Posted by: patenttranslator | January 8, 2013

Ah, The Wonders Of Windows 8!

Ah, the wonders of technology! Just about every day I discover new wondrous things that one can do these days thanks to new developments in information technology.

For instance, when I point my car’s remote control at my car and press the button to lock or unlock it, my neighbor’s car’s lights flash and the car beeps if the car is parked not far from my house. That must mean that he too could use his remote to open my car if I park it in the driveway.

But that is not all. If my dog Lucy gets too close to a very expensive, gas-guzzling SUV of another neighbor of mine when I am walking her, and she likes to do that because she loves to smell tailgates for some reason the way women love to smell roses, the car beeps, the lights flash, and the car starts itself! I am not kidding! It must be some kind of a really super cool animal-machine interface that the car designers created without even realizing it. Since the technology for self-driving cars has been already developed and patented, it is probably only a matter of time before car stealing rings of criminals start employing this remarkable animal-machine interface to steal expensive cars.

I bought a new laptop sort of as a Christmas present for myself last month because the old one, which I had for only a few months, gave up its ghost after my return from Europe three months ago. I was able to check my e-mail with it and do the things that I normally do on my computer while on vacation because the hotels where I stayed had wireless Internet access, which meant that I was able to confirm a couple of translation jobs that were waiting for me here when I got back from my vacation. But the laptop somehow became damaged during the trip back, either by airport baggage handlers (I have seen how they handle baggage), or by the X ray machines. All it shows now is a death screen with pixels creating an abstract painting that sort of looks like a greenish lotus flower painted by Picasso who had too much Absinthe one night.

So I bought me a new, cheap laptop with Windows 8 installed on it. I was kind of hoping that this update of Windows would be again mostly sparkle ponies and rainbows like the previous updates, a new, shiny interface that would be fairly easy to use to get access to old, familiar functions.

But I absolutely detest this new interface in Windows 8. Because it is designed for touch devices: phones, tablets, and computers provided with a touch screen, it makes the computer extremely difficult to use for people who use a keyboard with a mouse. I have had it for about a month now and I am still struggling mightily with the basic function hiding behind the new interface.

There should be an option in Windows 8 for “Classic Mode” that would make it work like Vista or Windows 7. All these new application buttons seem irrelevant when you have a computer with a mouse. I tried to put some of them to use, but could not figure out why or how. There probably is no “Classic Mode” button in Windows 8 because all computer users with a mouse and a keyboard would immediately switch to it and stay there.

Plus the one Microsoft application that I really need, Microsoft Paint, is so well hidden in the new interface that I thought that since I could not find, it had been redesigned into something called Fresh Paint, which does not seem to work at all, at least for me. I have been using Microsoft Paint for scanning-in figures from foreign patents into my English translations for about 10 years now because it is very simple to use and because it was instantly available to me every time when I bought a new desktop or laptop computer and like most translators, I bought a lot of them in the last 10 years.

Fortunately, an alert reader of my blog pointed out that Paint is still available even in Windows 8, see comment from Roman in the Comments below.

I think that Microsoft decided to drastically redesign Windows 8 in this manner because the people running the company were asleep at the wheel while Apple’s iPod, iPhone and iPad and devices using Google’s Android operating system were selling like hotcakes, making Microsoft irrelevant.

But with this late entry of Microsoft into the new market for clever devices of the 21st century, Microsoft created an operating system that is not suitable at all for those of us who became comfortable with a mouse and a keyboard over the last 3 decades.

Since Apple is so greedy, I really have no choice but to keep learning new Microsoft operating system upgrades. I will continue using iPhone, but that is the only Apple product that I am willing to pay for. Hopefully, I will figure out in another year or two how Microsoft’s Fresh Vomit works.

I tried to make Lucy come to my new laptop and sniff it with her ears up and the pensive look on her face in the hope that her magical dog powers would somehow trigger in me a Satori moment in which all the mysteries of Windows 8 would suddenly be revealed to me.

But that did not happen. Lucy may know how to remotely start a car, but not even she can do anything about Windows 8.


  1. Steve, to have the precious Start Button back, you can download Classic Shell:

    And if you feel comfortable enough changing things in Windows, you can try some more things here:



  2. Thank you very much.

    I will take a look at it.

    But what about Fresh Vomit Paint?


  3. You can try with this:

    If that one doesn’t work for you, keep in mind that Windows may have many drawbacks but there’s always some piece of software somewhere on the internet to do what you need to do.

    Good luck!


  4. OK, thanks again!


  5. Steve, there was in the 80’s a slogan of a research institute (I don’t remember which one it was) that reads: “Do what is thinkable and think what is doable.”

    Someone shortened the slogan to “Thinkable is doable.”

    When your dog Lucy can “sniff off” an SUV, I am pretty sure that there will be soon another dog who can “piss off” Windows 8. 😮

    Software versions are just like that: when you get used to an old one, they ask you to update to a new one. They do what is thinkable and think what is not doable for a common mortal like me. I am still using my Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7. I don’t even have an iPhone or Android. But I have some humans around me. That suffices.


    • You hit the nail on the head – I need more humans around me.


    • BTW, to you choice of “Una lacrima sul viso,” I would like you listen to “Va cayendo una lagrima en tu mejilla” sung by Los Iracundos. You can find a lot of their songs in Youtube.

      You don’t listen to South American music often, do you? Try Los Iracundos. This group started their career in Paysandu, Paraguay with songs of Nicola di Bari and developed their own style later. I like them very much.

      There is another group, Los Kjarkas, that I like. It is a Bolivian group. However, their only hit was “Llorando se fue” which was copied by Kaoma and became known as Lambada two decades ago. They don’t produce any striking music anymore since a quarter century.

      The following is “Llorando se fue” with the typical dance of Caporales of the city Cochabamba, Bolivia. Because of the musical instruments, it sounds a bit away from Lambada. Los Kjarkas was indemnified by Kaoma for the plagiat of this song. I hope you enjoy Bolivan music, too.


      • I must have heard this song with lyrics in English somewhere but don’t remember any details.


      • Try watch?v=X3DT6Q-5Kv8 on Youtube. This English version is pretty well translated from the Kaoma Brasilian version, but not the Kjarkas version.

        You find also a Japanese version on Youtube.


      • Wenjer, you are not usually wrong, but I do have to correct your info here. Los Iracundos is a group of back when I was young, from the very own town I lived in – Paysandú – which is located in Uruguay, not Paraguay. Sound-alikes, I’ll give you that, but there all similarity ends. I remember reading in The Quiet American, by Graham Greene, a sentence that ran like this: “Paraguay or Uruguay, who cares?” and it irked me no end. I never take it too hard because I may commit the same sin regarding other little-known parts of the globe, but I do take it upon myself to make the distinction when the opportunity arises.
        Have a splendid weekend, listening to the (Uruguayan) Los Iracundos!


      • Ah, thanks, Nelida, I made a mistake. It is Uruguay, not Paraguay.

        I have been listening to Los Iracundos since the 80’s. Wonderful songs.


      • And here is what Latinos turned Anglos did to this song (Jennifer Lopez, sometime with Pittbul).

        This is how I heard this song first, with English lyrics. It must have been stolen by various music perpetrators in many countries many times.


  6. I’ve heard that Windows 8 is a dog of an OS (no offence to Lucy). Perhaps you need this:


    • That would just postpone the inevitable pain of having to learn a system that may be suitable for touch devices but not for PCs.

      I will have to learn it eventually if I want to be able to use PCs running Windows.

      Thanks for the thought, though.


      • I still use XP on my desktop machine (though it’s actually a Mac). On my laptop I have Windows 7, which is pretty solid, but not as solid as XP.


  7. I will buy a new desktop PC with Windows 7 on it. I will have to do it soon while they are still available.

    And I will continue to use the laptop with Windows 8 to get used to it.

    But it will take me much longer than usual, which is why I needed to vent in this post.


  8. Thanks for this post.
    I am also due for a new laptop = print on some of the keys is worn off or keys have fallen off from extensive use, etc. and because of the new Windows OS, I think my next laptop will be one with a touch screen (I have seen them in the store and they are not that much more expensive).


  9. Windows 8 probably makes sense with a touch screen.

    But I will wait until the prices drop a bit more. They were much more expensive a few years ago.


  10. Join the world of the irrelevant! All the skills we learned growing up, including milking cows, are now useless, except as memories. Even so, machines still can’t differentiate between “puzzled,” “bewildered,” “confused,” “confounded,” and more.

    After watching several Nova shows on the history of the universe, I realize that none of it matters, which also means that Hitler will never get his….???


  11. Don’t worry, Steve. By the time you get a handle on Windows 8, MS will have launched Windows 10 or 11, and the story will repeat itself… :). I use for mobile devices a Google Nexus 7 tablet, my cellular phone is a Galaxy Nexus, also powered by Google, and consider myself lucky in having mastered these.


  12. Thanks for cheering me up, as always!


  13. Did you get around to try the pieces of software I recommended, Steve? I installed Windows 8 on my laptop and I’m checking everything I can find, though I admit it’s easier for me because I had already tested the free beta version.


  14. No, not yet as I was working on a rush job again.

    As long as I remember how to get to the desktop and try not to move the mouse too much over the screen, I am in relatively safe waters.

    I appreciate the thought though.


  15. Ahh! great to see Windows 8 has lot of fans. I always saw hate comments against the new try of Microsoft, but it seems I was wrong.


  16. It seems to me you were right in my case.

    But I’ll get over it, eventually.


  17. Wow. My experiences with Win 8 are the exact opposite. The only thing I don’t like so far is that the remote desktop runs slower compared to Win 7, but that might be caused by something other than Win 8.

    And Windows 8 does include Paint. Try Win+R, mspaint, Enter. Why would MS remove it?

    Best wishes,


  18. Thank you very much for showing me how to find Paint.

    Windows 8 did such a good job of hiding it that I just was not able to find it.

    All I was able to see was this awful monstrosity called Fresh Paint, so I thought they replaced Paint with Fresh Paint.

    I rewrote my post, and thanks again.

    But why is it that I can’t find Paint except directly from the DOS prompt command? I am pretty sure I clicked on every icon and it was not there.


  19. Hello Steve. I guess MS removed links and associations to the programs such as Paint or Media Player because they wanted to sort of force us end users to try out the new Microsoft Store feature. As a result, you went and found Fresh Paint (you probably wouldn’t otherwise). Whatever the reason, I agree that it’s kind of frustrating. But after all, the programs are still there. I think that if you right-click and image and select the “Open with” command, you should be able to launch Paint as well, so this is yet another conventional way to access it that hasn’t changed.

    Cordially yours,


  20. Thanks for this link – I, too, missed the “old” Paint as I used it to create jpeg files easily from excel and word docs. I have now pinned it to my taskbar so I can find it again.


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