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Technology ICT Core: Windows XP. Windows XP. The Operating System is a suite of software that manages the operation of the computer system. It’s main functions are: To provide a user interface

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  • ICT
  • Core: Windows XP
windows xp
Windows XP
  • The Operating System is a suite of software that manages the operation of the computer system. It’s main functions are:
    • To provide a user interface
    • To manage the programs running on the computer and prevent them from interfering with each other
    • To provide file management utilities so that the user can create files and folder
    • To provide security by limiting access to the computer and controlling what users can do when they are given access
    • To allow the computer to connect to a network
windows xp1
Windows XP
  • Windows XP is supplied in two main versions:
    • Windows XP Home - designed for a home computer, it is not suitable for use in school networks
    • Windows XP Professional - a fully networkable Operating System
  • When Windows XP is started, the user is presented with the Desktop.
windows xp2
Windows XP
  • Taskbar - found at the bottom of the Desktop. It can be dragged to either side or the top of the desktop. To prevent this, the taskbar should be locked. To lock the taskbar:
    • Right-click the taskbar and choose Lock the Taskbar
  • When a program or utility is started, a button on opened on the taskbar. This allows for the quick switching between open programs as clicking a taskbar button brings that program window to the foreground.
windows xp3
Windows XP
  • Start Button - located at the left of the taskbar. Clicking the start button opens the Start Menu from where you can:
    • Start a program
    • Search the computer for documents
    • Open a document
    • Change system settings
    • Open the Help system
    • Browse the Internet or check email
    • Set printer options
windows xp4
Windows XP
  • All Programs button - opens a series of menus allowing you to start any program installed on the computer. This menu is customisable and will vary between computers. Entries in the menu showing an arrow on the right have a further cascading menu. Clicking the entry open the further menu. In the example below, the crossword weaver program was started by:
    • Click the All Programs button
    • Click Engineering
    • Click Crossword Weaver 8.0 to start the program
windows xp5
Windows XP

My Computer - click Start Button - choose My Computer.

The window shows icons representing the Disk Drives and File Storage available on the computer.

The contents of the My Computer window will vary between computers.

My Computer can be used to browse through the drives and folders to find files and folders or to create new folders etc.

windows xp6
Windows XP

Control Panel - used to configure system settings.

Click the Start Button and choose Control Panel

Settings divided into categories

Select a category

Double-click the required icon

The window opens

windows xp7
Windows XP

Help system - Start button - choose Help and Support

F1 key on the keyboard also opens the help system

Type a keyword or phrase in the Search area and click the Green Arrow to search the help system

Below the search area, there are topics organised by category and clicking any of these will open sub-topics

This help system is comprehensive and very user friendly

windows xp8
Windows XP


Click the Start button and choose Search to open the Search applet.

This is wizard driven and a category chosen on the left leads to further options to refine the search.

windows xp9
Windows XP
  • In the example below, the:
    • All files and Folders option was chosen
    • *.doc was entered in the File Name field. The * symbol is a wildcard used to denote any filename and the doc extension means Word files.
    • The Look in field has been set to C:. The search will be limited to this disk drive - click search
windows xp10
Windows XP


Click Start and choose Printers and Faxes to open the window.

The printers available to the system are shown as icons.

The Default printer - the printer automatically chosen when a print command is issued - is shown using a Tick mark

This can be changed by right-clicking a printer and choosing Set as Default Printer

windows xp11
Windows XP

Double-clicking a printer opens the Print Queue window

From here, individual print jobs can be cancelled or the entire queue can be cancelled

Right-clicking a printer and choosing Printing Preferences allows options such as Paper Size, Paper Source and Paper Type to be set

windows xp12
Windows XP
  • Turn off Computer
  • Click the Start button and choose Turn off Computer
  • The turn off computer window opens and the options include:
    • Shutdown - completely turns the computer off
    • Restart - shuts down and restarts the computer
    • Standby - power is supplied to the memory only, and as a result, no data is lost on restart
    • Hibernate - the contents of memory are written to the hard disk as a file and the computer is turned off. The file is read into memory on restart and the computer restored to it’s pre hibernation condition
windows xp13
Windows XP
  • Software
    • Operating Systems control the computer hardware and provide a user interface
    • Applications are programs with a particular function such as word processing or CAD. Types include:
      • Proprietary - Purchased software with a license - SolidWorks etc
      • Shareware - try before you buy. The software is functional and is free for a specific time. After this time, the software should be paid for, but it will not cease to function. WinZip etc
      • Trial - this software is free to try but will cease to function after the trial period if not purchased
      • Freeware - this is software which is totally free to use. There is no trial period. Mozilla Firefox etc
windows xp14
Windows XP
    • Utilities are used to perform system tasks such as backing up data or compressing files etc
  • Licensing
  • In order to install any program you must have a valid license
  • Standard licenses will normally not allow you to install the software on more than one computer
  • For this reason it is normally possible to buy special multi-user licenses or site licenses, to allow you do so.
  • These usually have restrictions on the number of computers to which the software can be installed.
windows xp15
Windows XP
  • Uninstalling Software
  • Software is uninstalled in one of two ways:
    • Add\Remove Programs
    • Start Menu Uninstall
  • Add\Remove Programs
    • Click Start, Control Panel - double-click Add/Remove Programs.
    • The Add/Remove Programs window opens
    • Select the program and click the Change/Remove button
    • Click the Yes button to remove the application.
windows xp16
Windows XP
  • Start Menu Uninstall
  • Some applications enter an uninstall option in the start menu. To uninstall such a program:
    • Click Start, All Programs and navigate to the program entry in the Start Menu
    • Click Uninstall
    • The application is uninstalled
windows xp17
Windows XP
  • Data Security
  • As computer software is supplied on disk, in the case of data loss or software corruption, it can be reinstalled
  • The only irreplaceable element in a computer is user data
  • This is the files and folders created by the computer users
  • For this reason, it is imperative that the user data is protected.
  • This involves a number of strategies:
    • Backup
    • Anti Virus and Spyware protection
windows xp18
Windows XP
  • Backup - Windows XPhas it’s own backup program. It can perform a backup to:
    • A hard disk partition other than the C: partition
    • A tape drive
    • An external hard disk
    • A Zip drive
    • A DVD burner
    • A network storage device
  • To start the backup program:
    • Click All Programs, Accessories, System Tools and Backup
    • Click Next at the first window
    • Click the Back up files and settings radio button and click the Next button
windows xp19
Windows XP
  • Choose the type of backup required. In this case, the Let me choose what to back up option is chosen
  • Select what to backup by ticking the relevant boxes
windows xp20
Windows XP
  • Chose a destination for the backup
  • Click Finish to complete in the final window
windows xp21
Windows XP
    • There is also an option to schedule a backup
  • The scheduled backup can be:
    • Full - Everything backed up
    • Differential - New and changed files since the last backup
  • The differential is much faster as it is not a complete backup
  • The backup is created as a single file on the destination drive
windows xp22
Windows XP
  • Virus Protection
  • Malware is the term used to cover all types of computer contamination. Viruses and spyware are both malware
    • Viruses - A virus is a software program which enters a computer without the users knowledge.
      • A virus might attach itself to a program like a spreadsheet program
      • Each time the spreadsheet program runs, the virus runs, giving it the opportunity to enter memory and infect any other programs running on the computer
      • Viruses often carry a payload which is run when the virus is in memory and this can vary in severity up to totally erasing a disk
windows xp23
Windows XP
  • Worms - a small piece of software that uses computer networks and security holes to replicate itself. It reads address books and emails itself to everyone in it
  • Trojan horses - a program that invites the user to run it, offering benefits, usually free of charge. Hidden in the program is malicious software, usually with a payload
  • Spyware - software which enters a computer without the users knowledge. Adware is a form of spyware which displays advertisements on the users computer. Some spyware monitors computer and internet use and reports back to the creator of the spyware. Some hijacks the internet connection and redirects the user to unwanted web sites
  • Spyware and viruses can cause a lot of disk and memory activity and as a result, seriously slow down a computer
windows xp24
Windows XP
  • Virus and Spyware Precautions
    • Don’t open email attachments from unknown senders
    • Don’t openemail attachments unless you know exactly what it is, even if it appears to come from a friend or someone you know
    • Don’t openemail attachments if there is no subject or the subject text is unusual
    • Use cautionwhen downloading files from the Internet
    • Update your anti-virus software regularly
    • Install an effective firewall
    • Keep your spyware removal software up to date
    • Perform regular computer backups
    • If you have any doubt, err on the side of caution
    • Do not install ActiveX controls
    • Use the limited account for normal computer use and an administrator account for installing software etc
windows xp25
Windows XP
  • Windows XP has a security centre which monitors the status of your security:
    • It monitors your antivirus software to ensure it is up to date, ensures your firewall is turned on and monitors automatic updates to ensure operating system patches etc. are downloaded and installed on the computer.
  • The security centre is found in the Control panel