Help! They sold me Windows 8!

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hgm
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Help! They sold me Windows 8!

Post by hgm » Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:23 pm

I bought a nice new laptop today, with a 2.4 GHz i3 (2 cores, 4 HT, 3MB L3, 4GB DRAM, 350GB HD). But unfortunately it came with Windows 8.

How can I get a decent start menu? At the moment all I can get is a totally crappy page that does not fit the display, and lists every item in the menu tree as a bulky square, without any grouping. So after installing WinBoard, for instance, I get some 19 new tiles very far out of view.

Even more important, how do I start a command-prompt window?

I already do have a Cygwin prompt, but the ftp there does not seem to work. (I already had that problem in Windows 7, but there I could use Windows own ftp from the Windows command prompt.)

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Don
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Re: Help! They sold me Windows 8!

Post by Don » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:11 pm

hgm wrote:I bought a nice new laptop today, with a 2.4 GHz i3 (2 cores, 4 HT, 3MB L3, 4GB DRAM, 350GB HD). But unfortunately it came with Windows 8.

How can I get a decent start menu? At the moment all I can get is a totally crappy page that does not fit the display, and lists every item in the menu tree as a bulky square, without any grouping. So after installing WinBoard, for instance, I get some 19 new tiles very far out of view.

Even more important, how do I start a command-prompt window?

I already do have a Cygwin prompt, but the ftp there does not seem to work. (I already had that problem in Windows 7, but there I could use Windows own ftp from the Windows command prompt.)
The secret is to format the hard drive and install linux.
Capital punishment would be more effective as a preventive measure if it were administered prior to the crime.

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hgm
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Re: Help! They sold me Windows 8!

Post by hgm » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:24 pm

Unfortunately previous experience doing that proved it is also extremely hard, and usually leads to a completely crippled machine where almost nothing works. Since I put Ubuntu 10.04 on my old laptop, I can no longer use USB sticks, my sound interface stutters, and I could not get the WiFi running without someone else having to fix it for me, as they decided to drop support for my hardware.

And from what I recall You can only install Linux from a specially prepared memory stick, which needs to be empty before you prepare it. And I currently don't have empty memory sticks, and the one I prepared before was attacked by my virus scanner, which considered the bootstrap loader on it a virus...

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Don
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Re: Help! They sold me Windows 8!

Post by Don » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:27 pm

hgm wrote:Unfortunately previous experience doing that proved it is also extremely hard, and usually leads to a completely crippled machine where almost nothing works. Since I put Ubuntu 10.04 on my old laptop, I can no longer use USB sticks, my sound interface stutters, and I could not get the WiFi running without someone else having to fix it for me, as they decided to drop support for my hardware.

And from what I recall You can only install Linux from a specially prepared memory stick, which needs to be empty before you prepare it. And I currently don't have empty memory sticks, and the one I prepared before was attacked by my virus scanner, which considered the bootstrap loader on it a virus...

I have not once had any of those problems. But I guess with hardware issue anything can happen.

I know that support for hardware in Linux continues to improve. You can make a Linux install these days without trashing your windows - I have a feeling you would have no trouble doing that. All my machine are now dual boot, I actually bought a windows 7 install disk from microsoft for this purpose since I have to support windows customers.
Capital punishment would be more effective as a preventive measure if it were administered prior to the crime.

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Re: Help! They sold me Windows 8!

Post by elpapa » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:28 pm

hgm wrote:I bought a nice new laptop today, with a 2.4 GHz i3 (2 cores, 4 HT, 3MB L3, 4GB DRAM, 350GB HD). But unfortunately it came with Windows 8.

How can I get a decent start menu?
You can't.
hgm wrote: At the moment all I can get is a totally crappy page that does not fit the display, and lists every item in the menu tree as a bulky square, without any grouping. So after installing WinBoard, for instance, I get some 19 new tiles very far out of view.
You have to remove all the tiles you don't need (right click to select, then "unpin from start"). Start by removing all the apps (the colored tiles). When you install a program all executables will show up as tiles, so remove all except the actual program or whatever you wish to keep).
hgm wrote: Even more important, how do I start a command-prompt window?
Just type 'cmd' while in the start screen (the totally crappy page). Again right click 'command prompt' and this time 'pin to start'. You can also add programs to the taskbar this way.

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fern
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Re: Help! They sold me Windows 8!

Post by fern » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:35 pm

Be ñpatient with W8. Soon 8.1 will solve your problem.
In the meantime just in the middle of those squeres there is one taking you straight to old style desktop

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Leto
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Re: Help! They sold me Windows 8!

Post by Leto » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:40 pm


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hgm
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Re: Help! They sold me Windows 8!

Post by hgm » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:46 pm

elpapa wrote:You have to remove all the tiles you don't need (right click to select, then "unpin from start"). Start by removing all the apps (the colored tiles). When you install a program all executables will show up as tiles, so remove all except the actual program or whatever you wish to keep).
Well, it is not so much all the executables that show up, but the different menu items that are in the WinBoard menu group. They all start the same executable, winboard.exe. But configured for different tasks through its command-line options.

I want to keep them all, as they are all needed (or I would not have the installer create them in the first place). I just don't want them to be always visible. It won't be long before I have 10 different versions of Windows installed, and that alone would give me 190 tiles (probably undistinguishable as to which version of WinBoard they belonged to).
hgm wrote:Just type 'cmd' while in the start screen (the totally crappy page). Again right click 'command prompt' and this time 'pin to start'. You can also add programs to the taskbar this way.
OK, thanks. That was really useful. I could even use ftp from the command prompt. I am starting to suspect that the command prompt is actually the only thing that might be useful in this WinBoard 8. It seems we regressed to the DOS days...

Modern Times
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Re: Help! They sold me Windows 8!

Post by Modern Times » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:02 pm

Install Start8 from Stardock. That is what I did. It boots straight to the desktop, and has a start menu. About all you have to then do is associate a few file types with the desktop apps rather than the metro apps, and job done. It is just like Windows 7 now.....

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Mike S.
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Re: Help! They sold me Windows 8!

Post by Mike S. » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:14 pm

The oldschool desktop is still there. You should have a "tile" which represents it, to switch to. Or simply press

[Windows]+D

Bingo! :mrgreen:

The trick in Win8 is to move the mouse arrow into the edges, to have things pop up. When I bought my Win8 notebook, I got a small booklet with basic instructions for Win8 handling. Of course I mainly use the old desktop.

For a command prompt, use the experts menu accessible by right-click in the bottom-left corner. It also has other useful shortcuts, e.g. direct start of task manager.

The changes are smaller than it seems on the first glance. Basically, the start screen is just a giant start menu. I ignore it 99% of the time.

P.S. Note that the so called apps remain in memory unless you stop them manually, which is done by grabbing the top screen border and drop it downwards :-) Apps being in the background can be found by moving the mouse arrow to the top-left corner.
Regards, Mike

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