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OS for New Shack Computer

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  • Jim Brown
    I m studying my options for something new, and have solicited advice from the many serious IT guys here in our Silicon Valley contesting and DX community. 
    Message 1 of 16 , Mar 26, 2014
      I'm studying my options for something new, and have solicited advice from the many serious IT guys here in our Silicon Valley contesting and DX community.  I've got a recommendation for Lenovo G710 with their new "Haswell" processor, which comes loaded with Windoze 8 (not 8.1). One of those serious IT guys (N6WM) says to avoid Win 8 for a shack computer, and that he's frozen their computers at Win 7 for their contesting stations.

      I do want to stick with Windoze, but I've been happy with XP Pro because it seems relatively well behaved with respect to audio, and because all my ham stuff runs in it.  I do everything from CW, SSB, and RTTY contesting to the WSJT modes.

      I'll probably be buying more than one -- the XYL will need one, and I'd like something a lot faster for the modeling that I do. All but one of my laptops is from the same family, so they use the same accessories, and I can trade parts from one chassis to another to solve hardware problems, This has saved me a lot of money over the years, so I'd like to stick with it.

      I'd like to hear from the N1MM code-writing team, and from others with strong IT chops, on this matter. 

      73, Jim K9YC
    • Greg Beam
      ... Hash: SHA1 Hi Jim, I don t build laptops generally, mostly high end workstations, but I do a few now and then for neighbors an such. Looking at the 710,
      Message 2 of 16 , Mar 26, 2014
        -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
        Hash: SHA1

        Hi Jim,

        I don't build laptops generally, mostly high end workstations, but I
        do a few now and then for neighbors an such. Looking at the 710, 17"
        screen is nice :-)

        All the ham gurus I've spoken with say the same thing, Win7 all the way.

        * Upgrade options to consider:
        - - SSD Hard drive .. a bit pricy, but well worth it
        - - 8-12GB+ of ram, ram is cheap.

        * Audio, for shack computers, I use outboard audio and turn off all
        audio devices in the BIOS to keep Windoze from playing it's games.

        just my $0.02 worth :-)

        73's
        Greg, KI7MT



        On 3/26/2014 21:21, Jim Brown wrote:
        > I'm studying my options for something new, and have solicited
        > advice from the many serious IT guys here in our Silicon Valley
        > contesting and DX community. I've got a recommendation for Lenovo
        > G710 with their new "Haswell" processor, which comes loaded with
        > Windoze 8 (not 8.1). One of those serious IT guys (N6WM) says to
        > avoid Win 8 for a shack computer, and that he's frozen their
        > computers at Win 7 for their contesting stations.
        >
        >
        > I do want to stick with Windoze, but I've been happy with XP Pro
        > because it seems relatively well behaved with respect to audio, and
        > because all my ham stuff runs in it. I do everything from CW, SSB,
        > and RTTY contesting to the WSJT modes.
        >
        >
        > I'll probably be buying more than one -- the XYL will need one, and
        > I'd like something a lot faster for the modeling that I do. All but
        > one of my laptops is from the same family, so they use the same
        > accessories, and I can trade parts from one chassis to another to
        > solve hardware problems, This has saved me a lot of money over the
        > years, so I'd like to stick with it.
        >
        > I'd like to hear from the N1MM code-writing team, and from others
        > with strong IT chops, on this matter.
        >
        > 73, Jim K9YC
        >
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      • Dave Greig
        Been running windoze 8.1 on my shack computer since 8.1 was released. The only issues I have had is with the USB to Com port. This issue is highly
        Message 3 of 16 , Mar 26, 2014
          Been running windoze 8.1 on my shack computer since 8.1 was released.  The only issues I have had is with the USB to Com port.  This issue is highly documented. N1MM both the current and the beta versions, MMTTY, FLDIGI and FSK all work with out an issue. 

          Dave N3BUO


          Thank You!
          Dave Greig N3BUO
          801 Tactical


          On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 4:21 PM, Jim Brown <jwbro@...> wrote:
           

          I'm studying my options for something new, and have solicited advice from the many serious IT guys here in our Silicon Valley contesting and DX community.  I've got a recommendation for Lenovo G710 with their new "Haswell" processor, which comes loaded with Windoze 8 (not 8.1). One of those serious IT guys (N6WM) says to avoid Win 8 for a shack computer, and that he's frozen their computers at Win 7 for their contesting stations.

          I do want to stick with Windoze, but I've been happy with XP Pro because it seems relatively well behaved with respect to audio, and because all my ham stuff runs in it.  I do everything from CW, SSB, and RTTY contesting to the WSJT modes.

          I'll probably be buying more than one -- the XYL will need one, and I'd like something a lot faster for the modeling that I do. All but one of my laptops is from the same family, so they use the same accessories, and I can trade parts from one chassis to another to solve hardware problems, This has saved me a lot of money over the years, so I'd like to stick with it.

          I'd like to hear from the N1MM code-writing team, and from others with strong IT chops, on this matter. 

          73, Jim K9YC


        • Michael Adams
          The only issue I ve had with Windows 8.1 is that the COM port numbers on all my USB COM adapters were reassigned when I upgraded from 8.0 to 8.1. Everything
          Message 4 of 16 , Mar 26, 2014

            The only issue I’ve had with Windows 8.1 is that the COM port numbers on all my USB>COM adapters were reassigned when I upgraded from 8.0 to 8.1.

             

            Everything that ran on 7 seems to run fine on 8.1.   I don’t much care for the Metro-style apps, but the ability to group/arrange icons to launch programs on the Win 8 start screen is growing on me.

             

            Michael / N1EN

             

            From: N1MMLogger@yahoogroups.com [mailto:N1MMLogger@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dave Greig
            Sent: Wednesday, 26 March, 2014 17:55
            To: N1MMLogger@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [N1MM] OS for New Shack Computer

             

             

            Been running windoze 8.1 on my shack computer since 8.1 was released.  The only issues I have had is with the USB to Com port.  This issue is highly documented. N1MM both the current and the beta versions, MMTTY, FLDIGI and FSK all work with out an issue. 

             

            Dave N3BUO


          • Robert Chudek - K0RC
            *One time post...* I have been looking at replacement laptops recently There is a plethora of options and different price points to choose from, including
            Message 5 of 16 , Mar 26, 2014
              One time post...

              I have been looking at replacement laptops recently There is a plethora of options and different price points to choose from, including basic models in the $300 price range and units that sell way above $2,000 for serious 'video gamers'.

              Making a purchase decision has become a 'heavy duty task' if you are concerned about making a wise performance vs price decision! In just one area, CPUs, you will find different models out-perform old CPUs significantly. In that regard, here's a website that will help you differentiate the horsepower of (almost) all CPUs ever manufactured.
              In addition to CPUs, they performance-test video cards/subsystems, hard drives, and other system components.

              http://www.cpubenchmark.net/ 


              As an example, my Intel Pentium 4 Mobile CPU at 2 GHz (contest laptop) posts a benchmark of 211 compared to modern multi-core Intel i7 CPUs which post scores around 10,000 +/- depending upon the specific model. Many modern CPUs can be 50 times faster!

              The website has a "Performance Test 8.0" software you can download and run on your existing computer to determine 'where you sit' compared to modern systems. It has a 30-day evaluation period and does not sneak any 'junkware' onto your system. Even the overall system performance test is 'quite entertaining to watch' as it collects performance information from your computer!

              Good luck sleuthing for your replacement hardware. It's nothing like the old days!

              73 de Bob - KØRC in MN


              On 3/26/2014 4:21 PM, Jim Brown wrote:
              I'm studying my options for something new, and have solicited advice from the many serious IT guys here in our Silicon Valley contesting and DX community.  I've got a recommendation for Lenovo G710 with their new "Haswell" processor, which comes loaded with Windoze 8 (not 8.1). One of those serious IT guys (N6WM) says to avoid Win 8 for a shack computer, and that he's frozen their computers at Win 7 for their contesting stations.

              I do want to stick with Windoze, but I've been happy with XP Pro because it seems relatively well behaved with respect to audio, and because all my ham stuff runs in it.  I do everything from CW, SSB, and RTTY contesting to the WSJT modes.

              I'll probably be buying more than one -- the XYL will need one, and I'd like something a lot faster for the modeling that I do. All but one of my laptops is from the same family, so they use the same accessories, and I can trade parts from one chassis to another to solve hardware problems, This has saved me a lot of money over the years, so I'd like to stick with it.

              I'd like to hear from the N1MM code-writing team, and from others with strong IT chops, on this matter. 

              73, Jim K9YC

            • Pete Smith N4ZR
              For whatever it s worth, I recently built a special purpose Skimmer computer. The whole story is at
              Message 6 of 16 , Mar 27, 2014
                For whatever it's worth, I recently built a special purpose Skimmer computer.  The whole story is at <http://reversebeacon.blogspot.com/2013/06/a-low-cost-specialized-skimmer-computer.html>, but the point is, don't ignore the AMD CPUs.  I settled on on 8-core FX-8350 on a very inexpensive Asus motherboard.  The CPU cost me ~$180, versus $300-400 for comparable Intel CPUs.  I have not had a minute's trouble with the AMD, and it flies!

                By the way, even if you are committed to Intel, there are still huge price differences among their CPUs with comparable performance.  This market moves so fast that yesterday's prices are so...yesterday

                For ham uses, we definitely do not need gamer-quality video.  To be sure, you're not going to be building a laptop, so you won't have so many options, but....   
                73, Pete N4ZR
                Check out the Reverse Beacon Network at 
                http://reversebeacon.net, 
                blog at reversebeacon.blogspot.com.
                For spots, please go to your favorite 
                ARC V6 or VE7CC DX cluster node.
                
                On 3/26/2014 7:13 PM, Robert Chudek - K0RC wrote:
                One time post...

                I have been looking at replacement laptops recently There is a plethora of options and different price points to choose from, including basic models in the $300 price range and units that sell way above $2,000 for serious 'video gamers'.

                Making a purchase decision has become a 'heavy duty task' if you are concerned about making a wise performance vs price decision! In just one area, CPUs, you will find different models out-perform old CPUs significantly. In that regard, here's a website that will help you differentiate the horsepower of (almost) all CPUs ever manufactured.
                In addition to CPUs, they performance-test video cards/subsystems, hard drives, and other system components.

                http://www.cpubenchmark.net/ 


                As an example, my Intel Pentium 4 Mobile CPU at 2 GHz (contest laptop) posts a benchmark of 211 compared to modern multi-core Intel i7 CPUs which post scores around 10,000 +/- depending upon the specific model. Many modern CPUs can be 50 times faster!

                The website has a "Performance Test 8.0" software you can download and run on your existing computer to determine 'where you sit' compared to modern systems. It has a 30-day evaluation period and does not sneak any 'junkware' onto your system. Even the overall system performance test is 'quite entertaining to watch' as it collects performance information from your computer!

                Good luck sleuthing for your replacement hardware. It's nothing like the old days!

                73 de Bob - KØRC in MN


                On 3/26/2014 4:21 PM, Jim Brown wrote:
                I'm studying my options for something new, and have solicited advice from the many serious IT guys here in our Silicon Valley contesting and DX community.  I've got a recommendation for Lenovo G710 with their new "Haswell" processor, which comes loaded with Windoze 8 (not 8.1). One of those serious IT guys (N6WM) says to avoid Win 8 for a shack computer, and that he's frozen their computers at Win 7 for their contesting stations.

                I do want to stick with Windoze, but I've been happy with XP Pro because it seems relatively well behaved with respect to audio, and because all my ham stuff runs in it.  I do everything from CW, SSB, and RTTY contesting to the WSJT modes.

                I'llprobably be buying more than one -- the XYL will need one, and I'd like something a lot faster for the modeling that I do. All but one of my laptops is from the same family, so they use the same accessories, and I can trade parts from one chassis to another to solve hardware problems, This has saved me a lot of money over the years, so I'd like to stick with it.

                I'dlike to hear from the N1MM code-writing team, and from others with strong IT chops, on this matter. 

                73, Jim K9YC


              • N7WY
                On my 2010 era HP Envy, I needed to depress the Function key in the lower left row of the keyboard to use F1-F12. Otherwise, the Fn keys do something else
                Message 7 of 16 , Mar 27, 2014
                  On my 2010 era HP Envy, I needed to depress the Function key in the lower left row of the keyboard to use F1-F12. Otherwise, the Fn keys do something else like speaker or brightness level adjustment. Generally 8 can work a CW contest solely with the macros, but this is a pain. Maybe this is easily overcome by some Windows 7 trick. Most laptops have this same issue.

                  On my 2013 touch smart Envy, I can just tap the screen where I would have mouse clicked on the earlier Envy.

                  It seems that laptops and desktops have different Microsoft guidelines for keyboards.

                  Another solution is an external desktop keyboard plugged into the laptop, but is more stuff on the desk.

                  Right now I am using an AMD quad core HP desktop with Win 7 as my station PC - don't mess with success!

                  Bob R
                • David Mitchell
                  Hi Jim, Having recently having to work this problem, here is what I ve learned. Windows 8 does NOT come with a downgrade option to Win 7, which works well will
                  Message 8 of 16 , Mar 27, 2014
                    Hi Jim,
                     
                    Having recently having to work this problem, here is what I've learned.  Windows 8 does NOT come with a downgrade option to Win 7, which works well will everything.  but Win 8,1 PRO does.  Of course it's lmore money. 
                     
                    I build all my machines and settled on Win 7 Home with an i5 4670 Haswell CPU and Asus Z87A motherboard with 8 gigs of memory.  I need to build thee for the office and another three for the house and I want them all to be the same.
                     
                    IBM makes a nice machine in thier M series for a desktop for the money but their base machines use old i3S and come with Win 8 standard.  The parts I ordered are all 2014 vintage, and if you call IBM specify what you want and they will build it for youl
                     
                    I know your question was on OS but they have to run on a machine so I thought I'd contribute my two cents.

                    -- Dave WB2PJH
                  • r.turner35
                    The 8.0 to 8.1 upgrade is free as far as I know. Same thing for the 8.1 to 8.1 Update 1 or whatever its called now. The 8.1 update 1 brings some new things
                    Message 9 of 16 , Mar 27, 2014
                      The 8.0 to 8.1 upgrade is free as far as I know.  Same thing for the 8.1 to 8.1 Update 1 or whatever its called now.  The 8.1 update 1 brings some new things to the table.  If no touch screen it boots straight to the desktop, or so I’ve read.
                       
                      Bob
                       
                      Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2014 7:17 AM
                      Subject: [N1MM] Re: OS for New Shack Computer
                       
                       

                      Hi Jim,
                       
                      Having recently having to work this problem, here is what I've learned.  Windows 8 does NOT come with a downgrade option to Win 7, which works well will everything.  but Win 8,1 PRO does.  Of course it's lmore money. 
                       
                      I build all my machines and settled on Win 7 Home with an i5 4670 Haswell CPU and Asus Z87A motherboard with 8 gigs of memory.  I need to build thee for the office and another three for the house and I want them all to be the same.
                       
                      IBM makes a nice machine in thier M series for a desktop for the money but their base machines use old i3S and come with Win 8 standard.  The parts I ordered are all 2014 vintage, and if you call IBM specify what you want and they will build it for youl
                       
                      I know your question was on OS but they have to run on a machine so I thought I'd contribute my two cents.

                      -- Dave WB2PJH
                    • Nick Maslon - K1MAZ
                      Hi Bob, Having come across this issue with function keys before, this isn t handled by the OS. Instead, there should be an option in the computer s BIOS that
                      Message 10 of 16 , Mar 27, 2014

                        Hi Bob,

                        Having come across this issue with function keys before, this isn't handled by the OS. Instead, there should be an option in the computer's BIOS that changes the behavior of the function keys.

                        Nick K1MAZ

                      • Hank Greeb
                        Several of my still working colleagues say their employers have insisted on Windows 7 for any new corporate computers. The word from on high of their IT
                        Message 11 of 16 , Mar 27, 2014
                          Several of my still working colleagues say their employers have insisted
                          on Windows 7 for any new corporate computers.

                          The "word from on high" of their IT (computer) department is that
                          Windows 8 and 8.1 has enough flaws to make it impractical to use for
                          business.

                          I've learned enough about my abomination of Windows 8.1 on a new cheapie
                          laptop computer. Had I realized what garbage I was being offered in the
                          operating system, I'd have looked around a bit harder, perhaps paid a
                          bit more, and found one with windows 7. When my Windows XP backup
                          computer gives up the ghost, I may invest in a Win 7 CD and upgrade this
                          Windows 8.1 machine to Windows 7.

                          I say that for the vast majority (at least a bit more than the 50% vast
                          majority) a low end computer will do just fine for contesting. We've
                          used a Netbook with a 800 MHz processor, smallish SSD, and two USB ports
                          for N1MM networked with for Field Day, and it has worked flawlessly
                          (even when one WiFi Mesh Relay station lost power and we were
                          disconnected from the main "zero" computer). I've used a Windows 98
                          computer with 133 MHz processor, 96 meg memory and 6 Gig hard drive - no
                          connection to the radio except keying. It works - sometimes slows down
                          if it's doing some "cleanup" in the background - but, what the heck,
                          it's almost 20 years old!

                          But, of course, I've always used a computer like any tool of the trade,
                          similar to a soldering iron and pliers. Or, like a shovel and pipe
                          wrench when I was doing my job as a Comical, errr, Chemical Engineer.
                          I infuriated the in house "so-called" computer experts who would tell me
                          every so often that a chemical calculation I was attempting on the
                          mainframe couldn't be done. I told them, and showed them more than
                          once, that if it could be conceptualized in the human brain, it could be
                          solved by an idiot computer.

                          Sorry for the diversion to soapbox. May I now get back to earth?

                          72/73 de n8xx Hg
                          QRP >99.44% of the time
                        • Joe Subich, W4TV
                          ... What most people perceive as the abomination of Windows 8.1 is still related to the lack of a functioning desktop. Those issues can all be resolved by
                          Message 12 of 16 , Mar 27, 2014
                            > I've learned enough about my abomination of Windows 8.1 on a new
                            > cheapie laptop computer. Had I realized what garbage I was being
                            > offered in the operating system, I'd have looked around a bit harder,
                            > perhaps paid a bit more, and found one with windows 7. When my
                            > Windows XP backup computer gives up the ghost, I may invest in a Win
                            > 7 CD and upgrade this Windows 8.1 machine to Windows 7.

                            What most people perceive as the "abomination of Windows 8.1" is still
                            related to the lack of a functioning desktop. Those issues can all be
                            resolved by downloading, installing and configuring the free Classic
                            Shell. I have Classic Shell configured to give me a Windows 7 style
                            Start Menu, to bypass the Metro interface on start-up and disable the
                            hot corners. With that configuration I can switch between Windows 7
                            and Windows 8 systems with no difference in the user interface.

                            Windows 8/8.1 (both Pro and Home) are as stable if nor more so than
                            windows 7.

                            > The "word from on high" of their IT (computer) department is that
                            > Windows 8 and 8.1 has enough flaws to make it impractical to use for
                            > business.

                            The "flaws" are the user interface issues. Microsoft tried to force
                            a single operating system for both desktop and tablet; even Apple did
                            not have enough hubris to try that. They maintain a separate OS for
                            desktop (OS-X) and mobile (iOS).

                            73,

                            ... Joe, W4TV


                            On 3/27/2014 10:41 AM, Hank Greeb wrote:
                            > Several of my still working colleagues say their employers have insisted
                            > on Windows 7 for any new corporate computers.
                            >
                            > The "word from on high" of their IT (computer) department is that
                            > Windows 8 and 8.1 has enough flaws to make it impractical to use for
                            > business.
                            >
                            > I've learned enough about my abomination of Windows 8.1 on a new cheapie
                            > laptop computer. Had I realized what garbage I was being offered in the
                            > operating system, I'd have looked around a bit harder, perhaps paid a
                            > bit more, and found one with windows 7. When my Windows XP backup
                            > computer gives up the ghost, I may invest in a Win 7 CD and upgrade this
                            > Windows 8.1 machine to Windows 7.
                            >
                            > I say that for the vast majority (at least a bit more than the 50% vast
                            > majority) a low end computer will do just fine for contesting. We've
                            > used a Netbook with a 800 MHz processor, smallish SSD, and two USB ports
                            > for N1MM networked with for Field Day, and it has worked flawlessly
                            > (even when one WiFi Mesh Relay station lost power and we were
                            > disconnected from the main "zero" computer). I've used a Windows 98
                            > computer with 133 MHz processor, 96 meg memory and 6 Gig hard drive - no
                            > connection to the radio except keying. It works - sometimes slows down
                            > if it's doing some "cleanup" in the background - but, what the heck,
                            > it's almost 20 years old!
                            >
                            > But, of course, I've always used a computer like any tool of the trade,
                            > similar to a soldering iron and pliers. Or, like a shovel and pipe
                            > wrench when I was doing my job as a Comical, errr, Chemical Engineer.
                            > I infuriated the in house "so-called" computer experts who would tell me
                            > every so often that a chemical calculation I was attempting on the
                            > mainframe couldn't be done. I told them, and showed them more than
                            > once, that if it could be conceptualized in the human brain, it could be
                            > solved by an idiot computer.
                            >
                            > Sorry for the diversion to soapbox. May I now get back to earth?
                            >
                            > 72/73 de n8xx Hg
                            > QRP >99.44% of the time
                            >
                            >
                            > ------------------------------------
                            >
                            > To unsubscribe, send an email to:
                            > N1MMLogger-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                            >
                            > Yahoo Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                          • n7wy@rocketmail.com
                            Nick Thanks for the tip. I will be using the touch screen laptop this summer and will check out your tip before I hit the remote areas of WY. The first Envy
                            Message 13 of 16 , Mar 27, 2014
                              Nick
                              Thanks for the tip.  I will be using the touch screen laptop this summer and will check out your tip before I hit the  remote areas of WY.  The first Envy failed - perhaps its running as hot as a waffle iron foretold its demise.
                              Bob R
                            • Jim Brown
                              Thanks for all of the great input. Much appreciated. 73, Jim K9YC On Thursday, March 27, 2014 9:17 AM, n7wy@rocketmail.com wrote: Nick
                              Message 14 of 16 , Mar 27, 2014
                                Thanks for all of the great input. Much appreciated.

                                73, Jim K9YC


                                On Thursday, March 27, 2014 9:17 AM, "n7wy@..." <n7wy@...> wrote:


                                Nick
                                Thanks for the tip.  I will be using the touch screen laptop this summer and will check out your tip before I hit the  remote areas of WY.  The first Envy failed - perhaps its running as hot as a waffle iron foretold its demise.
                                Bob R




                              • Michael Adams
                                FYI, in Windows 8.1 you don t need a third-party utility to boot to the desktop. Get to the desktop, right click on the taskbar, select Navigation, and check
                                Message 15 of 16 , Mar 27, 2014

                                  FYI, in Windows 8.1 you don’t need a third-party utility to boot to the desktop.

                                   

                                  Get to the desktop, right click on the taskbar, select Navigation, and check “When I sign in…go to the desktop instead of Start”.

                                   

                                  I also recommend selecting “show my desktop background on Start” so the Start screen is less visually disruptive.

                                   

                                  Microsoft probably ought to make those settings a little easier to access, and I think the former may now be the default on non-touch systems, but at least they did address the most material problem with Windows 8.0.

                                   

                                  If you want the Win XP/Vista/7 start menu, however, you still need a third-party utility… but honestly, once I got used to it, I actually came to prefer the Windows 8.1 start screen even on my non-touch PC.

                                   

                                  I concur that Windows 8.1 is at least as stable as Windows 7.  And, for whatever it’s worth, Windows 8 is probably the most keyboard-friendly OS Microsoft has released since DOS, thanks to the (admittedly poorly documented) available keyboard shortcuts.

                                   

                                  Michael / N1EN

                                   

                                  W4TV wrote:

                                  What most people perceive as the "abomination of Windows 8.1" is still
                                  related to the lack of a functioning desktop. Those issues can all be
                                  resolved by downloading, installing and configuring the free Classic
                                  Shell. I have Classic Shell configured to give me a Windows 7 style
                                  Start Menu, to bypass the Metro interface on start-up and disable the
                                  hot corners. With that configuration I can switch between Windows 7
                                  and Windows 8 systems with no difference in the user interface.

                                • Joe Subich, W4TV
                                  ... You need Properties before Navigation ... windows 8.1 helped a lot but I still prefer the Windows 7 look using Classic Shell vs. several screens of tiles
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Mar 27, 2014
                                    > Get to the desktop, right click on the taskbar, select Navigation,
                                    > and check "When I sign in...go to the desktop instead of Start".

                                    You need "Properties" before Navigation ...

                                    windows 8.1 helped a lot but I still prefer the Windows 7 look using
                                    Classic Shell vs. several screens of tiles in the Start/Apps view.

                                    73,

                                    ... Joe, W4TV


                                    On 3/27/2014 1:36 PM, Michael Adams wrote:
                                    > FYI, in Windows 8.1 you don't need a third-party utility to boot to the desktop.
                                    >
                                    > Get to the desktop, right click on the taskbar, select Navigation, and check "When I sign in...go to the desktop instead of Start".
                                    >
                                    > I also recommend selecting "show my desktop background on Start" so the Start screen is less visually disruptive.
                                    >
                                    > Microsoft probably ought to make those settings a little easier to access, and I think the former may now be the default on non-touch systems, but at least they did address the most material problem with Windows 8.0.
                                    >
                                    > If you want the Win XP/Vista/7 start menu, however, you still need a third-party utility... but honestly, once I got used to it, I actually came to prefer the Windows 8.1 start screen even on my non-touch PC.
                                    >
                                    > I concur that Windows 8.1 is at least as stable as Windows 7. And, for whatever it's worth, Windows 8 is probably the most keyboard-friendly OS Microsoft has released since DOS, thanks to the (admittedly poorly documented) available keyboard shortcuts.
                                    >
                                    > Michael / N1EN
                                    >
                                    > W4TV wrote:
                                    >
                                    > What most people perceive as the "abomination of Windows 8.1" is still
                                    > related to the lack of a functioning desktop. Those issues can all be
                                    > resolved by downloading, installing and configuring the free Classic
                                    > Shell. I have Classic Shell configured to give me a Windows 7 style
                                    > Start Menu, to bypass the Metro interface on start-up and disable the
                                    > hot corners. With that configuration I can switch between Windows 7
                                    > and Windows 8 systems with no difference in the user interface.
                                    >
                                    >
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