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Computer Basics Tutorial #11 - Getting to Know the OS

Tutorial Name: Computer Basics Tutorial #11 - Getting to Know the OS  

Category: PC Tutorials

Submitted By: Mooneye

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Getting to know your computer's OS

Now that you know the absolute basics of using a computer, it's time to learn more about your computer's operating system. We'll be talking about the two most common operating systems in this lesson: Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X.

Watch the video below to learn the basics of using Windows:



Watch the video below to learn the basics of using Mac OS X:



Getting to know the interface

Both PCs and Macs use a graphical user interface (GUI), and they each have their own look and feel. The interactives below will introduce you to the Windows and Mac interfaces.

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-Recycle Bin
(When you delete a file, it is moved to the Recycle Bin. This allows you to recover the file if you change your mind.

To permanently delete the file, you will need to empty the Recycle Bin.)

-Desktop
(The desktop is the main workspace of your computer. From here, you can access files, folders, and more.

You can also customize the desktop by choosing a desktop background image, also known as a wallpaper.)

-Items on the Desktop
(You can keep folders, files, and shortcuts on the desktop so they'll be easily accessible.)

-Open Folders
(When you double-click a folder, it will open in a specialized program called File Explorer (also known as Windows Explorer). This allows you to navigate to the specific folder or file you want.)

-Start Button
(In most versions of Windows, you'll click the Start button to open the Start menu.)

-Shortcuts on the Taskbar
(Some programs will have shortcuts on the taskbar for easy access. In this example, there are shortcuts to Microsoft Edge, File Explorer, and the Windows Store.)

-Taskbar
(The taskbar contains shortcuts to applications, the date and time, and more. When you open a program or file, it will appear on the taskbar, and you can easily switch between different programs by selecting them on the taskbar.)

-Date and Time Settings
(On the right side of the taskbar, you will see the date and time. There will also be shortcuts to various settings, like Internet settings and sound volume.)

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-Apple Icon
(In the top-left corner of the screen is the Apple icon, which you can click to access your System Preferences, recent documents, and more. You can also use it to shut down your computer.)

-Menu Bar
(The menu bar will contain different menu options depending on which program you're using. In this example, the active program is Finder.)

-Date and Time Settings
(On the right side of the menu bar, you will see the date and time, along with shortcuts you can click to adjust settings like sound volume.)

-Spotlight
(When you click the magnifying glass icon, it will open Spotlight. Spotlight allows you to find a file or application by typing the name (or just part of the name).)

-Notification Center
(The Notification Center displays an alert when you've received an update. It can be customized to let you know of upcoming appointments, tweets, news, and other real-time events. It remains hidden until you click its icon in the top-right corner.)

-Desktop
(The desktop is the main workspace of your computer. From here, you can access files, folders, and more.

You can also customize the desktop by choosing a desktop background image, also known as a wallpaper.)

-Open Folders
(When you double-click a folder, it will open in a specialized program called Finder. This lets you navigate to the specific file or folder you want.)

-Items on the Desktop
(You can keep folders, files, and shortcuts on the desktop so they'll be easily accessible.)

-Launchpad
(Launchpad allows you to see a list of all of your applications. It is designed to make it easier to find and organize your applications.)

-Dock
(The Dock can contain shortcuts to applications, files, and folders. If you have multiple programs open, you can use the Dock to quickly switch between them.)

-Trash
(When you delete a file, it is moved to the Trash. This allows you to recover the file if you change your mind. To permanently delete a file, you'll need to empty the Trash.)

All about your computer's file system

No matter which operating system you use, your computer uses folders to organize all of the different files and applications it contains. Folder icons on your computer are designed to look like file folders full of documents or pictures.

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Each operating system has its own file system, which helps you find your folders and files. If you have a Windows PC, you'll use the File Explorer (also known as Windows Explorer). If you have a Mac, you'll use Finder. Here, we'll talk about the basic functions that are common to all computer file systems.

Opening your computer's file system

Whether you're using a PC or a Mac, the file system icon will be in the bottom-left part of the screen. On a PC, the File Explorer icon looks like a folder, as in the image below.

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On a Mac, the Finder icon looks like a face on the Dock, as in the image below.

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In both operating systems, you can also open the file system by clicking a folder from your desktop.

Basic navigation

Whether you're using Windows Explorer or Finder, basic navigation will work the same way. If you see the file you want, you can double-click it with your mouse. Otherwise, you can use the Navigation pane on the left side of the window to select a different location.

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Deleting files

OS X and Windows use a Trash can--or Recycle Bin--to prevent you from accidentally deleting files. When you delete a file, it is moved to the Trash can. If you change your mind, you can move the file back to its original location.

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If you want to permanently delete the file, you will need to empty the Trash or Recycle Bin. To do this, right-click the icon and select Empty.

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Opening files and applications

Each application on your computer has a group of file types--or formats--it is able to open. When you double-click a file, your computer will automatically use the correct application to open it. In our example, we're opening a Microsoft Word document (Chicago Trip Details), which will open in Microsoft Word.
opening a file

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However, there may be times you may want to open an application directly, instead of just opening a file.

-To open an application in Windows, click the Start button, then select the desired application. If you don't see the one you want, you can click All Programs/All Apps to see a full list, or simply type the name of the application on your keyboard to search for it. In the example below, we're opening Internet Explorer.

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-To open an application on a Mac, click the application's icon on the Dock. If you don't see the one you want, click the Spotlight icon in the top-right corner of the screen, then type the name of the application on your keyboard to search for it. In the example below, we're opening Safari.

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Adjusting your computer's settings

When you start using a new computer, you may want to begin by adjusting the computer's settings. Adjusting your settings can range from simple tasks such as changing your desktop background to more advanced tasks like adjusting your security or keyboard settings.

-In Windows 10, click the Start button, then select Settings.

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-In Windows 8.1 and earlier, click the Start button, then locate and select the Control Panel.

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-On a Mac, click the Apple icon, then select System Preferences.

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Shutting down your computer

When you're done using your computer, it's important to shut it down properly.

-To shut down Windows, click the Start button, then select Shut down (in some versions, this may say Turn Off Computer or look like the power symbol).

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-To shut down a Mac, click the Apple icon, then select Shut Down.

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Comments

"Computer Basics Tutorial #11 - Getting to Know the OS" :: Login/Create an Account :: 1 comment

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JOEYKMODSPosted:

this took me about 25 mins to read but now I actually know my computers OS which I should have known already but I didnt so thank you TTG and who ever posted this.