If you have purchased a computer and set it up in your home, you are that computer's administrator. Computers on a network in a company or an institution, such as at a university, are called clients. The clients are managed by one or more system or network administrators, who have the task of ensuring that the network and its services are reliable, fast, and secure. Although most network administration takes place on the server (host, as described in earlier chapters), clients must also be administered. Windows XP includes administrative tools that make it easy to ensure that client computers are operating as they should.
You use the administrative tools to track and view the activity on your computer. You set up criteria for gathering event information, then Windows automatically gathers that information for you. In the event of a problem, you can then view that data to help you find and fix the problem.
When you open an administrative tool, the window uses a two-pane view that is similar to Windows Explorer. The hierarchy of tools in the left pane of the window is called a console tree , and each main category of tools is called a node . The nodes in the console tree allow you to manage and monitor system events and performance, and make adjustments as necessary.