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Computer Fundamentals, the interaction

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Depending on how the computer was set up by your manufacturer there may be an introduction presentation when the computer is first started. These are usually along the lines of "Thank you for buying a computer from XYZ Company" and are not very instructional. If you do not have a presentation start up you should be looking at the "desktop" after all has been loaded and the computer becomes quite. Just like a physical top of a desk, the Windows desktop is where you put the things your working on or want to access. The desktop is the main screen in Windows where you can put icons that act as shortcuts to various programs. Even when you are working in a program such as a Word Processor or an Internet Browser the desktop is still there, it is just that you have another window open in front of it. Much in the same way as if you have a great quantity of work open on a physical desktop the desktop is still there and you can see the desktop if you put your work away. There is a icon in your task bar that will minimize all your work for you in case you need to get at the desktop. More about the task bar in a little bit.

On your desktop there should also be a small arrow floating some where on the screen. This arrow is attached in a way to the mouse and is one of the ways that you tell the computer what you want to interact with. Go ahead and place your hand on your mouse and move the mouse around a bit. Notice how the arrow on the screen also moves in a similar fashion to the movement of your mouse? You may also notice that your mouse has some buttons on it. A standard mouse will have two buttons in the front area where your fingers go and may also have a wheel in this location as well. Your mouse may have more or less than this. I will explain under the assumption that your mouse is of the two button - wheeled variety.

The left button on your mouse is what you directly interact with things with. If you were to find the icon on your desktop that is labeled "Recycle Bin" and looks like a small trash can and clicked on it once with your left mouse button you will see that it is now highlighted. If you were to double click on it with your left mouse button you would open it up and look at the contents inside. So a single left click servers to move your focus of what you intend to interact with, and double clicking with the left mouse button initiates action with what ever is highlighted.

The right mouse button opens up what is known as a context menu and provided more ways for you to interact with what ever it is that you right clicked on. Inside of your recycle bin window right click on a blank place. Note the options that appear. This small window will stay there until you left click (to change your focus) outside of that menu. Now move your your arrow outside of the recycle bin window onto an area that shows your desktop. Right click there. Notice how you have different options now than you did in the recycle bin? If you were to right click on an icon on your desktop, you would again have different options of ways to interact with that icon.

Go ahead and click on the small X in the top right hand corner of the window to close it. There are a few other symbols in the top left of that window including what looks like an underline and a double box shape we will get to those shortly.

We will discuss more ways to interact with your computer and further explore your new computer in the next section.

Exploring your new computer >>>

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