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Author Topic: Putting a Classic Menu on Windows 7 - Redux  (Read 6850 times)

40hz

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Putting a Classic Menu on Windows 7 - Redux
« on: March 09, 2010, 11:27:28 AM »
One of the most popular Windows 7 modifications is to restore the "classic" start menu since many people prefer the old "cascading" to the new "drill-down" style Microsoft endorses.

Apparently Microsoft was enough aware of this that they provided a so-called classic theme for Win7 users. But this theme still kept the new start menu. As a result, some clever coders stepped up to the plate to restore old style menu goodness to Microsoft's newest child.

I'm aware of two (CSMenu and Classic Windows Start Menu)that have been mentioned in previous DC threads:

http://www.donationc....msg185143#msg185143

http://www.donationc....msg185819#msg185819

I just found another one that has been written up over at www.dedoimedo.com (another great website BTW!) called Classic Shell.

http://www.dedoimedo...7-classic-shell.html

Quote
Classic Shell is a a small, simple tool that re-enables a collection of features that were available in older versions of Windows but do not exist in Windows 7. Most importantly, it brings back the classic Start menu, adds a Windows XP style toolbar for Windows Explorer and powers on a few smaller, less noticeable features.

As interesting as it was to find this app, it was even more interesting that the download link on SourceForge ( http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/ ) had a link to the developer's CodeProject page. And that page is a gold mine if you're at all interested in one way something like Classic Shell can be written.

Developer Ivo Beltchev does a very nice job of analyzing requirements, identifying potential pitfalls, evaluating alternative solutions, and providing code samples (with discussion!) for how he created Classic Shell.

Full source code is also available for download.

Link: http://www.codeproje...ll/classicshell.aspx

Quote
Classic Start Menu is a clone of the original Start menu, which you can find in all versions of Windows from 95 to Vista. It has a variety of advanced features:

    * Drag and drop to let you organize your applications.
    * Options to show Favorites, expand Control Panel, etc.
    * Shows recently used documents. The number of documents to display is customizable.
    * Translated in 35 languages, including right-to-left support for Arabic and Hebrew.
    * Does not disable the original Start menu in Windows. You can access it by Shift+Click on the Start button.
    * Right-click on an item in the menu to delete, rename, sort, or perform other tasks.
    * Available for 32 and 64-bit Operating Systems.
    * Has support for skins, including additional third party skins.
    * Fully customizable in both looks and functionality.
    * Support for Microsoft’s Active Accessibility
    * And last but not least – it's free!

If you have used the Start menu in older versions of Windows, you’ll feel right at home

Very cool code "read." Check it out if you get the chance. 8)



scancode

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Re: Putting a Classic Menu on Windows 7 - Redux
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2010, 11:48:53 AM »
Tried it, instantly fell in love with it. I hate you, 40hz.  :Thmbsup:

JavaJones

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Re: Putting a Classic Menu on Windows 7 - Redux
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2010, 01:08:54 PM »
Woo, let's keep the dream alive! :D Thanks 40hz. :)

P.S. "Can show the free disk space and the total file size in the status bar" THANK CHRIST!

Also, I kept feeling like the new copy "overwrite yes/no/maybe" dialog was less functional and intuitive than the previous method, but kind of just chalked it up to unfamiliarity. But the Classic Shell page shows exactly why the new method is so retarded. Why oh why does MS do this?? Seriously, to all those people who love the new Win7 method(s) of doing things, what do you have to say about this? Or, put another way, put *that* in your pipe and smoke it. :P

It's funny, because Win7 *is* an improvement in many respects, but in many other ways not so much. At the least it seems they could make these things optional.

Well, at least they brought back "restore folders on launch"...

- Oshyan
« Last Edit: March 09, 2010, 01:14:15 PM by JavaJones »

app103

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Re: Putting a Classic Menu on Windows 7 - Redux
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2010, 02:16:50 PM »
I haven't installed Win7 on anything I own...yet.

But if/when I do, this will sure come in handy. (bookmarked!)

 :Thmbsup:

40hz

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Re: Putting a Classic Menu on Windows 7 - Redux
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2010, 06:23:34 PM »
Seriously, to all those people who love the new Win7 method(s) of doing things, what do you have to say about this?

At the risk of some folks pick up torches and pitchforks, I'd have to say I sorta like the new start menu. But I  do a lot of tweaking to my menus anyway so maybe I'm not in a position to speak for most users.

Either way, there's enough other improvements offered by Classic Shell (Up Button!!! :-*) that I'm most likely going to load this on all my personal machines. Besides, I can always do a shift-click anytime I want to use the "official" start menu

Sweet! :Thmbsup:

« Last Edit: March 09, 2010, 06:25:21 PM by 40hz »

Darwin

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Re: Putting a Classic Menu on Windows 7 - Redux
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2010, 06:43:09 PM »
I'm with you, 40hz! I really quite like the changes made in Vista and Windows 7 wrt the start menu and, with 7, the taskbar. Still, thank you for pointing this one out - I'll take a look  :Thmbsup:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

JavaJones

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Re: Putting a Classic Menu on Windows 7 - Redux
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2010, 07:05:46 PM »
Granted there are some good things about Win7 start and task bar, I've always agreed with that. I just feel they shouldn't have (and certainly didn't have to) get rid of the older alternatives that people were used to.

And yes, the option of Shift-Click for the new menu style really makes this a no-brainer. Use the new one when you like it, use the old one when you prefer that. *Options*. That's what MS should give us. Lord knows it's not something they're fundamentally opposed to. There are more options in *most* parts of Win7. That they chose to cut down some options in a few places where they might matter most (fundamental UI elements) is IMO somewhat nonsensical and really can't be fully explained with "UI improvements" or "efficiency" given the lack of that elsewhere and comparative detriment such changes have caused to some (not insignificant) portion of users.

Oh well, rant over. :P

- Oshyan

Deozaan

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Re: Putting a Classic Menu on Windows 7 - Redux
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2010, 08:00:03 PM »
I like the Win7 Start menu just fine, but I'd love to get the total space/free space back in the explorer status bar, and wouldn't mind having the WinXP style copy/replace dialog back. Does this thing let me pick and choose what features I want it to install, or is it an all or nothing deal?


scancode

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Re: Putting a Classic Menu on Windows 7 - Redux
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2010, 08:02:47 PM »
er status bar, and wouldn't mind having the WinXP style copy/replace dialog back. Does this thing let m

You can install the start menu and the explorer addon separartely AND once they're installed they're pretty customizable. I'm in love.

ayryq

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Re: Putting a Classic Menu on Windows 7 - Redux
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2010, 08:54:50 PM »
I've been thinking I'd get used to losing the up button in explorer since installing windows 7. I never have. Thank so much for finding and sharing this.

Eric

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Re: Putting a Classic Menu on Windows 7 - Redux
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2010, 09:28:37 AM »
Also, I kept feeling like the new copy "overwrite yes/no/maybe" dialog was less functional and intuitive than the previous method, but kind of just chalked it up to unfamiliarity. But the Classic Shell page shows exactly why the new method is so retarded. Why oh why does MS do this?? Seriously, to all those people who love the new Win7 method(s) of doing things, what do you have to say about this?

I absolutely love Windows 7, but I am not too qualified to speak on the way it does things. 99% of all file management I do is from within Total Commander. It has a very diverse "overwrite yes/no" dialog & I don't think I've seen Windows 7 Explorer's dialog even once in the entire time I have used the OS. Which brings me to that last 1% I actually do use Explorer...I have TeraCopy installed that replaces Explorer's copy/move routines with its own.

Trying to use Windows Explorer for copying, moving, and other file management is like trying to build a house using only a sledge hammer & a few bottles of tequila. The results may be entertaining to see, but there are better ways to attain your goals. :)

As for the Start Menu, as with previous versions of Windows before it, in my mind the Start Menu becomes a lot more powerful & easier to use once you go in to the Start Menu properties and turn on "Display as a menu" for everything. Even just turning that option on for the Control Panel display in the Start Menu will save many a person's hair from being ripped out.

Arizona Hot

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Re: Putting a Classic Menu on Windows 7 - Redux
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2012, 01:47:38 PM »
I just got a Win 7 machine and didn't like the Start menu, so I installed ClasicShell 3.6.2 and changed my Start menu to this:

Start menu 1.jpgPutting a Classic Menu on Windows 7 - Redux

Start menu 2.jpgPutting a Classic Menu on Windows 7 - Redux

Love it too!

MilesAhead

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Re: Putting a Classic Menu on Windows 7 - Redux
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2012, 01:56:00 PM »
Seems like neither the cascade or the drill down were done right. I didn't like how XP kept covering more and more of the desktop as it expanded across.  But it's a pita getting the All Programs arrow thing to open.  I liked the idea of Vista Start Menu since it was free and did stuff like avoid rearranging everything just because you delete a shortcut. One thing I hate is stuff shifting around to make yet another search when the thing is in front of you but not exactly where you're habituated to seeing it.  That's the main drawback to Stand Alone Stacks.

But I use that and RocketDock to minimize start menu access. On Vista Start Menu page there's a nice write-up about what a time-waster it is to reposition shortcuts just to keep strict alphabetic order. There's an algorithm to tolerate some blank spaces before rearranging is triggered.

Although I see Stand Alone Stacks has a sort option modification decending, which would put the stuff I added most recently closest to the Taskbar in grid mode. I think I'll try that instead of searching the shortcut name.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 02:08:13 PM by MilesAhead »