Lookchange to Windows 8

Lookchange to Windows 8

Postby Henriolavi » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:13 am

This is a guide how to make Zorin 8 look like Windows 8.1

The entire document can be seen in the following web page including also all pictures
http://www.scribd.com/doc/211598568/How ... -Metro-Lap

How to make Zorin 8 look and feel like Windows 8.1 using iStart

Zorin os 8 can be chanced to look like Windows 8.1 by installing iStart Metro Style start page to Chrome Web
. iStart is a start page application available from Crome Webstore. Here are the steps to be done to get it
in use correctly when using Windows 7 outlook.

iStart page.png

1. Go to Chrome web store and install iStart Metro Style start page application to your browser.

2. Add Chrome to System Startup from Zorin Menu. Set your panel behavior from Awn settings something
else than “allways visible”
to keep the iStart's slide bar visible on the top of your panel or alternatively on the bottom
of display when a hiding option is used.

3. Start Chrome and open the browser settings and set “zoom” to a position where your iStart page shows the tiles
in best size on the screen. Something between 67- 90 %. Check also that iStart page is opened automatically when
Crome is started.

4. Your start page should now look like Windows 8 Start, having a collection of already installed web
applications (tiles). Also those which you have used (installed) before.

5. Following step is to make settings from iStart page by opening the settings menu from right upper corner
of the page. There you can as first step add new tiles and create new links to favorite web pages selecting
“Add new link/favorite” from Settings menu. You can write a label and the URL to related boxes and select the
color and icon of the tile and then save it. A new tile appears to the start page and you can by clicking it try, if it works.
You may have to reopen the page to get the new tile to the page. If the tile doesn't work, see item 8.

New tiles.png

6. As next step, you can look, whether you want to change your iSart background. There is two alternatives,
ether to use color selections to get a new sliding background color to iStart, or you can use some picture of
your own
from your picture folder to be set as a new background. Here is a picture of opened background settings menu.

In the following the background has been changed to a picture and panel has been changed from Awn settings to be
invisible (hiding). The narrow black scroll bar can be seen now more clearly on the bottom of the screen. Panel will
appear when arrow(cursor) thatches the bottom of the screen. Here you have to be careful not to thatch the bottom when
sliding the iStart page's tiles with your mouse cursor. There are also a roll mouse and keyboard arrow navigation support
available to slide the tiles in the window.

Bacground shange.png

7. Next you can go to the Chrome Web Store to add new applications to your iStart page. There is a tile already
installed to iStart page to click it and go to Chrome Web Store. By selecting a new application from web store and installing it,
a tile appears to your page which you can then use to start that application or open the linked web page.

8. If some link does not open, even if the tile appears on the page or if you want to make some changes to the tile's
outlook or remove it, you have to open a tile to edit mode by right clicking it. Then opens a editing panel to make the
changes to that specific tile. Edit mode is shown by having gray shadow behind that tile. Here is a picture of opened
editing panel using “Zorin home” tile as an examble. There tile's label, URL, tile's size and color can be changed.

You can get all tiles at the same time to edit mode by clicking the “Activate edit mode”, then you can select a tile
to be edited from tiles left corner or delete that tile from right corner. Edit mode is closed by by clicking “Activate edit mode”

You can also open an additional Icon Menu to select or change an icon to your tile. After that you can either save
new settings, cancel your edit or delete the tile. In the Settings you can see also how to add a new tile.

9. Now you have done all the basic things to apply iStart page to get started. It will work well to get very handy
access to all your favorite web pages and web applications. Here you can add direct access ie. to Zorins home page,
forum page or help desk as well as to your net bank's log in page as seen in the previous pictures. This saves time to
connect you in few seconds to the right web page, having not need to go though deep access menus. There are some
additional settings in the iStart's Settings menu which are not guided here, like Add active widget, Activate dropbox,
Install plug ins, Open help window or making a selection to Activate iStart premium for more advanced use or Removing
the use of iStart.

10. Following is guiding how to use iStart page with Zorin applications. Until now it is not possible to start
Zorin applications from iStart page's tiles. You use normal Zorin menu to do that. You can use an other workspace or
the same workspace to start applications from Zorin menu.

If using same workspace, then it is more safe to minimaze the iStart page before opening applications from Zorin menu.
This avoids unwanted activation of iStart page and also starting accidentally some application there.
By clicking only the Crome icon on the panel you can get back the iStart page to further use if needed.

If you want to use web applications and Zorin applications in the same workspace it is fully possible by using
many windows. There you can run ie. a video from You Tube and follow
the cpu load with the monitor application.

11. An additional Windows 8.1 outlook change you can make by chancing the background pictures
to some of the Windows 8 default wallpapers
, which can be downloaded from different Wallpaper web sites.

Using the same background picture in iStart page and in Zorin you get better visual integration to your os.
when starting different applications either from iStart page's tiles or from Zorin menu.
Selecting a nice picture you get a clean, awesome and up to date UI to your customized operating system.

1 iStart .png

5 iSatrt.png

Note following: If you use same wallpaper in iStart as in Zorin you have to reduce the hight of that picture which
you put into iStart due to web page is ca 6,7 % lower than normal screen. If you have ie. a 1680 x 1050 pix.
widescreen take 70 pixels away from the top of the picture so it looks same in iStarp page as in Zorin background.

The purpose and motivation to install and use iStart is not only to get more up to date outlook to your os.
The advantage will be, that you improve a lot your os.' performance by using iStart tiles, to connect you to
frequently used web pages or applications only in few seconds, instead of searching the right pages
spending at least 10 - 20 times more time.
Last edited by Henriolavi on Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:29 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Re: Lookchange to Windows 8

Postby Henriolavi » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:14 pm

Premium version of iStart.

Desktop onex.jpg

In the premium version there is a black hiding side panel including direct access to some pages in the Chrome, like settings, downloads, extensions, history and bookmarks

Premium version can be activated selecting "activate premium version" and by using this key:

Last edited by Henriolavi on Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Lookchange to Windows 8

Postby Swarfendor437 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:26 pm

I won't be using it as it is dependent on a Google producr! :twisted:
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Re: Lookchange to Windows 8

Postby Henriolavi » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:32 pm

I have suggested to the developer Kay Schneider that she looks possibilities to collect a team to make a browser independent solution to Linux. Technically it would not be a big change but it requires some activity from the Linux side. Google or Microsoft may have here some ip or product rights that it is not so easy to develope an identical independent Metro UI to Linux. The financing I suppose comes here only from those that have the fixed tiles there like Amatson, epay etc.

Re: Lookchange to Windows 8

Postby Henriolavi » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:05 pm

This document has been reviewed and improved adding some pictures there. However a more complete set of pictures are still only on the linked PDF document due to limitations of the picture count to five. To the iStart application has been done some improvements. There are now better color tool as shown in the picture and more complete set of icons in the gallery. There are now two pictures where the background color is changed to the Windows 8 Start page outlook.

Re: Lookchange to Windows 8

Postby Swarfendor437 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:14 pm

At last - A true open source alternative! :D

http://gnome-look.org/content/preview.p ... luxIItiles
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Re: Lookchange to Windows 8

Postby Henriolavi » Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:46 am

Looks good. When it is one of the available alternatives in the "Look changer" so that it works with "Zorin Menu" Items just selecting it there? At least this seems to be really an integrated menu solution to net computing and running "off line" applications. One thing is not clear here whether there can be net applications linked from some "web store" like in the iStart or have you have a separate menu then for those. Then it does not either offer a full menu integration. It is however more dependent on the "web store" than from this menu application whether it offers the possibility to full menu integration. If there is not full integration, which is then better solution? Either to have the web applications and URL menu without off line integration, or an of line menu with only URL integration.

Re: Lookchange to Windows 8

Postby Swarfendor437 » Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:24 pm

Basically, better to not have spyware - when you login to Windows 8.1 you are logging into Redmond! :D
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Re: Lookchange to Windows 8

Postby Henriolavi » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:57 am

The problem with Google is that it collects information of you. However you can not avoid being a target of spying even if you don't use Google products. There are many other ways to do that. If you use some other browser, search applications or mail box that won't collect information, so there are many sites or applications that require registration and using the password. So you are identified that way and can be used to collect personal information, Also your IP address can be used to that purpose if only connected to net and visited some site.

If you have debit/credit cards or some bonus cards all your purchase actions and behavior are registered and information collected. All your asset and income are registered for taxation purposes and there are many new services selling personal information of you via net or phone using just the "mandatory and officially" collected information.

If someone wants to be safe as possible here so any registrations should not be done, to avoid using any cards for paying and preferably not connected to internet at all.

Re: Lookchange to Windows 8

Postby Swarfendor437 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:07 am

But not if you use Tails Linux with Tor! :lol:
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