Understanding Windows XP & Vista

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Make Windows Vista Look Like Windows XP

If you’ve worked with Windows XP and like its appearance, you can make Windows Vista look like Windows XP. To make Vista look like XP, follow these steps: [more…]

How to Use Your PC’s Sleep Mode

Sleep mode, once known as Stand By or Suspend mode, saves energy but doesn’t quite turn the PC off. In Sleep mode, Windows saves what you're doing and then puts the computer to sleep — meaning into a special [more…]

Vista’s Hidden Menu Bar

To help you keep track of your computer’s commands, Vista hides its menus inside the menu bar. In fact, Vista even hides every folder’s menu bar. To bring them back, press Alt, and they drop into place [more…]

Back Up Your Computer

Face it: Hard drives eventually die. To make sure your files, photos, and other important documents are safe, you need to back up your computer to another source [more…]

How to Program Your PC to Hibernate

You can save power and not-quite-exactly turn your PC by making it hibernate. When your computer hibernates, it saves all the memory — everything the system is doing — then turns the computer off. Hibernating [more…]

How to Shut Down Windows on Your PC

You can turn your computer off by shutting it down. If you want to shut down your computer, rather than making it sleep or hibernate, you can. Be in charge! Shut down your PC whenever you please. [more…]

How to Change Your Laptop’s Power Button Functions in Windows XP

In Windows XP, you can control what your laptop does when you close the lid, or press the power or sleep button. You can access the Power button controls by following these steps: [more…]

How to Restart Windows on Your PC

You need to reset or restart Windows in two instances: You restart whenever Windows tells you to restart (usually after you install something new or make some change), and you restart whenever Something [more…]

Use System Restore

If your computer starts consistently misbehaving, you can use System Restore to return your PC to a point where it was working properly. System Restore works like this: Every day or so, Windows takes a [more…]

Stop the Wrong Program from Opening a File in Vista

Windows Vista uses file associations to normally open the correct file. When Vista uses the wrong program to load a file, follow these steps to correct the problem: [more…]

The Windows Vista Taskbar

The Windows Vista taskbar keeps track of all your open programs. Although it normally lives along the bottom of your screen, you can move the taskbar to any edge of the screen that you want. To move the [more…]

Clean Up Your Desktop in Windows Vista

You need to clean up your Windows desktop when it becomes too cluttered with icons. You can clean up your desktop by organizing your icons or by changing the size of those icons. [more…]

How to Put Your Laptop into Hibernation Mode

Hibernation is a useful power management feature that's often sadly ignored despite its great benefits. When you hibernate a laptop, you’re essentially turning it off. So, unlike Stand By [more…]

Change the Appearance of Windows Vista

You can change the appearance of Windows Vista through the Control Panel. The Appearance and Personalization area allows you to change the appearance of Windows Vista. As shown in this figure, you have [more…]

The Windows Vista Navigation Pane

Windows Vista places your most frequently used items in the Navigation Pane. The Navigation Pane, shown in the following figure, is found along the left edge of every folder. [more…]

Install New Fonts

If you’re bored with the fonts that came preloaded on your PC, you can install new ones. Search the Internet for fonts and you’ll find scads of sites offering new, unique, and unusual fonts for purchase [more…]

How to Restart Windows on Your Laptop

Occasionally, you're directed to reset the laptop, which is often referred to as "restarting Windows." To do so, heed these steps: [more…]

The Windows Vista Details Pane

Vista’s new Details pane hovers like a low-lying cloud along the bottom of every folder. Just as the Details pane’s name implies, the little strip lists arcane details about the item you’re currently viewing [more…]

How to Launch Windows on Your Laptop for the First Time

When you first turn on a brand-new laptop, Windows goes through some gyrations and prompts you to set up Windows on your computer. You're asked certain questions, such as which time zone you live in and [more…]

Open and Close a Document

You open a document, or file, to make changes to or print the document. When you are finished with your work, you close the document. Follow these steps to open and close a document: [more…]

How to Move Your Windows Briefcase to Your Laptop

Once you have added files to your Briefcase that you want to take from your desktop computer, you’re ready to move the Briefcase icon to your laptop. Moving files from your desktop to your laptop using [more…]

Vista’s Start Button Menu

The Start button is your entry into Windows Vista. By clicking the Start button, you can open Internet Explorer, see your username, and view your existing network, among other things. Vista’s Start button [more…]

A Typical Window in Windows Vista

In a typical Windows Vista window, you can find the address bar, the title bar, and scroll bars, among other things. A typical window in Windows Vista is shown in the following figure. [more…]

How to Make the Dialup Connection from Your Laptop in Windows XP

Unlike a broadband connection, which is always on, a dialup connection requires you to dial in to your ISP whenever you want to use it. Before you do anything, ensure that your laptop is properly wired [more…]

Adjust How Your Work Fits on a Page

When printing a document, you often need to adjust how your work fits on the page. Use the Page Setup dialog box to adjust how your work fits on a page. [more…]

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