Absolute Beginner's Guide to Microsoft Windows XP

Overview

Absolute Beginner's Guide to Microsoft Windows XP teaches you how to get started with Windows (and computing in general). The book starts with the fundamentals and then builds on these skills in a smooth and effortless manner. Shelley O'Hara walks you through the process using a hands-on approach, covering topics that include starting programs, sending email, downloading music, and printing reports, invitations, and other documents. Not only will you learn the nuts and bolts of using Windows, you'll also receive ...
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Overview

Absolute Beginner's Guide to Microsoft Windows XP teaches you how to get started with Windows (and computing in general). The book starts with the fundamentals and then builds on these skills in a smooth and effortless manner. Shelley O'Hara walks you through the process using a hands-on approach, covering topics that include starting programs, sending email, downloading music, and printing reports, invitations, and other documents. Not only will you learn the nuts and bolts of using Windows, you'll also receive a crash course in additional topics that will improve your computing experience. Absolute Beginner's Guide to Microsoft Windows XP includes valuable, practical advice and instructions that you can use over and over again for quick reference.
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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
Just bought a new PC? Finally got around to upgrading to Windows XP? Feeling disoriented? You're not alone. There's a lot that's new here -- and much of what's not new has been moved around. You could be forgiven if you suspected they were trying to confuse you. Get yourself un-confused, with Absolute Beginner's Guide to Microsoft Windows XP.

This splendidly simple (and dirt-cheap) book teaches you all the Windows XP most normal folks will need to know. How to find your way around. How to communicate. How to have fun. How to customize Windows to your own personal foibles. How to keep Windows running smoothly. How to share your computer or connect with your other computers. How to use the freebies that come with Windows. And how to use Windows' accessibility features if you need them.

That's pretty much what you'll find here. No super-techie stuff, no tomfoolery, no condescension, and no mystification. Shelley O'Hara writes well and clearly, and when a picture's worth a thousand words, that's what she gives you. Above all, as per the "Absolute Beginner's" moniker, if you can turn your PC on, you've got the prerequisites nailed.

For those who've upgraded from an earlier version of Windows, O'Hara starts with a quick tour of what's new in Windows XP: the revamped Start menu and Desktop, the Taskbar, program shortcut icons, and so forth.

You'll walk through essential techniques you can use with any Windows software; essential file management (including renaming, deleting, and especially undeleting files); and simple troubleshooting and maintenance (what to do when a program hangs, how to make sure your computer's running as fast as it can).

Next, O'Hara shows how to set up your email account in Outlook Express; check email, send and respond to messages; cope with file attachments, and print, organize, and search the messages you've received. The few minutes you spend setting up a system for storing your messages will pay for themselves the first time you can find some contact or information you'd otherwise tear your hair out looking for.

There's a full chapter on browsing the Web with Internet Explorer 6, including some tips most beginners (and many experienced users) don't know: for example, how to use the History button to find your way back to a site you visited last week, and how to email an entire web page.

One free bonus that's almost certainly built into your computer is a modem that can send and receive faxes. Why not trash that expensive, bulky fax machine and use your PC to handle your faxes? (That way all your faxes are stored for you without taking up one inch of storage space.) O'Hara shows how, walking through setting up the Windows XP fax console (and installing it if necessary); using the Fax Send wizard; viewing and printing faxes you've received; even forwarding faxed images to others via email. (Later, she introduces the free applet programs included with Windows XP, from Wordpad for simple word processing to Calculator, which now offers slick scientific functions alongside the basics).

Enough about productivity for now: O'Hara also covers the fun stuff. She shows how to play music and videos using Windows Media Player; briefly introduces the Windows Movie Maker digital video editor; and presents a full chapter on importing and working with images from your digital camera or scanner. She also demonstrates how to customize pretty much any part of Windows you like, from the Desktop to Internet Explorer.

Finally, if you share your PC with others, O'Hara tells you how to set up multiple user accounts, which doesn't just let you protect your personal files from snoops but also lets the kids customize Windows to their own personal tastes without mucking it up for you.

Windows XP and this Absolute Beginner's Guide -- Windows has never been simpler. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789728562
  • Publisher: Que
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Series: Absolute Beginner's Guide Series
  • Pages: 371
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Some Key Terms 1
Some Things to Keep in Mind 2
The Basic Structure of This Book 2
Conventions Used in This Book 4
I The Basics
1 Upgrading to Microsoft Windows XP 7
2 Getting Started with Windows XP 17
3 Starting Programs 35
4 Saving Your Work 51
5 Printing 65
6 Understanding File Management Basics 77
7 Troubleshooting Common Problems 91
II Communications
8 Getting Wired for Communication 103
9 Sending and Receiving Email 113
10 Browsing the Internet 129
11 Searching the Internet 145
12 Sending and Receiving Faxes 153
III Entertainment!
13 Playing Music and Videos 165
14 Working with Photographs and Movies 177
IV Your Own Personal Windows
15 Customizing Windows XP 191
16 Setting Up Programs 205
17 Customizing Email and Internet Explorer 223
18 Customizing Your Printer 237
V Everyday PC Maintenance
19 Organizing Files 247
20 Viewing and Finding Files 259
21 Securing Your PC 271
22 Improving Your Computer's Performance 283
23 Handling PC Maintenance 293
24 Upgrading Windows 303
VI Windows XP for Special Situations
25 Using Windows Accessory Programs 313
26 Setting Up Windows XP for Multiple Users 325
27 Using Accessibility Options 335
28 Setting Up Windows XP on a Home Network 345
Index 355
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