How do I get used to Vista and find things I need

Vista is new to me. I use my pc for Karaoke and messaging. Nothing complicated but I find the simplest thing hard to find. My sound card doesn't seem to have adjustments on it...It's a what you see is what you get. Oh, I have an E Machine. My HP went out on me and it was only 2 years old. I'm lost on here. Can anyone give me any hints that would make it easier for me? Oh how do I enable the smilies on here?
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More about vista find things need
  1. Drag or send the system tools or applications you use to the desktop and access the tools/programs from there. Or right click on the desktop toolbar and select properties. Select 'classic' view. The desktop and start menu should look familiar wih this view.
  2. no need to do all that. just type whatever you need in the "search bar" in the start menu, it will bring up whatever you need

    for instance, type "sound" in the search bar, and it will bring up all the tools and apps that have sound in it....

    i've learned to use this and in vista it is the BEST tool for getting used to it.
  3. You can also right click on the desktop taskbar and check or enable 'desktop' and access anything on your desktop without closing a window or wasting time typing in a search box for simple things like an icon that opens an app or tool.
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