Beginners and Intermediates should read:

1 Have a surge protector on your system (electric and phone). I use Belkin SurgeMaster II Electric and Phone Line Protection. UL 1449 Rating of 330V. $50,000 Connected Equipment Warranty. Cost $39.

2. When you are thru using your computer for the day Close all open programs on your Taskbar, then go to the Start Button then Shut Down, then turn the power off. When you go on vacation or there is a violent thunderstorm, unplug the electric and phone line

3. You need a good anti-virus program (Norton is #1) installed, and keep it updated. When you first install it, you must update because it is already over 6 months behind. With Norton 2002, it will update you automatically every 4 hours if you are on line. Most viruses come from an attachment sent with the email. Also beware of floppy disks from friends.

Never open a file sent to you with a .exe extension. These are executable programs that may contain viruses or worms that could plant back doors on your computer.

After you have updated, go to Start, Programs, Norton AntiVirus, and click on Rescue Disk, Basic Rescue and the A: drive should already be selected, if not do so. Click on Create and a warning will come up, click on Yes and follow instruction. You'll need 6 floppy disks. If a virus does kill your computer, these disks will help bring it back to life. See #46.

4. Move, resize, Minimize, Maximize, and close a Window. To move a window, put your cursor on the Title Bar (top line of the window), left click and drag to another location.

To resize a Window, put your cursor on either of the four sides and when your cursor changes into a double arrow, left click and drag till you get the size you want.

At the upper right you'll see three buttons:

          __ Minimizes the window, but leaves the program running (It is in your TaskBar)

          [ ] Maximize Button: It will enlarge the window to fill the screen.

          X Close Button: Click on this to close the program.

5. Buy the Dummies books, Teach Yourself Visually books, or CD tutorials on Windows 98/Me/XP and study them, you will be amazed at what these operating systems can do.

Subscribe to Smart Computing 1 800 733 3809 or go to:  http://

6. Tours and Tutorials.

Go to Start, Help, and near the top click on Tours and Tutorials. You can spend the day here going on the Internet Tour, Desktop Tour, My Pictures Tour, Start Menu Tour, Playing Games Tour, etc.

7.  The size of the bar in your vertical scroll space tells you the size of the file you are viewing. If it fills half the space, you're looking at half of the file. If it fills 10% of the space, there is 90% left, and etc.

8.  If you click on __ [ ] X in the upper right hand corner of your Window by mistake, move your cursor to an empty spot before you let it unclick, and the computer will do nothing.

9.  If you need practice with your mouse, play Solitaire. If you don't need practice with your mouse, play Solitaire.

Let me repeat and repeat and repeat, when typing a document, save the data every few minutes so if something happens to your computer you will not have to do the work all over again.  Just do Control S very often.

10.  Type: This Computer belongs to: Then type your name, address, and phone number into a WordPad document and name it FBI, then Save. If your computer is ever stolen it will identify the owner.

This Computer belongs to:
123 Main Street

Lexington KY
Phone 888 555 1234

11.     What are Boot Up, Desktop, and Taskbar?
The screen you're looking at when you first turn your computer on (boot up) is called a Desktop.
The small pictures on the left of the Desktop are called Icons, when you click or double click on one of them it opens a program.
The Bar that goes across the bottom of your Desktop is called a Taskbar.
Remember Desktop, Icons, and Taskbar and what they are.

A: AntiVirus Update.
Right Click on the Norton AntiVirus icon in the tray (close to the clock) Click on Open Norton AntiVirus and at the top of the Screen click on Live Update. (You must be online when you do this.) For more information go to #46. Viruses in the Top Fifty Tips

B: Windows Update.
Go to Start > Windows Update and download all critical updates. This will help save you from crashes and hackers.

C: Save Your Data
Save your Data: Email Addresses, Bookmarks or Favorites, Important Documents, Quicken Data, etc. Go to:
Right-click on everything. You can't really do any damage with the right mouse button in Windows, because it's designed only to show a context menu (a list of options appropriate for the selected object). One of the options is usually Properties, which gives you access to lots of settings and information.

Your mouse tells you what's happening. Look closely at your mouse cursor while you're moving it around - it's not always an arrow. For example, when you're dragging a file, Windows gives you a clue as to what's going to happen when you drop it depending on what's currently underneath the cursor.

Help is near. Pressing F1 in most situations will either display detaild instructions or breif descriptions of the controls. The help has a search feature, too, allowing you to find desired information by typing in a keyword.

Explorer is called Explorer for a reason. Don't be afraid to browse your hard disk. Look in all your folders, and try all the programs in the Start Menu. Explore!

Use Shortcuts. A shortcut is a little file that lets you open a program without having to find the program on your hard disk. You can make a shortcut for any program, document, drive, or folder by draging and dropping the icon onto the destkop with the right mouse button. See the next section for another use for shortcuts.

Edit your Start Menu. You can fully customize your start menu - don't bother with the Taskbar Settings, though. Open the Windows Explorer, and open the Start Menu folder under your Windows directory. All the files and folders inside the Start Menu folder are mirrored in the actual Start Menu. You can drag-drop program icons into the start menu folder, just as easily as making new folders by using the right mouse button.

The Desktop is a folder. The desktop is a folder (aka directory) on your hard disk, just like any other. It's located under your Windows directory (usually C:\Windows\Desktop\), and can contain files, folders, and shortcuts. The desktop is a good place to store newly downloaded files from the internet, email attachments, and other "recent" files.

Maintenance. Windows comes with two maintenance utilities, Scandisk and Disk Defragmenter. Scandisk is used to find and correct many types of errors on your hard disk, and Disk Defragmenter is used to "optimize" your files (rearrange them so they aren't broken up). Using each of these on a regular basis (such as once a week) will not only improve performance, but will decrease the likelyhood of a disk crash or other loss of important data.

Drivers are important. A driver is a software program that's used to help your computer work with a particular piece of hardware, such as a sound card or scanner. Many problems and errors in Windows are caused by buggy or outdated drivers. If you're having trouble, make sure you contact the manufacturer to see if they have any newer drivers for your hardware.
Should you leave your computer on 24 HOURS A DAY?


Unless the computer is a Server that other computers need access to.

I shut my computer down every night. If I'm going to be gone several days I not only shut it down, I unplug the computer from the wall and unplug the phone line from the wall.

You are wearing your fan motor out and pulling dust thru your computer. Your hard drive may be running more. If you get a big surge of electricity that jumps your surge protector, it may save your computer by having it turned off.

Your surge protector is passive and works whether it is turned off or on. When it is off, the surge has to jump the switch and the surge protector to get to your computer.

The only good thing about leaving your computer on is that you can get rid of the dust bunnies, the fan will pull them into your computer and Kentucky Utilities will love you.

If your computer is "always on" you provide more opportunities for hackers to find your computer.


It's not unusual to get low on system resources after you use Windows for a long stretch, especially if you open and close programs frequently.

Adding a bunch of RAM doesn't help. System resources are stored in fixed memory blocks that reside in your System RAM.

Programs store certain routines inside your system resources. Some programs don't reallocate or release the memory, so after a while your machine gets full. You have to restart Windows to free up memory again.

That's why Windows feels more reliable if you start it up fresh every day.
COOKIES: (No Big Deal)

A cookie is a file sent to a web browser by a web server that is used to record one's activities on a website. For instance, when you buy items from a site and place them in a so-called virtual shopping cart, that information is stored in the cookie. When the browser requests additional files, the cookie information is sent back to the server. Cookies can remember other kinds of personal information --your password, so you don't have to re-enter it each time you visit the site; your preferences, so the next time you return to a site, you can be presented with customized information. Some people regard cookies as an invasion of privacy; others think they are a harmless way to make websites more personal.

Most cookies have an expiration date and either reside in your computer's memory until you close your browser or they are saved to your hard drive. By the way, cookies cannot read information stored in your computer.

You can use notepad to view cookie files. For Windows users of Navigator, the file is called cookies.txt and is located in the same folder as Netscape. Mac users can find it in the Netscape folder in the System > Preferences folder. Explorer creates separate files for each cookie and stores them in folders named "Cookies" or "Temporary Internet Files."

Cookies are harmless, don't really take up much space, and save you time, but some people get upset over them.
DESKTOP: (Contains Icons, Taskbar, Onscreen Work Area.)

A. Fun things to do with your Desktop.

Caution: please write down the settings before you change them, so you may return. I've been there and it is very difficult to remember the old settings.

A. Right click on your Desktop, click Properties:

1. Under the tab Background: Click on the down arrow and choose between bubbles, rivets, black thatch, clouds, etc. (different systems have different items.) You can also put your favorite photo under this tab.

2. Under the tab Screen Saver: (I recommend the option, blank screen, if it is an option, as it will save wear and tear on your monitor.)

Click on the down arrow and choose between Blank Screen, Flying Windows, Scrolling Marquee, Pipes, Flying Objects, etc. (different systems have different items.) Choose Settings to change the speed and density, etc of the above. Then choose Preview to see it on the full screen.

My Pictures Screen Saver; this will show all your photos that are in your My Pictures folder for 6 seconds each. Same as 2 above, but you click on My Picture Screen Saver.

3.Under the tab Appearance: (Caution: please write down the settings before you change them, so you may return.)

You may click on the down Item arrow and choose to change the font, size, or color of the Inactive Title Bar, Caption Buttons, Active Title Bar, Scroll Bar, Window, etc.

An easier way is to actually click on the display of the above. Click on the Inactive Title Bar, Active Title Bar, Caption Buttons, etc and at the bottom of the dialog box it will show up with the current setting, just click on the down arrows (sometimes up arrows) and choose the font, size, or color.

4. Under the tab Setting: (Your video card and monitor will determine your choices.)

On the left you will have colors:
Total numbers of Colors
256 (8bit), 256 Colors
High Color (16bit), 65,536 Colors
True Color (24bit) 16,777,216 Colors
On the Right, Screen Area 640 by 480 pixels, 800 by 600 pixels, 1024 by 768 pixels. A pixel is three dots (red, green, blue) on color screens. The greater the number of pixels, the smaller the type and the more information you can get on your screen.


IN WINDOWS 98/Me/XP: It is very easy: First you must find the program. It will be under Programs or under a submenu like Accessories.

Start >Programs >Accessories, put your arrow on WordPad (or any other program) and Right click and drag it to the DESKTOP, Quick Launch, or Start Menu, unclick, select Create Shortcut from the Menu.


Shortcut Icons have an arrow at the bottom.

Deleting a Shortcut, does not delete the Program itself. To delete shortcuts, left click and drag to the Recycle bin and let go.

Some Icons on your Desktop will not delete, such as Network Neighborhood, you have to use TweakUI, a microsoft utility program to delete it. I have it for 95, 98, Me and XP just bring a disk to class.

If you want your Program or Document opened in a regular Window, or Full Screen, Right click on the shortcut icon, click Properties, click on the down arrow and select Regular Window or Maximized, then click OK.

If you wish to change an icon, Right click on the shortcut icon and browse here:

Lots of Icons in these files:
Make your Desktop Icons behave.

Right Click on your Desktop, left click on Arrange Icons and select Auto Arrange. In this option if you try to move them they will flop back. If you wish to move them around on your Desktop, unselect Auto Arrange and click on Line Up Icons. Any time your icons seem out of line, just go to Line Up Icons and click on it.
Right Click on your Desktop, select New, then click on Folder, name the folder Misc or Stuff. Then hit Enter.

Now left click and drag your least used icons into this folder. 2 rows of icons on your Desktop should be enough.

Here's a quick way to locate the icon you're looking for.

Left Click on any vacant space on the Windows desktop and press the first letter of the icon's label. Windows will highlight it, if that's not the one you're looking for, keep pressing the letter and watch the highlight as it cycles through the matching icons.
DEVICE MANAGER: (Shows all your hardware and if its working properly.)

Keep a printout of the Device Manager Report handy for Emergencies.

The Device Manager shows you what makes your computer tick. There you'll find name, settings, and driver file details for every device and piece of hardware on your system. (modem, keyboard, monitor, CD-ROM, mouse, etc.)

This report can be a handy reference when talking to a technical support professional, upgrading your system, or troubleshooting resource conflicts among devices.

To get there, hold the Alt key down, and with the mouse left click on My Computer, then click on Device Manager.

I'm using my system as an example.

General Tab shows:
Microsoft Windows XP
Home Edition, Version 2002
Device Manager Tab shows:

All of your Hardware, CD-ROM, Disk Drives, Keyboard, Modem, Mouse, Ports, etc.

An X through the device's icon means the device has been disabled.
A circled yellow exclamation point (!) through the device's icon means the device has a problem.
The type of problem will be displayed in the Properties dialog box.

Want a hard copy report of everything installed on your system? In the Device Manager, with Computer highlighted click the print button.

Under Report Type, select either of the following:

System Summary to print a report of which hardware is currently using which system resource (IRQ, RAM, and so on)

All Devices and System Summary to print a report on EVERY device connected to and/or installed on the computer

Click OK.

Only drawback here: The report MAY look like so much Greek to you, but try to slug through it. It is good information to have.

On my system the:
Printed System Summary was 1 pages.
All devices and System Summary was 4 pages.
Performance Tab:
Memory 512 MB of Ram
System resources 83% free
File System 32 Bit
Virtual Memory 32 Bit
Disk Compression Not Installed
RIGHT CLICKING. (Saves Time and Money and Your hair.)

A. Icons
B. Taskbar
C. Files or Folders
D. Desktop
E. Empty space in Windows Explorer

A. Icons: If you right click on any shortcut icon (the ones with the little arrow on the bottom left corner) then click on Properties, then click on change icons you will see other icons and you can change your present one.

B. Taskbar: Right Click on an empty space on your taskbar on the right side of your Taskbar but to the left of the tray icons, and if you have 2 programs open, click on Tile Windows Horizontally, or Tile Window Vertically, you will see a split screen with both programs on them and you can work with them like copy and paste or delete or insert. To restore click on Undo Tile.

If you have several windows or programs open, click on Cascade Windows and it will show them all. To restore click on Undo Cascade.

Click on Minimize All Windows to see your Desktop, to restore click on Undo Minimize All.

C: Files or Folders:
Right Click on any File or Folder in Windows Explorer and with this new menu you may Open, Send To, Cut, Copy, Paste, Create Shortcut, Delete, Rename, and Properties. The Send To feature allows you to send the file to a Floppy for safe keeping. Please use this to save valuable documents.

RIGHT CLICK Folder shows size. Want to know the total size of any folder, including all files and folders within it? Locate the folder in Windows Explorer rightclick the folder and select Properties. It shows not only the size but the number of files and folders as well.

D. Desktop:
Right Click on the Desktop (the big space with all your icons on it). Click on Line up Icons and it will put them in the right space. Click on Arrange Icons, the Auto Arrange and the icons will stay put.

Go to New > Folder and a New Folder will appear on your Desktop. Name it Misc. and click on Enter. You can drag any of the shortcut icons (the ones with the little white arrows) on your Desktop into the New Folder. This way your Desktop will not be full of Icons.

Go to New, click on Shortcut and Browse until you find the file you wish to make a shortcut out of, and follow instructions.

E. RIGHT CLICKING Windows Explorer:

RIGHT CLICK empty space on right side for view: Large Icons, Small Icons, List, Details. Details is best.

F. My Computer: Hold the Alt key down and click on My Computer. General Tab shows Operating System (Windows 98 4.10.1998) How much RAM you have and type of chip.

G. My Computer: Click or Double Click on My Computer then hold the Alt key down and click on the C drive and it will show how much Free Space, Used space, and Total space you have on your hard drive.

H. M O V I N G ! !
To move an icon, file, or program RIGHT CLICK and drag, and when you let it go it will ask you do you want to: 1. Move Here 2. Copy Here 3. Create Shortcut(s) Here 4. Cancel Select "Create Shortcut(s) Here"

If you wish to close a program that is on the Taskbar RIGHT CLICK on it and select close.
(If you can't copy what is on the screen, THIS WILL).

There is a keyboard key after your F-12 key that reads Print Scrn. You should use this in a very limited fashion when copy and paste will not work.

When you hit Print Scrn, the clipboard takes a picture of the whole monitor screen, Control V to paste it into Word, WordPad, or Paint.

If you hold the Alt key down and hit the PrintScrn key the clipboard takes a picture of the active window only. Control V to paste it into Word, or Paint. You can edit Print Screen in Paint but only to a limited degree.

Print Desktop
This is a 771K download that works like the old Dos Print Screen, After you install Print Desktop, go to Start, at the top of the menu will be PrintDeskTop. You Click on it and your printer will start printing.
SINGLE CLICK. (Why double click !!!!)

(This Is Really Great !!!!)

In Windows 98: Click on My Computer > View > Folder Options, The Last line should be selected and click on Settings, in the bottom section click on Single-Click to open an item. Also click on Underlined icon titles only when I point at them. Then click OK.

In Windows Me and Window XP:

Start > Settings > Control Panel and click on Folders Options and do the same thing.
TASKBAR. (Contains Start Button, Quick Launch, System Tray, etc)

The Taskbar is the bar at the bottom of the desktop. Its purpose is to make switching among multiple applications simple.

The taskbar has five sections:

1. The Start button.
2. Quick Launch.
3. A button for each application you have open.
4. An empty space.
5. The sound volume, anti-virus icon, digital clock, etc. (system tray)

The Taskbar allows you to choose the way in which the windows are displayed.
To do this Right click the vacant area of the Taskbar.

There are 4 options for displaying windows:

1. Cascade Windows: arranges the windows on top of each other, leaving the top and left-hand side of each window visible.

2. Tile Windows Horizontally: Displays the windows in horizontal lines.

3. Tile Windows Vertically: allows you to arrange the windows next to each other in vertical lines.

4. Minimize All Windows: Clears all the windows from the desktop and places them on the taskbar.

If you select the Undo Minimize All option, all the windows will reappear on the desktop.
You can reverse any window arrangement by selecting the Undo option.
You can change the way the taskbar if displayed to suit your needs.
To do this Right click the vacant area of the Taskbar.
Select Properties from the taskbar shortcut menu to display the Taskbar Properties dialog box.

1. The Always on top option on the Taskbar Options makes the taskbar visible at all times and places it on top of any open window.

2. The Auto hide option allows you to hide the taskbar. The taskbar will then disappear when you move away from it, and only appear when the Cursor moves over it.

3. If you select the Show small icons in Start menu checkbox, the size of the Start menu is reduced.

4. The Show clock option displays the digital clock.

You can choose where you want to position the taskbar. You can display it along the bottom, top, or on either side of the screen. You do this by clicking a vacant area(or the digital clock) and dragging the bar to a new location.

You can change the size of the taskbar by moving the cursor to the top edge of the bar until the double arrow appears.

Then you drag it to a larger or smaller size and then release the mouse button.
TECH SUPPORT: Before you call tech support, follow these 9 steps.
1. Check your cable connections, make sure they are seated properly.
2. Reboot your PC and see if the problem goes away.
3. Use your PC's diagnostics, such as Scan Disk and Defrag.
4. Record what you were doing when it occurred, and record the error message.
5. Know your system's model name and number and the serial number.
6. Keep a record of hardware or software changes you've made such as settings, drivers or system configurations.
7. Go to the Vendors Web site, you may find a diagnostic tool, or a FAQ (frequently asked questions).
8. Avoid peak times. Midmorning and early evening are busy. Lunch and dinner hours and wee hours of the morning are slower.
9. Have your system up and running when you call the technician.
10. If you may have caused the problem, admit it.
THREE FINGER SALUTE. (If your computer freezes up.)
Control + Alt + Delete
If your computer freezes up, first try the three finger salute. Control + Alt + Delete, you must have all 3 keys depressed at the same time. A screen will come up with the offending program highlighted. Click on End Task and it may resolve your problem.
If it doesn't, do Control + Alt + Delete twice to turn off your computer. If this doesn't work, just turn your computer off at the switch, if this doesn't work unplug it from the wall. You will lose any unsaved data.
TRAY: Remove unwanted icons from your Taskbar tray.
That is the space near your clock in the Taskbar.
All the icons in your tray are running and using up Ram and making your computer run slower.
These icons are put there by the StartUp menu or by the programs them self.
A. Go to Start > Programs > StartUp and see what is in the StartUp menu Right click the offending program and select delete. (this only deletes the shortcut.)
B. Go Start > Run and type in msconfig and hit OK. Now click on the Startup tab and unclick any offending programs. (Be careful here) then click OK.
C. Sometimes you have to open the program itself to find the culprit.
Do Control > Alt > Delete
and you'll see what programs are running and using your resources.
How to Stop Task Scheduler and get it out of your Tray.
In Windows 98, Click on My Computer > Scheduled Tasks > Advanced and select Stop using Task Scheduler.
In Windows Me, go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Scheduled Tasks Advanced and select Stop using Task Scheduler.
V I R U S E S: ! ! ! (Woe is you who gets one.)
Don't open executable attachments. Find out what extensions are executable.
Which of these extensions are safe and which aren't:
.EXE (EXE is the worst offender.)

Guess what? They're all potentially dangerous.
Never open a file sent to you with a *.EXE extension. These are executable programs that may contain viruses or worms that could plant back doors on your computer.
Most viruses, worms, and Trojan horses are spread via email. It's no longer safe to blindly open files attached to your email.

Opening files attached to an email is the computer equivalent of Russian roulette

It's crucial that everyone follow the four golden rules of computer safety:
1. Install a good anti-virus program and update it weekly or whenever you hear of a new virus going around.
With my new Norton 2002, it does this automatically. Go to Options on the left side, click on Live Update, then click on:
Enable Automatic Live Update
Apply update without interrupting me (recommended)
How to manually update your Anti-Virus Protection Program.
Get on the Internet. Start > Programs > Norton AntiVirus > LiveUpdate - Norton AntiVirus, click on Live Update and follow instructions. It only takes a few minutes.
2. Go to Start > Programs > Norton AntiVirus > Rescue Disk, select
Basic Rescue and your C Drive (5 or 6 floppy disks required) and follow instructions. If a virus will not let your computer start up, this may save your life.
3. Update your browser, email program, and operating system regularly to patch security holes.
4. Be wary of all email attachments, even if you know the sender.
To configure Norton's Antivirus, Right Click on the Norton icon on the right side of the Taskbar, click on Configure Norton AntiVirus.
Now go down the left side and click on a subject and on the right side make your choices. You can do this for each item.
Be sure to check Live Update, and on the right select:
Enable automatic Live Update.
Apply Updates without interrupting me.
Most items that need checking, should already be checked by default, so be careful.
In Norton 2002, when you are online, it will update you every 4 hours. A little bubble will appear over the Norton Icon and tell you, you are updated.
To find out your version of Norton, Right Click on the Icon on the Right Side of you Taskbar, click on Open Norton AntiVirus, at the top right, click on Help, then About Norton AntiVirus and it will give you the Version of the software.
This will work with most programs about finding out the version.

What Kind of Damage Can They Cause?
Viruses are computer programs, and they can do virtually anything that any normal program can do. This includes deleting files, formatting a user's hard drive, and even overwriting the BIOS, completely disabling the computer.

Please do this also: Windows Update.
Go to Start > Windows Update and download all critical updates. This will help save you from crashes and hackers. You can select some of the other downloads, critical or not.

Save Your Data
Save your Data: Email Addresses, Bookmarks or Favorites, Important Documents, Quicken Data, etc. Go to:
Browser Shortcuts
Use keyboard shortcuts to perform common browser functions and give your mouse hand a break. A few basic shortcuts will save time while you are surfing the Web and will give you more browser control.

These shortcuts work in both Internet Explorer and Netscape.
Home: Jumps to beginning of page.
End: Jumps to end of page.
Esc: Stops loading of current page.
F11: Toggle between full screen and regular view of the browser
Ctrl + N: Opens a new browser window.
Ctrl + R: Reloads the current page.
Ctrl + B: Opens the Organize Favorites or Bookmarks window.
Ctrl + D: Adds the current web page to your Favorites or Bookmarks.
Ctrl + H: Opens the History folder.
Safe mode of Windows. This allows Windows to start with its most basic configuration, bypassing your Autoexec.bat and Config.sys files and using the VGA driver for video and not loading any networking software. This is used if there are any problems starting Windows.

When starting your computer and before Windows loads hit the F8 key, or the Control key, depending on your computer. You only have 2 or 3 seconds to do this. This will give you a menu and click on SAFE MODE.

3 1/2 Floppy holds 1.44 MB
ZIP Drive
holds .... 100 MB (a Zip Disk looks like a fat floppy)
CD-R holds .... 650 MB
So on your next computer be sure to buy a CD writer (burner) so you can make CD's.

All CD's must be formatted before use.
When buying a burner notice these numbers:
My new
CD-RW Drive is 32X 10X 40X
The 1st number is Write.
2nd number is ReWrite.
3rd number is Read.
or Write, Rewrite, and Read
You must buy the CD blanks with a high enough number to record at the close to the Burner's write speed.
Service packs are better than patches, but you need them both.
Service packs have a significantly larger scope than patches. This can be measured in three ways:
Service packs address a wide variety of bugs. Every service pack addresses not only security bugs, but also bugs affecting stability, performance, proper operation of product features, or other areas. In contrast, a patch is tightly focused on one and only one issue. Service packs resolve minor as well as major bugs. On the other hand, we know that customers have things they'd rather be doing than installing patches, so we only develop patches for issues that warrant the disruption they cause. Service packs are cumulative. Every service pack is a "roll-up" of all previous service packs for that product for instance, Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6a includes every change made in Service Packs 1 through 5. Moreover, whenever we release a patch, we always include it in the next available service pack.
Fix the Computer Yourself.
Hold on. Before you resign yourself to hiring a professional, make sure the problem isn't something you can solve yourself.

1.Wiggle the cables to ensure that all devices are properly attached.
2.Reboot the machine.
3.Make sure your software drivers are up to date.
4.Uninstall anything you added to your machine around the time problems arose.
5.Try a diagnostic tool such as Scan Disk.
6.Reinstall Windows.
7.Consult a knowledgeable friend.

(most home users do not need these extra features, they are mostly for business, and they cost $40 more.)
Set your computer so you can see your file extensions.
Can you see your FILE EXTENSIONS, such as .doc or .jpg if not let's: Click on My Computer > Tools > Folder Options > View:

Check "Show hidden files and folders." Uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types." (it's checked by default).
What are drivers?

A: Drivers are mini-programs (instructions) that tell your computer how to use its hardware. Each hardware device has a driver. Some, like drivers for a keyboard or mouse, are built into the computer itself. Others, like video card drivers or modem drivers, need to be installed when you get a the new hardware device. Without the proper driver, your hardware won't work.

If you're having trouble with a particular hardware device, chances are that you may need an updated driver. Where can you find them? Best bet is the web site of the manufacturer who made the component. Next best is Microsoft.
Windows XP has 45 million lines of code! It costs $90 so that is $2 for each million lines of code.
WINDOWS EXPLORER: (Copy, delete, move, save files, make a folder)

To put a Windows Explorer shortcut on your Desktop: Right Click on your Desktop, Click on Shortcut, type in explorer click on Next, then Finish.

Click on the shortcut and Windows Explorer comes up.

To get to Windows Explorer the old fashion way, go to Start, Programs, Windows Explorer. (In Me it is in Accessories)

On the left side of Windows Explorer you will see all your drives, such as A, C, D, etc. and all your Folders which contains all your programs and files.

If the folder has a + sign in front of it, there are subfolders present. Click on the + and it will show the Subfolders. Click on the Folder instead of the + and it will show you the Subfolders and all the files on the right side of Windows Explorer.

In Windows Explorer, which is the File Manager for your computer, to COPY, SAVE, MOVE or DELETE files or folders you must first highlight them. To do this you must put your pointer on the file and click on it. (With single click you only have to hover the I bar over it.) If you wish to highlight several files, after you highlight the first one you must hold down the control key while you click on the others.

Now that they are highlighted they act as one as far as copying and deleting them are concerned.

To delete these highlighted files (BE SURE BEFORE DOING THIS) hit the delete key on your keyboard.

To make a copy of a floppy:

Put the original floppy in the A drive, Double Click on My Computer icon on the Desktop, then right click on the 3 1/2" icon and then click on Copy Disk, and follow instructions.

To copy to a floppy:

Right click any one of the highlighted files, click on Send To, then click on the 3 Floppy (A) icon, and it will copy all highlighted files to the floppy. Now, conversely, if you want to copy a floppy to your hard drive you need a Folder to put it in.

HOW TO MAKE A FOLDER: To make a new folder to put your files in: In Windows Explorer on the left side highlight the C drive.

Then go to File, New, click on Folder. On the right side of your screen you will see a pulsating bracket highlighted and reading [New Folder], type in your new folder's name, say 2000 backups and hit enter and it will show up on the left side of your screen. The folders are arranged in alphabetical order.

If you want a subfolder under the My Documents folder, you highlight the My Documents folder and do the same as above.

Now highlight the files on the floppy by placing your cursor on the left side of the files, Left Click and drag straight down until you have highlighted those you want or hold the Control Key down and click on each file you want, if you want all the files, do Control A then Control C to Copy.

Now go to the new folder, click on it to high light it, Now do Control V to Paste.

The best view of Windows Explorer is Details.

In Windows Explorer, right click on an empty space on the right side and select View, then Details. This is a superior way to look at your files because it will show the NAME, SIZE, TYPE, and DATE MODIFIED.

While here you may click on any of these headers:

Look under NAME if the files appear in alphabetical order, click on NAME and they will appear in reverse alphabetical order.

Same with DATE MODIFIED, click once and they are in chronological order, click again and they are in reverse chronological order.

Click on SIZE and it will arrange the files from the smallest to the largest, click again and it will arrange them from the largest to the smallest.

Click on TYPE and it will arrange like files together.

In Windows Explorer when you are in your My Pictures Folder Right click on an empty space on the right side, go to View and click on Thumbnails and it will show you small photos of your .jpg files.

In Control Panel and My Computer only I like Large Icons. For My Pictures or any .jpg folder I use Thumbnails. For all others I use Details. These are personal choices, pick what you like.

To delete files from a floppy so you may use it again, put the floppy in Drive A, go to Windows Explorer, scroll up until you see 3 1/2 Floppy (A:) icon, click on it, files will show up on the right, do Control A to highlight All and hit the Delete Key on your Keyboard, then click on Yes. Now you can use the floppy to save something else.

A Path tells the computer where to find programs or files. If Browse comes up it wants to know the Path. It is like the mailman needing an address:

Mailman: Ky > Lexington > Southridge > 414

Computer: C:\My Documents\Computer Class\Top Fifty.doc

C: is the Drive > My Documents is the Folder > Computer Class is the Sub Folder > and Top Fifty.doc is the file.

This will save you a lot of time.

If you wish to hightlight separate files, hold the Control Key down and click on each file, after they are highlighted, they will act as one for the purpose of coping, saving, deleting, move, etc.

If you wish to highlight a group of files that are touching, you click on the first one, hold the Shift key down, then click on the last one and all in between will be highlighted.

Say you have 30 files and you wish to highlight all the files except 4 or 5, (this is tricky) then highlight the 4 or 5 files you don't want, go to Edit and click on Invert Selection.

Right Click on the Desktop and select NEW, then Shortcut, type explorer in the command line, click on Next, then Finish.

To put a an EXPANDED view of Windows Explorer shortcut icon on your Desktop.

Right Click on the Desktop and select NEW, then Shortcut, copy and paste:


in the command line, click on Next, then Finish.

To put a Control Panel shortcut icon on your Desktop.

Right Click on the Desktop and select NEW, then Shortcut, type Control in the command line, click on Next, then Finish.
START MENU. Shorten your Start Menu.

Right Click on Start, then click on Explore, click on the Program icon, then go to File > New > Folder. At the bottom right you'll see a pulsating highlighted "New Folder", type in A to M and hit Enter. Repeat this process and name the next folder N to Z.

Now click on the + sign in front of Programs. Now on the left side, left click and drag any programs you wish into the new folders. You drag the program until the new folder is high lighted and turn it loose.
KEYBOARD shortcut commands.

Shortcut Action
CTRL+C Copy.
CTRL+O Open.
CTRL+S Save.
CTRL+V Paste.
CTRL+Z Undo.

Windows logo key Brings up Start menu.
WIN+F1 Start Help.
WIN+TAB Cycle through taskbar buttons.
WIN+D Minimizes all open windows and shows desktop.
WIN+E Start Windows Explorer.
WIN+F Find files or folders.
WIN+M Minimize All Windows
SHIFT+WIN+M Restores all Windows
WIN+BREAK Cycle through Taskbar buttons.


Use keyboard shortcuts to perform common browser functions and give your mouse hand a break. A few basic shortcuts will save time while you are surfing the Web and will give you more browser control.

Home: Jumps to beginning of page.
End: Jumps to end of page.
Esc: Stops loading of current page.
F11: Toggle between full screen and regular view of the browser
window Alt + Left Arrow: Goes back to the previous page.
Alt + Right Arrow: Goes forward to the next page.
Alt + Home: Goes to your homepage.
Ctrl + N: Opens a new browser window.
Ctrl + W: Closes the active window.
Ctrl + O: Opens address box.
Ctrl + R: Reloads the current page.
Ctrl + B: Opens the Organize Favorites or Bookmarks window.
Ctrl + D: Adds the current webpage to your Favorites or Bookmarks.
Ctrl + H: Opens the History folder.
Ctrl + F: Finds text on current page.
ZIP FILES: Why Do People Use Zip files?

Zip files save time and space, and make downloading software and transferring email attachments faster, and will compress some files so they will fit on a floppy. If you have no need of this program do not install it.

Here are some samples:
Computer Class Word Documents: 6.64 MB Zipped: 1.34 MB
Misc. Word Documents File ........ 2.63 MB Zipped: 481 KB
Other type of files save a lot less:
I downloaded a program called ICQ99B.exe 4.96 MB.
I double clicked it and it expanded to .......... 8.67 MB
This cuts your download time by 43 %
Winzip9x.exe was 921 KB expanded to 2.93 MB
WinZip has become the file-compression tool of choice for many Windows users.
ADVANCED !!!!!!  If you are sending a compressed file, it is so much better to use the SELF EXTRACTING FILE. WinZip is the program of choice. Instead of Zipping the file, WinZip will let you make a SELF EXTRACTING FILE, that means it will uncompress itself. All the recipient has to do is click on the file to open it. They do not have to have the WinZip program to open it.
More On Using 'Windows Explorer'

Because so Many Seem to Avoid this Necessary and Usefull Program!

to copy files from or to a floppy disk. Open Windows Explorer by clicking in turn
[START], Programs, Windows Explorer.
You should get a window appear similar to that pictured on the left.
The 'window' size will vary depending on the way it was left when last closed.

Click the icon for the 3 Floppy A:
and its contents will appear as in the window pictured on the right.
If there is a folder in the disk it will show in the right-hand pane of Windows Explorer. See at left.
Note that initially you may not see the icon for the floppy drive, in which case use the scroll bar to move upwards in the left viewing pane.

If there is a folder inside the disk you will see a small box with a cross in it to the left of the icon for the drive. Clicking once on the cross will show the content of the next directory/folder.
Clicking the folder itself will display its contents in the righthand pane.
Clicking the hints folder in the example on the left displays the contents in the righthand side.
You can scroll through the contents if there is more than will fit in the space, or expand the whole window size for a better view.
The same applies to all drives.

Copying using 'Drag & Drop' method
The easiest way to copy files or folders is to simply 'Drag & Drop'.

Move your mouse pointer to the item you want to copy, press and HOLD the left button and while still holding the button down drag the item across to the drive or folder you want it copied to and release the button. Done!

Warning !! Sometimes the computer may decide to MOVE the file rather than COPY it. This rarely happens, but in the event it does you can reverse the process in the same way. I have found that by first 'right-clicking' the item and selecting 'Copy' BEFORE you drag and drop this flaw is corrected on further copying. Copying using 'Copy & Paste' method

Method 1: My preference. 'Right-click' on the item you want to copy (or cut), and select 'Copy', this can be from any directory/folder.  Move your pointer to the place you want to copy to and again 'right-click' your mouse and select 'Paste'.

Method 2: Left-click the item you wish to copy (or cut), go to the top menu called 'Edit', and select either 'Copy' or 'Cut' (depending whether you want to remove it from it's present position or not), move your pointer to the folder or drive you want to copy the file to and click once with the left button. Select 'Paste' from the 'Edit' menu and it will be complete.
Note: You can also use the 'Cut', 'Copy' & 'Paste' buttons to gain the same result but the buttons may not be visible on a reduced window size.
NOTE: You can 'select' multiple files/folders by holding down the [Ctrl] key and clicking in turn each file you wish to copy. Then right-click on any of the highlighted files and select 'Copy'. Paste into the desired drive/folder.

To 'select a 'block' of files, click on the first one, then press the [Shift] key while clicking the last of the block of files. This will 'select' all files between to first and second 'click'.
Right-click on any of the highlighted files and select 'Copy'. Paste into the desired drive/folder.