“Mouse”: The Desktop



The word desktop could be defined differently based on when it is used.  The most primary called to my mind is the top of a desk; in a computer sense a large computer (sits on the top of a desk or floor).  In the computer technical realm what is the desktop?

The desktop is the screen you see when your computer fully boots up or after you log on.  It can be detected by seeing various icons scattered about with some type of wallpaper / background and accompanied with the Windows Start button, task bar and system tray.  Microsoft so named this part of the Windows Operating System (OS) the “Desktop” as it would pertain to an actual top of a desk.  If you look at your own desk you might have some things scattered about on the top of it, you may have even placed a picture or protective material on top of your desk keeping those items from being in direct contact with the desktop surface.  The clear area on your desktop is where you perform your work.  The same applies when you open a program on your computer; the window opens on top of the desktop.  When you are working with a lot of papers they can cover a good portion of your desktop to the point that your desktop may not be visible and papers are on top of papers.  You have to move them around to get to the one you need.  The same can happen with your computer if you have more than one program open at a time.  This is where the task bar comes into play.  The task bar is located at the bottom of your monitor between the Windows Start Button and the “System Tray” (sys tray or notification area) where your clock is to the far right.  All of the programs you are running are shown there.  If you want that program to come to the fore front, click on the left mouse.  You can also minimize it by clicking the left mouse button from the task bar.

There are other ways to see what is open on your computer without looking at the task bar.  The first way is available with all Windows Operating Systems.  Open a few programs (i.e.) Word processing, Internet Explorer,  a web browser or your favorite program.  Look to see if they appear on your computer’s desktop task bar.  On your keyboard hold down your Alt key; keep holding the Alt key down, then press the Tab key once. You should see in the center of your monitor all of your programs within a frame.  As you tab a program within that frame it becomes highlighted. When the selected program is highlighted, let go of the keys and that program will come to the front.  This option works well with Windows XP users.  That process is called fast switching or flip.  Based on the version Windows Vista and Windows 7 along with the video card, and a Windows Keyboard you can do this; with the same open programs hold down your “Windows Key” on your keyboard (normally found on the  bottom row left or right of your space bar that has the Window’s Logo on it) then press the tab key.  The open programs should turn sideways and rotate upon each time you “Tab”.  When the selected program is in front and you release the keys it will appear on top of your desktop.  This process is called Flip 3D or Aero.

In the mean time try to keep both desktops clean.

I hope to accomplish that you know you are smarter than your computer, that the computer is a tool, and you are the master of that tool.  If you have any questions you would like answered in this column please send them to: mouse@pc-s4u.com

Until next month, safe computing.

“PC’S 4 U where quality and client satisfaction are priority!”

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