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The Nettle Annual 2006

Making Windows Work for You
I got my first ‘real’ computer back in 2001. It was an IBM 385ED
Laptop with Windows95. Seriously outdated, yes, but still better
than nothing.
Before this the only other computer I had was when I was twelve, a
basic desktop with Microsoft Works (no Windows), and a green
When I say it had a green monitor I don’t mean that it was some
ugly avocado color like some refrigerator from the 70s or perhaps
some of the monitors you might pick up today. I mean that the
actual pixels were green - the type of green you saw on NASA
computers - also probably from the 70s.
Because there was no Windows operating system I had to use the
DOS prompt on that one.
So when I got my IBM 385ED back in 2001 I was pretty excited, and
pretty much out of the loop too. But working on these here
computers every day has sharpened my Windows skills. Over the
past four years I’ve found that the most useful feature by far in
Windows is the shortcuts.
Windows shortcuts are a series of keys you can hold or press that
will perform actions very quickly. From cutting and pasting, to
navigating the programs in your toolbars, anything can be done
using Windows shortcuts.
If I were particularly adept at them I would no longer need a mouse
but, as it stands, I know enough to perform many of the actions I do
everyday quickly, easily, and efficiently. Most software programs for
Windows will also allow you to use shortcuts within them.
Here are a few you may find useful:
Highlighting text
Hold down the shift key then, using the directional keys, you can
highlight text. This can also be used to highlight icons in
Windows Explorer and on the Desktop.