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Windows 95 Tips for HP Users

Many MPE and HP-UX sites began to upgrade their PCs to Windows 95 in 1995. When you upgrade, the first thing you notice is the new user interface with the Start button, the 3D look, and the new graphics architecture. The Windows 3.1 program manager is banished and its Program Groups have become folders, which can now contain nested folders. You should be able to run most of your old Windows applications, but not your utilities. Later you should notice the extended system resources limit: the preemptive multitasking (which allows you to do other things on the machine while it is executing a long-running task), although this works only if you are running 32-bit applications (no 16-bit legacy applications); the multithreading; memory protection (although it's not as good as NT's); TCP/IP networking; Microsoft Network; Plug-and-Play recognition of new peripherals; long filenames; wizards to make common tasks easier; and much more.

So why doesn't Windows 95 completely supplant Windows NT? For several good reasons: Win 95's memory protection does not completely protect system data from user applications as in NT; the design is a 16/32-bit hybrid for backward compatibility; the file system is still based on the original FAT system of DOS and wastes considerable disc space; international characters are still handled through the clumsy ANSI character set with code pages instead of Unicode; and preemptive multitasking is ensured only when all applications are running in 32-bit mode.

In order for a program to display the Windows 95 logo, an application must satisfy the following requirements;

As well, any respectable Windows 95 application should use Tab controls for long dialogs, use a 3D appearance for user-interface elements, use the right mouse button to bring up property pages (context menus), move .Ini file attributes into the new System Registry, and expose its capabilities to other applications and developers as an OLE server.

Windows 95 Shortcuts

Windows 95 uses the same keystroke shortcuts as Windows 3.x in addition to many new shortcuts, some of which combine the mouse with keystrokes. For example,

Text version

Ctrl-Esc brings up the Start menu. "Windows" key on your Microsoft Natural Keyboard brings up the Start Menu.
Shift-F10to view the Shortcut menu for a select item.
Ctrl-Shiftdrag creates a shortcut.
Shift-Deletedeletes an item without undelete.
Deletealone puts item in the Recycle Bin.
Alt-Enterviews an item's properties.
Alt-V-Tadds Toolbar to any folder or "applet."
Shiftheld down while you insert a CD disables "auto-play."
Ctrl-Alt-Delbrings up list of active tasks you can kill.
Click and Dragmoves an item, while Ctrl-drag copies it (you can also use Ctrl-C to copy or Ctrl-X to move, followed by Ctrl-V at the destination).

Window Overlay in Windows 95.

By default Windows 95 opens a new window for every folder that you open. This tends to make your desktop look a little messy and makes it difficult to find folders. The solution to this is to allow Windows 95 to re-use one window for the currently opened folder. To change the default, you must do the following:

Voila. You now can re-use each folder while browsing for your application.

Missing Taskbar

One of our technical support engineers spent four days without a Taskbar (and no Start button) trying to figure out why he had only a thin grey line at the bottom of the screen. It turned out he had "minimized" his taskbar. To revive it, you bring the cursor arrow down over the grey line until the arrow changes into a skinny arrow. Then drag the taskbar line up until it "maximizes."

Shutdown Warning

Don't just turn off your system when done. You must shut it down properly or your files won't be updated to disc. The same warning applies if you enable the 32-bit file system in Windows. You can use Alt-F4 to close anything.

For more information consult: win95.com.

Final Tip: The CD-ROM version of Windows 95 includes the Windows 95 Resource Kit as a help file that is indexed and searchable.

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