I. Warming up
1. Do you know all the functions and possibilities of Windows OS? Does a common user need all of them?
2. Which functions of Windows OS would you like to be improved?
Read the text and consider the questions below.
Windows 7 Hidden Gems – Additional functionality
By C. Holgate
I’ve been living with Windows 7 for a good few months now and in that time have discovered a couple of little ‘hidden gems’ which I wanted to share with you:
In Windows 7, when you click on the title bar of any window and shake it every other open window gets minimised straight back in to your taskbar, reducing clutter on your screen. This allows you to focus on the one window and then when ready shake it again and the other windows will reappear.
There are additional Aero user interface related features which make a welcome debut. These include Aero Peek which allows you to immediately see what’s going on in an application just by hovering over the icon in the task bar and Aero Snap which quickly allows you to rearrange your desktop by slamming any open window against the left, right or top side of your screen; try it!
Proof, if needed, that some of the simplest applications make the largest differences to the end user experience. One of the most commonly used applications on my PC used to be the incredibly simple ‘notepad’ as I find that my working life works a lot better if I simplify everything down in to lists.
Rather than jotting notes on random pieces of paper that will almost certainly get lost throughout the day I used to dump everything in notepad and ensure that every line was eventually cleared so I was left with a blank page before I went home.
Sticky notes have a similar application. To get started click on the start menu and type in ‘sticky’ and begin typing tasks for the day or things to remember in to little post it notes that stick to your screen. When complete either close or minimise the application to get back to the job in hand, safe in the knowledge that once Sticky Notes are reopened, these tasks will reappear exactly as you left them. When a task has been completed or the note simply isn’t needed, it can be deleted with one click of the mouse.
Windows 7 calculator has improved considerably; now rather than being an arithmetic only affair, it can be operated in four modes – Standard, Scientific, Programmer and Statistical. It can also perform unit conversion, for example grams to ounces, metres to feet and Celsius to Fahrenheit along with a couple of unexpected features such as the ability to calculate the number of days between two dates or the value of your mortgage repayment. Surely in the next version of Windows the calculator application will finally gain graphical capabilities.
Windows Disk Image Burner
For some time now the preferred method of copying and storing CD’s and DVD’s has been by using an ISO file; a single image which includes the contents of an entire disk. Reading these files used to require a specific application but every version of Windows 7 now includes support for these straight out the box; simply double click on the ISO file that you wish to burn, insert a blank CD or DVD and you’re done.
1. Why are the additional functionalities of Windows OS called hidden gems?
2. How is it possible to avoid clutter on your desktop?
3. Which would you prefer – jotting notes on random pieces of paper or using the Sticky Notes function?
III. Focus on the language
Describe some common operations you perform with the help of Windows on a regular basis. Use the following words.
Nouns and noun phrases : title bar, taskbar, user interface, icon, notepad, start menu.
Verbs : (double) click, reduce, minimise, shake, reopen, reappear, hover, rearrange, slam, burn.
IV. Problem solving
1. How much should a common user know about Windows? Give your reasons.
2. Give five reasons why you should update your OS regularly, e.g.:
To use the new features of the OS.
To avoid computer slowdowns.
3. Agree or disagree: The simplest applications make the largest differences to the end user experience.
4. Role play the situation: You have installed a new version of Windows on your computers at work. Instruct your colleagues about its features and the benefits they will get.
V. Useful tips for your presentations
How to compare or contrast two things effectively.
To effectively compare or contrast two things in your presentation you can rely on the following tips on comparison and contrast essay writing. These principles can be useful not only for written presentations, but for oral reports as well.
While you’re making the outline of your essay (report), you have to think which style of arrangement you’re going to use. There are two classic styles of comparison and contrast essay writing: the block arrangement and the alternating arrangement.
In using the block arrangement, you’re going to describe each of the two things you’re comparing (object A and object B) in two separate paragraphs. You’re going to make statements about object A to form a single paragraph. You do the same for object B in the next paragraph. While writing your paragraphs, make sure that every statement from your object A paragraph has a corresponding statement in your object B paragraph. In that way, although you’re not directly comparing the two, the comparison can be easily identified by the readers coherently.
To further understand the block arrangement style, take a look at the following outline:
Introduction (E.g.: object A is Windows and object B is Linux)
The second style of comparison and contrast essay writing is the alternating arrangement. This is also known as point by point arrangement. In this style, you’re going to make a paragraph focusing on a particular area or category of discussion. On that paragraph, you’re going to directly compare object A and object B. Just like how its name says, you’re going to compare the two things “point by point.”
Take a look at the outline below to further understand the alternating arrangement style for your comparison and contrast essay writing:
Introduction (E.g.: object A is Windows and object B is Linux)
VI. Working on the project
Find information about other operating systems, choose one and compare it to Windows, dwelling on the advantages and disadvantages of each. Follow the useful tips above.