This advanced control panel is the same one that appears when you right-click your My Computer icon and choose Properties from the shortcut menu (or press Windows logo key + Break key). Its various tabs identify every shred of circuitry and equipment inside, or attached to, your PC.

General Tab

You can’t change anything on this screen, but that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. Here you can learn:

  • Which version of Windows XP you have (don’t be surprised if the version number contains far more decimal points than you were taught is legal)

  • The model name and speed of your PC’s processor chip (such as Pentium 4, 1.6 GHz)

  • How much memory your PC has—a very helpful number to know, particularly when it comes time to sell your old computer.

Computer Name

You personally will never see whatever you type into the "Computer description" box here. If you’re on an office network, however, the blurb you type here is what others see from across the wires. You might use the “Computer description” box to inform your fellow network citizens as to the operating system your PC uses, or what its contents are.

Likewise, the computer description isn’t the same thing as your computer name, which once again comes into play primarily when you, or your co-workers, view your network connections. (Click the Change button to change the computer’s name.)

Hardware Tab

This dialog box is nothing more than a portal. Its four buttons lead to these four other dialog boxes:

  • Add Hardware Wizard. The best way to install the ...

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