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StartOnDesktop 1.0

Make Windows 8 boot straight to the desktop

by Mike Williams

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 8
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 09 November 2012
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 1562
Developer: Josh Cell Softwares
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Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/#!/jcsoftwares
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StartOnDesktop 1.0
Make Windows 8 boot straight to the desktop

StartOnDesktop is a tiny and extremely simple tool with a single purpose: to make your copy of Windows 8 boot directly to the desktop.

The program itself is ultra-compact, a single 157KB executable you can run from anywhere.

And its interface couldn't be much simpler. There are just two buttons: clicking "Enable" tweaks the Registry to ensure Windows 8 boots to the desktop, while clicking "Disable" restores normal operations and you'll boot to the Start screen.

StartOnDesktop worked perfectly when we tried it on our system. It's not like some solutions, where you see the Start screen briefly, first: instead the desktop pops up immediately, just as it always did.

As the program works only by tweaking the Registry, not by tampering with any system files, it should be relatively safe. There are no 100% guarantees, though, so don't try StartOnDesktop unless you know precisely what to do if it stops your system booting at all.

Verdict:

StartOnDesktop is probably the simplest and most straightforward Windows 8 "boot to the desktop" tool we've seen so far

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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