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A few keyboard shortcuts are worth memorizing. Virtually all of them involve the Windows key, which is available on any standard Windows keyboard.
Tapping the Windows key by itself takes you to the Start screen. Tap again to return to the program you were using previously. If you're working on the desktop, you can tap Start to toggle between the Start screen and the desktop.
To open the Charms menu, use the Windows key + C shortcut. That also displays the current date and time. Click anywhere except on one of the five charms to make the menu disappear.
For easy access to the Settings pane, memorize the Windows key + I shortcut. (That's a capital eye, not a lowercase ell.)
The Settings link at the top of this pane applies to the program you're using when you press it. If you're at the Windows desktop, the options include the desktop Control Panel, Personalizaiton options (themes, colors, and so on), and System Info.
Use the icons at the bottom of the pane to change the volume or adjust other system settings. The More PC settings link at the bottom of the pane takes you to the simplified Metro style control panel.
To jump straight to a specific setting, use the Settings option with the new Search. If you press Windows key plus W (think "Windows settings"), you get to this screen, with the correct option already selected.