Power8 - Start menu replacer for Windows8

Discussion in 'Windows 8 Help and Support' started by HackDesigner, May 20, 2012.

  1. HackDesigner

    HackDesigner Active Member

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    Hi All!

    My colleague and I are writing the start menu replacer for Win8.

    At the moment it's free, open-source and works under ХР, 7 and 8.

    What it can do, what it will do, how does it look like, download 7z archive, etc. - welcome to GoogleCode:
    Power8 - The start menu replacer for Win8 - GoogleCode

    I appreciate if you will find a moment to evaluate this software.

    P.S. There's a known startup issue if you have C-Media drivers installed. Tomorrrow (21.05.12) there'll be a hotfix for that.
     
  2. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Thank you.
    Testing it now.
    Seems efficient enough and a reasonable alternative. I like the way it does not seem to impact any existing navigation methods already native to Windows 8.
    I know it is a work in progress so I'm looking forward to updates and improvements. I am also interested in knowing why there appears to be double Start Menu (buttons?) on the left side? Are you planning to use one as a possible jump list function? Perhaps a more conventional name of one or the other would help, something more like "All Programs". Also the placement of the actual program button on the taskbar. Because it is at the extreme bottom left it makes it a little difficult to operate while avoiding the native desktop to start page toggle. Perhaps if it was either slightly larger or located a bit more to the right of where it is now to provide some seperation.
    Regards
    Randy
     
  3. HackDesigner

    HackDesigner Active Member

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    Hi Randy
    Thanks for the interest, I'll try to answer all 1-by-1 :)
    > I like the way it does not seem to impact any existing navigation methods already native to Windows 8.
    Yep, as well as not impacting the system. P8 runs in a separate process, so unlike certain alternatives it can't crash Explorer or make glitches to it. (However there possible a hang in case P8 crashes until Windows Error reporting window isn't closed)

    >why there appears to be double Start Menu (buttons?) on the left side?
    2nd "Start menu" is just a placeholder at the moment. Don't pay attention to it until Alpha 4 (see project roadmap). It will be also updated in beta 1.

    >Are you planning to use one as a possible jump list function?
    Yep, it is goal for beta. Beta will have a list of already run programs in place where 2nd "Start menu" is located now, just like it's in W7. And as it's done in w7, there will be a dynamic list of command-line arguments, extended with jump lists. Just we'll do it better allowing user visually pin/unpin items.

    >Perhaps a more conventional name of one or the other would help, something more like "All Programs"
    Well it is exactly like it was in the beginning - "All programs", hard-coded. Then we implemented automatic resolving of folders and files localized names, and "Start menu" became extracted automatically. This means 2 things:
    1) This is how Windows really references the folder - it is "Start menu" first of all;
    2) You can customize it! Open C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Desktop.ini (hidden), and set "All programs" or whatever you like after "LocalizedResourceName=".
    Later on we can make it customizable also via P8 UI, but not in 1.0 because there will be no settings window for now :)

    > the placement of the actual program button on the taskbar. Because it is at the extreme bottom left it makes it a little difficult to operate while avoiding the native desktop to start page toggle. Perhaps if it was either slightly larger or located a bit more to the right of where it is now to provide some separation.
    So the question in general is "Why is the button located there?"
    Part 1. Location in taskbar and size.
    Let's have a look at current Taskbar layout by default:
    [empty*][Appz Zone][Panels, e.g. QuickLaunch][Tray icons][Language][Date/Time][Show Desktop button]
    *free space, width equal to "Show desktop button" + 1
    So this is the only free space in taskbar we can use without intruding into Explorer process (which is important point for me).
    As logical continuation, the size of p8 main button equals to "Show desktop" button. Making it wider or moving will result in hovering 1st app item and we'll need to have something inside Explorer - like Start8 or Classic Start menu or many else do.
    Part 2. Location on screen
    As for location in the screen - well, it depends on your settings :) For 16*9/16*10 screens MS recommends docking the taskbar to the right screen edge. I find it quite handy by the way, this is how my all systems are set up. In case you want horizontal taskbar - try moving it to the top of the screen. You can move the taskbar without switching P8 off - it supports dynamic taskbar reconfiguration, together with "hide taskbar" option :)

    If that's not an option too - try Alt+Z hotkey. It will bring the P8 window in the screen corner closest to your mouse pointer regardless where the taskbar really is. This is also useful since P8 supports multi-monitor configurations.

    Finally, if you have a better idea - we are open to suggestions :)

    Best regards
    Mike.
     
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  4. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Alt + Z, very handy. Thanks for the tip.
    As far as Microsoft's recommendation as to where I should dock my taskbar ..... they don't seem to listen to other peoples recommendations so I feel relatively comfortable ignoring theirs.
    Good work, I like it so far. In the mean time I'll keep an eye on the roadmap and watch you hit your milestones.
    Regards
    Randy
     
  5. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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  6. HackDesigner

    HackDesigner Active Member

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    Hello everyone,

    we've just released Power8 Alpha III Release 2!

    Support for removable and Ram drives, drive labels, MSI installer, Auto-update, and a heap of fixes and enhancements (full list as usual at Changelog project page).

    Don't hesitate to contact developers if you have a feature request or suggestion :)

    Have a nice day.
     
  7. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Look'n Good.
    Thanks for keeping us updated.
    Regards
    Randy
     
  8. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Seems to have no issues that I can find so far with the latest "Release Preview" of Windows 8
     
  9. HackDesigner

    HackDesigner Active Member

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    Hi
    Well, there appears to be one, on RU version system shutdown command logoff parameter seems to be broken, so P8 can't logoff you, at least one friend of mine reported this. Hope MS will fix this to RTM )
     
  10. HackDesigner

    HackDesigner Active Member

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    Hello people!

    We released Power8 Alpha4 yesterday!

    This time it's 3-way search, and better layout on non-Aero systems.
    I suggest reading Feature Details page of Power8 wiki to get deeper understanding of Search feature.

    P8 should update automatically, but if not - use Download section of Power8 site.

    Please post your feedback here or via comments of P8 site/directly to developers, we appreciate all ideas and suggestions :)

    Best wishes!

    P.S. "log off problem" - fixed :)
     
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  11. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Tested and can confirm that the "log off" feature is, in fact, fixed and that auto-update worked..... well, automatically.
    Thanks for keeping us in the loop.
    Regards
    Randy
     
  12. Medico

    Medico Senior Member

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    I just found this thread. Had I known about it earlier, I probably would have tried this first, but when I did a Google search a few days ago I found other ones, including "Classic Start" which I'm now using.

    If I want to try out Power8, do I first need to remove Classic Start? Or, is it possible to leave them both installed simultaneously?
     
  13. HackDesigner

    HackDesigner Active Member

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    You can install Power8, it will not conflict with other such utilities/operating system.
    But I cannot guarantee you'll see it :) It depends on how does your current StartMenu program behaves to place itself inside task bar.

    Try launching it, there will be no harm. In worst case, Power8 will die itself :)

    BTW, you can download not installer, but a 7z archive. Just unpack 7z anywhere (even on your Desktop) and run P8 non-installed - you'll see if it works together with Classic Start or not.
     
  14. HackDesigner

    HackDesigner Active Member

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    Good day!

    we have just released Power8 Beta 1!

    Finally, Metro blocking, recent applications, Jump lists support (even on XP) and more.

    P8 should update automatically, but if not - use Download section of Power8 site.

    Please post your feedback here or via comments of P8 site/directly to developers, we appreciate all ideas and suggestions

    Best wishes!
     
  15. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    After the auto update kicked in and updated my current (no problem) running version of Power8.exe everything seemed fine until I rebooted.
    Upon reboot, since I have it running at startup I got the message seen in the attachment. Attempting to start it manually results in the same problem.
    Please advise
     

    Attached Files:

  16. HackDesigner

    HackDesigner Active Member

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    Hi Trouble,
    For the moment, please revert to 0.4.0; as for the problem - I think I know the cause, but can you send me privately the %localappdata%\Power8_Team\LaunchData.csv?
     
  17. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Dropped it on Skype session chat window, you should be able to grab it from there.
     
  18. HackDesigner

    HackDesigner Active Member

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    Hi everyone!

    We've just released Power8 RC1! *hooray*
    Get it

    Pin/Unpin functions, better user interaction when searching, better search results (want to get "Plants Vs Zombies" by typing "pvz"? ;)), first translations (Russian and Swedish languages), and a big load of fixes and enhancements.
    Know more

    The release is closer each day. Thank you for the support and feedback, it gives us the power to move further :)
     
  19. Browntellis

    Browntellis New Member

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  20. HackDesigner

    HackDesigner Active Member

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    Hi everyone!
    We were silent about Release 1.0, but it... well, it happened some time ago.
    Today we released Hotfix 1 for version 1.0. And here go great news with this version:
    1) the hotfix contains a number of stability improvements (see https://code.google.com/p/power8/wiki/Changelog ), in particular, Power8 won't die anymore in unpredictable moments, for example when you working with network files;
    2) this version is tested on both builds 8400 & 9020. Power8 works with W8 RTM!

    At the moment we're in progress of collecting your requests and ideas for further versions. Please take a look at the https://code.google.com/p/power8/wiki/FeatureRequests page and if your wish is not yet noted/discussed - feel free to comment here/there or write us an email.

    Browntellis, that article is bit outdated. Toolbar method works to create very simple menu with no other functions, ans as for ViStart - just check their Softpedia "100% clean" banner. It leads to "404 Not Found" page. :) Our one is ok.
     

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