Questions about setting up a new computer

Christopher Chaltain chaltain at
Sun Jul 17 23:35:55 UTC 2016

I'm not sure which desktop is most like Windows either. BTW, the Windows 
interface hasn't changed that much. I've used XP, 7, 8 and 10. Windows 8 
did introduce the start panel and temporarily got rid of the start menu, 
but this change was much less significant then say the change from Gnome 
2 to Gnome 3. Besides, it was easy to  tweak the Windows 8 configuration 
to make the start panel very similar to the start menu. In short, the 
Windows interface has changed, but it hasn't changed totally and it 
never forced users to learn something entirely new.

On 17/07/16 18:07, Kyle wrote:
> I'm not sure what you mean by "most like Windows," since Windows is
> itself a moving target. Sure it stayed the same for years at a time, but
> then once it changed, the interface totally changed, forcing users to
> learn something entirely new. Since I haven't used any version of
> Windows since XP, I would be further unable to answer that question, as
> I never even tried to learn any later version, so don't know what
> desktop may look most like it, although I have heard a time or two that
> KDE, although it doesn't work at all with Orca, is closest.
> Desktop environments are largely based on personal preference, although
> interaction with the Orca screen reader can vary from one desktop to the
> next. The two that work best with Orca are MATE, which is my personal
> favorite, and GNOME, which is not so menu driven, and is based more on
> screen overlays. For example, in MATE, I can press alt+f1 and get a menu
> that shows me all my installed applications in various categories.
> However, if I press the same key in GNOME, I get a search box where I
> can type what I'm looking for, whether that may be an application that
> does a certain thing, the name of the application or a file on my
> system, and the matching applications and files pop up and allow me to
> tab between them, pressing the enter key to open what I want. For
> example, depending on what I have installed, under the internet menu in
> MATE, I may have Epiphany, Evolution, Firefox, Seamonkey and
> Thunderbird. But in GNOME, I can type internet into the search box, and
> it will give me Epiphany, Firefox and Seamonkey. Same for the word
> browse. And then typing mail will give me Seamonkey, evolution and
> Thunderbird, assuming I have all these installed. There is also an "all
> applications" overlay on GNOME that will pop up a grid of all the
> applications installed on my system if I want to use it to find
> something and don't know how to best search for it, which pops up with
> super+a. These do tend to be categorized somewhat, but everything is
> just laid out there, and in my experience, makes something a bit more
> difficult to find.
> Another major difference is the fact that MATE, being continued from the
> days of GNOME2, still has a working desktop area that can include files,
> folders and launchers, along with panels at the top and bottom of the
> screen, which although they are prepopulated with some common functions,
> may be customized to include any launcher or applet you want. On the
> other hand, GNOME has its desktop turned off by default, and the only
> panel is the top bar, which isn't really customizable except via
> gnome-shell extensions, but does include some useful functions by
> default.  Because there is no desktop by default, you have a vary large
> area of the screen with nothing on it. This can be fixed in GNOME by
> installing gnome-tweak-tool and turning on the desktop, but it's an
> extra step if you want a functional desktop with files, folders and
> launchers, similar to MATE's desktop. You can also use gnome-tweak-tool
> to search for extensions that will further customize your interface,
> including the way workspaces, also known as virtual desktops, are
> presented, the layout of the top bar, additional panels and overlays,
> and more.
> Although I can't answer the question of which desktop is "most like
> Windows," I hope some of these options have helped you to make an
> informed decision of which desktop environment you want to use getting
> started. Keep in mind that you may change your mind and try another
> desktop at any time, without having to reinstall the whole operating
> system and without losing any of your documents or other files.
> Sent from my email
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Christopher (CJ)
chaltain at Gmail

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