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WINDOWS NEWS:  We’ve finally updated to Windows 8 (actually 8.1) and are now posting new instruction sheets for it (see left column). So far, we don’t mind the changes that Microsoft has made; it seems that Windows 8.1 starts up much faster than all previous versions of Windows, but this could be because we’ve built a new computer for it (see the specs here). The Windows 8.1 version can be set to boot up directly to the desktop instead of the new “Start” screen with the large tiles for touch-screens. The new Start button in the lower left-hand corner doesn’t bring up the Windows 7-style Start menu; instead, it brings up the new "modern" (formerly "metro") screen. If you want to replace this action with a Windows 7-style (or even a Windows XP-style) Start menu, you can download and install a utility or small program called “Classic Shell” from

This utility restores All Programs, which will bring up all of the programs you have on your computer. This saves a little time in finding the programs you want even if you have a touch-screen device. (We still like using a keyboard and mouse.)


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