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Managing Programs with Windows

The Operating System:

You've learned that one type of software is the operating system (OS). The OS acts as the interface between you, your computer and the application programs. Microsoft Windows 95 and Windows 98 are operating systems. Using graphic symbols and text, these operating systems allow you to select and perform the things you want to do with your computer in an easy, friendly way.

When you turn on a computer, the hardware first checks itself for problems. If none are found, it then gives control to software programs which perform some additional start up tasks and give control to the OS.

Keep in mind that it takes time to load a program into your computer's memory from the hard drive or some other data storage device. Windows 95 or 98 is a very large group of programs and takes a bit of time to load.

The Desk top and icons

The first usable screen you see will look similar to the one shown in Figure 1.1, though you may have many more items showing. This is your desktop.

The desktop is your work area. It's where you start tasks, temporarily suspend the processing of a task, close tasks and shut down your computer. It's a place to put icons for those things you do frequently. The icons, small graphical symbols (pictures), are used to represent things such as programs, data files, storage devices (diskettes, hard drives and CD-ROMs) and more. Clicking on one of these icons initiates some action by your computer.

Figure 1.1 The Desktop


The Taskbar is the bar located at the bottom of your screen. It has three primary functions. It's used to start a program, to switch between programs and to provide status information about your computer system.

You need to use the mouse at this point.

Mouse Fundamentals

Show the correct way to hold the mouse.

Your hand should be comfortably placed on top of the mouse. Let your palm rest on the mouse. Use your thumb and rightmost two finders to loosely grasp the mouse. Let your forefinger and middle finger rest on the mouse keys so that the fingertips are close to the front edge of the keys. With your hand positioned this way, you will be able to move the mouse accurately.

1) Hold the mouse as described above and carefully move the pointer to the time which is shown in the lower right corner of your screen. When you have positioned the mouse pointer correctly, the date will appear in a pop-up box.

2) Move the mouse to the Start button in the lower left corner. A pop-up box will appear containing the words Click here to begin.

The Start Menu

Notice the Start button at the lower left corner of the Taskbar . See Figure 1.3. The Start button is used to display a menu of tasks.

Figure 1.3 Start Button

1) Move the pointer to the Start button and click on it to display the Start Menu. The Start Menu shown in Figure 1.4 is displayed. The commands shown on the Start Menu are enough to begin using Windows.

Figure 1.4 Start Menu

Two important features are demonstrated on this menu. Notice that some of the entries have either a pointer or an ellipsis (...) showing next to them. The pointer indicates that more menus will be displayed when you choose that one. The ellipsis indicates that there are more choices if you select that item. The distinction will become clear as we move through the menus.

2) Move your mouse pointer to Programs on the Start Menu. Notice that as your mouse pointer moves around the menu, choices on the menu become highlighted (selected). As your mouse pointer touches Programs , a second column opens. See Figure 1.5.

Figure 1.5 Program Groups and Programs (First Level )

The new display represents either groups of programs or individual programs. If a manila folder shows, it indicates there is a group of programs in the folder. If not, it's a single program. For example, Accessories is a group of programs; placing your mouse pointer on Accessories will display more choices. On the other hand, Windows Explorer is a program, not a group, and clicking on it will cause it to start executing its instructions.

3) Move the mouse pointer to Accessories . See Figure 1.6. Again, some represent groups and some represent programs.

Figure 1.6 Program Groups and Programs (Second Level)

4) Move the mouse pointer to Games . See Figure 1.7. Now you can see the programs included in the Accessories/Games Group .

Don't click on any icons at this time. Note where the Solitaire icon appears. You will be coming back to this point in a few moments.

Figure 1.7 Programs in Games Group

5) Press the Escape (Esc) key on your keyboard. If the Programs menu doesn't close (disappear) continue pressing Esc until it does.


Start the Solitaire Program

For more experience using the mouse, perform the following steps to start the Solitaire program.

1 Click Start on the Taskbar . 2 Move the mouse pointer to Programs on the Start Menu. 3 Move the mouse pointer directly to the right until it rests on Accessories. 4 Again, move the mouse pointer directly to the right (or left) until it rests on Games . 5 Move the mouse pointer to the icon for Solitaire and click on it. The Solitaire program will be started (launched.)
Note: The Solitaire button is added to the Taskbar at the bottom of the screen.

Introduction to Windows

Figure 1.8 Solitaire Window

Programs run in a window which has a very specific structure. Take a moment to learn the parts of that structure and their names.

Figure 1.8 shows the window for the Solitaire game. The top bar of the window is called the Title Bar. One of the information items there is the name (title) of the program you are executing - Solitaire.

Figure 1.8 shows three icons at the upper right corner of the window on the Title Bar. When Minimize is clicked, the window is removed from the screen, but the button representing the window still appears on the Taskbar at the bottom of the screen. When Maximize/Restore is clicked, the window enlarges to occupy the full monitor screen or shrinks to fill less than the full screen. When Close is clicked, the window and its program are closed.

At this point you should have the Solitaire window displayed on your screen. If not, begin again at the Start button and launch the Solitaire program.

1 Point to the Minimize button on the Solitaire window and click it. The Solitaire window disappears but the button on the Taskbar labeled Solitaire is still there.

2 Point to the button labeled Solitaire on the Taskbar and click it. The Solitaire window again appears on the monitor.

3 Point to the Maximize/Restore button on the Solitaire window and click on it. The window has now either become larger or smaller depending on what size the window was when you clicked the icon. The Maximize/Restore icon has two views. If the screen can be enlarged, the icon is pictured as a single square box. If the screen is already enlarged (full screen), the icon is pictured as a small box overlapping a larger box. The Maximize/Restore icon in Figure 1.8 is a single box which means that the window can be enlarged.

4 Click on the Maximize/Restore button on the Solitaire window once again. This restores the window to its original size.

5 Click on the Close icon on the Solitaire window. The Solitaire program shuts down, the window disappears and the button labeled Solitaire on the Taskbar also disappears.

Many things depend on mouse actions. You will gain confidence with the mouse. It's not difficult; it just takes a bit of practice.

Use the Scroll Bars

When they are needed, you will see the Vertical and Horizontal scroll bars. They are for moving the document up or down as needed to see the whole page.

Note: You can also use the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys on your keyboard to move up or down the page or the Page Up and Page Down keys to move up or down in larger increments or the Home and End keys to go to the top and bottom of the page. In the steps in the following lessons, whenever you need to move the page, use whichever method is most convenient for you.

Launch and Play Solitaire

If you feel confident that you can launch the Solitaire program without instructions, do it now. Otherwise, use the instructions in steps 1 through 5 in the section labeled Start and Exit the Solitaire Program and return here.

1 On the Menu Bar, select Game. See Figure 1.9.

Figure 1.9 Solitaire Game Menu

Refer to Figure 1.9. Each word that appears on the Menu Bar represents one or more functions that you can perform. Placing the mouse pointer on one of the Menu Bar topics and clicking generally results in a drop-down menu such as the one shown in the figure. You will work with this in more detail in Lesson Two.

2 Select Options. The Options dialog box shown in Figure 1.10 will appear.

Figure 1.10 Solitaire Options

3 If the selections do not appear as shown in Figure 1.10, use your mouse to correct the choices. The round circles with black dots are called "radio buttons." Just as with a push button radio, only one can be selected at a time. The small square boxes are selection boxes. More than one can be selected. Place the mouse pointer in the button or box you want to change and click. When you have finished making the selections, click OK to save your choices and exit.
Caution: One or more of the choices may be grayed out. If so, it means that you cannot make or change that choice at this time.

4 Select Game on the Menu Bar and then select Deal. A new game begins.

You can start a new game at any time by selecting Game on the Menu Bar and selecting Deal. Play as many games as time permits to increase your comfort with the mouse.

Note: Moving the cards requires that you use the two functions described below. Take every opportunity to use the double-click function so that you can get a feel for the rhythm involved with it.


Press the left button quickly two times in succession. Double-clicking combines selecting an item (a card) and starting an action (stacking the card to the ace piles).


This is the term used to move selected objects around the screen. To drag an object, place the mouse pointer on it, press while holding down the left mouse button, move the object to a new location on the screen and release the button.

Exit the Program

When you have finished playing Solitaire, exit or close the program. Click on the Close button (the X) at the top of the window.

Shut Down the Computer

Improper shut down may result in some challenging problems when you next start your system. You need to follow a shut down procedure before you actually turn off your computer.

The various ways that computer manufacturers configure the shut down process are too many to try to describe. But they generally all start the same way.

1 Close all the applications that are running.

2 Click Start on the Taskbar. Select Shut Down....

3 Click in the circle (Radio Button) to the left to select the choice Shut down the computer.

4 Click on Yes.

At this point Windows and your computer will follow a procedure that will clean up some temporary files that were created during your session. Then Windows will either shut off the power automatically or give you a message that it's now safe to turn the power off.


Go to Start, open MS Word, maximize the window, restore the window, type your name, and close the document, do NOT save anything when asked, and check to see that you are returned to the desk top. (You have opened another program...learning to use it will take another lesson!)


Course notes.


Practice using the mouse by playing Solitaire or any other game.

Preparation and Teaching Guidelines for Instructors and Assistants


Preparation:------------xerox whatever you need to
Lesson Notes:-----------Introduction
Goals-------------------to remove fear & encourage exploration
Objectives:-------------to teach 1, 2, 3, 4,
Method to get to goals/objectives.--------use solitaire, tell story, hands-on etc

1. Make a bold, official start to the class.

2. Introduce yourself and the students to each other. use 2/3 different methods.

Your goals are to get to know who is there and their level of expertise with the computer, and to break the ice and to encourage sharing of learning (facilitating), place the names in front of you . Refer to the list and use students' names.

3. State your goals (3-4 & no more!)for the class- use the listing in your notes.

4. Remember to use humor and to be yourself.

5. Teaching Content:
use your lesson plan to help you! draw up a goals list and give it out as a handout put one on yr desk to follow along.

6 Know your content/subject matter. If you don't, make use of the person in the class who knows.

7. Remember to give a break. After the break do a brief review/summary.

8. Close the class with an activity/challenge about 1/2 hr before end time. This will help review what you have "taught", and allow you to repeat for those who need that.

9. Remember to get the evaluation forms filled out.

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