Read an Excerpt
The world of computing today is a pretty magical one, filled with high-powered but easy to use hardware and software. Computers have broken out of offices and into homes in a big way, making possible all kinds of creative, fun, and productive activities, from designing multimedia greeting cards to managing your family's money.
All Compaq Presarios and HP Pavilions come packed with the hardware and software any computer user needs, and most of it is pretty easy to use. But with so many features, a newer user just might need a guiding hand to get the most out of his or her computing experience. That's what this book is about: how to take full advantage of the tools your Presario or Pavilion has put at your fingertips.Pavilion or Presario?
Whether you purchase an HP Pavilion or a Compaq Presario, you have made a wise choice. Both computers provide the tools for powerful computing and a wealth of pre-loaded software to explore.
HP Pavilions are a favorite of families with their fun and creative software such as the new HP ImageZone digital imaging software. Pavilions offer ease of setup with features such as the Easy Internet Signup Wizard and ease of use with a powerful help system and advanced keyboard features.
Compaq Presarios are often the computing choice for the home professional or home businessperson. Software such as Quicken for managing financial tasks and the Netscape Navigator browser for researching online make a Presario a formidable computing tool.
In general, this book offers information that applies to both computers equally. However, I've provided two chapters that delve more deeply into model-specific software. Chapter 11 covers multimedia software offered to Presario users, while Chapter 12 covers powerful digital imaging offerings for Pavilion users.How Is This Book Unique?
This book is like no other book on how to use a computer because it's written specifically for Compaq Presario and HP Pavilion users. You'll learn how to use HP's help system, as well as the software that comes preloaded on every Presario and Pavilion. You'll also get to know the basics of the Windows XP operating system which comes loaded on your computer, and learn how to get connected to the Internet.
Part 1 tells you how to get started setting upconnecting all the cables, turning the computer on, and getting an idea of what's on your computer.
Part 2 explores Windows' XP, the operating system from Microsoft, that makes your computer run. You'll learn how to get around the Windows desktop, manage the computer files you'll create as you work on your computer every day, and customize Windows and use Windows Accessories.
Part 3 is where you'll learn to use the software that comes with your Presario or Pavilion to write documents, create spreadsheets to calculate numbers, manage finances, and design presentations. You'll also learn to play games, and use multimedia software to create slideshows and play music.
Part 4 shows you how to get online, finding an Internet Service Provider to get an account if you don't already have one, and taking care of online security settings. Using a browser you'll search for what you need online, and set up your home page. Finally, you will begin to e-mail all your friends, download file attachments, and organize your inbox.
Part 5 is where I cover some of the basics of upgrading your hardware, such as adding memory or replacing a disk drive. You shouldn't need to do this to your new computer for a long time, but when you do, refer to this section of the book.Special Help
Along the way, I've included special elements to help you out:
Tips give you advice or tricks for getting things done faster and easier.
Cautions warn you about potential problems you might encounter as you go through a process or make changes to your computer.
Notes are little pieces of insight about a term or process or background information you may be interested in knowing.
Projects are step-by-step procedures to accomplish something fun and useful with your Presario or Pavilion. When you finish a project, you'll have produced a document or set up something on your computer you can use right away.