows XP,            the button turns white and gets a blue border.

In Windows Vista,         the button darkens and gets a black border.

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 & Vista, 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 & Vista.) For most purposes the best fonts are:

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

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

Arial (which is standard for short headlines and captions and looks like this)

Tahoma (which resembles Arial but has a better capital “I” and looks like this)

Comic Sans MS (which resembles Tahoma but is funny and looks like this)

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 gets highlighted. (Its white background turns black in Window 98 & Me, blue in Windows XP & Vista.) 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 gets highlighted. (Its white background turns black in Windows 98 & Me, blue in Windows XP & Vista.) Highlighting the phrase that way 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:

   New     Open     Save          Print   PrintPreview

 

 

 


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 2007”). At the name’s end, 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 whole 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, here’s what happens:

The computer will show you a list of the documents you saved earlier. Double-click the document you want. (To double-click, 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 smidgen! Double-clicking is also called opening.) The computer will put that 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, here’s the consequence in Windows 98, Me, and XP:

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.


Here’s the consequence in Windows Vista:

The computer asks “Do you want to save changes?” If you click the “Save” button, the computer copies your document’s most recent version to the hard disk; if you click the “Don’t Save” button instead, the computer ignores and forgets your most recent editing.

 

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 (in Windows 98, Me, and XP) or the screen’s top (in Windows Vista), 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. While dragging, if you hold down the Shift key, 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. Windows 98, Me, and XP let you zap the last 3 actions (but not the last 4 actions); Windows Vista lets you zap the last 10 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. Double-click the painting you want. (To double-click, 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 smidgen!) The computer will put that 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, here’s the consequence in Windows 98, Me, and XP:

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 editing.

Here’s the consequence in Windows Vista:

The computer asks “Do you want to save changes?” If you click the “Save” button, the computer copies your painting’s most recent version to the hard disk; if you click the “Don’t Save” button instead, the computer ignores and forgets your most recent editing.

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. While dragging, if you hold down the Shift key, 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 Look at what you’ve drawn. In that drawing, if you see a color you’ve used and like, here’s how to use it again:

Click the Pick Color button. Click in 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. 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.

To widen that part of your drawing, press Ctrl with W. 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”.

 

Ball game

Windows Me, XP, and Vista include a ball game. Here’s how to play. (If you have Windows 98, skip ahead to the next topic, called “Taskbar”.)

Windows Vista

In Windows Vista, the ball game is InkBall. You can access it in two ways.

Method 1: click Start then “All Programs” then “Games” then “InkBall”.

Method 2: click Start then “Games”; maximize the window; double-click “InkBall”.

Goal You see a blue ball and an orange ball, bouncing around, like billiard balls on a billiard table. To win, coax the blue ball into the blue hole, and coax the orange ball into the orange hole. (If the blue ball accidentally falls the orange hole — or the orange ball accidentally falls into the blue hole — you lose.)

Strategy To change the direction in which a ball moves, use your mouse to draw a black squiggle (by dragging, as if you were using Paint). The squiggle acts as a barrier: when a ball hits the barrier, the ball bounces off the barrier, and the barrier disappears.

For example, if the blue ball is getting too close to the orange hole, draw a barrier between the blue ball and the orange hole. If the blue ball is getting wonderfully close to the blue hole, nudge the blue ball into the blue hole by drawing a loop that contains the blue ball and the blue hole.

Speed You must be reasonably fast: the game has a 2-minute time limit. If you take more than 2 minutes, you lose. The window’s red box shows how many seconds are left.

Game over If a ball falls into the wrong hole or you take more than 2 minutes, the computer says “Game over!” To react, press the Enter key; then the game will restart.

Winning If you get a ball into the correct hole, you get points. Your point total is written in white, in a black box. If you get both balls into the correct holes, you proceed to a more difficult round of the game, where you might encounter differently colored balls and differently colored holes. Gray holes are neutral: when a ball falls into a gray hole, you get no penalty but also no points.

How many points? When you correctly sink a ball into a hole, you get 200 points if the ball is orange, 400 if blue, 800 if green, 1600 if gold. When you successfully finish a round (by sinking both balls within 2 minutes), the computer notices how many seconds were remaining: those unused seconds are given to you as bonus points.

Close When you finish using InkBall, close its window (by clicking its X button).

Windows Me & XP

In Windows Me & XP, the ball game is Pinball. To access it, 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).

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.

Here’s how to get more details about the time and date.…

Windows 98, Me, and XP

Double-click the time. The computer will 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 is wrong, here’s how to reset it.

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 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”.

Windows Vista

Click the time. Then the computer writes today’s date, such as:

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Below that, you see a calendar for this month, with today’s date highlighted in blue. (The calendar also shows the end of last month and the beginning of next month. If you want to see a calendar for all of next month, click the right-arrow.) You also see the face of a traditional clock, with an hour hand, minute hand, and second hand that all move.

Date and Time window If you click “Change date and time settings”, you see a bigger window, called the “Date and Time” window. It shows the traditional clock, the time zone (such as “Eastern Time”), and when Daylight Savings Time will begin or end. If you want to change the date and time, do this:

Click “Change date and time”. The computer will say “Windows needs your permission to continue”. Click “Continue”. You’ll see the calendar and clock again. To change the date, click the date you want. 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. When you’re satisfied, click the blue “OK” button.

If you want to change the time zone, do this:

Click “Change time zone”. Press the keyboard’s right-arrow key (or left-arrow key) several times, until your time zone is chosen. Press Enter.

When you finish using the “Date and Time” window, click “OK”.

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 98, Me, and Vista, 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 (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).

Windows Vista lets you play this trick (if your edition of Windows Vista is at least “Premium”):

While you’re running several programs simultaneously (such as WordPad, Paint, and Calculator), click the “Switch between windows” button. (That button is a blue square, on the taskbar, close to the Start button, and has many white windows on it.) When you click that button, the screen shows you all the programs simultaneously, in a stack of windows, rotated in 3-D. Click the window of whichever program you want to work on: then that window will expand to consume the whole screen.

Many tasks

You can run several programs 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 will tend to get confused and fail (especially if you bought too little RAM or your computer’s been on for many hours in a row or you’re using Windows 98 or Me). To avoid headaches, run no more than two major programs at a time.

Clipboard

To copy data, you can use this 2-step process: first copy the data to the computer’s invisible Clipboard, then stick the clipboard’s data wherever you want it by using Velcro. Here are the details.…

Ctrl with C

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’s 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; afterwards, drag the data where you want it.

If you want to stick the Clipboard’s data somewhere else also, click there and press Ctrl with V again.

Print Screen key

If you press the Print Screen key (which is labeled PrtScr or PrtScn or PrtSc), the computer will take a snapshot of your whole screen and put that photo onto the clipboard.

If you want the computer to take a snapshot of just one window, do this:

Click in that window. Then while holding down the Alt key, tap the Print Screen key. The computer will put a snapshot of just that window onto the Clipboard.

After something’s on the clipboard, stick it into a WordPad document or Paint document or some other document (by clicking there and then pressing Ctrl with V). Then, if you wish, edit the snapshot and print it on paper.

Snipping Tool

If you want to copy part of the screen to the clipboard, use Windows Vista and do this:

Click Start then “All Programs” then “Accessories” then “Snipping Tool”.

Make sure the mouse pointer is a white cross. (If it’s a different shape, make it a white cross by clicking the down-arrow next to “New” then “Rectangular Snip”.)

Draw a red box around the part of the screen you want to copy. To do that, put the mouse pointer where you want the box’s top-left corner to be, and drag to where you want the box’s opposite corner. If you drew the box wrong, click “New” then try again to draw the box.

Click the Copy button (which looks like 2 sheets of paper with bent corners). Close the Snipping Tool window (by clicking its X button then clicking “No”).

After you’ve done that, stick your clip into a WordPad document or Paint document or some other document (by clicking there and then pressing Ctrl with V).

Play a music CD

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

If you’ve 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 desktop 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).

Finish installing Media Player

If your computer has never played any CDs, it might ask you questions. Here’s how to reply:

If Windows Vista says “AutoPlay”,

click “Play audio CD using Windows Media Player”.

If Windows XP asks “What do you want Windows to do?”,

click “OK”.

If your computer says “Welcome to Windows Media Player 10”,

press Enter thrice.

If your computer says “Welcome to Windows Media Player 11”,

click “Express Settings” then “Finish”.

If the computer asks you to agree to legal stuff, click “I Accept”.

Enjoy the music

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:

In the middle of the toolbar (the blue bar across the screen’s bottom),
right-click (click the mouse’s rightmost button). 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).

Control what you hear & see

Here’s how to control what you hear & see.

Windows 98’s second edition & Me & XP & Vista 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 | or „„| to skip ahead to the next track (song), |ƒ or |ƒƒ 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 right edge. (You see track names instead of numbers just if the CD is in the recording industry’s database and you’re connected to the Internet.)

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 using Media Player 10, the object is a silver knob.

In Windows Vista (and Windows XP using Media Player 11), the object is a tiny blue bubble with a long blue tail.

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).

In Windows Media Player 11 (which is part of Windows Vista and some versions of Windows XP), the most amazing visualization is called Alchemy: to choose it, click “Now Playing” (at the screen’s top) then Visualizations then Alchemy then Random. Another amazing choice is Battery Randomization: to choose it, click “Now Playing” then Visualizations then Battery then Randomization.

In earlier versions of Windows Media Player (which are part of Windows 98 & Me & early Windows XP), the most amazing visualization is called Ambience Water: to choose it, click View (at the screen’s top) then Visualizations then Ambience then Water. While it thumps to your music, the screen’s bottom left corner says “Ambience Water”. A tiny points at that name; to explore other visualizations, click that tiny repeatedly.

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).

Windows 98’s first edition 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.

 

Play a movie DVD

Videos used to come on videotape. Nowadays, a video come on Digital Versatile Disk (DVD) instead.

If you’ve bought a DVD containing a movie, you can shove that disk into your computer’s DVD-ROM drive while Windows is running. Playing a movie DVD is similar to playing an audio CD. Here’s how to do it in Windows XP & Vista. (Windows 98 & Me are too old to play movies well.)

Find the drive

Find your computer’s DVD-ROM drive. It’s in a desktop 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 DVD. Hold that disk horizontally, so its label is on the top surface. Don’t touch its shiny underside.

Put that DVD into the DVD drive, as follows:

If the DVD drive is a slit, put the DVD into the slit.

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

Finish installing Media Player

If your computer has never played any movie DVDs, it might ask you questions. Here’s how to reply:

If Windows Vista says “AutoPlay”,

click “Play DVD movie using Windows Media Player”.

If Windows XP asks “What do you want Windows to do?”,

click “Play DVD movie using Windows Media Player” then click “OK”.

If your computer says “Welcome to Windows Media Player 10”,

press Enter thrice.

If your computer says “Welcome to Windows Media Player 11”,

click “Express Settings” then “Finish”.

If the computer asks you to agree to legal stuff, click “I Accept”.

Enjoy the movie

The computer will start playing the movie. (If the movie begins with a menu giving you a choice such as “play movie”, click “play movie” with your mouse.)

Adjust the volume

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

Control what you see

If you move the mouse, the screen’s bottom will show several buttons temporarily.

Move the mouse’s pointer to the screen’s bottom. That makes the buttons stay on the screen until you move the mouse’s pointer back up.

While the buttons are on the screen, here’s what you can do.…

Click the button to pause the movie. To resume, click that button again (which has changed to a big ).

Click n to stop back at the movie’s beginning. To begin playing there, click the big .

While the movie plays, click „„| to skip ahead to the next scene, |ƒƒ to hop back to the previous scene.

As the movie plays, you see tiny blue bubble (with a long blue tail) slide from left to right. To fast-forward, use your mouse to drag that object farther to the right immediately. To reverse, drag that object back to the left.

Ending

When you tire of watching that movie, click the eject button (which is the rightmost button on your DVD drive). Then remove the DVD.

If you wish, insert a different DVD instead.

If you don’t want to watch any more DVDs now, press the Escape key (which is at your keyboard’s top left corner and says “Esc” on it). Then close the Windows Media Player window (by clicking its 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

To find out what kind of computer system you have, do this:

Windows Vista Click Start then “Computer” then “System properties”.

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

Windows 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 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:

The computer is using Windows Me, version 4.90.3000. The copy of Windows Me on the computer has serial number 52782-OEM-0003576-37073.

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 newer computers, the message says —

System:

     Microsoft Windows XP

     Home Edition

     Version 2002

     Service Pack 2

 

Registered to:

     Russ Walter

     76477-OEM-0011903-00100

 

Manufactured and supported by:

     Acer Inc.

     AcerSystem

     Intel® Celeron® M

     1.50 GHz, 504 MB of RAM

That means:

The computer is using Windows XP’s Home Edition, invented in 2002 but later improved by a correction called service pack #2 (which is better than an earlier correction called service pack #1). The copy of Windows XP Home Edition on the computer is registered to me (Russ Walter) and has serial  number 76477-OEM-0011903-00100.

The computer is built by Acer. The computer’s CPU chip is an Intel Celeron M whose speed is 1.5 gigahertz. The computer contains 504 megabytes of RAM chips.

On one of my other computers, the message says —

System:

     Microsoft Windows XP

     Media Center Edition

     Version 2002

     Service Pack 2

 

Registered to:

     76487-OEM-0011903-00803

 

Manufactured and supported by:

     Hewlett-Packard Company

     Compaq Presario

     AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor

     3500+

     984 MHz, 960 MB of RAM

That means:

The computer is using Windows XP’s Media Center Edition, invented in 2002 but improved later by service pack #2. The copy of Windows XP Media Center Edition on the computer is registered to me (Russ Walter) and has serial number 76487-OEM-0011903-00803.

The computer is built by Hewlett-Packard and called a Compaq Presario. The computer’s CPU chip is an “AMD Athlon 64 3500+”, whose speed is 984 megahertz. The computer contains 960 megabytes of RAM chips.


On one of my newest computers, the message says —

Windows edition

     Windows Vista Home Premium

     Copyright © 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

System

     Manufacturer:     Hewlett-Packard Company

     Model:                  SR2180NX

     Rating:                    3.0 Windows Experience Index

     Processor:           Intel(R) Pentium(R) D CPU 2.80GHz

     Memory (RAM):   1014 MB

     System type:          32-bit Operating System

 

Hewlett-Packard Company support

     Phone number:    In the United States, call 800-652-6672

     Support hours:    Support is available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week

 

Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings

     Computer name:  RussWalter-PC

 

Windows activation

     Windows is activated

     Product ID: 89578-OEM-7332157-00061

That means:

The computer is using Windows Vista Home Premium, invented in 2006 by Microsoft.

The computer is built by Hewlett-Packard and called an SR2180NX. Its speed is rated 3. (You need a rating of at least 1 to run Windows Vista Home Basic, at least 3 is needed to run the most popular parts of Windows Vista Home Premium, at least 4 to run Windows Vista’s most luxurious features (such as handling 2 monitors simultaneously or handling HDTV). The computer’s CPU chip is an Intel Pentium D whose speed is 2.8 gigahertz. The computer contains 1014 megabytes of RAM chips. The version of Windows Vista Home Premium is typical (32-bit).

For questions about how to use the computer, phone Hewlett-Packard at 800-652-6672 at any hour of the day or night.

I named the computer “RussWalter-PC”.

The copy of Windows Vista Home Premium on this computer has been activated (declared legitimate by Microsoft) and has serial number
89578-OEM-7332157-00061.

What message does your computer show? When you finish admiring your computer’s message, do this.…

Windows 98 & Me: click “OK”.

Windows XP: click “OK” then close the My Computer window (by clicking its X button).

Windows Vista: close the 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 & Vista, 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 (if you have one).

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).

A typical computer has these drive details:

Drive A is the 1.44M 3½-inch floppy drive (if any).

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

Drive C is the hard drive’s main part.

Drive D is the hard drive’s recovery part (a copy of drive C’s essentials).

Drive E is the main DVD drive (or DVD RW drive or CD-ROM drive).

Drive F is an extra DVD drive (or CD-RW drive).

Drive C is the most important: it’s the main part of the main hard drive. Drive C holds Windows itself and the most important programs & documents.

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

Windows XP:            click Start then “My Computer”

Windows Vista:     click Start then “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 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 & Vista, the icons are labeled like this:

Hard Disk Drives

Local Disk (C:)           Recovery (D:)

 

Devices with Removable Storage

3½ Floppy (A:)         DVD RW Drive (E:)

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 drive C, do this:

Windows Vista Look at the screen. Below the “C:”, you see a message about disk C, such as “214 GB free of 226 GB” (which means 214 GB are still unused & available, out of disk C’s 226 GB total size). You also see a wide box, which represents the entire disk C: the blue part is what’s used; the white part is what’s unused (free). If you click the “C:” then “Properties”, you’ll see a pie chart with more details. When you finish admiring the pie chart, click “OK”.

Windows XP Click the “C:” icon. Near the screen’s bottom-left corner, you see messages about disk C, such as “Free Space: 135 GB” and “Total Size: 178 GB” (which means 135 GB are still unused & available, out of disk C’s 178 GB total size). If you right-click the “C:” icon (by using the mouse’s rightmost button) then click “Properties”, you’ll see a pie chart with more details. When you finish admiring the pie chart, click “OK”.


Windows 98 & Me Click the “C:” icon. The screen’s left is a pie chart showing disk C’s total capacity, how much of it is used up, and how much of it is still unused (free). If you right-click the “C:” icon (by using the mouse’s rightmost button) then click “Properties”, you’ll see a pie chart with more details. When you finish admiring the pie 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 disk C.

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 disk C 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” or “Users”.

Operating system   Disk C’s main folders

Windows 98                  Program Files, Windows, My Documents

Windows Me                 Program Files, WINDOWS, My Documents

Windows XP                 Program Files, WINDOWS, Documents and Settings

Windows Vista           Program Files, Windows, Users

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 is near the screen’s top-left corner).

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

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.

Windows Vista: the screen’s bottom-left corner 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 and the date it was originally created.


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 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.)

Here’s how to find the documents you wrote using WordPad:

Windows 98 & Me The documents are in the “My Documents” folder.

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

Windows Vista The Users folder contains a personal folder (having your name on it), which in turn contains the Documents folder (containing the documents you wrote).

Views While you’re viewing icons, here’s how to change their appearance.

For Windows Vista, click the down-arrow to the right of “Views”, then choose one of these 4 views.

For most situations, click Details (or drag the slider there). That view is what the computer assumes you want anyway (unless you’ve said otherwise or the computer thinks you’re in a picture-oriented folder). For each file, besides the filename you see a tiny icon and many details about the file.

If you click Tiles instead of Details (or drag the slider there), the computer makes the icons easier to see (“medium size” instead of “tiny”) and includes different details about the files.

If you click Large Icons (or drag the slider there), the computer makes the icons large but omits any details about the files. If you drag the slider to Large Icons then drag further up (toward Extra Large Icons), the icons gradually grow even larger; if you drag the slider a bit down (toward Medium or Small), the icons gradually shrink.

If you click List (or drag the slider there), the computer makes the icons tiny and omits any details about files, so many files can fit on the screen.

Here’s a different way to express your desires: if you click the word “Views” repeatedly, the computer will cycle among those 4 popular choices (from Details to Tiles to Large Icons to List then back to Details).

For Windows 98, Me, and XP, click 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, type, 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.

CD-ROM files

The CD-ROM drive resembles drive C. (If your computer is modern, that drive can also create CD-R and CD-RW disks and handle DVD disks.)

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 90.)

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 90).

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

Windows 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.

Floppy disks

This section explains how to handle floppy disks. (If your computer uses Windows XP or Windows Vista, your computer probably doesn’t have a floppy-disk drive and can’t handle floppy disks, so skip ahead to the next section.)

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 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 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.

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 disk C, here’s another way to get the file’s icon onto the screen. For Windows Vista, try this:

Click Start.

Begin typing the file’s name — or whatever part of the name you remember. (You don’t have to capitalize.) For example, if you want to search for WordPad, start typing “wordpad”. If you want search for a file that might be called “Lovers” or “My love” or “To my lovely”, you can start typing just “love”. As you type, you see a list of files (and programs) that match what you’ve typed so far. The more of the file’s name that you type, the more accurate the list will be. The list has an icon for each file.

For Windows 98 & Me & XP, try this:

Click Start.

For Windows 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”.

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 a folder called Documents (or My Documents). Here’s how to see what documents are in that folder.…

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”

Windows Vista: click Start then “Documents”

In Windows Me, XP, and Vista, the Paint program puts paintings into a folder called Pictures (or My Pictures). 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”

Windows Vista: click Start then “Pictures”

In Windows Me, XP, and Vista, 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”

Windows Vista: click Start then “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 CD

Here’s how to copy the file to a CD or DVD disk.

Windows Vista If you see “Burn” (at the top of the window where you saw the file’s icon), click the file’s icon then “Burn”; if you don’t see that choice, right-click the file’s icon then click “Send To” then “DVD RW Drive”.

The computer will open the drive’s door (tray). Put a blank CD or DVD disk onto the tray. Push the tray back in.

Invent a name for the disk. The name must be short (no more than 16 characters). Type the name (and press Enter).

The computer will copy the file to the disk. Then it will say “Files Currently on the Disc”.

If you wish, copy another file to the disk (by clicking the file’s icon then “Burn”).

Press the drive’s button (which is on the system unit below the drive’s tray). The computer says “Preparing to eject”. The computer writes final notes onto the disk then opens the drive’s tray.

Remove the CD. Push the tray back in.

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 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 Documents folder

For Windows Vista, here’s how to copy the file to your hard disk’s Documents folder (if the file isn’t there already):

Right-click the file’s icon. Click “Send To” then “Documents”. Then the computer copies the file to the Documents folder.

For Windows Me & XP, here’s how to copy the file to your hard disk’s “My Documents” folder (if the file isn’t there already):

Right-click the file’s icon. Click “Send To” then “My Documents”. Then the computer copies the file to the “My Documents” folder.

For Windows 98, here’s how to copy the file to your hard disk’s “My Documents” folder (if the file isn’t there already):

Right-click the file’s icon. Click “Send To” then “My Documents”. Then the 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.


Send to Desktop

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

Right-click the file’s icon. Click “Send To” then “Desktop”.

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).

Here’s how that shortcut icon is named:

Windows 98’s first edition That shortcut icon has the same name as the original file.

Windows 98’s second edition & 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”.

Windows Vista That shortcut icon has the file’s original name but with
“- Shortcut” added afterwards. For example, if the file’s original name was “Love”, the shortcut icon’s name is “Love - Shortcut”.

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 floppy

This section explains how to copy to a floppy disk. (If your computer uses Windows XP or Windows Vista, your computer probably doesn’t have a floppy-disk drive and can’t handle floppy disks, so skip ahead to the next section.)

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 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 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. (To see that view in Windows 98 & Me & XP, click “View” then “Details”. To see that view in Windows Vista, click the down-arrow that’s to the right of “Views” then click “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 Vista: click “Empty the Recycle Bin”, which is at the screen’s top

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: 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.

Those methods work best while you’re not running a program. They do not work while you’re running a primitive program (such as WordPad). Those methods sometimes work while you’re running a fancy program (such as Microsoft Word).

After highlighting the files, do this:

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 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 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 Vista Here’s how to hear several types of music:

Click Start then “Music”. Double-click “Sample Music”. Maximize the window. You see the names of 11 musical samples; each name begins with an icon of a musical note. Double-click whichever sample you want to listen to.

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.)

Recently used

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

Windows XP & Vista When you click Start, you see a list of the programs you’ve used most often recently. That list appears at the screen’s left edge, above “All Programs” but below the horizontal line under “E-mail”. In Windows XP, that list shows 6 programs; in Windows Vista, that list shows 9 programs.

Windows 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 & 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!

Sleep

When you try to shut down the computer, the computer might take several seconds — or even several minutes — to do so. When you try to turn the computer back on, the computer might take several seconds — or several minutes — to do so. You might get annoyed at waiting for the computer to shut down and turn back on — especially if it’s during your lunch break!

Instead of telling the computer to “shut down” and then “turn back on”, you can tell the computer to “sleep” and then “wake back up”. The computer can go to “sleep” almost instantly and “wake up” almost instantly, so you don’t have to wait.

While the computer sleeps, you can say it is “napping” and is “in standby mode”.

How to make the computer sleep To make the computer sleep, try one of these 4 methods:

Method 1: if your computer is a laptop or notebook, close its lid (so you don’t see the screen).

Method 2: if your keyboard has a Sleep key (which has a picture of a crescent moon or ZZ on it), press it. Exception: if the Sleep key also has an F on it (such as F4), press the Sleep key while holding down the Fn key.

Method 3: for Windows 98, click “Start” then “Shut Down” then “Stand by” then “OK”; for Windows Me, click “Start” then “Shut Down” then the down-arrow then “Stand by” then “OK”; for Windows XP, click “start” then “Turn Off Computer” then the “Stand By” button; for Windows Vista, click Start then the on-screen Sleep button (which is brown, to the right of “Start Search”, and shows a circle interrupted by a vertical line).

Method 4: don’t touch the keyboard or mouse for 20 minutes.

Go ahead: try one of those sleep methods! It’s okay to give one of those “sleep” commands anytime — even while you’re running a program whose window is still open and whose work is still unsaved.

What happens during sleep When you give a sleep command, the computer makes a note in its RAM about what you’ve been doing. On most computers, Windows Vista’s sleep command does hybrid sleep (where the computer also copies its RAM to the hard disk, for extra protection).

Then the screen goes black and the computer takes a nap. While the computer is napping, it uses little electricity (about 5 watts) and its power light flashes.

If the computer is a laptop or notebook whose battery is running out and the computer isn’t using hybrid sleep, Windows Vista will realize the emergency, copy the RAM’s information to the hard disk, and put itself into a nearly powerless state called hibernation.

Waking The best way to wake the computer from its nap is to tap the Shift key. Other ways, which usually work, are to tap any other key on the keyboard, or jiggle the mouse (or the table it’s on), or press the mouse’s button. If none of those techniques work, quickly tap the system unit’s power button (which wakes the system unit from sleep and hibernation).

The computer will waken and make its screen show exactly the same image as when you put the computer to sleep, so you can continue your work where you left off. (Exception: if your computer has a password or several different users, the computer might ask you to identify yourself first.)

Is sleep good? Sleep is fun, cute, consumes significantly less electricity than leaving the computer fully on, and happens fast enough to maximize your lunch break. But at night you should turn the computer off completely by giving the usual “Shut Down” command, which erases the computer’s RAM and lets the computer start fresh the next day.

Run

Here’s a different way to tell the computer to run WordPad:

Click Start. (For Windows Vista, then click “All Programs” then “Accessories”.) Click “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. For Windows Vista, then click “All Programs” then “Accessories”.) Click “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 & Vista:     click “Start” then “Control Panel”

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

Maximize the window. Then you can see these icons:

Windows 98                 Windows Me

Accessibility Options       Accessibility Options

Add New Hardware        Add New Hardware

Add/Remove Programs      Add/Remove Programs

                                           Automatic Updates

Date/Time                           Date/Time

Desktop Themes                 Desktop Themes

                                           Dial-Up Networking

Display                                Display

                                            Folder Options

Fonts                                   Fonts

Game Controllers                 Gaming Options

Internet Options                 Internet Options

Keyboard                             Keyboard

Modems                              Modems

Mouse                                  Mouse

Multimedia

Network                              Network

ODBC Data Sources        ODBC Data Sources

Passwords                          Passwords

Power Management        Power Options

Printers                                Printers

Regional Settings                Regional Settings

                                           Scanners and Cameras

                                            Scheduled Tasks

Sounds                                Sounds and Multimedia

System                                System

                                            Taskbar and Start Menu

Telephony                           Telephony

Users                                   Users


Windows XP                              Windows Vista

Accessibility Options

Add Hardware                                 Add Hardware

Add or Remove Programs

Administrative Tools                     Administrative Tools

Automatic Updates

                                                         AutoPlay

                                                         Backup and Restore Center

                                                         Color Management

Date and Time                                 Date and Time

                                                        Default Programs

                                                        Device Manager

Display

                                                        Ease of Access Center

Folder Options                                 Folder Options

Fonts                                                Fonts

Game Controllers                             Game Controllers

                                                        Indexing Options

Internet Options                              Internet Options

                                                        iSCSI Initiator

Keyboard                                         Keyboard

Mouse                                              Mouse

Network Connections                   Network and Sharing Center

Network Setup Wizard

                                                         Parental Controls

                                                         Pen and Input Devices

                                                         People Near Me

                                                         Performance Information and Tools

                                                         Personalization

Phone and Modem Options       Phone and Modem Options

Power Options                                 Power Options

Printers and Faxes                           Printers

                                                         Problem Reports and Solutions

                                                         Programs and Features

Regional and Language Options   Regional and Language Options

Scanners and Cameras                    Scanners and Cameras

Scheduled Tasks

Security Center                                Security Center

Sounds and Audio Devices           Sound

Speech                                             Speech Recognition

                                                         Sync Center

System                                             System

                                                         Tablet PC Settings

Taskbar and Start Menu               Taskbar and Start Menu

                                                         Text to Speech

User Accounts                                  User Accounts

                                                         Welcome Center

                                                         Windows Anytime Upgrade

                                                         Windows CardSpace

                                                         Windows Defender

Windows Firewall                          Windows Firewall

                                                         Windows Sidebar Properties

                                                         Windows SideShow

                                                         Windows Update

Wireless Network Setup Wizard

If your computer is fancy, you can see extra icons also.

Windows Me omits the “Scanners and Cameras” icon if you’ve never attached a scanner or camera.

Windows XP shows you either 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           Security Center

To switch between those two views, click (in the screen’s top left corner) “Switch to Classic View” or “Switch to Category View”. If your Windows XP was invented before SP 2, it might omit “Automatic Updates”, “Network Setup Wizard”, “Security Center”, “Windows Firewall”, and “Wireless Network Setup Wizard”.


Windows Vista shows you either those icons (which form the classic view) or these categories instead (which form the home category view):

System and Maintenance                    User Accounts and Family Safety

Security                                                  Appearance and Personalization

Network and Internet                         Clock, Language, and Region

Hardware and Sound                              Ease of Access

Programs                                                 Additional Options

To switch between those two views, click (in the screen’s top left corner) “Classic View” or “Control Panel Home”. While you look at the home category view, you see some subcategories also.

Pointer trails For your first experiment in Control Panel, play with pointer trails by doing this (on a desktop computer with a mouse):

Windows 98 Double-click the Mouse icon. Click “Motion” (unless you’re using Microsoft’s IntelliPoint software, which requires you to click “Visibility” instead).

Windows Me Double-click the Mouse icon. Click “Pointer Options”.

Windows XP Go to classic view (by clicking “Switch to Classic View” if necessary). Double-click the Mouse icon. Click “Pointer Options”.

Windows Vista Go to classic view (by clicking “Classic View” if necessary). Double-click the Mouse icon. Click “Pointer Options”.

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 don’t see the slider in Windows 98, make it appear by clicking “Settings”.)

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 “Display 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 92, 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 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 & Vista 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 & Vista, click “Format”. In Windows 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 83’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 83’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 While a window is open, try this experiment: while holding down the Alt key, tap the F4 key. That makes the computer click the window’s X button, so the window closes.

Suppose 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. That starts the process of closing the windows and shutting down the computer. Finish shutting down the computer (as best as you can), then try again to turn the computer on.

Help

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

Windows Vista Click Start then “Help and Support”.

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 —

You see a list of the major topics. Click the topic you want. Then you see a list of subtopics; click the subtopic you want.

or do this:

Double-click in the Search Help box. (That box is at the screen’s top, usually says “Search Help”, and has a magnifying glass at its right edge). Type any topic you can imagine. Your typing will appear in that box. Then press Enter.

If you want to go back to seeing the previous screenful of help, click the Back button (the white left-arrow at the screen’s top-left corner).

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

Windows Me & XP Click Start. For Windows Me, click “Help”; for Windows XP, click “Help and Support”.

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 —

You see a list of the major topics. Click the topic you want. Then you see a list of subtopics; click the subtopic you want.

or do this —

Double-click in the Search box (which is at the screen’s top, near the word “Search”). Type any topic you can imagine. Your typing will appear in that 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.

If you want to go back to seeing the previous screenful of help, click the Back button (the white left-arrow at the screen’s top-left corner).

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

Windows 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.

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 DOS commands                      102-120

Windows can handle the Internet                                                   148-170

To make Windows run better, clean your software                           173-179

Windows XP & Vista let you edit photos                                           281-283

Windows XP & Vista lets you edit movies                                      289-294