Windows Weenie's Page     Person kicking computer

Having trouble with the computer? Can't Get things to work? Well this page is for you. It will document all the procedures for getting your computer to do what you want it to. On this page you are given procedures for most common activities you will encounter in this course. They are outlined by the type of activity. If what you want to do is not here ask the instructor to put it here. Computer Jargon of each activity is explained after the heading.

Activity: Update your computer. Jargon: Update=To make current and fix problems. Install = Puts programs and files on your computer for future use.
This is a good place to start for most computer users. Bill Gates in his infinite wisdom has placed automatic updating on the Microsoft website located at Just click on this link and it will check for the most current of windows update software on your computer. If it is not on your computer, the site will ask to install it. Just say yes. Then Click "Scan for updates" which will invoke a search of your computer system to see what is needed. Select the updates and click "Review and install" and start the installation. Some updates can only be downloaded individually and may require a restart, but that is automatic also. You may need to go back several times to update your computer's operating system if you haven't been keeping it current.

Activity: Download a file or program. Jargon: Download=To get a file or program from a source on the Internet. Link = Something to click on that takes you to another web page or initiates some other action. Save = To put a program or file on your computer. Save as = Same as Save, but you are given the option to give it a name and select a location to save to. Desktop = The default screen after you start your computer.
To start the download of a file you may need to either do a left click on a file link or a right click. If one doesn't work try the other. For the left click a "File Download" window will open. Select "Save" and then a "Save as" window will open. It is very important to SELECT THE LOCATION WHERE YOU WANT THE FILE TO BE PUT. It is convenient to save the file onto your "desktop". If you don't place the file where you can find it, you may have a hard time finding it later.

Activity: Download a PowerPoint file from the server: Jargon: PowerPoint=A program that allows you to view prepared slides over the Internet or directly from a computer. Server=A computer that sends files you request over the Internet. Follow the procedure below. Log-in=To allow access to a server's files by supplying a user name and password. Rotate your tires=An automotive term that everyone with a car should do to get the maximum number of miles out of of their tires. 

1)       Start the PowerPoint program.

2)       Click on “Open” from the "File" menu.

3)       Type in the address of the file. For example:   “” for chapter 2 (without the quotes)

4)       Hit “Enter”

5)       A log-in screen will appear; just click on "Cancel" and a screen will appear that says “You do not have permission to make changes to this document. Do you want to open a read only copy?”

6)       Click on “Yes” and go rotate your tires while it downloads to your computer. Note: Your computer must be connected to the Internet.

Activity: Install a program. Jargon: Double click = Put the pointer on something a click a mouse button twice.
Once you have downloaded a program (see above), you will need to install it. You need to run installation programs to install the software. Just double click on the program icon to run the installation program and follow the installation instructions given on the screen. It is usually safe to select the defaults provided by the program. Some program files will just run when you double click on them and do not need to be installed.

Activity: Opening a program from a file. Jargon: Open = To make a program of file appear on the computer Icon=A picture on the screen representing a file or program.
If you saved a file on your computer and have the program installed on your computer, you can double click on the file's icon.

Activity: Opening a file from within a program. Jargon: Menu = Options at the top of the screen or window that your can select from using the mouse and clicking.
Once a program is running, you use the File menu at the top left of the window and select Open. You will need to find where the file is that you want to open. Keep organized and place files where you can find them. (See "Download a file or program" above)

Activity: Searching the Internet. Jargon: Search engine = A web site that allows you to search the internet for information.
To search the Internet, you need to use a search engine such as Dogplie, Google, or Ask Jeeves. Dogpile is available on my site. To use it, click on the white input text box and type several words that are unique to the item you wish to find, then click on Go Fetch (Dogpile specific). The search engine will search the Internet for all the pages that contain the words you typed.

Activity: Creating a graph using Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet Jargon: Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet or Excel or Spreadsheet=A program in which words and number are typed into a grid and can be manipulated mathematically and logically.
First start Excel. Enter your x-values in column A and the corresponding y-values in column B. Click and drag from the first column A value to the last column B value and release the mouse button. This selects the data to be graphed. Click on the graph icon,, at the top of the Excel window and select "XY (Scatter)" and select the type of line  you want. Fill in the requested axes and title information regarding your graph. To change an item on the graph double click on the item to change and change it. It is sometimes nice to draw the best straight line through your data points. To do this click anywhere on the graph and click on the Chart menu. Select "Add trendline" and select the type of fit you desire.

Activity: Unzipping a file
Jargon: Unzipping = uncompressing a file in compressed format. Computer files are often compressed to allow them to be sent more quickly over the internet. These files often have a .zip suffix.
To unzip a file, it is required that you install an unzipping program if you have earlier versions of windows prior to Windows XP. Winzip is such a program, and offers a free trial version at their website you can download and install from their website. To unzip a program, double click on the compressed file's icon to start the unzipping program. Select a location to extract the file to and click the Extract button to unzip the files. The files will be decompressed and placed in the location you selected.