Monthly Main Meeting Highlights

Welcome to our January 2014 Main Meeting.

Our first for 2014.

Tonight we were scheduled to have Microsoft present Windows 8.1 in detail. Unfortunately our presenter come down with a virus and had to re-schedule to February. Luckily Alex stepped up to the plate and gave us a few insights into what we can expect.

Windows 8.1 logo

To start the night Robert continued his tutorial series and expanded on the network storage lecture in November of last year  Here are the notes with a brief discussion on how to create a NAS storage system using any old computer. See notes

This was followed by a lively Q and A with a range of issues raised including how to use a variety of Virtual Machine simulators to run older software. Alex mentioned two simulators, Virtual Box.

Virtual Box slide

see also Wikipedia article.

and Dos Box,

Dos Box Slide

see Wikipedia article.

In anticipation of what we can expect from Microsoft next month, Alex highlighted some of the basic improvements in Windows 8.1.

 He started by demonstrating how the apps start screen display has been enhanced to arrange the display by “date installed”

Start screen date view slide

by “name”.

Windows start screen date view slide

Or “date installed”

We then discussed the much missed START button. While Microsoft has brought it back, it is still basic. If you need a more comprehensive one Alex had these few suggestions; “After Start 8” and “Modernmix” from Stardock.

After Start is a $4.99 application which will restore a comprehensive start button.

While Modernmix gives your apps desktop like controls such as the MINIMISE, RESTORE or CLOSE buttons. In effect making your apps work like any desktop program. If you like, you can download both apps in combo for $7.99

If you don’t want to spend money there is Classic Shell.

Classic Shell Web Site slide

Classic Shell start Menu

Classic shell start menu slide

Alex briefly touched on the new search engine which is no longer restricted to your hard drive but can be set to search everywhere.

Search bar slide

He then introduced us to the ‘Meet Windows 8.1’ site.

Window 8.1 Tutorial site slide

and went on to talk about the free tutorials Microsoft has made available.

Windows How To slide

He also recommended an article in Information Week which despite the title “8 reasons to Hate Windows 8.1” is a great rundown on the new features of 8.1.

Information Week slide

To wind up Alex spoke to an article in PC World describing the enhancements that appear on the horizon for the next update of 8.1. "Windows-8-1-update-1-everything-we-know-so-far"

Article in Windows 8.1 Update, What we know so far slide

The Raffle

Alex arrange an interesting group of items for tonight’s raffle,

Raffle prizes

Including the “Extender Arm”

Alex domonstrating the Extender Arm

which Alex is demonstrating, it has a lock device so you can lock on an object such as a light bulb and unscrew it. Tonight’s winners were;










and Allan,

And John Matthews took home the door prize. (Not pictured)




Club's logo