Understanding System Software

Understanding System Software
What Is the Purpose of an Operating
System? When you use a computer pro-
gram, most of the activity you see on the screen
is conducted by the operating system. An application, such as a word processor, asks the
operating system to perform actions, such as
opening a file, printing a document, or showing
a list of recently used documents.
To fulfill these requests, the operating
system needs to know how to handle different file formats, or standards used to save data
on a disk. Those formats determine how text
documents, graphics, audio, and video files are
stored and used. In this chapter, you will learn
more about what the functions that the operating system and its utilities perform, and how
you use them.
Lesson 8–1
Exploring the Operating System
Lesson 8–2
Exploring System Utilities
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Lesson 8–1
Exploring the Operating System
As You Read
• Summarize the boot process.
• Describe the features of a graphical user
• Explain how operating systems can be
configured and changed.
Organize Information Use a concept web to
help you collect information about operating
systems as you read.
Key Terms
hibernate mode
pop-up menu
power-on self test (POST)
pull-down menu
screen saver
sleep mode
system administrator
user account
user rights
Loading the Operating System
The operating system, or OS, controls the computer and manages its work. The OS also provides an interface which enables
you to interact with the computer.
The Boot Process When you turn the computer on, you boot
it. That is, you start the computer, and it responds by loading the
operating system. If your computer is set to show it, the first
thing you see is the BIOS screen. As you learned in Chapter 5,
BIOS stands for basic input/output system, and it manages and
configures the computer’s hardware. This means that the computer will be able to accept input from the keyboard and display
The Power-On Self Test As a computer boots, it performs
a series of tests called the power-on self test, or POST. During
POST, the BIOS checks the major components of the system,
such as its memory, keyboard, and hard drive.
If your BIOS screen is set to display during POST, you will
see text messages telling you what is happening. If there is a
problem, a written message or a sound alerts you. If this happens, the computer may need repair. If no problem is detected,
parts of the operating system are loaded from storage into memory and take control of the computer.
The Login As the operating system starts, you may see a
screen that asks you for a username and password. This is called
the login screen. Businesses and schools often use this process to
control who has access to the computer.
Exploring the GUI
When the operating system is loaded into RAM, it displays the
desktop provided by the graphical user interface, or GUI. The
desktop is where all work is done, including opening and closing programs, modifying system settings, and managing files.
Icons on the desktop allow you to launch programs by click86
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ing or double-clicking them. You also can click Start (on a PC)
or Finder (on a Macintosh®) and then the name of the program
you want. A taskbar on the desktop identifies which programs
or files are open. To switch back and forth among applications,
just click what you want to work on next.
Using Windows The operating system in today’s PCs and
Macintosh computers displays documents in windows, or rectangular, on-screen frames that can be opened, closed, resized,
and rearranged to view programs or documents. Each window
provides commands and options. Some programs have pulldown menus that list commands when you select an item from
the menu. Sometimes menus have submenus with additional
commands. In Microsoft Office 2010, the window provides commands on the Ribbon, a series of tabs at the top of the window.
Each tab has a group of related commands for specific tasks. A
command may display a dialog box that lets you set several options at the same time.
Pop-up menus, or lists of shortcut commands that appear
when an area of the screen is clicked or right-clicked or the
mouse button is held down, can appear anywhere in a window.
Pop-up menus can be context-sensitive, providing options that
relate to tasks you are doing at that moment.
Today, a number of operating systems use voice recognition, which
allows you to say, for example,
“Computer, start word processing,” or “Computer, check e-mail,”
and the computer will know what
you mean. However, you must
know the right commands. If you
say, “Ditch that file,” instead of
“Delete that file,” the computer
will not know how to process the
Figure 8.1.1 Many programs
have dialog boxes you use to
select options, such as number
formats in a spreadsheet.
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Exploring Configuration Options
The Arts A screen saver is a
utility designed to protect the
monitor by continuously changing
the image it displays. Most screen
savers use an animated effect,
such as flying graphics or product
logos, or imaginative shapes that
build themselves piece by piece
on the screen.
Screen savers are created by talented artists, using sophisticated
digital drawing and animation
tools. These artists need to know
more than just how to draw; they
need to know how to create effective, small-scale animations that
will work under a specific operating system.
Computer systems come in many different configurations. In order for an operating system to work correctly on every computer
it must be flexible. The two most common tools an operating
system uses to adapt to different requirements are drivers and
system preferences.
• Drivers let the OS work with different devices and peripherals. Some basic drivers for common devices such as
a keyboard and a mouse are built into the operating system. Other drivers you install when you connect a device.
• System preferences let the user select options for controlling and customizing options, such as the appearance of
the user interface or how the computer will shut down. In
Windows, you use the Control Panel to access the customization options. On a Mac, you use the System Preferences command.
Power Options You can usually set options to control the
way a computer uses power. This is particularly important when
you use a system such as a tablet or notebook that relies on a
battery. Using more power might increase performance, but it
also drains the battery faster and costs more on your energy bill.
Some operating systems, such as Windows, have built-in power
plans designed for maximum performance, maximum energy
conservation, or a balance.
Offering a Free Operating System As discussed in Chapter 7, the operating
system Linux® is based on a powerful scientific system called UNIX®. Linux is freeware, or
open-source software, which means programmers can freely modify its code. To help expand
computer use in schools in Mexico, Miguel de
Icaza, while still in his 20s, developed GNOME,
one of the Windows-based, easy-to-use desktop
graphical user interfaces for Linux.
What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of a freeware operating
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Power States You know your computer can be on or off. It
can also be sleeping or hibernating. In sleep mode, which may
be called standby, power is shut off to non-essential components. Some power is used and data remains in RAM. In hibernate mode, data from RAM is saved to the hard disk and then
power is shut down.
Most operating systems let you select options for entering
sleep mode or powering down the display after a set period of
inactivity. On a tablet or notebook, you might also be able to
change the function of the Power button. Options include doing
nothing, powering down, sleeping, or hibernating.
Changing system settings lets you customize your computer,
but it can also cause your computer to malfunction. Most operating systems have a feature that lets you restore settings to a
previous configuration.
Desktop Changes Your operating system lets you change
the desktop display. Among your choices are these:
• change the background appearance of the desktop, sometimes called the wallpaper
• change the screen saver, a utility program that changes
the screen display after a preset period of nonuse
• add or eliminate desktop icons for various programs
• display or hide the taskbar
See It on the Big Screen One fascinating
task that computers do is create some of those
dramatic special effects you see in movies.
The Linux operating system, authored by Linus
Torvalds (pictured at right), has been especially
influential in this area in recent years. Linux was
used in the filming of Titanic to make a model of
the ship look real; in The Fellowship of the Ring
to make human actors look small and a computergenerated troll look huge; and in Shrek to combine models and animation with
startlingly lifelike effects.
What movie have you seen recently in which the special effects caught your
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Managing User Accounts
Social Studies Adding new
hardware to a classroom computer can create exciting possibilities. Think of a user account for a
social studies teacher on a school
district’s network. If the hardware
rights for the account allow the
user to add hardware, the teacher
might connect a large-screen
monitor so a current event article
downloaded from a history Web
site could be displayed for the
entire class to read at once. A map
downloaded from the Internet
could also be displayed on the
With installation rights, Webcams,
and a microphone, students could
interview a political figure or
complete a project with students
in another city.
Since computers are used for many different tasks, from playing
games to writing reports and calculating numbers, businesses
may want to restrict the use of some programs and files to designated users. This may also be true in schools, homes, and other
settings where several people can use the same computer.
Usernames and Passwords One way to protect data is to
set up user accounts that identify who can access a computer.
Each user is assigned a username and a password that he or she
must provide in order to gain access. User accounts are set up
using a system tool provided by the operating system. The system administrator is the person responsible for maintaining the
computer system and for setting up user accounts.
User Rights User accounts may also have specific user rights
assigned to them to limit or allow access, including:
• file access rights that specify which files a user can access
and what he or she can do with these files
• installation rights that specify whether a user can install
or remove programs
• hardware rights that specify whether a user can add or
remove hardware
• configuration rights that specify whether a user can
change operating system settings
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Lesson 8–2
Exploring System Utilities
As You Read
• Analyze file names and file formats.
• Explain cross-platform compatibility issues.
• Identify and discuss system maintenance
Draw Conclusions Use a chart to help you
draw conclusions about system utilities as you
Managing Files and Folders
Key Terms
Among the most important system utilities is the file manager,
called Explorer in Windows and Finder in Mac OS. This utility allows you to organize, view, copy, move, rename, and delete files.
You can even use it to create certain types of files.
Directories and Folders Most operating systems manage file
storage using a multilevel, or hierarchical, filing system called a
directory. The directory looks like the roots of a tree. At the top
is the main storage location, called the root directory. Within the
root are subdirectories called folders, which may contain other folders, called subfolders, and files. Most operating systems
come with some folders already set up. For example, Windows
comes with Documents, Pictures, Control Panel, and so on. You
can create new folders and subfolders as needed.
• corrupted
• cross-platform
• directory
• disk scanner
• file extension
• file format
• file fragmentation
• file name
• hierarchical
• root directory
• subdirectories
Naming Files and Folders When you create a new file or
folder, you give it a file name. Using descriptive names helps
you identify the contents and keep your data organized. For
example, the name 2013 Annual Report is more descriptive than
Report. It also helps keep you from accidentally deleting or overwriting files and folders that have the same name. Most operating systems let you use file and folder names with up to 255
characters, including spaces and punctuation. You cannot use <.
>/ :. “, /, \, |, ?, or *.
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File Extension Some operating systems, such as Windows,
automatically add a period and a file extension to file names. A
file extension is a short series of letters that indicate the application used to create the file and the file format. For example, a
Microsoft Word document has the extension .doc or .docx. You
can set options to display file extensions when you view a file list.
By default, the operating system uses the program associated with
the file extension to open the file. So, a file with an .xlsx extension
opens in Microsoft Excel and a file with a .wmv extension opens in
Windows Media Player.
Figure 8.2.1 You can display
file extensions when viewing
files with Windows 7.
I know if I got run over by a bus
tomorrow, Apple’s going to keep on
going—because the engines have been
put in place and cultures have been put
in place to keep innovating, to keep doing
things at this level of quality.
Steven Jobs
Founder, Apple computers
At age 21, Steven Jobs and his friend
Stephen Wozniak founded Apple
Computer Company in the Jobs’
family garage. A year later, Apple
released the first mass-market personal computer. In 1984, Apple
released the Macintosh computer, the
first personal computer to use a GUI.
Jobs, who passed away in 2011,
was considered a visionary for anticipating the
demand for devices
such as the iPod
music player,
iPhone smart
phone, and
iPad tablet
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Using Files on Different Operating Systems
The two most widely used operating systems are Microsoft
Windows on PCs and Mac OS on Apple Macintosh computers.
Many times, a file created on one OS can work on another. This
is because the OS associates files with specific programs.
Cross-Platform Compatibility Sharing files across operating systems is called cross-platform compatibility. There are
two keys to compatibility. First, both operating systems must
have the same program installed in a compatible version that
has been written for each operating system. Second, the application must allow its file formats to be shared across different
operating systems.
Using System Maintenance Utilities
Emulation Developers To
strengthen their appeal to users,
operating system and application
developers often create emulation
hardware or software that allows
an operating system designed for
one hardware platform to work on
another. To work as a developer in
this field, candidates must have
strong experience in hardware and
software engineering.
Like any machine, a computer needs routine maintenance. System maintenance utilities do these jobs and more.
Disk Management Computer files can be corrupted, or damaged to the point at which data is unrecoverable, in different
ways. One way is by being stored on a damaged part of the hard
drive. Running a utility called a disk scanner, which checks
magnetic disks for errors, can fix this problem. A disk scanner
looks for and tries to correct irregularities on a disk’s surface.
You can use a disk cleaner utility to identify files such as cookies, offline Web pages, and temporary files that you can delete to
make more disk space available.
Disk Defragmenter As you add, move, and delete files on
your computer, parts of files end up saved in different areas of
the hard drive. File fragmentation occurs when a file is broken
into pieces that are saved in different places on a hard drive.
File fragmentation reduces disk efficiency because the read/
write head must travel longer distances to retrieve parts of a file
that are scattered across a disk than if the files were stored close
together. A disk defragmentation program can gather all the file
pieces and place them together, thus improving the efficiency of
the disk or hard drive.
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A digital picture frame is a simple
computer with a CPU, memory,
and an operating system. It has an
LCD screen that displays a slide
show of photographs sent via the
Think About It!
Which system utilities listed below
might you want to run when sending digital photos via the Internet?
Virus Detection Viruses and malware can enter your system
through infected e-mail messages, programs, and files. Antivirus
and antimalware utilities constantly monitor your system for viruses and malware programs that can slow down processing or
damage your data and devices. Once there, they can destroy or
corrupt data.
Antivirus programs check your computer’s memory and
disks looking for virus code. Most programs can also check email and files as they are downloaded to your computer from
the Internet. If the program finds a virus, it alerts you and then
attempts to disable and remove the virus.
Because new viruses and malware are introduced every day,
it is important to install antivirus and antimalware program updates automatically whenever they become available.
file manager
disk scanner
disk defragmenter
antivirus software
Figure 8.2.2 Scanning a disk
for viruses with the
McAfee® Security
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Chapter Review and Assessment
Directions: Match each vocabulary term in the left column with the correct
definition in the right column.
_____ 1.
_____ 2.
_____ 3.
_____ 4.
_____ 5.
_____ 6.
_____ 7.
_____ 8.
_____ 9.
____ 10.
pull-down menu
pop-up menu
screen saver
file extension
cross-platform compatibility
disk scanner
file fragmentation
a. to start the computer and load the
operating system
b. option that appears when an item is
selected from the menu bar
c. utility that looks for errors in
magnetic media
d. changes the display on the desktop
e. two or three letters that identify a
file’s format
f. series of tests run during the boot
g. ability to share files across operating
h. shortcut command that appears
anywhere in a window
i. frame that displays a document or
j. having parts of files stored on different areas of a disk or hard drive
Directions: Determine the correct choice for each of the following.
1. Which of the following indicates that
the computer can accept input from
the keyboard and display information on the monitor?
b. BIOS screen
c. GUI
d. cross-platform application
2. At what point in the boot process
can users be asked their username
and password?
a. at the control panel
b. in a screen saver
c. in a file manager
d. at login
3. If a pop-up menu is context-sensitive,
what is it related to?
a. file format
b. printer settings
c. what you are doing
d. operating system
4. Which of the following is NOT a
system change most users should
a. moving the operating system
b. adding a scanner
c. changing mouse settings
d. removing a program
5. Along with the data itself, which of
the following is saved with a file?
a. login procedure
b. code for the application that
created it
c. icon that describes it
d. maintenance utility
6. Which of the following is one way
that a file can be corrupted?
a. by deleting it
b. by appearing on the desktop
c. by moving it to a new folder
d. by storing it on a damaged disk
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Chapter Review and Assessment
Directions: Answer the following questions.
1. What feature would you like to see in the next generation of graphical user
interfaces? Why?
2. After you add a peripheral to your computer or change a preference, you are
asked to reboot the computer. Why do you think this is necessary?
3. Why do most operating systems let users make system changes?
4. Suppose some of the reporters and photographers for your local newspaper
work from home and are networked. What is an example of one application that
would allow them to work without concern for the operating system they use?
5. Which system maintenance utility do you think requires the most user interaction? Why?
Directions: Choose and complete one of the following projects.
A. With a partner, interview three
adult computer users: one who uses
Microsoft Windows, one who uses a
Macintosh, and one who has experience with both operating systems.
Prepare written questions related
to ease of learning the operating
system, ease of use, availability of
programs, and overall satisfaction
with the operating system, and take
notes to record the answers. Add
your findings to your own experiences and write a conclusion about
the user preferences of the two major
operating systems. Share your conclusion with a partner or with your
Level1_ch08.indd 96
B. Explore the desktop on your computer. Identify the icons on the desktop and explain what each launches.
Use the taskbar to identify files or
programs that are open and the file
formats they are in. How does the
desktop help you manage your work
on the computer? Using a text editor,
word-processing application, or on
paper, write a paragraph explaining
the concept of a computer desktop.
Then, write step-by-step instructions that someone could use to
arrange items on the desktop. With
your teacher’s permission, print or
publish the document and exchange
it with a classmate. Read your classmate’s work. As a class, discuss why
step-by-step instructions are useful.
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Activity 1: Managing Files and Folders
1. Start your computer, and log in to your user
account, if necessary.
2. Use your operating system to navigate to the
location where your teacher instructs you to
store the files for this activity. For example,
plug a flash drive in to a USB port, and
display the contents of that drive in a program
3. In the storage location, create a new folder
named OS-1_folder1_xx. Replace xx with
your own initials or name, as directed by your
4. In the same storage location, create a new text
document named OS-1_text1_xx.
5. Copy OS-1_text1_xx in to OS-1_folder1_xx.
6. In OS-1_folder1_xx, rename OS-1_text1_xx
to OS-1_text2_xx.
7. Navigate back to the original storage location.
8. Rename OS-1_folder1_xx to OS-1_folder2_xx.
9. Move OS-1_text1_xx in to OS-1_folder2_xx.
10. Open OS-1_folder2_xx and, if not already
selected, change the folder view to Large Icons.
11. On your keyboard, press a+ i to
capture an image of the folder window.
Operating System Activities
DIRECTIONS: You will use your operating system to navigate to a storage location where you will create
a folder. You will then create, copy, move, rename, and delete files and subfolders. You will also display
file properties and change the folder view. Windows 7 procedures required for this activity can be found
in Appendix A.
12. Start a graphics or paint program, such as
Paint, and paste the screen capture image in
the program window. It should look similar to
Illustration A.
13. Save the file as OS-1_image1_xx in OS-1_
14. With your teacher’s permission, print the file,
and then exit the program.
15. In OS-1_folder2_xx , change the folder view
to Content.
16. Change the folder view to Details.
17. Display the properties for OS-1_image1_xx,
and then close the Properties dialog box.
18. Delete OS-1_text2_xx.
19. In OS-1_folder2_xx, create a new folder
named OS-1_folder3_xx.
20. Copy OS-1_text1_xx into OS-1_folder3_xx.
21. Delete OS-1_folder3_xx.
22. Navigate to the original storage location, and
close it.
23. If necessary, safely remove or eject the
storage device.
24. With your teacher’s permission, log off and/or
shut down the computer.
Illustration A
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Activity 2: Exploring the Operating System
Operating System Activities
DIRECTIONS: You will explore the features of your operating system. You will identify storage devices,
network components, and installed printers, and you will locate information about the amount of
installed RAM and processor speed for your system. You may complete this activity alone, or work as a
team. Windows 7 procedures required for this activity can be found in Appendix A.
1. Start your computer, and log in to your user
account, if necessary.
2. Create a new text file named OS-2_wp1_xx in
the location where your teacher tells you to
store the files for this activity.
3. Start a text editor or word-processing
program, and open OS-2_wp1_xx.
4. Maximize the program window, if it is not
already maximized.
5. Type your name and today’s date in the file,
and save the changes.
6. Minimize the program window.
7. Use your operating system to display
available storage devices.
✔ In Windows, click Start, and then click
8. Count the number of available storage devices.
9. Make the text editor or word-processing
program window active.
10. Arrange the two open windows side by
side. Your desktop should look similar to
Illustration B.
11. Cascade the two open windows.
12. Maximize the text editor or word-processing
program window.
13. In the text file, press Enter to start a new line,
type Storage devices:, and then type the total
number of available devices you counted in
step 8. Save the changes.
14. Restore down the program window.
15. Make the Computer window active.
Illustration B
Level1_P01_activities.indd 98
16. Display the contents of a storage device. For
example, double-click Local Disk (C:) or a
removable device.
17. Display the components of your current
✔ In the Windows Navigation pane, click
Network, or click Start and then click
18. Close all Explorer windows, leaving the wordprocessing program open.
19. Display a list of available printers.
✔ In Windows 7, click Start > Devices and
20. Count the number of available printers.
21. Make the text file active, press Enter, type
Printers:, and then type the total number of
available printers you counted in step 20.
Save the changes.
22. Display system information, including the
amount of installed RAM and processor
✔ In Windows 7, Click Start > Control Panel
> System and Security > View amount of
RAM and processor speed.
23. Switch to the text document, press Enter, type
RAM:, and type the amount of installed RAM.
24. Press Enter, type Processor speed:, and type
the processor speed. Save the changes.
25. Close all Control Panel windows.
26. With your teacher’s permission, print OS-2_
wp1_xx, then close it and exit the program.
27. Close all open windows. With your teacher’s
permission, log off and/or shut down the
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Activity 3: Customizing the Operating Environment
1. Start your computer, and log in to your user
account, if necessary.
2. If necessary, change the desktop display to
show large icons.
3. Sort the icons on the desktop by name.
4. Sort the icons on the desktop by type.
5. Personalize the desktop using a builtin theme. For example, if you are using
Windows 7, apply the United States theme.
6. Personalize the desktop by applying a different picture to the background. For example,
if you are using Windows 7, apply one of the
Nature pictures.
7. Personalize the desktop by changing the color
of window borders. For example, if you are
using Windows 7, change the color to Ruby.
8. Display options for changing the date and
time display.
9. Synchronize the clock with Internet time.
10. Select to display an additional clock, showing
the time in Beijing, China. Name the clock
11. Make sure the Beijing clock is displayed. (In
Windows 7, rest the mouse point over the
clock/calendar in the taskbar to display a
ScreenTip.) Then, capture an image of the
Operating System Activities
DIRECTIONS: You will personalize your operating environment by customizing desktop icons and by
changing the theme, desktop background, and window colors. You will capture an image of the desktop
and paste it into a graphics file. Finally, you will reset all options to the previous configuration. Windows
7 procedures required for this activity can be found in Appendix A.
12. Start a paint or graphics program, such as
Paint, and paste the captured image into
the new blank file. Scroll the window so you
can see the clock. It should look similar to
Illustration C.
13. Save the file as OS-3_image1_xx in the
location where your teacher tells you to store
the files for this activity.
14. With your teacher’s permission, print the file,
and then close it and exit the program.
15. On the desktop, create a shortcut to the
OS-3_image1_xx file, and then use the
shortcut to open the file.
16. Resize the program window so it is about 4"
high by 4" wide.
✔ If the window is maximized, you must
restore it before you can resize it.
17. Close the file, and exit the program.
18. Mute the speaker volume.
19. Restore the desktop settings, clock, and
speaker volume to the way they were at the
beginning of this activity.
20. With your teacher’s permission, log off and/
or shut down the computer.
Illustration C
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Operating System Activities
Activity 4: Creating an Electronic Portfolio
DIRECTIONS: You will use your operating system to set up an electronic portfolio. You will read about
how to create a useful and effective portfolio, and then you will create a folder with subfolders where
you can store items you select to include. You will convert printed items into digital files, and you
will copy or move digital files into the portfolio. Windows 7 procedures required for this activity can be
found in Appendix A.
1. Open the .pdf file OS-4_Portfolio, which is
located on the student CD. This file contains
information about electronic portfolios.
2. Read the information to learn about electronic
3. In your operating system, navigate to
the location where you want to store the
electronic portfolio.
4. Create a new folder, and name it OS-4_
5. In the folder, create one subfolder named
Academic Achievement, a second named
Personal Information, and a third named
Career Information.
6. Select an application that you can use to
create a list of artifacts and other items you
will include in your portfolio. This might be
a word-processing program, a spreadsheet
program, or a database program.
7. Use the application to create a new file. Save
the file in the Personal Information subfolder,
with the name OS-4_List of Artifacts_xx.
8. In the file, list the name and a description of
each artifact and item you want to include in
the portfolio. (Refer to the list in the OS-4_
Portfolio.pdf file.)
9. In the file, include whether each artifact
already exists, or if it is something you will
create in the future.
10. In the file, also include the name of the
subfolder in which you will store the artifact.
For example, you might store a resume and
list of references in the Career Information
folder and an example of a word-processing
document you typed and formatted in the
Academic Achievement folder.
Level1_P01_activities.indd 100
11. Save the file. You can modify it and refer to it
as you develop your portfolio.
12. Locate existing artifacts and items you have
stored in digital format and copy or move
them into the appropriate subfolder in your
OS-4_Portfolio folder.
13. Locate printed artifacts and items, and use
appropriate technology, such as a scanner or
digital camera, to convert them into digital
files. Store them in the appropriate subfolder
in your OS-4_Portfolio_xx folder.
14. Select an application, and use it to create
new items to include, such as a contact
information sheet, a personal academic plan,
and guidelines for assessment. Store the
items in the appropriate portfolio subfolders.
15. Select an application, and use it to create
reflections for your artifacts. Store the
reflections with the artifacts in the portfolio.
16. Select an application, and use it to create a
table of contents for your portfolio. Format
the items as hyperlinks that link to the digital
artifacts and items.
17. Practice presenting the portfolio to your
18. Continue to review, update, and add new
artifacts and items to your portfolio on a
regular basis.
Operating System Activities
2/13/2013 3:36:23 PM
Activity 5: Identifying Screen Elements
1. Start your computer, and log in to your user
account, if necessary.
2. Start a word-processing application, such as
Microsoft Word or Google Documents.
3. Save the default blank document with the
name OS-5_wp_xx in the location where your
teacher instructs you to store the files for this
4. Maximize the application window.
5. On the first line of the word-processing file,
type your first and last names and today’s
6. Press Enter to start a new line.
7. Capture an image of the screen.
8. Paste the image from the Clipboard into the
word-processing document.
9. Save the document, and then minimize the
application window.
10. Capture an image of your computer desktop.
11. Restore the word-processing program
12. Press b+ e to start a new page.
13. Paste the captured image into the wordprocessing document.
Operating System Activities
DIRECTIONS: You will use your operating system to capture images of different program windows and
insert the images into a word-processing file. You will then print the file and label the elements on each
image. Windows 7 procedures required for this activity can be found in Appendix A.
14. Save the document, and then minimize the
application window.
15. Start a spreadsheet application.
16. Maximize the spreadsheet application
17. Capture an image of the spreadsheet
application window.
18. Exit the spreadsheet application.
19. Make the word-processing application
window active.
20. In the word-processing document, press
b+ e, to start a new page.
21. Paste the captured image into the wordprocessing document.
22. Save the word-processing document.
23. With your teacher’s permission, print the
word-processing document and label the
parts of all three screens. Alternatively, use
drawing tools to insert callouts or text boxes
in the word-processing document to label
the parts of the screens. Page 1, the wordprocessing screen, might look similar to
Illustration D.
24. Close the word-processing document, saving
all changes, and exit the application.
Illustration D
Operating System Activities •
Level1_P01_activities.indd 101
2/13/2013 3:36:24 PM
Operating System Activities
Activity 6: Using a Help Program
DIRECTIONS: You will use a Help program to locate and review security settings. You will also access
the command prompt and display a directory. Windows 7 procedures required for this activity can be
found in Appendix A.
1. Start your computer, and log in to your user
account, if necessary.
2. Start your operating system’s Help program,
and maximize the window.
3. Search for managing security settings.
4. Click a link for information about
understanding security and safer computing.
5. Read the information, scrolling down in the
window until you reach the end.
6. Click the Back button to return to the
previous window.
7. Search for information about where you can
view your security settings. For example, in
Windows 7, search for Action Center.
8. Click a link for more information, such as the
link What is Action Center?.
9. Click a link to open the Action Center. If you
are using an operating system other than
Windows 7, click a link to open the window
where you can view security settings.
10. If necessary, expand your security settings.
11. With your teacher’s permission, use the links
on the page to view your installed security
programs, such as you firewall program and
your antivirus program.
12. Close the security settings window.
13. Close the Help program window.
14. If you are on a Windows OS, open the
Command Prompt. If you are on a Mac OS,
skip to step 22.
✔ Click Start > All Programs > Accessories >
Command Prompt.
15. Type dir, and press e to display a
directory list of files.
16. Capture an image of the command prompt
✔ Press a+ i.
17. Start a paint or graphics program and paste
the screen capture into the file. It should look
similar to Illustration E, although the actual
directory contents depend on the contents of
your system.
18. Save the file as OS-6_image1_xx.
19. Close the Command Prompt window.
20. With your teacher’s permission, print OS-6_
21. Close the file, and exit the program.
22. With your teacher’s permission, log off and/
or shut down the computer.
Illustration E
Level1_P01_activities.indd 102
Operating System Activities
2/13/2013 3:36:24 PM
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