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Computer Literacy for the Mac
Illustration by Neil Webb

Using your desktop


From:

Computer Literacy for the Mac

with Garrick Chow

Video: Using your desktop

Let's talk now about the word 'desktop'. This word already came up once at the beginning of this course, but in reference to the type of computer you may be using, as in laptop or desktop. But that's not the only use of the word desktop when it comes to computer terminology. Another meaning of desktop refers to what we are seeing onscreen right now, this vast empty blue area. Now, the desktop in reality is just another folder on your computer. It just happens to be the folder you see most often, and is always open unless it's completely covered by another window. But if you can see even just a tiny portion of your desktop on you screen, you can drag files out of other folder on to the desktop to move them there.
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  1. 2m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the assessment files
      1m 7s
    3. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 9m 51s
    1. What's a computer?
      1m 49s
    2. What's inside a computer?
      2m 46s
    3. Laptop vs. desktop computers
      1m 59s
    4. Special considerations when using a laptop
      3m 17s
  3. 20m 58s
    1. Understanding the operating system
      3m 3s
    2. Understanding files, folders, and directories
      4m 49s
    3. Understanding your home folder (your user folder)
      5m 21s
    4. Using your desktop
      3m 11s
    5. Taking out the trash (recycle bin)
      2m 21s
    6. The right click
      2m 13s
  4. 24m 8s
    1. Understanding applications
      4m 24s
    2. Opening and saving files
      4m 10s
    3. Choosing the right tool
      4m 44s
    4. How to learn any application
      3m 53s
    5. Five things that work in all applications
      6m 57s
  5. 36m 22s
    1. Understanding computer ports
      2m 59s
    2. Setting up a printer
      3m 7s
    3. Printing your documents
      4m 30s
    4. Setting up a scanner
      2m 27s
    5. Scanning a document
      6m 15s
    6. Setting up a projector or second monitor
      5m 56s
    7. Using a projector
      3m 43s
    8. Portable storage devices
      3m 53s
    9. Pairing with Bluetooth devices
      3m 32s
  6. 17m 27s
    1. Understanding networks and internet access
      2m 58s
    2. Connecting to wired network
      2m 36s
    3. Connecting to wireless networks
      4m 4s
    4. Working in a networked environment
      6m 15s
    5. Staying protected from viruses
      1m 34s
  7. 19m 31s
    1. Understanding email servers and clients
      2m 11s
    2. Setting up your email application
      4m 15s
    3. Receiving and reading email
      2m 21s
    4. Composing new email messages
      5m 52s
    5. Reply vs. Reply All
      2m 11s
    6. Dealing with spam
      2m 41s
  8. 8m 24s
    1. Understanding search engines
      1m 24s
    2. Conducting basic searches
      3m 51s
    3. Conducting advanced searches
      3m 9s
  9. 24m 21s
    1. Using word processors
      4m 22s
    2. Formatting text
      7m 7s
    3. Using spreadsheets
      3m 36s
    4. Creating a simple data table
      7m 37s
    5. Formatting a data table
      1m 39s
  10. 18m 53s
    1. Importing images from a digital camera
      4m 46s
    2. Storing and organizing digital images
      5m 11s
    3. Basic image manipulation
      4m 10s
    4. Tagging images
      2m 32s
    5. Sharing images
      2m 14s
  11. 10m 52s
    1. Common obstacles in sharing files
      1m 37s
    2. Creating PDFs for document sharing
      5m 35s
    3. Compressing files
      3m 40s
  12. 1m 3s
    1. What's next?
      1m 3s

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Computer Literacy for the Mac
3h 14m Beginner Aug 06, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Computer Literacy for the Mac, author Garrick Chow walks through the skills necessary to use Mac computers comfortably, while improving learning, productivity, and performance. This course focuses on the Apple Mac OS X operating system and offers a thorough introduction to computers, networks, and computer peripherals such as printers, digital cameras, and more. In addition, basic procedures with software applications, the Internet, and email are covered. Exercise file accompany the course.

This course also includes chapter-level assessments for use as instructional aides. To download the assessments, click the following link: Computer Literacy Assessments. The file contains an assessment movie, chapter-level assessments, and answer keys.

Topics include:
  • Working with a laptop versus a desktop computer
  • Understanding an operating system
  • Understanding five traits almost all applications share
  • Printing
  • Setting up a scanner
  • Connecting to a wired or wireless network
  • Sending and receiving email
  • Searching the Internet
  • Importing and editing images from a digital camera
  • Sharing documents and images
Subjects:
Business Operating Systems Computer Skills (Mac)
Software:
Mac OS X
Author:
Garrick Chow

Using your desktop

Let's talk now about the word 'desktop'. This word already came up once at the beginning of this course, but in reference to the type of computer you may be using, as in laptop or desktop. But that's not the only use of the word desktop when it comes to computer terminology. Another meaning of desktop refers to what we are seeing onscreen right now, this vast empty blue area. Now, the desktop in reality is just another folder on your computer. It just happens to be the folder you see most often, and is always open unless it's completely covered by another window. But if you can see even just a tiny portion of your desktop on you screen, you can drag files out of other folder on to the desktop to move them there.

The desktop can really be a very convenient place to store commonly used files, or even recently downloaded files. For example, I am going to open up a program called TextEdit, which comes on every Mac, and it's found in the Applications folder. I am going to choose Go > Applications from the Finder here, and I'll scroll through and find TextEdit. I'll double-click it to open it. Now, we will be getting into opening and using applications in a later chapter, but for now I just need to run an application to demonstrate how to use the desktop. I am just going to close this Finder window. So, in this blank document, I am going to type "To do," and we'll type "Groceries," "Laundry," and "Car Wash." So, I'll start putting together a to-do list, and I'll probably continue adding to it throughout the next few days.

So I want to make sure it's in a convenient place. I am going to choose File > Save, and this dialog box opens up prompting to name my file and choose the location where to save it. Now, if your dialog box looks like this, you might want to expand it by clicking the little triangle button here. So, the first thing, I am going to name this file To Do up here in the Save As field. So, you can see one of the places I can save is my desktop, which I'll select, and now I'll click Save. Notice that a file called To Do immediately appears on my desktop.

This is the file I just saved. So, if I close this list in TextEdit, I can open it again by double-clicking its icon, and there it is. So, that's a quick example of using the desktop to keep a file. Now, as I previously said, the desktop is really just another folder in your Home folder. In fact, if I open my Home folder, which I stored in my Dock in the previous movie, I'll see that one of the folders in here is called desktop and if I open it up, sure enough, there is To Do list. So, again, if I had this closed, went to my Home folder, into Desktop, and chose To Do, the file opens up. And I'll just close that again.

Now, the desktop is a very convenient place to store files you frequently use, but many people use it as sort of a dumping ground for all kinds of files they have accumulated, and they rarely go through and clean it up. But having a cluttered computer desktop is lot like when your real desk is cluttered. It can be very difficult to find things and work efficiently. When it comes to your computer's desktop, having tons of files on it really can slow down your computer's performance. So, it's a good idea to occasionally look through all the files on your desktop and figure out if you still need to keep them there, or if you can move them into one of your other folders in your Home folder, or even if you can just throw them in your Finder's trash can, which we'll look at in a later chapter.

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