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Windows Manual Introduction
copyright 1996, 1997 by Tracy Marks, Windweaver Training Services
Boston area Windows Training, Tutoring and Consulting


NOTE : Although this manual was written for for Windows 95 classes
and students, much of the material in it is relevant to Windows 98,
Windows 2000, and Windows XP users.

Windows is a computer operating system and graphical user interface  (GUI)
which enables you to work with a wide variety of programs on your computer -
often simultaneously.

Designed by Microsoft Corporation to improve upon and replace Windows 3.1,
Windows 95 is faster, more powerful and easier to use than its predecessor.
While Windows 3.1 is a 16-bit graphical user interface relying entirely upon
the old computer conventions of the ms-dos operating system, Windows 95 is
a complete 32-bit operating system - which means it has power, speed and
capacities not available in Windows 3.1.

Some of the new features incorporated into Windows include:

-----32 bit multitasking - the ability to run two or more programs (such as your
word processor, your calculator and your printer) at once, switching between
them at your convenience

-----plug and play - automatic detection and configuration of new hardware

-----long file names - the use of lengthy file names, not limited to the 8 letters
or numbers followed by three letter extensions of the previous Windows ms-dos
operating systems.

In Windows, everything starts and ends on your DESKTOP - your computer
screen covered with a solid color background, a patterned background, or
a picture (wallpaper). Atop the desktop are icons which represent programs
or collections of programs. By double clicking with your mouse on these icons,
you can open programs or files, or collections of programs and files.

Apart from two or three icons which are installed with Windows, you may
choose and create the icons which appear on your desktop.

Windows Desktop and Start Menu

At the bottom of your Windows screen is your TASKBAR, with a START
menu. When you click on START, you open cascading panels where you can
access hundreds of your most frequently used programs and documents. Those
which you have opened are indicated by rectangular icons on your taskbar.
Such programs will either be visible on your screen or minimized - not visible,
but open and readily accessible.

In the above illustration, both Photoshop and Paint are open and minimized.

On the right side of your TASKBAR are small icons which access programs
that are automatically available when you turn on Windows. In the above
illustration, the icons at right on the TASKBAR are gateways to a Norton
antivirus program, your sound volume control, the Microsoft Plus program
scheduler, Symantec's Crashguard and WindoWindows's system resource monitor.

NEXT: The Start Menu: Shutdown, Mouse Configuration       continue

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copyright 1997, 1999 by Tracy Marks    Arlington, Massachusetts   (781) 641-3371
Windweaver    Tracy Marks    
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