PC Lib Index Page

Index to Hermit's articles on pc operating systems, networking, database, and office applications.

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Computer Brain Teasers

Database Management

Disk Operating System


Computer Networking

The Internet

Word Processing


Computer Codes and Definitions

Computer Hardware

Keyboard Shortcuts

Computer Security



Computer Brain Teasers

Eleven brain teasers with solutions that will entertain and amzaze!

Brain Teasers Index


DBMS Index

Intro to Database Concepts
Defines DBMS and gives examples of common applications. Defines and describes DBMS terminology, including fields, records, and tables. Discusses the principles of relational databases and gives illustrated examples of one-to-many and many-to-many relations and the role played by primary and foreign keys.

Rationalizing Database Structures
Covers operation symbols used for math, string manipulation, logic, and comparison expressions. Includes order of precedence and truth table.

Math, Comparison, and Logical Operator Symbols
Covers operation symbols used for math, string manipulation, logic, and comparison expressions. Includes order of precedence and truth table.

Intro to MS-Access
A quick review of basic database terms such as table, record, field, etc and an overview of the MS-Access DBMS. Describes the MS-Access program window as well as the purpose and characteristics of the common MS-Access database objects, including queries, forms, and reports.

Database Management Systems
Provides a list of database management systems which have been available on the personal computer over the years.

DBMS Case Studies

Club Membership

Mail Order Invoicing Database

Adult Ed Center

Boat Rental: Reservations

Boat Rental: Reservation & Billing

Dairy Milking Service

Social Security Contributions

Marketing Data Database

Magazine Subscriptions

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DOS Index


DOS Structure
Description and functions of individual components of the Disk Operating System: Bios, Kernel, and Command interpreter.

Intro to PCs and DOS
An overview of DOS-based personal computers. Topics include: hardware components, operating systems, application software, user interface, booting, filing system, internal and external DOS commands, and how DOS finds commands.

The DOS Command Line
This article describes the essential characteristics of the DOS command-line user interface and contrasts it with a graphical user interface, including video modes.

DOS Internal Commands
The syntax and usage of selected DOS internal commands, including: TIME, DATE, CLS, DIR, COPY, TYPE, DEL, REN, RD, MD, CD, PATH, and SET PROMPT.

DOS External Commands
Description and usage of the FORMAT, CHKDSK, and DISKCOPY DOS external commands.

The DOS Environment
How to create, display, and use DOS environmental variables from batch files and the command line. Includes PATH, PROMPT, and PROMPT meta-strings as well as a technique to expand the DOS environment using SHELL.

MS-DOS Batch Files

DOS Batch Files
An introduction to writing and using DOS batch files which includes more advanced techniques such as redirection, replaceable parameters, branching logic (IF, GOTO), LOOPing, and concatenation.

A batch file which will set the background and foreground colors in a DOS Session (or DOS Mode) to one of several pre-determined color schemes. Demonstrates several batch features, including IF and GOTO, PROMPT, and ECHO.

MS-DOS Memory Management

Types of Primary Memory under DOS
Explanation of conventional, upper, and high memory and memory management software under DOS. Includes descriptions of HMA, extended memory (XMS), and expanded memory (EMS 3.2, EEMS, EMS 4.0).

Using HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE
Using HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE DOS memory management software to conserve conventional memory by loading COMMAND.COM and device drivers into extended memory.

MS-DOS in Windows

MS-DOS Mode in Win98-WinXP
Starting and customizing the MS-DOS Mode in MS-Windows 98 through MS-Windows XP.

MS-DOS Sessions in Windows
Description and characteristics of DOS Sessions in MS-Windows 95, 98, and XP. How to start and customize the DOS Session.

Opening a DOS session from Windows Explorer
How to create a new action for the Windows Explorer context sensitive menu which will open a DOS session in the folder of your choice in MS-Windows versions prior to Win-7.

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Local Area Networking

Part 1: Computer Networking Intro
This article defines computer networking and gives a simple explanation of how data is transmitted on a network. It explains the benefits of networking computers and their advantages and disadvantages.

Part 2: Local Area Network Models
This article describes the characteristics and lists some of the advantages and disadvantages of centralized, client/server, and peer- to-peer networking models.

Part 3: Types of Network Servers
This article lists the most common types of computer network servers.

Part 4: Network Types by Size/Geographical Coverage
This article gives the characteristics by size and geographical coverage of various types of computer networks, including LAN, WAN, MAN, Enterprise, Internetwork, Intranet, and Extranet.

Part 5: Local Area Network Topologies
This article gives a brief description and advantages and disadvantages of the three major network topologies: bus, star, and ring.

Part 6: Network Architecture
This article describes and compares popular networking architectures, including Ethernet, Token Ring, FDDI, ARCNet, and ATM.

Part 7: Local Area Network Media
An article on the characteristics of network media. desecriptions of LAN wiring, bandwidth rating, max segment length, interference susceptibility, and a discussion contrasting broadband and baseband transmission; comparisons between common Ethernet media: coax, UTP, STP, fibre-optic, and wireless.

Part 8: Connecting PC's
This article describes NICs, Hubs, and Repeaters and the roles they play in connecting PCs with a local area network.

Part 9: Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) Reference Model
This article describes the hypothetical Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) reference model and presents several "real world" network models.

Part 10: Local Area Networking Protocols and APIs
This article describes networking protocols and APIs, including NetBEUI, NETBios, TCP, IP, IPX, SPX, ARP, RARP, RIP, SNMP, DLC, IPX/SPX, NDIS, ODI, AND TDI.

Part 11: Segmenting Local Area Networks
This article discusses the purpose of segmenting LANS and describes and compares and contrasts segmenting using bridges and switches.

Part 12: Connecting Networks to Networks
This article describes hardware devices which are used to interconnect two or more local area networks into an internet. Devices covered are repeaters, bridges, routers, brouters, switches, and gateway.

Computer Networking Bibliography
A bibliography of sources used in the preparation of Networking Notes.

Finding a Network Card's MAC Address
This article lists the commands or methods to discover the MAC address of network cards under various operating systems.

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The Internet

Internet Index

Intro to the Internet
An overview of how the Internet is organized and how communications take place using it. Major Internet services are covered, including their purposes, their protocols, and software and conventions associated with them.

Web Browser Tips
Tells how to set the default homepage in the three major web browsers as well as some practical tips on opening web pages and using keyboard shortcuts.

Shrinking to Fit in Web Browsers
Helps you save paper by showing you how to make more information fit into less space when printing web pages.

Downloading Software from the Internet
Covers many of the ins and outs of downloading and installing software from the Internet. Includes discussion of software categories, types of zip (compressed) files, and manual and setup installations.

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Word Processing

Word Processing Index

MS-Word 2007/10/13

Making Documents Communicate
This article discusses methods of organizing and formatting information that facilitate communication. Topics include contrast, repetition, indentation and alignment, proximity, consistency, and the role played by changing word processing technology.

MS-Word User-Interface
This article covers the MS-Word user interface in versions 2007/2010/2013. Coverage includes descriptions of the principal document views, the Ribbon, the Quick Access Toolbar, the Mini Toolbar, Zoom, Task Panes, Show/Hide formatting symbols, and Keyboard shortcuts.

Scrolling and Positioning the Insertion Point
This article presents some of the finer points in using the keyboard and the mouse to scroll documents and position the insertion point.

Selecting Text
For both keyboard and mouse, this article presents the most efficient techniques for selecting text.

Moving Text in Documents
This article describes some very efficient alternatives to Copy and Paste and Cut and Paste to move text around in documents.

Typeface Concepts
This article defines the term typeface and explains the difference between serif and sans serif typefaces and proportionately and non- proportionately spaced typefaces. It also explains how differences in size, weight, and style account for different fonts of the same typeface.

Undo, Redo, Repeat
This article describes the actions of Undo, Redo, and Repeat and gives examples of how they can be used effectively.

Margins, Word-Wrap, and Paragraph Spacing
This article covers margins, word-wrap, and spacing before, after, and inside paragraphs. It distinguishes between lines and paragraphs, and dynamic and manual line breaks. It shows how to use Space After as part of a Style and how manual line breaks can be used to modify Space After in lists and mailing addresses.

Alignments, Indentations, and Tabs
This article covers horizontal paragraph alignments, vertical page alignments, paragraph indentation options, and the use of tabs to align decimal numbers.

Bulleted and Numbered Lists
This article distinguishes between ordered and unordered lists and gives two methods that can be used to create them (Ribbon tool and AutoCorrect). It also tells how to format list items automatically using AutoCorrect and shows how manual line breaks can be used to control the line length of list items.

This article lists the types of graphics which can be incorporated into an MS-Word document and describes some of their available options.

Making Tables Sing and Dance
This article explains how tables can be used not only to present information but also to a) arrange graphics and text in sophisticated layouts, and b) manipulate and transform information by converting it between lists and tables and tables and lists. It also covers the many formatting options available for tables and gives simple methods for re-arranging both table structure and table contents.

This article describes MS-Word's AutoCorrect feature and gives instructions to create an AutoCorrect entry that expands acronyms.

Find and Find and Replace
This article describes and illustrates features and uses for "Find" (Search) and "Find and Replace" in MS-Word.

Direct Formatting
This article defines direct formatting and describes the many problems associated with using it as opposed to formatting using Styles.

The Format Painter
This article describes how to use the Format Painter in single-use and multiple application modes. It also explains why formatting with styles is superiour to using the Format Painter.

Formatting with Styles
This article describes styles and lists their many benefits. It explains how to apply styles, modify them, and create new styles. It describes how you can use styles and templates to change things like the default typeface. It also includes a link to an exercise which covers all aspects of working with styles and explains how to set up Word options to make styles work smoothly.

Document Templates
This article defines templates and explains how and why they are used. It also shows how to create custom templates, modify templates, set up a folder for user-generated templates, and manage Styles between templates.

MS-Office Themes
This article describes MS-Office themes and points out a few of their shortcomings.

Longer Documents
This article discusses considerations primarily associated with longer documents. Topics covered include page breaks, footnotes and endnotes, sections, headers and footers, and blank pages and orphans.

Add Send to Powerpoint to MS-Word's QAT
This article tells how to add to MS_Word's Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) any of the many commands which do not appear on the Ribbon. The example used is Send to MS-Powerpoint, but the method is identical for any other command. The method works for MS-Word version 2007 and beyond.

Spicing up Titles and Text in MS-Word
This article describes how to use text effects available in MS-Word 2007 and up in order to add more interest to titles and text in documents such as brochures and posters.

Extracting an Outline in MS-Word headings
This article describes a simple method to obtain an outline without sub-text from an MS-Word document which is formatted using Word's built-in heading styles.

Works Cited
This article defines direct formatting and describes the many problems associated with using it as opposed to formatting using Styles.

MS-Word 2003 and Earlier

Recovering Corrupted Documents: MS-Word
This article explains how text from a corrupted document in MS-Word may be recovered in versions prior to MS-Word 2007.

Fixing MS-Word
This article describes some options in setting up MS-Word to be more helpful and less annoying. Broadly, these options pertain to all versions of Word, but instructions here are specific to versions prior to Word 2007.

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Spreadsheet Index

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Computer Codes and Definitions

Codes and Definitions Index

Bits, Bytes, and ASCII
This article explains why computers use binary numbers to represent data internally and the mechanism by which those numbers are translated into the alpha-numeric characters customarily used by people in the Western world.

Codes for French Diacritical Characters
Tables showing the ASCII number and HTML entity codes for the French alphabetic characters using diacritical marks.

A cross-referenced glossary of computer terms.

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MS-Windows Index

How to Fix Missing or Corrupted RUNDLL32.EXE
This article gives a quick, free, easy, and effective method of replacing the Window's rundll32.exe file when it is found to be missing or damaged.

MS-Windows 7

MS-Windows 7 Operating System
This article covers:
  • The three major functions of all operating systems
  • MS-Windows 7 major features, including shortcut menus, properties, Windows shortcuts, keyboard shortcuts, the Clipboard, the Recycle bin, and the Control Panel
  • Customizing the MS-Windows 7 user interface, including the Desktop
  • Using Control Panel to obtain information about a computer system and to configure hardware devices such as the mouse and video display
  • Effective methods to launch and close applications and multi-task
  • Minimizing, restoring down, and maximizing program windows and tile program windows automatically on the screen
  • Two methods to create Windows shortcuts
The MS-Windows Filing System
This article describes
  • Basic operations and maintenance of the Windows filing system, including formatting and defragmenting
  • Ways to organize a filing system effectively: folders, naming conventions, libraries, partitioning
  • How to use the MS-Windows Explorer user interface skillfully: file list views, navigation, selection, sorting, customizing
  • Routine file maintenance with Windows Explorer: copying, moving, renaming, and deleting files and folders
  • The relationship between Windows Explorer and Save and Open dialog boxes in application programs
  • How to get information about files, folders, and drives
  • File associations
Windows Explorer File List Views, Fields, and Sorts
This article describes how to customize file lists in Windows Explorer and Save As and Open dialog boxes, including the view, inclusion of optional information fields, size and order of fields, and sorting by fields. It also explains how to change the default view for folders in Windows Explorer.

Assign Drive Designation to USB Memory Stick
This article describes how to use the Disk Management Administrative tool to assign a drive designation to a USB memory stick when the device cannot be accessed in Windows Explorer.

MS-Windows Shortcuts
This article describes Windows shortcuts: what they are, where and how they can be used, how to create them, delete them, and customize them using their Properties. It also covers the Startup Folder of MS-Windows.

MS-Windows 9x

Definition for Windows 95/98/XP
This page is a satirical definition of MS-Windows as given by an anonymous USEnet poster.

Customizing Windows Explorer Startup
This article shows how to create a customized Windows shortcut to Windows Explorer which will open Explorer to a specific location (folder) in the filing system.

MS-Windows 9x Architecture
This article presents the MS-Windows 9X system architecture in a graphical format.

Automating Windows Setup with BATCH.EXE in Windows 98
This article describes how to use Batch.exe to gather information from an existing Windows 98 installation and use it to create a .inf file which can be used as a script file to automate Windows setup.
This information is excerpted from the Help files for the Win98 version of the Batch.exe.
Also see "Automating Windows Setup with Script Files".

Automating Windows Setup with Script Files
This article describes how to create a script file and use it to automate the cloning of a Windows 98 installation on multiple machines.
Also see "Automating Windows Setup with BATCH.EXE in Windows 98".

Add a File to the "New" Menu
This article describes how to add a file to the "New" menu of Window's context sensitive menu.

The Windows 9x Registry
This article describes the MS-Windows 9X Registry and provides a comparison between it and .ini files. Topics covered include the structure of the Registry, making changes to the Registry using REGEDIT, and backing up, restoring, and compacting the Registry.

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Computer Hardware

Computer Hardware Overview
This article:
  • Compares characteristics/uses of different types of computers and networks
  • Describes how computers represent data internally
  • Describes the five functions of hardware and give examples of each
  • Differentiates between operating system software and application software and see how hardware and software work together to create a computer system
  • Discusses health hazards and environmental considerations related to computers
Alternative Processing
This article gives a brief overview of two of the more promising avenues of research into alternative processing.

Trouble-shooting Printer Problems
This article offers trouble-shooting procedures for common printer problems.

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Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcuts Index


Top-Forty Keyboard Shortcuts


MS-Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

MS-Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts

MS-Windows Explorer Keyboard Shortcuts

Microsoft Office Applications

MS-Access Keyboard Shortcuts

MS-Excel Keyboard Shortcuts

MS-Powerpoint Keyboard Shortcuts

MS-Word Keyboard Shortcuts

MS-Word Styles Keyboard Shortcuts

Web Browsers

FireFox Browser Keyboard Shortcuts

MS-Internet Explorer Keyboard Shortcuts

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Computer Security

Computer Security Index


Data Backup
This article describes three methods of backing up files. It includes discussions of media, kinds of backups, backup cycles, and restoring backups.

Magnetic Tape Technology
This article describes some of the advantages for large organizations of magnetic tape backup media.

Characteristics of Different Backup Types
This article gives details about the five most common types of backup: Full, Incremental, Differential, Daily Copy, and Copy.

Child, Parent, Grandparent Backup Cycle
This article describes in detail the Child, Parent, Grandparent backup cycle.


Computer Malware
This article defines malware and associated terms and describes in detail the common types of malware. It discusses strategies for avoiding malware, including anti-virus software. It also gives sociological and economic background information about malware and Internet crime.

Ten Most Common Passwords
This article lists commonly-used, unsecure passwords.

Bruce Miller, 2018