In a recent quickie on running with Windows 8, I made the following comment -
The Windows 8 user interface is a radical departure from the traditional desktop UI and as such, it fails to satisfy my basic requirements. Since a desktop is my primary work unit, I have little interest in swiping features, keyboard shortcuts, slider menus and an OS navigation system designed with a Tablet PC, or a Smartphone, in mind.
After running with Win 8 for 30+ days, I haven’t revised my opinion regarding the Metro GUI – it still sucks. Nevertheless, Windows 8 has a lot to offer, including – vastly improved boot time, application load time is blazingly fast, memory footprint is very small, and the new Task manager (shown below), is a huge improvement over previous versions.
There’s little doubt that Win 8 advances computing technology in a number of very substantial ways, much beyond the few improvements I mentioned earlier – especially in that most important of areas – system security. All-in-all, I’m glad I didn’t bounce this OS off my test system after 7 days – my first response to the Metro GUI.
Learning to use a few basic keyboard shortcut navigation commands (not such a big deal), has vastly improved my comfort level with Microsoft’s new direction. But, the absence of the familiar Start Menu, which has been shunted aside in favor of an ineffective barebones replacement (shown below), has cramped my style somewhat.
For example – working through 2/3 levels of menus to restart/shutdown is inefficient (just one of the crunch points with this GUI), so I’ve installed one of my all-time favorite utilities – Right-Click Extender Version 2 – which added a Restart and a Shutdown command (shown below), to the Desktop context menu. Problem solved!
Right-Click Extender has proven to be one of the most important free utilities (considering my style of computing), I’ve yet found. It can add amazing functionality to various right click context menus.
If you missed my earlier review, and walkthrough, on Right-Click Extender Version 2, I’ve reposted it below. It’s worth a read/reread.
Right-Click Extender Version 2 – Adds Multiple Context Menu Commands
The “right click context menu” in Windows is a hidden gem. I know, you’re thinking – wait a minute, the right click context menu isn’t hidden, I use it all the time. And, I’ll bet you do. But, you might be surprised to learn, that if you were to ask an average user about this menu, the chances are pretty good that you’d get a blank look in return.
If you’re a power user and a fan of the right click context menu, then you’ll be interested in the Right-Click Extender Version 2 (released March 11, 2010) from The Windows Club, which will add a bag full of additional context menu support in the following categories – File/Folder, Desktop, Drives, and MyComputer.
Following installation and execution of this free application, setting up and selecting the context menu items best suited to your needs is a snap – as the following series of screen shots shows. (Clicking on any graphic will expand it to its original size).
File Folder Setup.
Desktop Menu Setup.
Desktop Menu Options Setup.
The following is an example, from my system, illustrating selective context menu items available to me on the Desktop following installation of the Right-Click Extender, Version 2.
The following is an example, from my system, illustrating selective Windows Explorer context menu items available to me, following installation of the Right-Click Extender Version 2.
File and Folder Options:
add or remove Copy To
add or remove Move To
add or remove Admin Command Prompt
add or remove Encrypt/Decrypt
add or remove File List Create
add or remove My Computer God Mode
add or remove Hide File
add or remove Unhide File
add or remove Hide Folder
add or remove Unhide Folder
add or remove Take Ownership
add or remove Flip3D
add or remove Desktop God Mode
add or remove Control Panel
add or remove Task Manager
add or remove Administrative Tools
add or remove Registry Editor
If the right click context menu is a tool you use frequently, installing Right-Click Extender Version 2, should help give a boost to your productivity.
System Requirements: Windows Vista, Windows 7 (sorry, not designed for Windows XP). As noted earlier, I’m running with Right-Click Extender Version 2 on Windows 8 with no problems.
Download at: MajorGeeks.com
The Windows Club offers a range of helpful Windows freeware apps – checkout their home page here.
If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.