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Understanding the Basics of Computers, Issue #008
May 31, 2009

Ezine issue 08

Understanding the Basics of Computers

Your source for computer tips and tricks for the beginner computer user

May 31, 2009 Issue 08

School is over and summer begins. I hope everyone has something fun planned this summer. My website has a new look and I am beginning to advertise my one on one tutorials campaign. The cost is $40.00 for a 1 hour session. Please contact me if you are local to the Denver metro area and interested in a personalized training session. I am also working on making the web pages easier to find things so look for changes at and let me know what you think. If you have any suggestions for the website please email me at and let me know what you think or what you would like me to add.

In this issue:

  • Short cut keys
  • Defragment for better performance
  • How much space do you have on your computer
  • New Technology Netbook vs. Notebook computers

Shortcut keys

Shortcut keys can be a real time saver. A shortcut key is a combination of keys you can press to do the same functions you can do by clicking a button with the mouse. Here is a list of a few you might find beneficial. These shortcuts work in Word or Excel. They may also work in other programs as well.

  • Ctrl+A - select all cells or text
  • Ctrl+B - Apply or Remove bold formatting
  • Ctrl+C - copy the selected word
  • Ctrl+F - Display the Find what option
  • Ctrl+H - Use to display Find and Replace dialog box
  • Ctrl+I - Apply or Remove Italic formatting
  • Ctrl+K - insert Hyperlink dialog box
  • Ctrl+L - insert Create list dialog box
  • Ctrl+N - create new file
  • Ctrl+O - open new file
  • Ctrl+P - display Print dialog box
  • Ctrl+S - Save the active file
  • Ctrl+U - apply or remove underline
  • Ctrl+V - paste the clipboard values
  • Ctrl+X - cut the selected word
  • Ctrl+Y - run previous action
  • Ctrl+Z - Apply to undo the previous command
  • F7 - Check spelling

Defragment for better performance

This utility program is used to re-organize the files and un-used space on the hard disk, so that operating system can access data more quickly and easily. When operating system stores data on the disk, it stores the data in the first available sector on the disk. In this case data of a file is stored on disk in a scattered form; it is referred to as "File is fragmented". The fragmentation slows down the data accessing speed of computer. You can improve the performance of your computer by defragmenting your hard disk. In the Defragmentation process, the data of each file is stored in continuous sectors. Window had a built in utility to do this. Before starting the defragment process make sure all running program are closed.

Click on My Computer or Computer to open the window with all of your drives displayed. Then right click your hard drive and select properties. When the Properties window opens select the tools tab. The middle selection has a button that says defragment now. Click the button and another window will open. In Windows Vista you can either schedule a defragment on a regular basis or click the defragment now button. In Windows XP you will get the option to analyze your computer to see if it needs to be defragmented.

This process takes a long time so after selecting to defragment your computer go get a cup of coffee and sit down with a good book while the computer does the work.

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How much space do you have on your computer

If you are like me you have a ton pictures and videos of your family saved on your computer. Do you know how much space you have left to store all of those precious memories? It is simple to find out. Open My Computer then right click on your C drive and select properties. This will open a window select the General tab and you will see a blue and pink graph showing you how much disk space you have left. The pink is the free space and the blue is the space you have already used. If you don't have much pink you might want to think about purchasing an external hard drive to store some of those pictures on.

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New Technology Netbook vs. Notebook computers

The latest thing that is taking off, especially in Europe is the Netbook by Intel. A Netbook is a smaller less expensive, usually under $500.00, laptop computer. The netbook is designed to be used primarily for web browsing, email and small applications. If you don't store a lot of pictures and use your computer primarily for the internet you might want to research the netbook. This is a good site for more information.

I hope this issue of Understanding the Basics of Computers was helpful. If you have any suggestions for next months issue or comments on this issue please let me know.

Keep learning about your computer,
Jennifer Anderson

P.S. If you would like to purchase ad space in my e-zine please mail me with Ad in the subject line.

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