The way of the computing world is changing at a neck breaking pace. People arelooking for computers to be easy to use, and to make life easier for them. Thecomputer manufactures and software developers have started to tailor computersand programs to fit the needs of the new computer age. Graphical InterfaceSoftware (GUI) began to make computing easier and people who never dreamed ofowning computers began to buy them.
Macintosh was one of the first GUIcomputers to hit the market, but it was not IBM compatible, so it did not takeover the mainstream of the computer industry. Since most computers where beingmake to fit the IBM compatible standards, Microsoft saw the need to replace DOS(Disk Operating System) with something easier to use. That is when theydeveloped Windows, which covered the difficult to use DOS with a new face thatmade computing easier. The first Windows was a start in the right direction.
Inan effort to make computing meet the needs of the public, Microsoft developedWindows 95. Windows 95 has the appearance of being a completely user friendly operatingsystem and it pretty much is as far as the average user is concerned. Thecompatibility with most hardware makes it easy for someone to upgrade theircomputer. The desktop is designed so the user has point and click access to alltheir open and closed programs. Utilizing the 32 bit programing it was writtenwith, users are able to work with more than one program at a time and moveinformation between programs. This gives the user the freedom they need tobegin to explore the world of computing without having to learn all the computer stuff.
Today everyone wants the fastest computer with the best monitor and fastestmodem this was an interrupt address nightmare until Windows 95 was developed. People didn’t know what jumpers needed to go where to make their hardware work. Or why their CDROM wouldn’t work since they changed their sound board. Mosthardware periphials have all the configurations built into a chip thatcommunicates with Windows 95 to find out where it needs to put itself in theaddress map. This allows users to have fancy big screen monitors and connect tothe Internet with high speed modems.
They can also put in faster video cardsthat use all the nice Windows 95 features, thus making their computing lesscomplicated Windows 95 is set up with novice users in mind. As with Windows 3. x,it has boxes that open up with the program inside called windows. These windowsare used to make computing more exciting for the user. No one wants to look ata screen with just plain text anymore.
Before a window is opened, it isrepresented by an icon. Double clicking this icon with the mouse pointer willopen the application window for the user to work in. Once the window has beenopened, all visible functions of the program will be performed within it. Atany time the window can be shrunk back down into an icon, or made to fit theentire screen. For all essential purposes the user has complete control overhis windows.
Since more than one window can be open at a time, the user canwork with more than one program. Being able to work with more than one programbrings out other special features of Windows 95. In a regular DOS system onlyone program can be open at a time. With previous versions of Windows more thanone program could be open, but they did not work well together. Since Windows95 is a 32 bit program, it manipulates memory addresses in a way that makes itlook as though your programs are running simultaneously. This makes it easierto share information between programs.
For example (I run Windows 95) while Iam writing this paper using a word processor, I am logged onto the Internet andhave five different programs running. I can move information from the Internet,or any other open program, into this paper without stopping anything else,something entirely impossible in DOS. Some people think the because they neversee DOS anymore, it is not there. This could not be farther from the truth.
DOS is alive and well hidden under the Windows 95 curtain. But unless the userwants to use DOS, there is no reason to even bother it. In Windows 95, DOS(version 7) has a few added goodies the some users enjoy. The biggest one isbeing able to open Windows applications by typing the program file name at theDOS prompt. Another one is being able to run more than one DOS application at atime. This does not work as well as with Windows applications, but it hassimilar effect.
DOS can be used alone, outside of Windows 95, as before. Or itcan be opened in a window on the desktop like a normal Windows program, and canbe manipulated in size and style. The desktop is where the icons and windows wediscussed before live. In older versions of Windows the icons lived in theProgram Manager.
In Windows 95 they live under the Start button. Once the startbutton is clicked, it displays a pop up windows. Moving the mouse pointer inthe pop up windows gives you access to the different programs available. Iconscan also be moved onto the desktop itself, these are called shortcuts.
Doubleclicking a shortcut will open the program the shortcut represents. Shortcutscan be linked to a program or a file, and can be moved to any position on thedesktop the user likes. You can also change the picture of the icon to any Icon picture you have available. The desktop can be fashioned in any way theuser likes. For example colors and background pictures can be changed. Even thecolors and thickness of the window outlines and menus can be changed.
Whileprograms are open on the desktop, they are displayed on the Task Bar at thebottom of the screen as buttons. One option with the task bar is that it may bemoved to any of the four sides of the screen. The buttons have a picture andword identifier on them so the user knows which button is for which program. Clicking once on the button will switch to the program represented, which makesit easier to switch between more than one program. This just about gives theuser total control over his computer, which is what most users want.
The ease of use is what makes Windows 95 appealing to the modern computer user. In time Microsoft will improve on the reliability of Windows 95, making iteasier to work with. Being the most complete and user friendly IBM compatibleoperating system on the market, I feel that Windows 95 will be the dominantoperating system for several years to come. Category: Technology