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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Tweak your XP desktop to the MAX!


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14 replies to this topic

#1 igalan

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 11:46 AM

Are you bored of the default Windows XP Bliss theme? Well here are some tips and programs to tweak it and change your desktop in a way that it won't look as a Windows desktop anymore! You can make your friends drool when they look at your desktop :(

Some programs to start with:

Patched uxtheme.dll
The first thing you'll want to change is the XP Theme. By default you can only use Microsoft signed themes, but there is a fix for that. You need to patch the uxtheme.dll with this program (registration required to download this file, but it's free). When you run this program, it will patch the dll so you can use non Microsoft signed themes :( .

Now you need nice themes. The link above to Belchfire.net is a good place to start. Look on the Theme's section. There you have themes that you can install right away (download and unpack to Windows\Resources\Themes). Some themes have a .theme file that can be selected from the screen properties. Others have a .msstyles file and no .theme file; for those just open this file with Explorer. For .theme or .msstyles files you do not need to install anything else. However there are program that allow further customization like WindowBlinds or TGT styleXP.

Other resources for Windows XP Themes are:

ObjectDock
Another nice program to tweak your desktop is ObjectDockThis program can replace the Windows XP taskbar completely if you wish, or just run it to have a nice bar with shortcuts to your most often used programs.

You can customize the icons used for the shortcuts, and use nice big pictures for your programs. Download custom icons from Wincustomize.com.

The possibilities of this program are almost endless thanks to the plug-ins. You can completely replace The start menu and task bar with the Start menu Docklet, display System stats, display the Weather forecast (plugin included with ObjectDock), display a Calendar...

Rainlendar
Speaking about calendars, if you want a nice calendar on your desktop, Rainlendar is your best bet. It is skinnable, so you can choose the skin that fits best your desktop.

Posted Image

It can also store appointments, synchronize with a server...

Tweak UI
This PowerToy created by Microsoft will allow you to remove icons from your desktop (even those that can not be deleted, like the Recycle Bin), and tweak some parameters. It's pretty useful. Get it here.



As an example, I have included my current desktop. I like it clean, so almost there isn't any icon, just ObjectDock with the usual icons (like My PC, Reclycle Bin...)

Feel free to post more links to program to tweak your desktop, more resources to download themes, or anything!

#2 igalan

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 11:54 AM

My current desktop.

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  • cleandesktop.jpg


#3 FrYGuY

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 09:03 PM

Here's mine...

Callendar's Active Dektop Callendar. Forget who makes it.

The Dock is Y'z Dock. It's kinda hard to find since Apple sued the guy who made it...

I forget the style... but I like it. I think it's "CoughDrop" from ThemeXP...

StatBar at top, it's a godsend. Notice the 63 day uptime? :(

'side from that. Yeah. I have lots of tests coming up. And my coding projects have wierd Code Names. Mua ha ha.

Attached Thumbnails

  • desktop.jpg


#4 igalan

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 08:52 AM

The dock and the stat line look nice :( , can't you post a link to download them? The theme is CoughDrop, I use it on another computer, it just uses a different color scheme, but the elements are the standard.

#5 JamesT

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 11:36 AM

Where can i get the stat bar?

#6 DreamCaster

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 01:17 PM

Here's a link to StatBar although I'm not sure if it's the same one (i googled it) :(

click

#7 ~*LdY*LaFFs*~

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 02:01 PM

Originally posted by FrYGuY
Here's mine...



Very cool :(

#8 JamesT

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 04:24 PM

Thank you DC. I have it installed :( Im not sure if ts the same, but it looks ok. Ill post some pics of my desktop in a mo.

#9 Cirga

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 05:35 PM

Hey right on.. liking those desktops fellas. :(

I will have to see if I can find a few themes to change my good ole grey Win2k taskbar.. its old and drab. I need some flair! hehe

#10 FrYGuY

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 07:27 PM

Yep, DC, that's the same StatBar I use... I recommend getting it from the dev's website here though. Just the paranoia in me :(.

As for Y'z Dock, like I said, it's hard to find since Apple sued the guy, but if you were to do a Google search You might be able to dig up a copy.

#11 DreamCaster

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 08:12 PM

Thanks for the heads up and dev link :(

Out of curiousity, how badly does this thing tax your system resources?

#12 FrYGuY

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 08:56 PM

Originally posted by DreamCaster
Thanks for the heads up and dev link :(

Out of curiousity, how badly does this thing tax your system resources?

Statbar? It's not that bad.. 0-2% processor on my laptop's 850mhz processor, 4 meg RAM usage... And that's with the uptime meter, HD meter, RAM meter, CPU meter, Time sync, Network meter, Winamp controls, and volume controls...

Y'z dock is about the same sitting there, when you mouse over though, the smoothed magnification/demagnification takes quite a bit of processor, but other than that it's not that bad either.

#13 Fletch

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 05:12 PM

Great looking desktops, but I can't stand paying for progs like object desktop and such, so I must continue crashing my windows in attempts to do it all manually =D

Btw, I really like the calendar, using it now.

#14 igalan

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 06:17 PM

ObjectDock is still free (it's considered beta software and does have some bugs). Almost everything I posted is free, like the patcher for uxtheme.dll and TweakUI. If you just want some customization you don't neew WindowBlinds or anything else :( .

#15 Fletch

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 11:29 PM

Free it is, and it looks pretty nice too, had to turn off the magnify part, that was a little too much, perhaps when i get the new pc all built up I'll be able to crank up all that pretty stuff. All spicey stuff, thanks a heap for the extras =)




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