Nov 19, 2012 / 5:00 am
Make Windows 8 more like Windows 7, more on sending large files, and restoring your Firefox bookmarks. Three seemingly unrelated but useful tips this week!
Get a Start Menu on Windows 8
A huge source of both complaints and amusement about Windows 8 is Microsoft’s decision to do away with the Start Menu. Yep, it’s gone. No Start button, no Orb, no menus. Of course, there are other ways to find the program you’re looking for, but if you just want things to look like they used to, here are two programs you can use to put a Start Menu on your Windows 8 computer.
Classic Shell is a free program you can use to make your Windows 8 Desktop function like Windows 7/Vista, Windows XP, or even Windows 98 if you want to go really retro. Besides the menu and button, Classic Shell provides some functions you’re used to that have not been included in Windows 8. Take a look at what it does here: http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/features.html . You can download the program from this page: http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/.
If you want to phase in to the new way of doing things, take a look at Start8 from Stardock, here: http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/. Start8 reproduces the Windows 7 Start Menu and features, but incorporates the Windows 8 look and feel into the icons. More importantly, it will let you boot right to the familiar Desktop, bypassing the new tile interface on the Start screen. There’s a short video that explains this beautifully here:
Start8 costs US$5.99, but you can try it free for, I think, 15 days.
There are other Start Menu replacement programs floating around. If you have one you like --- or really dislike! --- please let me know.
More on sending large files
A couple weeks ago (http://rlis.com/columns/column377.htm) I mentioned alternatives to emailing huge files. I’d like to thank all of you who signed up for Minus.com using my referral link! I hope you’re enjoying Minus.
Several readers mentioned We Transfer as an alternative. Check them out here: https://www.wetransfer.com/ or on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wetransfer. I tested it briefly and found it pretty straightforward. It quickly uploaded and downloaded a photo, and sent notification and confirmation emails quickly. I didn’t like the ads flashing at me, but the site is ad-supported! (You can pay for your own channel, presumably ad-free).
Restore your Firefox Bookmarks
If you ever get carried away and delete your Firefox bookmarks, it’s often possible to get them back.
- Click on the down arrow in the Firefox bar in the top left corner
- Click on Bookmarks
- Click on Show all Bookmarks
- Click on Import and Backup
- Click on Restore
- Pick a date!
Here’s a 2-minute video that shows you how:
A quick and easy way to back up your entire Firefox profile, including your bookmarks, is with a utility called MozBackup. It’s here: http://mozbackup.jasnapaka.com/. MozBackup will back up your Thunderbird email, too, and it’s free.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends and family!
Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along!
Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna (http://computercarekelowna.com/) a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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