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Windows Operating System

Lecture 1 Instructor: Tom Moore

What is Windows
Windows computer operating system is a graphical user interface (GUI) which enables you to work with a wide variety of programs on your computer.

Purpose of an Operating System

The operating system acts as the middle man between the application software and the hardware. An application program requests the services of the operating system whenever it needs to interact with the hardware. In other words, the application program does not communicate directly with the hardware, but does so through the operating system, which in turn locates the data on disk, accepts information from a keyboard, directs output to the printer, and so on.

Examples of Operating Systems

DOS UNIX (Linux) Windows 95 Windows 98 Windows ME Windows 2000 / Windows NT Windows XP Windows Vista Windows 7 Mac OS X Snow Leopard

The Computer / Hardware

Hardware is the physical equipment and is useless without software. Types or Classification of Hardware:

Devices Output Devices Storage Devices Processing Devices

CPU (Central Processing Unit)


The Nature of Software

Hardware and software combined make the computer system. Software may be classified into two broad categories:
System Software Operating System Language Translators Utility Programs Application Software Business or Productivity Software Educational Software Entertainment Software

The Desktop

The Windows desktop is the first screen you see when Windows is up and running. The Desktop is the primary user interface for Windows.

The Desktop
Start Button My Computer Network Neighborhood Recycle Bin Short Cut (Note Jump Arrow) System Tray Taskbar

The Taskbar is used to allow most of Windows' features to be readily accessible. It contains the Start button, which can be used to quickly navigate to and start a program or find a file. In addition, every time a program is started, a button representing that program appears in the Taskbar. Clicking on a program's button in the Taskbar brings that program to the front of the desktop immediately, thus allowing for quick and easy access.

Task Switching

You can have more than one window open at a time. You can use the taskbar to easily switch between open windows by clicking on the button that represents the window that you want to switch to. You can also use ALT+TAB.


Multitasking is the ability to run several

programs at the same time



Completes operations only on Full Tasks One task may freeze computer operations Windows 3.1X enabled DOS to perform Cooperative Multitasking


or True Multitasking

Schedules operations thread by thread (multithreading) Windows OS permits preemptive multitasking

The Mouse

The mouse enhances the easy of use of Windows. You may operate Windows without a mouse, most of the time, although it makes the learning curve of Windows longer. The mouse is a pointing device. The mouse pointer changes shapes depending on the operation being performed or the location of pointer.

Operations Performed With a Mouse

Operations performed with a mouse:

Point Left


Select or Open (Select and Open Double Click) Highlight Drag and Drop


Short Cuts NOTE: Keyboard commands are available to perform the same functions of a mouse.

Mouse Shapes

Here are a few of the shapes the mouse can assume


- Normal state Hour glass - Busy I beam - Insert Text Double arrow - Change size of window Circle with line through it - action attempted is invalid

Windows OS has an extensive on-line help system that contains information about virtually every topic in Windows. Help is available at any time.


key Start Menu

Help (cont.)
Search text box

To use Help and Support:


the Start button on the taskbar, then click Help and Support The Help and Support Center window opens In the Search text box, type the search criteria, then press [Enter]

Categories and topics

To use Help and Support (cont.)

A search pane opens, displaying results from the search in three areas: Suggested Topics; Full-text Search Matches; Microsoft Knowledge Base (only when connected to the Internet) Click a topic, then click the Expand indicator next to the appropriate topic in the right pane
Right pane displays help on the topic you select

Search results

To use Help and Support (cont.)

Click the buttons on the Help toolbar to:


back and forth between Help topics you have visited Add a topic to the Favorites list so you can return to it later


The default setting for your computer mouse is to have the left mouse button perform the most common functions of select, drag, and highlight; the right mouse button is primarily used for bringing up short cut menu options. If you are right handed, this is perfect. But, what if you are left handed? Can you switch the mouse buttons so that the right button performs the select, drag, and highlight functions?

Using the Mouse Properties dialog box, switch the mouse keys for a left handed person.

Turning Off the Computer

Shutting down the computer properly:


loss of data and problems restarting

Windows Involves several steps:

Saving and closing all open files Closing all open windows Exiting all running programs Shutting down Windows Turning off the computer

Turning Off the Computer (cont.)

To shut down the computer:

Click the Close button in the upper-right corner of all open windows or programs Click the Start button on the taskbar, then click Turn Off Computer In the Turn Off Computer dialog box, click Turn Off to exit Windows and shut down your computer If you see the message Its now safe to turn off your computer, turn off the computer and the monitor

Turning Off the Computer (cont.)

Shut down options: