Finally got a new machine (Toshiba Satellite C75), with Windows 8.1, and despite all the negative hype, it doesn't suck. My wife has had a Windows 8 computer for a while now, and I had explained that teh way to think about it was as two separate operating systems: the old, mouse-oriented one; and the new, touch-oriented one. She's adapted well to that.

But playing on my own machine made me realize that's the wrong mindset. I now treat the Start screen as a big Start menu, organized with all the programs I want the way I want them. The first thing was to remove all the junk that was on there (I kept the weather app and the news but that's it) and start pinning my programs (Notepad++, Chrome, Git Bash, etc). Now it's Windows key or mouse lower-left, then type or click what I want. I had to write a few .bat files and pin the shortcuts to get websites to open in Chrome, but that works as well.

Now to see what all the fuss with IE 11 is about...

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