The Ask Leo! Newsletter
Classic Shell: Regain your Start menu in Windows 8 and much more.
By far, Windows 8's new Start screen is its most strikingly different feature as compared to Windows 7 and prior versions.
Unfortunately, that new tiled Start screen leaves many with a very negative first impression of Windows 8 - a first impression that then goes on to color their entire Windows 8 experience.
It doesn't have to be that way.
Classic Shell is a free set of software that gives you your favorite Start menu back, as well as restoring and adding functionality to both Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer.
It's a great way to make Windows 8 more useful to those who dislike what I've come to refer to as the "tablet-ification" of the user interface.
Classic Shell: Regain your Start menu in Windows 8 and much more.
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Answercast #85 - Banking with Linux, copying files, System Restore, resizing windows, moving hard drives and more...
Having trouble with your System Restore points, or want to move a hard drive to another computer? Wonder if there is a way to save a file in two places at once, or why you can't resize a window? Want to heighten your banking safety with Linux, or understand more about online email security? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!
Answercast #85 - Banking with Linux, copying files, System Restore, resizing
windows, moving hard drives and more...
Can I move a hard drive from a computer using an Intel CPU to one
using an AMD CPU?
You can move a hard drive from one computer to another... but it may take a re-install of Windows for the software to work with the new hardware.
Continue reading: Can I move a hard drive from a computer using an Intel CPU to one using an AMD CPU?
Why can't I resize this window?
Resizing a window may not be possible. It really depends on the state of the window and the requirements of its designer.
Continue reading: Why can't I resize this window?
Why does my dial-up connection drop every so often?
Dial-up connections can drop because of noise on the line. There are several sources to look for and only one remedy.
Continue reading: Why does my dial-up connection drop every so often?
Should I reboot into Linux to do my online banking?
Using Linux for banking can certainly increase your online security a notch. Is it necessary? Well, that's a matter of opinion.
Continue reading: Should I reboot into Linux to do my online banking?
Do I need these 32-bit updates listed for applications I'm running
in my 64-bit edition of Windows?
Updates for 32-bit software may be needed on a 64-bit operating system, because 32-bit software might be running on that machine.
Continue reading: Do I need these 32-bit updates listed for applications I'm running in my 64-bit edition of Windows?
Is there a way to save two copies of a file in two places at
Saving two copies of a file in different locations can be done... but it's pretty tricky!
Continue reading: Is there a way to save two copies of a file in two places at once?
Is online email ever really deleted permanently?
Online email is probably not permanently deleted - although for all practical purposes, you should assume you do not have access to those backups.
Continue reading: Is online email ever really deleted permanently?
Is CCleaner deleting System Restore points?
CCleaner and System Restore points may or may not be related. Either way, a good backup will keep you safer than System Restore can ever do.
Continue reading: Is CCleaner deleting System Restore points?
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*** Last Issue's Articles
- Ask Leo! #421 - What Servers See, Combining Documents, Yahoo email safety, and more...
- How do I install something if I keep getting an LUA error message?
- How do I backup my AOL email?
- How do I put two labels on a message in Gmail?
- What's this thing called "PROGRAM" in my Start menu?
- Is there an easier way to combine documents than Copy/Paste?
- How do I fix "COM surrogate stopped working" when browsing pictures?
- When I visit a web site, can the server identify me?
- Is Yahoo email safe?
- Why do I still get Office 2010 updates after uninstalling it?
- Answercast #84 - Office updates, safe email, combining documents, Gmail labels and more...
*** Word o' the Week
Shell is actually a very old term, pre-dating even MS-DOS itself. Originally it referred to the program that accepted typed in commands, interpreted them and ran corresponding programs to carry out the desired actions. In Windows the program "cmd.exe" can be considered one shell, operating in much the same way. The "Windows PowerShell" is essentially an enhanced version, and a very similar program.
The concept of multiple, different shells is also not new. Early versions of Unix included a standard shell, "sh", but was soon augmented with a variant known as "csh", or c-shell, whose command syntax was designed to more closely resemble the "C" programming language. In today's modern Linux distributions not only do sh and csh remain, but a third option, "bash" is also present.
With the advent of graphical operating systems the term shell has been somewhat deprecated, but can still be used to refer to the program that displays and controls the operating system's primary user interface. In Windows that program is "explorer.exe", which when initially run displays the desktop, task bar, start menu and more. (It's only on subsequent runs that the same explorer.exe acts as a stand-alone file-management program.)
Word o' the Week features a computer term or acronym taken from the Ask Leo! Glossary. If there's a word you're not sure of and would like to see defined, click here to let me know.
*** Thoughts and Comments
Thank you to everyone who expressed support for my upcoming sabbatical. I'll be mentioning it here throughout January as a reminder. You can find a copy of the original announcement here: Leo's 2013 Sabbatical.
Recent articles on Windows 8 have generated quite the range of comments and other responses.
Personally I find it somewhat ironic that Windows XP met with no small amount of resistance when it was released. And yet it's that very same operating system, 12 years later, that so many people are hanging on to, or holding up as an example of what Microsoft should have left alone.
I'm not saying that Windows 8 is the next Windows XP ... far from it. I'm also not saying that it's the next Windows Vista or Me either.
What I am saying is that it's too soon to tell. There's a lot of emotional and knee-jerk reaction happening, and that's not the way to properly evaluate whether Windows 8 is a winner or a dud.
Unfortunately many people have already (and sometimes very vocally) made up their minds.
If your negative reaction to Windows 8 is based on the tiled start menu, I prioritized writing the article Classic Shell: Regain Your Start Menu in Windows 8 and much more just for you.
I'm definitely not saying everyone needs to upgrade - if what you have is working there's simply no need. However if you're faced with Windows 8 for some reason, perhaps this is one way you can give it a chance.
Leo A. Notenboom
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