Section 3.0 - Operating Systems and Software

Page Created By: J.J.
Edited By: J.J.
SubSection 3.2 Proper use of user interfaces

Windows Explorer

It is the basic File Manager that you use without even knowing. When you open up "My Computer" you're using Windows Explorer. When opening a folder on the desktop, you're opening Windows Explorer. In basic terms, it's a File Viewing program. It looks different depending on what Operating system you have. The 3 most common are Windows XP, Vista, and 7. All versions of Windows is navigable by clicking icons or typing them in a Search Bar.

Using Windows explorer also means you're using a Graphical User Interface (GUI)

--Windows 98

Ok. If you are using Windows 98, you are using a fossil. It is a very basic File Viewing program to use. Windows 98 Windows Explorer has a Title Bar (telling the user where he/she is) and a Tool bar with the usual File, Edit, View, etc... It also has a "Back" and "Forward" button to switch back and forth from recently viewed files and folders. It even has its own button to Copy, Paste, Cut, and Delete. I suggest upgrading to either Windows XP or Vista. Mainly for the reason that stuff like Printers and other USB devices and other Input devices do not have the drivers for that Operating System.

--Windows 2000

Windows 2000 is another Operating system that isn't as old as Windows 98. Not a lot of changes have happened between 98 and 2000. Still has the Tool Bar, and everything else 98 had, except made them smaller. Like Windows 98, Manufacturers don't include software for this system anymore. If you were to upgrade, I'd suggest Windows XP because it's most like 2000 in the File Viewing aspect. It even has the Space at the bottom where it tells you the File the cursor is over, the size of said file. And where it's located.

They added the "Search" button, "Folders" button, and the "History" button, and moved the "Go" button from the Tool Bar to the Address Bar since (Windows) 98.

--Windows XP

Windows XP (one of the more common ones than 98 and 2000) as you can see in the picture above, has added, moved, and completely removed things from Windows 2000's Windows Explorer. This version has gotten rid of the bottom where it told you before of what the file was, how much data it had, and where the file is located. The Title Bar and the Tool Bar are from before. In the video below, it will explain how to use Windows Explorer XP.

--Windows Vista

Windows Explorer includes significant changes from previous versions of Windows such as improved filtering, sorting, grouping and stacking. All-in-all, it's not that much different from the previous Windows Explorer XP. It's gotten rid of the Tool Bar, and the Open folder button as well as the folders button. It kept the "Back" and "Forward" buttons next to the address bar. They also made the Search Button into a Search Bar next to the Address Bar.

--Windows 7

Windows_Explorer_Windows_7.pngNow, with Windows Explorer 7, it has almost everything a normal user could want. It has shortcuts to the following under the address bar and the search bar while viewing "Computer":
System Properties
Uninstall or Change a Program
Map Network Drive
Open Control Panel

The shortcuts vary depending what you're viewing. If you were in "My Documents", you would see a "Open", "Print", and other shortcuts for a document.

--Windows 8

external image explorer.jpg
Windows 8 is still in the beta phase, meaning that there's not a lot known about it. But as you can see, it has a ribbon view, the same as the view you would see in Microsoft Office 2007, so it has that familiar view to XP and vista users.


My Computer

external image xp_my_computer_c.gif

This system holds the "Local Disk" (aka, the C: drive) "DVD" or "CD" Drive (the D:) and whatever Network you're connected to. This would also recognize any outside Storage Devices

The Local Disk is just your Hard Drive, where all your data is stored.

The DVD/CD drive is for whenever you put a disk in to either install something or watch a movie to everything in between.

Control Panel

Now, with this, there are 2 views to it:

-----------------Category View--------------------------------------Classic View----------------
external image controlpanel_xp_small.jpgexternal image xpControlPanel03.gif|
----|-----Classic view is more of the view for people who want to
Category View is where all of the options are in categories.---|-----get somewhere quicker. Every option is out there in the
organization is the main key in category view.--------------------|-----open so you can see where everything is in alphabetical ---------------------------------------------------------------------------|-----order.

Command Prompt Utilities

Command Prompt Utilities are what users type into the command prompt to find what their looking for. The Command Prompt is the application that's a little black rectangular text box with white text as seen in the picture on the left.


The telnet commands allow you to communicate with a remote computer that is using the Telnet protocol. You can run telnet without parameters in order to enter the telnet context, indicated by the Telnet prompt (telnet>). From the Telnet prompt, use the following commands to manage a computer running Telnet Client.(Info From: )


The Ping Command Is for IP-level connectivity. Basically, if you Ping another computer, it will tell you if you could possible connect to it. Ping would show you information like the time it took to get to that computer, how much data was sent, sent back, and lost (if any)


This command is as simple as just showing you data on the computer like the before mentioned IP address, the Mac address (basically for media), and other things.

Run Line Utilities

The following utilities are more troubleshooting tools then anything. They show you about the system and files in the registry.


MSConfig helps with troubleshooting. It allows the user to disable and re-enable software, hardware, and Windows services that run on start-up


Compares a comprehensive view of everything in your computer, such as Hardware, Software, and system components.


This utility helps troubleshooting with video and audio hardware problems. It can also tell you how much memory your computer holds.


To view the command prompt, either go into accessories and click "Command Prompt" or type "CMD" on the run line.


Is a hierarchical database that stores configuration settings and options on Microsoft Windows Operating Systems.

Network Places /Homegroup

This shows you the shared Printers, Computers, and other resources on the network.
Homegroup is like the Windows 7 version of Network Places

Task Bar/SystraySecCtr1.gif

This part is in the lower right part of your computer, where it tells you what system operations and applications that are running
again; Windows 7 calls it the Systray

Administrative Tools

These help the Administrative users of the computer help control and regulate the computer.

--Performance Monitor

This tool helps view performance from memory and CPU in real time and log time. You can view this visualization in a graph, histograph, or a report.

--Event Viewer

Maintains logs about programs, security, and system events on your computer. You can use Event Viewer to view and manage the event logs, gather information about hardware and software problems, and monitor Windows security events.
(Info found on: )


They're applications and software that runs in the background of the computer.

--Computer Management

A collection of administrative tools to control local and remote computers.

external image Microsoft_Management_Console.png


(Microsoft Management Condole) Another Behind the Scene program. This program provides the system administrators and advance users to interface for configuring and monitoring the system.
external image Task_Manager_Windows_7.png

Task Manager

Windows Task Manager is a task manager application included with the Microsoft Windows NT family of operating systems that provides detailed information about computer performance and running applications, processes and CPU usage, commit charge and memory information, network activity and statistics, logged-in users, and system services. The Task Manager can also be used to set process priorities, processor affinity, forcibly terminate processes, and shut down, restart, hibernate or log off from Windows. Windows Task Manager was introduced with Windows NT 4.0. Previous versions of Windows NT included the Task List application, which had far fewer features. The task list was capable of listing currently running processes and killing them, or creating a new process. In Windows XP only, a Shutdown menu is also present that allows access to Standby, Hibernate, Turn off, Restart, Log Off and Switch User.

(Info found from:

Start Menu

external image windows-xp-add-program-start-menu.png
external image 220px-StartMenuVista.pngexternal image 68440ea7-68ec-4e2f-ad4f-b33006455983_56.jpg

The start menu is in almost every windows operating system. As you can see, no matter what, when on the lower left corner of the main screen.
It shows important programs, recent programs, a search/run. Important files and folders, and important network folders and applications.