Computer Terms And Their Meanings

ADSL: Short for asymmetric digital subscriber line, a new technology that allows more data to be sent
over existing copper telephone lines. See more..

Affiliate: An affiliate is a person or company that advertises and promotes another companies products
in order to make a sale. Sometimes you can lead customers to the company website, and if a product is
sold you will receive an agreed share of the sale price. Popular affiliate sites include and

AGP: (Accelerated Graphics Port) is usually located near the white PC! slots on a Notherboard. This is
where you install a video card for better graphical performance. Nost motherboards now come with
onboard sound and video which is top quality, however when you install AGP video it removes pressure
from the computers resources. See more..

Application Software: Or simply application is a computer program that performs tasks that the user
wishes to perform. !t could be Nicrosoft word and you might use it to write a letter or Adobe Photoshop
to edit a photo. See more..

Animation: A simulation of movement created by displaying a series of pictures, or frames. All of these
pictures put together can make a computer animated gif, which will be a moving picture. You can also
animate writing, banners, and even entire websites. A cartoons on television is one example of an
Attachment: A file attached to an e-mail message. For example you could attach a picture to send
with your e-mail.

Auto responder An e-mail utility that automatically replies to an e-mail message with a prewritten
response. Read Nore.....

Autostart This is when a program or application starts without you having to double click on the icon
to start. For example, if you insert a cd into the cd drive on your computer it could be set to autostart.
!f it is it will automatically open the disc to view or start the program it holds. You can also plug your
digital camera in and a program will appear to extract the photos from the camera. This means that the
program was set to autostart if a camera was attached to the computer.

Broadband: This usually refers to a high speed internet connection like DSL or cable. To use this
connection you would also need a broadband modem. Broadband is a far cry from the good old Dialup

Bios: Basic input output system. You can access this when you start-up a computer. !t will say on the
screen "To enter setup press .....key". !t lets you change whether the CD-RON or hard drive boots first.
There are also settings to overclock some computer systems.

Bit: (binary digit) This is the smallest unit of information on a machine and can hold only one of two
values: 0 or 1. Consecutive bits can be combined to form larger units such as a byte (8 bits = 1 byte).

Boot sequence: The order of drives that a system's B!OS follows when looking for the operating
system. For example it can go to the hard drive, the floppy drive, or the Cd rom.

Broadcast: To simultaneously send the same message to multiple recipients. Broadcasting is a useful
feature in e-mail systems

Browser: A program to allow you to view and browse web pages on the internet. ! use !nternet

Bandwidth: This is the term we use to measure the amount of data and its speed through an internet
connection. The more bandwidth you have, the faster the internet connection. Bandwidth is limited by
the line it travel through. Your internet service provider can reduce or increase your bandwidth
according to you internet plan.

Capacity: (hard drive capacity) Basically means what size is the hard drive, how much data can it hold,
etc. "Ny hard drive capacity is 500GB."

Case Sensitive: A term used to describe if it is of importance to use upper or lower case letters.

Computer: This a general term for all the included components that make up a computer. When
people say the word computer they generally mean the whole system.

Cookie: A text information message that is stored on your computer when you visit a web page. When
you return to the page the cookie is used to recognize you.

CPU: (Central Processing unit) This is the brains of the computer. !t is a chip attached to the
motherboard and controls and calculates data and is a vital part of your computer. Sometimes known
as the Processor, the CPU comes in different speeds. ! have a 2.8ghz processor.

CTRL: Stands for control button. Found on both sides, bottom left and right, of the keyboard. Used to
perform special functions such as selecting all (Ctrl-A).

Data: A collection of facts, information, photos, text, anything, on a computer or on the internet.

Desktop: !t is everything you see when you start your computer except the taskbar. Your desktop has
the icons on it that are shortcuts to programs and folders.

Desktop Background: A picture or graphic you display on your computer desktop (screen). !f you
have icons on your desktop the background will be behind these.

Download: To download something is to get it from the internet to your computer through your
internet connection. For example, when you receive email to your computer the new emails are
downloaded from your mail server. Now days people download everything including documents,
information, music files, movies, games, cracks, cheats, and more.. To upload is the opposite of

Ergonomic office chair: This refers to a chair purposely designed to fit the comfort needs of the user
with considerations such as surrounding environment taken into account.

Email Server: An email server collects your email and delivers it to your chosen email client. Same
with sending an email. !t gets taken to the email server to distribute to the appropriate email recipient.
!t is a bit like a post office in the real world and the email client is your letter box.

Email Client: An email client is a program that lets you read, create emails, send, reply to, read, and
manage your emails. Some examples of Email Clients include Outlook Express, Thunderbird,
!ncredimail, Pegasus and many others.

File: !n the old days a file used to be a section category that was kept in a filing cabinet, however now
we have less paper to file away. Now the term file can mean anything on your computer. Everything on
your computer is made up of files. Folders and directories have files stored in them. Programs are made
up of certain files that make the program work. A file on a computer can mean any file unless you
specify which type. For example there are music files, picture files, system files, and so
on. See Creating, saving, copying, pasting, and moving files or folders on your computer.

File Extension: A file extension classifies what category a file falls into. !f it has .txt as a file extension
then you know it is a text file. !f it has .jpeg it is a picture. See File extensions What are they?

Firewall: A personal firewall is a computer program that protects your computer from malicious users
by blocking incoming and outgoing unauthorized access. Windows Xp comes with a built in firewall.

Format: (Hard drive, re-writeable disks) To clear of all data. Clean to the original state of empty. A
hard drive has to be formatted and partitioned to install an operating system. !t can also mean to
format text by changing the font, color and size.

Forward: Forward is an option found in an e-mail client, which allows you to forward a received e-mail
to another recipient.

Forum: This is a member based website, usually free to join, where people gather to chat and
converse on a particular subject. Forums can be used as a very useful learning tool for most subjects as
people share their knowledge and experiences with others. You can find computer help forums, money
saving forums, child birth forums, and more..

Gigabyte: 1 gigabyte = 1,000,000,000 bytes for hard drive capacity or 1 gigabyte = 102+ megabytes
for computer memory and files sizes.

Hardware: The basic parts that make up your computer.

Html: (hyper text markup language) This is coding used to develop webpages. You can start from
scratch, writing html or you can use a html editor like Frontpage that has a template to start with.

IP Address: A unique address that each computer has. !f you have a home network your modem will
have an ip address, so will your router, and any computers that are attached.

ISP: (!nternet service provider) Your !SP is the company that supplies your internet connection to you.
!t could be a local phone company or even a pay tv company. You internet service provider usually
sends you a bill for your internet connection.
Keypad: The set of numbers on the right hand side of the keyboard.
Message Rules: Rules that you can set in Outlook Express to filter your email messages.

Motherboard: The central circuit board that provides electrical connections so the other components
of a computer can communicate with each other. !t is the main part to a computer. Everything is
connected to it.
Organic Search: Search results in a search engine that that come up naturally and are not paid
advertisements. For example if you search for "computer tips" in Google you will see this website in the
top 10 results.

OS: (Operating System) !s the main program that runs your computer. Windows is probably the most

OSK: On screen keyboard. Windows has a built in OSK. You can type OSK in the run command window
and it will appear.
Page Impressions: This can also be known as Page Hits or Page views. This measures the number of
times a webpage is visited. This is also a broad term and can be further categorized into unique visitors
and page loads.

Peripherals: Peripherals are those pieces of hardware that you add on to your computer. For example
a mouse, keyboard, modem, monitor, etc.

PCI: (peripheral component interconnect) These are slots on the motherboard, usually white, where
you can add cards onto your computer. You can add soundcards, internal modems, Tv cards, and

Power Supply: This is a component of the computer that supplies power to all of the other
components. You plug power into the back of the computer.

Print Screen (Key}: The key between the letters and the keypad labelled "Prt Sc/Sys Rq". Commonly
used to take photographs of the screen.

Partition: When you divide your hard drive into parts, each section of data is called a partition. A hard
drive must have at least one partition on it for Windows to be installed.

Remote Desktop: This feature enables you to connect to your computer across the !nternet from
virtually any computer anywhere. You need to know your computers !P address and its password and

Registry: This is where the very important settings for your computer are stored. This includes
software serial numbers and passwords, email settings and accounts and a lot more information.

Safe mode: When you computer is started in safe mode the computer loads only the files necessary to
run the basic Windows services. !t is the NO-frills version of Windows, which allows you to diagnose
problems by process of elimination.

Screenshot: A photograph of a computer screen or a portion of it.

Screen Resolution: !t refers to the amount of pixels (little coloured dots) you have on your screen.
The most popular resolution nowadays is 102+x/68. That suits a 1/ inch monitor perfectly. !f you set
your screen resolution to 800x600 the writing will be bigger and easier to see.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization. The art of optimizing your web site for the search engines.

Shareware: Shareware is a software program that you can download or try for free, usually for a set
trial period. After that time is up you can buy the software program to continue using it. A lot of
software is sold this way as the user gets attached to using the program and ends up buying it.
Snail mail: Normal postal mail, where an actual physical letter or package is delivered. The term didn't
exist until electronic mail (e-mail) came along.
Software: Refers to all of the programs on your computer. Software helps you get things achieved,
like writing letters, sending emails, and surfing the internet.
System Properties Box Contains information about your computer. What speed is your processor,
how much memory you have, automatic updates settings, your computer name, and more..

Task Bar: The Blue (default colour) bar with the start button on one end and the time on the opposite

Task Manager: A program (taskman.exe) in which you can view all running programs and
services. You can also shutdown a program non-responding program from here.

The Trojan computer virus named so after the Trojan Horse of mythology. !t does the same thing.
!t slyly gets into your computer and releases its soldiers when you least expect it.
Tweak: To make small changes that fine-tune a piece of software or hardware. There are many
programs that help you do this. For example XP tools, Tweak u, Ashampoo.
URL: Universal Resource Locator is the global address of a web page or document. Domain names are
used in URL's. This URL is

Virus: A man made file that infects a computer in order to sabotage its files.

Wallpaper: The monitor pattern or picture or other graphic representation that forms the background
onto which all the icons, menus and other elements of the operating system are displayed.

Web Server: A computer that holds a web page and makes it available on the internet.

Web Host: A web server that hosts web site space on the internet to companies or
individuals. Basically you pay a web server to use their space to host your website. When a visitor
requests a webpage from that site, the request will be sent to the web server that is hosting the site.

Wireless router: The router converts the signals coming across your !nternet connection into a
wireless broadcast, sort of like a cordless phone base station.


Youtube: Worlds largest video sharing website. Free to join, upload, and watch.

Yahoo: A global internet services company. !t operates an !nternet portal and provides a full range of
products including email, search, chat, and more.

Zip: a zip file is a compressed file that may contain one or more files compressed into it for better
storage. Compressing a file makes it smaller in size and therefore takes up less space. !t is like a
storage box. You can unzip or unpack the zip file to see the contents of it. Zip files can be
compressed or decompressed using a computer program like Winzip or Winrar.

Lets start with the basics of Computer Terminology
Everything about a computer falls into a particular category. Even the motherboard, hard
drive,WindowsXP, and your keyboard fall into one of these basic computer sections.
• Hardware refers to the basic parts that make up your computer. For example a hard drive,
memory, and motherboard are part of the hardware of your computer.
• Peripherals are those pieces of hardware that you add on to your computer. For example a
mouse, keyboard, modem, monitor, etc
• Software refers to all of the programs on your computer. Software helps you get things
achieved, like writing letters, sending emails, and surfing the internet.
Different types of hardware

Hard drive. This is where all your data is stored when you save it. !ts size or capacity is measured in

For Example, ! have a 160GB hard drive in my computer. Obviously a 20GB hard drive is very small in
comparison. Below is a picture of a 3.5" desktop hard drive and a 2.5" laptop hard drive.

Processor or Central Processing Unit (CPU) interprets computer program instructions and processes
data. The bigger your processor, the faster your computer performs your tasks. !ts speed is measured in
megahertz and gigahertz. 1000 megahertz equals 1 gigahertz. People still have computers that can be
something like a Pentium !!! 933mhz, however a more up to date computer would be Pentium !v 3.0ghz.
The cpu (picture to the right) has tiny pins that must not be bent in any way or they will not go into the
correct holes on the motherboard. And see in one of the corners there are no pins, and sometimes you
can see an arrow there. This lets you know which way it goes into the motherboard.

Motherboard, systemboard, or mainboard is the central circuit board that provides electrical
connections so the other components of a computer can communicate with each other. !t is the main
part to a computer. Without a motherboard or mainboard there is no computer. Every part to a computer
connects to the motherboard. Notherboards can be simple with the bare minimum add on or they can
include onboard graphics, onboard sound, network connections, USB ports, etc. To get a decent
motherboard now days you need one that supports things like loads of USB ports, front USB ports, front
audio, compatible for dual or quad core cpu, Tv in and out, and more..

Ram (random access memory) is the memory of a computer which works with the other components of
the computer to allow it to function. !t stores your data when you are using it and returns it to the hard
drive for storage when you are finished. For example it allows your programs to run and then puts them
away when you close them. Ram size is measured in megabytes and gigabytes. Nost computers have at
least 512mb ram but if you doubled that it would be over 1 gigabyte. (102+mb).

When upgrading your ram it is best to stick to a similar ram type that was originally in your computer.
For example if you had a DDR2 66/mhz 512mb stick of ram originally then you should put a DDR2
66/mhz stick of ram in to upgrade. However the new stick could be 1GB instead of 512mb. (Just a larger

New computers running Windows vista are able to handle having more ram. Windows vista also does not
run well on 512mb of ram.

CD Rom, Cd burner, or Dvd burner. These are used to read cd's to install software, or access any
data stored on a disk. The latest dvd burners can read most disks as well as burn both cd's and dvd's.
The older type cd roms only read cd's and cd burners read and write or burn cd's

Floppy disk drives are almost obsolete. !t uses
the older type 3.5" square plastic disk. See more Different drives of a computer.

The Different Disk]Disc Drives Of A Computer - Hard Drive, Cd Rom, And Floppy Drive
3.5" Desktop Hard disk drive:
This is hiding inside your computer and is where all your data is stored when you save it. You may
never see it unless you open up your computer to fix a problem. The picture shows a +0 gigabyte (the
size or capacity) hard drive, /200RPN (the speed or revs per minute).

2.5" Laptop Hard disk drive:
A laptop hard disk drive is considerably smaller than a normal desktop hard drive and also cost
more. !f you wanted to buy a 500gb laptop hard drive it would be very expensive, whereas a
500gb desktop hard drive is around $100.
Cd rom or DVD Drive.

This is where you put a cd rom or a DvD disc in. !t could be a drive that can also read and write on cds
or DvD disks. Plain old Cd roms are nearly obsolete as everyone now wants a DvD burner.. With a DvD
burner drive you can backup your dvd's onto a DvD writeable disc.
loppy disc drive. This is the smaller drive that takes those little plastic square shaped disks. They are
rarely used now as they are no longer needed for a boot disk if you have a cd rom or DvD burner

External Hard drive:
An external hard drive can come in two size like the desktop hard drive and the laptop hard drive. After
all an external hard drive is just a case housing one of these hard drives. So if you have a 2.5" external
hard drive, this means it contains a laptop hard drive.

External Hard drive What is it and why do ! need one?
An external hard drive is the ultimate backup device. How much data it stores depends on how big the
hard drive is inside the external case. !f you find that there is not enough storage space you can simply
remove the hard drive and replace it with a bigger one.
Nost newer type external hard drives connect to the computer via a USB cable. Nost computers have a
front USB port and therefore make it easy to plug and play or use an external hard drive.
Once connected to the computer, your external hard drive device will show up in my computer as
another hard disc drive. All you have to do is double click on the external hard drive icon and you can
paste or drop any file you like there. Now days people have a500gb external hard drives or even larger.

The benefits of having an external hard drive
1. It's a portable device You can easily pick up your external hard drive, take it to a
friends house, and connect it to their computer. Nost computers have a USB port through
which it can be connected.
2. Safe Backup Device Because the external hard drive is not permanently connected to
your computer, if your system crashes, the information and files on your external hard drive
device will still be safe. There this is a great backup device.
3. Easily upgradeable !f you find that it does not have enough storage space for your
backup files you can easily replace the hard drive with a bigger one. You cannot, as yet,
upgrade a normal USB Flash drive.
+. Can store a huge amount of Data and files For example if you had a 160gb
external hard drive you could fit movies, backup your music, photos, entire programs, and more
on it.
5. Will save your computer from getting clogged up with downloads and large
files. !f you find yourself downloading a lot of files it is always better to remove them from
your computer to store somewhere else. This way your computers performance will not be
effected by storing unnecessary files, data, and movies.
What size external hard drive do you need?

!f you just want to store documents, emails, small backup files, and photos then 20GB is enough for an
external hard drive. However if you want to store in type of movie, video footage, large amounts of
music, or even entire backups of your system, then you will need at least 100GB or more.

How much money does an external hard drive cost?

Nowadays you can buy a 500GB hard drive for $100 and then you just have to buy an external hard
drive case which can be around $20 or $30 off Ebay Power sellers. However people usually buy the
external hard drive with the hard drive inside and pay a fair bit more than is necessary.

You can store or backup everything on your external hard drive. ! cannot live without mine!!! !t is a
fantastic device...

What happens if the eternal hard drive fails to work and I loose my files:

OK this is not funny. !t has happened to me. ! had my 300GB external hard drive sitting on a chair and
knocked the cord and the whole thing gently slid off the chair. The hard drive was dead. !t just tapped
the floor. Anyway ! was absolutely devastated and vowed this would not happen again. Now ! have an
external hard drive that backs up the other external hard drive. ! know this sounds silly but image
loosing 10 years of goodies that ! had on that hard drive.. ! would rather keep my files safe.

Different types of Peripherals
• Keyboard allows you to type information into your computer. !t has made the poor old type
writer obsolete. See what and where are the keys on my keyboard?
• Mouse This is used as a pointing device that can help you control your computer tasks. !t is a
hand held device with a left and right click button. !t performs a lot of the keyboards functions
but its as easy as a click here and there. See how to use a mouse.
• Monitor is the screen for viewing your working computer. The older type are CRT Nonitors and
the nice slim screens are LCD Nonitors.
• Modem This device connects your computer to a phone line to enable communication between
you and other computers. !t allows you to view pages stored on other computers which is
commonly called the internet. You will need a service provider to do this. Nost people have cable
internet, however in remote areas they still use dial up internet which is extremely slow.
• Printer]Scanner This allows you to print pages from your computer or scan and copy pages on
to your computer to view and edit. Nost new printers come with a scanner incorporated and
sometimes they can also print great quality photos. Seehow to install a new printer.
The main and most important piece of software a computer has is the Operating System which is most
commonly called Windows. There is also software for almost anything you want to do with your
computer. There is software for picture editing, movie making, music production, watching movies or
Tv, and more. !t almost seems never ending. !t all starts with an idea.

What Are Device Drivers And Why Do I Need Them For My
Nany people are unaware that you actually need device drivers to run your computer smoothly. This
could include display drivers, network, audio, and chipset drivers. Every device that is on your computer
has a driver for it. Even a mouse, keyboard, and a monitor have drivers, however windows usually
installs those ones for us.
What is a Device Driver
A driver is a small software program that helps your computer identify and run particular types of
hardware. You need drivers for onboard video, an agp video card, or even a usb storage device. When
you purchase a new computer it should always come with adevice driver or system disk and Windows
usually takes care of the common and generic drivers.
Where can you find your drivers for your computer?
1. If you bought a computer the discs should come with your computer. !f you have
lost your disc, drivers can be downloaded from manufacturer's websites for free as you already
own their product. Like, Http:// All you have to do is type in the model number
and name of your computer. For Example: Acer desktop T310 and then type "driver download"
with it.
2. If you built the computer yourself, a driver disk should have been supplied with
your motherboard. Store this disk in a safe place. !f you buy a separate video card then you will
need a driver disc for this also.
3. If you have a second hand computer with no disks and all components are
onboard, then you must search for the motherboards model number in Google. However if you
have a separate sound card, you need to find the devicedriver for its model number and not for
onboard sound on the motherboard.
+. If you have a restoration disk for your computer then everything you need should
be on that disk, including the operating system. !t also doesn't hurt to ask for some free
computer help from a friend.
Some Examples of Devices that require drivers
• Nonitors, keyboards, mouse (Windows will install these)
• video cards, Sound Cards, PC! Cards (Rarely will Windows install these drivers)
• Usb, Ethernet, modems, flash drives (Rarely will Windows install these drivers)
• CD/DvD Roms (Windows install most drivers for these)
• And the list goes on....
• !f you upgrade your operating system from Windows XP to vista, for example, you will need to
upgrade your drivers as well. For a particular device there is sometimes 5 different versions,
depending on the age of the device. A new modem would have drivers for Windows Xp and
Windows vista. They have phased out drivers for Windows 95, 98, and 2000.

Computer Terminology relating to software
• Warez: A common name for illegal software.
• Serial: The serial number for a particular piece of software.
• Download: To click on a link for a file and transfer it through the internet to your computer to
• Upload: To transfer a file from your computer to another host computer through the internet.
Like uploading a video to Youtube.
• Trial software: This is software that you can try before you buy. !f your trial time runs out you
will no longer be able to use this software unless you purchase a copy.
• Apps: !s an abbreviation used for application software.
Common Computer terminology and meanings
Burn a cd. No this does not mean you can set fire to it! This means to write data to a disk. Naybe you
want to burn a copy of your home movies on to a disk.

Desktop !t is everything you see when you start your computer except the taskbar.
Wallpaper The monitor pattern or picture or other graphic representation that forms the background
onto which all the icons are displayed. ! like to use a photo of my own for the wallpaper on my
Cookie A text information message that is stored on your computer when you visit a web page. When
you return to the page the cookie is used to recognize you.
Tweak To make small changes that fine-tune a piece of software or hardware. There are many
programs that help you do this. For example XP tools, Tweak u, Ashampoo.
See more Computer Terms and their meanings.

!f you are a new computer user, you should keep this article handy for future reference, and hopefully
soon this computer terminology will become your second language.

Where are the keys on my keyboard This is a basic layout for a keyboard,
however there are some keyboards that are different. Some keyboards do not have a W!N KEY which is
the key with the pretty colors below.
You could also have a multimedia keyboard that has more keys on it like search, email, home, back,
forward, and more. Generally the most popular keyboard stick to the same standards and try to put the
keys in the same area.
However a laptop may not permit too many keys on the keypad because of a space issue.

Basics Keys on a keyboard

SPACE BAR !s the largest key on the bottom row. Primarily used for creating a space between letters
or words.

SHIFT KEY !s located on both the left and right side of the keyboard. When this key is held down you
make letters into capitals and can access upper characters. (Like the @ located above number 2 or the
$ sign located above number +.) Give it a try.

CAPS LOCK This key basically locks the shift key on, so everything typed will be in capitals or the
upper characters. Press it again to unlock.
TAB KEY !s used to go to the next tab spot. Like on the old fashioned typewriter.
ENTER KEY When you select a button you can press enter or double click the mouse. !t usually causes
something to operate. !n a Word document it acts like a return key taking you to the next line.
BACKSPACE KEY Pressing this will remove the last letter you typed or when browsing the internet it
will take you to the previously viewed page.
ALT KEY (Alternate) This key is a modifier and changes the function of other keys. For example if you
press ALT and F key it drops down the file menu of the current program.
CTRL KEY Stands for control button. Found on both sides, bottom left and right, of the keyboard.
Another modifier used to perform special functions such as copying selected text (Ctrl-C).
WINDOWS KEY This key brings up the start menu. Try it. !f you press the win key and D it shows the
desktop. This picture shows the win key in between the CTRL and the ALT keys.

This is a picture of a Nicrosoft multimedia keyboard and as you can see it definitely has extra buttons
and keys. This keyboard can adjust your volume on your computer, open your email, take screen shots
of your computer screen, open the internet, and more..
Below is a picture of a laptop keyboard which only has one W!N KEY instead of two on a normal

Beginners guide to using a computer mouse? Tips and tricks

More Computer Basics
A computer mouse is one of the most important parts of a computer now days as most people would
find it farley difficult to control a computer with just a simple keyboard. Of course there is
a keyboard shortcut to perform all the necessary tasks on a computer, however using a mouse is so
much easier. !t just a matter of clicking and what you want.
Learn how to hold the computer mouse:
!f you lay your entire hand over your mouse it usually ends up in the right spot. Try
and have your thumb resting on the desk, and on the other side, have your pinky on
he desk too. See the picture below. Now you can see that your index finger sits on the
left mouse button and your middle finger rests on the right mouse button. You can
use either your index finger or your middle finger to move the centre scroll wheel.
Please click on the thumbnail image to the right to see a finger diagram.

Learn how to move the computer mouse:
!f your mouse is connected to the computer, when you move the mouse with your hand, the arrow will
move on the computer screen. !t is better to have a clear space for the mouse to move in. !f you
accidentally bump into objects it may cause you to click on things you did not intend to.
What happens when you left click and right click on your mouse?
• When you left click on the mouse it usually means you are selecting an item.
• !f you double click on a file or folder it will open the item.
• You only need to click once to open a link on the internet.
What can you right click on?
• The most common thing you can right click on is your blank desktop background. This
will bring up a menu of choices to change settings on your computer. !n the screenshot below
it shows what happens when ! have right clicked on the desktop. The first menu appears, then
if ! hover over something with an arrow next to it, another menu comes up.

• You can right click on an image on the internet and choose to save the picture.
• You can right click on any file and choose to see the properties of that file.
• You can right click on any file to copy it. Then right click in another folder in the blank
space and choose paste.
What is a scroll wheel on a mouse?
A scroll wheel is a small wheel located between the left and right mouse buttons. This allows you to
smoothly scroll up and down a page instead of clicking at least 100 times.

What does clicking and moving the mouse do?:
The best way to click on something is to hold the mouse arrow on top of the item and then click. Be
careful not to move as you could move the file or even delete it instead of opening it. !t is all about
practice makes perfect, and that's what you have to do, practice.
Clicking sends a command to the computer. To click, gently press and release the left computer mouse
button. Be careful not to move the mouse while you are clicking, if you accidentally do simply slide the
mouse back to where you want to click and try again. Try to keep you hand relaxed on the mouse as
you press and release without lifting your finger completely off the button.

Tips and tricks for using your mouse.
• !n !nternet Explorer or Firefox you can hold the CTRL key down on your keyboard and
move your scroll wheel to adjust the text size you want to view.
• Hold the CTRL key down when clicking your mouse on a link and it will open in a new
tab in !nternet Explorer /.
• Also hold the SH!FT key in and use the scroll wheel to move back and forward through
the webpage's you have just visited.
• !f you are left handed and want to change a mouse to suit you, then you can change
the left click button to right click, and so on... To change what your mouse buttons do go to the
control panel, open the mouse icon, and here you can change all the settings for the mouse.
What type of mouse do I have?
!f you turn your computer mouse over you will be able to tell what type of mouse you have.
• !f your mouse has a ball under it then it is an older type mechanical mouse. When the
ball is moved it also moves the mouse on your computer screen. This type of mouse is outdated
but can still be used. Using a mouse pad is recommended for this type of mouse as it helps it roll
along smoothly and also reduces the amount of dust the ball may suck up.
• !f your mouse has a laser light under it then it is an optical mouse. This is the newer
type mouse and of course it is faster, cleaner, and works on most surfaces without needing a
mouse pad.
• There is also a optical-mechanical mouse which is simple a combination of the two
• The newest technology is the wireless mouse which relies infrared, radio signals
or Bluetooth to communicate with the computer.
You computer mouse can also have different plugs on the end of the cord that connects it to your
computer, or it may not have any cords at all. The most common connections for a mouse with a cord is
the PS 2 port and the USB interface. The RS-232C serial port is an ever older type of connection again.
Of course most people prefer the wireless mouse now days as it has no messy cords to plug in.
You do not need a mouse if you have a laptop with a Touchpad.

How to Format a computer using a Windows XP disc
1. First you must put your Windows XP CD in the drive.
2. Then restart your computer.
3. When it says press any key to boot from cd, Press any key on the keyboard. (Go to step 6)
+. !f it doesn't ask you this then restart your computer again.
5. Go into the BIOS settings of your PC, usually by pressing the F1, F2, F10, or maybe the delete
key. !f you are not sure watch the screen at startup and it will say "To enter setup press.......".
You have to be quick and press it. !f you miss it restart again. Once you are in the bios you have
to change the boot options. You have to make your cd rom the first boot option. Save and exit.
6. A blue screen will appear and you are on your way..

/. Press Enter to setup Windows XP now. See screenshot above.
8. !f there is a copy of Windows XP on your computer and you wish to overwrite it you will have to
press the escape button when prompted. (screenshot below) Do not install Windows XP in
another directory unless you know what you are doing. Just overwrite the previous version as
you should have backed up your data anyway.

9. You should now make the partition that had windows on it blue and press D to delete the
partition. !t will ask if you are sure. Press L to confirm. Nore details ondeleting partitions.
10. Then Press C to create another partition and Windows will estimate a size for you. !f you wanted
to partition your hard drive into two equal parts you would have to do some math's and then
type the appropriate number in. Otherwise just going with what Windows puts there will be the
minimum partition size.
11. Press Enter to confirm size.
12. Then it will ask you which partition you want to install Windows on. The default is C: drive. Select
this by making it blue and press enter.
13. !f there are no partitions it will create one for you.
1+. Then it will ask you to format quick, normal, in fat32 or NTFS. Fat32 suits older computers so !
choose a quick format with NTFS. Ouick or Slow is fine. !f you had errors it is better to use a
slow format which can also be known as a low level format.
15. From now on you just Follow the prompts and let it go..
16. The computer will restart and it will try to boot from cd again...Do not press anything on the
keyboard.. Just let it go through the stages of setup.
1/. Nake sure you have your serial number ready to enter in. This can be found on your coa
certificate which is a sticker usually put on the side of your computer.
18. Do not remove the Windows XP CD until the computer has started up with a new desktop and
Now the next process begins.. !nstalling your device drivers for your computer. See What are
Device Drivers and why do ! need them for my computer?

BIOS How to get there and change settings
• Follow the instructions carefully. Once you have done this a few times, you will see how easy it
• The only way to learn is to try it yourself.
• Be very careful not to make mistakes as restarting this process over and over can corrupt your
computer. !f you do make a mistake, try pressing the escape button as it can sometimes take
you back to the previous screen.
• !f you cannot proceed through the format process, maybe you did not delete the old partition??
• !f there is more than one partition on your hard drive you can just format the one that has the
previous version of Windows on it. That way the data on the other partition will be safe.
• After errors ad viruses have been found on your computer, you should format a computer on on
low level format , and not a quick format.
• You can also go to the Nicrosoft website for more
information. You can get all the information from this
site, however it can be very confusing for most people, including me!!!

Programs You Need To Install On Your Computer
There is nothing more annoying than receiving a file you cannot open and view. This is why you should
always have these basic programs installed.
Operating system
Windows XP or better. Comes with Windows media Player, CD burning, Network tools, calculator, ms
paint, games, and much more. !t does not come free, however yo get a lot of extras with it. See some
of the extras.
File Archiver and Compressor
WinZip or Winrar to unpack compressed files. Download a free trial of WinZip.
PDF Reader
To read PDF documents you will find you will definitely need Adobe Acrobat Reader.Download it free
here. Government documents come in PDF format. Essential for your home office business.
Antivirus and Spyware.
There are free programs available like AvG Antivirus. However it is probably better to buy one as
security is very important. Some to buy are Zone Alarm Security or Norton Antivirus. Get a Zone Alarm
trial here.
Word Processing Program
!f you cannot afford to get Nicrosoft Office there are some free alternatives available. This is
an important part of your home office business. You can use it for making invoices and sending letters.
DVD backup
DvD shrink is the easiest and best free dvd backup program. !t also works with Nero Burning Rom,
which most people have. !f not a free trial of Nero is available here.
Also read my article on How to use DvD Shrink.
Photo Editing software
Paint shop pro is a great free trial with lots of features.
!f you have any other ideas for must have programs please let me know and ! will add it to this Article.
See more free Software Downloads
Create Keyboard Shortcuts To Open Your Favorite Programs

Did you know you can create your own keyboard shortcuts to open up your favorite programs,
webpage's, and folders.. !t is really easy. You can make a shortcut from any icon on yourdesktop.
Here's how.
1. Choose an icon on the desktop to create a shortcut to. (How do ! create a desktop
2. Then right click on it to bring up a menu
3. Choose Properties.
+. Look for the shortcut key box.
5. Now type a letter in there and the rest will be filled in for you. Then
choose apply and ok.
6. See in the screenshot below. !f ! press Ctrl + Alt + A this program will start.
• Do not use the same shortcut key for two programs as the computer will get confused
and will probably jam up.
• You cannot use certain keys in your shortcuts, like the Shift, Tab, Esc, and Windows

This tip also applies to all editions of Windows Vista.

How To Bring Up The On Screen Keyboard
You are probably wondering why you would ever need an onscreen keyboard when you have a proper
one right in front of you. Well things happen, and trust me, one day you may need it. A friend of mine
used it regularly because he was missing a few keys off his laptop keyboard.. They were not cheap to
replace either.
!t is also great for people with disabilities that find it easier to use a mouse rather than a keyboard. To
bring up the on screen keyboard, following these simple steps.
1. Click on start at the bottom left corner.
2. Choose run and type OSK
3. Then the keyboard will come up (pictured below)
Another way
1. Click on start at the bottom left corner.
2. Then choose All Programs>Accessories>Accessibility>Onscreen keyboard

!f you want to use this keyboard regularly you can make a shortcut to it on the desktop. Here's how.
1. Right click on the desktop
2. Choose new. Then choose shortcut.
3. Type osk, click next, and then click finish.
+. An icon will now be on the desktop.

How To Find Your Computer IP Address In Windows XP And Vista
Every device connected to the public Internet is assigned a unique number known as an !nternet
Protocol (!P) address. !P addresses consist of four numbers separated by periods (also called a 'dotted-
quad') and look something like 12/.0.0.1. Go here for your public !nternet !P address lookup
However sometimes you need to find or change your computers IP address on your home
network. Now days computer networking is very common in the average household and not just used
in the office or business work environments. !n fact many home computer networks have already
upgraded to a wireless setup. !f you ever need to change your ip address because of a conflict on your
network here's how...
Here are two ways to find your Ip Address:
First Way
1. !f you have an Internet connection icon in the bottom right corner of the taskbar, you can
double click this to open it.
2. Then choose the support tab at the top.
3. Your !P Address will be there.
Second way
1. Go to The Start Menu, then choose to open control panel.
2. Choose Network connections. (Choose Wireless Network for Wireless setups)
3. Right click on your internet connection icon and choose properties.

+. While you are there you should tick the box Show icon in notification area when
5. Then from the list choose Internet Protocol (TCP]IP}

This is my !nternet Protocol Properties box. ! have chosen to Set my !P address to and the
default gateway is my modem !P address.
How to find your IP address for your computer in Windows Vista?
1. !f you have a network icon in the notification area in the right hand corner of your taskbar then
you can click on it.
2. This small box will appear. (below) Click on Network and sharing center link.

• Your !p address can also have !t just depends on how your Home Network is
• !f You have the button checked that says to obtain an address automatically you can view your ip
address by clicking on the internet connection icon in the right corner. Go to the support tab.
Restoring Explorer.exe - Lost Desktop in Windows XP
Free computer help by Mitz
Sometimes everything disappears from your desktop (computer crashes) when an error occurs in a
program you are using. This is actually Windows Explorer that has closed. You will notice that the
desktop icons, the taskbar, and sometimes the start menu all disappear. Here are some tricks ! use to
restore my desktop without having to restart the computer.
If you ever lose the Desktop but Explorer is still running with the Start Button showing,
you can do this to bring back your Desktop in a Windows box.
1. Click Start
2. Click Run
3. Type " . "
+. Then press Enter
If Explorer is not available either, Which
includes the taskbar and start menu, then you
can restart it yourself by doing the following.
1. Press Ctrl, Alt and delete at the same time.
This will show thetask manager.
2. Nake sure you are on the Application Tab.

3. Down the bottom there are three choices,
choose New Task.
+. Type Explorer.exe and then OK.
This will restore Windows Explorer.exe and now you
will see the taskbar, start menu, and icons again.

How to activate Windows XP
When you install Windows XP you must activate the program within 30 days. That's fine, but there is a
down side. You are only allowed to activate the same copy of Windows a certain number of times. This
is a disaster for me, as ! am constantly formatting my computer in order to keep it squeaky clean and
updated. ! was not impressed when Nicrosoft gave me a message saying that ! had exceeded the limit
on activation for my particular copy.. Not happy Jan.. After all ! had paid a lot of money for the
! could probably solve the problem by phoning Nicrosoft, but ! like my little trick much better. The
reason is once you have to ring up Nicrosoft for a particular Windows activation, you will have to do it
every time thereafter. They let you activate it, but its a pain.
When Windows Xp is activated it creates a file called wpa.dbl and it can be found in the system32 folder.
C:\W!NDOWS\system32. This file stores information about your computer and it hardware configuration.
!f it thinks windows is still installed on the same computer you will have no problem. !t takes note of the
following 10 items:
1. Display Adapter
2. SCS! Adapter
3. The motherboard
+. Network Adapter and its NAC Address
5. RAN Amount
6. Processor Type
/. Processor Serial Number
8. Hard Drive Device
9. Hard Drive volume Serial Number (vSN)
10. CD-RON / CD-RW / DvD-RON
You need to have / items in the list above to be the same as when you first activated Windows. So if
you only upgraded your hard drive you will be fine.
1. Double-click Ny Computer
2. Double-click on the "C" drive
3. Go to the C:\Windows\System32 folder (you may have to click on the link that says "Show The
contents of this folder")
+. Find the files "wpa.dbl" and "wpa.bak" and copy them to a safe location. You can copy them on a
floppy drive or burn it onto a CD or DvD.
5. After you have reinstalled Windows XP on your reformatted hard drive, click "No" when asked if
you want to go ahead and go through the activation process
6. Reboot your computer into SafeNode (you can either press F8 as Windows is booting up to see
the Windows Advanced Options menu and select SAFEBOOT_OPT!ON=Ninimal or follow the
instructions in Starting Windows XP in SafeNode
/. Double-click Ny Computer
8. Double-click on the "C" drive
9. Go to the C:\Windows\System32 folder (you may have to click on the link that says "Show The
contents of this folder")
10. Find the file "wpa.dbl" and "wpa.bak" (if it exists) and rename them to "" and
11. Copy your original "wpa.dbl" and "wpa.bak" files from your floppy disk, CD or DvD into the
C:\Windows\System32 folder
12. Restart your system (if you followed the directions in Starting Windows XP in SafeNode you may
need to go back into NSCONF!G to turn off booting into SafeNode)

Dust Build up !nside Your Computer Power Supply

The Computer Power supply is the most
important component in a computer as it
will not run without it. The power supply
is often taken for granted and is usually
neglected from the computer
maintenance schedule. !f there is a dust
build up it can cause the power supply to
not work to it optimum standards. !t may
just simply blow up or make a popping
sound with some smoke coming from it,
or it can half heartedly supply a low level
amount of power and damage your other computer components.

The answer is very simple. You must remove the dust from inside your computers power supply. !f you
do get the dust out often it will last for years.

How to remove the dust from your computer power supply

You will need: An air compressor or a disposable compressed air can.
1. Open your computer case. To do it properly read How to open a computer case
2. Use an air compressor to blow air through the power supply.
3. You must blow air through the back of the computer, going into the computer, and from
inside the computer, through the power supply going out.
+. Keep blowing both ways until absolutely no dust comes out. This is important as you
may dislodge a piece of dust and it may settle somewhere else.

• There are all different shapes and sizes of power supplies so if yours looks a bit strange,
don't worry. They all do the same thing in the end.
• Dust on computer fans causes them to run at a slower speed. Nake sure the fan inside
the power supply has not got dust on it. !f it has, there is sure to be more inside the computer

15 Ways To Speed Up Your Computer
WARN!NG. Do not delete files unless you know what you are doing

Your question, how do ! speed up my computer? You get frustrated when your computer is very slow.
You can now save yourself from aggravation especially when you are very busy working. ! will show you
15 steps to do to speed up your computer.

Let me enumerate them: As ! have also mentioned on my previous articles

1. Defrag your computer at least once every two weeks (! do it once a week). Go to
start>accessories>system tools>disk defragmenter. You can click on "analyze" first before you choose
defrag, it will tell you if you need to defrag. Just defrag it even if it reports you don't need to.

2. Do Disk Clean Up at least once every two weeks (again, ! do this once a week). Go to
start>accessories>system tools>disk clean up. !t will analyze your disk and will generate reports. !
suggest you delete files from the recycle bin and the files located in the temporary files folder. Note: !
avoid compressing files. !t's your call.

3. Clean up your program files, delete and uninstall unwanted programs on your computer. Go to control
panel>add remove programs. Nake sure you restart your computer after uninstalling or removing the
program so that complete deletion will take place.

+. Delete all files (temporary files and cookies from the computer). Here's how: open a browser. On top
of the browser click on tools>internet options>delete files and then delete cookies. Nake your history set
to (0). Others wants it on at least 10. ! always set mine to (0).

5. You have to be very careful in installing or downloading programs. Nake sure you need it, if not please
just avoid it. Uninstalling them is really hard. Nany vendors has all the power to have their program stay
in your computer!

6. Always turn on your firewall. ! suggest you have only one firewall and one anti virus. You get less safer
if you have two anti virus running (! know people who likes to have two anti virus programs running on
their computer, ! don't know why.)

/. Run anti-spyware programs. ! trust spybot, search and destroy and the Adware from Lavasoft. ! run
SD every week, ! do immunize them before ! do the the entire program to run. ! run adware every week
too after ! run spybot search and destroy.

8. Run complete scan using your antivirus software at least everyday (some do it once a week). Nine is
scheduled at 3:00am everyday.

9. Avoid multi-tasking too much! Neaning to say, avoid opening too many programs all at the same time
running at the task bar.

10. ! also suggest you get a dual hard drive (which ! know is now common in the market), one for the
operating system only and the other for all the programs, database and files. This way, the computer
boots on one hard drive.

11. Also check the performance of your computer when connected on the internet. Go to control panel
>network and internet connections >network connections >right click the mouse on the connection
available (e.g. local area connection "connected", "firewalled")>click on "STATUS". Nake sure on the
status tab, you will see the speed (mine is always 100 mbps). The packets sent and the packets received
must not have a very high difference. !f it is sending too much packets (as in ten times) than it receive
(then try to do number /!).

12. Always make sure you install the latest updates on your computer.

13. Always make sure all devices (drivers, etc) are properly functioning. Go to control panel
>performance and maintenance >system >hardware >click on DEv!CE NANAGER. You will see all the
devices and adapters available on your computer. Nake sure you don't see a yellow question mark (?) or
this means there is an error on that device or adapter. !f so, you need to update it or install the right
drivers. Updated firmware might also be needed.

1+. Browsing the internet? well, ! have my Google toolbar installed on my computer and is my default
search engine. Their pop up blocker is really great!

15. A memory of at least 512 RAN might be a good idea installed on your computer

There you go, 15 steps! Good luck!

Stop Programs from making your startup slow

Every time you startup your computer there are always a few unnecessary programs starting up in
the background. This slows the boot process down. There are two ways to control which
application launches at startup. One way is to use a program like Tweak U!, or you can change it
manually yourself. Here's how...
1. Click the Start button (left bottom of screen) or the windows key on your keyboard.
2. Then choose the Run.
3. !n the text box type msconfig
+. Then choose the Startup TAB
5. Simply un-tick the ones you would like to disable.
6. Then Press Apply and then OK.
/. !t will ask you to re-boot your computer.
8. When you restart it a window comes up that says you have chosen Selective Startup.
Just Tick the box, Do not show this window again and then click OK.

NOTE: Do not change anything you are not sure of. The bottom three programs on the list above are
not necessary. There is aDevice detector, Acrobat reader, and Microsoft Office. ! can stop these
from using my startup resources. However ! definitely do not want to turn my firewall off, which is
further up on the list.
Watch a short movie on how to make your computer start faster.
Browse for more free computer help

Here's how to hide a
1. Open Windows Explorer
by pressing Winkey and E on
the keyboard.
2. Browse to the folder you
want to hide.
3. Right click on it and a
menu will appear.
+. Choose properties from
the menu.
5. Put a tick in the box that
says hidden.
6. Press apply.
/. You will be asked if you
want to hide all subfolders that
are in the main folder. Choose to
apply this to the folder only. See
Notes below..
8. Your folder will now
be invisible.

How to view your invisible hidden

To see the folder you just hid you need to
show hidden files. To do this, you need to
follow a few more simple steps. Here's how to show hidden files.

You can also type the path to your folder into the address bar at the top of Windows Explorer. For
example if my folders name is Lawn mowing stuff and is in Ny documents the path would
beC:\Documents and Settings\your user name\My Documents\Lawn mowing stuff
Here is how to find the path to a folder or file.

• Copy the path to your folder before you hide it. Here is how to find the path to a folder
or file.
• The easiest way is to get to your folder is by typing its path into the address bar.
Showing and then hiding files and folders every time you want to use it is impractical.
• Don't hide all subfolders in your main hidden folder. Therefore when you type your path
in to access the folder, you will be able to see the sub folders that are in there.

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