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.
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.
see also Wikipedia article.
and Dos Box,
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”
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 start Menu
Alex briefly touched on the new search engine which is no longer restricted to your hard drive but can be set to search everywhere.
He then introduced us to the ‘Meet Windows 8.1’ site.
and went on to talk about the free tutorials Microsoft has made available.
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.
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"
Alex arrange an interesting group of items for tonight’s raffle,
Including 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 John Matthews took home the door prize. (Not pictured)