Getting a better handle on this Win8 beast and I probably owe it an apology – the WiFi problem is adapter specific. I installed the latest Belkin drivers, assuming (as you do) that the later the better. However they are hardware version specific but I had to dig out a magnifying glass to read the 3 point type that tells you what version you have. The adapter is now happily working on the ancient computer & this one is cabled.
On the actual Win8 front I’m beginning to get the hang of tiles and the start panel. Move your mouse to the bottom left of the screen (as you would for the old start button) and you get the start panel which then takes over the screen instead of a start menu flying up. Basically the same behaviour and I can see why it would make sense for a tablet OS, it just takes a bit of getting used to on a desktop – you lose sight of running apps (not programs).
To see your apps you either need to get the start panel out of the way or hit the top left of the screen with your mouse cursor. At this point it gets a bit confusing. Win8 seems to have two kinds of apps: the new all screen type that seem to be available mostly through the app store, and the old type with the borders which sit on a separate desk top. Full screen apps show themselves in a strip along the left of the screen if you send your mouse to the top left then move downwards. The desktop apps lurk in a pack on the single desktop shown in this strip (the empty desktop does not appear if there are no apps on it).
Confusingly, Win8 comes with both types installed out of the box, the native file explorer runs on the desktop rather than as a full screen app. I swear that the first time I ran Internet Explorer 10 it was a full screen app too but currently it is a desktop version, suggesting that apps might be switchable. I can’t confirm this because I can’t switch IE back to full screen mode.
There is only one desktop so apps which run on the desktop are all gathered here meaning you have to go to the desktop and use the taskbar on the bottom edge of the screen to see what is there. You can still cycle through running apps with Alt+Tab which shows full screen apps and desktop apps. Rather oddly it also shows the empty desktop as if it were a running app.
Overall I’m struggling a little to see the method behind the madness of doing things this way on a desktop; although I appreciate some of this makes sense when you start using a touchscreen. However, on the touchscreen, the desktop apps will surely become difficult to use unless the menus adjust somehow to allow for fat fingers and the absence of a hovering mouse cursor.
I did discover a very handy YouTube video Learn Windows 8 in 3 minutes (OK, it’s really 4)
p.s. This was written in the Worpress app which is a bit bare so excuse any formatting glitches.