Hi Jockie1e and Lazarus The Second, Thank you both very much for responding so quickly and for your help, much appreciated.
Jockie1e: as you've then spotted, I wasn't sure what version of Win8 I'd got, but couldn't check via the "Start/WinLogo" button because neither were there! That in turn implied that it was 8, not 8.1 I'd got .... but I didn't know that and couldn't find out! I've now discovered PC Info from the Charms gets me that info via a different route, but the book I bought didn't say to do it that way, and when you're struggling to get to grips it doesn't seem to matter how experienced you are - or is that just me?!!
Ok, next, Google has found for me that Windows Update doesn't auto-fetch new versions, I have to go to Windows Store apparently if I want 8.1 (for free. So question - do I want 8.1 or best to stick to 8? With WinXP and earlier, it was always yes to such a question, but then came the Vista fiasco!
Thank you also for pointing me towards "Shell". I'd never heard of this. Could you expand a little on your comment "All programs is not as good as the W/7 version but certainly better than the W/8.1 version.", please? For example, it would seem that if I did go for 8.1 that would be even more of a reason to get Shell. Yes/No?
Lazarus The Second: I've got the "Dummies" ebook now. Only read a little of it so far, but already I've acquired the concept I lacked before - namely that the Start screen does actually control things, not just display stuff. I also like its description of users being either consumers or creators. As a user in the latter group now I understand better why I couldn't use Win8 intuitively and so found it most unfriendly.
Both: I'm finding the pop-ups in the corners to be erratic rather than consistent in appearing. I have, however, just discovered that the Start screen pop-up at bottom left only seems to appear if the pointer is EXACTLY in the corner. Just now I had the pointer in the corner, but some 5 or 6mm, (no more - and definitely within the Taskbar area), above the precise corner, with the result that nothing appeared. Is that right? If so it's ridiculously sensitive, IMHO!
I've a feeling I'll be back here with further queries before too long, but for the moment, thanks again. Will pop back to see what you say.