PCs for Grown-Ups: Getting the Most Out of Your Windows 8 Computer

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Overview

If you have plenty of life experience, but not as much computer experience, this is your perfect Windows 8 PC guidebook! Paul McFedries explains all the basics in a friendly, relaxed tone that makes you feel at home, without ever patronizing you. Larger print and clear zoomed-in images help you quickly find what you’re looking for, and get to the point immediately.

Planning to buy a new computer? McFedries’ easy, up-to-date Buyer’s Guide will help you choose the right equipment ...

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PCs for Grown-Ups: Getting the Most Out of Your Windows 8 Computer

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Overview

If you have plenty of life experience, but not as much computer experience, this is your perfect Windows 8 PC guidebook! Paul McFedries explains all the basics in a friendly, relaxed tone that makes you feel at home, without ever patronizing you. Larger print and clear zoomed-in images help you quickly find what you’re looking for, and get to the point immediately.

Planning to buy a new computer? McFedries’ easy, up-to-date Buyer’s Guide will help you choose the right equipment at the right price. Already have your new computer? You’ll find dozens of simple tips, tricks, and shortcuts for every aspect of living with it. Step by step, McFedries shows you how to easily organize and manage all your digital photos, music, and movies. You’ll learn great new ways to work, learn, and play online… how to safely use Facebook and other social networks… and how to keep your computer secure and private. McFedries even teaches simple PC troubleshooting skills that could someday save you hundreds of dollars in repair costs! Why should kids have all the fun?

Paul McFedries, president of Logophilia Limited, is a technical writer, passionate computer tinkerer, and Windows expert. He has authored or co-authored more than 70 computer books, selling more than 4 million copies worldwide. His most recent books include Using iPhone, Using the Microsoft Office Web Apps, My Office 2013 RT, and Windows 8 In Depth. He also runs wordspy.com, a website that tracks new words and phrases entering the English language.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789749611
  • Publisher: Que
  • Publication date: 3/27/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 371
  • Sales rank: 938,253
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul McFedries is full-time technical writer and passionate computer tinkerer. He is the author of more than 80 computer books that have sold over four million copies worldwide. His recent titles include the Sams Publishing books Windows 7 Unleashed and Windows Home Server 2011 Unleashed and the Que Publishing books Windows 8 In Depth (coauthored with Brian Knittel), Formulas and Functions with Microsoft Excel 2013, Using iPhone, and Using the Microsoft Office Web Apps. Paul is also the proprietor of Word Spy (www.wordspy.com), a website devoted to tracking new words and phrases as they enter the English language. Paul’s web home is at www.mcfedries.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/paulmcf and twitter.com/wordspy.

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Table of Contents

1 Getting to Know the PC .................................................5

It’s What’s Inside That Counts ...........................................6

The Central Processing Unit .....................................................................6

Hard Drive ..................................................................................................7

Memory ......................................................................................................9

DVD Drive ................................................................................................10

Memory Card Reader ..............................................................................10

Expansion Cards .....................................................................................11

Judging a PC by Its Cover ..................................................14

The Case .................................................................................................14

What’s Up Front.......................................................................................16

Ports, Ports, and More Ports ..................................................................17

A Sideways Look at Peripherals ......................................20

Monitor ....................................................................................................20

Keyboard .................................................................................................20

Mouse ......................................................................................................21

Printer ......................................................................................................21

Sound System .........................................................................................21

2 Buying a PC .....................................................................23

Choosing a Computer Type .......................................23

Tower PC .................................................................................................24

All-In-One PC ..........................................................................................24

Laptop PC ...............................................................................................26

Tablet PC .................................................................................................27

Selecting a CPU ..................................................................28

How Much Memory Do You Need? ...................................29

Selecting Data Storage Options ......................................31

Selecting a Hard Drive .............................................................................32

Selecting an Optical Drive .......................................................................34

Selecting a Memory Card Reader ...........................................................36

Choosing a Monitor ......................................................37

Purchasing Additional Software ..............................................39

Some Final Purchase Considerations .....................................40

3 Setting Up Your PC .......................................................41

Setting Up Your Work Area ................................................41

Location, Location, Etc. ..........................................................................42

Choosing Your Desk and Chair ...............................................................44

Connecting the Components ..........................................45

Unpacking the Components ...................................................................45

Positioning the System Unit ....................................................................46

Some Notes Before Making Any Connections........................................47

Connecting the Monitor ...........................................................................49

Connecting USB Devices ........................................................................51

Connecting the Keyboard and Mouse ....................................................54

Connecting Even More Devices ......................................56

Sound System .........................................................................................56

Memory Card ...........................................................................................58

Wi-Fi Antenna ..........................................................................................59

CD or DVD ...............................................................................................60

Connecting the Power Cords ................................................61

4 Taking Your PC for a Spin ............................................63

Starting Your PC ..................................................................63

Setting Up Windows 8 .........................................................65

A Digression: Learning How to “Click” Things ........................................66

Back to the Tour ......................................................................................66

Starting Windows 8 Next Time................................................................68

Getting to Know the Mouse ...................................................69

Getting Comfy with the Keyboard .........................................69

Using Gestures on a Tablet ...................................................70

Taking a Tour of the Windows 8 Interface................................72

The App Bar ............................................................................................74

The Charms Menu ...................................................................................75

Navigating the Start Screen .....................................................76

Putting Your PC to Sleep ........................................................77

Restarting Your PC ............................................................78

Shutting Down Your PC ......................................................78

5 Learning Windows Basics......................................................79

Working with Apps ..................................................................80

Starting an App .......................................................................................82

Returning to the Start Screen .................................................................83

Switching Between Apps ........................................................................83

Shutting Down an App ............................................................................85

Installing New Apps .................................................................................85

Uninstalling Windows 8 Apps .................................................................87

Tracking Your Appointments .................................................87

Managing Your Contacts..........................................................90

Getting Directions to a Location.......................................91

Tracking a News Topic .......................................................93

Monitoring a Stock ..................................................................94

Following Your Favorite Team ..................................................95

Planning a Trip ..........................................................................97

6 More Windows Techniques You Should Know ....................101

Personalizing Windows 8 ....................................................101

Changing Your Account Picture ............................................................102

Customizing the Start Screen ...............................................................103

Customizing the Lock Screen ...............................................................104

Pinning a Program to the Start Screen .................................................105

Resizing a Tile .......................................................................................106

Moving a Tile .........................................................................................107

Searching Windows 8 .....................................................107

Working with Files and Folders .......................................109

Creating a New File or Folder ...............................................................111

Selecting Files and Folders ...................................................................112

Copying and Moving a File or Folder ....................................................113

Renaming a File or Folder .....................................................................113

Deleting a File or Folder ........................................................................114

Overcoming Visual Challenges .........................................114

Making Screen Items Appear Bigger ....................................................114

Magnifying the Screen ...........................................................................115

Switching to a High-Contrast Screen ...................................................116

Making the Cursor Easier to See ..........................................................117

Hearing What’s on the Screen...............................................................118

Adjusting the Volume .......................................................118

Overcoming Physical Limitations ......................................120

Showing Notifications for a Longer Time ..............................................120

Controlling Your PC with Speech Recognition......................................120

7 Dealing with Digital Photos ..........................................123

Getting Photos onto Your PC ...........................................123

Transferring Photos from a Digital Camera ...........................................124

Transferring Photos from a Memory Card .............................................126

Scanning a Photo ..................................................................................127

Taking a Photo with the PC’s Camera ..................................................129

Viewing Photos .................................................................129

Looking Through Your Photos ...............................................................130

Watching a Photo Slideshow ................................................................131

Fixing Your Photos .......................................................132

Rotating a Photo ...................................................................................132

Cropping Out Unwanted Elements .......................................................133

8 Working with Digital Music ..........................................135

Easy Listening with the Music App .....................................135

Navigating the Music App .....................................................................136

Buying Music .........................................................................................136

Searching for Music ..............................................................................138

Playing Music ........................................................................................138

Making Beautiful Music with Media Player .......................139

Navigating Media Player........................................................................140

Playing Music ........................................................................................140

Playing a Music CD ...............................................................................142

Copying Music from a Music CD ..........................................................143

Copying Music to a Recordable CD .....................................................145

9 Working with Digital Video ...........................................147

Importing Video to Your PC ............................................147

Importing Video from a Smartphone, Camcorder, or

Digital Camera ...................................................................................148

Importing Video from a Memory Card ...................................................149

Navigating the Video App ...............................................150

Renting or Buying Videos ..........................................151

Renting a Movie.....................................................................................151

Buying a Movie ......................................................................................153

Buying a TV Show Season or Episode .................................................154

Searching for Movies and TV Shows ..............................155

Playing a Video ..............................................................156

Playing Video on Your TV ..............................................157

10 Getting Online ............................................................159

Getting Online Using a Broadband Modem Connected Directly to Your PC .....160

Attaching the Internet Connection Cable ..............................................160

Connecting the Modem to Your PC ......................................................162

Registering the Modem .........................................................................163

Creating a Windows 8 Broadband Internet Connection .......................163

Making the Connection .........................................................................164

Getting Online Using a Wireless Broadband Connection ..........165

What Is Wireless Networking? ..............................................................165

Understanding Wireless Network Adapters ..........................................166

Understanding Wireless Routers ...........................................................167

Configuring the Wireless Router to Connect to Your ISP .....................168

Configuring Your Wireless Network Settings ........................................171

Registering the Modem .........................................................................172

Connecting the Broadband Modem to the Wireless Router .................173

Connecting to Your Wireless Network ..................................................174

Creating a Microsoft Account ............................................175

11 Surfing the Web .........................................................179

Understanding the Web .................................................180

Surfing the Web with Internet Explorer ............................181

Entering a Web Page Address ..............................................................182

Navigating the Pages You’ve Visited .....................................................184

Opening Multiple Pages with Tabs ........................................................184

Searching the Web ............................................................186

Saving Your Favorite Pages ...............................................187

Adding a Page to the Internet Explorer Favorites List ..........................187

Pinning a Page to the Start Screen .......................................................188

12 Exchanging Email .....................................................189

Setting Up a Mail Account ............................................189

Handling Incoming Messages ..............................................192

Handling Message Attachments ...........................................................194

Replying to a Message ..........................................................................195

Forwarding a Message ..........................................................................196

Printing a Message ................................................................................196

Moving a Message to a Different Folder ...............................................197

Deleting a Message ...............................................................................197

Sending a Message .........................................................198

Minding Your Email Manners ...............................................199

The Three B’s of Composing Email .......................................................200

DON’T SHOUT! .....................................................................................200

Take Your Subject Lines Seriously ........................................................201

More Snippets of Sending Sensitivity ...................................................201

13 Maximizing Internet Security and Privacy .......................203

Avoiding Viruses ................................................................204

Avoiding Viruses on the Web ................................................................204

Avoiding Viruses in Email ......................................................................206

Keeping Spyware at Bay ................................................207

Listening to User Account Control ...................................209

Creating Secure Online Passwords ..................................211

Avoiding Online Scams ......................................................213

Giving Out Your Credit Card Information Safely ...................................213

Understanding Phishing Scams ............................................................214

Preventing Identity Theft .......................................................................216

Protecting Yourself from “419” Scams ..................................................217

14 Securing Your PC ....................................................219

Thwarting Snoops and Crackers .....................................219

Taking Some Basic Precautions ............................................................220

Locking Your PC ....................................................................................221

Checking Your Computer’s Security Settings .......................223

Making Sure Windows Firewall Is Turned On .......................................224

Making Sure Windows Defender Is Turned On .....................................225

Making Sure User Account Control Is Turned On .................................226

Making Sure the Administrator Account Is Disabled ............................227

Making Sure the Firewall Is Up to Snuff ................................................227

15 Maintaining Your PC ...............................................229

Checking Free Disk Space .............................................229

Deleting Unnecessary Files ............................................231

Defragmenting Your Hard Disk ......................................233

Preparing for Trouble ......................................................234

Backing Up File Versions with File History ............................................235

Restoring a Previous Version of a File ..................................................236

Setting System Restore Points .............................................................239

Creating a Recovery Drive .....................................................................240

Creating a System Image Backup.........................................................242

Setting Up a Maintenance Schedule .....................................244

16 Troubleshooting Your PC ..............................................247

Determining the Source of a Problem ..............................247

Did You Get an Error Message? ............................................................248

Did You Recently Change Any Windows Settings? ..............................248

Did You Recently Change Any Application Settings? ...........................248

Did You Recently Install a New Program? ............................................250

Did You Recently Install a New Device? ...............................................250

General Troubleshooting Tips .............................................250

Troubleshooting Device Problems .................................251

Troubleshooting with Device Manager ..................................................251

Troubleshooting Device Driver Problems ..............................................253

Rolling Back a Device Driver .................................................................254

Recovering from a Problem .............................................255

Accessing the Recovery Environment ...................................................255

Navigating the Recovery Environment ..................................................257

Booting Up in Safe Mode ......................................................................260

Recovering Using System Restore .......................................................261

Refreshing Your PC ...............................................................................263

Resetting Your PC .................................................................................264

Restoring a System Image ....................................................................265

17 Repairing Your PC ....................................................267

What Tools Do You Need? ...............................................267

What Software Do You Need? ............................................272

Setting Up Your Work Area .............................................273

Playing It Safe ..................................................................274

Keeping Yourself Safe ...........................................................................275

Keeping Your Components Safe ...........................................................276

Opening the Computer Case ...........................................278

Making Cable Connections ..................................................280

Installing an Expansion Card ............................................284

18 Upgrading Your PC ....................................................291

Looking Inside the Computer .............................................292

Accessing the System Configuration Program ..........................294

Running the Device Manager and System Information Utilities ......296

Searching for the System Manual Online ....................299

Making the Old PC Run Faster ................................302

19 Buying PC Components .................................................303

Researching Parts Online ................................................303

Checking Out Product Reviews ............................................................304

Performing Price Comparisons .............................................................307

Researching Retailers Online .....................................309

Buying Parts Online ................................................311

Returning Parts Online ....................................................314

Buying Parts Offline ..................................................317

Buying Non–Shrink-Wrapped Parts......................................319

20 Replacing the Hard Drive ............................................321

How a Hard Drive Works .................................................321

Understanding Hard Drive Specs ...................................323

The Hard Drive Interface and Throughput ............................................324

The Hard Drive Form Factor ..................................................................330

The Hard Drive Speed ...........................................................................330

Buying a Hard Drive .........................................................331

Removing the Old Hard Drive ......................................332

Installing a New Hard Drive ........................................335

Finishing Up ................................................................336

21 Replacing the CD or DVD Drive .....................................339

Buying a CD or DVD Drive ........................................339

Removing the Existing Optical Drive ................................341

Installing the New Optical Drive .........................................344

22 Adding More Memory ...................................................347

Understanding Memory Specs .....................................348

The Memory Module Standard .............................................................349

The Memory Type and Speed ...............................................................349

The Memory Module Capacity ..............................................................350

Buying Memory ...............................................................350

Pulling Out the Old Memory Modules ................................352

Installing the New Memory Modules ...............................353

Index ...................................................................357

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  • Posted May 27, 2013

    When I first saw the title of this book, ¿PCs For Grown-Up¿ foll

    When I first saw the title of this book, “PCs For Grown-Up” followed by the secondary title of, “Getting the Most Out of Your Windows 8 Computer” I was concern since I don’t have Windows 8. There was one chapter on Windows 8 where the author offers simple tips, tricks and shortcuts that even I could understand even though I don’t have Windows 8. I was glad to see that most of the book deals with the basics of learning your computer; as well as understanding Windows in general. It addresses working, learning and playing online and it ends with maintaining and repairing your PC.

    The book is easy reading with its large print and friendly tone. In reviewing the Table of Contents, I found that the whole book was well organized that gave a newcomer to computers the basics and then built up step-by-step the knowledge necessary to work on a computer. This is very important especially to senior citizens who did not grow up with computers and are trying to catch up with computer technology. The author’s approach was that of friendly and humorous tone throughout.

    Paul McFredries, author, included throughout the book “Note” tips and image illustrations on the subject he was writing on that were easy to digest and understand. The larger than normal print made for faster and easy reading, this is especially good for senior citizens. Mr. McFredries is a technical writer, passionate computer tinkerer and Windows expert. He has co-authored over 70 computer books.
    Even though I have been working with computers for many years, I found some great information that I can apply to my daily use of computers. I would thorough recommend this book to everyone whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advance, there is something for everyone in this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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