IPT - A Virtual Approach IPT A Virtual Approach by Peter Whitehouse
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GUIs

Graphical User Interfaces

Introduction

The GUI first became popular with the arrival of the Apple Macintosh. The Mac (unlike it's DOS based rival) represented files as ICONS, presenting the work area as a DESKTOP, in a similar way to the real world. This metaphor has been heavily borrowed by subsequent GUIs, like Windows, Win95 and NT.

Orientation

The fact that you are reading these notes ONLINE indicates that you are already probably 'familiar' with some aspects of the Windows Environment.

The DESKTOP is the area of the screen that APPLICATIONS or WINDOWS are opened on. An open window has a TITLE BAR, MAXIMISE, CLOSE and MINIMIZE buttons, a CONTROL MENU that allows us to modify the appearance and placement of the window and often a MENU BAR

A Windows desktop

The BORDERS of a non-maximised window allow us to re-size the window to suit our preferences. Should the contents of the window be too large to display fully, HORIZONTAL/VERTICAL SCROLL BARS automatically appear for your convenience.

Both PROGRAMS, FILES and GROUPS of these are represented by ICONS called SHORTCUTS. To OPEN an icon, you DOUBLE+LCLICK on it with your mouse pointer. To CLOSE a program or group you DOUBLE+LCLICK on the CONTROL BOX or LCLICK on the CLOSE button.

Icons can be moved around within their window, copied or moved to other windows, or deleted.

Windows ships with a collection of Accessory applications including a simple text editor (Notepad), a 'primitive Word Processor (Wordpad), a Graphics Editor (Paintbrush), a Calculator and many others.


Windows Explorer

File Maintenance in windows can be achieved through the use of a DOS shell (the user can display a DOS prompt), but most commonly is performed using an application called Windows Explorer.

wide listing FileManager

Files in windows are respresented graphically using a series of simple icons:
folder Directories and sub directories are represented as FOLDERS which can be open or closed - all files live in a Folder. The Root folder is the common descendant of all folders on a particular disk drive.
root folder The Root folder is the common descendant of all folders on a particular disk drive. Notice that folders that contain folders are indicated with a [+] sign in the icon.
a drive The Floppy Disk has it's own icon
a fixed disk As does each Harddrive Partition
cdrom CDROM's appear as different icons to conventional HDD's
up one level To move UP to a parent folder, DOUBLE+LCLICK on the PARENT ICON

FILES in file manager are respresented using their own collection of icons:
unassociated file An UNASSOCIATED file is one that windows does NOT know what to open it with. Double+LClicking on this icon will not launch an application, rather windows will ask you what application you would like to use to view the file in.
associated file An ASSOCIATED file is a datafile that windows has been told what to open it with. Double+LClicking on this icon will launch the application and automatically load this file into it - a great time saver.
a program An EXECUTABLE file in filemanager looks like this - Double+LClicking on this icon automatically launches the Application (Either an EXE, COM or BAT).
hidden/system file SYSTEM/HIDDEN files are represented this way - these files are usually read-only also.

FILES can be displayed and arranged a number of ways:
by size Files can be arranged by FILE SIZE using this button.
by date Files can be arranged by FILE DATE using this button.
alphabetical Files can be arranged by ALPHABETICAL FILE NAME or reverse using these buttons.
partial list A PARTIAL file listing (without the extra detail) is achieved with this button
full list A FULL file listing is achieved using this button - we can inspect date, size, attributes etc when using a full file listing.


Basic File Management Tasks

Windows 'insulates' the user from the commands happening at DOS level, by allowing you to 'visually' work with files.

To FORMAT a Floppy Disk, as an example, you Choose Disk and Format Disk from the menubar. You will be presented with a Dialog box similar to the following:

Format Disk

Simple fill out the appropriate preferences and click the [OK] Button to begin the formatting process.

To COPY files from one folder to another ON THE SAME DRIVE, LCLICK+CONTROL+DRAG the file to it's new location.

To COPY files from one folder to another ON DIFFERENT DRIVES, LCLICK+DRAG the file to it's new location.

To MOVE files from one folder to another ON THE SAME DRIVE, LCLICK+DRAG the file to it's new location.

To MOVE files from one folder to another ON DIFFERENT DRIVES, LCLICK+SHIFT+DRAG the file to it's new location.

 

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