Today weíre going to discuss the general mechanics of navigating a computer.
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First, however, we'll get the mouse story out of the way.
Windows can be operated without one, but itís a lot easier with one of these in your hand.
Clicking with a mouse means that you slide the mouse over a particular object and push the left button ONE TIME!
You don't have to drive the thing through the top of your desk, just a nice firm tap.
Double clicking means that you should hit the button twice quickly. TAP TAP!
Clicking is always done with the left button unless instructed otherwise.
We'll get back to that soon.
Assuming you have Windows, what youíll see, once itís booted up, is the desktop. Just what youíd have if you looked at your desk. The little pictures sitting there are things that would be laying on your desk. The trash can, notice, is not UNDER your desk though, itís ON IT!
These little pictures are called ICONS. ICONS represent something. Weíll talk about those later.
Notice the START button in the lower left corner.
That would be a good place to start, huh?
By clicking the left mouse button ONCE, a menu opens.
This menu shows what programs and files (documents)are in your hard drive.
If, next to any item you see a small arrow, that means there is another menu for that item.
So here is where you can find out the capabilities of any machine,
in other words, what programs are available on it!
Just click that left mouse button anywhere else on the screen
and the menues will close.
And now Iím going to tell you the number one secret of computers.
Are you ready? Here it comes.....
READ THE SCREEN!!!
You will be surprised at how much you will learn.
Letís go off on a tangent and look at a bit of history to see how computers have evolved, and later Iíll show you what the various parts of a computer look like.
Pretty soon youíll be building your own!
Letís get started.
About twenty years ago, the first widely used CPU (CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT), or chip was called the 8088.
It was about an inch and a half long and had a bunch of little wires sticking out of it like a centipede.
I placed a mouse next to it so you can see the size.
This, and every chip after it, is the brains of a computer.
Do you remember the big vacuum tubes that were in those old radios?
Well, transistors came along and portable radios came into existence.
This little CPU (8088)contained 29,000 transistors!
Now the CPU is much bigger (about 2 inches by 6 inches)
and contains MILLIONS of transisters!
Don't ask me how they get them in there.
All the chip does is read electrical impulses that are either on or off. On = yes, Off = no.
Thatís how a computer works.
Simple, isnít it?
Thanks for coming, good afternoon!
OK, you want some more, huh?
After these chips, the engineers learned how to get more transistors into a chip,
thereby making the chip faster.
The first one, along with one slightly faster, called an 8086, was in a computer called an XT.
It ran at a speed of from 4 to 10 MgHz.
ONE HERTZ is the speed of ONE CALCULATION THROUGH A CPU!
A MEGAHERTZ is ONE MILLION HERTZ!
Whatís 800 MEGAHERTZ?
Soon after, a new chip was introduced.
The 286 (in an AT machine) contained 134,000 transistors.
The PCís were here to stay!
As you probably know, the 386, then the 486 chips were born,
resulting in much faster computers.
The 486 contained 1,200,000 transistors!
Now I know youíve heard of Pentium computers.
I guess Intel wanted to get away from the 86 numbers. Penta means 5, so thatís where the name comes from.
The only differences in all of them is the number of transistors.
The more the merrier, and faster as well.
Back to the desk top. Before we get into any programs, I want to show you something else.
Look in the upper left hand corner and see an icon called MY COMPUTER.
This will show a lot of information if you click on it.
Here is a list of all drives present in your computer.
It also gives you access to the CONTROL PANEL, which you should leave alone if you are not familiar with it.
Remember I talked about clicking?
If you click an item once, it will be highlighted.
That really doesn't accomplish much but if you click an item twice (doubleclicking),
you will open the item if the item is supposed to be opened!
If you place the mouse on an item and click the right button,
usually you will get a menu which is self explained, or information.
There is no other reason for clicking with the right mouse
unless itís called for in a specialized program.
What kind of information is available?
Letís go ahead and right click on the C: drive. By the way, in all computers, A will be a floppy disk drive,
B was used for the old 5.25 floppy, and C is the hard drive.
E is usually the CD-ROM drive, but a lot of users break up their hard drives
into PARTITIONS to separate items within the drive.
They may be broken up into D, E, F and more, drives.
When you right click on the drive icon, you will see a menu.
At the bottom of the menu youíll see an item called properties which contains information about the drive,
including itsí size.
Itís a very useful Windows tool.
Click on the OK tab at the bottom of the window to close it.
Now, back at MY COMPUTER, weíll doubleclick on the C drive with the LEFT button
and look what we have here.
This, again, is everything in the drive, but in more detail.
Here are all the programs in something called folders.
Rightclick on a folder and see what happens.
Getting back to ICONS, remember those?
There are many types of icons but the two you will see the most will be either a FOLDER or a FILE.
Letís look at your desk top.
In your desk are some drawers.
When you open a drawer you will normally see a bunch of folders and
inside those FOLDERS you will see papers, or FILES.
Now, doubleclick on a folder.
You have now reached into your desk drawer, selected a hanging folder, and are now looking into it.
Look at all those papers, or FILES in there!
There are two types of files here, one you can use and one you canít.
See all those pages with a corner turned down?
You cannot access those files. They are files that are used by the particular program to run it.
See the book with a question mark on it?
Anybody want to hazard a guess as to what type of file that is?
These are HELP files and if you click on them, youíll see information relative to the program (folder) itís in.
Somewhere in all those files is the one which will activate the program.
Most folders will have a file used to undelete the program from your computer.
Isnít that handy?
At our next session, Iíll show you how easy it is to create files,
move them from place to place, add to them, make them smaller,
or just delete them altogether
I hope you enjoyed the session and learned something.
See you at the next one!
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