Windows 98 For Dummies

Windows 98 For Dummies

5.0 1
by Andy Rathbone

Windows 98 For Dummies won't try to turn you into a Windows wizard, but you'll pick up a few chunks of useful computing information while reading it. Instead of becoming a Windows 98 expert, you'll know just enough to get by quickly, cleanly, and with a minimum of pain so that you can move on the more pleasant things in life.

This easy-to-understand guide


Windows 98 For Dummies won't try to turn you into a Windows wizard, but you'll pick up a few chunks of useful computing information while reading it. Instead of becoming a Windows 98 expert, you'll know just enough to get by quickly, cleanly, and with a minimum of pain so that you can move on the more pleasant things in life.

This easy-to-understand guide is for those who are yearning to

  • Conquer Windows 98 basics
  • Personalize your PC
  • Send and receive e-mail
  • Get more out of the Web
  • Have fun with audio and video
  • Deal with common problems and aggravations

Something in Windows 98 will eventually leave you scratching your head. No other program brings so many buttons, bars, and babble to the screen. When something in Windows 98 has you stumped, use this book as a reference. You won't find any fancy computer jargon in these pages. Instead, you'll find subjects like these, discussed in plain old English:

  • Preparing your computer to run Windows 98
  • Finding the file you saved yesterday
  • Moving those little windows around on the screen with the mouse
  • Running your favorite old programs under Windows 98
  • Performing chores in Windows 98 that you used to do in older versions of Windows
  • Figuring out which of the many Windows versions you're using

There's nothing to memorize and nothing to learn. Just turn to the right page, read the brief explanation, and get back to work. Unlike other books, this one enables you to bypass any technical hoopla and still get your work done.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book feels your pain and prescribes a chuckle." —Business Week

"It's the most fun you'll have with a computer book." —Business Week

"Informative, friendly, conversational, and slightly irreverent.... It could help save you time and ease your frustration level." —San Diego Union-Tribune

The Barnes & Noble Review
This latest edition of the best-selling computer book series provides "the fun and easy" way to learn Windows 98, whether you're making the transition from an earlier version of Windows or using a PC for the first time, Windows 98 for Dummies will explain it clearly, with a dose of humor. Find helpful advice on how to: *Make older versions of DOS and Windows programs work under Windows 98 *Save time on the Internet with features like Internet Explorer, the new Active Desktop, and the Channel menu *Customize your desktop to work like a Web page—or return to the classic look of Windows 95 *Browse the Web with Windows 98 Internet tools *Play CDs, watch TV or videos, and listen to music with multimedia features *Keep up to date with Windows Tune-Up Wizard *More!

Product Details

Publication date:
For Dummies Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 7.38(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 20: Ten Exciting Windows 98 Features Worth Checking Out

Peeking into Files without Opening Them

When faced with a plethora of files, how can you tell which one you need? For example, all the icons for files created by the Paint drawing program look the same. How can you check to see if the file named Sea Food is that lobster picture you are searching for?

You can load the Sea Food file into Paint, but Quick View provides a faster way. Click the file with your right mouse button and then click Quick View from the menu that pops up.

A new window immediately appears, like the one in Figure 20-6, showing you the file's contents.

  • Want to open the file for editing? Click the little Paint icon in the upper-left corner. Windows 98 loads Paint, along with your file. The icon for the program responsible for creating the file is always in the upper-left corner.

  • If the file on the screen isn't the one you're searching for, feel free to drag another file's icon into Quick View's open window. Windows 98 rapidly displays the contents of that file, too.

  • Here's the bad news: The Quick View command only works on certain varieties of files. Only the more popular formats are displayed. You can "quick view" your WordPerfect and Microsoft Word files, for example, but you can't peek inside any files created in less-popular programs, such as WordStar or XyWrite.

  • You can find more information about Quick View in Chapter 7.
Much L-o-n-g-e-r Filenames

Somber industry analysts said it wouldn't happen in our lifetimes, but now people can name their files with descriptions longer thaneight characters. Windows 98 even lets you use more than one word to name your files, and you can separate the words by a space!

Figure 20-7 shows a few filenames approved by Windows 98; as long as you keep the names under 255 characters, you're pretty much okay. (More detailed details on filenames are discussed in Chapter 11.)

Retrieving Deleted Files from the Recycle Bin

Windows 3.x allowed you to safely retrieve accidentally deleted files, so the concept of the Windows 98 Recycle Bin isn't new. The new part is how much easier the Recycle Bin makes it to salvage deleted files.

Whenever you delete a file, the sneaky Windows 98 doesn't really delete it. It just hides the file in the Recycle Bin — that green trash can sitting on the desktop. When you get that sinking feeling that you shouldn't have deleted that report on Coelacanth Tailfins, double-click the Recycle Bin, and you can find your report inside, undamaged.

The Recycle Bin doesn't hold onto deleted files forever, though. It waits until you've filled up 10 percent of your hard drive's storage capacity. For example, if you have a 200MB hard disk, the Recycle Bin always holds onto 20MB of your most recently deleted files. When you fill up that 10 percent, Recycle Bin starts shredding the oldest files, and you can't retrieve them.

That 10 percent figure is adjustable; see Chapter 10 for details.

Selecting Bunches of Icons with a Lasso

This feature doesn't really seem like much, but you'll probably find yourself using it more than you think.

Windows has always allowed several ways to select files and icons. For example, hold down the Ctrl key and click all the icons you want: Windows highlights all the icons that you click.

Or, when selecting items in a list, you can click the first item, hold down the Shift key, and click the last item in a list. Whoosh! Windows instantly highlights the first item, the last item, and every item in between.

Windows 98 can still highlight icons in those ways, but it's added something easier. To select files or folders that are next to each other, you can drag a "lasso" around them. Point just above the first icon you want to grab and, while holding down the mouse button, point just below the last icon that you want to grab. Windows 98 draws a rectangle around the icons, shown in Figure 20-8.

The lasso can only be rectangular, so all the files and folders have to be next to each other. But you can always lasso the big chunk and then hold down the Ctrl key to select the stragglers who are away from the main pack.

Working with Windows 98 Wizards

Windows 98 tries hard to be personal, adding human touches whenever it can. Honestly, how many times have you wished for a computer wizard to materialize and automatically make your new modem or sound card work?

Well, Windows 98 comes with several Wizards, each customized for various bits of magic. For example, the Add New Hardware Wizard, shown in Figure 20-9, searches your computer for any new gadgets you've added. When the Wizard finds these accessories, it introduces them to Windows 98 so that they can all start working together.

The Wizards aren't magic by any means, but they can often work wonders when you need to set up Windows 98 to work with something new.

Meet the Author

Andy Rathbone's computer books, which include Windows® 2000 Professional For Dummies® and Upgrading and Fixing PCs For Dummies®, have sold more than 11 million copies.

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Windows 98 For Dummies 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A fine book for this 3.1 user who needs to learn more about windows and the 98 version. Its great virtue is its starting with basic information and never forcing you to return to it. Often the same terms are repeated and defined , where necessary, in the later chapters. The chapter on just telling you what to do for so many basic tasks was worth the cost of the book.