Computer Basics No Prerequisites Level: Beginner Basic Understanding of the Computer
The Parts of the computer
Mousercise and more
Shutting Down the Computer
Hardware (main components) Monitor CPU (tower) Keyboard Mouse
Keyboard Delete Key Backspace Key
The Mouse controls the pointer that moves around the screen. It usually takes on 3 shapes: Arrow, Hand, and I-bar (cursor)
left and right buttons, scroll-wheel
Use the mouse to start programs
Use the mouse to highlight text
Mousercise and more Websites for mouse training: http://www.ckls.org/~crippel/computerlab/tutorials/mouse/page1.html http://www.mouseprogram.com/
If you are having trouble using the mouse these websites will be available to practice and get familiar with the use of the mouse.
Solitaire (Which is part of Windows XP) is another good source for using the mouse To get there:
Click on the Start Button
Click on All Programs
Click on Games
Finally choose Solitaire
The Windows desktop is a metaphor for your real world desk. Desktops are completely customizable and will very from user to user. This is a desktop that has been customized. Windows Desktop
Here’s a quick guide to the features you can see in the figure below: Window Terminology: A. The Start button. This is where everything springs from. Click this button to display the Start Menu.
The term button is used frequently in Windows, when in everyday use it conjures up something quite different (usually something round and plastic). The Start button in Windows looks like this: To ‘push’ the button , click it once with the left mouse button and then release the mouse button. Use the same technique with any other buttons you encounter, such as the Yes, No, Open, Save, OK, Cancel and Browse buttons you’ll come across frequently: What happens if you click a button and then decide you don’t want to carry through with that action? For instance, what if you’re asked whether you want to delete a file and you click OK, then suddenly realize you need the file after all? Well, if you haven’t yet released the mouse button, you can simply move the mouse pointer away from the OK button and then release the mouse button. B. The Start Menu . The Start Menu provides access to all your programs and Windows settings, a Help And Support guide, a Search facility for locating documents and other items on your computer or on the Internet, and several other options. Notice how some menu items have a small black arrow to the right of their name. Selecting any of these options will display a sub-menu of related items. Selecting any item without an arrow beside it will immediately activate that item. To select an item, click the Start button, move the mouse pointer up the list of options until you highlight the one you want, then click once more. C. Icons. The little pictures you see are called icons. Each icon represents a function, program or document on your computer. To open an icon, double-click it. You can move icons around the Desktop by dragging and dropping them with the mouse.
D. Recycle Bin. This is the equivalent of the wastepaper bin in your office. Dump unwanted documents and programs in here either by dragging and dropping them with the mouse or by selecting them and then pressing the Delete (or Del) key on your keyboard. If you accidentally delete a file, you can ‘undelete’ it by opening the Recycle Bin, selecting the item and choosing Restore from the File Menu. E. My Documents. The icon that looks like a folder bulging with documents provides central storage for all the documents you create or store on your computer. Think of it as a huge filing cabinet, which you can fill with documents neatly sorted into their own folders for easy retrieval. F. My Computer. My Computer stores information about your computer system. It contains icons which give you access to your disk drives. It also provides access to the Control Panel (also accessible via the Start Menu), where you can adjust settings for your system. G. Desktop. The vast expanse of space is the Desktop itself. You can rearrange the items on the Desktop by dragging the icons to new positions, and you can change the look of the Desktop by adding a background image, called Desktop wallpaper. You can also change the Desktop’s color. To see some of the options for changing the Desktop, right-click any vacant space on the Desktop; you’ll see a pop-up menu displayed. Choose Properties from the menu and a Display Properties dialog box (an information box which requires feedback or input from you) will appear containing settings. Once you’ve finished with the Display Properties box, click the OK button at the bottom of the box to close it. H. Notification Area. This section of the Desktop not only houses the time, it also contains icons for handy little programs which run all the time your computer is on. As you install more applications on your computer, you’ll find the Notification Area filling up with more icons. You can usually discover an icon’s purpose by letting the mouse pointer linger on top of it; after a few seconds, a tooltip will pop up telling you its purpose. Right-click or double-click an icon to display its functions.
I. The Taskbar. This is the long blue strip at the bottom of the screen which contains the Start button, Quick Launch bar and Notification Area. The Taskbar lets you quickly switch between any programs you have running (you can run more than one program at a time). So, if you have a Web browser and a word processor open at the same time and the word processor window is currently obscuring your view of the Web browser, you can click the Web browser’s button in the Taskbar to have it spring into view. J. The Quick Launch bar. The Quick Launch bar provides a quick way to start programs you use frequently, such as your Web browser and email program. You can drag shortcuts to other programs, such as your word processor or personal finance manager, into the Quick Launch bar to gain quick access to them as well. The icon that looks like a desk blotter with a writing pad and pen on top is a little different. It’s called the Show Desktop icon, and clicking it quickly hides all open program windows so you can get a clear view of your Desktop.
We’ll finish up with one of the most important techniques: shutting your computer down. It’s important you turn your computer off correctly. Simply hitting the power switch without closing down properly is a sure way to lose documents you’ve been working on or even to scramble data or programs on your system. Here’s how to exit from Windows in an orderly fashion: Close any open programs or documents. Do so by clicking the little X in the top right-hand corner of each open window. If there appear to be two Xs one above the other in a window, click the topmost X. Click the Start button and select Shut Down. A Shut Down Windows dialog box will appear. If you’re using Windows XP, click the Start button and select Turn Off or Shut Down Computer. A Turn Off Computer dialog box will appear. Click Turn Off. A colored screen will appear indicating that Windows is shutting down. After a little while, your computer should shut off automatically, or you’ll see a black screen with the words ‘It’s now safe to turn off your computer’. Switch the computer off (using the power strip switch, if you have one). If the ‘It’s now safe to turn off your computer’ message fails to appear, wait 30 seconds or so and then switch your computer off at the power strip. If you are going away or not going to use your computer for a long period of time: Unplug the power strip or computer from the power outlet and disconnect the modem cord from the telephone outlet. It’s important you do this, as your computer can be damaged by lightning strikes even while it is not switched on. Shutting down