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Wrangling Windows 10 – Using Gadgets

by Miriam - January 10th, 2018.
Filed under: Insights.

Yes, I’m a latecomer to Windows 10.  I upgraded to WIN 8.1 machines shortly before the WIN 10 “revolution,” and since I was getting great performance out of my WIN 8.1 machines, I had no need to upgrade to 10 until recently.

Also, to be honest, I was skeptical and leery of the WIN 10 “metro” interface (having successfully configured my WIN 8.1 machine to suit my preference for a WIN 7 interface.

But, my primary computer finally started getting slower (despite my regular data maintenance), and I started running out of space on my primary SD drive, so I ordered a replacement model, knowing that I would also need to adapt to WIN 10.

I must admit that the transition from my WIN 8.1 machine to my new WIN 10 was very smooth.  I highly recommend the use of transition software.  I used LapLink PC Mover Pro, which was easy to install and use, and much faster than restoring my CrashPlan backup (which would have taken days at best, and months if done via download (I’m not kidding – I live in the country have very slow internet speed)).  All data was transferred in 6 hours.

Loading software and configuring the new computer was time consuming, but otherwise painless.  It took a solid day, but the transition was smooth, and I was able to configure my new WIN 10 desktop back to the model I know and love.

Except…

No Gadgets??? What is this nonsense??? Running gadget-style applications from the WIN Metro screen is just plain silly, and it was awkward to use metro-intended tiles on my desktop configuration.  All I need are some desktop information items and – as it turns out – a reliable way to play Pandora (the WIN 10 Pandora app is terrible – it is too large and does not retain my stations.  I had to uninstall and reinstall it every time I wanted to change stations).

To the rescue!  8 Gadget Pack! This terrific small package of several useful gadgets runs very well on WIN 10 and I was familiar with it, having used it on my WIN 8.1 machine.  I was able to install an analog clock, a weather app and – finally! a Pandora gadget that works exactly like I want.  The Pandora gadget was claimed from Pandora as a “Sidebar Gadget for Vista” (huh? It took me a while to find it, but I knew that it surely had to exist).  You can also install Pandora Desktop, which runs on Adobe Air (I have not tried this on my WIN 10 machine, but this was the application I used on my WIN 8 machine).

You can see below – I like to park my gadgets on the sidebar of my vertical monitor.  Success with WIN 10.  Now, back to work and your regularly scheduled programming.

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