The Complete Idiot's Guide to PCs


The Complete Idiot's Guide to PCs gives you the hands-on training you need to become productive with your new PCs. This book leads you from the very first stage (purchasing, setting up, and turning on a PC), through day-to-day operations (using Windows and applications; creating, formatting, and printing documents; browsing the Web; and sending and receiving email), and finishes up with tips for optimizing, configuring, and troubleshooting a PC. A simple scan of the outline reveals that The Complete Idiot's Guide...
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The Complete Idiot's Guide to PCs gives you the hands-on training you need to become productive with your new PCs. This book leads you from the very first stage (purchasing, setting up, and turning on a PC), through day-to-day operations (using Windows and applications; creating, formatting, and printing documents; browsing the Web; and sending and receiving email), and finishes up with tips for optimizing, configuring, and troubleshooting a PC. A simple scan of the outline reveals that The Complete Idiot's Guide to PCs is no standard PC reference book. From the very first pages and throughout the book, you perform the tasks required to learn and master your PC, and become more productive with software applications.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780028642758
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 9/13/2001
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 7.36 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Joe Kraynak has taught thousands of computer users how to use and troubleshoot their PCs, master Windows, and become more productive with software. His long list of computer books includes Using and Upgrading PCs, More Easy Windows 98, The Complete Idiot's Guide® to Microsoft Office 2000, Big Basics Book of Windows 98, Easy Internet and Sams Teach Yourself Notebook Basics in 10 Minutes. Joe has a master's degree from Purdue University and a strong commitment to making PCs more accessible to the novice user.

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Table of Contents

1: Basic Training.

1. Savvy Consumer Guide to Buying a Computer.
Desktop or Notebook? Computer Buyer's Checklists. Planning for Future Expansion. Buying the Perfect Printer. Scanners, Digital Cameras, TV Cards, and Other Toys. “Free” and Cheap PCs. Buyer Beware: Slick Sales Tricks. Shopping on the Internet.

2. Kick-Starting Your Computer.
Some Assembly Required. Software: Instructions on a Disk. Okay, Start 'Er Up. First Encounters of the Windows Kind. Restarting Your Computer When the Darn Thing Locks Up. Turning Everything Off.

3. Taking Control with Your Keyboard and Mouse.
Pecking Away at the Keyboard. Keyboards for the Rich and Famous (Programmable Keyboards). Pointing, Clicking, and Dragging with Your Mouse. Building a Smarter Mouse (Microsoft's IntelliMouse). Other Devices for Poking Around on Your Computer.

4. -Playing Disk Jockey with Hard Disks, Floppy Disks, CDs, and DVDs.
Disk Drives: Easy As A-B-C. Serving Information to the Computer on Floppy Disks. Loading and Unloading CDs and DVDs. Can I Play My Zeppelin CD? Can I Watch DVD Video Flicks on My PC? Inside the Belly of Your Computer: The Hard Disk. What About My Zip Drive? Going Diskless with Network Computers (Workstations). What's on a Disk? Files and Folders.

5. Windows Survival Guide.
We Now Have Control of Your TV. Taking Off with the Start Button. UsingWindows Programs. Dealing with Windows. Seeing More with Scrollbars. What's on My Computer? Trashing Files in the Recycle Bin. Help Is on the Way.

6. Windows Tips, Tricks, and Traps.
Installing and Uninstalling Windows Components. Do-It-Yourself Shortcut Icons. Giving Windows a Makeover. Using the Windows Control Panel. Mastering the Active Desktop. Ten Windows Productivity Tips.


7. Do-It-Yourself Program Installation Guide.
Does Your Computer Have What It Takes? Installing a Windows Program. Installing Programs You Don't Use.

8. Running and Juggling Programs.
Five Ways to Fire Up a Windows Program. Customizing Your Start Menu. Juggling Programs with the Taskbar.

9. Barking Out Commands.
Ordering from a Menu. Button Bars, Toolbars, and Other Shortcuts. Quick Keyboard Commands. Right-Click Context Menus. What Do You Say to a Dialog Box? Automated Computing with Macros.

10. Making, Saving, and Naming Documents.
Type Away! Can My Computer Take Dictation? Saving Your Document for the First Time. File Name Rules and Regulations. What D'Ya Mean, Can't Save File?! Closing Up Shop. Opening Saved Files. Tracking Down Lost Files in Windows.

11. Giving Your Documents the Editorial Eye.
Making Minor Edits. Cutting, Copying, and Pasting Stuff. Edit/Undo: The Editor's Safety Net. Finding and Replacing Text. Checking Your Spelling and Grammar. Redlining and AutoCorrect for Clean-As-You-Go Documents.

12. Sprucing Up Your Documents with Formatting.
Messing with Margins. Primping Your Paragraphs. Giving Your Characters More Character. Cell Formatting in Tables and Spreadsheets. Quick Formatting with Rulers and Toolbars. Saving Time with Styles.

13. Picture This (Working with Graphics).
Clip Art for the Lazy and Untalented. Scanning Photos, Drawings, and Illustrations. Making Slide Shows and Overhead Transparencies. Painting Your Own Picture. Drawing Lines, Circles, and Other Shapes. Moving and Resizing Your Graphics. The Painted Word: Text As Graphics.

14. Printing and Faxing Your Creations.
Setting Up Your Printer in Windows. Preprint Checklist. Sending Documents to the Printer. Managing Background Printing. Faxing Your Documents.

15. Surviving Without Documentation.
Fake It with Online Help. What? No Help Menu?! A Built-In Tutor? You've Struck Gold. Getting Help in a Dialog Box. Finding Answers in README.TXT.


16. Formatting and Copying Floppy Disks and Recordable CDs.
Making a Floppy Disk Useful. Reusing Disks Without Losing Data. Copying Disks for Friends and Colleagues. Preparing Recordable CDs for Data Storage.

17. Copying, Moving, and Nuking Folders and Files.
Climbing the Directory Tree. Selecting Folders and Files. Making Your Own Folders. Nuking Folders and Files. Renaming Folders and Files. Moving and Copying Folders and Files.

18. Networking (for Those Corporate Types).
Do I Need a Network? Client-Server Versus Peer-to-Peer Networks. Logging On and Logging Off. Sharing Resources on Your Computer. Checking Out the Network Neighborhood. Mapping a Network Drive to Your Computer. Using a Network Printer.


19. First You Need a Modem.
Smart Shopping for a Fast Connection. Pre-Installation: Do You Need Another Phone Jack? Installing Your Modem. Now, What Do You Want to Do with Your Modem? What Went Wrong?

20. Going Online with America Online and Other Services.
First Month's Free…. Signing Up for an Online Account. Connecting to Your Online Service. Keeping in Touch with E-Mail. Conversing in Chat Rooms. Sharing Common Interests. Wandering Off to the Internet.

21. Doing the Internet Shuffle.
What You Need to Get Started. Finding an Entrance Ramp. Signing On with the Internet Connection Wizard. Connecting for the First Time. What Went Wrong? Speeding Up Your Internet Connection.

22. Whipping Around the World Wide Web.
What Exactly Is the Web? First You Need a Web Browser. Navigating the Web. Hitting Specific Sites with Addresses. Using Internet Search Tools. Tagging and Flagging Your Favorite Pages. Saving Pages to Read at Your Leisure. Copying (Downloading) Files from the Internet. Accessorizing Your Browser. Making Your Own Web Page.

23. E-Mail: Postage Free, Same Day Delivery.
Ugh! Setting Up Your E-Mail Program. Sending Mail Without Licking Stamps. Advanced Message Formatting. Checking Your Inbox. Exchanging Files Using E-Mail. Putting Your Name on a Listserv Mailing List.

24. Passing Notes in Newsgroups.
Setting Up Your Newsreader. Subscribing to Newsgroups (It's Free!). Reading and Responding to Posted Messages. Starting Your Own Discussions.

25. Reaching Out with Chat and Instant Messaging.
Chatting on the Web. Using Special Chat Programs. Keeping in Touch with Online Pals Using Instant Messaging. Free Long-Distance Calls with Internet Phone.

26. Online Security Issues.
Safely Exchanging Information on the Web. Preventing Viruses from Entering Your System. Censoring Naughty Net Sites.

5: Guerilla Computing.

27. Do-It-Yourself Computer Tune-Ups.
Tuning Up Windows with the Maintenance Wizard. Making Windows Start Faster. Cleaning Your Hard Disk Without the Maintenance Wizard. Refreshing and Repairing Disks with ScanDisk. Defragmenting Files on Your Hard Disk. Doubling Your Disk Space. Making the Most of Your Computer's Memory. Speeding Up the Video.

28. Life on the Run: Notebook Computing.
Taking Your Work on the Road with My Briefcase. Conserving Battery Power. Inserting and Ejecting PC Cards. Going Full Featured with a Docking Station. Linking Your Notebook and Desktop Computers. Calling Your Desktop Computer or Network Using Your Modem. Subcompact Computing with Palm and Pocket PCs.

29. Now for the Fun Stuff! Computer Gadgets and Gizmo.
Ordering Your Photos on CD. Smile! You're on Digital Camera. I Want My MP3: Digitizing Your Music Collection. Editing Your Home Videos. Watching TV on Your PC. More Cool Stuff in the Works.


30. Free (or at Least Cheap) Computer Maintenance.
Tools of the Trade. Vacuum and Dust Your System. Wiping Gunk off the Monitor. Brushing Off the Keyboard. Picking Hairballs out of Your Mouse. Basic Printer Maintenance. Cleaning Your Disk Drives.

31. Backing Up for the Inevitable Crash.
Backup Strategies for the Real World. Shopping for Practical Backup Options. Backing Up in Windows. Using the Windows Backup Wizard. Backing Up Your Entire System. Restoring Files from Your Backups. @CHAPTER = 32. Do-It-Yourself Fixes for Common Ailments. Troubleshooting Tactics: Pre-Panic Checklist. My Computer Won't Start. My Computer Locked Up. Dealing with Windows in Safe Mode. My Screen Is Flickering. I Can't Get the Program to Run. I Have a Mouse but I Can't Find the Pointer. I Can't Hear My Speakers! I Can't Get My Modem to Work. The Computer Won't Read My Floppy Disk. My Printer Won't Print. Updating the Software for Your Hardware.

33. Help! Finding Technical Support.
Phone Support (Feeling Lucky?). Finding Tech Support on the Web.

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