Upgrading to Windows 8.1 – The Results

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The Start button is back and you may now have your beloved desktop directly up after booting. Those were some of the things that you’ll get after upgrading to the free Windows 8.1. Here’s what I found out so far.

Windows 8.1 with Start button and SecureBoot problem.

Fig. 1 Windows 8.1 with Start button and SecureBoot problem.

Yup. The Start button is back but the Start Menu isn’t. Geez, Microsoft! I thought it was a package deal thing – Start button with a start menu. There were some who even pointed this one out when 8.1 Preview was released. But Microsoft is really stubborn. The new Start button just switches your desktop to the Start screen. Right-clicking it would bring out a power user menu. Win+X will also bring out this menu.

Power User Menu

Fig. 2 Power User Menu

I also had the SecureBoot problem (Fig. 1) as my SecureBoot isn’t enabled yet. Design-wise, it’s almost just the same. Moving some panels from one side to another. The search function (Win+Q) will now slide a search everything panel on the left on the screen. Win+Q opens an “Everything Search”, Win+W is for “Settings Search”, while a Win+F is for “File Search”. Bing is also integrated in the search if you opted to use it during the configuration phase of the installation.


Fig. 3 Search

There are also added options for personalization for when the Start screen is up.

If you haven’t configured your Windows 8.1 to go directly to Desktop after booting, just right-click on an open space on the Taskbar and select Properties. Go to Navigation tab and check the first option in the Start screen area (When I sign in or close…).

If you want reviews for Windows 8.1, you may want to check out articles from ExtremeTech, The Verge, TechRadar, and PCWorld.

Friday is Free Day – Orbit Downloader

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Third-party download managers makes the process of downloading files from the web faster. They also provide you options to pause and resume the task. On today’s Friday is Free Day, I’ll feature Orbit Downloader and share other tasks it can do.

Orbit Downloader

Orbit Downloader

Orbit Downloader is a free download manager for Windows. Just like any other download manager, Orbit splits the file into chunks and downloads the segmented file in parallel – making the download faster compared to built-in download managers of web browsers. Once installed, the “Download by Orbit” task is added on your browser’s context menu. This app works with browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Netscape, Safari, Opera, and Maxthon. It supports the following protocols:

3. FTP
4. MMS

Grab++ is another feature of Orbit. It enables users to grab streaming music and videos from YouTube, Metacafe, Pandora, and MySpace. Just hover your mouse pointer on a video and a “GetIt” menu will appear.

One problem with Orbit is that it hijacks certain browser settings after you install – like changing the homepage and search engine. This may be avoided by doing a customized installation where you can specify if the app will override your browser settings or not.

You may download Orbit from it’s website.

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PacMan Doodle

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Chomp! Chomp!

Chomp! Chomp!

In case you didn’t know or you weren’t able to see it, Google rolled out the PacMan doodle to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the game’s release last Saturday, May 22. However, this doodle is different from the others – it’s interactive and playable.  And yes, it’s now available for download and may be played offline.

The game may be downloaded from macek’s github page. Just click the “Download Source” button found on the upper right portion of the page. Extract the downloaded zip file and open the “index.html” document using your browser.

Sound issue is also resolved for the offline version. According to macek, you have to make flash trust your local SWF file. To do this, you must add the directory of your unzipped Google PacMan to the allow list using the Flash Control Panel.

On the Flash Control Panel:

1. Click “Edit Locations”.

2. Click “Add Location”.

3. Browse for your unzipped Google PacMan directory.

4. Click “Confirm”.

macek’s github page

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