This book is a comprehensive reference for people who want to understand their Wintel computers inside and out, before and after they buy them. It contains advice about how to make informed buying decisions and how to use most of the features and functions supplied with your computer and the hidden tools and utilities in Windows XP that can make your computer easier to use. The book explains what most internal components, connectors, and external devices do, how they do it, and how all those pieces, parts, and add-on peripheral devices work together to form a computer.
By Wintel computers, we mean computers designed around Intel processors (and similar processors made by AMD), and the Microsoft Windows operating system. However, this is not a "How to Use Windows" book that covers every imaginable feature and function in the Windows operating system-there are other books in the Bible series for that. This book may have been specifically written about using your computer with Windows XP (with Service Pack 2 installed), but readers who run their computers with Linux or Unix and those who have upgraded to Windows Vista can also find a lot of useful information here.
As we wrote this book, we made some assumptions about our readers:
You're probably not an absolute beginner, but you don't think of yourself as a hardcore computer geek either.
You know how to turn on your computer and how to use Windows to do the basic stuff, like opening windows, using menus, and starting programs from the Windows desktop and the Start menu.
You know something about Windows icons, files, and folders.
You're comfortable moving your mouse around the screen, using both the left and right mouse buttons, and entering text and commands from your keyboard.
You can send and receive e-mail.
You also know how to use Internet Explorer or some other Web browser to find your way around the Internet. Throughout the book are pointers to Web sites that contain valuable information and useful utilities to download and install.
Your computer has a lot of features and options that you have never used.