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Old 07-13-2007, 01:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Windows Customization

I was wondering what program you guys use to customize your windows? I'm looking at Aston Shell but at a price tag of 29.95, I'm looking for something cheaper. I do like the fact that Aston replaces your explorer.exe instead of just running in the background, and it claims to be able to run on a Pentium I processor and 32MB of RAM, meaning that it takes almost no resources. It even claims to take up less resources then Windows XP. I just want to know your opinions on a different program, or should I settle for this program.

Aston Desktop. Program for desktop, virtual desktop, shell replacement, themes, wallpapers, skins, visual styles
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Windows Customization

Windowsblinds. It does the same thing. It replaces the UXTheme.dll upon start up and therefor uses no resources. They only have the icon in the taskbar for easy access to chagne skins.

I have used it for 3 years now and have loved every second of it.
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Windows Customization

but windowsblinds only includes the GUI, no widgets or anything else...you would need Object Desktop to get all the features. Aston Shell has all of desktopx, windowblinds, etc.
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Windows Customization

Hello,

Why not perform the utheme.dll hack in Windows XP?

Normally, you wouldn't be able to install and use unsigned Windows XP visual styles in Windows XP, which means that you're stuck with the classic or Windows XP 'Luna' Style (and of course signed styles released by Microsoft, such as the Zune Style with the orange and black colours).

However, you can change that. In XP, a file called uxtheme.dll exists in the directory c:\windows\system32\ which controls whether unsiged visual styles can be installed and used in XP. You can replace it manually, and there are many instructions available on the web to help you do this. But the easiest way is to use an automated program such as the uxtheme multipatcher:

http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/OS-Enhancements/UXTheme-MultiPatcher.shtml

After applying the patch, you'll be able to download and use many of the user created visual styles from places such as http://www.deviantart.com in the category Customization > Skins & Themes > Windows Utilities > Visual Styles .

Instructions on how to add more themes / visual styles can be found here:

http://uneasysilence.com/how-to-use-...es-on-windows/

The benefits? You can change the visual style in XP without having to use a 3rd party application which would use increased resources. The styles applied will around the same resources as allocated to the Windows XP Luna visual style. It's the leanest way to change your visual style.

The drawbacks? Installing new visual styles can be a bit fiddly, and sometimes some style creators don't structure the necessary style folders and files properly. And of course, only the GUI is changed, and not the entire environment as you are looking for.
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Old 07-13-2007, 03:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Windows Customization

Quote:
Originally Posted by AP4LIFETN View Post
but windowsblinds only includes the GUI, no widgets or anything else...you would need Object Desktop to get all the features. Aston Shell has all of desktopx, windowblinds, etc.
Yes you are right. But Object Desktop only costs the same and there is a lot more varirty to choose from. There is over 50 pages of skins, among all the Desktop X gadgets, dreams, icons packages, aong others thigns available from having Object Desktop. Like right click, WidnowFX, just to name a couple. There is literaly about 20 different applicaitons you get access to with the Object Desktop purchase. Plus since Object Desktop has a greater support that means more of what you want.

Plus looking at Aston you only get teh Object Bar and Windowsblinds version with that. The desktop X thing you think it is...isnt. That is jsut a large desktop icon. They can have any size with Ashton. It isnt a gadget.

So for the money and what is offered. Object Desktop wins.

The UXTheme.dll replacement is good. only if you remember 2 things. 1 backup the original. If not you will always be stuck with the replaced one. 2. The replacement theme can only do what XP can do. Can try to replace the XP theme with hte Aero theme from Vista. Wont work.

That is why i suggest windowsblinds cause it can do transparency (pixel shaiding) and soon they will have blurry windows as well.
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