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PCs For Dummies® Windows®, 7 Edition

Book Description

Get the latest edition of the bestselling PC book on the planet!

What better way to make friends with your new PC than with this new edition of the bestselling PC book in the world? PCs For Dummies, Windows 7 Edition explains the latest Windows operating system in a refreshingly jargon-free way that's loaded with good humor and great help.

Discover how to make your PC safe for your kids, get in touch with your digital life, use flash drives, learn about green computing, and much more.

  • Dan Gookin, author of the original DOS For Dummies, helped launch the worldwide popularity of the series; his books have been translated in 32 languages and have more than 12 million copies in print

  • This guide gets you up to speed on the latest PC hardware and software and covers all the innovations and changes in Windows 7, all without the boring jargon

  • Covers making your PC safe for kids, organizing your digital life, green computing, storage on memory cards and flash drives, online photo sharing, and much more

Make your life easier the Dummies way with PCs For Dummies, Windows 7 Edition.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. About The Author
  3. Publisher's Acknowledgments
  4. Introduction
    1. What's New in This Edition?
    2. Where to Start
    3. Conventions Used in This Book
    4. What You Don't Need to Read
    5. Foolish Assumptions
    6. Icons Used in This Book
    7. Getting in Touch with the Author
    8. Where to Go from Here
  5. I. Hello, PC!
    1. 1. Your Computer Won't Explode
      1. 1.1. Clear Computer Concepts
        1. 1.1.1. I/O
        2. 1.1.2. Processing
        3. 1.1.3. Storage
      2. 1.2. Hardware and Software
        1. 1.2.1. The computer's operating system
        2. 1.2.2. Other software
        3. 1.2.3. The stuff you make (files)
      3. 1.3. Boring PC History
      4. 1.4. An Important Thing to Remember
    2. 2. Your Basic PC Tour
      1. 2.1. The Mundane PC
      2. 2.2. The Console Tour
        1. 2.2.1. There is no typical console
        2. 2.2.2. Major points of interest on the console, front
        3. 2.2.3. Stuff found on the console's backside
        4. 2.2.4. The I/O panel
        5. 2.2.5. Helpful hints, hieroglyphics, and hues
    3. 3. Computer Assembly
      1. 3.1. Unpack the Boxes
      2. 3.2. Set Up the Console First
      3. 3.3. A General Guide to Plugging Things into the Console
        1. 3.3.1. Audio
        2. 3.3.2. IEEE, 1394, FireWire
        3. 3.3.3. Gamepads, controllers, joysticks
        4. 3.3.4. Keyboard and mouse
        5. 3.3.5. Modem
        6. 3.3.6. Monitor
        7. 3.3.7. Network
        8. 3.3.8. Printer
        9. 3.3.9. USB
        10. 3.3.10. Wireless gizmos
      4. 3.4. It Must Have Power
        1. 3.4.1. The mighty power strip
        2. 3.4.2. The UPS power solution
        3. 3.4.3. Using the UPS (a short play)
    4. 4. On and Off
      1. 4.1. Turn On Your PC
      2. 4.2. Windows, Ahoy!
      3. 4.3. Turn the Computer Off
        1. 4.3.1. Log yourself off
        2. 4.3.2. Lock the computer
        3. 4.3.3. Switch users
        4. 4.3.4. Sleep mode
        5. 4.3.5. Hibernation
        6. 4.3.6. Restart Windows
        7. 4.3.7. Turn the darn thing off
      4. 4.4. Should You Leave the Computer On All the Time?
        1. 4.4.1. "I want to leave my computer off all the time"
      5. 4.5. "I want to leave my computer on all the time"
    5. 5. The Windows Tour
      1. 5.1. Windows and Its Gooey, Glorious Graphical Interface
        1. 5.1.1. The desktop
        2. 5.1.2. The taskbar
        3. 5.1.3. The Start button and Start menu
        4. 5.1.4. The notification area
      2. 5.2. The Control Panel
      3. 5.3. Where Your Stuff Goes
      4. 5.4. Windows Tries to Help You
  6. II. The Nerd's-Eye View
    1. 6. Deep Inside the Console
      1. 6.1. Console Guts
        1. 6.1.1. Looking under the hood
        2. 6.1.2. Going inside the console (not recommended)
      2. 6.2. The Mother of All Boards
      3. 6.3. The Processor Rules
        1. 6.3.1. What does the processor do?
        2. 6.3.2. Name that processor!
        3. 6.3.3. Processor muscle and speed
        4. 6.3.4. Which processor lives in your PC?
      4. 6.4. Expansion Slots
      5. 6.5. Your Computer Is Also a Timepiece
        1. 6.5.1. Viewing the date and time
        2. 6.5.2. Setting the clock
        3. 6.5.3. Using the Internet to set the clock
      6. 6.6. About the PC's Battery
      7. 6.7. The Chipset
      8. 6.8. The Source of PC Power
    2. 7. Connect This to That
      1. 7.1. It's a Port
      2. 7.2. USB, a Most Versatile Port
        1. 7.2.1. Playing with USB cables
        2. 7.2.2. Connecting a USB device
        3. 7.2.3. Using USB-powered gizmos
        4. 7.2.4. Removing a USB device
        5. 7.2.5. Expanding the USB universe with hubs
      3. 7.3. The IEEE or 1394 or FireWire Port
        1. 7.3.1. Legacy Ports
    3. 8. PC Memory
      1. 8.1. What Is Computer Memory?
        1. 8.1.1. Delicious Chocolate Memory Chips
      2. 8.2. Measuring Memory One Byte at a Time
      3. 8.3. Memory Q&A
        1. 8.3.1. "How much memory is in my PC right now?"
        2. 8.3.2. "Do I have enough memory?"
        3. 8.3.3. "Does my PC have enough memory?"
        4. 8.3.4. "Can I test whether my PC has enough memory?"
        5. 8.3.5. "Can I add memory to my PC?"
        6. 8.3.6. "Will the computer ever run out of memory?"
        7. 8.3.7. "What is virtual memory?"
        8. 8.3.8. "What is video memory?"
        9. 8.3.9. "What are kibi, mebi, and gibi?"
    4. 9. The Mass Storage System
      1. 9.1. What Is Mass Storage?
        1. 9.1.1. Storage media roundup
        2. 9.1.2. Mass storage technical drivel
      2. 9.2. The Hard Disk Drive
      3. 9.3. The Optical Drive
        1. 9.3.1. Observe the optical drive
        2. 9.3.2. The speed rating (the X number)
        3. 9.3.3. All about optical discs
        4. 9.3.4. Put the disc into the drive
        5. 9.3.5. Eject the disc
      4. 9.4. Media Cards and Flash Drives
        1. 9.4.1. The media card reader
        2. 9.4.2. Media card roundup
        3. 9.4.3. Insert a media card or thumb drive
        4. 9.4.4. Eject a media card or thumb drive
        5. 9.4.5. When the media card is canceled
      5. 9.5. External Storage
        1. 9.5.1. Adding external storage
        2. 9.5.2. Removing external storage
      6. 9.6. Permanent Storage ABCs
        1. 9.6.1. Describing and naming storage devices
        2. 9.6.2. Assigning storage devices a drive letter
    5. 10. The PC's Display
      1. 10.1. The PC's Display System
        1. 10.1.1. The monitor
        2. 10.1.2. The display adapter
      2. 10.2. Merry Monitor Mayhem
        1. 10.2.1. The physical description
        2. 10.2.2. Adjust the monitor's display
        3. 10.2.3. The second monitor
      3. 10.3. Windows Controls What You See
        1. 10.3.1. Setting display size (resolution)
        2. 10.3.2. Going for a new look
        3. 10.3.3. Saving the screen
    6. 11. Input This!
      1. 11.1. Meet Mr. Keyboard
        1. 11.1.1. The keyboard connection
        2. 11.1.2. A typical PC keyboard
        3. 11.1.3. Modifier keys
        4. 11.1.4. Keys that are also locks
        5. 11.1.5. Useful-key tour
        6. 11.1.6. Weird-key tour
        7. 11.1.7. Keys for doing math
      2. 11.2. Control the Keyboard in Windows
      3. 11.3. Say Hello to the Mouse
        1. 11.3.1. Connecting the mouse
        2. 11.3.2. Basic mouse parts
        3. 11.3.3. Other mouse species
      4. 11.4. Mouse Maneuvers
      5. 11.5. Control the Mouse in Windows
        1. 11.5.1. Making the pointer easier to find
        2. 11.5.2. Fixing the double-click
        3. 11.5.3. Using the mouse left-handed
      6. 11.6. The Fun Input Gizmos
    7. 12. P Is for Printer
      1. 12.1. The Printer, the Paper, the Document Maker
        1. 12.1.1. Types of computer printers
        2. 12.1.2. The basic printer tour
        3. 12.1.3. The printer's control panel
        4. 12.1.4. The printer drinks ink
        5. 12.1.5. The printer eats paper
        6. 12.1.6. Types of paper
      2. 12.2. Printer Setup
        1. 12.2.1. Connecting the printer
        2. 12.2.2. Finding the printer in Windows
        3. 12.2.3. Manually adding a printer
        4. 12.2.4. Setting the default printer
      3. 12.3. Basic Printer Operation
        1. 12.3.1. Setting the margins
        2. 12.3.2. Printing in reverse order
        3. 12.3.3. Stopping a printer run amok
    8. 13. PC Audio Abilities
      1. 13.1. The Noisy PC
        1. 13.1.1. Speakers hither and thither
        2. 13.1.2. In your own world with headphones
        3. 13.1.3. Microphone options
      2. 13.2. Sound Control in Windows
        1. 13.2.1. Configuring the speakers
        2. 13.2.2. Configuring the microphone
        3. 13.2.3. Adjusting the volume
      3. 13.3. Windows Goes Bleep
        1. 13.3.1. Setting event sounds
        2. 13.3.2. Recording your own sounds
    9. 14. PC Leftovers
      1. 14.1. Manage the PC's Power
        1. 14.1.1. Choosing a power-management plan
        2. 14.1.2. Adding a hibernation option
        3. 14.1.3. Power-saving options for battery-powered PCs
      2. 14.2. Merry Modems
        1. 14.2.1. Modem speed
        2. 14.2.2. The dialup modem
  7. III. Communications, Sharing, Networking
    1. 15. Necessary Networking Things
      1. 15.1. The Network Arena
      2. 15.2. Network Hardware
        1. 15.2.1. Saint NIC
        2. 15.2.2. Network hoses
        3. 15.2.3. Not network hoses
        4. 15.2.4. The router
        5. 15.2.5. The modem
      3. 15.3. Network Software
        1. 15.3.1. Getting to Network Central
        2. 15.3.2. Connecting to a wired network
        3. 15.3.3. Connecting to a wireless network
        4. 15.3.4. Disconnecting from a network
    2. 16. Basic Networking Stuff
      1. 16.1. Network Fun in Windows
        1. 16.1.1. Browsing the network
        2. 16.1.2. Turning on network discovery
        3. 16.1.3. Viewing the network map
      2. 16.2. HomeGroup Sharing
        1. 16.2.1. Creating a HomeGroup
        2. 16.2.2. Joining a HomeGroup
        3. 16.2.3. Using the HomeGroup
        4. 16.2.4. Disconnecting from a HomeGroup
      3. 16.3. Traditional Network Sharing
        1. 16.3.1. Configuring Windows to share
        2. 16.3.2. Sharing a folder
        3. 16.3.3. Accessing a network folder
    3. 17. The Internet Quick and Dirty
      1. 17.1. What Is the Internet?
      2. 17.2. How to Access the Internet
        1. 17.2.1. Choosing an ISP
        2. 17.2.2. Configuring Windows for the Internet
        3. 17.2.3. Connecting to the Internet
      3. 17.3. It's a World Wide Web We Weave
        1. 17.3.1. Browsing tips
        2. 17.3.2. Printing Web pages
        3. 17.3.3. Searching-the-Web tips
      4. 17.4. E-Mail Call!
        1. 17.4.1. Downloading an e-mail program
        2. 17.4.2. Getting the most from e-mail
    4. 18. Flinging Files
      1. 18.1. Get Stuff from a Web Page
        1. 18.1.1. Saving an image from a Web page
        2. 18.1.2. Grabbing text from a Web page
      2. 18.2. Free Software on the Internet
        1. 18.2.1. Finding programs on the Web
        2. 18.2.2. Downloading a program
        3. 18.2.3. Installing from a Compressed Folder
      3. 18.3. E-Mail File Attachments
        1. 18.3.1. Receiving an e-mail attachment
        2. 18.3.2. Sending an e-mail attachment
  8. IV. Basic Computing
    1. 19. Be Safe Out There
      1. 19.1. Fight the Bad Guys
      2. 19.2. Internet Explorer Tools
        1. 19.2.1. Blocking pop-ups
        2. 19.2.2. Phighting phishing
      3. 19.3. The Action Center
        1. 19.3.1. Windows Firewall
        2. 19.3.2. Windows Defender
        3. 19.3.3. Antivirus protection
        4. 19.3.4. User Account Control warnings
    2. 20. Know What a File Is
      1. 20.1. Behold the File!
        1. 20.1.1. The guts of a file
        2. 20.1.2. Things that describe a file
        3. 20.1.3. Files dwell in folders
      2. 20.2. Filenames
        1. 20.2.1. Choosing the best name
        2. 20.2.2. Obeying the filenaming rules
      3. 20.3. File Types and Icons
        1. 20.3.1. What's a filename extension?
        2. 20.3.2. Filename extension details
        3. 20.3.3. How to see or hide the filename extension
        4. 20.3.4. Icons
      4. 20.4. How Files Are Born
    3. 21. Organizing Files with Folders
      1. 21.1. About Folders
      2. 21.2. Famous Folders
        1. 21.2.1. The root folder
        2. 21.2.2. Subfolders and parent folders
        3. 21.2.3. A place for your stuff
      3. 21.3. Manage Your Folders
        1. 21.3.1. Using Windows Explorer
        2. 21.3.2. Working with folders
          1. 21.3.2.1. Opening a folder
          2. 21.3.2.2. Returning to the parent folder
          3. 21.3.2.3. Creating a new folder
        3. 21.3.3. Working with libraries
          1. 21.3.3.1. Viewing libraries
          2. 21.3.3.2. Building a new library
      4. 21.4. The Open Dialog Box
    4. 22. Files Managed
      1. 22.1. Files Ready for Action
        1. 22.1.1. Selecting all files in a folder
        2. 22.1.2. Selecting a random smattering of files
        3. 22.1.3. Selecting a swath of files in a row
        4. 22.1.4. Lassoing a group of files
        5. 22.1.5. Unselecting stuff
      2. 22.2. Stuff You Do with Files
        1. 22.2.1. Copying a file
        2. 22.2.2. Moving a file
        3. 22.2.3. Creating a shortcut
        4. 22.2.4. Deleting files
        5. 22.2.5. Bringing dead files back to life
        6. 22.2.6. Renaming files
      3. 22.3. Finding Lost Files
      4. 22.4. That All-Important Safety Copy
    5. 23. Software Installed, Uninstalled, and Upgraded
      1. 23.1. Installing Software
      2. 23.2. Running a Program
        1. 23.2.1. The Start button menu
        2. 23.2.2. The pin areas
        3. 23.2.3. The desktop shortcut icon
      3. 23.3. Uninstalling Software
      4. 23.4. Updating and Upgrading
        1. 23.4.1. Windows Update
        2. 23.4.2. "Should I upgrade Windows?"
  9. V. Your Digital Life
    1. 24. Your Personal Disc Factory
      1. 24.1. Disc Creation Overview
      2. 24.2. Make a Data Disc
        1. 24.2.1. Preparing the disc for use
        2. 24.2.2. Working with a USB Flash Drive/Live File Format disc
        3. 24.2.3. Working with a CD/DVD Player/Mastered disc
        4. 24.2.4. Using the Burn button
        5. 24.2.5. Erasing an RW disc
        6. 24.2.6. Labeling the disc
        7. 24.2.7. Disposing of a disc
    2. 25. The Whole Digital Photography Thing
      1. 25.1. The Digital Camera
        1. 25.1.1. Connecting a digital camera
        2. 25.1.2. Importing images
      2. 25.2. The Scanner
        1. 25.2.1. Introducing the scanner
        2. 25.2.2. Scanning an image
      3. 25.3. Picture Files
        1. 25.3.1. Storing pictures in Windows
        2. 25.3.2. Viewing pictures in Windows
        3. 25.3.3. Changing picture file formats
      4. 25.4. Image Resolution
        1. 25.4.1. Setting resolution
        2. 25.4.2. Choosing the best resolution
    3. 26. Video on the PC
      1. 26.1. PC Movies
        1. 26.1.1. Storing video in Windows
        2. 26.1.2. Viewing a video
        3. 26.1.3. Getting the video into your PC
        4. 26.1.4. Editing video
      2. 26.2. Your PC Is a TV
      3. 26.3. Connecting a TV tuner
        1. 26.3.1. Configuring Windows Media Center
        2. 26.3.2. Watching television
        3. 26.3.3. Recording television
        4. 26.3.4. Watching recorded TV
        5. 26.3.5. Burning a DVD from recorded TV
        6. 26.3.6. Purging recorded TV
    4. 27. Music to Your Digital Ear
      1. 27.1. Your PC Is Now Your Stereo
        1. 27.1.1. Running Windows Media Player
        2. 27.1.2. Inserting a musical CD
        3. 27.1.3. Collecting tunes
        4. 27.1.4. Creating a playlist
        5. 27.1.5. Taking your music with you
        6. 27.1.6. Making your own music CDs
      2. 27.2. The PC Can Talk and Listen
        1. 27.2.1. Babbling Windows
        2. 27.2.2. Dictating to the PC
    5. 28. Sharing Your Life Online
      1. 28.1. Social Networking
        1. 28.1.1. Sharing your life on Facebook
          1. 28.1.1.1. Sign up
          2. 28.1.1.2. Find some friends
          3. 28.1.1.3. Publish your thoughts
          4. 28.1.1.4. Upload a picture or video
        2. 28.1.2. Tweeting your thoughts
      2. 28.2. Share Your Photos Online
        1. 28.2.1. Finding a free site
        2. 28.2.2. Signing up for the site
        3. 28.2.3. Uploading images
        4. 28.2.4. Sharing your images
      3. 28.3. Your Video Life
        1. 28.3.1. Creating a YouTube account
        2. 28.3.2. Uploading a video to YouTube
        3. 28.3.3. Sharing your videos
    6. 29. Kid-Safe Computing
      1. 29.1. An Account for Junior
        1. 29.1.1. Setting up your Administrator account
        2. 29.1.2. Confirming your Administrator account
        3. 29.1.3. Adding an account for Junior
        4. 29.1.4. Configuring Junior's account
      2. 29.2. Parental Controls
        1. 29.2.1. Setting time limits
        2. 29.2.2. Controlling access to games
        3. 29.2.3. Blocking programs
      3. 29.3. PC Parenting
        1. 29.3.1. Spying on your kids
        2. 29.3.2. Dealing with a cyberbully
  10. VI. The Part of Tens
    1. 30. Ten PC Commandments
      1. 30.1. I. Thou Shalt Not Fear Thy PC
      2. 30.2. II. Thou Shalt Save Thy Work
      3. 30.3. III. Thou Shalt Back Up Thy Files
      4. 30.4. IV. That Shalt Not Open or Delete Things Unknownst
      5. 30.5. V. Thou Shalt Not Be a Sucker
      6. 30.6. VI. Thou Shalt Use Antivirus Software, Yea Verily, and Keepeth It Up-to-Date
      7. 30.7. VII. Thou Shalt Upgrade Wisely
      8. 30.8. VIII. Thou Shalt Compute at a Proper Posture
      9. 30.9. IX. Thou Shalt Keepeth Windows Up-to-Date
      10. 30.10. X. Thou Shalt Properly Shut Down Windows
    2. 31. Ten Tips from a PC Guru
      1. 31.1. Remember That You're in Charge
      2. 31.2. Mind Who "Helps" You
      3. 31.3. Give Yourself Time to Learn
      4. 31.4. Create Separate Accounts
      5. 31.5. Use a UPS
      6. 31.6. Consider Some Hardware Upgrades
      7. 31.7. Avoid Crying "Wolf" in E-Mail
      8. 31.8. Don't Reinstall Windows
      9. 31.9. Shun the Hype
      10. 31.10. Remember Not to Take This Computer Stuff Too Seriously