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Windows XP - Introduction to Windows XP, Windows XP Basic

Introduction to Windows XP
The operating system (OS) is the most important program that runs on a computer. It performs basic tasks like recognizing input from the keyboard, sending images to the display, keeping track of files, and controlling peripheral devices such as disk drives and printers.
Windows XP is the latest version of Windows. Though there are many new features in Windows XP, the most striking of them is the changed interface. The new interface includes a changed Start Menu which lets you work in Windows much easily.
The Start Menu does this with the help of Personalized Menus, where the programs that you use frequently are listed on top and the programs that are only occasionally used are hidden.
The new version of Windows represents an important change from the previous version. Since Windows95 was released the successive versions had only been an evolution from the original, nevertheless on this occasion a more important change was produced because the very center or Kernel of the operating system has been changed. Although it may seem to the user that no radical changes were made, it could be said that WindowsXP is not just another version of Windows but practically a whole new system
The most common editions of the operating system are Windows XP Home Edition, which is targeted at home users, and Windows XP Professional, which has additional features such as support for Windows server Domain and dual process, and is targeted at power users and business clients. Window XP Media Center Edition has additional multimedia features enhancing the ability to record and watch TV shows, watch DVDs, and listen to music. Windows XP Tablet PC Edition is designed to run the ink-aware Tablet PC platform. Two separate 64 bit versions of Windows XP were also released, Windows XP 64-bit Edition for IA-64(Itanium) processors and Windows XP professional x64 Edition for x84-64 processors.
Until now Microsoft had two different operating systems, Windows 98 for personal or domestic use and Windows NT/2000 for the business and professional environment. With WindowsXP a convergence among both versions is produced; the center of the operating system Windows 2000 was divided to create WindowsXP, and some adjustments were done to differentiate WindowsXP Home Edition and WindowsXP Professional.
Description XP

Windows XP comes with a fresh new design and many ways to customize the interface to your liking. There is a new Start Menu that is easy to use and full of new functions; or you can use the classic Start Menu if you prefer. To save space on your task bar you can group running applications according to type. For example, if you have multiple project documents open, you can group them into a pop-up menu instead of all across the task bar. This is a great feature that saves time and task bar space.

Also worth mentioning:
XP can be personalized to allow sharing the same computer with family or associates. Each individual can create their own unique account.
Misbehaving programs will not necessarily cause a computer to crash - each application runs in a separate, protected memory space.
• A Transfer wizard enables the movement of files, documents and settings from one computer to another.
• The Network Setup Wizard simplifies setting up a local network to share printers, devices, files and an Internet connection.
• A Firewall helps guard against intrusion when connected to the Internet.
Windows Movie Maker provides the ability to capture, edit, organize and share video camera movies.
Remote Desktop allows you to use your desktop computer from another computer running Windows 95 or later, giving you access to all of your data and applications.

Windows XP recommended system requirements:

• PC with 300 megahertz (MHz) or higher processor clock speed recommended; Intel Pentium/Celeron family, AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor
128 megabytes of RAM or higher
1.5 gigabyte (GB) of available hard disk space
Super VGA (800 × 600) or higher resolution video adapter and monitor
CD-ROM or DVD drive
Getting Started with Windows XP
Now you are going to do the practical work with Windows XP. If you have not done so already, turn on your pc now.
The Start
All programs have to be started; Windows XP is no exception, but it happens automatically. When you turn on power to the pc, it boots, the pc gets ready, and the operating system and its various programs are read in.
Microsoft has done much to optimize the start-up, so ordinarily Windows XP will be ready run in 30 seconds after you turn on power. That is a substantial improvement – especially when compared to Windows 2000 and NT, which could demonstrate a very slow start-up.

After start-up you usually have to click on a user name, since other users may use the same pc .Once you have logged on; you will get to Windows XP itself. This picture may look slightly different from pc to pc.


Windows XP gives additional users the option of their individual”log-on”.


You can create user account yourself in xp.


You can also specify password in each account like below.

The Start button
First we will look at the Start button, which most people are familiar with.
The only change in Windows XP is that the button is now green and got a rounded appearance

To start a program:

1. Click the Start button, located in the lower left corner of your screen.
2. Highlight Programs. The Program menu will appear.
3. Move to the Program menu and highlight the program you want to start. If you see a right pointer next to your selection, a submenu will appear. Refine your choice by highlighting the appropriate selection on the submenu. Continue until you get to the final submenu.
4. Click the program name to start the program.
The start button is your main entry to the pc. A single click on that opens the Start menu, which I will describe here. You can also activate it with the Windows key – I use that often:
You can actually operate the Start button in yet other ways. Try to press Control+Escape. Hold the Control key and press the Escape key simultaneously, then the Start menu opens.
The Start menu

The Start menu has a rather new look in Windows XP, but the structure is about the same as before.

You find:
. A number of hyperlinks to various programs and functions.
. An item that opens the sub menu
All programs.
. Two buttons in the bottom of the menu, which can be used to change user (Log off) and to close the computer respectively.
Turn Off , Restart, Stand by Computer
Shut down My Computer
To shut down your computer:
1. Click the Start button. The Start menu will appear.
2. Click Turn off Computer. The Turn Off Computer dialog box will appear.
3. Click the Turn Off icon. Your computer will shut down.
Restart My Computer
You may need to shut down and restart your computer after installing a new program or if your system becomes unstable.
To shut down and immediately restart your computer:
1. Click the Start button. The Start menu will appear.
2. Click Turn Off Computer. The Turn Off Computer dialog box will appear.
3. Click the Restart icon. Your computer will restart.
Standby mode

When your computer is in the Standby mode, your computer consumes less electricity, but is ready for immediate use. However, if the computer loses electrical power while in the Standby mode, any information you have not saved will be lost.

To put your computer in Standby mode:
1. Click the Start button. The Start menu will appear.
2. Click Turn Off Computer. The Turn Off Computer dialog box will appear.
3. Click the Stand By icon.
The Run Window
Run window
A left-click on the Run menu item will open the Run Window. If you know the exact path of a program file, you can type that information into the box to the right of Open: and then left-click on OK or simply press Enter.
Entering a program file will start that program. Entering a document file (from a word processor) will open that document within the word processor program.
If you are not certain of the exact path to a file, you can browse for it by left-clicking on the browse button. This generates a dialog box with a directory structure within and allows you to search through a disk for the appropriate file. Once located, you must left-click on the file name and then left-click the Open button. This returns you to the Run window with the file and its associated path properly inserted. You may then left-click on OK or press Enter.

Clicking on the downward pointing triangle to the right of where you enter the program name will drop down a list of files that you have recently launched from the Run window. Left-clicking on one of those names will insert the program or document name properly in the Run window. You may then left-click on OK or press Enter.

Windows XP Basic
The Operating System

The Operating System (OS) is the most important program that runs on a computer. It performs basic tasks like recognizing input from the keyboard, sending images to the display, keeping track of files, and controlling peripheral devices such as disk drives and printers.

The OS you use is what truly defines your computing experience. Some are designed to simplify the computing experience as much as possible while others are complex, offering a wide range of features and customization.
Since there is no OS that can satisfy every user's needs you have to find the one that's right for you. This guide will give you an idea of the operating system choices available for personal computers today.

With Windows ME and 2000 just getting established in the marketplace it might seem strange that Microsoft has introduced a new operating system; but they believe XP is a product that will redefine what people think of Windows.

XP retains features introduced in ME while adding many new ones. For example it will enable you to control your device drivers in a more precise fashion. If you install a new driver for one of your peripherals and the device malfunctions, you can roll back that individual driver to a previous state without having to uninstall or restart.
The "Last Good Configuration" tool logs your system configuration every time you successfully boot your PC, and if something bad happens, you can revert back to your last good configuration. With Automatic System Recovery (ASR) you can recover your system settings if you change something by mistake. XP also has protection to keep important system files safe.
In addition to all of the improvements found in ME's help section, a new option called Interactive Support lets you link directly to sources for tech support. By clicking on the Remote Assistance Tool you can create a peer-to-peer connection that, with your permission, allows another Windows XP user to take over your system and solve problems.
XP is a very quick OS. The system boots up and applications launch faster in XP than any previous Windows release. Benchmark tests indicate that on average XP is 36% faster than Windows 98 SE and equivalent to Windows 2000 in performance. Standby and Hibernation modes have been improved to quickly resume operation so you can leave your PC on, consuming minimal power.
Windows XP has a wide range of entertainment features and multimedia support designed to fully integrate digital media into the PC. Features include the ability to convert music tracks into digital audio, burn music CD's, listen to radio stations from across the planet and watch DVD movies on your PC. All of these functions have been integrated into one program, Windows Media Player, with an all new interface and playback facilities.
If you are a PC gamer, you've most likely been using Windows 98/Me even though Windows 2000 offers higher performance. Because of its game/hardware compatibility, ease of use and product support, Windows 98/Me was the OS geared towards gamers. Windows XP offers the best of both worlds: the performance and security of Windows 2000 and the game/hardware compatibility and support of Windows 98/Me.
The Windows
All the windows have the same structure; don't worry if you are not familiarized with it because we will explain it next.
The window above is the one that opens when you click on My Computer.

The structure of this window is very similar to the others.

Handling Mouse and Keyboard
All the windows are formed by:
The title bar
The title bar contains the name of the program you are working with (Notepad) and in some cases the name of the opened document (aulaclic) also appears. In the top right corner we can find the minimize, maximize/restore, and close buttons.
 The minimize button shrinks the window it turns it into a button located in the WindowsXP task bar.
 The maximize amplifies the size of the window to the whole screen
 The restore button restores the window to its original state.
 The close button closes the window. If we' ve modified the document, we are asked if we want to save the changes before closing.
The Menu Bar
The menu bar has the program functions organized in menus. For example, when we click on File, the different operations that can be performed with files are displayed. All the operations that the program allows us to do are located within the different menus of this bar
To open a menu with the keyboard, you need to press the Alt key plus the underlined letter of the menu you want to open. For example: Alt+F opens the menu File. In no letter is underlined, press Alt key
If on a menu an option appears with a small arrow pointing to the right it means that that option contains other options. If you want to open the menu related to that option, you only need to maintain the option highlighted for a few seconds and the menu will appear
If on a menu you find an option that contains three dots. (For Example: Sharing and Security...) it means that the option needs more information to be executed; normally a dialog box will open in which you can place that information
The Tool Bar
The Tool Bar contains icons to immediatelly execute some of the most often used commands. These commands can also be executed from the menu bar.
The Scroll Bar
The Scroll Bars allow us to move through out the page in a quick and simple manner. Simply drag the bar with the mouse or click on the arrows. There are bars to move along the width of the page and bars to move along the height of the page. The little square with dots on the right is used to change the size of the window. Simply click and drag.
The Status Bar
The Status Bar is used to give the user certain information.This information varies depending on the window that is opened at the time.
For Example: In this case it tells us that we have 3.75 GB free space on the disk, and that the total size of the disk is 19.5 GB.
This bar is not shown by default in Windows XP. You can activate or disactivate it from the menu View --> Status Bar.



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