Net Xpress: What can you do through the Control Panel?

August 22, 2004|SHEILA J. CLARK

Today will be the first part of the adventures of exploring a computer's Control Panel. The Control Panel is the central location where a computer user can manage the various functions of the system. While I won't go into depth on all of the more than 20 options, I will elaborate a bit on a few of the most commonly used options in the Control Panel.

First off, let's get there. The easiest way to get to the Control Panel is simply by double clicking on the My Computer icon on the Desktop, then double-clicking on the Control Panel icon. Depending on your Windows operating system version, here are other ways you can also get to the Control Panel:

* Windows 3.x: In Program Manager, select the Control Panel window on the Main folder.

* Windows 95/98/98SE/ME/ 2000: Click Start, then Settings, and then click on Control Panel.

* Windows XP: Click Start, then click on Control Panel or if you access it from the My Computer icon, look for Control Panel under Other Places on the left-hand side.


Once inside the Control Panel, computer users can choose from many options to adjust to their likings. Items listed in the Control Panel can vary from system to system, but there are core components that you can expect to see there. Among standard options to adjust include Game Controllers, network settings, passwords, Date/Time and Multimedia settings. You also can change how your keyboard operates or adjust the functions of your mouse and sound or manage users of the system.

A click on the System icon will display basic information about your system such as the name and version of your operating system, amount of RAM and, in some cases, information about your system's processor.

You can change the look and feel of your computer's desktop by clicking on the Display icon. In the Display properties, you can change the background of your desktop, set a screensaver or adjust power settings for your monitor. You can change the color scheme of your windows, and adjust screen resolution and color management. You also can get to this display properties window by finding a blank spot on your desktop, right click your mouse button and then select Properties.

The Internet Options icon lets you set your default home page for Internet Explorer and manage temporary Internet files and your browser history. You should visit this area regularly to remove excess files you accumulate while Web browsing.

In this section, you also can change aspects such as how pages are displayed, fonts and the language that they are displayed in. Settings for dial-up and local area networks also can be found here, and this is the spot to set your default programs when viewing pages online, such as which e-mail client should be opened when you click on an e-mail address on a Web page.

Next: Add/Remove Programs.

MSN Live online events

Aug. 24: Actor Scott Baio, best known for his roles on "Happy Days" and "Charles in Charge," chats at 8 p.m.

Net buzzz

* AOL's Netscape browser version 7.2 has been released. The release was made to address security problems and it includes a few enhancements, such as the Macromedia Flash 7 plug-in, a password manager and support for vCards. Learn more or download a copy.

* Microsoft has delayed the inclusion of its SP2 update on its Windows Update site to allow system administrators time to prepare for possible adverse effects.

E-mail me at; fax me at (859) 236-9566; or write me snail-mail at The Advocate-Messenger, P.O. Box 149, Danville, KY 40423-0149.

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