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Chapter 1. Beyond the On Switch…

Now you're ready to start computing. You've lugged the boxes into your home or office and have managed to piece together all the cables, cords, and system components. At last, it's time to start setting up the machine and getting it to work for you.

Go ahead—flip the switch, press the button, or do whatever your computer's manufacturer tells you to do to get the thing up and running. Did you hear that? That sound was Windows revving into action. If you bought your computer recently, the tones you heard were most likely those of Microsoft Windows XP, Home Edition (the operating system we'll focus on in this book). If you use an earlier operating system, you're not left in the cold though because so much of the underlying computer basics work the same under all operating systems and environments.


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