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Spencer 1.11

An XP-style Start Menu for Windows 8

by Mike Williams

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Based on 1 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8
Requirements:
Languages: English, Portuguese (Brazil)
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 18 November 2015
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 682
Developer: The SZ
RSS News Feed: http://thesz.diecru.eu/data/rss.php
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Spencer
An XP-style Start Menu for Windows 8

Spencer is a tiny tool which adds an XP-type Start Menu to Windows 8. There are many similar applications around, of course, but this is a little different.

The program is extremely lightweight, for instance, at a mere 430KB download. It's also portable, so there are no adware concerns here.

Spencer doesn't replace your existing Start button, either. Instead you just pin it to your taskbar (right-click, "Pin to taskbar") and click the shortcut whenever you need to use it.

The down side here, as far as we're concerned, is that Spencer displays its menu in the XP style: a single vertical list. If you've lots of programs installed then this means you'll spend plenty of time scrolling to find whatever you need. This has to be done with the keyboard (the mouse scroll wheel doesn't work). And there's no search box, either.

Still, if your programs fit on the screen then Spencer works well. And as a bonus, beneath the program list you'll find shortcuts to Control Panel, the Run box, and the Command Prompt (with admin rights).

Version 1.11:
    - New: Icons are looking better with high DPI settings

Verdict:

Once you've got used to Windows 7's Start Menu, the XP version seems extremely limited, and there's no way we would use this by choice. But if you like that style, then Spencer is an easy way to restore it which won't interfere with any other Start menu/ button you might be using.

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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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Free
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