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The world of computing today is a pretty magical one, filled with high-powered but easy to use hardware and software. Computers have broken out of offices and into homes in a big way, making possible all kinds of creative, fun, and productive activities, from designing multimedia greeting cards to managing your family's money.

All HP Pavilions come packed with the hardware and software any computer user needs, and most of it is pretty easy to use. But with so many features, a newer user just might need a guiding hand to get the most out of his or her computing experience. That's what this book is about: how to take full advantage of the tools your Pavilion has put at your fingertips.

How Is This Book Unique?

This book is like no other book on how to use a computer because it's written specifically for HP Pavilion users. You'll learn how to use HP's help system, as well as the software that comes preloaded on every Pavilion. You'll also get to know the basics of the Windows XP operating system which comes loaded on HP Pavilions, and learn how to get connected to the Internet.

Part 1 tells you how to get started setting up your Pavilion—connecting all the cables, turning the computer on, and getting an idea of what's on your computer.

Part 2 explores Windows XP, the operating system from Microsoft® that makes your Pavilion run. You'll learn how to get around the Windows desktop, manage the computer files you'll create as you work on your computer every day, and customize Windows and use Windows Accessories.

Part 3 is where you'll learn to use the software that comes with your Pavilion to write documents, create spreadsheets to calculate numbers, manage finances, and design presentations. You'll also learn to play games, and use multimedia software to generate greeting cards that talk, and compose songs.

Part 4 shows you how to get online, finding an Internet Service Provider to get an account if you don't already have one, and taking care of online security settings. Using the Internet Explorer browser you'll search for what you need online, and set up your home page. Finally, you will begin to e-mail all your friends, download file attachments, and organize your inbox.

Part 5 is where I cover some of the basics of upgrading your hardware, such as adding memory or replacing a disk drive. You shouldn't need to do this to your new computer for a long time, but when you do, refer to this section of the book.

Part 6 has only one chapter, and it covers the most up-to-date information on some new software that is included on the most recent Pavilion models.

Special Help

Along the way, I've included special elements to help you out:


Tips give you advice or tricks for getting things done faster and easier.


Cautions warn you about potential problems you might encounter as you go through a process or make changes to your computer.


Notes are little pieces of insight about a term or process or background information you may be interested in knowing.

Projects are step-by-step procedures to accomplish something fun and useful with your Pavilion. When you finish a project, you'll have produced a document or set up something on your computer you can use right away.

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