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Basics of Windows 95/98/NT Versions of Windows Windows 95 and 98 used mainly on standalone computers Windows NT used on networked computers (as in our labs) Windows 2000 (also called NT 5.0) the latest version of Windows NT

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versions of windows
Versions of Windows
  • Windows 95 and 98
    • used mainly on standalone computers
  • Windows NT
    • used on networked computers (as in our labs)
  • Windows 2000 (also called NT 5.0)
    • the latest version of Windows NT

For everything we do in this course, Windows 98 and Windows NT can be considered identical.

use of the mouse in windows
Use of the Mouse in Windows
  • To point to an object, move the mouse pointer onto the object.
  • To click an object, point to it, then press and release the left mouse button.
  • To right click an object, point to it, then press and release the right mouse button.
  • To double click an object, point to it, then quickly click the left button twice.
To drag an object, move the pointer to the object, then press and hold the left mouse button while moving the mouse pointer to a new position.
  • To drag-and-drop an object, drag it and then release the left mouse button.

It will be assumed from now on that you are familiar with all of these.

  • The desktop is a graphical metaphor used to represent aspects of the operating system that you can interact with using the mouse.
  • More importantly, it represents a particular location within the file system.
  • What you see on your screen are objects arranged on your desktop.
important parts of the desktop
Important parts of the desktop
  • Icons to represent programs
  • A pointer
  • A taskbar
  • Wallpaper
  • There will often be open windows occupying part or all of the desktop as well.


This is your desktop


Shortcut Bar

Start menu

Status bar

icons shortcuts
  • You can add to these, rearrange them, or get rid of them.
  • You can execute (launch) the applications they represent by double-clicking on them.
more on double clicking
More on double-clicking
  • Note that double-clicking on an icon that stands for a data file (a .doc file created by Word, for example) causes 2 files to be retrieved from the file system, the specified file plus the application program (.exe file) that was used to create it and is to be used to modify or display it.
  • It also starts executing (or launches) the program on the specified data file.
Double-clicking on an icon for an application program, on the other hand, simply starts that application by itself.
  • Also, double-clicking on a folder causes the contents of the folder to be displayed.
left clicking vs right clicking
(Left) clicking vs. right clicking
  • (Left) clicking an icon selects it so that a subsequent operation can then be applied to it.
  • Right clicking an icon generally brings up a context-sensitive menu of options that are appropriate for that icon.
  • Use a left click when selecting an item from a menu.
dragging and dropping
Dragging and dropping
  • Dragging and dropping is often used when copying or moving a file or folder from one place (folder or disk drive) to another.
  • One way to delete a file or folder is by dragging and dropping its icon to the recycle bin on the desktop.
how does windows know which icon to display and which application to run
How Does Windows Know Which Icon to Display and Which Application To Run?
  • By the file extension, which is the string of characters (usually 3 letters) at the end of the file name, following a period.
  • (The user can control whether this extension is displayed or not, even if it’s really there.)
  • We’ll look at a list of some of the most commonly used file extensions later.
the taskbar
The taskbar
  • Start menu
  • Shortcuts to launched applications or open folders
  • Time indicator and others
start menu
Start Menu
  • Handy for launching applications you use a lot or those which can be grouped into a large hierarchy.
Task bar keeps track of and makes available those applications that have been launched or folders that are open:

Shortcut for application which is now in active window.

Shortcut for other application which is open.

all windows applications have
All Windows applications have
  • Windows/Panes
  • Menus
  • Toolbars
menus have the following characteristics
Menus have the following characteristics:
  • Commands grouped semantically/functionally.
  • Toolbar icons displayed with corresponding menu items when they exist.
  • Keyboard shortcuts displayed with corresponding menu items when they exist.
other menu conventions
Other menu conventions:
  • Ellipses (…) mean a dialog box will appear to allow you to specify in detail what you want.
  • A right arrow indicates that another menu (a submenu) will pop down and you will make your actual choices from this submenu.
  • A double arrow pointing down at the bottom of a menu means that there are more choices. To see them, move the cursor to this double arrow.

Commands are grouped semantically/ functionally, e.g. commands for opening and closing files are grouped together and at the top of the list of commands.

Copies of icons

Keyboard shortcuts



menu commands in context
Menu commands in context
  • Menu commands which cannot be used in the current context because of functional inappropriateness are grayed out in that menu.
  • They are often still represented, but grayed out. This is so that the user can learn and remember which menu they are in:

The cut and copy commands are grayed out now in this Edit menu since nothing was selected so it is impossible to cut and copy it.

standardization of menus
Standardization of menus
  • In all Microsoft applications the File menu is usually the first one on the left, the next is the Edit menu, the last one is the Help menu, etc.
  • Furthermore, the contents of these menus are similar, but not necessarily the same, across applications.
  • This makes it much easier for a user to learn new applications based on experience with other ones.