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NoelC

A REALLY USEFUL Win 8.1 Desktop

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Re-reading your comments, jaclaz, I came to realize all the issues you've mentioned are important to me as well, but I've solved the need for a Really Useful CMD window via a more conventional approach (a CMD.exe shortcut on the desktop).

 

CMDIcon.png

 

  • Opens in a predictable place.  Believe me, I do know why this is important.  I'm a very positional thinker.  In my case the icon is always in the same place, down near my recycle bin at the bottom-right of the center monitor - a place that's almost always visible.  And it's the same exact icon I've used since it really WAS an MS-DOS command window.  The CMD window opens in the same place on the screen every time owing to settings made through the window's system menu (basically, unchecking "[ ] Let system position window").
     
  • Useful when you simply *need* to run a quick command.  I mentioned that the icon is virtually always visible down there, because I never do anything full-screen or maximized.  In my case, probably owing to the fact that I'm running my entire system from SSD, a fresh CMD window opens up instantly.  Really, the only delay whatsoever is in the Aero animation, which literally takes a small fraction of a second.  I know that can be disabled to gain that 0.3 second, but I happen to like the animation.
     
  • Transparency that is less "impacting" visually than other solutions.  I'm not personally fond of trying to do actual work on semi-transparent surfaces, but to each his own.  In my case, I prefer dark astronomical backgrounds, so the CMD window (which I run with bright green text on a black background) isn't intrusive at all.  Not anything like the eye-searing Office 365, which gives you a tan when you use it.  I use the 10x18 font, which is very readable, for my CMD window.  I'm glad they've never deprecated it since way back.

 

Normally my CMD windows open up at 144 columns by 25 rows and don't have the scroll bar at the bottom; this one's been downsized for the screen grab so that everyone doesn't need to look at a huge blank space.

 

TypicalSFCResult.png

 

-Noel

Edited by NoelC

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Sure :).

 

The commodity (which however is replaceable to a certain extent by using *any* hotkey program) is the following (in my perverted mind ;)):

  1. I am going to use a cmd prompt window
  2. most of the time I have my hands on the keyboard
  3. in a command prompt window one needs to use the keyboard to interact with the system
  4. by pressing a hotkey combo (Alt+\ in my case) I open the dropdown command prompt AND I already have the "focus" on it's command line
  5. then I type in it a command and get the result
  6. then I press the SAME hotkey combo and the cmd prompt "vanishes" (but if I re-press the key combo it gets back still with the result of the previous command)
  7. when the cmd window is "wrapped up" focus (cursor) is returned to the app I was working with before step #4 above

Consider how in all the above I have NOT touched the mouse, nor moved my hands from the keyboard at any time.

 

 

jaclaz

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Sure :).

 

The commodity (which however is replaceable to a certain extent by using *any* hotkey program) is the following (in my perverted mind ;)):

  1. I am going to use a cmd prompt window
  2. most of the time I have my hands on the keyboard
  3. in a command prompt window one needs to use the keyboard to interact with the system
  4. by pressing a hotkey combo (Alt+\ in my case) I open the dropdown command prompt AND I already have the "focus" on it's command line
  5. then I type in it a command and get the result
  6. then I press the SAME hotkey combo and the cmd prompt "vanishes" (but if I re-press the key combo it gets back still with the result of the previous command)
  7. when the cmd window is "wrapped up" focus (cursor) is returned to the app I was working with before step #4 above

Consider how in all the above I have NOT touched the mouse, nor moved my hands from the keyboard at any time.

 

 

jaclaz

Sounds like a description of linux. ;)

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I don't really have much to contribute to this thread, but I just thought I'd tell you guys about a program I dug up from my archives about 8 months ago. It's a program called "DisplaySet", and is basically a replacement for Windows 7's "advanced appearance options" dialog. Funny thing is, it's from ~2000-2001.
 
Download it from HERE. Guaranteed virus and malware free.

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Well, since this thread is about usable desktops, I had asked on some other thread in the Windows 8x section whether or not the classic desktop was actually just buried underneath Aero in Windows 8.1.  I believed it had been, so I downloaded a tool into my 8.1 VM, and though it appeared risky, I was about to turf the VM anyway.

 

It claims to restore the classic desktop.  Well, there are some rough edges, but it does restore the classic desktop non-skinned elements for real.

 

(EDIT!!! I had to remove the old image to upload the new ones below)

Edited by JodyT

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Just another to show the file/save dialog box.

 

(EDIT!!! I had to remove the old image to upload the new ones below)

Edited by JodyT

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I'll provide the link and EVEN BETTER NEWS.  He just posted a new version a couple of days days ago.  Now IE 11 and the taskbar work with aplomb!

 

http://bertrand.deo.free.fr/TEMP/w8classic.zip

 

The only bug I can see is that Control Panel -> Personalization does not render.  Other than that, unzip the executable, run it, and then after log off and back in again.  Then run the executable again to patch IE 11 (so it now appears like classic looking IE), and then also choose the "Configure Theme" button to access Advanced Properties (just like you used to in Vista and 7)

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Here are some screenshots with the new revision, plus Classic Shell.  I also imported my Vista classic desktop metrics and colours.

 

post-321225-0-30239800-1415766359_thumb.

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Here's the second one showing the Classic Shell Start Menu, Control Panel and "This PC" properties.

 

post-321225-0-03871700-1415766476_thumb.

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