Thanks for the replies. I'll take a look at "Start is Back". I found "Classic Shell" and have been organizing things. It works pretty well, but I'll take a look at "Start is Back".
As for the "Desktop Toolbar" you can add me to the multitudes that have never heard of it. I looked it up and couldn't even find any reference to it for 8.1. Can you elaborate on what it is and why it's better than a start menu? How do I create it, what does it does that's better than a start menu, etc?
And how do I get to the TWO screens of the Metro screen? So far, nothing I"ve found even says there are 2 screens. Or are the irrelevant and I can ignore the whole Metro thing? Just out of curiosity I'd like to see the screens.
BTW: I also removed at least 90% of the "modern" apps. One of the few I haven't dumped is OneDrive and that's 'cause it won't let me delete it (so far).
As far as the desktop. Yes, I know I can put a massive number of icons on it, but I've always found that to be really slow and cumbersome 'cause the windows obscure them and I was constantly shoving stuff around to get to things.
I like the layout CountMike has, but I do primarily image processing so I don't want anything on the desktop
that's going to clash. All my backgrounds are middle gray - 127,127,127.
I did what you suggested and bott directly to the desktop and now have a start menu.
Just for fun I just created a Program toolbar. What does it do that the start menu doesn't? It looks interesting but what features make it better than a menu alternative?
At least at this point, 8.1 is usable, and I have most of the software installed so I can switch syatems soon and actually try doing some actual work!
How do I run a command that goes there no matter where you are? I haven't found one.