November 1st, 2012
Source – Linky
Expandable storage is a wonderful thing, but its implementation can sometimes leave something to be desired. Take Windows 8, for instance — its photo, movie and music apps leverage Windows libraries to access users’ media collections, but won’t allow users to include removable storage in the app-accessed party of indexed folders. Sure, you can keep all your media on one device, but half it will need to be accessed in a slightly roundabout way. This simply wasn’t good enough for Toni Fowlie, who wanted all of her media — from both her Surface’s local storage and its microSD card — to appear in the same library. She used an old NTFS feature to trick Windows into thinking her microSD was part of her device’s local storage, and her efforts are worth sharing.
For what it’s worth, Toni’s little trick is hardly new, and it’s not unique to Windows 8 users — it’s actually a feature of the NTFS file system. It’s called a junction point, and put simply, it acts like regular directory, but points all actions to a remote folder. At first, this sounds a bit like a standard Windows shortcut — but since this operation is working in the file system itself, rather than as a part of the Windows shell, programs, windows explorer and the command prompt all play along with the redirection nicely. There are programs available that can help you set up a junction point, but Toni opted for the old fashion method — the command prompt.
Before creating the junction, Toni laid down some groundwork: a target folder in her root C:\ drive and four media directories on her SD card — one for each library: documents, music, pictures and videos. A prompt command then made the links: mklink /j c:\sd2\d d:\documents, for example, creates a junction point with the label “d,” which acts like a folder and links directly to the documents directory on the device’s SD card. Finally, Toni added the created junctions to Windows 8’s list of indexed locations and included those locations in the appropriate libraries. Viola! Extra storage for all that extra media, and easily accessible in Windows 8’s fancy apps, too. Although this feature isn’t exclusive to Microsoft’s latest operating system by any means, it’s certainly a useful workaround for users who want to leverage their removable media in a more integrated way. You’ll be glad you did — both Windows RT andWindows 8 Pro seem stumble over library permissions. Even if you don’t echo Toni’s clever setup, junction points are still a great tool to keep in your troubleshooting arsenal. Not into mucking around in the classic command prompt? Don’t sweat it, this dance can also be done in the Disk Management menu — check out Paul Thurrott’s tutorial at the more coverage link below tie your directories togetherwithout typing.
Steve Dent contributed to this post.
August 24th, 2012
Source – Linky
When users found out that Microsoft’s (MSFT) next version of Windows wouldn’t have a Start button, they panicked. Replaced in Windows 8 by the user interface formerly known as “Metro,” that tiny button is apparently so important to long-time Windows users that they can’t imagine life without it. Rest easy, neophobes — adding the Start button back to Windows 8 is easy and free, and we’ll show you how.
Microsoft spent a lot of time putting together a fresh new user interface for Windows Phone and Windows 8, and we can likely expect some form of the tile-based UI to carry over to Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox as well when it launches next year. Change isn’t always easy though, and lucky for those unhappy with the idea of ditching the Start button, third-party developers have you covered.
Windows developer Ivo Beltchev has created a utility called Classic Shell that works with Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. In Windows Vista and 7, the utility allows users to bring back the classic Windows Start menu layout and customize it in a number of ways. In Windows 8, Classic Shell adds the Start button back to a user’s desktop and provides the same classic customizable Start Menu it does in older Windows builds.
A full list of Classic Shell functions from the developer’s site:
- Drag and drop to let you organize your applications
- Options to show Favorites, expand Control Panel, etc
- Shows recently used documents. The number of documents to display is customizable
- Translated in 35 languages, including Right-to-left support for Arabic and Hebrew
- Does not disable the original start menu in Windows. You can access it by Shift+Click on the start button
- Right-click on an item in the menu to delete, rename, sort, or perform other tasks
- The search box helps you find your programs without getting in the way of your keyboard shortcuts
- Available for 32 and 64-bit operating systems
- Has support for skins, including additional 3rd party skins
- Fully customizable in both looks and functionality
- Support for Microsoft’s Active Accessibility
- Converts the “All Programs” button in the Windows menu into a cascading menu (Vista and Windows 7)
- Implements a customizable Start button (Windows 7 and 8)
- And last but not least – it’s FREE!
Classic Shell is available as a free, donation-supported utility that can be downloaded directly from the app’s Sourceforge page — and even if you’re afraid of Microsoft’s new UI, be sure to check out our full preview of Microsoft’s post-post-PC platform, Windows 8.
February 29th, 2012
quote of the day from BGR on Windows 8 consumer preview
“The download comes in around 3GB and if you don’t feel like jumping on your neighbor’s super speedy unsecured Wi-Fi connection, you could always… take your laptop to an Apple store and use their insanely fast Wi-Fi. Oh, yeah.”