Best tutorials/resources for understanding Windows 10 in general

  1.    #1

    Best tutorials/resources for understanding Windows 10 in general


    Hi, can anyone refer me to good information to understand how Win 10 is works or is organized? I use it for general purpose things regularly, but I feel pretty ignorant about anything at all "under the hood", and would like to get better sense of this. I have some *quite* limited software development experience (read: basically just Javascript) and so I do actually want technical explanations as long as they are relatively beginner-friendly.

    Two thoughts -
    a) in particular it would be nice to have a better grasp of the file structure, and how Windows manages its own operations and those of other things you have installed.
    b) it seems sort of like Win 10 puts some sort of wrapper around Win 7. For example, "control panel" is still available if you Win-key and search for it; but on the Win10 Start-menu UI there is the "settings" gear (with many of the same options organized differently. ) What is up with this?

    Apologies if this post is a bit vague - I'm sort of poking around for info, and don't really know precisely which questions to ask to alleviate the general confusion I have with Win 10.
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  2. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 11,415
    10 Home x64 (1903) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #2

    gntsketches said: View Post
    Apologies if this post is a bit vague - I'm sort of poking around for info, and don't really know precisely which questions to ask to alleviate the general confusion I have with Win 10.

    I can sympathise with your confusion. Perhaps a little history lesson will help. First though, you have to separate in your mind the User Interface (the desktop you interact with) from the underlying operating system that powers it.

    What you see and think of as 'Windows 10' is a shell that runs at the top level and provides a way to control the operating system. This User Interface (UI) has worn many faces over the years but the underlying Operating System (OS) has been a steady progression from its inception as Windows NT 3.1 (Windows New Technology) in 1993. The UI has changed dramatically over the years, initially looking like the DOS-based Windows 3.1, then adopting the look of Windows 95 in the form of Windows 2000. Then came XP, Vista, Windows 7 and the radically different (and hated by some) Windows 8. But these were all just different UIs, underneath that the OS was a steady development of the original Windows NT.

    More history here: Windows NT - Wikipedia

    Control Panel and the Settings app are part of the UI. They are just tools to let you (safely) change the heart that controls the OS, that is the Registry. If you are brave (or foolish) you can edit the registry directly. But to be safe use the Settings/Control Panel tools. With Windows 10 Microsoft are progressively moving more of the controls out of Control Panel and into Settings, but they still do the same thing, make changes in the Registry.

    More on the Registry here: Windows Registry - Wikipedia

    Since its inception Windows NT has used the 'New Technology File System' or NTFS. More on that here:
    NTFS - Wikipedia
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  3.    #3

    This is terrific, thank you! I will check these links out and perhaps ask more questions later :)
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  4.    #4

    Everything Technical you ever wanted to know about Windows 10:
    https://www.amazon.com/Windows-Inter.../dp/0735684189
    https://www.amazon.com/Windows-Inter.../dp/0135462401

    The current 6th editions part 1 and 2 are available online as .pdf if you do a Google search
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    #5

    I will endorse @shockwaveriderz suggestion of digging into the Windows Internals ​series. Mark Russinovich is one of the leading experts on Windows architecture and operation. I had the pleasure and privilege of working with/for him back in the Winternals days, before he and his company became part of Microsoft. I've reviewed many editions of these books, and use them routinely when I have questions about how Windows is organized, and how it works.
    HTH,
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    #6

    Bree said: View Post
    I can sympathise with your confusion. Perhaps a little history lesson will help. First though, you have to separate in your mind the User Interface (the desktop you interact with) from the underlying operating system that powers it.

    What you see and think of as 'Windows 10' is a shell that runs at the top level and provides a way to control the operating system. This User Interface (UI) has worn many faces over the years but the underlying Operating System (OS) has been a steady progression from its inception as Windows NT 3.1 (Windows New Technology) in 1993. The UI has changed dramatically over the years, initially looking like the DOS-based Windows 3.1, then adopting the look of Windows 95 in the form of Windows 2000. Then came XP, Vista, Windows 7 and the radically different (and hated by some) Windows 8. But these were all just different UIs, underneath that the OS was a steady development of the original Windows NT.

    More history here: Windows NT - Wikipedia

    Control Panel and the Settings app are part of the UI. They are just tools to let you (safely) change the heart that controls the OS, that is the Registry. If you are brave (or foolish) you can edit the registry directly. But to be safe use the Settings/Control Panel tools. With Windows 10 Microsoft are progressively moving more of the controls out of Control Panel and into Settings, but they still do the same thing, make changes in the Registry.

    More on the Registry here: Windows Registry - Wikipedia

    Since its inception Windows NT has used the 'New Technology File System' or NTFS. More on that here:
    NTFS - Wikipedia
    Hi Bree, I've finally had time to look through these things - much thanks. I also briefly checked out the reference to the Windows Internals book (from shockwaveriderz), which while fascinating may be more technical detail than I realistically have time for at the moment.

    So, two questions:
    1) Broadly, can you recommend resources that are a notch or two more "beginner friendly" than the Windows Internals series?

    2) I am wondering if it might narrow things down to ask for information relevant to the current project I am working on. This is getting started with "Caster", which is an augmentation to Dragon Naturally Speaking software, for writing code by voice. It features multiple softwares interacting (Natlink, Dragonfly, and Caster, all of which utilize Python.) I am generally plagued with the feeling that I don't really understand how all this is working with regard to Windows in particular.

    Here's the link to the install instructions: Caster/Installation.md at master . dictation-toolbox/Caster . GitHub

    Totally understood if you are not up for engaging with this - but if you have any commentary on "what I should know about how Windows works to understand how getting Caster set up works", I would definitely be all ears.

    Much thanks for your time on any of this!

    - - - Updated - - -

    shockwaveriderz said: View Post
    Everything Technical you ever wanted to know about Windows 10:
    https://www.amazon.com/Windows-Inter.../dp/0735684189
    https://www.amazon.com/Windows-Inter.../dp/0135462401

    The current 6th editions part 1 and 2 are available online as .pdf if you do a Google search
    Thanks, these seem awesome, but more technical than I realistically have time for right now. Do you have any suggestions for something which is a notch or two more beginner-friendly? Then perhaps I can return and attempt this series.

    - - - Updated - - -

    EdTittel said: View Post
    I will endorse @shockwaveriderz suggestion of digging into the Windows Internals ​series. Mark Russinovich is one of the leading experts on Windows architecture and operation. I had the pleasure and privilege of working with/for him back in the Winternals days, before he and his company became part of Microsoft. I've reviewed many editions of these books, and use them routinely when I have questions about how Windows is organized, and how it works.
    HTH,
    --Ed--
    Thanks for this, the Windows Internals series seem awesome, but more technical than I realistically have time for right now. Do you have any suggestions for something which is a notch or two more beginner-friendly? Then perhaps I can return and attempt this later on.
      My ComputerSystem Spec



 

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