This chapter begins with a discussion of what an operating system is.(Could have come a little earlier in the book?) The author tells us that all operating systems perform at least four functions:
Dr. Andrews remarks that you need to be familiar with Windows 10, but you need to know something about Windows 8 and Windows 7 as well. There are a number of videos on each of them on YouTube, but when you go looking for them, check the date each was made. There are lots of people who still love Windows 7, despite the fact that its no longer gets updates (patches) or support from Microsoft. Windows 10 is current, but some people don't love it. No one who uses a computer ever loved Windows 8. It looked like a not-so-smartphone OS. Linus, you're on.
Dr. Andrews recommends that you become familiar with the interface on various Windows versions. Watch Linus' video (above) and search for others that compare versions so you can recognize the differences.
The text continues with a discussion of the Windows 10 interfaces, reminding us that there are two: the desktop, and the tablet mode. I have had to disengage the tablet mode from my dad's computers several times. It is not always easy to do, so don't turn it on if you don't want it on. If you already have, try clicking the button Dr. Andrews calls "Action Center". It should present a tile to toggle tablet mode on and off. This does not always work, because you may not be able to display this window.
Dr. Andrews' image on page 569 is a good place to start, especially for users not familiar with Windows. It shows that the Start menu still includes Windows 8 tiles, which appear to the right of the scrollable list of programs in the example image shown on this page.You can add application icons to this area by right clicking theirs names in the Start Menu and selecting "Pin to Start".
The Task Bar is as it has been for decades, showing icons for running applications, and also holding icons for applications you have pinned there, whether the program is running or not. The Task Bar is a more popular place to pin icons than the Start Menu. Typically you do this by right clicking an icon in the task bar and selecting "Pin to Task Bar".
Dr. Andrews reviews several ways to start programs, most of which are more difficult than just selecting the program in the Start Menu. You should still know them for the usual reason.
I have been talking to you about clicking and right clicking. On page 576, Dr. Andrews mentions in a note that you may need to know how to do this on a touch screen if you do not have a mouse, as would be the case if you are using a tablet.
Pages 578 through 580 walk you through the Windows 8 interface. Take a look, and thank Microsoft for ditching that product.
Page 581 discusses several editions of each of the versions that have been covered so far. An edition is a subcategory of a version. These are the editions listed for Windows 10:
Follow the link above to see more details on the editions and more editions not mentioned in the text.
The text seems to go down a rabbit hole discussing files and the standard file management interface. If you have not learned about files and folders in Windows, Google it now. Or read the 8 pages that Dr. Andrews gives you about the subject. She spends about a paragraph on Windows Control Panel, which has more important controls for configuring how Windows works than the file system does. Control Panel has three appearances: Categories, Large Icons, and Small Icons. There is an illustration on page 590 of the Small Icons screen. In the text, it is barely legible. The image below is a reduced copy of the Large Icons screen:
This is a lot easier to read than the image in the text. The image below is the default view of Control Panel, set to show Categories:
Prettier and easier to read, sure, but not nearly as functional as Large Icons. With this one, you have to keep guessing where they hid the tool you actually need. By the way, it is now harder to find Control Panel than it used to be. It is no longer on the Windows 10 Win-X menu. It can be found (for now) under Start Button > scroll through programs to Windows System > Control Panel. Once you find and start it, pin it to the Task Bar, so you won't have to remember where it is hidden.
One of the things that I have complained to Microsoft reps about for years has been the default setting in Windows that hides file extensions when you see filenames in Explorer/Windows Explorer/File Explorer (make up your mind!). If you have configured Control Panel the way I have suggested (strongly), you can follow Dr. Andrews' activity on page 591. If not, start by selecting the File Explorer icon that should be on your task bar. (It will look like the one below my red ellipse in the image on the right.) Then follow the rest of her steps to configure your copy of Windows to show you hidden files and file extensions.
Dr. Andrews discusses sleep mode and hibernation
on the next page. I recommend that you never turn on either
option. In my experience, these features have caused nothing but sorrow,
screaming, and an emergency reboot. (Hold the power
button down for about 10 seconds.)
The text continues with more general information about Windows 10 and Windows 8. Browse through it for anything you don't know yet.
The text also goes on to discuss networking options in Windows. We have seen Linus a bit too often, so let's have Professor Messer talk about it for a few minutes. This video is a little dated, but it talks about workgroups, homegroups, and domains, so it is a good reference.
A workgroup and a homegroup are okay in a home environment that has fewer than 10 hosts. Microsoft recommends that you use a domain if you have more than 10 objects in your network, otherwise you will have to put too much work into managing them and managing access to them.
In a Microsoft domain, management is done through a database system called Active Directory(AD). The text mentions that it currently comes in two types: Active Directory which stores the database on multiple network servers, and Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). which stores data on Microsoft servers in their Azure Cloud. I could post a few videos about the subject here, but this is an introductory class, so I will just mention that it is featured in every class about Windows networking, and it will take a lot of study to know it well.
Let's turn to page 606 and the discussion of customer service. Dr. Andrews gives us a dozen pages on the subject, beginning with a list of virtues found in people who do customer service well:
This list of virtues and behaviors requires a person to know their job, to serve their customer as well as they serve their employer, and to be the kind of person you want on your side when you have a problem. When you do a good job that pleases the customer, it may not be a peak experience in your life, but it could be one in the customer's life. Browse through the material through the end of the chapter to see if there is anything that reaches you.