"Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

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"Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:36 pm

This was the biggest problem for me with Windows 8; not having a start button or start menu. When navigating and selecting programs on my PC, my brain often works in a very text-centric way.

I really like the Stardock "Start 8" tool. I just installed the beta/30-day-trial and it created a start button and menu that (so far) seems to work exactly like that feature in Windows 7 and earlier versions.

Later this month when Windows 8 is generally available, I will feel MUCH better about moving ahead with it for all production use at home and even on my laptop, even if I have to buy two licenses of Start 8.

I'm good to go now. How about you? Does anybody else have any thoughts on this, or have you found any flaws?
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:41 pm

Classic Shell claims to support Win8 RTM. Not anything I'm ever going to test. That said, it does a bang-up job at returning Win7 to the One True Windows Interface (a/k/a Win2K).
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:20 am

All hail the One True Interface!

(I agree with you on that)

Also, we use that (Classic Shell) in our workplace for new Win7 machines. We use XP in the classic UI mode since we migrated from Win2K. Change for change's sake is not worth trying to retrain everyone here in their workflow.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:48 pm

http://domino.research.ibm.com/tchjr/jo ... enDocument
But you need to know Its true name, for it was called CUA, which gave rise MS Windows, which begat X Windows. In IBM SAA-speak, it is: Systems Application Architecture - Common User Access.

Also encountered in various forms as OSI Presentation Manager, Object-Oriented User Interface (OOUI), OSF/Motif. For It is known to all, used by most, appreciated by many, and patented by few.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:59 pm

Is that CDE? Because everyone thought CDE was the bomb and it was a total pile of crap. I had to use that on an old Sun pizza box back in the day.

CUA seems to be more like a "this is how this stuff should operate" not an interface in and of itself. I'd rather read the cliff notes version than any IBM doc: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_User_Access
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:45 pm

Scrotos wrote:Is that CDE? Because everyone thought CDE was the bomb and it was a total pile of crap. I had to use that on an old Sun pizza box back in the day.

CUA seems to be more like a "this is how this stuff should operate" not an interface in and of itself. I'd rather read the cliff notes version than any IBM doc: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_User_Access


Your slim pizza must have been one of those DEC Alpha cores capable of running Windows NT3. My company should never have sold our development unit, these are rare consoles which excited our best developers back then.

Up until the 1990s SAA was a standard that uniquely shaped and defined IBM systems thinking, which meant industry thinking. SAA wound up in most application UIs and OS shells, some more than others like Windows 3.x and OS/2 CUI, and the OSF/Motife/CDE/Gnome stream which you mention. The only holdouts on the entry desktop were Apple and a couple of UK firms which I forget.

As with any movement, the enforced standards and guidelines first made their appearance in fourth-generation development suites. In those days this meant big OS/360 packages monitored by CICS and character-based IDEs running on 327x concsoles, and mainframe developers were slowly encouraged/intimidated into eventually complying with IBM SAA guidelines. A lot of PC business and network software were designed to interoperate with or generate output for the big systems and naturally followed developments in the higher, IBM-dominated markets. Prior to this it was a user's nested mess of interfaces, a despairing situation for most non-techie users who faced retraining for every newly entrenched core suite. It was like the convoluted situation of varying Wordstar and Lotus and Ashton-Tate UI standards in the PC-DOS world, but with $million mainframe applications and utilities at stake, all fragmented in UI design according to each vendors' idea of how a console interface should be.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:00 pm

I must say that I blame IBM a little bit for the declining mainframe era. Many opportunities missed. Don't get me started!
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:41 pm

trackerben wrote:But you need to know Its true name, for it was called CUA, which gave rise MS Windows, which begat X Windows.

Minor nit: X Windows isn't a GUI; it is the lower-level protocol and primitives on top of which which most *NIX GUIs are implemented. It actually pre-dates CUA and the first version of MS Windows by a year or two.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:52 pm

BIF wrote:I must say that I blame IBM a little bit for the declining mainframe era. Many opportunities missed. Don't get me started!

No worries, we're returning to the mainframe paradigm; we just don't call it that any more!

"The cloud" is really a euphemism for "massive centrally managed data centers" (modern equivalent of mainframes). Our smartphones and tablets have limited autonomous capability and capacity, and connect us to those data centers (they are the modern equivalent of those old IBM "green screen" mainframe terminals).

What goes around comes around. The "terminals" are just wireless, small enough to fit in your pocket, and affordable by Joe Consumer now.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:46 am

just brew it! wrote:What goes around comes around. The "terminals" are just wireless, small enough to fit in your pocket, and affordable by Joe Consumer now.

Having pulled miles of coax cable through buildings to support the 3270 paradigm, I'm all for wireless.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:25 am

Captain Ned wrote:Classic Shell claims to support Win8 RTM. Not anything I'm ever going to test. That said, it does a bang-up job at returning Win7 to the One True Windows Interface (a/k/a Win2K).


Been running it for almost a month on a Win8 box I set up for the hell of it, works great, no bugs for me so far.

Most important, it massively reduces the suck factor of Win8's "change-for-the-sake-of-change" crap.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:01 am

trackerben wrote:
Scrotos wrote:Is that CDE? Because everyone thought CDE was the bomb and it was a total pile of crap. I had to use that on an old Sun pizza box back in the day.

CUA seems to be more like a "this is how this stuff should operate" not an interface in and of itself. I'd rather read the cliff notes version than any IBM doc: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_User_Access


Your slim pizza must have been one of those DEC Alpha cores capable of running Windows NT3. My company should never have sold our development unit, these are rare consoles which excited our best developers back then.


Um, no, SunOS never ran on the Alpha, as far as I know. Maybe you're just unfamiliar with Sun workstations from that era:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solaris_(operating_system)
CDE was available as an unbundled add-on for Solaris 2.4 and 2.5, and was included in Solaris 2.6 through 10.

Here's a screenshot of what the Unix guys at the time called CDE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DECwi ... v7.3-1.png

Hell, I think on the Sun boxen it had CDE in the version or in the splash screen. It's been 15 years since I last touched one of those so my memory's not exact. Interesting about SAA, though. We used to run Novell SAA for a 3270 product that was run via some terminal emulator. Man, that version of Novell was EOL when we got it but the vendor refused to move off SAA and some crazy hardware for years. If I recall, SAA was also shoehorned into Windows 2000.

http://support.novell.com/techcenter/ar ... 50306.html
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libr ... 78124.aspx

...though maybe I'm getting SAA/SNA confused.

just brew it! wrote:
trackerben wrote:But you need to know Its true name, for it was called CUA, which gave rise MS Windows, which begat X Windows.

Minor nit: X Windows isn't a GUI; it is the lower-level protocol and primitives on top of which which most *NIX GUIs are implemented. It actually pre-dates CUA and the first version of MS Windows by a year or two.


Isn't it "X-Windows" ? ;)
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:33 pm

Captain Ned wrote:Classic Shell claims to support Win8 RTM. Not anything I'm ever going to test. That said, it does a bang-up job at returning Win7 to the One True Windows Interface (a/k/a Win2K).


I have decided to test some of the other Start Menu replacements under Win8 RTM, since I still have 34 days left on this license and it may be at least that long before I can begin buying my new hardware.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:06 pm

Those Sun pizza boxes are Sparc. I worked with a couple (and resuscitated one) this summer. You SHOULD only run CDE on them, as GNOME is kind of a mess, OpenWindows just feels ancient to work with, and the Java Desktop System (on Solaris 9 and 10, maybe 11) is terrible.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:09 am

So I buy TWO Start8 licenses, then read on itworld.com that ClassiShell is both (1) free, and (2), boots up to the desktop with the start button while Start8 is a little iffy on that funtionality. At least Start8 is cheap and the Win 8 download is as well. :-(
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:43 am

Yeah, I read that article too (or one like it) just in the nick of time.

I saw how some Start 8 setups won't go into the desktop after a boot, but mine does.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:55 am

I upgraded to Win 8 last night - took forever - but worked quite well (read article on Ars Technica).

It is amazing how little control one has over Metro - including junk you'd never want to use or see.

Still more amazing is trying to shut down. Its a four or five step process if you don't use Classic Shell or similar - and very hard to find. I literally had to Google it!

Classic Shell was a real bonus, free and easy. Win 8 balked at install, but you can blow by this easily.

Having hated W8 in a brief test months ago I am only doing this to see how standard programs look, etc. The poor visuals get you next - its like 1990 all over again. Everything's blocky, no subtlety.

So today Steam asks for Linux testers...hmm? The wave of the future to avoid being owned by apple or MS.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:56 am

Another thing. Win 8 told me to disable my AV software. It uses Defender by default. I had not heard this part.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:07 pm

ordskiweicz wrote:Another thing. Win 8 told me to disable my AV software. It uses Defender by default. I had not heard this part.

We know what is best for you. You will comply.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:21 pm

Apparently I missed this thread.

+1 to Ned's suggestion of free open-source Classic Shell instead of paid closed-source Start8 from Stardock.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:13 pm

My favorite Win 8 experience so far...

Downloaded a podcast, standard .mp3, in Chrome. Without thinking I double clicked the file expecting it to open in Windows Media Player, which I had open, not playing a file. Instead it opens up in "Music" inside... Metro/Modern UI/whateveritscalled. I paused the podcast in "Music" (there is no stop that I could find), set .mp3 files to open in WMP instead of "Music" and started enjoying the podcast. After a bit I hit the pause media key on my keyboard... which paused WMP but resumed the track in "Music."

The solution? Honestly no clue. I couldn't figure out how to stop "Music" (Xbox Music? Music? No clue... all terrible names if that any of those are its name) from playing a file. Just play/pause and forward/backward. I couldn't find a way to close "Music" inuitively either, just killing the process. So that's wha I did and then uninstalled "Music."

Lots of frustrations of this type. It's incredibly frustrating that there's basically two operating systems in Windows 8.

EDIT: Currently using Classic Shell to regain Start menu functionality. Overall I like it and very happy these solutions are available on day one.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:30 pm

I just bought Start 8. Like it very much. Boots to desktop perfectly for me and works otherwise very well. Happy to not have to use Metro UI at all.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:39 pm

PerfectCr wrote:I just bought Start 8. Like it very much. Boots to desktop perfectly for me and works otherwise very well. Happy to not have to use Metro UI at all.

I have to ask though: So what are the advantages of Win8 + Start 8 over just sticking with Win7?
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:49 pm

just brew it! wrote:I have to ask though: So what are the advantages of Win8 + Start 8 over just sticking with Win7?
I was wondering the same thing. I mean, unless you have multiple monitors and like to shut down your computer all the time, I don't see what the big deal is.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:53 pm

just brew it! wrote:
PerfectCr wrote:I just bought Start 8. Like it very much. Boots to desktop perfectly for me and works otherwise very well. Happy to not have to use Metro UI at all.

I have to ask though: So what are the advantages of Win8 + Start 8 over just sticking with Win7?

Faster boot/shut down, and all the security and other under hood enhancements of Win 8?
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:04 pm

PerfectCr wrote:
just brew it! wrote:I have to ask though: So what are the advantages of Win8 + Start 8 over just sticking with Win7?

Faster boot/shut down, and all the security and other under hood enhancements of Win 8?

OK, I can understand the attraction of faster boot/shutdown, but (to me at least) it doesn't make a compelling case for upgrading.

Unless they're EOLing Win7 and discontinuing security patches, security should be comparable. Overall security of your system is more dependent on the user employing security "best practices" than on differences between currently supported OSes.

Under hood enhancements don't matter to most people?
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:42 pm

One appeal to me for Win 8 is that this is also time for me to build a new system.

Hardware systems last me 5 years or more now. This is a unique conjunction for me because it's not only time to build a new system, but a new version of Windows is available. There is a certain amount of time benefit by doing both at the same time rather than upgrade OS now and do hardware in a few months (and then re-install OS and apps AGAIN), or the vice-versa.

And Windows 8 does have under the hood improvements. Although I still have some significant UI and usability issues with Win 8. These issues are what keep me from ordering ANYTHING at this moment.
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Re: "Start 8" for Windows 8 is working nicely for me

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:49 pm

Now all they need to do is bring Aero back. I like Aero.
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