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Dedicated
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Glossary
Error
Messages

Chapter 24

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What is Windows?

Microsoft Windows is an operating system, which means that it is a set of programs which control other programs.  Several versions are in use.  Windows 95 is covered in the previous chapter. Versions earlier than 3.1 are effectively extinct. 

Windows 3.1 has largely been replaced by Windows 95. Many users have converted, and most new IBM-compatible personal computers are pre-loaded with 95.  The different interface was heavily advertised. My personal assessment is that the new interface may be easier to learn, but not any advantage to people already familiar with Windows 3.1.  I did convert, due to good advice from a seminar leader teaching the use of QuickBooks. He found that 95 was much better at task switching.  In writing this book, I have wanted to use five heavy programs at once.  With QuickBooks running, I also needed a screen capture program.  Ten screen shots were captured for each one printed in the book, so I needed a spreadsheet to catalog them.  An image editing program was needed, and lastly a word processor.  Windows 3.1 could not handle all that.  Windows 95 does it fairly well.

One feature of Windows tends to grow on you: its flexibility. Rather than a single, rigid way to do something, you often have a choice.  You expect a computer to have hard and fast rules.  In Windows, the rule often is that you must pick one of several means to do your job.  Do not expect to learn procedures.  Expect to learn the environment.  That begins with starting an application program.  This is even more true in Windows 95.

 

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Last modified: May 21, 2004