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Chapter 13. Avoiding Fistfights While Sh... > Understanding Windows XP's New User ... - Pg. 149

Avoiding Fistfights While Sharing Your Computer 149 Understanding Windows XP's New User Accounts Previous versions of the "consumer" line of Windows (Windows Me, Windows 98, and so on) tried various methods for letting people share a computer. There was one problem, however: those methods didn't work very well! In Windows XP, Microsoft is giving it another shot with something called user accounts and the good news is that this time it looks like they finally got it right. In a sense, a user account gives each person their own version of Windows XP that they can muck around with as they see fit. This includes the following: · All the customization stuff covered in Part 5, "Windows XP at the Shop: Customizing, Maintain- ing, and Troubleshooting." This means that each user can set up their own colors, wallpaper, and screen saver, customize their toolbar, and change the icons that appear on the Start menu. · Favorite Web sites defined in Internet Explorer. · E-mail and newsgroup accounts set up in Outlook Express. Not only that, but Windows XP also supports a new doohickey called fast user switching . What this means is that different users can switch in and out of Windows while leaving their programs running. For example, suppose little Alphonse is blowing away some aliens and Dad needs to check his e- mail. In the old days, Alphonse would have to shut down his game so that Dad could log on and run his e-mail program. In Windows XP, Alphonse can leave his game running while Dad switches to his account and does his e-mail duties. Alphonse can then switch back right away and resume doing nasty things to strange creatures. Jargon Jar