[vip_students] Windows XP, Lesson 1.: What is an operating system?

  • From: "Lists" <lists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <vip_students@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 10:21:37 -0000

Hi All,

I thought I would  write up some material for posting out on the list here
and maybe it will be of use to some of you. It is no harm for everyone to
read over it as sometimes you forget what's what about such things so
consider it a refresher course. We are going to begin  with what is an
operating system.

(A Look at Windows XP )

Before we start pointing and clicking or using the keyboard,  it helps if
you actually understand what exactly Windows XP is. Windows XP is an
operating system . Okay, so what's
an operating system ? An operating system is a software program that
controls and runs just about everything on your computer. Here's what an
system does:

Controls Your Computer's Hardware

Windows XP controls the different devices of your computer system. It's what
makes your printer print, what makes graphics and text appear on your
and what makes your mouse point and click or gives you access via a
keyboard. Actually, you make the mouse point and click, but Windows XP is
what puts the mouse pointer on the screen and
electronically connects it to your mouse.
This is also true  for the keyboard. With the help of keystrokes built into
the operating system you can  do lots of things using the  windows operating
system. For example;
*. Open up menus.
*. Launch particular programs.
*.Access the internet and email.
*. Write up documents and emails etc.

Runs Your Computer's Programs

Windows XP is what runs all your programs. Without Windows XP, your word
processor, Web browser (Internet), and games wouldn't work. Windows XP lets
programs "talk" to your hardware, so, for example, your word processor can
print things to the printer.

Organizes Files

Windows XP stores information in files and folders on your computer's local
disk, just like you store files and folders in a filing cabinet.

Think of Windows XP as an orchestra conductor who makes sure all the parts
of your computer-your hardware and programs-work together. Operating systems
have been around for a long time; what makes Windows XP special is its
ability to make computer operations easy. In the computer stone age (about
15 years
ago), people had to type hard-to-remember, cryptic commands into their
computer to make them do what they wanted, this was called "DOS, Disk
Operated System". With Windows XP, all you have to do is
point and click to do something or input a keystroke such as  Control +  P"
to print off a document.

(Windows XP Appearance)

The most obvious and controversial feature of Windows XP is a completely
redesigned interface and Start menu that is easier to use and supposedly
lets you
find what you need more quickly. The jury is still out whether or not users
will embrace this drastically new interface. If you can't stand the new
XP interface you can always switch to the Windows Classic interface of
previous versions.

To Switche To Classic View:

1. While on the desktop, Tab key to where it says "start button".
2. Press your application key, "Third key out from right of keyboard" to
open what we call the "application control menu.
3. Arrow down to Properties and press the enter key.
4. Press the down arrow till your screen reader or magnification view tells
you that you are on "classic start menu" then either press enter key once
again or click on the "ok button".
Now you will be in classic view.

(More stable)
Windows XP is based on the same technology as Microsoft Windows NT and
Windows 2000 business operating systems. This makes Windows XP more stable
than Windows
95, 98, and ME, and greatly reduces the risk of your computer crashing.

Better File and Folder Management

Windows XP makes it easier to view and work with your files and folders. 

Better Security (Windows XP Service Pack 2)

After years of worms, Trojan horses, and neverending Windows XP security
patches, Microsoft has finally begrudgingly acknowledged and addressed many
the security problems in Windows XP with Windows XP Service Pack 2. Windows
XP Service Pack 2 contains many dramatic Internet and network security
sure you visit Microsoft's Web site and download and install this critical
update for Windows XP.

Wireless Support (Windows XP Service Pack 2)

Microsoft's Windows XP Service Pack 2 includes new features and Wizards to
support the new and growing wireless networking standards.

Above we have just touched on some of the features of windows xp and  what
windows xp can do for us in our daily work. Read on to find out how we can
actually access this world of windows where a password is used. Some of us
may not have password logins on our machines, this is no problem as it is
entirely optional to have this choice.

(Starting and Logging On to Windows XP Home)

The Welcome screen is the default log in screen.

The Log On to Windows XP dialog box appears if the Welcome screen has been
turned off.

After taking off your jacket and grabbing a cup of coffee, you probably
begin your day by turning on your computer and starting Windows XP. Windows
XP should
automatically start after you turn on your computer. This lesson also
explains what you need to do next.

The default login screen is the Welcome screen, 

Click your account user name.
For those using a keyboard it can be slightly different. Personally I
disable this screen all the time as it is not particularily screen reader
For keyboard users to use this screen follow the next instructions:
1. When you think your computer has loaded up onto the log-on window just do
a "shift + tab key once".
2. Hit the spacebar once" and this should  begin logging you in. You may
have to get sighted help for the first few times you attempt to log in just
to get a feel for what you have to do in order to log in independently.

If your account has a password, you will be prompted to enter it.

Remember that when you enter your password, Windows XP will display a series
of .......s to protect your password from prying eyes.

Press Enter or click OK .

Windows XP logs in using your account settings.





End of lesson.

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  • » [vip_students] Windows XP, Lesson 1.: What is an operating system?