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Knowledge and Application

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Introduction to Windows 98

Most well accepted operating system used by the computer users world wide was Disk Operating System or DOS. Over the years, lots of features were added to DOS, which was initially introduced to be used with PC with Intel's 8088 chip set. However, recent introduction of Windows operating system with Graphical User Interface build into it, a computer user need not remember all the operating sys-tem commands by heart. This has been possible with the introduction of windows Operating system by Microsoft, which provides major improvements such as graphical operating environment, net-working of computers, in build multimedia capabilities and performance enhancement to DOS. Most of the personal computers you see today comes with Microsoft Windows operating system. It is an operating system meant for IBM compatible PCs.


The following are the main features of Windows98 operating system.

• Creates the link between the user, and the computer by providing an interface in which the user can communicate with the computer

• Serves as the base software on which a variety of programs can operate. Examples include MS Word, MS Excel, MS Power Point, and MS Access

• Handles internal functions, such as managing the computer memory, input and output operations

• Provides a series of utilities - specialized programs to manage your system - and commands that you can use to manage your files, folders, and disks

• A Graphical User Interface (GUI), which uses pictures, symbols, windows, and words on your screen that you control with the mouse

• Built-in programs, or accessoires like, WordPad, Notepad, Calculator, Paint program etc.

• The ability to display several documents and run a number of programs in their own windows, all at the same time.

• The World Wide Web (WWW) is easily accessible from anywhere in windows. You can communicate over the Internet. Using Internet tools included with windows, you can send e-mail, chat, and view news.

• Supports DVD and digital audio, so that you can play high quality digital movies and audio on your computer. You can also watch TV.

Knowledge and Application of Operating system:

Using the Mouse

Windows98 is designed for use with a mouse. Although, you can use the keyboard for most actions in Windows 98, many of these actions are easier to do with a mouse. You will use four basic mouse actions throughout this course.

1. Pointing: Moving the mouse to place the pointer on an item is called pointing.

2. Clicking: Pointing to an item on your screen and then quickly pressing and releasing the left or right mouse button is called clicking. You select items on the screen by clicking. Occasionally there are operations you perform by clicking the right mouse button, but unless you are instructed click the left mouse button.

3. Double-clicking: Pointing to an item and then quickly pressing and releasing the mouse button twice is called double-clicking.? Whenever you are unsure of the command to use for an operation, try clicking the item you want to affect. If you get no result, try double-clicking. This often displays a dialog box in which you can make changes to the item you double-clicked.

4. Dragging: Pointing to an item and then holding down the mouse button as you move the mouse is called dragging. You can use this action to select data, and to move or copy text or objects


As a shortcut, we have used a special convention to indicate menu commands throughout this course. When you want to choose a command from the menu bar, it will follow this pattern: menu name command. For example, "Choose File Open" is a shorter way of saying "Choose the File command from the menu bar, then choose the Open command from the File menu". Sometimes you will see a sequence of menu selections that goes three or more levels.

Desktop When you turn on your computer, the screen first displays Basic Input Output Information about your computer. Few seconds later, Windows takes control and the Windows logo flashes on your screen with the cloudy sky. You could see "Microsoft Windows98". The first thing that always appears after loading is that you will be asked to type your password to enter Windows (it is the password you typed the first time Windows was launched). The Desktop is where you might place useful things always accessible to you.

My Computer: My Computer is the most important Desktop item (see fig. 5.1). This is where everything is present: your hard drive, floppy, CDROM, computer's main control (Control Panel). All the computer resources can be accessed from My Computer - it is the gateway to your computer. To access My Computer, double-click on its icon in the Desktop.

My computer contains:

• Hard Drive (s) (C: D:)

• 3.5 Floppy Drive (A: ) CD_ROM Drive (E: )

• Printers

• Control Panel

• Dail-up Networking (used especially for Internet Connection)

• Scheduled Tasks (give your computer jobs to perform when you are out)

My Computer window looks just like any window you open, you can minimize, this Window with -, maximum with and close by clicking on x. In My Computer you are forbidden to Delete, Copy, Rename anything, try to press delete key and nothing will happen. The items in My Computer window are so crucial that you cannot run your computer without them. For example, if you remove the hard drive where would you store your files. Since, My Computer items are related to the computer system they should remain intact. Suppose you want to use My Computer to view your hard disk. On the Desktop double-click My Computer. The My Computer window (see Figure) with different icons will appear. Double-click the icon (see fig.) that represents your hard disk. Your hard disk window appears, and the contents of your hard disk.

Similarly you can double-click the other icons in My Computer:

• To view the contents of the floppy disk, which is usually designated drive A:

• To view the contents of the hard disk, which is usually designated drive C:

• To view the contents of the hard disk, which is usually designated drive D:

• To view the contents of compact disk in the CD-ROM drive designated as E:

• To set up printer and view information about available printers and print job status.

• To view tools you can use to modify your computer settings.

• To schedule or view tasks for computer maintenance

• To view web folder contents

• To view shared information on another computer by using a modem.

The Properties Window in My Computer

To learn more about each item, just choose one icon, right-click and select Properties from menu. The Properties window is divided into four tabs: General, Tools, Sharing and Compression. If you select the Floppy icon, the General tab shows information about your floppy, storage device. It tells you how much space you still have on your disc, and the total size in KB or MB. You should have a total of 1.45,664KB if you're using a 1.44 MB floppy. At the top of the window is the floppy lable, usually it is blank. The pie chart shows clearly the Used Space and Free Space (see Figure below) The Tools tab in fig. features the following three important Windows utilities:

Error-checking status: It is a utility that let you check your computer for errors. If you accidentally turned your computer off without properly shutting down, it will run when you restart your computer and perform a scan on your hard drive.

Backup status: This utility lets you backup important stuff so you will never lose anything in case your computer was damaged. You should always keep two copies of your work you store in computer.

Defragmentation status: Use this utility to make your computer run faster. The more you use the computer the more "it gets tired and old". Defragmentation will refresh it.

The Sharing tab will tell you whether your hard disk is shared by other network users or not. The Compression tab is almost never used. Suppose one day you run out of disk space, you can use the Compression utility to squeeze your files and generate more room.

Beside My Computer there are quite a few icon on the Desktop. These are as follows:

1. My Documents: This is where you store all your personal stuff like files, anything you create with your computer. You can put your things somewhere else also. Think of My Documents as your Desktop drawer where you can put your papers.

2. Recycle Bin: Provides space for deleted files from folders or Desktop, and provides a second chance to recover files deleted.

3. Internet Explorer: It is a piece of software called a browser that lets you explore the Internet. You might have another icon like "Internet Connection" that will help you configure your computer to access the Internet.

4. Network Neighborhood: Provides access to shared resources on your computer and other computers on your local and wide area networks. If your computer is connected to a network, you can use Network Neighborhood to browse network resources in the same way you browse the contents of your computer.

To open network resources follow the steps given below:

i. On the Desktop, double-click Network Neighborhood. The computers in your workgoup will appear. If you want to view all of the resources available on the network, double-click Entire Network.
ii. Double-click the servers and folders you want to open.

5. Online Services: As online services is a subscription computer service you can see it to access a wide variety of information and exchange messages with other users. With online services, you can obtain information on news, sports, weather, the stocks market, and more. You can get access to different libraries and databases. You can send mail to other users of the online service. Examples of online services include America Online, CompuServe, Prodigy, and MSN.

6. Date, Time, Volume: At the bottom right corner of the screen, you can tell what time is it. By clicking your mouse over the clock icon, you'll get the date. You can also control the sound by clicking on the speaker icon.

7. Start Button: This button lies at the bottom left of your screen. It provides an easy way to start different programs and other applications.

8. Taskbar: This lies at the bottom of your screen. This displays all open applications and windows. The Start button and the Taskbar work together and help you in managing your applications open or close windows easier.


At the bottom left corner is the Start button. Place the mouse over Start and you will see "click here to begin". Start gives you access to all applications on your computer, every time you install a software on your system, you can easily have access through the Start button. Click on Start and the Start menu appears. Figure 1.1 shows the main menu items available when you click on the Start button.

Shutdown - shutdown, restart and standby.

Log off - Log off the current user.

Run - Used to run executable files (programs).

Help - Opens the built-in Windows help.

Find - Search for files, folders, etc.

Settings - Printers and other settings.

Documents - Recently viewed documents.

Favorites - Links to your favorite web pages.

Programs - Gives access to all of your programs.

Note: some of the options have a small black arrow to their right, this means that another submenu will appear when you hover your mouse pointer over it

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