Data Entry: Operating System: Introduction and Elements of Windows XP

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An operating system is software, which acts as an interface between the end user and computer hardware. Every computer must have at least one OS to run other programs. An application likes Chrome, MS Word, Games, etc. needs some environment in which it will run and perform its task. The OS helps you to communicate with the computer without knowing how to speak the computer's language. It is not possible for the user to use any computer or mobile device without having an operating system. Currently windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 are in use. In this lesson we will explain the main features of Windows XP.

Elements of Windows Xp

Logging On

Logging on is a security measure that is enforced before allowing users to gain access to a computer system, a network, an email account or a restricted area of a website. The procedure typically requires users to provide identification information such as a username or email. It is also the simplest way to protect a system from outsiders.

To be able to log on, do the following;

1. Enter the password (if it is password protected)

2. Click on the key or hit the Enter key.

Xp Desktop Elements

Start Menu

The Microsoft Windows Start menu is the primary location in Windows to locate your installed programs and find any files or folders. By default, the Start menu is accessed by clicking Start, which has the Windows logo on it and is located in the bottom-left corner of the Windows desktop screen.

Image of start menu

Image of Start Menu

Task Bar

The taskbar is an element of an operating system located at the bottom of the screen. It allows you to locate and launch programs through Start and the Start menu, or view any program that is currently open. The taskbar first introduced with Microsoft Windows 95 and can be found in all subsequent versions of Windows. It also allows them to check the date and time, items running in the background through the Notification Area, and with early versions of Windows access to the Quick Launch.

Image of Taskbar

Image of Taskbar

Start a Program

To start a program to the followings;

1. Click on the Start Button

2. Click on the All Programs

3. Point to the desired folder say “Accessories” and select the desired program to run such as ‘Paint’

Locating Files and Folders

To search for a file or folder

1. Click Start, and click on Search.

2. Select All files and folders from the left hand side of the


3. Type the name of the file or folder in part or full, or type a

Word or phrase that exists in the file to be searched.

4. If you do not know either piece of information selects one or more of the remaining options:

  1. In Look in, click the drive, folder, or network you want to search.

  2. Click on when was it modified? To look for files that were created or modified on or between specific dates.

  3. To look for files of a specific size, click on what size is it? Select a size.

  4. Click on More advanced options to specify additional search criteria.

Changing System Settings

  • By using Control Panel’s tools, you can customize the way Windows look and work! In addition, you can install new hardware, add and remove (install/uninstall) software programs, change the look and feel of your desktop and much more.

  • To start Control Panel and use the available tool, do the following;

  • Click on ‘Start’

  • Click on ‘Control Panel’

  • Select the desired tool to use

Using My Computer

Once My Computer (This PC) is open, you will see all available drives on your computer. The primary location of all your files is the Local Disk (C:), which is the default hard drive that stores all files. Double-click this drive icon to open it and view its contents.

Image of My Computer

Image of My Computer

File Management in Windows

File management in windows can be done through Windows explorer or My Computer. Windows Explorer displays the hierarchical list of files, folders, and storage drives (both fixed and removable) on your computer. It also lists any network drives that have been mapped to as a drive letters on your computer. Windows Explorer can be used to copy, move, rename, and search for files and folders.

Using Windows Explorer

  • Click on Start,

  • Point to All Programs,

  • Point to Accessories, and then click on Windows Explorer

  • Coping or Moving a file or Folder using My Document

  • Click on Start, and then click on My Documents.

  • Click the file or folder to be copied. More than one file or folder can be copied at a time.

  • To select more than one file or folder, click the first file or folder, press and hold down SHIFT key, and then click the file or folder.

  • To select non-consecutive files or folders, press and hold down CTRL key, and then click each of the files or folders to be copied.

  • Under Edit, select Copy.

  • Select the target drive or folder to which you want to copy the files l Under Edit, select Paste to copy the desired file or folder to the target drive.

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