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Windows XP Home Edition: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Logging On

Once your account is set up, here’s what it’s like getting into, and out of, a Windows XP machine.

Identifying Yourself

When it comes to the screens you encounter when you log on to a Windows XP computer, your mileage may vary. What you see depends on how your PC has been set up. For example:

You zoom straight to the desktop.

If you are the sole account holder, and you’ve set up no password at all for yourself, you cruise all the way to the desktop without any stops.

This password-free scenario, of course, is not very secure; any evildoer who walks by your machine when you’re in the bathroom has complete access to all of your files (and all of your password-protected Web sites). But if you work in a home office, for example, where the threat of privacy invasion isn’t very great, it’s by far the most convenient arrangement.

You get the Log On to Windows dialog box.

If you’ve turned off “Use Welcome screen” (Section 16.3.1), you don’t get the usual Welcome screen shown in Figure 16-8 at startup. Instead, you must type in your name, as shown in Figure 16-7, rather than simply clicking it in a user-friendly list. (If you were the last person to use the machine, you might not have to type in the name, because Windows automatically fills the box with the name of the most recent user.)

You get the standard Welcome screen.

This, of course, is what most people see most of the time (Figure 16-8).

At this moment, you have several alternatives. If you click the “Turn off [computer name]” ...

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