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1406653200 Tech News Today
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1406664000 Security Now
1406671200 Before You Buy
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Wednesday, July 30

1406734200 FLOSS Weekly
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1406826000 Tech News Today
1406829600 Know How...
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1406838600 Coding 101
1406842200 Home Theater Geeks
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1407002400 The Tech Guy

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1407088800 The Tech Guy
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1407171600 Tech News Today
1407175200 Triangulation
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1407258000 Tech News Today
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1407268800 Security Now
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1407339000 FLOSS Weekly
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1407430800 Tech News Today
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1407443400 Coding 101
1407447000 Home Theater Geeks
1407452400 Tech News 2Night
1407454200 The Giz Wiz
1407463200 OMGcraft

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Know How... 32

Make Windows 8 Act Like Windows 7

February 21 2013

We'll show you a bunch of ways you can add functionality back to Windows 8.

The Windows 8 interface is a stark departure from Windows 7. The biggest change is the Start screen. Hitting the Windows key brings you to a tiled interface that some people don't want to see. Microsoft doesn't include a way to automatically launch to the desktop, but there is software out there.

Skip Metro Suite will allow you to start Windows running the desktop instead of the Start screen.

Windows 8 does not have a Start button, instead opting for the Start screen. Classic Shell can bring back a free version of the Start button. It's plenty customizable as well. Classic Shell can also start you off on the desktop.

A paid alternative called Retro UI combines the Win 8 and Win 7 experiences. $5 for a consumer version. You'd be able to run Modern apps (formerly "Metro" apps) on the desktop in resizable Windows.

Microsoft also dropped support for gadgets from Windows 8. You can bring them back with 8GadgetPack. It supports your old Windows 7 gadgets if you'd like.

Windows 8 doesn't have built-in DVD support. VLC to the rescue. It's the swiss army knife of media players. We highly suggest it for any platform.

Media Center is no longer in Windows by default either. You can always buy Media Center from Microsoft. If you've got Windows 8 Pro, it's in Control Panel > Add Features to Windows 8 > I want to buy a product key. It will run you $10, but it's Media Center. However, there is a free option and that's XBMC. The free XBMC runs on a number of platforms and Version 12 includes PVR functionality. XBMC is very powerful and has a bunch of extensions like ways to watch web video.

E-mail

I'm using minidlna on my Raspberry Pi for my Media Server. Any DLNA capable device is able to connect to it and play movies, music and view pictures.

Donald R. Smiley

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People: Leo Laporte